Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #130
This is the one-hundred and thirtieth 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 twenty-nine. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
This one is a day early, because, well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving! And this week’s installment contains what I thought, at least, was a bit of a Thanksgiving miracle!
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Ramona Flowers’ second ex-boyfriend was going to be Jason Lee.
Here’s the Thanksgiving miracle!
Awhile back, reader Tom K. asked me, “I heard that in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the boyfriend was going to actually be Jason Lee before Bryan Lee O’Malley changed it to Lucas Lee.”
In case you don’t know the basic concept, Scott Pilgrim, in each of the volumes of his series, ends up having to fight one of the evil exes of his girlfriend, Ramona Flowers. Lucas Lee is a skateboarder who becomes a movie star (and he is a real jerk, too).
Here comes the Thanksgiving miracle part! At the time, I did some research, and the closest I came to the topic was that Lee O’Malley said about Lucas Lee in some annotations for Scott Pilgrim he did on his livejournal (check them out – they’re quite interesting), “Lucas Lee is kind of an amalgamation of Jason Lee and Luke Wilson, I guess.”
So, that seemed to be about that, right? Done deal.
So I just put it aside and didn’t think about it again, until Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together came out last week (and it was awesome, by the way) – so I’m reading the various interviews Lee O’Malley was giving, and sure enough, right there in an interview with Kiel Phegley at Wizard, Lee O’Malley goes over various pop culture references in Scott Pilgrim, and there it is:
Lucas Lee, the skateboarding ex-boyfriend who battles Pilgrim in Vol. 2, was inspired by the “My Name Is Earl” star. “Lucas was originally going to be Jason Lee, but I changed it because I was a little worried,” admits O’Malley. “My friend was a big skater, so we’d always talk about Jason Lee and how he’s a big sellout, even though we really liked him.”
So when I read that last week – a week before Thanksgiving, and it was about Scott PILGRIM?!
A Thanksgiving miracle!!!
So there you go, Tom! A little late, but there it is, nonetheless!
Thanks to Tom K. for the question and Bryan Lee O’Malley and Kiel Phegley for the answer!
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Marvel was once sued TWICE over the name of ONE comic book!
Back in the early 90s, Marvel attempted to make a big push with their British line of comics, dubbed Marvel UK.
One of the launches was a title called Hell’s Angel.
Surprisingly (okay, not surprisingly), a certain motorcycle club took issue with Marvel’s use of the name, and then sued Marvel.
Marvel acquiesced to the demands, and with issue #6, changed the name of the book to Dark Angel (As my pal Loren mentioned to me, part of the deal was also that Marvel had to donate $35,000 to charity).
Okay, but the only problem was, that was ALSO the name of a comic from Hart Fisher’s Boneyard Press!!
They ALSO filed suit, and eventually, Marvel just “settled” by canceling the title with issue #16.
I guess Shakespeare was a bit off back when he said “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Greg Rucka requested that Trevor Barnes be killed before he took over Wonder Woman.
Reader Carrie sent me this one last week,
Phil Jimenez introduced a love interest for Wonder Woman during his run on the title named Trevor Barnes. In an arc between Jimenez and Greg Rucka taking over, Walt Simonson killed off Trevor Barnes. I heard that Greg Rucka requested that Barnes be killed off because he did not like the character, but didn’t want to piss off fans by doing it himself. Is this true? I’ve been wondering about this one for years!
Well, Carrie, this one has a pretty simple resolution – No, Rucka did not request that Barnes be killed.
Although, it is a BIT trickier than that.
It was true that Rucka was not planning on using the character (I cannot speak to whether Rucka disliked the character or not), but that is as far as it went.
Walt Simonson cleared the matter up a few years ago on usenet (as apparently this rumor was widespread back then):
I didn’t have any chats with Greg–never have as far as I know–but I did know, going into my story arc, that Greg was not going to be using Trevor. The character simply wasn’t going to be around after WW #194 one way or another. Neither Greg nor anyone else asked me to see to the character’s death.
But I think most good stories are about sex, death, and betrayal. And by the time I was done, I’d gotten to work all those things into my Wonder Woman story. Having Trevor die wasn’t done simply to add ‘punch to my ending'; it was an essential part of the story from the beginning, foreshadowed by Trevor’s relating the Aesop’s fable.
However, knowing that Greg wasn’t going to be using the character suggested story possibilities that otherwise wouldn’t have been available.
So there ya go!
I wish I could find a darn picture of Trevor Barnes! Anyone out there have one you could send me?
BBayliss dropped off a link to this photo. Thanks!!
Frankly Delano ALSO sent me one, too! Thanks to you both!
Thanks to Carrie for the question and Walt Simonson for the answer!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!