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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #96

This is the ninety-sixth 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 ninety-five. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC pushed back Superman’s return once they saw the big deal his death caused.

STATUS: True

Reader Craig mentioned the following urban legend:

I can’t think of any way to verify it now, but I remember hearing at the time that, since the death of Superman became such a huge deal, they had to whip up a storyline to *delay* his return, which wasn’t initially intended to take so long.

Well, last week’s installment of Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed saw Mike Carlin discuss how ready DC was for the reaction to Superman’s death. Carlin did note one significant instance where the extra attention helped change DC’s plans, and that was specifically what they did regarding Superman’s return.

According to Carlin, there never was going to BE a “Reign of the Supermen” when the Death of Superman was originally planned.

Here is Carlin on the topic:

Adventures of Superman #500 where REIGN technically started… was where Superman was originally going to return to life.

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Instead of being the ending, though, Adventures of Superman #500 instead became the white-bagged BEGINNING of the “Reign of the Supermen.”

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With the introduction of four “Supermen”…

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All leading to the return of the one, true Superman, in Superman #82.

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So before they saw the big windfall of the Death of Superman, the return was going to be a lot smaller. Instead, it became an additional FIVE months of stories and FOUR new characters (one of whom even ended up with his own FILM!).

Not bad.

Thanks to Craig for the suggestion and Mike Carlin for the confirmation.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Defiant Comics lost a court case forcing them to change the name of their comic from Plasm to Warriors of Plasm.

STATUS: False

Often, when it comes to court cases, people really do not pay much attention to what actually happens IN the case, so much as what the case APPEARED to have determined.

That is why, going all the way back to one of the very FIRST Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, folks still think Fawcett lost the rights to Captain Marvel to DC Comics due to DC Comics suing them.

In 1993, Marvel Comics found out about Jim Shooter’s debut comic from his new comic book company, Defiant.

It was called Plasm.

Well, Marvel threatened to sue, because they had a comic coming out called Plasmer, and the titles would be so similar, people would confuse the two.

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Defiant offered to change the name, and offered Marvel choices. When they got no replies, they changed the name to Warriors of Plasm, and published their first issue.

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Marvel sued, and the two companies were locked in court for awhile, until Defiant, ultimately, came out triumphant. Of course, the legal troubles (and paying for them) certainly did not help the small, new company, and Warriors of Plasm (and Defiant as a company) did not last for much more than a year – only a few months after winning the trial, if I recall my dates correctly.

A shame, it was some good work from a young(er) David Lapham.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: The idea for Magneto ripping Wolverine’s adamantium out of his body came from a joke suggestion made by Peter David at a X-Writers conference.

STATUS: True

Reader John asked

I seem to recall reading , possibly in his But I Digress column, Peter David commenting in a Marvel X-meeting, “Why don’t we have Magneto remove Wolverine’s admantum?” Anyone have any recollection about this?

That did, in fact, happen, and it occurred during the X-Writers Conference for the big X-Men crossover of 1992, X-Cutioner’s Song.

You may recall X-Cutioner’s Song, as it was the sixteen part crossover between the four “main” X-titles of the time (Uncanny X-Men, Canny X-Men, X-Force and X-Factor). It was “notable” for the short shrift it gave to the cast of David’s X-Factor, as the story mainly revolved around members of the X-Men and one member of X-Force (Cable). Therefore, David’s characters were relegated to basically sitting around as background characters.

This led to an amusing issue where, in a book called X-FACTOR, the book featured NO members of the team, but simply Bishop, Wolverine and Cable.

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Perhaps it was at a moment when he was pondering the seeming absurdity of the whole situation, but in any event, when the topic came to a possible return of Magneto during X-Cutioner’s Song (which was later put off for a crossover the NEXT year), David joked that hey, maybe Magneto could just pull Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton out of his body.

However, as Fabian Nicieza recollects,

but none of us laughed, because we thought it was a great idea. :)

This led to the crossover in 1993, Fatal Attractions, where Magneto does, in fact, pull the adamantium out of Wolverine’s body…

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Leading to the time when Wolverine had only bone claws, which actually lasted for over FIVE YEARS worth of Wolverine comics!!!

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That epitomizes the 90s fairly well, though, doesn’t it? Sometimes, even jokes can have crossovers built around them!

Here’s Peter David’s own recollection of the event:

Actually, what happened was that we were all discussing how we were going to have Magneto’s return be a big deal. The other writers were bouncing around the notion of a huge Magneto/Wolverine slugfest and I said, thinking out loud, “Boy, y’know, if I’m Magneto, I don’t even bother with Wolverine. I just yank out his skeleton and be done with him.” And there was dead silence for a moment, and then everyone looked at me and said, “That’s a great idea.”

And I said, “No, it’s not.”

And they said, “Yeah! It’ll be a great visual!”

I said, “Well, sure, but then he’s dead. He can’t survive having his entire skeleton ripped out.”

“He has a healing factor!”

“Healing factor?! If you rip out his whole skeleton, he’s a pile of flesh on the floor! He’ll be a healed pile of flesh! What’ll he do? Ooze at people?!”

See, my vision of it was that Magneto ripped out the entire skeleton, not just excises the adamantium that was laced into it. Figures that my biggest contribution to X-continuity was simply voicing a passing thought.

PAD

Thanks to John for the suggestion and Fabian Nicieza for the confirmation! And thanks to Peter David for writing in with his take on it, as well!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free to drop off any urban legends you’d like to see featured!

68 Comments

Why is there an East German female swimmer on the cover of that Plasmer comic? Dear God, that’s the ugliest woman on a comic book cover I’ve ever seen! ‘Roids are so wrong.

I can understand Marvel’s decision to sue. When I was younger, I remarked to one of my friends how stupid “Plasm” looked. And he replied, “That comic with the trannie dressed like Cher on the cover?”

See, HE was talking about “PlasMER”! Not “PlasM”!

Oh, we laughed and laughed.

But we were good kids at heart, though.

Great CBUL this week. You basically bookended the highs and lows of my comic-collecting youth: Superman’s return and the Fatal Attractions storyline. I’ll never forget the feeling that, finally, Superman had returned (even with the stupid mullet). Cyborg Superman was the coolest; don’t remember anything specific but I seem to remember the Cyborg was implied to be a time-traveller from the future, a turn that blew my barely teenage mind. Anyone have the Reign books on hand to confirm/deny?

I don’t have the Reign books handy, but I do have my cursed geek memory. The Cyborg ended up being Hank Henshaw, a villain from earlier in the series who started life as a Reed Richards pastiche and became a bodiless mind that could inhabit and control machinery before posing as Superman.

SEAN

IIRC one of the other pretenders to the throne called himself the Man of Tomorrow and called himself a Superman Retooled for the Future or something else.

VERY OLD SPOILERS!!

That one turned out to be The Eradicator. And wasn’t from the future either

Well, as you can see on the cover of Superman #78 (right up there in the article), Cyborg Superman was indeed the one who inherited the “Man of Tomorrow” moniker, while the Eradicator – who actually managed to hold his own title, for a while – was “the Last Son of Krypton.”

Interesting that Cronin posted those four issues in reverse “triangle order,” by the way. What’s up with that?

PS: just think, if not for the padded storyline, the world would never have been subjected to the Steel movie. Ah, if only.

Double PS: is it just me, or is that Plasmer pose a rip-off of the John Byrne “this is your second chance” She-Hulk covers?

Pedro Bouça

March 30, 2007 at 4:15 am

The Death of Superman thing remembered me of the other stupid DC event of the 90s.

I seem to have read somewhere (an old Wizard issue from the time that I don’t have anymore) that the Azrael Batman was written as an unsympathetic character ON PURPOSE so that the fans would want the “real” Batman back and would stop bothering DC with letters asking for a new, more violent Batman (apparently very common on those post-DKR years).

I’ve always thought that writing badly on purpose was the lowest of the low, but I would like to be sure of that.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

* Man, Marvel UK sucked, didn’t it?

* There were some really cool moments in Death/Reign/Return, weren’t there? I remember just really digging on it.

* A lot of the Knightfall/Quest stuff wasn’t very good, but there were some totally “*&$% Yeah!” moments in it, especially when Bruce finally takes down Azrael.

If you’re ever at a con, Peter David’s actual recounting of that story conference is hilarious. “No, guys, I was kidding.” “But it’d be such a great visual!” “But it would KILL him.”

And I do seem to recall Denny O’Neil saying something to the effect of Knightfall/Quest/Send being designed to showcase how unhappy fans would be if they actually got a darker, more violent Batman. Which isn’t the same thing as “writing badly deliberately”…they didn’t write AzBats _badly_, they wrote him unsympathetic. Not the same thing.

And yes, Death/Funeral/Reign holds up surprisingly well when you go back and read it, away from the hype. (Although I still think Hank Henshaw is a lame villain. But that’s just me.)

Yeah, it’s fairly obvious that Azreal was intended to be a “90’s Style” Batman, and completely over-the-top and ridiculous. You want a new ultra-violent Batman, kids? Be careful what you wish for!

I LOVE Knightfall, by the way. It’s second only to The Death/ Return of Superman in the all-time great mega crossovers.

“You want a new ultra-violent Batman, kids? Be careful what you wish for!”

Right, and Marvel did the same thing earlier in Captain America, where the guy who’s currently the USAgent became Cap for a while.

I get a tingle of perverse glee every time I remember that Cyborg Superman is Reed Richards.

StephenSanders

March 30, 2007 at 7:50 am

Waitaminit!

Were there TWO cyborg Superpretenders during the Reign of Supermen?

I’ve read the Death/Reign/Return trilogy and can only recall a cyborg from Krypton or sumthin!

What the heck? Which one blew up Gateway City at the climax of the epic?

Well, as you can see on the cover of Superman #78 (right up there in the article), Cyborg Superman was indeed the one who inherited the “Man of Tomorrow” moniker, while the Eradicator – who actually managed to hold his own title, for a while – was “the Last Son of Krypton.”

Ah – Well forget everything I just said then

As others have said. Writing an unsympathetic character does not constitute bad writing.

Were there TWO cyborg Superpretenders during the Reign of Supermen?

Nope – One Cyborg, one clone, one eradicator and one man in a suit of armour.

What the heck? Which one blew up Gateway City at the climax of the epic?

The Cyborg

“Canny X-Men” … as opposed to “Uncanny” … that made me laugh. ;->

I remember hearing once that the return of Superman was supposed to be an even larger story, where the one that came back at the end of Reign Of The Supermen wasn’t even him – hence the mullet (and supposedly there were other clues, like he suddenly liked different music too), but that they killed that idea before pursuing it, because the whole thing had gone on too long.

Is that right at all, or am I remembering something totally made up?

looking at those Reign of the Supermen covers it brings back really good memories of when the Superman books were readable and had such consistently good art. I haven’t read a current Superman book (other than All-Star) in a long time — the look that they have simply doesn’t appeal to me.

I’ve read the Death/Reign/Return trilogy and can only recall a cyborg from Krypton or sumthin!

Just the one. When they took Cyborg Superman to STAR labs for testing, they found that his metal parts were indeed Kryptonian in origin – it turned out that was became he’d constructed his body using some bit of Krypton tech that he’d lucked into finding. Baby Kal’s rocket, maybe?

So was the “Mullet Superman is a pretender too” a real intention, or just some misdirection on the part of the writers? I vaguely remember that angle, as well…

The “joke” that became Fatal Attractions is one of my favorite behind the scenes X-Men anecdotes. I wasn’t aware it was an “urban legend” though, as it’s been pretty well documented. It’s mentioned in the introduction of the X-Cutioner’s trade (by Ben Raab, I think) and again in Peter David’s recent How to Write Comics book.

The Death/ Return of Superman was one of the first major comic book events that I read (I had started by reaing Impact Comics a few years before). It brings back good memories.

Two of my favorite characters, Azrael and the Eradicator. I always liked to think of them as a sort of anti-World’s Finest pair; troubled, violent versions of the originals.

“looking at those Reign of the Supermen covers it brings back really good memories of when the Superman books were readable and had such consistently good art.”

This is the most confusing thing I’ve ever read.

My god…the 90’s. There’s comics somewhere under all those bags, holograms, and silver foils…

I remember hearing a rumor after the death of Superman, that the Superman that died was the Superman Sand clone or whatever from the Superman Special # 1 by Walter Simonson, not the real Superman, at least that was a rumor in NJ, maybe not anywhere else. I even remember certain store upping the price on that book due to the rumor. And luckily, it had nothing to do with it.

Dru, you might be thinking of the “Dead Again” arc that ran through the four Superman titles a about a year after he returned. During a fight with some fourth-tier supervillain, Superman got thrown through the wall of his own tomb which, to the shock and confusion of all present, had Superman’s body in it. The short hair and original costume were enough to convince some people that mullet-Supes was a fake just like all the others…

…but it was really Brainiac convincing everyone that the body was there. Eventually Superman managed to convince everyone that they were all getting worked up over an empty coffin, and BOY! Were their faces red?

Steven Kendrick

March 30, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Sean Whitmore’s first post about the Plasmer/Plasm story. The “we were good kid’s at heart” post- was the funniest thing I’ve seen or read in a month or so. Thanks, Sean : )

Boy they really went to town with Logan’s hair back then, huh?

The “Reign of the Supermen” stuff was came out at the same time I was growing up and just getting into my first comics, and certainly to my eight year-old mind it was the coolest story ever. I think it still holds up alright, all things considered, even if Doomsday is a boring villain.

Man, it really is crazy to think that Logan had those bone claws for five years. Even for those of us that were there it’s hard to imagine that it took that long before things went back to the status quo.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 30, 2007 at 4:39 pm

“Man, it really is crazy to think that Logan had those bone claws for five years. Even for those of us that were there it’s hard to imagine that it took that long before things went back to the status quo. ”

Was anyone even reading by the end of it?

I’d check in every now and again, but at first they seemed to ignore it, then there was an issue where they said that the metal was the only thing holding his mutation in check and keeping even vaguely human.
I came back in for issue 100 to see him get the metal back, but then he willfully rejected it, and lost his nose.
After that I tuned right out.

Remembering Supes death and return gives me hope that Marvel will eventually bring back Steve Rogers. Of course, also remembering Wolverine losing his adamantium, it might take five years…

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 30, 2007 at 4:54 pm

“Remembering Supes death and return gives me hope that Marvel will eventually bring back Steve Rogers. ”

You don’t need hope.

They will.

It’s as simple as that.

I will point out, BTW, that Kurt Busiek’s current stuff on the Superman titles is so good as to bring tears to your eyes. But Kurt Busiek’s just like that.

Yep, I was really annoyed that they changed wolverine so much and was a main reason why I turned my back on Marvel at that time. Factor in everything else 90s Marvel and I think lots of other people also stopped reading their comics altogether.

As lame as Wolverine’s bone claws are, I like to think that Not Dead Yet the four issue arc Warren Ellis did with Leneil Yu back in the 110s wouldn’t have worked as well without them. That was my first exposure to Ellis (and Yu naturally, as I think that was one of the first things he did for Marvel) and I remember really enjoying it.

Maybe it doesn’t hold up well. I should track those issues down.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 30, 2007 at 5:27 pm

“I will point out, BTW, that Kurt Busiek’s current stuff on the Superman titles is so good as to bring tears to your eyes. But Kurt Busiek’s just like that. ”

I’m with ya!

That arc with the Auctioneer was fantastic.

“As lame as Wolverine’s bone claws are, I like to think that Not Dead Yet the four issue arc Warren Ellis did with Leneil Yu back in the 110s wouldn’t have worked as well without them. That was my first exposure to Ellis (and Yu naturally, as I think that was one of the first things he did for Marvel) and I remember really enjoying it.

Maybe it doesn’t hold up well. I should track those issues down.”

Those issues were collected into a TPB. Pretty good story and art, IMHO.

Speaking of the Fatal Attractions storyline coming from a joke, does anyone remember something about the Age of Apocalypse storyline originally being a story for the 90s X-Men cartoon that the Marvel teams caught wind of and wanted to do their take on it?

Have a good day.
John Cage

I always found it amusing how continuity-filled the Death/Reign/Return Superman story was even though everyone bought it. How could they not be super confused? But yeah I recently read it like a year ago and it holds up.

My fav mega-crossover is probably No Man’s Land, but I was luckily to get the whole thing for pretty cheap on ebay. There was some miss but overall it was pretty kickass.

“Man, Marvel UK sucked, didn’t it?”

I liked Death’s Head.

Man, I remember the first time I read the Death of Superman in trade format, way back in grade school.

I loved that damn story, despite the obvious plot holes.

-M

“I always found it amusing how continuity-filled the Death/Reign/Return Superman story was even though everyone bought it. How could they not be super confused?”

Perhaps because the writing and art were both really clear, explaining everything essential without being too cluttered? It seems most people at Marvel and DC have forgotten how to do this.

“Perhaps because the writing and art were both really clear, explaining everything essential without being too cluttered?”

No, that’s not it. I remember reading those comics as a young Marvel Zombie and there was tons of shit that didn’t make sense.

My problem with ‘No Man’s Land’ was that I just couldn’t get past the cognitive dissonance of trying to believe this story was really happening in anything like reality. Every two pages, I found myself saying, “But-but-but–if a soldier really turned away a priest carrying humanitarian aid to starving people, there’d be six dozen reporters there, and in less than a day, this would be a massive international scandal! This is just not the way the human race works!”

But Luthor had the best bit. Landing helicopters, ferrying in supplies, rebuilding, and saying, “What’s the President going to do? Arrest me for helping people?” (Though it does bring to mind the thought that Bruce Wayne could have done the same thing two days after NML started, saving hundreds of lives at the cost of ever-so-slightly damaging his “vapid playboy” image.)

Captain SackSmasher

March 31, 2007 at 8:58 pm

I remember the whole Death of superman being a bit lame, even at 13, I knew what was going to happen.

And fatal attractions…oh man..those were the days eh’ (I didn’t think so)?
Like dude said above, I also got sick of wolvie, and after #100 I was done for good.They way he actually got his claws back was totally lame and uneventful given the time we waited.I so can’t believe it took five years of our time for it to happen. Are we all agreed that comic book time moves in like, double-reverse dog years as opposed to our time?Damn them…

Also..they need to bring back Cap. This is bull. I didn’t suffer through 10 years of holofoil covers for them to off Rogers’ when we need him most…DIE MARVEL!!!

Actually, what happened was that we were all discussing how we were going to have Magneto’s return be a big deal. The other writers were bouncing around the notion of a huge Magneto/Wolverine slugfest and I said, thinking out loud, “Boy, y’know, if I’m Magneto, I don’t even bother with Wolverine. I just yank out his skeleton and be done with him.” And there was dead silence for a moment, and then everyone looked at me and said, “That’s a great idea.”

And I said, “No, it’s not.”

And they said, “Yeah! It’ll be a great visual!”

I said, “Well, sure, but then he’s dead. He can’t survive having his entire skeleton ripped out.”

“He has a healing factor!”

“Healing factor?! If you rip out his whole skeleton, he’s a pile of flesh on the floor! He’ll be a healed pile of flesh! What’ll he do? Ooze at people?!”

See, my vision of it was that Magneto ripped out the entire skeleton, not just excises the adamantium that was laced into it. Figures that my biggest contribution to X-continuity was simply voicing a passing thought.

PAD

Thanks, Peter. I’ll edit it in!

Bone claws were as awful as Teen tony.

“My problem with ‘No Man’s Land’ was that I just couldn’t get past the cognitive dissonance of trying to believe this story was really happening in anything like reality. Every two pages, I found myself saying, “But-but-but–if a soldier really turned away a priest carrying humanitarian aid to starving people, there’d be six dozen reporters there, and in less than a day, this would be a massive international scandal! This is just not the way the human race works!”

Unless you were trying to get into New Orleans in the first days after Katrina…

“Which one blew up Gateway City at the climax of the epic?”

Actually, it was Coast City. This helped lead to Hal Jordan going nuts and killing the Green Lantern Corps.

“Speaking of the Fatal Attractions storyline coming from a joke, does anyone remember something about the Age of Apocalypse storyline originally being a story for the 90s X-Men cartoon that the Marvel teams caught wind of and wanted to do their take on it?”

I’m all but certain that’s true, Harras mentioning it in several interviews, saying he was sitting in on a writer’s meeting for the cartoon, someone pitched having a time-travller kill Xavier, and he asked thme to hold off on it so the book could do it first.

“Man, Marvel UK sucked, didn’t it?”

I’ll second that, and not just for it’s roots in the Doctor Who comic. Pendragon was decent as well.

“No, that’s not it. I remember reading those comics as a young Marvel Zombie and there was tons of shit that didn’t make sense.”

Speaking as someone who read that story as a kid, I didn’t find it hard to understand at all. Everything remotely important was explained. And besides, “continuty” wasn’t the dirty word back then that it apparantly is now. People expected comics to have a history.

Rohan Williams

April 1, 2007 at 11:57 pm

Re: Azrael as a deliberately unlikable character: I’m pretty sure that was explicity stated in letter columns at the time. Peterson or Gorfinkel or somebody said- in response to complaints about Azrael- that the character was intended as a warning to those who were demanding a grimmer, grittier Batman, and as a reminder of the things that make Batman a great character.

As far as whether or not the whole Death/Funeral/Return thing was difficult to understand, it never bothered me. There was a lot of exposition, so you didn’t have to be a particularly smart kid to follow it, even if you were only buying select parts of the story.

Speaking as someone who read that story as a kid, I didn’t find it hard to understand at all. Everything remotely important was explained. And besides, “continuty” wasn’t the dirty word back then that it apparantly is now. People expected comics to have a history.

We’re both speaking as someone who read that story as a kid, so that’s a moot point.

I don’t know what your continuity remark is in reference to.

>>Re: Azrael as a deliberately unlikable character: I’m pretty sure that was explicity stated in letter columns at the time. Peterson or Gorfinkel or somebody said- in response to complaints about Azrael- that the character was intended as a warning to those who were demanding a grimmer, grittier Batman, and as a reminder of the things that make Batman a great character.

That was the first time I ever read Superman and he was a corpse in the story. I missed the party, but I thought it was a well concieved story.

I missed out on the Collosus turning towards Magneto bit as I had gotten burned out on the X-men for while (not for long). I bought X-men 25 and Wolverine 75 from a friend of mine along with the first 3 issues of Gen 13. I know have the other two of that series just recently. Come to think of it…. where is J Scott Campbell? Did he fall off the Earth or something?

I remember hearing that the Superman who died was supposed to be the Sand Superman too, and that was in California. Strange that the same rumor was on both coasts. The retailers out here were also jacking up the prices on that Simonson book and the fate of that Sand Superman was never explained. It did seem to be setting up a larger storyline. That might be an Urban Legend to follow up on.

OK, here’s a mystery. Is it an Urban Legend? Dunno.

There’s an issue of the X-Men that’s hardly ever reprinted. Why?

Uncanny X-Men 110. In which Warhawk takes over the Danger Room and beats up the X-Men a bit before they kick his arse. Indifferent issue, written by Claremont, drawn by a fill in Todd Dezunga.

Not reprinted in Classic X-Men. Not reprinted in the version of Essential X-Men I own. Don’t know about either of the generations of Marvel Masterworks.

So why was this one issue singled out to be brushed under the carpet?

Reign of the Supermen was actually the first Superman story I enjoyed. I know i’m probably getting dirty looks from people right now but it was the one thing that I’d been waiting to happen… someone needed to beat Superman. why read a comic where the main character is so powerful that there is no one who can possibly beat him. even when they got the guts to kill him they just put him back in like nothing had happened. some of the best Superman stories were told in that short time where he was out of the picture.

Marvel still has had some of the best multi-issue plots. Fatal Attractions was badass, Age of Apocolypse was badass and the Grant Morrison New X-Men was badass. Sadly they follow those plots with lots of really bad story arcs.

I just wish the big 2 would stop trying to re-create those types of events. ie: House of M. I think titles like X-Men would have kept making great stories if writer’s didn’t have to work within the constraints of movie properties and licensing. Bravo to Marvel if they actually keep Captain America dead for more then 12 issues….. if they make a movie they have to bring him back to not confuse things of course. Sadly I was starting to like Captain America for the first time ever.

cool urban legend stuff though.

-michael

My problem with ‘No Man’s Land’ was that I just couldn’t get past the cognitive dissonance of trying to believe this story was really happening in anything like reality.

Yeah, that was my number one problem with the entire premise of the storyline… then a few years later we had the whole Hurricane Katrina debacle, and suddenly “No Man’s Land” seemed a hell of a lot more plausible, sad to say.

But, of course, with Katrina, there were television camera all over the place. And it actually woke some people up to the fatal incompetence of the Bush Administration.

No Mans Land would have a similar political fallout.

On a related note to the Plasm/Plasmer story, wasn’t Gen 13 originally going to be called Gen X, but Marvel’s Generation X put an end to it? How did that all come about?

Craig Folsom

I would think the real world Katrina experience would make much of the poor writing evident in No Man’s Land all the more obvious.

that x factor issue was very pretty,
and cable was actually funny in it.

jae lee, before he became tim bradstreet.

I am evidently in the minority here but I didn’t find the bone claws ‘lame’ (in fact I didn’t really think about them- at 12 or 13 I wasn’t looking at it as a savvy comics fan, but was simply enjoying the story), and in fact the story arc from issues 75-83 or so is one of my all time favorites in comics. I loved Larry Hama’s take on the character, he knew him, he knew how to write him. Besides perhaps Claremont, no one else has understood the character that well. Also, that run was when Adam Kubert joined the book, and he did really, really great work. And the stories were good, and the covers were good. I stopped reading Wolverine, and comics, at about issue 117 or so (Zero Tolerance crossover, I think), but not because it was lame, but because I’d just grown out of comics at that time and lost interest. But I don’t recall the character getting lame, to me. I think, looking at it now knowing how comics traditionally work, that it was really ballsy to have one of their most popular characters changed so radically, for so long. That’s one of the weaknesses of superhero comics- the characters are static, certain properties are untouchable (in regular continuity in least). But with Wolverine for a while there they changed things up. I’m sure he’s back on track now, what with the movies having been such hits. But my two eras I like of him- by Claremont first, then by Hama- are done.

Also I recently reread the Funeral/Reign deal, and yes, they do hold up remarkably well. I was surprised.

ParanoidObsessive

November 20, 2008 at 12:57 am

>>> I can understand Marvel’s decision to sue. When I was younger, I remarked to one of my friends how stupid “Plasm” looked. And he replied, “That comic with the trannie dressed like Cher on the cover?”

I distinctly recall when I first heard about the Marvel lawsuit, which was also the first time I even remotely heard about Plasmer, and which then led me to actually look into the premise of the Plasmer comic (mainly, to see if it was just the NAME Marvel was objecting to, or if it seemed like the Defiant comic could be confused based on the content as well).

My reaction was basically along the lines of “Jesus, Defiant should sue Marvel for having such a crappy comic and then connecting the two in the minds of the public.”

Of course, my second thought was that Defiant was utterly screwed, since there was no way they were going to survive a legal war with Marvel, whether or not they were in the right. And between the lawsuit costs and the losses they suffered from the Warriors of Plasm #0 trading card fiasco, it’s so not surprising that the whole thing tanked.

It’s a shame, since I was hoping that the Shooter/Lapham team could help recapture some of the magic of the early Valiant run, but it was not to be.

>>> I get a tingle of perverse glee every time I remember that Cyborg Superman is Reed Richards.

I love the fact that HE actually noticed the parallels between him and Reed in one of the Marvel/DC crossovers.

>>> Just the one. When they took Cyborg Superman to STAR labs for testing, they found that his metal parts were indeed Kryptonian in origin – it turned out that was became he’d constructed his body using some bit of Krypton tech that he’d lucked into finding. Baby Kal’s rocket, maybe?

Yes, he basically found the “birthing matrix” that Superman came to Earth in (a sort of artificial womb that was basically the Byrne version of the rocketship that brought the baby, which got retconned back out by Waid), and used its technology to alter himself so he’d have the same DNA as Superman and the cyborg parts would register as Kryptonian.

this is very informative, however, use of the word “shrift” confuses and angers me. even after looking up the definition, i still can’t make sense of it. things i don’t understand are scary.

“Shrift” isn’t really used anymore except in the common phrase “short shrift,” which means little or no attention or consideration.

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