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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #44!

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This is the forty-fourth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous forty-three.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: The original ending of Marvel vs. DC involved the two companies swapping two characters, but this ending was changed due to external pressure.


A lot of folks have mentioned this rumor since I’ve been doing this (by a lot, I mean, like, four), but the first one to put it into the comments was John DiBello, whose excellent blog is located here.

John asked,

At the end of DC versus Marvel (aka Marvel versus DC, there was a rumor that one Marvel character was to be stranded in the DC Universe and vice versa, and the other company would have that character to play with in their universe for a year (the way I heard it, the hook was on his foot, no, no, I mean it was to be Daredevil and Catwoman). Truth? If so, what happened?


Well, here is Mike Carlin, editor of the original project (from DC’s side – Mark Gruenwald edited Marvel’s half of the project, with Peter David and Ron Marz handling the writing chores), on the topic:

Swapping a character each WAS discussed early on in the proceedings… but before we even homed in on specific characters to try to do this with, we decided that the legal department headaches (not just for issues the characters appeared in– but for any reprints for all time) would not be worth it.

Wasn’t the lawyers or higher-ups… [it] was Gruenwald and I… with Peter David and Ron Marz as the writers.

So that is, how they say, that.

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Ah, Cat “Ronwode”. The [censored] who destroyed the utexas usenet gateway back in the 80’s. It’s a shame Fred didn’t destroy *her* universe instead.

Robert McKinney

August 21, 2006 at 7:39 am

The info about the Hellfire Club was intertesting. I had known about the connection to the Avengers episode, and Harry Leland’s resemblance to Harry Leland was hard to miss. The rest was surprising. Donald Sutherland?!?

It makes me wonder about something. The second Hellfire Club story featured a body swap between Storm and the White Queen. There was an episode of the Avengers that featured Emma Peel swapping bodies with a blonde enemy agent. I wonder if that didn’t influence the X-Men story.

“Ah, Cat “Ronwode”. The [censored] who destroyed the utexas usenet gateway back in the 80’s. It’s a shame Fred didn’t destroy *her* universe instead.”

This statement piqued my curiousity as to how someone would go about destroying a usenet gateway, as well as what the motivation would be, so I decided to Google for info. And what I discovered was that not only was it unintentional, but that it actually happened in 1995 (not “the 80’s”), and at a time when it was only like one of three usenet gateways still active anymore as they were becoming outmoded…leading me to wonder if this Tom Galloway person was even affected by it anyways, or just has something against Yronwode in general…? I just don’t understand the vitriol.

Michael Joyner

March 7, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Oddly, I alway thought Sebastian Shaw was supposed to be Producer/Director Dan Curtis, whom he looks like as much if not more than Robert Shaw. Also, Sebastian Shaw was the name of a Dark Shadows character, a series produced by Dan Curtis. Pretty much any major DS website pulls up photos of Curtis, check out the amazing resemblance sometime. (Curtis also produced the original Night Stalker, as well as Trilogy of Terrror TV movies, and much more.)

Only Tom can speak for the effect it had on him, but I was partially responsible for the chain of events involving cat, and it cut off my newsgroup access, so it wasn’t insignificant at the time. (In the long run, it weaned me off newsgroups altogether.)

mike shakespeare

August 21, 2008 at 9:45 am

please add me to your emal list….thank you….mike

Picked this old segment from the Bendis board.

Two interesting elements:

The Hellfire being these guys throws me on the floor. It definitly gives us a better handle on Sebastian Shaw and how he should be. I guess Pierce is Donald Sutherland when he was in Casanova. About Dan Curtis…he also produced a Dracula tv movie starring Jack Palance and Palance also look like the Byrne Sebastian Shaw.

The other thing that interested me was the New Marvel Universe thought out by Jim Shooter. You know, as much as I like the characters the way they are, the changes could have been interesting. Heck instead of the New Universe, Shooter could have done all the elements that he wanted to do with a new FF, etc…but in another Universe than the 616 one. Also I wonder what were the other changes? I remember reading Shang Chi would become a ninja…

What’s funny is that the Big Bang did not occur, but some of those things ended up happening anyway. Another guy became Iron Man(James Rhodes), Spider-Man got a new costume(the black one), Fantastic Four gota new line-up when She-Hulk replaced Thing. And this happened during a big event called Secret Wars.

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