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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #131

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

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Marvel was going to publish Star Wars: Dark Empire

STATUS: True

More than a few people remember that, in an old issue of Marvel Age, there was an advertisement for a new Marvel Star Wars series – Star Wars: Dark Empire! I thought it was an annual, but Andy Mangels was so kind as to help me out by both pointing out that it was in Marvel Age Special Preview #1 (1990), and to give me the following scan!

MarvelAge_Preview_01_232_edited_001.jpg

Thanks, Andy!

This was in the late 80s, but no such series existed until 1991, when Star Wars: Dark Empire showed up over at Dark Horse, and was a massive success, leading to Dark Horse holding the Star Wars license ever since (one of the most successful licenses in comics history, I might add).

14507_4_001.jpg

In any event, a reader, Josh, wrote in to ask about the ad, as he remembered seeing it as well, and was curious as to what the deal was. So was I, so I went straight to the horse’s mouth, Tom Veitch, writer of Star Wars: Dark Empire, and Tom went way above and beyond the call of duty and told me an epic story of a long time ago, in a comic company far, far away…

After Cam Kennedy and I did The Light and Darkness War for Archie Goodwin, at Epic Comics (Marvel), we got the bright idea to send copies to George Lucas and ask him if we could do Star Wars. (Star Wars, at the time, was pretty much moribund. There was no plan for further films, and the license was really up for grabs.)

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I got a phone call within a week from Lucy Wilson, who, as you may know, is reputed to have been the very first person Lucas hired when he started Lucasfilm. She told us GL liked our work and we could have the Star Wars license if we wanted it. At that point I made what may have been a fateful error and told her I wasn’t that much into the business side of things and would prefer to talk to Archie about having Epic Comics do it. She was a bit taken aback — Marvel had dropped the license a few years earlier. But she got back to me and said ok, and so I talked to Archie. I remember he was immediately excited at the prospect of bringing SW back to Marvel…but he also said he would probably have a tough time getting Marvel to pick up the license again. And indeed, there was some resistance. But Archie being “Mr. Star Wars” at the company, of course they ultimately agreed. And thus Dark Empire was born. The whole six issue first series were planned and ok’d by Lucas while we were working with Archie.

Now, the next thing that happened was that Archie left Marvel and went to DC. I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but they weren’t pleasant. So our Dark Empire project was given to (name withheld) and everything sort of changed right away. The project got kicked to secondary status, and both Cam and I began feeling quite unhappy. Cam actually stopped drawing the book for awhile.

OK, talking to Lucy Wilson about the unfortunate situation, I suggested she check out Dark Horse and the movie-related projects they had done (such as Aliens). I introduced her to Mike Richardson, and she was quite impressed with him (as everybody is who meets him…he’s a well-spoken giant of a man).

Next thing I know I am in London at a convention and Richardson takes me aside and says DH is deeply interested in getting the Star Wars license away from Marvel, and would Cam and I finish Dark Empire for DH if they can bring that off. I said sure, of course. Cam also agreed. And the whole thing went forward. Marvel unceremoniously dropped the license a second time, Dark Horse rolled out the red carpet for us, and we completed the first six books, exactly as planned, with Barbara Kesel (who could make the Kessel run in under ten parsecs) as our editor.

Thanks to Jeff for the question, Andy for the scan (and the info) and thanks extremely much to Tom Veitch for his expansive reply. Go buy one of his books!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Batman initially wore purple gloves, but DC has colored them blue in their reprints of the material.

STATUS: True

Most readers out there can name you Batman’s first appearance…

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but did you know what he WORE during that first appearance?

kane.jpg

Yup, that’s right – in Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27, Batman actually wore PURPLE gloves!

Whether that was intentional or not, I do not know – but it’s pretty striking, no?

What is even more striking to me is how DC has decided to (ahem) “bluewash” this bit of history with their reprintings of early Batman issues.

Below are a series of pages from the original version of the aforementioned Detective Comics #27 and from the reprinted version of that same issue (currently available in Batman Chronicles Vol. 1 – Thanks to Greg Burgas for making sure for me that they WERE using the same colors for Chronicles)!!

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THE ORIGINAL

bat-man41.jpg

THE REPRINT

gaschamber.jpg

THE ORIGINAL

bat-man6.jpg

THE REPRINT

fittingend_edited.jpg

Pretty weird, huh?

There’s a very good chance that DC made the determination that the original story did not REALLY mean to have his gloves purple, and that therefore, their re-colored version was closer to the actual artistic intent of the comic. Which may be true, but it is still pretty strange to see the historical record changed like that.

What’s even stranger is that, even after deciding to re-color Batman’s history (this also includes coloring some instances where Batman didn’t even seem to be WEARING gloves as though he was wearing blue gloves), DC recently did a series of “First Appearances” action figures.

Batman’s figure?

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Even weirder, no?

Thanks to Greg for checking out Chronicles for me, and thanks to Paul and John Review and Scott “Comics 101″ Tipton for the pics of the original gloves and the re-colored ones, respectively.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Paul Levitz used note cards to keep the cast of the Legion of Superheroes straight.

STATUS: False

A good deal of myths related to comic books (heck, myths related to anything, really) come down to basically a glorified version of the game “telephone.” A person will say one thing, it will be repeated to another – just slightly modified, and that version will be repeated – also slightly modified, until you have something that is just accepted as “truth,” but is not.

In fact, the inspiration for this feature is based on something exactly like this, where Walt Simonson had a story in Fantastic Four #350 where he revealed that Doctor Doom was traveling through time, so that a good deal of his past appearances were actually Doom-bots. Simonson left it to readers to make up their own decision as to which Dooms were “real” and which were not, but it soon was twisted into saying that SIMONSON kept such a list.

Similarly, Paul Levitz has talked more than once over the years about his Legion of Superheroes “scorecard.”

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As the story has been retold, it has basically entered into fan lore that, because the book had so many characters, as noted in the famous (infamous, I guess, if you’re looking at it from Keith Giffen’s perspective) Keith Giffen Legion poster from the 1980s (pic courtesy of my pal, Paul Newell)…

losh05.jpg

that when Levitz says “scorecard,” he meant he kept cards keeping track of the various members of the group.

However, that is not the case.

Jamie Coville brought up this very topic with Levitz a few years back in one of his Coville’s Clubhouse features for The Collector Times, and Levitz cleared the record up:

Coville: It was fairly common knowledge in fan circles that you used cards to keep track of the characters in your second stint as LSH writer. How exactly did that work?

Levitz: Never used cards, actually. Probably comes from a remark about using a SCORECARD to keep track. Basically, a column down the left spelled out the plotlines I had in works. Sequential columns were labelled by upcoming issues, and indicated the developments I expected.

So there ya go!

That clears THAT one up (and I only just recently saw a fan reference Levitz’s character note cards on a forum, so this one has persisted to this day)!

Reader Patrick Wynne adds that in Denny O’Neil’s book DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics, he gives an example of the “Levitz Grid.” Thanks for the tip, Patrick!!

Thanks to Paul Newell for the pic, Paul Levitz for the information and Jamie Coville for GETTING the information!

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 cronb01@aol.com.

See you next week!

82 Comments

Were The “Bat-Man’s” gloves purple in just that first appearance, or was it in more than one of the early Detective Comics issues?

Not the first time ‘Tec 27 has been altered (the more famous removal of guns and lines and other such violence from most reprints, namely), but it’s certainly one aspect of alteration I’ve never heard of before.

What about Spider-Man’s first appearance? I know they did a “first appearance” figure of him a decade or so ago, with black instead of blue on his costume. But the majority of reprints have him colored blue. I remember when Byrne was doing Chapter One, then called “Twice Told Tales”, he intended initially to reestabish the red and black design, and incorporate it into the modern relaunch, but something changed before publication.

And of course, there’s the recoloring of Superman’s costume as it was often a new scheme every other page…

I think there’s an even bigger thing going on with the reprints than the colour of Batman’s gloves… look at the captions between the original and the reprint! They’ve obviously been re-lettered!

I noticed this with the first DC archive edition for Batman actually– and when you compare the original (shot from the actual comic) as reprinted in the Smithsonian Book of Comic Books with the Archive editions (and presumably The Batman Chrnoicles), they’ve seriously retouched the artwork on Detective #27.

I think that’s a more egregious change of the historic record than Batman’s gloves. And probably worth some further investigation… hmmm… I wonder what blog might do that?

SanctumSanctorumComix

November 30, 2007 at 6:50 am

Spider-Man’s costume was originally intended to be BLACK & Red.

The BLUE came in when spaces were “left for black” (well… “left for color” is another term used), basically unshaded by the penciller, but with the intent that the inker would fill it in with ink.

But, time-saving corner-cutting would have inkers only doing a partial shading, and having the colorist add “highlights” of blue, to better illustrate a 3 dimensional object.

Then, the black eventually became all blue with just some black shading.

I recall reading Jim Shooter’s script for the 1st Marvel Try-Out book in the early 1980’s.

He described the sight of Spider-Man jumping off a building as a Red & BLACK streak of color, going off to save the day.

So, it seems that HE, at least, was trying to get back to the roots of it.

The same thing happened to a lot of character designs.
Doctor Strange’s “leggings” are supposed to be BLACK, but so many times the art was “left open” and it just got colored all blue.

As for the Bat-Man’s gloves… I kinda LIKE the Purple.
It gives a very pulpy feel to the character.
(Not that I think it would work today with the long scalloped gloves.)

And, I also like the high-boots too.
They almost act as knee-guards as well.
Makes sense for a guy who takes a lot of jumps and such.

~P~
P-TOR

Hmmm, I have Tec #27 in reprint form in the Smithsonian Book of Comic Book Comics, and in that particular reprint, his gloves are red. To be fair, the red looked better than eithier the purple or the blue.

RE: Spiderman

Let’s not forget that in Amazing Fantasy #15, his back spider was also colored blue instead of red – as far as I know, the only reprint to duplicate this is the Omnibus.

I love that era of the Legion! I just wish I could see that poster better… I googled it and couldn’t find it. Any chance of obtaining a larger pic of it?

It’s hard to say what level of disappointment to feel about DC messing with minor elements of Batman’s first appearances (such as coloring–the more notorious removal of the gun, etc., is just bad)–it’s well-known that many of those early books were just kind of being thrown together and there’s a good likelihood that there wasn’t real communication between the colorist and editorial. I’d love to know if a script survived in any format, or if there were character guides, but I strongly doubt it.

c’mon, somebody’s gotta tell me – who was it that dropped the ball on the Star Wars license at Marvel???

I wonder if the changes to the lettering in Detective are the legacy of the early days of Theakstonizing? For those unfamiliar with it, it’s a process where original comics are bleached to remove the color so they can be used as the basis for reprints when the original film doesn’t exist. As I recall from CBG back in the day, it also tends to remove fine black lines and requires retouching; someone pointed out a scene where Commissioner Gordon went from a pince-nez to regular glasses (or vice versa, I forget).

Batman was one of the first Archives, so it would have been done when the process was relatively new and, presumably, cruder. It’s possible that it (coupled with relatively few copies of that issue that people would want to sacrifice for the process) did a number on the lettering, balloons, etc. and required reworking from the ground up. (That would certainly account for, say, the removal of the background lines in the panel where Batman smashes his way out of the bell jar.) DC may well have been using the material from the original Archive ever since.

(It’s not surprising that they’d re-use material between different reprint projects, since it saves money and there’s not much incentive to do it from scratch. I verified that DC did it for the Green Lantern Archives and Showcase Presents volumes–there’s a page that has oddly thick blacks in both versions–and Marvel has used “Classic X-Men” artwork for “Essential X-Men” (as shown by some of the footnotes.)

I haven’t read a Star Wars comic since before marvel stopped publishing the monthly series, but I recall really enjoying the Light and Darkness War (it would make a great movie in the right hands). If Dark Empire is by the same team, I might have to check it out.

Always enjoy CBUL–but what a great treat to see that Legion poster. I used to have one hanging in my room as a kid but had forgotten all about it until now!

Oh, yeah, kalorama, if you have not checked out Dark Empire, you’re in for a real treat. There’s a reason it totally revitalized the Star Wars comic license – it is a strong work.

Always enjoy CBUL–but what a great treat to see that Legion poster. I used to have one hanging in my room as a kid but had forgotten all about it until now!

If everyone hounds him, maybe Paul Newell will share a bigger version of the poster!!

Were The “Bat-Man’s” gloves purple in just that first appearance, or was it in more than one of the early Detective Comics issues?

I believe it was just the first appearance.

” I think there’s an even bigger thing going on with the reprints than the colour of Batman’s gloves… look at the captions between the original and the reprint! They’ve obviously been re-lettered! ”

I’ve seen at least one “reprint” where the story was not just re-lettered, but clearly redrawn completely from scratch.

That’s funny. Not sure where it comes from, but my memory has it that Batman’s gloves WERE originally purple, and I’m pretty sure all I’ve ever seen were reprints. I was also thinking about the toy that had his original appearance wearing purple gloves, and then I read down further and saw that they addressed that in the column.

I have that FA Batman figure, and the purple gloves did indeed make it onto the final figure. Interestingly enough, those figures also came with tiny reprint comics, and on the cover, Batman has blue gloves. The interior is otherwise identical to the”reprint” scans shown above… with the notable exception that his gloves have been RE-re-colored PURPLE on all six pages. How about that!

Another example of a “black” costume represented as blue? The original X-Men uniforms, which have come to be so associated with blue and gold that that two X-Teams have, at times, been named after those colors…

In fact, a (rather simplified, IIRC) version of the so-called “Levitz Grid” and how exactly it functioned can be found in the DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics by Denny O’Neil.

Thanks a lot, Patrick!!

I’ll edit that in!

When they reprint the Spider-Man origin from Amazing Fantasy, do they leave the little eye-dots on his mask?

“The same thing happened to a lot of character designs.”

I believe the Beast is another example–his fur was originally meant to be black (after a short stint as gray).

I haven’t seen her earliest appearances in MS. MARVEL, but I suspect that Mystique’s skin is another.

Curiosity and a quick search turns up that the relevant page of O’Neil’s book is available as a preview in Google Books behind this rather nasty-looking URL:
http://books.google.com/books?id=ju7WYM6qXQgC&pg=PA79&sig=hrEuwzHS34LcyIo8gvoa-WAST_E#PPA102,M1

I’ve been creating a list of DC’s most reprinted stories on Gormuu’s DC Archives Message Board here: http://p206.ezboard.com/fmarvelmasterworksfansitefrm2.showMessage?topicID=3275.topic

Needless to say, this story qualifies, although I haven’t added it yet to that topic. But here are the major reprints of this story, and whether it was the violence-edited-out version or not:

* Detective Comics (1937 series) #387 (May 1969) [edited?]
* Batman From the Thirties to the Seventies (Crown Publishers, 1971 series) #73-168329 (1971) [?]
* Famous First Edition (1974 series) #C-28 (1974) [unedited]
* A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981 series) nn (1981) [unedited]
* Detective Comics Special Edition #1 ?? maybe Detective Comics Collector’s Edition #27 (Oreo giveaway, 1984)
Batman Archives (1990 series) vol. 1 ([June] 1990) [edited]
Detective Comics (1937 series) #627 (March 1991)
Millennium Edition: Detective Comics 27 (2000 series) #nn (February 2000)
Batman in the Forties (2004 series) #nn (2004) [unedited]
Batman Chronicles (2005 series) vol. 1 (2005) [edited]
Batman Begins – Special DVD Issue (2005 series) #nn (2005) [edited]

I’ve never seen the purple gloves before, but I think most of these appearances are probably from the somewhat-retraced version that first appeared in Detective #387 (with the exception of the Smithsonian book, which I think was photographed from the original; I’ll have to look at that again). I bet the re-lettering occurred back in 1969.

It’s interesting that the violence-edited-out one has appeared in the two most recent reprints. One would hope these days that DC would destroy that digital file, and use the unedited version that was used in Batman in the Forties.

What is the deal with “the famous (infamous, I guess, if you’re looking at it from Keith Giffen’s perspective) Keith Giffen Legion poster from the 1980s”.

Why would Giffen consider it ‘infamous’? Any insights would be greatly appriciated. Thanks!

"O" the Humanatee!

November 30, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Quoth P-Tor (hope my block-quoting works):

Spider-Man’s costume was originally intended to be BLACK & Red.

The BLUE came in when spaces were “left for black” (well… “left for color” is another term used), basically unshaded by the penciller, but with the intent that the inker would fill it in with ink.

But, time-saving corner-cutting would have inkers only doing a partial shading, and having the colorist add “highlights” of blue, to better illustrate a 3 dimensional object.

Then, the black eventually became all blue with just some black shading.

What can this comment possibly mean? Steve Ditko was the penciler and inker for Spider-Man’s first 40 issues (Amazing Fantasy #15 and Amazing Spider-Man #1-39). So surely the “inkers” had a darn good idea of what the “penciler” intended! I have Essential Spider-Man, Vol. 1, in front of me, and one can see from the black-and-white art that in Amazing Fantasy #15 the costume is mostly black, though Ditko left some white areas open, probably to indicate light reflection – and to break up the visual a little bit! (Technically, pure black reflects no light, but there’s no such thing as pure black fabric, AFAIK.) Not having a color version handy, I don’t know how those areas were colored, though I suspect it was blue – which, given the limitations in comics coloring at the time, could indicate blue fabric or just weaker reflection. In any case, the art gradually “opens up” over the next few issues, so that by ASM #2, with the Vulture, the costume is clearly being left open for coloring, with black ink indicating shadows, not color.

I don’t have a copy of Essential Dr. Strange, Vol. 1, so I can’t say if something similar happened with Doc’s tights. Didn’t Marshall Rogers return the tights to black, along with restoring a number of other original design elements?

Going back to the issue of comics coloring, we always need to keep in mind that for decades comics (at least the American mainstream) were limited to four-color printing (black, cyan, yellow, and magenta), so colors were often not meant to be interpreted literally; otherwise we’d have to believe that Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent had blue hair.

That said, those early Batman gloves don’t seem to be using purple to indicate black! I didn’t know that bit of trivia before. But I’m skeptical that any “Theakstonized” an issue of Detective #27, given the rarity and value of copies of that issue. (I suppose it’s possible that they were able to cobble together a decent reprint from multiple inferior copies of the issue, each one having a few good pages.)

Thanks very much for another surprising and interesting column, Brian, especially the Dark Empire story.

TinyURL is the solution for anyone seeking a more elegant alternative to long complex URLs for links.

dan jack:

I suspect Giffen would consider it infamous because of the fact that it appears to incorporate every major Legion member, associate, and enemy – which is a lot of characters, densely packed, into a massively huge image The amount of work that went into that one poster must have been absurd.

Why would Giffen consider it ‘infamous’? Any insights would be greatly appriciated. Thanks!

It was so much painstaking work that it put Giffen off doing Legion entirely, and he left the book after finishing the poster (he returned a few years later, but by which point, he had abandoned the art style he had used during his initial run on the book).

Here’s what Giffen said about the poster in an issue of The Jack Kirby Collector #29 (August 2000):

What happened was I did this Legion poster, characters all over the place. And in drawing that Legion poster I totally burned myself out on the book. After the poster I just had to walk away.

Thanks, Michael!

* Batman From the Thirties to the Seventies (Crown Publishers, 1971 series) #73-168329 (1971) [?]

I’ve got that one, and they’re purple in my copy.

Nothing to do with this week’s column but was re-reading Legends last night and was wondering if you could address the “Sun Spot” character who had the StarBrand uniform and motif and was rambling about “creating a NEW UNIVERSE”

Thanks!

Speaking of Marvel Age, I remember in one issue reading a solict for an upcoming issue of the Liefeld-era X-Force which mentioned something along the lines of “tensions between the X-kids and their new team-mate, Cougar!”

Cougar never appreared in X-Force but did show up in a later Liefeld project at Image (might have been Youngblood…)

So, uh, am I remembering that right? Was Cougar originally meant to be an X-Man? Does anyone care?!

“I think there’s an even bigger thing going on with the reprints than the colour of Batman’s gloves… look at the captions between the original and the reprint! They’ve obviously been re-lettered!”

Not just relettered – the panels are trimmed for no obvious reason.

Check the page where Batman smashes the bell jar; the reprint chops off part of the right hand panels (part of the cape, some glassware and the exclamation point). Combined with the enlarged re-lettering, it forces part of the text to a new line.

So, uh, am I remembering that right? Was Cougar originally meant to be an X-Man? Does anyone care?!

Yes, yes(ish) and a little bit

Comic Reader Man

November 30, 2007 at 7:05 pm

The 2000 Chronicle books boxed BATMAN MASTERPIECE EDITION set by Les Daniels comes with a Mego-like first appearance Batman doll/figure that has the purple gloves. I’m somewhat under the impression the doll was designed by Alex Ross, but I may be wrong on that. The gloves are correctly colored purple as well in the hardcover book that reprints sections of that original tale. Oddly enough, I was looking over the set in my collection just about an hour before reading this Urban entry!
Here’s a link to the Chronicle Books site for the set, although it is out of print & not currently available. You can find these great sets on ebay for about 10 bucks, a bargain for the doll, the Hc Bat-history by Daniels, and a quality reprint copy of Batman #1 all in a large boxed displayer.

http://www.chroniclebooks.com/site/catalog/index.php?main_page=pubs_product_book_info&products_id=1772

The book I’m currently working on, “Teenagers from the Future,” actually has an entire chapter devoted to Levitz’s storytelling on the Legion, with tons of inside information from the man himself on how he used a notebook to keep track of plots and subplots several months in advance and some not-so-secret, but nevertheless interesting, discussion of his structural models. It’s the only chapter of the book (other than the introduction) written by me, so I’m pretty excited about it. (The book should be out in time for the 2008 New-York Comic-Con, I hope.)

speaking of Spidey’s costume,does anyone else remember the Marvel Age issue that showed previews(?) of Spidey’s black costume as originally being black & RED? the eyes were white & the spider and web shooters were red & I always thought it looked better than the black & white.If so does anyone have a copy? I was WAY dissappointed when secret wars came out with it black’n’white w/ the blue highlights…

I recall Theakstonizing being discussed in connection with DC’s Archive program, but it’s been years since I read the articles in question so I wouldn’t swear to anything at this point. Allen’s comment about it possibly having been relettered in ’69, and the panel trimming (it’s particularly visible in the very first panel; in the original the left quote mark is partway into the panel, while in the reprint it’s at the very edge) makes me wonder if it may have been traced via lightbox instead. At any rate, comparing the two side-by-side does make it clear that the art has been retouched as well as it having been relettered–in addition to the lines around the bell jar, compare the stray lines on Batman’s suit between versions.

(The Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics is indeed photographed from an original copy, BTW; that’s what I used for comparison. It also makes it clear, as you can see in the comparsion panels, that the reprint was recolored with much more subdued tones than the original; compare the shade of blue on the metal plate the hostage is sitting on. Although that’s one case where the recoloring probably brings it closer to the original intention, as it’s clearly meant to look like steel, not someone’s living room rug.)

“So, uh, am I remembering that right? Was Cougar originally meant to be an X-Man? Does anyone care?! ”

This is covered in Cmic Book Urban Legends #102.

Quote:
Nothing to do with this week’s column but was re-reading Legends last night and was wondering if you could address the “Sun Spot” character who had the StarBrand uniform and motif and was rambling about “creating a NEW UNIVERSE”

From what I understand, that was a joke John Byrne made at Jim Shooter’s expense. Much like Byrne blowing up Shooter’s hometown Pittsburgh in Star Brand.

I recall that in the original Lone Ranger TV series, the Ranger’s mask was purple. The apparent reason was that purple would look better (higher contrast?) when televised in black and white. Makes me wonder if someone’s wires got crossed.

“It was so much painstaking work that it put Giffen off doing Legion entirely, and he left the book after finishing the poster (he returned a few years later, but by which point, he had abandoned the art style he had used during his initial run on the book).”

That sounds like a comic book legend to me. Hint, hint.

Quote:
Nothing to do with this week’s column but was re-reading Legends last night and was wondering if you could address the “Sun Spot” character who had the StarBrand uniform and motif and was rambling about “creating a NEW UNIVERSE”

From what I understand, that was a joke John Byrne made at Jim Shooter’s expense. Much like Byrne blowing up Shooter’s hometown Pittsburgh in Star Brand.”

And don’t forget Bryne’s “Ben De Roy” (anagram for The Beyonder, Shooter’s pet character) in Byrne’s first Mxyzptlk story in Superman.

Hmmm… it’s sounding like we could get a whole urban legends column out of Bryne’s in-jokes about Shooter!

I checked another Detective reprint, Detective #627 (“celebrating Batman’s 600th appearance in Detective one issue too late”), and it’s the same relettered, retouched version that’s in the Archive. Since it came out a year earlier, it’s clear that they just used an older master for the Archive and Theakstonizing probably wasn’t involved, at least.

(For reference, I compared the oldest comic I have that I also have in multiple reprint sources–Superboy #98, from 1961, which was also reprinted in the LSH Archives and Showcase Presents. Unsurprisingly, they used the same source for both the reprints. Comparing them to the original–and this one probably was Theakstonized, since that was the practice of the time and it’s not that rare a comic–some fine blacks were retouched, but you have to look closely to notice, and it wasn’t relettered. The difference is most noticeable in panels where the artist used small black dots for texture on a brick wall or wooden floor; in the reprint they’re smaller and fewer.)

Another edit from the original Detective #27 was that a balloon at the end of the story where the killer vows he won’t be sent to the electric chair was deleted. This edit also appeared in Detective Comics #387.

Anyone know where I can find a bigger picture of that Legion collage? I want to see how many legionaries I can name by heart.

It amazes me that not one single comment here has mentioned the obvious – that DC changed Batman’s purple gloves so he seems less feminine and therefore less gay.

Thanks for the Dark Empire story. Still never understood why Lucas didn’t go ahead and make Dark Empire into the next set of sequels instead of making Episodes 1 – 3.

Good call, Adam.

Dark Empire WAS quite good. It would have made a nice film series.

And once more on the subject of the costume recoloring, Daredevil’s yellow and black costume is sometimes given highlights to it, making it either yellow & brown or yellow & red. Go figure.

As for Batman’s purple gloves, clearly he stole them from the Joker.

It’s interesting, but I recall reading in Comic Book Marketplace a few years back, that when Joe Simon was designing the Batman costume, Eisner, who was his editor at the time, told him to avoid the purple after the initial appearance, so they could resist any comparisons to The Phantom, who was a very popular radio character at that time, and owned by Atlas Comics, which was the 1940s name of Marvel. I don’t remember much else, except several artists from Eisner’s stable did re-designs on the Batman costume, to make him more appear like his predecessors The Shadow and The Black Terror. I love comics history and this was great to be reminded of it! Hopefully Batman’s purple gloves will make an appearance in the next movie coming out!!

DickAyersFan112

December 2, 2007 at 4:37 pm

I think I recall reading the same issue, CitizenX. I believe in 2003 they had a certain section in every issue that revealed secrets from the Golden Age. One I remember finding very interesting was a story about DC wanting to buy the rights to Archie characters. Their plan was to have Jimmy Olsen become Namor’s sidekick and have the pair constantly arguing, and Namor constantly saving Jimmy Olsen in the same manner as Batman did Robin. DC wanted Archie Andrews to replace Jimmy Olsen at the Daily Bugle and constantly be making wisecracks towards Clark Kent. There was also talk of Jughead becoming a love intrest for Lois Lane. However, Maxwell Gaines, who owned Archie Comics at the time refused the offer.

Uhhhhhhhh…. no disrespect AyersFan, but I don’t believe National or DC had any access to Charlton/Harvey characters, even though they published Tarzan, and a Shazam Captain Marvel title in the 1980s, they leased these franchises I believe. But I don’t think that sounds so far-fetched, that they could consider taking the characters over. I think I heard something about it, when Simon And Kirby left Atlas after producing the first 10 issues of Fighting American, they were going to take The Human Torch and The Red Raven, 2 of Atlas’s most popular characters, to DC with them..!! Thats what they should do for the next Urban Legends Revealed, even if that Comic Book Marketplace article said a few things about it. But I didn’t know they were going to use the Harvey Comics characters in DC. Imagine Jughead and the Newsboy Legion, or the Boy Commandos and the Young Allies together! That would have been something to see…!

Coloring mistakes do vary from the comes later. But to keep continuity alot of companies will retouch things. So it doesn’t surprise me what they did with Batman. Look at the Spectre. His color scheme was different originally; yet check the DC archives and his color is exactly the same.

This retroactive Orwellian brush job disturbs me. In an attempt to make everything match, they risk making people ignorant of the flubs to begin with. That implies that people are not allowed to see errors and think for themselves.

Aquaman originally wore yellow gloves.

Oh, it’s true.

Millennium Edition: Detective Comics 27 (2000 series) #nn (February 2000) : in this reprint, the gloves are purple

Yes, but as I have pointed out, they would not want to have kept the purple gloves due to comparisons to THE PHANTOM… comic companys were very concerned about this back in the 1950s, you will remember Captain Shazam had his all red costume and its one of the reasons DC sued Charlton over claiming Shazam was/is a copy of Superman and The Flash. So, it’s all editorial.

Um, I assume that Citizen X. and DickAyersFan are joking? Or at least one of them is joking at the other one’s expense?

interesting how the dc direct 1st app. batman figure has purple gloves,and open hands. when he was re-released as part of the ‘batman thru the ages’ 4-pack,however,his gloves were changed to blue,and his hands are in a closed fist for both hands.

another interesting tidbit as well as to how dark horse was able to gain the sw license from marvel,who once again dropped the ball by not printing dark empire,not realizing how much sw would become popular once more w/the printing of this series. shame :-(

Joking about what? Are you really unaware how many changes in the world of collectables and comics are the result of editorial influence, Eric? And it still goes on today.

The “empty for color” or black comments are interesting. Other instances I remembering about were years ago with some Marvel heroes.

1. Daredevil’s second costume was actually solid black leather with red highlights / reflections (I could believe that with Wally Wood’s art, maybe with Colan’s).

2. The Moon Knight’s costume was supposedly black with white highlights, but most of the time it looked exactly the opposite to me.

Slightly larger version of the Giffen poster: http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/paulnewell/legion/losh05.jpg

Couldn’t find the Levitz Grid in that Google Books thing.

Finally, regarding Joe Simon and Will Eisner and Batman…they had nothing to do with the creation or design of Batman. There’s a reason for Bob Kane and Bill Finger being credited with creating the character, and that reason is simple: THEY DID.

Lawrence Fechtenberger

December 4, 2007 at 11:02 am

You have it all wrong, Jono11. It was Harvey Kurtzman who created Batman, while he was working for the Jerry Iger shop.

Jono,
I have been a comics historian for my own pleasure, I love this hobby, since I got into comics with The Death Of Superman, issue #75, I *STILL* have the 14 first copies I bought, because I have a passion for this stuff. I read about these things over the years and alot of this stuff goes on, I dont think people realize. Anyway, The Phantom might not be beans today, but back in the 1950s he was a real legendary character so of course he was an influence.

DickAyersFan112

December 4, 2007 at 5:19 pm

CitizenX raises alot of good points there. The Phantom was a very popular character in the 50’s, I recal seeing photos of my Uncle Tracy dressed as him for Halloween one year. The 50’s was a goldmine of classic characters, Spider Man, Captain Shazam, The Blue Beetle, the list goes on.

and remember, the 50s also had a great range of genres: Westerns, Romance Comics, Comics About Genies, Gangster Comics, Underwater Comics, Nature Comics, and Horror Comics! “Cavern Of Chills” and “Tunnel of Terror” and all those great old hokey scary comics were a big influence and led directly to the creation of MAD Magazine, I read in a book about comics.

Hey, you’re welcome!

Not that I’m the original scanner, but the thought is the thing that counts, right?

whatever CitizenX is drinking, I want some. never have I seen such a bungling of misinformation and mis-remebering facts in regard to some of the most pivotal moments of comic book history.

to add to that, you have some proclaiming to be a fan of Dick Ayers adding more misdirection to the thread! please keep your ridiculous comments to yourself until you have checked and double-checked your facts!

DickAyersFan112

December 6, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Bill Angus… you honestly need to calm down. Comic books are fiction, they aren’t real life. I came to this expecting to have some friendly conversation, not to be yelled at. Excuse me for making some honest mistakes… unlike you I have a life and I dont review comic facts in my head all day.

“and I dont review comic facts in my head all day.”

well, that much is obvious!

this column is a great part of comics lore to visit, and we don’t need the kind of additudes that some other comic book messageboards get between posters. if you have something to contribute, do it- otherwise, try to edit yourself or know what you are refering to. this is mostly for CitizenX, because some of the things he remembers, i can tell he is “misremembering” and quite frankly, claiming Joe Simon had something to do with Batman is not only embarassing, it is slightly offensive.

Yes. Offensive.

JESUS CHRIST GET A GRIP

Don’t feed the trolls, guys.

Alex Ross did design the Batman doll that came with the Treasury Edition.
You can find the model sketches in “Mythology: the DC Art of Alex Ross”.

Wilbur Lunch,

Thanks for the info on my question. Small Potatoes as far as the myths usually here but had my curiosity!

Boy, I yearn for the days when Giffen drew like he did for the Legion poster. I absolutely hate that style he had(has?) in the 90s.

[…] TheForce.net tiene la liga de Comic Book Resources que nos confirma el mito de que el comic Dark Empire iba a ser publicado por Marvel. El mismo creador de la historia, Tom Veitch, cuenta la historia de cómo Marvel dejó perder la licencia de Star Wars. […]

I guess it could just be the scan, but the quality of the “ORIGINAL” Bat-Man pages looks way better than the re-colored reprint. Is that a scan issue? Or were the re-print images intentionally made to look “older”?

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