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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #141

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

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Joe Kelly and Steven Seagle originally planned on killing off Storm.

STATUS: True.

Writers Joe Kelly and Steven Seagle had a short, yet entertaining, run on the two main X-Titles in the late 90s, but perhaps their most memorable story was one they never got a chance to write.

The pair had planned a major storyline where the X-Men would face off against Magneto, for the fate of the very Earth itself!!

The X-Men were to wake up in a mutant concentration camp, only to discover that it is a demonstration by Magneto of what the world will be like soon if they do not intervene. Eventually, some members of the X-Men would be swayed by Magneto’s rhetoric, even after he uses his powers to tilt the world on its axis (and threatens to do even more damage to the planet), so the team would be split over Magneto’s war.

Ultimately, Storm would use all her powers to fix the Earth, but would die in the process.

As you might imagine, this story was considered a bit too much for the X-Office to handle, particularly the death of Storm.

Instead, once Kelly and Seagle left the book, a toned down version of this story was written by Alan Davis and Fabian Nicieza (with Magneto clone, Joseph, being the sacrifice instead of Storm – although I believe Joseph might have been a possible casualty in Kelly and Seagle’s story, as well).

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Thanks to Joe Kelly and Wizard Magazine’s Mike Cotten (Wizard has since taken down the article by Cotten, or else I’d link you to it) for the information!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC attempted to avoid controversy with a title by adding a “k” to the title.

STATUS: True.

Books of Magic, Neil Gaiman’s 1990 mini-series, introduced us to Tim Hunter, a young boy who could grow up to become the most powerful magician in the DC Universe.

The character was popular enough to get his own ongoing series in the 90s.

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The series ran for a number of years, and had a sequel series, with a slightly older Tim, called Hunter: The Age of Magic, which ran from 2001 to 2003.

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Around the same time that series ended, DC and HarperCollins began releasing a series of novels starring Tim Hunter, mostly novelized versions of earlier Tim Hunter stories (when he was younger), presumably to capitalize on the vast popularity of a certain other novel series with a certain other bespectacled young magician.

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In 2004, though, DC got ready to launch their latest Books of Magic project, with writer Si Spencer (with assistance from the great Neil Gaiman, himself!). This story would continue the aging of Tim Hunter, and he would now be a young adult (although, do note, that this series stars an alternate version of Tim, sorta like the Ultimate universe).

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This, though, would cause a bit of a problem, as having a comic with an adult Tim Hunter dealing with certain adult behavior (including nudity and sex) at the same time there is a Books of Magic children’s book series would cause a bit of a problem.

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DC’s solution was interesting – they simply added a “K” to the end of the name, and the book was now called Books of Magick, with the additional “Life During Wartime” subtitle, which, as you can see above, takes up the vast majority of the logo of the comic book.

It was a nice series, and the book’s writer, Si Spencer, is currently doing a good series for Vertigo called Vinyl Underground.

Thanks to Neil Gaiman (via his journal here) for the story of the name change!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Jerry Ordway threatened to quit DC Comics over a Christmas story featuring Supergirl.

STATUS: False.

Reader Joe Cabrera asked:

Did Jerry Ordway really threaten to quit working on the Superman books in the late 1980’s because he was angry that DC implied that Supergirl was still alive in the story “Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot” from Christmas with the Super-Heroes #2?

Joe is referring to the story, written by Alan Brennert, in the 1989 Christmas one-shot, where the soul of Kara Zor-El appears to Deadman to cheer him up for the holidays.

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The problem with that, if you were working on the Superman titles, is that part of the reboot after Crisis is that there never WAS a Kara Zor-El in the DC Universe, so she could not be appearing to Deadman in a comic, now could she?

But would this really anger Jerry Ordway enough to threaten to quit over it?

I asked Ordway, and he explained that no, he was never in a position to lose his job, but that yes, he was displeased over the situation.

From Ordway’s (and most likely, the Superman office as a whole) position, the story, while certainly innocuous on Brennert’s part, was a sign that DC was not being consistent with the position they promised when John Byrne relaunched the title and, as Ordway says:

Even after John left the books, Carlin fought many battles on our behalf, to keep what we were doing consistent across the other books in the DCU. I have always felt strongly that a company should keep their characters consistent, as a service to readers. I think Julie Schwartz tried to keep his era’s incarnation of the Man of Steel consistent in both tone and look, and we all tried to do the same. The creators working on a character need to have some power to exercise their control, so, for example, a huge Superman moment, continuity wise, appears in a Superman title, not Booster Gold, or Legion or Blue Devil.

So no, Jerry Ordway did not threaten to quit over the story, but yeah, it was a cause of irritation.

Thanks to Joe for the question and thanks so much to Jerry for the information!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for all this week’s covers!

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!

89 Comments

Wow, with all due respect to Jerry Ordway and the rest of his team of Superman creators from that period, the Alan Brennert story was a brilliant, classic story that brings a tear to my eye each time I read it. I really don’t think it damages the continuity or consistency of the Superman universe.

“Instead, once Kelly and Seagle left the book, a toned down version of this story was written by Alan Davis and Fabian Nicieza (with Magneto clone, Joseph, being the sacrifice instead of Storm – although I believe Joseph might have been a possible casualty in Kelly and Seagle’s story, as well).”

Wow, is there anyone in the Marvel Universe who doesn’t have a clone?

Wanda should have said “No More Clones!”

It’s probably worth noting that the addition of that “k” to “magick” is not arbitrary; it’s an archaic spelling, often used by self-described practitioners to distinguish what they do (affecting probability by an effort of the will) from what stage magicians do (sleight of hand illusions)—which, whether you believe in the former or not, seems to me a useful distinction to make.

So the series was always about magick-with-a-k, right from the beginning; the spelling has more significance than just OMFG kEwl & EDgY LOL!!one!

It was a nice series, and the book’s writer, Si Spencer, is currently doing a good series for Vertigo called Vinyl Underground.

It certainly was, I picked up the first trade and looked forward to the next one which was never released…

Isn’t it funny how Marvel balked at the idea of killing Storm, even though (editorially mandated marriage to Black Panther aside) she hasn’t really done anything since the time that story was nixed?

I’ve always felt DC really missed out by not trying to establish Tim Hunter in other media and media outlets, especially in light of how well Harry Potter did- the first miniseries came out in 1990, and the first Potter book came out in 1995. DC had essentially the same character first, but I guess it just wasn’t doable at the time. You can say the same thing about Rugrats vis-a-vis Sugar and Spike

Is that Christmas With the Super-Heroes cover by Stephen DeStefano?

I’ve heard also that the Seagle/Kelly run was victim of editorial interferences many times, I remember reading that they wanted to bring Phoenix back, but, when the plot was being more than subtly hinted, they had to change it to that awful mad-crowns attacks in Alaska, and they wanted to kill-off Psylocke during the Psi-War, but that plan was aborted as well, could you investigate those two?

Even the artist of that saga (Germán García) penciled a cover/splash page/adv for that event

http://dreamers.com/asturieta/stormgaleria.htm

Tom Fitzpatrick

February 8, 2008 at 8:03 am

Dammit! I would have LOVED to see Storm killed off!!!

Hell, with the exception of Logan, I would love to see ALL of the X-men killed off.

Sigh.

Just Storm would have been fine for me – of all the All-new All different X-Men she was always the one I had least affinity for.

I too have always disliked Storm. She’s consistently one of the most boring characters in comics.

I never knew they even attempted to make Time Hunter novels. Guess he wasn’t the next big thing, huh?

I’d never heard that Jerry Ordway legend before. The story I heard about that Kara appearance was that Mark Waid was fired as an editor as a result of including her post-Crisis. Of course, I seem to recall that head honcho Dick Giordano inked that story, so I always figured that probably wasn’t true.

But they can’t kill Storm – since most of the X-Men were white guys (still are, too), they hit the diversity jackpot by hiring a black woman…

“Isn’t it funny how Marvel balked at the idea of killing Storm, even though (editorially mandated marriage to Black Panther aside) she hasn’t really done anything since the time that story was nixed?”

As far as I can tell, being a black woman is doing enough for Marvel to want to keep her around.

I can’t fault them for that. Also, you could say the same basic thing, minus *any* editorially mandated stories, about a lot of X-Men, couldn’t you?

Mark Waid was fired as editor from DC because he threw a typewriter at a fellow employee. Waid was also fired from Fantagraphics for similar hotheaded behavior.

Jerry Ordway might not have quit over the story, but I do believe that the editor of the book, Mark Waid was fired, which eventually led to his writing career and taking over the Flash, way back when.

Storm only got interesting after she lost her powers. And then it was only for a little while. When she first lost them, and had to learn to live with no powers and fight tooth and nail, she suddenly became interesting. Once she got used to it though, she got boring again.

For me, she was cool from the time she lost her powers, until she beat Cyclops to take over the X-men. Her victory, without powers, was her peak, but after that…meh.

Yes, that’s a Stephen DeStefano pencilled cover. Most of his signature got cropped off, though you can see half of his distinctive bullseye right above the upc box behind Aquaman.

And it’s a Dick Giordano pencil & ink job on the Deadman story. Hadn’t he left DC editorial by then though?

“I can’t fault them for that. Also, you could say the same basic thing, minus *any* editorially mandated stories, about a lot of X-Men, couldn’t you?”

Fair enough. Storm’s just never done much for me (Mohawk Powerless Storm aside).

Then again, Joseph the Magneto Clone definitely needed to die, so the change to the story wasn’t all that bad, in the end.

Storm was for a long time my favorite X-Man, but after Claremont left (the first time) no one seemed to know what to do with her. Lobdell has said as much himself in interviews, though she did have some good moments under his pen (the first incursion of the Phalanx against Storm, Yukio, and Gambit comes to mind).

After Lobdell left, things got worse. There was a glimmer of interesting stuff in the margins of the STORM mini series (which Ellis wrote before he was ELLIS), but you can see where Kelly and Seagle thought they could get more bang for their buck out of killing her off. I for one, am tremendously grateful they did not.

Post-Revolution, I thought Claremont resumed doing some good stuff with her in X-TREME (and finally the “voice” was right again), but with things like Storm The Arena it seemed he was retreading old ground.

All this to say, by the time she was betrothed to Black Panther, I was actually quite relieved to see her get something new to do, and it has led to an expanded role for the character throughout the Marvel U.

Plus, say what you will— I really like Regie Hudlin, and I think his take on Ororo is the first fresh one we’ve had since Claremont and Paul Smith decided to shave her head.

Brian from Canada

February 8, 2008 at 10:32 am

Isn’t it funny how Marvel balked at the idea of killing Storm, even though (editorially mandated marriage to Black Panther aside) she hasn’t really done anything since the time that story was nixed?

Marvel balks at the death of any character that has some level of recognizability outside of the comics. Storm is just one of three X-Men to have been in all film versions of the team, and the only woman of the three (Cyclops and Wolverine being the two others).

And with the X-Men feature film then a distinct possibility, telling Fox they couldn’t have her wasn’t going to be on their agenda.

That led to the problem of what to do about Storm afterwards. You can’t make her deputy leader because that’s what Scott is; Claremont’s solution was to give her an X-squad of her own, but the X-Treme X-Men book wasn’t strong enough to stand on her own.

So they just let her hang around in the background. And, looking for something to do with Black Panther, someone in editorial made the leap of marrying him off to another african hero… of which there’s just Storm to fit the bill. (Some stories had also hinted a relationship in the past.)

I thought it was Lobdell who’d planned to kill Storm? [after ending O:ZT with Magneto ripping the Helicarrier apart and putting the X-Men in a Camp, rather than the ending that we got]

I don’t think I’ve ever really mentioned it, but I love this series. It’s just really fun and educational every single time.

Thanks, guys.

Gail

Interesting about Books of Magick. I miss Tim Hunter. Although I thought the Tim from Life During Wartime was the actual Tim, and he just went to an alternate universe or some such. Could be wrong.

All this fuss way back when over Supergirl’s ghost and now DC’s managed to undo just about every change that the Crisis on Infinite Earths brought about… and they seemingly change Superman’s origin every other month, too!

Waid did not really throw a typewriter did he?

Seriously that guy needs to be on meds.

“Post-Revolution, I thought Claremont resumed doing some good stuff with her in X-TREME (and finally the “voice” was right again), but with things like Storm The Arena it seemed he was retreading old ground.”

Don’t you dare criticize that story! Storm – The Arena is my favorite comic saga ever!

Hey peeps-

So, in addition to the ‘k’ added to the Life During Wartime: Books of Magick to avoid issue, I’m 99% sure that another comic had to change it’s name to avoid issue with this one.

I remember reading on Brian Wood’s blog when he was first talking about his series ‘Life During Wartime’ which would feature embedded photo journalist in an alternate-reality Manhattan plagued by civil war.

I believe he even released some sketch/promo art featuring the ‘Life During Wartime’ title…

Life During Wartime: Books Of Magick came out maybe 6 months before Brian Wood’s book, and with both titles being published by DC/Vertigo… Wood’s book became DMZ.

I think…

I always loved that Supergirl/Deadman story myself, and if anything I considered it to be a very clear “Kara really is gone from DC continuity, but in a sense her spirit lives on in a breaking-fourth-wall kind of way, not in a going-to-show-up-again kind of way” — rather like the (also by Brennert) Black Canary history and death story in Secret Origins #50, where when the Golden Age B.C. dies, the Spectre says to her that she will see old friends again, some of whom had been forgotten after the winds of change had passed or something like that — again, nothing which interfered with the new continuity, just kind of that their souls or such were not destroyed with Crisis. Which, considering how creepy that would be, was always fine with me.

But honestly I’m much more pleased with the return of the multiple worlds and realities than the unified Earth nowadays. :)

David

I thought the same things about those stories David.

The Kara story was a great story. In a one-shot book, I don’t see how it could have really harmed the Superman books.

But man, those books were great back then. One of the best eras in Supes’ long history, IMHO.

Chris

I guess the story about Ordway just goes to show that the writers and editors can be just as narrow minded as we fans. That Kara story is a harmless and charming Christmas story with absolutely no effect on any story anyone wants to tell in the universe at that time.

Considering the huge problems they created with Hawkman continuity and other characters, this seemed a rather silly and trivial thing to be upset about. (And as time goes by, more and more I feel that continuity of any kind is a pretty silly and trivial thing to get upset about, especially considering the constant retcons of the past 5 years at DC and Marvel..)

I’ve heard that JK Rowling READ Books of Magic BEFORE creating Harry Potter, and that Niel Gaiman was such a fan of it that he chose not to sue, and that a certain “Undisclosed Ammount” of Rowling’s VAST fortune exchanged hands with either Gaiman, DC, or both, to hush that whole deal up.

Any truth to that Urban Legend?

Fitz

Hey, thanks for using my question. I was wondering about that particular scuttlebutt for all these years.

While I can see Jerry’s point, I have to say that I’ve loved every story Alan Brennert has ever written. He’s a great writer with an incredible respect for the older generation of DC characters that I miss a great deal today. In this case it was worth sidestepping continuity here a bit. Heck, it’s what made the story and gave it that usual Brennert punch. Besides, when it comes to specials like Holiday issues, you already prepare yourself to let go of sticking to the book a bit whether or not you realize it.

I would have loved to see Kelly & seagle cut loose on the X-Men- that era could have been better (and longer) if not for editorial constraints.

Count me in on loving the Deadman/Kara Zor-El story.

I also love that PAD burnt through so much pre-Crisis Supergirl stuff with his great post-Crisis series, which has kind of made the re-introduction of Kara Zor-El difficult: Linda Danvers, Midvale, Dick Malvern, Comet, and Streaky (never introduced, just constantly wandering around Midvale). Really, I think that part of why the current Supergirl is floundering is that they couldn’t just base her in a rehash of all of her pre-Crisis nostalgia like they do other post-Crisis re-introductions and instead they have to emphasize how super-awesome her supernavel is.

nightwingoracle

February 8, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Responding to: Storm is just one of three X-Men to have been in all film versions of the team, and the only woman of the three (Cyclops and Wolverine being the two others).

Wasn’t Jean Grey and Rogue also in all three of the X-Men movies? As well as Iceman and Prof. X?

“Wasn’t Jean Grey and Rogue also in all three of the X-Men movies? As well as Iceman and Prof. X?”

Well, you can say that Jean Grey wasn’t actually on the team in the third movie, and Rogue and Iceman weren’t officially on the “team” until the second one.

Senator David Poundcake

February 8, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Hey, aren’t those Frank Quitely covers great?

Here’s a question for all you Krazy Komicbook Kids: which celebrity looks most like a Frank Quitely drawing? I’d say Jennifer Garner.

Poundcake for President!!

No question the Kara/Deadman story was wonderful. But DC got very touchy about not undoing the Crisis changes back then (yeah, yeah, I know)–when Action Weekly went back to monthly, Neil Gaiman (pre-fame) did a story to tie it all up and it got nixed (though reprinted several years later) because it showed GL knowing Superman’s secret identity thereby violating post-Crisis continuity!!!!

Personally I thought Storm’s highest moment was getting potato salad in her face in Iron Fist #15–Claremont tended to write her so sedate and unflappable, it was novel to see her totally at a loss.

I hate the spelling “magick”–it’s the kind of pretentious old-style spelling that ranks with “shoppe” in my list of annoyances.

“I’ve heard that JK Rowling READ Books of Magic BEFORE creating Harry Potter, and that Niel Gaiman was such a fan of it that he chose not to sue, and that a certain “Undisclosed Ammount” of Rowling’s VAST fortune exchanged hands with either Gaiman, DC, or both, to hush that whole deal up.

Any truth to that Urban Legend?”

Nope.

http://januarymagazine.com/profiles/gaiman.html

I guess I can believe that the Kelly/Seagle run was so bad because of editorial interference, but there’s no denying how awful the dialogue and characterizations were.

Regarding Mark Waid – I don’t think any of you have it right.

First off, Waid is an extremely cool guy, and I don’t know about throwing any typewriters at fellow staff. It may have happened, but it wasn’t the reason for the dismissal.

The Fantagraphics firing was over some issues with AMAZING HEROES, where Waid stood his ground over Gary Groth and Kim Thompson. As we all know, if you don’t drink the kool-aid over there with those two, you don’t work there.

The reason was the changes that occured in the LEGION OF SUPERHEROES book that Waid edited, when he and Keith Giffen moved the characters ahead five years and gave the book a very dark tone. The changes didn’t work to DC’s satisfaction sales-wise, and in some editorial changes to change all of that, Waid lost his job. As we all know, he went on to years of success as a writer at DC, so they were obviously happy to have him write for them, as the changes were only to editorial.

I didn’t know Dylan Horrocks wrote any mainstream comics. I used to love Pickle. His DC stuff any good?

I find it difficult to believe the people took the Deadman Christmas story so seriously. Jeez, it was a wink at readers, but as far as I can recall, they never used “Supergirl”, “Cousin” “Zor-El” “Kryptonian” or any thing except “Kara” and a dedication to past Supergirl creators — absolutely meaningless to anyone who didn’t remember the character anyway, and the story clearly wasn’t bringing her back.

While we’re on the subject of the post-crisis Superman, I heard a rumor that the creator of Lori Lemaris (Otto Binder?) got royalties from the post-Crisis issue that retold her story, just like Jack Kirby got royalties for redesigning the New Gods for the Super Powers Action Figures. Is that true?

“No denying the dialogue and characterizations were so bad,” huh? Well, then I’m in denial. Okay, Seagle’s efforts weren’t great, but I dug Kelly’s X-Men stories. Waaaaaay better than most of Lobdell’s, and even some of Claremont’s.

I realize Maggott isn’t everyone’s favorite character, but Marrow’s personal growth, Cecelia’s personality, the banter between Beast & Cecelia, Psylocke’s last stand (which was undone or forgotten in her next appearance), Cannonball coming into his own, Wolverine and Storm being out of their depths with the new status quo… it went off the rails with “Hunt for Xavier,’ but much of the 10 or so issues before that still stand out in my memory.

Hey all, I recall liking that Alan Brennert Supergirl story myself, and to be honest, quality of these stories were never a part of any problems. The problem is, when you are entrusted to tell stories of Superman, or any other character for a company, you play by the rules. If another editor had a story about Batman being dead, for example, then we couldn’t do a story in current time with him being alive, as it undermines the Batman creators storyline. With something like Supergirl, everyone was told to support the various relaunches, and also continuity that arose from Crisis on Infinte Earths, so for all practical purposes in the DC Universe, she didn’t exist. That would’ve been my main complaint about doing a new story about a character who was effectively removed from continuity, whether it was Streaky the Supercat, or Supergirl. Keep in mind I had no say in killing off Supergirl, or Streaky:) The conceit of Crisis was that none of the characters were to remember any of it, other than a great battle had been won. No memory of Earth Two, no memory of Huntress or Supergirl, etc. Only Psycho Pirate had memories, and he was locked in an asylum. When Byrne was still on Superman, there were many battles in editorial, from editors and creators who just didn’t want to play along with the new revamped continuity, and seemed determined to undermine what we were trying to do. We were trying to do a young Superman, not a 50 year old character. When John left, Carlin, Stern and I were left to keep it going, and while it seems silly nowadays ,where heroes’ histories are totally convoluted, others still tried to roll back the revamp and add back things they liked. As DC had entrusted the character to us, it was our battle to fight.If there was to be a Supergirl, it was our job to reintroduce her. Each creator or editorial office controlling a DC character fought similar battles to defend their continuity as well. The battles were all silly, but that era of DC finally had a cohesive continuity to rival Marvel, which was the goal. Best,JER

‘…I hate the spelling “magick”–it’s the kind of pretentious old-style spelling that ranks with “shoppe” in my list of annoyances…’

while I’m not a big fan of “shoppe”, “olde”, and the like, I believe the spelling of “magicK” goes back to (or at least was attributed to) Aleister Crowley.

Probably to distinguish between the “hocus-pocus” type of magic, and the scary Golden Dawn type of stuff.

I understand your point of view, Mr. Ordway. But I just re-read the story and it goes out of its way to stress that Deadman doesn’t know who Kara is and that even the name rings no bells for him. So the story certainly didn’t violate the “no one but Psycho Pirate remembers them” rule.

In fact, there is nothing in the story that specifically says she is the ghost of Supergirl. We, the readers know that, but nothing in the fictional universe of the story indicates that…beyond her blond hair and unusual name.

I get that the elements of the Superman legend were entrusted to your group. But clearly, no one was trying to re-introduce an ongoing character under the guise of Kara Zor-El, Supergirl of Krypton.

Yes, I agree, Mark Waid’s office should have gotten the approval of the Superman office. But I also think that they SHOULD have approved the story, for it is a realy wonderful story and really in no way damaged the Superman legend as it was being reinvented by your team.

“And it’s a Dick Giordano pencil & ink job on the Deadman story. Hadn’t he left DC editorial by then though?”

That special was published in 1989; Giordano retired from his editorial position around ’93 or so.

No, Storm… don’t.. die… zzzzz.

Storm just can’t get any respect.

Books of Magic >>>> Harry Potter

To me at least, especially the original mini-series. I used to push that TPB so hard in the comic shops I used to run.

Always wondered about the similarities!

Glad to hear SOMEBODY got fired for “Five Years Later”.

My childhood disappointment in comics when Kara died and was wiped out was at least put at ease a bit with that Christmas story.

It not only gave readers a glimpse of this continuity lost hero, but also showed just how great a hero she really was.

Deadman no longer knew who she was, and when she mentioned what made a hero, she said that heroes do what they’re supposed to do not for glory but because it’s right … even if they don’t remember you … even if they never remembered you existed.

At the time, they were so anti-Supergirl that they actually would not refer to her as such. It was either “Girl with the ‘S’ on her chest” or “S_p_r_g_rl”, and so the story was also a way to show that not everyone at DC felt that way, and gave Kara’s creators (well, Al Plastino actually designed Kara, but Jim Mooney undoubtedly defined the early Supergirl) some reference and respect.

It was ridiculous actually that they had to wipe out Kara. Kal-El was once again the lone Kryptonian since she was dead after all, well, they could have just said all the others floating around died too.

In any case, it is ironic in some ways to think that Jerry Ordway felt the way he did about Kara, and yet seemed happy to contribute a trading card for current Kara.

Peter David did do wonders for Supergirl, and he also brought in not only a reincarnated Kara Zor-El, but her actual spirit, and then ultimately herself.

As Supergirl’s biggest fan, :P I have to say that I’m just so happy that Kara is a player again in the DC universe, and I can enjoy comics again just like when I was a child. [ lthough I grew to love Linda, and wish DC could utilize her as well, I have always loved Kara the most, so at least Linda had a send off by Peter David as “Lin” in Fallen Angel.]

“For me, she was cool from the time she lost her powers, until she beat Cyclops to take over the X-men. Her victory, without powers, was her peak, but after that…meh.”

You are aware that defeat was retconned, right? It was later revealed it was Madelyne Pryor (Cyclop’s then-wife, later revealed as a crazy Jean Grey clone) who telepathically messed with his mind enough so that Storm could take him by surprise and win.

Hey, I’m not saying I agree, I’m saying that was the explanation given later. I guess somebody at Marvel didn’t like Cyclops losing to Storm on his own.

“Glad to hear SOMEBODY got fired for “Five Years Later”. ”

Yeah gawd forbid characters ever be matured or changed in any meaningful way.

“The pair had planned a major storyline where the X-Men would face off against Magneto, for the fate of the very Earth itself!!”

uhmmm… isn´t that the description of almost all X-men storylines?

Regarding Mark Waid – I don’t think any of you have it right.

First off, Waid is an extremely cool guy, and I don’t know about throwing any typewriters at fellow staff. It may have happened, but it wasn’t the reason for the dismissal.

The Fantagraphics firing was over some issues with AMAZING HEROES, where Waid stood his ground over Gary Groth and Kim Thompson. As we all know, if you don’t drink the kool-aid over there with those two, you don’t work there.

So your argument here is, essentially “I don’t have any actual idea what happened in either of these two cases, but I like Mark Waid?”

It’s really no less valid an argument than “I don’t have any actual idea what happened in either of those two cases, but I don’t like Mark Waid.”

For the record, I nev–

–oh, hell. Forget it. I’m enjoying the ride. Keep goin’.

“For the record, I nev–

–oh, hell. Forget it. I’m enjoying the ride. Keep goin’. ”

Lol, I love this column…and the “after party” comments…all very lovely and entertaining :)

My second favorite column every week.

Oops, forgot to put my name on that last post…one more thing…unless you’ve already covered this…there was some talk about Gaiman doing another Sandman related series (of whatever length)…like 2 years back (i think)…but for some reason DC nixed the idea…now after the success of Endless Nights…why the eff would they do that? I think I heard this on Lying in the Gutters (but could be wrong). Do you know anything about this?

“Five years later” can be called a lot of things, but “mature” ain’t one of ‘em.

It’s really no less valid an argument than “I don’t have any actual idea what happened in either of those two cases, but I don’t like Mark Waid.”

Well, no.

Once upon a time, I had a spectacularly unpleasant encounter with one of Mark Waid’s co-workers at Amazing Heroes.

If I had to work with this person like he did, I would be throwing typewriters too. I’d be throwing myself out a window.

Yeah, but you have spectacularly unpleasant encounters with people all the time, Coyle.

Apodcaca: touche!

Senator David Poundcake

February 11, 2008 at 9:45 am

Yeah, Jennifer Garner, definitely… thanks for the input,guys!

Dan Coyle said

“Once upon a time, I had a spectacularly unpleasant encounter with one of Mark Waid’s co-workers at Amazing Heroes.

If I had to work with this person like he did, I would be throwing typewriters too. I’d be throwing myself out a window.”

Me. too; got an article rushed out that really shouldn’t have seen print and needed drastic edited, but…

Ironically, there was a red-bearded editor who worked for them who did magic with another article I wrote. Absolutely coated the manuscript with corrections and recommendations. Gotta love a good editor, who can make your work into something a lot better.

Count me in on the “I thought the Deadman story was a touching tribute to a character who was well-loved, but didn’t have any impact on continuity, so shouldn’t have been a point of contention” vote.

BTW, jeffhamlin, I don’t even think that Kara is that unusual a name: I dated a Kara a few years back. Of course, now I’m engaged to a Linda. You know, until just now I didn’t realize I had that much of a Supergirl fetish…

I seem to remember a rumor that Mark Waid got fired from DC over a story he wrote (or approved) for Secret Origins about the origin of the Legion Clubhouse that did an end-run around the post-Crisis Superman/LSH reboot.

If it’s the Fortress Lad story, I see no way that wouldn’t fit in the post-Crisis continuity. And it was a damn good story for something written by Gerard Jones, so who cares?

There was a Kara in my high school class too…but I think she was actually named after Kara Zor-El.

And about that Secret Origins story…there was an entirely other version of the Legion headquarters story that the Fortress Lad story replaced. According to Mark Waid in the Legion Companion, the Superman editorial office vetoed the original version of that story (with art by Kurt Schaffenberger) because it made reference to the pocket universe Superboy.

See if this gets you to page 212 of that book for that story: http://books.google.com/books?id=lEWHfXUwUAwC&pg=PA212&lpg=PA212&dq=secret+origins+legion+fortress+lad&source=web&ots=nBUnjUfFIJ&sig=Y9ngiUnqxVhr0f1dMuLZqMntKko#PPA212,M1

Not the “Fortress Lad” story, but the “Secret Origins — Legion of Super Heroes Clubhouse” story by Gerard Jones, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Ty Templeton. This story never saw print, but it had the original LSH headquarters being a back-up rocket from (pre-Crisis) Krypton, stocked by Lara with diapers, toys, etc.

It couched its subversion by implying that the rocket, like Superboy, had come from the pocket universe, but even that explanation reads, “a dimension far more colorful than their own, yet one which (at least, according to current theories) existed only in a tiny pocket of time.”

Personally, I love the story (I have a photocopied version), but I will freely admit to a great degree of ambivalence about Byrne’s reboot: there’s a lot of it that I think is brilliant, but I wish he had been willing and able to incorporate Superboy and the LSH into his new vision without the pocket universe nonsense. I really hope that Geoff Johns current storyline in Action doesn’t get driven into incomprehensibility by Editorial Policy.

The Cyclops / Storm battle wasn’t ret-conned. It was hinted in that very issue that Maddie was influencing the battle.

And, I think that the “film” versions mentioned were supposed to be referencing the cartoons. The statement doesn’t make sense if he is talking about the movies. And, off the top of my head, I think that the statement is correct in that all of the cartoon rosters only had the three members in common: Wolverine, Cyclops, and Storm.

Theno

The biggest problem with the LSH/Superboy continuity issue was the editorial insistence on Dealing With It rather than just letting it go. When the Byrne reboot came along, Superboy hadn’t been a presence in the series in years; it wouldn’t have been that hard to just not refer to him and let it go at that (much as they skipped over the Supergirl death issue when they reprinted the series in Tales of the LSH).

Then, once the Pocket Universe story had been done in LSH, it would have been okay if it had been left there as the source of all Crisis-invalidated material (not just Superboy and Mon-El). However, the way Byrne used it in Superman raised more questions than it answered, because it made it impossible to connect Pocket Universe Superboy to the pre-Crisis Superboy. If the Pocket Universe didn’t have inhabited planets other than Earth and Krypton, and its Earth didn’t have any other superheroes and its Luthor wasn’t evil, then half the pre-Crisis Superboy stories couldn’t have happened…and the story where young Luthor met the Legion couldn’t have happened…and the question of Mon-El becomes a mess…and Supergirl couldn’t have been in the LSH, which goes against the whole point of having the Pocket Universe in the first place.

Then, to top it off, shortly after the Five Year Gap series began, there was an editorial decision to eradicate the legacy of the Pocket Universe altogether…which led to the series having to interrupt its momentum early on to rewrite continuity, thus rendering all the previous efforts moot anyway…

Wow, Jerry Ordway. o.o Hi!

Oh, and that Mike Something guy. “

(totally squee-ing at the presence of both)

Well, I have a little question about Crisis, taking advantage of the fact that this CBULR touchs the issue: ¿Any page of Crisis showed how the Huntress died?. ‘Cause I remember that She was injured by the collapse of a building or something, but someone said that She wasn’t dead, but the next thing we knew about her was that Her body and Earth-2 Robin’s “were never found”…I’m maybe misremembering.
By the way, In that last issue I had hopes that in any form She could survive, but suddenly Her body was never found…
God, One becomes fond with those characters that, knowing which was the Crisis purpose, just have death in their destiny!

And other question… which was the purpose of the Angle man death?…I must confess I don’t even know who He was (I’m a Marvel reader that recently discovered crisis), and that thing of him found dead was so out of place that never made sense to me…There’s something I don’t know?

Glad Storm wasn’t killed off, she’s one of my favorite characters. Granted, she isn’t the easiest to write, but when she is written well, she’s great. The current storyline for her, tho…”Hey, let’s marry off our 2 most prominent African-American characters because….um, they made out once in a flashback story from over 20 years ago!” Ugh.

Didn’t Morrison’s Magneto (Xorneto?) threaten to pull the same stunt?

[…] Book Urban Legends Revealed” series ever runs out of material, it could just look to its own comments section, where all manner of unconfirmed (and unconfirmable, probably) rumors about Mark Waid are running […]

:Yeah gawd forbid characters ever be matured or changed in any meaningful way.”

Well, god forbid characters should violate the concept of their creation. I don’t think ‘a group of brooding adults lament about former glories” was what they had in mind when they created the Legion; and it wasn’t the concept that Legion fandom was founded on. So, anything that violates the orginal concept can be conveniently disregarded. And history shows that it always is (Legion of Three Worlds, Brand New Day, Superman: Birthright, on and on and on….)

As for the Kara story: who cares what they promised John Byrne? Why does one million dollar business deal (ie: the luring of Byrne away from Marvel) have to violate 48 years of belobed continuity?

The writers that came before Byrne (Binder, Hamilton, Shooter, Shuster) were more talented than him, so he had no right to violate their stories (nor did editorial).
With apologies to Jerry Ordway (a great artist), I think Mark Waid was doing the right thing by ‘winking’ at the audience with the Kara appearance, because he knew (as we all did) that she’d be back anyway, once DC came to their senses.

:Yeah gawd forbid characters ever be matured or changed in any meaningful way.”

Well, god forbid characters should violate the concept of their creation. I don’t think ‘a group of brooding adults lamenting about former glories” was what they had in mind when they created the Legion; and it wasn’t the concept that Legion fandom was founded on. So, anything that violates the orginal concept can be conveniently disregarded. And history shows that it always is (Legion of Three Worlds, Brand New Day, Superman: Birthright, on and on and on….)

As for the Kara story: who cares what they promised John Byrne? Why does one million dollar business deal (ie: the luring of Byrne away from Marvel) have to violate 48 years of beloved continuity?

The writers that came before Byrne (Binder, Hamilton, Shooter, Shuster) were more talented than him, so he had no right to violate their stories (nor did editorial).
With apologies to Jerry Ordway (a great artist), I think Mark Waid was doing the right thing by ‘winking’ at the audience with the Kara appearance, because he knew (as we all did) that she’d be back anyway, once DC came to their senses.

“Well, god forbid characters should violate the concept of their creation. I don’t think ‘a group of brooding adults lamenting about former glories” was what they had in mind when they created the Legion; and it wasn’t the concept that Legion fandom was founded on.”

So, in other words, your philosophy is to allow concepts to stagnate in order to please the fanboys afflicted with severe arrested development?

michael poirier

May 29, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Good guess, but not quite. My philosophy is to use the method that kept comic books selling in the MILLIONS for 70 years, which is to create good concepts, and right good stories.

Notice each ‘development’ by a writer used to ‘progess’ characters is reversed as soon as a better writer has a shot at he character?

-Superman dead
-Batman’s back broken
-Green Lantern going crazy
-Mary Jane getting pregnant

Other than going from high school to college, Spider-man didn’t really age from 1962-1988. Are you saying that the stories by Michelinie, Mackie and Stracynzski are better than the ones by Stan Lee, Gerry Conway, Roger Stern and Tom DeFalco?
What about the million copies a month that Superman sold from the 1930s to the 1960s?

Now, can you list some examples where any good writers have stooped to these soap opera-level melodrama of ‘aging’ characters that have actually been successul?

Here’s a random list for you:

Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Ed Brubaker, Warren Ellis. All pretty much universally acclaimed superhero writers. These writers do something else besides using hackneyed devices like killing off characters or marrying them off (the stuff of Dallas and Dynasty), they tell STORIES.

As long as a writer can tell stories, he doesn’t need to take a character created to be a teenager and age him.

Other examples: Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Charlie Brown, the Simpsons. All maintained YEARS of continuing stories, without resorting to soap opera cliches that contradict the purpose of the characters.

michael poirier

May 29, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Sorry about the spelling mistakes. I can’t find a place to edit on here.

-Superman dead
-Batman’s back broken

Yes, but those weren’t actual “developments” meant to “progress” a character – they were parts of a story. They were planned that way. No one sat down to write Batman getting his back broken, thinking it would stay that way. The Superman writers didn’t expect that they’d actually be ending Superman’s story.

The Mary Jane example is a good one, because that was just a move of desperation. And Hal Jordan going nuts was just a bad way to get to a good end: the change to Parallax was bad, but the original idea for the character was good…

I guess I can see being protective of character representation, but I never took most Christmas specials as hard “in-continuity” tales. I mean, I’ve never seen a Who’s Who or OHOTMU entry for Santa Claus, who they seem to encounter in most of these things, so I think a Christmas Ghost resembling Kara isn’t so bad. (And almost none of these stories are ever referenced in the main comics again; and a lot are forgettable. That issue, and story wasn’t).

Well, I certainly lost some respect for Jerry Ordway after reading this. It appears he’s too short-sighted and, dare I say, stupid, to understand what this story meant for longtime readers like myself who felt betrayed by DC’s overhaul of their continuity, kicking me in the groin and informing me none of the beloved comics of my childhood and adolescence mattered. I always felt the revisions after the Crisis were a big eff you to older fans whom DC didn’t really give a crap about anymore. Guess Jerry was in the screw-the-older-fans camp. Brennert’s touching story and its shocking revelation nearly brought a tear to my eye. Ordway can’t let me have this little crumb that in some reality the soul of Kara Zor-El still exists because it messes with his stupid continuity that had been around for about three years? I don’t like you anymore, Jerry Ordway.

Well, Ordway’s continuity just got wiped out too. DC seems to make this a habit….

“But they can’t kill Storm – since most of the X-Men were white guys (still are, too), they hit the diversity jackpot by hiring a black woman…”

Which is pathetic. They’re more interested in being politically correct than telling well written stories about interesting characters

Over the top, Stephen White. I can totally understand if you are working in the business of storytelling and you felt like you had to battle with colleagues to maintain the integrity of what you are doing, you might have a different perspective on a story like this one than the long term fan does. I have got nothing against the story – I’ve never read it, but I’ve always liked the looks of it from what I’ve seen here. But to call a creator who was working behind the scenes at the time of publication stupid because he saw it another way…that seems pretty extreme.

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