Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #84
This is the eighty-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 eighty-three. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC produced in-continuity Superman comics specifically for Germany.
As everyone knows, the Germans loves David Hasselhoff. What you might NOT know is that Germans also love Superman, or at least they did in the 1980s.
In fact, the demand for Superman material was so great that, in the early 80s, DC struck a deal with Ehapa (the company that they licensed Superman reprints to in Germany) to produce NEW Superman material just for Germany.
However, unlike other companies who did such deals, rather than just letting Ehapa get their own artists and writers to do the comics, DC produced the comics themselves.
If you are at all familiar with how Julie Schwartz worked as the Superman editor, he was a big fan of having multiple writers work on Superman, so therefore, it was fairly simple to find writers who would do the extra works, which were directly tied to stories going on in the Superman stories of the time.
Here are examples of the Superman Albums that these works appeared in.
Some of the comics were later reprinted in Action Comics and Superman (Action Comics #547, for example:
However, when Superman was revamped after Crisis, suddenly these stories did not fit into continuity, so most of them were never reprinted in America.
So see, die-hard Superman fans? There are some stories for you to seek out!! You just need to learn some German…hehe.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Chris Claremont intended to return Colossue from the dead, but was halted by editorial.
Reader yo go re asks, “Is it true Chris Claremont wanted to bring Colossus back to life (possibly in the pages of X-Treme X-Men), but was turned down? If so, what were his plans to do it?”
While Chris Claremont did not have any plans to resurrect Colossus, this struck me as interesting because it may be confused with a resurrection Claremont WAS planning that DID, in fact, get struck down by editorial.
In the second issue of X-Treme X-Men, the big bad guy, Vargas, shows up and is beating up Beast pretty severely (leading to Beast having his secondary mutation jump-started by Sage, leading to the Cat-Beast we have today).
Psylocke leaps to his defense, but is killed by Vargas.
Claremont’s intent was to bring back Psylocke in a future X-Treme X-Men story, with the idea being that her return could eliminate a lot of the baggage that Psylocke had accumulated over the past decade or so (mostly the Crimson Dawn stuff).
However, when Claremont killed her off, there was something he was not planning for – an overall editorial edict!
Editor in Chief Joe Quesada instituted that year (2001) a “Dead is dead” rule for Marvel Comics, stating that characters wouldn’t be resurrected.
This led to Claremont, in 2002, saying the following about Psylocke:
Vargas killed her. There were no convenient miracles available to save her. Sometimes, even in comics, it happens. If not for a change in editorial policy, Jean Grey would be dead today — and I suspect, the series as a whole that much the better for it. Because it would have established the potential for jeopardy for all the characters, not simply the ‘red shirts.’ I’m truly sorry for your loss. I miss her too. (More so, because I created her.) But she’s gone.
Then a funny thing happened…a new writer, Joss Whedon, began to write the X-Men, and he had a big idea involving the resurrection of the character Colossus.
This story occurred in late 2004.
With “Dead is dead” no longer the rule of the day, Claremont was now free to finish his story as he originally wanted, and later the next year, we saw the return of Psylocke.
Currently, Psylocke is set to become a member of the Exiles when Claremont takes over that book next issue.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Ghost Rider was originally intended to have no ties to the supernatural.
As hard as it is to believe, when the character of Ghost Rider was originally conceptualized, it was NOT as a supernatural demon with a blazing skull!!
Roy Thomas had created a villain in the pages of Daredevil called the Stunt-Master.
The character was a moderate success (if not the greatest character, mainly just literally a dude in a bike and that was it), returning a couple of times.
When writer Gary Friedrich took over the title, he pitched Roy Thomas on the idea of a new motorcycle-riding character called Ghost Rider.
This was very similar in nature to a character Friedirch had just created the previous year for Skywald Publications called Hell-Rider.
The character as Ghost Rider was approved by Stan Lee and all set to give its debut, but somewhere in the development (and here is where it gets murky, as no one seems to know for sure who did what, and if someone could give me some verified info here, that’d be neat – maybe a separate installment itself!), the character developed into a supernatural character, and then, finally, the blazing skull was added, and we got…
And everyone lived happily ever after!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free to drop off any urban legends you’d like to see featured!