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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #102

This is the one-hundredth and second 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 one-hundred and one. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Marvel came out with a Broadway musical starring Captain America.

STATUS: False

A good deal of people have asked me about the Captain America musical. Too many for me to remember all their names, but the most recent were Mike Johnson, David Stevens and Jeff Watson.

In any event, with the recent announcement of production beginning on a Spider-Man musical (with words and music from Bono and the Edge, of all people!), I thought now would be a great time to address this one.

Doing a musical based on a comic book character is not exactly the most unique of ideas.

In 1966, there was a musical released based on Superman titled “It’s a bird It’s a Plane It’s Superman”.

smus03.JPG

Needless to say, the production was not a great success (although almost a decade later, it appeared on television!!).

In the mid-80s, most Marvel Comics included the following ad (scan courtesy of Retrojunk):

capbroad1.jpgcapbroad2.jpg

The New York Times reported at the time that the music and words were being done by Mel Mandel and Norman Sachs.

Did the production ever open, though?

For the lowdown, I went to the guru of all things Marvel, Tom Brevoort, who explained to me that the plot of the musical was to involve a little girl and a 60-year-old Captain America. The contest was presumably a key part of the marketing of the play (similar to the recent NBC program that had the contest for who would star in the revival of Grease), and Brevoort explained that the production fell apart quickly.

So, sadly, we never got to see a 60-year-old Captain America dance with a little girl on stage.

Thanks to Tom Brevoort, for the information.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: One of the members of Youngblood was originally announced as a cast member of the New Mutants.

STATUS: True

Rob Liefeld began his run on New Mutants with issue #86 in early 1990. As a preview of his run o n the book, Marvel Age #82 showed some sketches and concept designs that Liefeld had done to prepare for his run.

A couple of them you may be familiar with – folks by the name of Cable and Stryfe.

However, there was one fellow who never popped up in the New Mutants. His name was Cougar.

Here’s what he looked like:

cougarmarvage1.jpg

Here’s what they had to say about him: :

This mean dude’s name is Cougar. He’s half man and half cat and according to Rob’s notes, he’s all trouble! Note that his pants have the same outside stripe design as the design on the New Mutants’ costumes shown last issue.

The implication is that he was to be a member of the New Mutants, but it was not clear.

What IS clear is that he never actually appeared in the pages of New Mutants (despite being shown in the same issue of Marvel Age in a mock-up for an upcoming New Mutants cover).

A couple of years later, Liefeld helped co-found Image Comics, and in his new title, Youngblood (which, as mentioned in the second Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, was mostly a reworking of a pitch Liefeld made to DC for a new Titans book), he featured a character named, interestingly enough, Cougar.

12225_4_001.jpg

Cougar was essentially the same character as the proposed New Mutants character.

16595_4_005.jpg

Liefeld did a good deal of redesigning on the character, though. He did not just completely re-use the character or anything like that. And even if he had, it would be reasonable enough. He DID create the guy, after all.

Reader comixkid2099 shared with me the following quote from Team Youngblood #1, where Liefeld explains why Cougar never made it into New Mutants:

Cougar was set to appear in those pages [New Mutants] as well – in fact, a cover featuring him was done up by myself and inked by pal and Spawn superstar Todd MacFarlane – but i pulled the cover and the storyline at the last minute, feeling uneasy about loosing control of yet another creation. Needless to say, it’s a move I’ve never regretted.

Thanks for the quote, comixkid2099!

Anyhow, in an amusing turn of events, Cougar actually DID end up in a Marvel comic book!!

Later in 1990, Terry Kavanagh and Chris Wozniak did a fill-in issue of Avengers West Coast. At one point in the story, Captain America is facing off against duplicates of a number of Marvel characters. Wozniak must have been given a reference sheet with all the current Marvel characters, and Cougar must have been on that sheet, because here he is – right next to Cable.

scan_edited_001.jpg

Click on the image to increase the size.

Thanks to Bill for suggesting this one, and thanks to Madison Carter and the good folks at the amazing comic book resource, The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe, for the scan of the Marvel Age picture and the quote.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Justice League had to create the Justice Guild at the last minute for their Legends episode, because DC would not let them use the Justice Society.

STATUS: True

Most folks realize that the Justice Guild, from the two-part episode “Legends” from the end of Season 1 of the Justice League, were based upon the Justice Society of America.

The story details (five year old spoilers here!) the Justice League being accidentally transported to a parallel world and discover the Justice Guild of America, comic book characters in the Justice League’s world. While battling super villains in this other dimension, they discover that the world is just an elaborate illusion.

JusticeGuild.jpg

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However, more interesting is the fact that rather than being analogues to the Justice Society (in the same way that Squadron Supreme are analogues of the Justice League of America), the Justice Guild was originally meant to just plain ol’ BE the Justice Society of America (in fact, in the original commercials for the episode, they WERE the Justice Society!!)

Bruce Timm explains all in an interview courtesy of ToonZone:

What happened was this: from the very beginning, we intended our ‘JSA crossover’ to be a modern-day spin on those old Gardner Fox ‘Earth II’ stories. We wanted to use the Golden Age JSA, rather than the more recent incarnation, to contrast the ‘old school’ superheroes with a more contemporary take on the characters. Teaming up our guys with the current JSA just didn’t seem to make much sense, somehow-what we’d end up with would be just a mega-sized Justice League, with twice as many heroes to deal with. Now, taking this course with the story meant that we ended up gently (but affectionately!) spoofing the Golden Age guys with their old-fashioned primary-colored costumes, their roll call, their teen mascot, their too-good-to-be-true personalities, etc. The fun in the story comes from seeing how the Justice League react not only to the Golden Age heroes, but also to the wild Golden Age villains and the whole Golden Age-styled world they live in, like an incredibly romanticized version of the late 1940s…all well and good, we thought we were on to something. The script turned out well, exciting, funny, charming, and oddly moving in its own way.

However, DC Comics publisher Paul Levitz had some concerns with the story. He felt the story as written disrespected the JSA and was overall an inappropriate use of the characters. We pleaded our case, but we could clearly see his point, too: the DC guys have spent a lot of time and effort in revitalizing the JSA recently (to the point here it’s now one of their most popular titles) we certainly didn’t want it to seem as if we were saying the JSA was a joke. No disrespect was intended on our end-quite the opposite! We wanted the story to be a love letter to the original JSA and a bittersweet nod to simpler times. [However], Paul saw our point and quickly agreed to a compromise: we’d change the names and designs just enough to make them not quite the JSA, but still get the point across. They’re now the superheroes of ‘Earth Two-and-a-half’, if you will…kinda similar to what Alan Moore was doing in his Supreme run.

It did give us a few hairy moments, as all this stuff was happening at literally the eleventh hour. [We] were actually on the phone with the legal department, awaiting clearances on our new JGA characters’ names, at the voice-recording session. We started recording not knowing what some of the character’s names were going to be!

It’s funny how things work out: at first, we were still kinda disappointed that we couldn’t use the ‘real’ JSA, but we’ve come to realize that the story actually works better this way. The ‘Green Lantern,’ ‘Flash,’ and ‘Black Canary’ doppelgangers are fairly close to the originals, but the ‘Wildcat’ clone is almost a Batman / Wildcat hybrid and the ‘Atom’ character has quite a bit of classic ‘Superman’ in him as well. So, in effect, we’re not just spoofing / paying homage to the JSA, but also to the Fox-era Silver Age JLA, too…sweet!

So, I know there’s been a bit of grumbling about DC Comics not letting us ‘do’ the JSA, but you won’t hear any complaints from us-the folks at DC have been an absolute joy to work with. They’ve given us an enormous amount of leeway while letting us play with their toys, stepping in only when it looks like we’re gonna break ‘em.

Nice little bit of information, eh?

By the way, to be fair to Levitz, the JSA-analogues DO come off pretty bad in the episode. The Flash substitute, for one, makes a pretty racist comment towards John Stewart (“You’re a credit to your race!”), so I personally think it is pretty reasonable of Levitz to object to the JSA being shown this way.

Thanks to Robin MacNeil, who wanted to know what was the deal with the change. And Robin, your OTHER suggestion will likely be showing up next week or the week after!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

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

70 Comments

I shudder to imagine the Red Skull’s big song and dance number.

red skull woulda been a lot like yul brenner in ‘the king and i’ i imagine, most entertaining.

that justice league/ jsa thing? stuff like that is why dc is lame.

Isn’t the “Legends” commercial with the actual Justice Society an urban legend as well? I’ve seen the clips and stills online, but it seems kind of weird that they animated footage with the JSA when it seems like the decision to use the substitute JGA pretty early on, before any animation was done.

I liked the Justice Guild of America. It’s too bad they haven’t brought them into the regular DC continuity. They’d be redunant, true, but there’s a charm to the characters. And who else got a kick out of the Flash actually getting into the old-timey hero act in the episode?

Have a good day.
John Cage

“If you’re a girl between 10 and 14… you might just be the person Cap’s looking for! He needs a bundle of talent to play his very special friend… Do it today. You wouldn’t want to let Cap down would you?”

Um… the “60-year-old Cap” sounds like a very dirty old man.

“This mean dude’s name is Cougar. He’s half man and half cat and according to Rob’s notes, he’s all trouble! Note that his pants have the same outside stripe design as the design on the New Mutants’ costumes shown last issue.”

Note that he’s also wearing his belt just below his armpits like your grandpa.

If I recall, what the Flash-substitute actually said was, “You’re a credit to your people,” which could be taken to mean the Justice League, or people from Earth-1, maybe, but it’s obvious how John interpreted it, given the look on his face. My jaw dropped when I heard that line, and I wondered how they’d gotten it through. That was the only bit that struck me as particularly disrespectful to the JSA, though. The Black Canary-like character is a bit overdone with the domestic chores, but that’s not as offensive, somehow — she obviously doesn’t seem to mind, she kicks butt later on, and Hawkgirl’s having none of it, so I’m willing to let them off.

Re: UL #1 the week. The 70s television broadcast of “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane” was not the original Broadway cast. David Wilson played the Superman/Clark role that Bob Holiday had created for the stage and Ken Mars (the original Franz Liebkind) played Jack Cassidy’s role.

SanctumSanctorumComix

May 11, 2007 at 6:12 am

Hey.

What issue of West Coast Avengers is that?

I really need to know.

ThanX, in advance.

~P~
P-TOR

Bruce Timm and Co. mentioned the bit about the JSA/Justice Guild brouhaha on the commentary track for the Justice League DVD. Personally, I’m kind of glad they didn’t use the real JSA considering how that episode ended. Comic book fans, after all, are used to the idea of parallel Earths with the same characters existing on different ones but the general public might have been a bit confused when Justice League Unlimited rolled around and you would have had another Black Canary and another Wildcat.

This way, they did still get to tell the story they wanted to and they avoided the confusion of having to explain the duplicated characters.

To me, it’s like the Charlton characters and Watchmen — initially, the set-back seems a drag, but then it forces a stronger story out of the creative team. I love the Justice Guild episode and sniffle at the end every time.

Re: UL #1 the week. The 70s television broadcast of “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane” was not the original Broadway cast. David Wilson played the Superman/Clark role that Bob Holiday had created for the stage and Ken Mars (the original Franz Liebkind) played Jack Cassidy’s role.

And Lesley Ann Warren played Lois (played by Patricia Mayrand on stage) and Loretta Swit played Sydney (played by Linda Lavin on broadway)

And a good chunk of it was rewritten for the TV adaptation.

Funny story (for me) about that: I remember seeing it listed in TV guide (I was about 6) and begged my Aunt (who I was staying with) to wake me up at 11:30pm and watch it and she said she would…only she claimed the next morning I wouldn’t wake up. Still don’t believe her. My cousin distracted me by saying he’d watched it…only his plot was the synposes of several 1960s Filmation cartoons strung together.

Years later I got to see the TV version (I’m a fan of the ’66 musical)– I’m glad my Aunt never woke me up…

That Wozniak spread is just dreadful. I really hope he had a tight deadline going on that issue.

Given how “Legends” ended, I would have to call Levitz a putz for thinking the ep was disrespectful to the JSA.

The Atom/Superman analogue in the Justice Guild reminded me a lot of Tom Strong, which I thought was cool.

Darn, someone beat me to the comment about the TV version of It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman not being the original cast.

Man, those are some tiny-ass pointy little Liefeld feet on that first Cougar image.

Um… the “60-year-old Cap” sounds like a very dirty old man.

No kidding. I’m imagining the production actually fell apart right after somebody involved got a good look at that whole ad. Like a bucket of cold water being dumped over their head.

Still, I’m kinda disappointed we never got to see the big Light-Up-Shield-Throwing sfx setpiece…

P-Tor —

It is Avengers West Coast #64.

Derek B. Haas

May 11, 2007 at 8:42 am

Wha? Where can I see this alleged commercial with the JGA incarnated as the actual JSA?

The Timmverse or DCAU or whatever you want to call it has its own canon, so I don’t think anyone can get all bent out of shape about the JGA replacing the JSA. I mean, the Justice Lords are essentially The Crime Syndicate. And eventually the show went “Unlimited” (which I suppose is the late 21st century’s “Extreme!”), and numerous JSA characters made their way onto the show. True, none of them were vital to any one plot point, but they still would have been somewhat tarnished, and ruined what would otherwise were good stories.

It’s not entirely accurate to say none of them were vital to any one plot – Stargirl was a big part of the episode in Skartaris, and she and STRIPE were (obviously) featured in the 7SoV ep. Plus, Wildcat starred alongside Black Canary in the “fight club” one, along with a JSA villain.

I’m with Derek and whoever else: unless there’s some proof, I think the idea that an animated JSA appeared on commercials is a legend. Even if they went back to re-record some dialog when the names were changed, that would still have to be way before most of the animation. Got any evidence for us?

And one correction to the wording of that legend: Justice League Unlimited didn’t have to create the JGA, Justice League. That was season one, before JLU got its “U.”

I remember hearing another rumor at the time, that the JSA was under development for another unspecified movie or TV project, and DC withheld them from the JL guys for that reason.

Good points regarding the Unlimited stuff and the Superman cast, folks!!

Corrected now!

When I first discovered the info of the Superman play, I thought that Jack Cassidy while may have been good in the role. Would have been better cast later as Ollie Queen/Green Arrow. Anyone who saw him in various role with the facial hair he wore in the 70’s hopefully would agree with me.

Also why does the first line in the #102 Urban Legends columns say that this is the one-hundred and first in the series…?

Bobb

To see if you were paying attention, of course, Bobb.

There’s no other possible explanation! ;)

@ yo go re:

Yes, numerous JSA characters were major players in episodes, I’m just saying that they were dramatically inconsequential. The Stargirl in Skartis existed simply as a teenage foil to Supergirl. Essentially another girl to be jealous of. That role could have been filled by almost any other female character (although Stargirl was the best choice, obviously.)

The Seven Soldiers episode was just dreck and existed because the producers wanted to do a Seven Soldiers episode and wanted to work with JK Simmons again (can’t fault them on that point.) No dramatic weight behind that episode, and it honestly wasn’t even good clean fun either with the loosely concealed, very basic political undertones of it. And no, I’m not saying cartoons/superheroes can’t discuss real world issues. It’s just that the “America’s attempts to protect by destroying” metaphor doesn’t work well in a 22 minute action cartoon. So were JSA characters vital? Sure, but it won’t go down as the most important use of them ever.

The Fight Club episode was vital to include Wildcat, because it was about agism and the elder statesmen’s role in the superhero community. So yes, that one did require a JSAer in an important role.

The Mad Monkey

May 11, 2007 at 11:24 am

You can find the original JL commerical featuring the JSA just about anywhere (bit torrents, YouTube, etc.).

Are you kidding? I LOVED Patriot Act and I’m a Conservative. ^_~ If only for Shining Knight standing defiantly against Eiling that episode deserves an award.

Derek B. Haas

May 11, 2007 at 12:09 pm

[blockquote]You can find the original JL commerical featuring the JSA just about anywhere (bit torrents, YouTube, etc.).[/blockquote]
I looked on YouTube, and could not find it. Link?

Levitz had every right to make the call he did, but it was totally wrong-headed. The mongoloids that buy the JSA comic (yes, you) aren’t going to be dissuaded from it by a corny portrayal of the 1940’s team on a cartoon. They aren’t dissuaded by the ceaseless melodrama and the lull-you-to-sleep artwork, so why would a GOOD story turn them off?

Loved this line from Timm:

“Teaming up our guys with the current JSA just didn’t seem to make much sense, somehow—what we’d end up with would be just a mega-sized Justice League, with twice as many heroes to deal with.”

A big dumb mess, in other words. The modern JSA is completely indistinct and lacking purpose, in other words.

‘Training the next generation’ is a stupid excuse for a super-team to exist. Geoff Johns’ JSA is just bafflingly feckless soap opera schmaltz.

“Given how “Legends” ended, I would have to call Levitz a putz for thinking the ep was disrespectful to the JSA.”

To be fair, the episode spends a lot more time pointing and laughing at the JGA, sometimes with some pretty pointed barbs, than it does acknowledging their nobility. They may redeem themselves in the end, but there are plenty of moments before then where they come off as clued out at best, and unintentionally racist and sexist, at worst. If they had used the “real” JSA, anybody seeing the new comic on a stand would have said, “Oh, yeah, those are the out-of-date has-been jackasses from Justice League.”

If there is a fallacy in that last statement, it’s the idea that anybody would think to go to a comic book shop after watching JL/JLU to look for anything, even the tie-in comic books.

Also, minor nitpick, but it’s “Toon Zone.” Two words.

“Then I will die defending the weak, as befits a knight…”

I love that episode.

Bruce Timm in Brian’s text: “They’re now the superheroes of ‘Earth Two–and–a–half’, if you will…kinda similar to what Alan Moore was doing in his Supreme run.”

Wouldn’t a more appropriate analogy be what Moore did with the Charlton heroes in WATCHMEN?

As for the TV version of the SUPERMAN musical and Graeme Burk’s contention that a good chunk of it was rewritten: it aired in a 90–minute–with–commercials time–slot under ABC’s then late–night umbrella, “Wide World of Entertainment,” which meant the naked running time had to just be slightly over an hour. Surely the Broadway play was significantly longer than that, hence changes were required. By the way, I was surprised to see among the screen tests on the last VHS/first DVD release of SUPERMAN (1978) that Lesley Ann Warren had tried out to play Lois there, as I felt that the only reason she was at all effective in the musical was that it was played campy. As a straight Lois, she would have flopped, and what was shown of her test by Lynn Stalmaster supported that. (Didn’t care much for Margot Kidder either, actually, and wish that Holly Palance, who played the role in Chris Reeve’s tests, had been cast, but according to Stalmaster, she was not trying out herself, but only helping with Reeve’s test.

When Cougar trips over his non-existent feet, he’s gonna slash up his own arms on his belt.

If he wore it a little lower, like a normal person, he might do us all a favor and catch his wrists.

***Ted Watson said:
Bruce Timm in Brian’s text: “They’re now the superheroes of ‘Earth Two–and–a–half’, if you will…kinda similar to what Alan Moore was doing in his Supreme run.”

Wouldn’t a more appropriate analogy be what Moore did with the Charlton heroes in WATCHMEN?***

No, I think Timm was correct. Supreme was an affectionate tribute to Superman even if it did poke some fun at the conventions.
WATCHMEN, while a better story, rips the heads off the Charlton characters and superheroes in general, although I don’t think Moore had anything in particular against the characters.
I see a similarity in the endings. Both “Legends” and WATCHMEN ends with the characters in a state where you couldn’t use them again. But at the end of “Legends” you have a warm feeling toward the Justice Guild (Plus, on a technicality, you could argue that the Justice Guild members were never really like that as people: What we saw was how a young boy imagined characters he only knew from a comic book would act.)

**To Brian Mac:**
In fairness, there should be nothing to “let them off” about. The creators of that episode were only being true to the times. Who is considered more of a comic book genius than Will Eisner and have you *seen* Ebony from the Spirit series…?

That character in the crowd scene looks more like Timber Wolf than Cougar.

BizarroBeachHead

May 11, 2007 at 5:14 pm

How could anybody who saw that JL episode assume that they were lampooning anything other than the Golden Age time period?

I suppose the fact that it ended up being a fictitious(as it were) team makes it a bit more obvious, but still….

“What IS clear is that Cougar, for whatever reason, never made his way into the New Mutants.”

i may actually know why he did not use cougar in New Mutants. At the end of Team YoungBlood 1, Rob liefeld rambles about the origins of Youngblood, and how several characters were designed for youngblood and ended up members of Brigade or the MLF. Here is what he had to say about cougar:

“Cougar was set to appear in those pages [New Mutants] as well – in fact, a cover featuring him was done up by myself and inked by pal and Spawn superstar Todd Macfarlane – but i pulled the cover and the storyline at the last minute, feeling uneasy about loosing control of yet another creation. Needless to say, it’s a move i’ve never regretted.”

so, he thought cougar would be better in youngblood, i guess.

I know it’s hard for people of our generation to understand, but yes, people in the 50s really DID think about subjects like race and gender roles the way it is portrayed in “Legends.” And WITHOUT actually meaning anything bad about it, either- it was just the way they were raised. It was a very different world. I don’t think a Black person from that time would be too amused to visit our time and find out how the Rap culture claims to represent them today, either.

Little things like that -more implied than outright said- are what separate the Animated DCU from other cartoons, making them a little deeper for adult fans without confusing the kids.

The only thing I didn’t like about the episode was that the Justice Guild turned out to be part of the fantasy created by the mutant boy (was he supposed to be a stand-in for JSA villain Brainwave?) I know that was the whole point, and that made their sacrifice in the end a truly noble one. It didn’t make much sense, though, unless we assume that they represented a part of the boy’s mind that realized what he was doing was wrong.

Oh, and even though it is certainly better to know the truth about the World and be free of someone else’s control… would YOU be happy to learn your world was an illusion and that you really live in a post-nuclear world? Just saying.

so, he thought cougar would be better in youngblood, i guess.

Thanks a lot!!

I mean, that’s what I FIGURED, but it is great to have an actual quote to go with it! Thanks a bunch! I’ll edit the piece accordingly..

“The only thing I didn’t like about the episode was that the Justice Guild turned out to be part of the fantasy created by the mutant boy (was he supposed to be a stand-in for JSA villain Brainwave?)”

Mmmm, maybe a little, but the mutant kid is mainly a complicated allusion to other things:
1) The Twlight Zone episode, “It’s a Good Life” where a young boy with immense mental powers is absolute tyrant of his home town, which he’s torn away into another dimension.
2) Avengers #85, written by Roy Thomas, where the Avengers meet JLA analogues the Squadron Supreme in an homage to the JLA-JSA crossovers. The teams hook up to defeat a young boy with immense mental powers named Brainchild (who seems to be more than a little inspired by the kid in that Twilight Zone episode.)
3) Avengers #97, written by Roy Thomas, where teenager Rick Jones taps into his hitherto unsuspected mental powers to create living versions of Golden Age comic book heroes from the 1940s.
4) Roy Thomas himself, the continuity fantatic and Golden Age maniac who went on to write many, many stories about the JSA and All-Star Squadron characters during the 1980s.

And how do we know that one of the Justice League cartoon folks intended the Justice Guild episodes to be a tribute to Roy Thomas? Because the mutant kid is named … wait for it … Roy Thomspon.

Still waiting on that link, Mad Monkey – my YouTube search didn’t turn up anything either.

Brian, you might want to make it clear in the UL heading that it was the Justice League cartoon that had to create the Justice Guild – save some confusion when it’s listed on the “legends by company” page.

Adam: I don’t disagree that in many cases, the JSA characters could have been swapped for pretty much anyone else. But at the end of the day (or the animation cycle, as it were), they weren’t swapped for anyone else, and that counts for something. Supergirl could have been jealous of someone else, but she wasn’t. I’m sure part of it was that all the similarly-aged heroines were tied up in Teen Titans, but we still had Star filling more of a role than background filler. I’m not saying that the JSA was used to its fullest potential (which is big, no matter hair Paul has up his butt), but that they weren’t entirely ignored…

I actually own the original broadway cast soundtrack to “It’s A Bird!” Great Krypton, it’s awful! Besides a stupid, plodding story, it only has one good song: “You’ve Got Possibilities,” sung by Linda Lavin. Did you know that was one of her first big breaks? It’s true …

That Cougar design is a direct rip off of George Perez’ briefly used Timber Wolf re-design from Legion, used about the time that Pat Broderick was drawing the book. It first appeared in a DC digest.

Ha! I have a copy of that West Coast Avengers!

Pack:

Point taken. Thanks.

“Thanks a lot!!

I mean, that’s what I FIGURED, but it is great to have an actual quote to go with it! Thanks a bunch! I’ll edit the piece accordingly..”

No problem, Brian. By the way, it was Team Youngblood that that quote came from, not youngblood.

Jef Hamlin got to it before I did… Here’s George Perez’ new costume for Timber Wolf (from Best of DC Digest #24, May 1982, via DC Cosmic Teams). The belt is the same, down to the studs on it, and it goes with the top open to the navel.

Ack, it wouldn’t let me include an image in the post. Here’s Timber Wolf vs Cougar.

why is he named Cougar when he has a flipper for a left foot?

Has there ever been a more successful commerical artist that couldn’t draw basic anatomy?

That’s not really a racist comment. It’s a racial comment, but not necessarily racist. Fine line sure… but it’s not like he said “You’re a credit to your race, I wish more of them could be like you instead of “.

It’s absurd to suggest that Rob Liefeld would rip off George Perez.

Ummmm…yeah….absurd.

or not

http://adlo.dreamers.com/estudios/comparativas.htm

Funny stuff…

…and your welcome for the Cougar thing, guys:)

Liefeld’s comments that he has never regretted his decision to hold onto Cougar is hilarious!

He acts like the character has made him millions of dollars or something.

What’s so funny to me about the image guys is they were making millions at Marvel.

They were giving the authority to write the books like X-men, X-force and Spiderman. Marvel essentially let them write and draw whatever they wanted and paid them $80,000 + per MONTH!

They just didn’t want to do the work. To me that sums up Image comics. They hid behind character ownership, but the reality was they had salaries, royalties and all the freedom in the world…. but Marvel had the nerve to ask that they turn in work on a regular basis!

Marvel kicked Louise Simonson off of New Mutants after five years and let Liefeld “write” it.

Marvel was soooo into Jim Lee they were starting to phase Claremont out of the X-men titles that he had written for 17 years.

MacFarlane didn’t like taking scripts from Micheline so Marvel gave him his own book to write.

Those guys are lazy, pure and simple.

I’m sure rip off characters like Cougar are making liefeld tons of cash….LOL….what a joke.

Sorry about the rant, I just hate that guy Liefeld

“And how do we know that one of the Justice League cartoon folks intended the Justice Guild episodes to be a tribute to Roy Thomas? Because the mutant kid is named … wait for it … Roy Thomspon.”

Wumpus, on the commentary track for “Legends,” Bruce Timm said the kid was named for Roy Thomas and Don Thompson, who ran the Comics Buyer’s Guide with his wife Maggie. (Don died but I think Maggie is still with CBG.)
Timm said one of the ideas of the episode was that if Roy Thomas had those kinds of mental powers and survived a nuclear war, that Golden Age/JSA world is the one he would create. I think Timm hit the nail right on the head but based only on reading articles he has written (I’ve never met the guy) I think Thomas is a little prickly and doesn’t have the sense of humor about himself he thinks he does so I wonder what he made of the “tribute.”

Sorry guys, the guy in the west coast avengers picture is Puma an old spider-man villain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puma_(comics)
http://www.marvel.com/universe/Puma

Sorry guys, the guy in the west coast avengers picture is Puma an old spider-man villain.

Puma is ALSO in the picture. He is standing in front of Hulk. Cougar is behind the Hulk, next to Cable.

On “Legends,” I think Levitz’ statement makes sense. Remember the JLU wasn’t just to sell comics (which clearly it utterly fails to do), it’s to advertise a toy line. I think it’s very reasonable to protect the integrity of certain characters like the JSA and Hawkman, and not twisting them up overmuch.

Also, I disagree that the Streak was racist. The comment, “You’re a credit to your people,” is NOT a racist comment at all … rather it is an honest compliment from an open-minded man (did he ever imply he looked down on GL?) who lives in a racist society. My mouth fell open when I heard that line, because I thought it was an immensily gutsy thing for the writers to put in … that IS how people talked in the 50’s.

So whatever happened to Rob Liefeld? Anyone know?

Thank you for the information on the AWC issue regarding Cougar. I was not aware of that.

BTW, it should be noted that Liefeld had already debuted Cougar as a member of Youngblood some years before, in an ad that showed up in some Megaton comics. If memory serves, it looked much more like the Cougar he would eventually use for his Image Youngblood.

Michael Howey

June 19, 2007 at 1:39 pm

ComixKid2099 quoted “Cougar was set to appear in those pages [New Mutants] as well – in fact, a cover featuring him was done up by myself and inked by pal and Spawn superstar Todd Macfarlane – but i pulled the cover and the storyline at the last minute, feeling uneasy about loosing control of yet another creation. Needless to say, it’s a move i’ve never regretted.”

That image for the cover (which was shown in a Marvel Age issue, I believe calling him none other than Cable) was identical to the leaping image shown in the pages of issue 1 of youngblood. It didn’t even look redrawn. (probably re inked though)

Everyone remember the Cougar T-shirts and Lunchboxes? Everyone dressed up as Cougar for Halloween.

Yeah, that is pretty dopey. I don’t even know what the theme of the character is just by the picture. It’s not like it’s the next Cable or anything. Cable is still around.

Did they really make 80,000 a month, the top Marvel artists?

McFarlane said he made 2 million all added up when he left Marvel.

Well…that Image Cougar boy is like a Pink-lover Wolverine…it’s the same thing that happened to me the first time I saw the Wildcats cartoon…they were sooo X-menish!

“Also, I disagree that the Streak was racist. The comment, “You’re a credit to your people,” is NOT a racist comment at all … rather it is an honest compliment from an open-minded man”

I’m sorry but that is an incredibly dense statement. The implication is CLEARLY that other black people are NOT a credit to their race in Streak’s eyes.

So, this is a bit late, but I thought I’d throw out there that I actually have an old Marvel design page from Liefeld’s time at Marvel that’s a design credited to him, McFarlane, and Stan Lee (I sort of assume his name was on all designs and I doubt he had any active part in this) of Overkill, who of course later turned up as a Spawn villain.

@ DigitalGonzo:

I remember a video out at the time called “The Comic Book Greats” that had Stan Lee interviewing Liefeld and McFarlane and had them create characters ‘on the spot’ and do something in the ‘Marvel style’.

To Rob’s credit, he does hunker down and actually DRAW something (albeit a bit too Cable-ish) while Todd mainly talks and jokes a lot with Stan and doesn’t accomplish a whole lot.

It was during the course of that video where Liefeld created Overkill, so the three-way joint credit seems reasonable given that all gentlemen were present when the character was born.

To this day I wonder if Rob and Todd knew at the time the video was made that they were going to be leaving Marvel soon.

That Sven soliders episode was great for showing the human characters willing to fight. It also grew the Vigilante and Shining Knight friendship by giving them some lime light. It was also a ton of fun. It had quite a few funny moments.

But what it did best, was make shining knight very cool. He had great scenes in it.

I can believe all this time and all these posts….and no one figures how obviously Cougar was going to end up being Sabertooth’s kid. Though the Timber Wolf rip off is hilarious. I thought the belt looked familiar. Made me think of Fang of the Imperial Guard….who of course, was based on….

As for the very first post, the Red Skull’s musical number would have obviously been Springtime for Hitler.

I had that Marvel Age with the Liefeld designs. He wrote, regarding Cable, something along the lines of “I think I’ll give him a techno-sounding name, like Cable or Wire or something.”

Even as a kid, I remember thinking that was a really stupid way to name a character.

“So, sadly, we never got to see a 60-year-old Captain America dance with a little girl on stage.”

Sadly, or gratefully? ;-)

And I think Levitz was right to nix the JSA in the Legends episode. Otherwise, the JSA would be dead (in the animated universe, anyway) and Earth-2 would be a post-holocaust world.
Man, I really liked the alternate worlds stuff, and hated 1985’s Crisis, not just for getting rid of it, but for doing so retroactively, as if the alternate worlds had never existed.

Oh, and Brian, thanks for keeping the comments open on these old columns–I’m still working through them.

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