"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
This is the one-hundred and thirty-fifth 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-four. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Phil Jimenez was going to do a major relaunch of the Global Guardians.
Reader Robert Pincombe asked me awhile back on some background on something he had heard about writer/artist Phil Jimenez doing a Global Guardians relaunch.
I asked Jimenez about it, and here is what he had to say:
I have indeed pitched a Global Guardians series featuring revised versions of those characters. Doing my research years ago, I was asked by DC Comics to create a bible of all of their international characters. I wrote this bible, over 200 pages long, featuring as many characters as I could find (hundreds), cataloging their histories and powers, as well the histories of DC’s real and fake countries ( and created maps of the Earth of the DCU locating all of those countries). Unfortunately, DC Editorial and I couldn’t come to a meeting of the minds about the tone or the team, and my plans (along with cowriter Anton Kawasaki) for the Global Guardians were scrapped back in 2004, I think.
My great regret is that the new uniforms I designed for so many of the characters have never been seen, and that we couldn’t take this character and flesh them out into a real, 21st century, international Legion of International Heroes.
Robert (who has an interest in Canadian superheroes), talked to DC writer/editor, Paul Kupperberg, who actually gave Robert a glimpse at Jimenez’s encyclopedia entry for the Canadian hero, Centrix (who appeared in one panel of an issue of Justice League Quarterly).
Real Name: Mark Armstrong
Occupation: Former advertising executive; adventurer
Legal status: Canadian citizen with no criminal record
Place of birth: Selkirk, Manitoba
Marital Status: Divorced
Known relatives: Laura (ex-wife); Julie (sister)
Base of operations: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Group affiliation: The Global Guardians
First appearance: JUSTICE LEAGUE QUARTERLY #17 (winter 1994)
History: Mark Armstrong was a young, ambitious man raised in Manitoba, Canada. Mark was an excellent student, athlete, and son to his parents, mostly to compensate for his sister, a drug addict. Mark went to university in Ontario, majoring in business, and joining an advertising firm in the city. Mark became a high powered advertising executive, aquiring a vast amount of wealth through excessive work and smart investing. Mark also developed the use of his super human powers, which allowed him to create force waves in equal and opposite directions from his body. Mark perfected the use of his powers, and became one of Canada’s only public super-heroes, taking the codename Centrix.
Eventually, Mark grew disillusioned with his high powered job and the spiritual void he felt in the business world. He divorced his wife of three years, moved to British Columbia and, living off his wealth, settled in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island. Mark became a relative “hippie”, hiding his fortune from others to blend in with the simple, bed and breakfast crowd. He began studying star charts and reading tarot while, at the same time, making wise investment moves that kept his bank accounts and investments robust. He was also an avid consumer of computer gadgets. He continued to fight crime as Centrix, mostly on trips to Vancouver and his occasion returns to Ontario.
Mark was one of several recruits to the Global Guardians in its last incarnation. After watching and recording Centrix battle low level criminals in Canada for years, J’Onn J’Onzz, the Martian Manhunter, recommended Centrix to Owlwoman for membership. Unfortunately, this collection of Guardians remained together for only a short time, and Centrix returned to his home in Ladysmith.
Weight: 160 lbs.
Strength level: Centrix possesses the normal strength of a human being of his height and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.
Powers: Centrix has the ability to project invisible energy in equal and opposite directions from his body. If Centrix projects a bolt of energy north, for example, one of equal size and power will be projected from his body in a southern direction. He can create a rotating series of shapes using this energy, and is not limited to simple, large bursts of invisible energy. He can use the force as a battering ram, to lift himself aloft, and, if he focuses it, to project weaponry.
Weapons: Centrix keeps various small pellets and tips in pockets laced throughout his costume, to place in the force fields he projects from his body as weapons. Centrix also carries all sorts of computerized gadgets, ranging from a cell phone and palm pilot to a small translator, in several of those pockets.
Character notes: Centrix possesses a duality to his personality. On one hand, he’s very “spiritual” in a new age, sort of way, constantly experiment with astrology and numerology, chakra aligning, etc. to find inner, spiritual peace. On the other hand, he’s has an incredible mind for business and technology, is particularly savvy with making advancements in each. Centrix speaks English and some Canadian French. His family is Protestant, although he has chosen to embrace new age philosophy over a more traditional set of religious beliefs.
Thanks to Robert, Paul and Phil for the question and the information!
By the by, Phil, if you happen to read this, if you just so happen to have a Centrix costume drawing laying around, I know Robert would absolutely FLIP if he got to see it…just tossing that out there…hehe….
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Brian Bendis was fired from Sam & Twitch because he turned down the job writing Hellspawn.
Reader yo go re asked:
[I]s it true that Brian Bendis was fired from Sam & Twitch because he turned down the job writing Hellspawn?
Story I heard was that McFarlane asked Bendis to write the new Spawn spin-off, Hellspawn, but Bendis didn’t think he had the right “voice” for it. When he declined, Todd threw him off of Sam & Twitch, too…
This one is pretty easy to debunk because, well, Brian Michael Bendis DID write Hellspawn – he wrote the first few issues of the series.
That said, Bendis’ involvement with Todd McFarlane’s comic company is an interesting story in and of itself.
In 1999, Bendis began working on the Spawn spin-off, Sam and Twitch.
The comic was quite good, and after original series artist, Angel Medina, went to work on the main Spawn title, Bendis began working with Alex Maleev, who, as most of you know, has worked extensively with Bendis since then, primarily on their popular Daredevil run.
In 2000, Bendis helped launch the Hellspawn spin-off, with art by Ashley Wood.
Soon after, though, Bendis helped launch, for Marvel, Ultimate Spider-Man.
Bendis then asked to leave Hellspawn, at which point he was removed from both titles.
The one last bit of interest here is that, although Bendis had finished scripts for Hellspawn, his issue #6 was really written by Steve Niles…
and was credited as plot by Bendis, script by Niles, something that Bendis took issue with, as he feels the written work had nothing to do with his original version, and he felt it was wrong to use his name in conjunction with the issue.
McFarlane’s company did not think it was that big of a deal, as they felt Bendis’ plot was still sort of being used, so it was okay to use his name.
And that, as they say, is that.
The film adaptation of Torso is still going through McFarlane’s company.
Thanks to yo go re for the question!
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Sal Buscema was the original artist on Secret Wars II.
Reader Donovan wrote in to tell me that the first issue of Secret Wars II was originally drawn by Sal Buscema, NOT the published artist, Al Milgrom.
I asked Jim Shooter about it, and he said that he was not pleased with the job that Buscema did on the first issue, and that Buscema was not enjoying the series, either (Shooter said it was because of having to draw so many characters – I do not know if that would be Buscema’s take on it). Shooter countered that it was worth doing anyways, because the royalties would be high.
Buscema was still not happy doing the book, so Shooter had him removed, and had Al Milgrom and Steve Leihola re-draw the first issue, so the book would have a consistent art team throughout.
Shooter noted that Milgrom and Leihola did, in fact, make a sizable amount of royalties from the series.
Donovan mentioned seeing artwork from Buscema’s finished issue show up on eBay. If anyone has some scans of the artwork, I’d greatly appreciate it if you could send me some so I could post them here.
Thanks to Donovan for the question and Jim Shooter for the info.
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!
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