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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #69

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This is the sixty-ninth 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 sixty-eight.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Daredevil Comics #2 was created over a weekend.

STATUS: True

Lev Gleason had a minor hit with a comic book superhero by Charlie Biro named Daredevil who they had released a comic featuring a photo-esque drawing of Hitler on the cover, with Daredevil battling Hitler.

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There were no immediate plans for a second issue, but, as Gerard Jones points out in this passage from his great comic history text, Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, plans were made quickly during the 1940s, and called for some drastic measures at times:

Production was not limited by the market but by time on the printers’ schedules and the availablity of paper. Sometimes a suddeny windfall of paper or cash brought a comic book into existence out of nothing. Lev Gleason, former printing salesman newly flung into the ranks of publishing, found himself with the chance to reserve a few million pages of pulp one day in early 1941. The catch was that he’d have to stake his claim for it immediately or someone else would get it and that he had to turn it into something salable immediately or the distributor wouldn’t advance him the money to pay the bill. So Gleason bought the paper with the promise that that he’d have his comic’s pages at the printers on the following Monday. Except that it was Friday, and he didn’t have a comic to print.

Gleason turned to his favorite cartoonist and packager, Charlie Biro, and said, “Get me sixty-four pages by Monday morning.” All he asked was that his one name superhero, Daredevil, have the lead story. How they filled the rest of the pages would be up to them. Biro shared a cheap art studio on 52nd Street, among jazz clubs and strip joints, with his best friend, Bob Wood, and Batman’s star artist, Jerry Robinson. Wood brought in his brothers, Dick and Dave, to help. Robinson brought in his roommates, Bernie Klein and Mort Meskin, and a fellow ghost artist for Bob Kane, Goerge Roussos. They were all nineteen or twenty years old and had already been published comics artists for at least a year.

Jones goes on to relate how the men worked for the weekend, drinking tons of coffee, inventing characters, drawing until they got to tired to draw, lettering until they couldn’t letter anymore. And during this weekend, New York City was hit by a blizzard!!! However, come Monday morning, Daredevil #[2] was ready to go to the presses.

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Simply amazing, eh?

Michael Chabon used the story (with fictional characters, of course) in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Truth CAN be strangers than fiction, eh?

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35 Comments

Another great Urban Legends. I always loved those Crusader issues in the Invaders run (wishing there’s an Essential Invaders).

Storm “killed” Callisto back in the #170s or so, when they first met the Morlocks. In a very similar situation, too. So Lobdell (whose run on X-Men I enjoyed, for the most part) was, whether he remembered or not, ripping off Claremont with the whole “I’m not a killer, but sometimes I MUST kill!” When I first read #325, I was wondering if anyone would bring it up, but no one did. Of course, Callisto was cured by the Morlocks healer, so Storm didn’t get to deal with those devastating consequences either. Stupid Marvel (and DC), always bringing people back to life!

(full apologies in advance for being another nitpicking nerd fanboy)…

Something similar happens in New Mutants #34 – Storm (with heavy heart) contemplates killing Cypher (who has been possesed by the Shadow King). So, not only is she considering killing an opponent, but the innocent kid (and fellow student of Xavier) he’s possessed as well. In this story, she’s willing to make the kill but doesn’t need to, as Karma saves the day without anyone dying. Sadly, the Shadow King comes back again and again in future stories, none of them as good as this one.

I’ve always loved that secret crossover between the Invaders and the Freedom Fighters. I have the original Freedom Fighters issues but only in the past copy of years did I find/buy the Invaders issues. By far the Freedom Fighters issues were better but all were a fun read!
–kevin
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thefreedomfightersfoundation/

Whether he liked it or not, Lobdell handled the return of Marrow well. Zero Tolerance was actually one of my favorite story lines from that era and the Iceman stepping up and forming his own team was awesome. X-Men #70 was simply one of the best X comics I had read since the Claremont era (earlier Claremont, circa Uncanny 170-225.)

Are there enough Freedom Fighters issues to fill a Showcase collection? I’d buy that. Of course, Showcases are crack, in paper form…

Cap’n Wings might be the worst superhero name I’ve ever heard.

I also think it’s funny that the DC versions of the Invaders stay pretty true to the originals, but the Marvel versions of the Freedom Fighters are completely Marvel-ized. Thunderfist looks like he could be in the Wrecking Crew.

What I like is how the Freedom Fighters are just strolling down the street in that second cover, as if they’re out for a night on the town. And what’s the threat in that image? The group of kids?

David Blackhore

“Cap’n Wings might be the worst superhero name I’ve ever heard.”

I KNOW. I had some serious cognitave disonance… I’m reading along “Tommy Lightning? That’s a really good name. Better than the Ray.”

“CAP’N WINGS?!?!?!”

Anyway, interestin’ stuff. I have both the Freedom Fighters and Avengers issues an’ I never noticed that before.

P.S. If I wrote the X-men, Storm would kill someone every issue.

(Thought Balloon)

“Sadly, this month’s issue of People is late. Although it goes against my very nature, I’m left with no choice. I…I…I must kill…. The postman!”

“Sadly, this month’s issue of People is late. Although it goes against my very nature, I’m left with no choice. I…I…I must kill…. The postman!”

Classic!

re: “Cap’n Wings might be the worst superhero name I’ve ever heard.”

Too funny. That’s definitely one of the worst I’ve ever heard of, if not the absolute worst.

And what’s the threat in that image? The group of kids?

The threat is that those crummy Crusaders are turning the country against them! Even the CHILDREN!! The sweet, innocent children!!

Actually, the majority of the DC Crusaders were kids. And kid versions of comics writers to boot.

Americommando was the FF’s arch-enemy Silver Ghost in disguise. He’d gone to a comics convention and asked four kids if they wanted to be super-heroes. After they said yes, he used a ray to turn them into Rusty, Fireball & Sparky, and Barracuda (who were stated by other characters to all be old comic book characters).

Thing is, the names of those kids were Roy, Marv, Len, and Archie, and they were drawn to look like younger versions of Roy Thomas, Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, and Archie Goodwin.

Storm also attempted to kill Magneto by stabbing him as he slept in Uncanny X-Men #150

He woke up just in time

Everybody we think Wolverine killed, Storm actually killed.

Don’t tick her off, T’Challa.

I personally believe Marrow is a great character who doesn’s get the respect she deserves.. In my oppinion (which count for absolutely nothing) Marrow deserves more attention in the world of marvel, she’s intelligent, fast,and Very capable… C’mon guys Give her a chance, make a merc like DEADPOOL(well not like D.P.)but let her play through the title a while.
But Marvel won’t listen to me they already turned down my story idea(MERC WARS)but who cares. Bottom line Marrow is Cool.

that first one is really interesting – I’d always heard the story that Lobdell wanted to kill Marrow, and editorial mandated the second heart (which, I thought, was brought up in the same issue, but apparently not). I WAS WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING! *sob!*

What I liked about Marrow for the longest time was that she wasn’t pretty. Unlike everyone else who ever wandered near the gates of the X-Mansion, she wasn’t a part-time model. Then she got retconned into being the most important Morlock of all time, and was slowly prettied up. Alas.

Poor Daredevil. Marvel stole his name and Deathstroke stole his costume…

Brian, where do you come up with the “urban legends” to look into? Do you just have a big list and slowly compile info on each topic. Then once you have enough you write up the column or what?

So Marrow wasn’t original planned to return? Well i am happy they brought her back since she is my favorit X-men character. Damm you X-men 72 for being the first X-men comic i bought!!!
But i still wonder why Storm and the others simply let Marrows “dead” body around there? Where they like:”She is a Morlocks so let either Thor burn her or the rats will do the job.”
By the way i really would like if they would make a flashback scene of how Marrow woke up again. Would be very disturbing.

Zero Tolerance was a also a great storyline (Bobby was awesome in that one being able to handle all those things) and its good that most people when thinking about Marrow image her in that style. Which we saw in Generation M #4.

Now i wish they would bring her back or at least FINNALY EXPLAIN WHY SHE LEFT!
Damm you Claremont and your stupid “Revolution”!

What th—Is Uncle Sam kneeing that guy in the ‘nads?

Way to be “the symbol of America,” Unc.

Whatever happened to Tommy Lightning?

If he’s too old to get back in the spandex game (or, y’know, dead), someone else should definitely adopt that moniker. It’s too cool to waste.

Hell, bring back/revamp the entire team–or, better yet, both teams. I’d buy those books.

Just wanted to post an urban legend I heard a couple of years ago (Not sure if it has any merit to it):

Allegedly, some guy goes around buying back issues of Brother Power the Geek to try and increase their value.

Biro shared a cheap art studio on 52nd Street, among jazz clubs and strip joints
Why is there none of that glamour in comic books any more?

I’ve always loved that Crusaders story (although I’ve never read the stories themselves), but… “Cap’n Wings”???

Sadly, this month’s issue of People is late. Although it goes against my very nature, I’m left with no choice. I…I…I must kill… The postman!
You forgot to talk about immovable objects and irresistable forces, and you didn’t mention quarters being not given and asked. :)

In my oppinion (which count for absolutely nothing) Marrow deserves more attention in the world of marvel
Not as much attention as Cap’n Wings! Who do we want for the revival? Kirkman? Slott? B-b-b-b-bendis? JMS, in which we learn that the good Cap’n is an aspct of the Winged Totem?

What th—Is Uncle Sam kneeing that guy in the ‘nads?

Way to be “the symbol of America,” Unc.

If you look a little more closely at the image, his knee is behind both of the other guy’s legs. It’s an odd perspective, but his leg is behind the other guy, not hitting him in the unmentionables.

Who the frack is Marrow and why should I care?

I noticed the Invaders homage in Freedom Fighters (I bought that just a few years ago), but I picked up the Invaders issues off the stands way back when and had no idea about Quality characters or Freedom Fighters. So thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.

Who the frack is Marrow and why should I care?

She was a Morlock and lived with them in the sewers of New York, until the Morlocks were slaughtered in what was termed the Mutant Massacre.

A couple of years later, she was living with the remaining surviving Morlocks when they were teleported to a different dimension by Mikhail Rasputin, brother of Colossus.

Time was different in that dimension, so Marrow grew about ten years time there for about a year or so of our time. She grew up learning about how evil humans are. Also, Rasputin was a total nut job, so he taught the Morlocks some crazy crap and made them fight each other and only gave shelter to those strong enough to “deserve” it. These folks he called Gene Nation.

Storm ended up in the dimension, and forced Mikhail to return the Morlocks to Earth, but Marrow and her friends decided to get their revenge on humans, so they became terrorists.

Storm was forced to kill Marrow.

However, we learn later that Marrow didn’t die, and eventually, she takes refuge with the X-Men, and became a member of the team.

NecroVMX said: “Storm also attempted to kill Magneto by stabbing him as he slept in Uncanny X-Men #150

He woke up just in time”

You’re not quite remembering it correctly. Storm did pick up a knife and was THINKING about slitting Magneto’s throat but even before he woke up, her internal monologue showed that even though she knew he was going to try to “slay the entire world” she still could not bring herself to kill someone, no matter who it was.

THEN Magneto woke up.

Except of course, at the end of that same issue, after Magneto attacks Kitty for destroying his computers and Orroro comes on scene after and the both think Kitty’s dead, THEN she’s ready to kill Magneto simply because she thinks he killed her “child.”

Talk about flexible morals!

Rob said: “If you look a little more closely at the image, his knee is behind both of the other guy’s legs. It’s an odd perspective, but his leg is behind the other guy, not hitting him in the unmentionables.”

Notice how the top of AC’s right leg just doesn’t look quite right? It doesn’t really join with his hips properly and makes his buttocks look REALLY weird.

I prefer to think of that as an editorial “correction” after the fact. In my mind, the scene WAS Uncle Sam kicking Americommando in the balls but the editor had the inker “correct” it before it went to press. :)

Besides, it just makes more fight sense if he did knee him in the junk. Why else would he have his knee raised when giving a HUGE left roundhouse like that? Also, his word balloons make it abundantly clear that US is REALLY pissed off. He kneed his ‘nads then when AC bent over, he cleaned his clock but good!

I wonder if anyone has the original pencils for this one? It would make an AWESOME Comic Book Urban Legend Revealed if they could be found.

R.E. Freedom Fighters #9 Cover

Is the cover from FF #9 a swipe? I can TOTALLY recall seeing Captain America in that exact same situation somewhere. I don’t think it’s from a comic story, my memory is suggesting that it’s taken from a Comic Advertisement or Public Service Announcement where Cap is explaining the dangers of something on a poster to a group of kids.

In my mind, I can see the EXACT situation even including the “dangerous influence” coming down the street around the corner. And with the nature and tone of the “Crossovers” it would be the PERFECT time to do a swipe for the cover like this.

Anyone else remember anything like this?

Does someone actualy knows which issue of Excalibur Lobdell meant?

I checked out all reviews i could find but there is nothing about Gene Nation anywhere.

Grunty, I think Lobdell meant the 1995 Storm miniseries rather than Excalibur. Marrow is revealed to be alive at it’s end, I think. Long time since I read it. His confusion probably comes from the fact that the mini writer, Warren Ellis, was also writing Excalibur at the time.

I like Marrow too. I find her on the X-Men a damn sight more convincing than Mystique, Sabretooth or Emma Frost. Wish Weapon X hadn’t been canceled (due to Liefeld pulling out Cable) so we could have seen more of that violent side.

But I think PAD used her most recently in X-Factor vol 3….

I used to dislike Scott Lobdell for creating stuff that really seemed to never tie up but now that I read a bit about the history of the whole thing, I really feel bad for the guy. Here you get this awesome dream job to be the top writer of the company’s most prolific title, and by extension, its franchise, and you’re getting these dickweed bigwigs up top dictating stuff that you don’t want to do and your editor seems to fight against with little success.

I’ve got and loved all the 70s Freedom Fighters issues, but I never realized the Crusaders were analogs of the Invaders. I’ve got a couple of Invaders issues, but never really got into the comic, so I never saw the Marvel Crusaders.

Oh, and Tommy Lightning? They should do a DC/Marvel crossover of him with Johnny Thunder, and call it, naturally, Thunder and Lightning!

Marrow is a wonderful character. Her self-consciousness and self-image problems, her attitude and wit, her outsiderish-ness (but not in a cool way, like Wolverine – just in a lonely, pathetic way), and her reverence for Angel were all very well done (mostly by other writers).

Marrow is about the only X-Men thing I consider canon or worth acknowledging after the end of Claremont’s initial run.

So a writer creates a mutant and characterizes her as “irredeemable” and needing to be killed…and then a later writer comes along and rehabilitates her? The embarrassment belongs to the FIRST writer rather than the second one. Perpetuating the notion that some people are beyond repair is horrible, ESPECIALLY in a medium aimed at kids. I don’t give a crap about Storm and her situational ethics that justify murder when she’s in the right mood, but the real story here is that she’s comfortable writing off some humans as being beyond saving, while obviously some of the other X-Men don’t feel that way. Now THAT is an ideological debate that would have been worthy of a Civil War. Or a Secret War, whatever.

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