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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #148

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

Through sheer happenstance, this week’s legends all have a theme! Let’s call it – “influences”!

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Siegel and Shuster based Superman on a colorful bodybuilder named Mayo Kaan.

STATUS: Sure Seems to be False

I first read about this bizarre story over on Mark Evanier’s awesome website, News from Me, but there is also a good article at Neil Cole’s neat Superman site, The Superman Super Site.

As the story goes, bodybuilder and gym owner, Mayo Kaan first claimed that he was the inspiration for Superman in the 70s. As proof, Kaan produced a series of old photographs of himself in a Superman suit.

mayokaan.jpgsuperman9.jpg

Both men denied ever knowing Kaan, and in fact, both men denied ever being IN Massachusetts before Superman hit it big, which certainly fits with their profile prior to Superman. These were not two wealthy guys, so it seems highly unlikely that they would travel from Cleveland to Massachusetts to hire a guy to dress up as Superman for them (and, do note, that was Kaan’s story – that they traveled to Massachusetts and hired him to model for them).

DC Comics’ attorney, Lillian Laserson, stated in 1997 (when Kaan repeated the claim, rather publicly, in a series of ads in Boston magazines) that “Kaan played no role in creating the superhero’s image. Kaan’s billing himself as something he is not.” Defenders of Kaan might point out that while DC sent cease and desist letters to Kaan to tell him to stop billing himself as the original model for Superman, they never actually sued him. However, there really wasn’t much reason for DC to do so, as Kaan was not claiming any sort of ownership interest, just that he was the original model for Superman. That’s not exactly worth suing over.

The biggest hole in Kaan’s story was that, in the background of one of the photos, you could see a building in Boston that was not built until 1940, four years after Kaan said the photos were taken.

Couple this with the fact that Kaan was charging people to see the photos, and it seems like a fairly clean cut case of Kaan making the claim up, although Kaan’s daughter maintained the claim even after Kaan’s death in 2002.

Weird stuff.

Thanks to Mark Evanier and Neil Cole for the information!!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: The Guardians of the Universe were modeled after David Ben-Gurion.

STATUS: True

One of Julie Schwartz’s conceits for the Green Lantern Corps was the idea that there was no reason aliens necessarily had to look SO different from the people of Earth.

Following that train of thought, the visual inspiration for the Guardians of the Universe was none other than the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion!!

Check it out…

Ben_Gurion.JPG

guardians.gif

320px-Guardians-universe-2.jpg

I would have ran this one a long time ago, but I was searching for a direct quote on the topic. You’d be amazed at how poorly the sourcing is on this bit of info. No offense to Alan Oirich, as I’m sure he’s a fine fellow, but “According to Alan Oirich, the Guardians were based on David Ben-Gurion” is not a good source, and yet that is the source in a number of different places, including some magazine articles (Wikipedia, too)! Weird.

Anyhow, luckily, I came across a few Julie Schwartz interviews where he verifies the story. Here‘s an online one, where Mark Evanier (first the Superman stuff, and now this! He sure is helpful!) transcribed a panel Schwartz was on, and Schwartz relates that the Guardians were based on Ben-Gurion. Amusingly, Schwartz accidentally says Abin Sur instead of Ben-Gurion, but luckily, Mark Waid was there to correct him.

Quite cute.

A few people have mentioned this over the years (included John McDonagh). So thanks to them! And thanks again to Mark Evanier!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Chris Claremont named a group of supporting characters after the original owners of Forbidden Planet.

STATUS: True

Reader Frank Butler sent in a request over a year ago, and I was unable to find a source stating the answer, when it occurred to me today, “Res ipsa loquitur,” which is a legal term that is roughly translated from Latin as “The thing speaks for itself.” To wit, in this instance, the homage is so blatant, it occurred to me that I really do not have to PROVE it, because it really speaks for itself (although I will add the one thing Frank did not have when he asked me the question – and do note that Frank was 99% sure himself – a motivation for Claremont to do this seemingly random homage).

Anyhow, on to the specifics!

5-1.jpg

In Wolverine #5, Claremont introduced an intergalactic/interdimensional holding company that ran a number of businesses (like law firms, private detective firms, etc.) that employed Wolverine over the years.

The name of the firm was Landau, Luckman & Lake. They also later played a major role in the pages of Joe Kelly’s Deadpool.

Well, the original owners of England’s esteemed fantasy and comic book store, Forbidden Planet, were none other than Mike Lake, Nick Landau and Mike Luckman.

ForbiddenPlanet.JPG

So, yeah, the homage speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

As to why Claremont did this – I couldn’t give you a specific reason, but I know Claremont is both originally from England, and has done a number of signings for Forbidden Planet in London, so he’s certainly well acquainted with the store, making it fairly reasonable that he would work a tribute to the original owners into a comic.

Thanks so much to Frank Butler for the suggestion!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for this week’s, well, one cover! But still, thanks!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com.

Oh, and go vote for your Top 100 Comic Book Runs! You have until March 31st!

See you next week!

66 Comments

I’ve noticed a few Claremont-penned comics that reference either UK comic shops or British comics personalities (there’s a great example in the Excalibur: Mojo Mahem one-shot). Being a Brit, I think it’s pretty cool…

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 28, 2008 at 3:28 am

2 more to go …
Jus’ two more to go …

I think the store itself appears someqhere in Claremont’s Excalibur run.

You know what truly is an Urban Legend? It’s how long it took Marvel to launch a solo Wolverine title! :) 1988! It’s hard to believe.

Marvel truly was a lot more restrained back then. The X-Men were hugely popular at least since the very early 1980s, and they took their time adding more X-titles.

It’s also amazing how Marvel truly respected Claremont back then. He was to be involved in launching all the new X-titles: New Mutants, Excalibur, Wolverine… (the exception is X-Factor, that was crammed down his throat).

Claremont was able to maintain continuity between the various X-books back then, too. If Wolverine and Kitty Pryde appeared in an eight-issue limited series, they did not appear in Uncanny for eight issues. Wolverine left the X-Men (again) when his solo book started. A story from X-Men might cross over neatly into New Mutants, and so forth and so on. Neat trick. Can’t imagine it now.

The New York version of Forbidden Planet appears in Excalibur #7 (during the Inferno storyline, a science fiction display becomes a bit “real.”) I didn’t like the Inferno crossover much, except for the Excalibur issues, which were terrific and very funny.

D. Eric Carpenter

March 28, 2008 at 5:51 am

I think Claremont has a propensity for homaging real world characters in the comics.

I know he named a character in Cyberforce after a prior writing assistant (and later Assistant Editor at DC) Ali Morales.

Like yourself, I too was unsatisfied with Alan Oirich’s statement being used to validate the claim that the Guradians were deliberately modeled after Ben-Gurion. Not that I didn’t believe him ; I just wanted to know if he was making an assumption or if anyone at DC had actually ever stated on the record that it was so.

I came across the same POV column at Evanier’s site as you did … but hadn’t found the time to blog about it yet. Now, I might as well just link to your blog post — you have the Ben Gurion photo, which POV doeesn’t, so people can see the resemblance for themselves.

The first time the resemblence was pointed out to me was in the pages of Dave Sim’s Cerebus (#272), when the titular character was going through his “Rabbi” phase. The Rabbis Oath of Power is given to him by the Ben Gurions of the Galaxy.

“In darkest Night,
in brightest Day,
no evil shall stand in his way!
Let those who will not even shun
beware his power
our God is one!”

I don´t know why, but that picture of Mayo remembered me of indian Superman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJsQgKCTucM

The crew of the USS Enterprise in Claremont’s Star Trek Graphic Novel includes a great many Friends of Chris, too.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with it, mind you, but it seems to be a recurring thing with Claremont.)

Re: No Solo Wolverine title until 1988

Marvel really *was* cautious back then!

I remember being at a rinky-dink little convention in early 1986, with Walt and Louise Simonson as guests. At one point they asked the crowd whether they’d like to see an ongoing solo Wolverine book, and the crowd response, IIRC, was quite positive, as you might expect.

Isn’t it wierd how Claremont has spent time in this country (I’m in the UK), and was even born here, and yet he still can’t get anywhere near writing a convincing British voice.

For example: Londoners under the age of 50 do not as a rule us the word “blimey”…

Stephane Savoie

March 28, 2008 at 7:50 am

Really should have used a Gil Kane image of a Guardian of the Universe, since he created their appearance. It’s pretty powerful evidence. Doesn’t hurt the case that Kane was jewish.

Forbidden Planet Comic Shop (London) appeared in New Mutants Annual # 3, drawn by Alan Davis. It was the one with the Impossible Man.

speaking about green lantern I heard that Hal jordan was originally modeled after paul newman, although i dont remember from whom. they do kind of look alike in that showcase issue.

Note sure where you can find the source material or whether or not the environment had already changed by 1988, but I distinctly remember reading that publishers only rarly introduced a new comic title because of some ridiculous excess cost involved in publishing and distributing a new book. It was the same reason titles in the golden and silver age often took over the numbering of a title that had recently been cancelled. Somehow that was a workaround. Does anyone have anything solid to add on this?

“Forbidden Planet Comic Shop (London) appeared in New Mutants Annual # 3, drawn by Alan Davis. It was the one with the Impossible Man. ”

… which was itself an homage to the Captain Britain/Slaymaster fight (by Alans Moore and Davis)that destroyed Forbidden Planet in the earlier Mighty World of Marvel. In the New Mutants version (authored by Claremont), Nick Landau was featured watching the heroes trash his Porsche. Twice.

Oh sure, Claremont would give shout-outs to Forbidden Planet all the time. He’s also friends with NPR veteran Neal Conan and he would include him in comics as himself as well. And some band called “Cats Laughing.” The list goes on and on. That Ben-Gurion thing is hilarious! It’s also quite ironic, given how characters’ attitudes towards the Guardians have somewhat paralleled public perception of Israel over the years, i.e. become increasingly jaundiced.

Even so, from time to time Siegel and Shuster were known to shout, “KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!”

The Fantome:
That era was long, long past by 1988.

But the scenario you describe *did* affect comics… as noted once… hey! :)
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2005/11/24/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-26/

There was also a problem Marvel in particular faced where its distributor would only carry a specific number of Marvel titles each month. Thus, if Marvel wanted to introduce a new title, they’d have to also get rid of an old one. This is one of the reasons they had things like Captain America and Iron Man sharing Tales of Suspense, etc.

But that problem was eventually rectified, around the time those and other characters started getting their solo books, and certainly wasn’t a factor in the ’80s.

Really should have used a Gil Kane image of a Guardian of the Universe, since he created their appearance. It’s pretty powerful evidence. Doesn’t hurt the case that Kane was jewish.

Fair point. I only avoided it because I wanted to get away from the notion that it was Kane who came up with the idea of basing him on Ben-Gurion, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

Speaking of Claremont… whatever happened to Hardcase and the Harriers, the mercenary team he introduced in Wolverine #5 and then had guest-star in Uncanny X-Men #261?

I always thought they seemed interesting and were being groomed for -something-, but after those 2 appearances… nothing.

suedenim:

Thanks for the reply, and the link. I would also suspect the postal/distribution changes took place prior to Marvel’s big expansion, where Tales of Suspense, Tales To Astonish and Strange Tales were all replaced by solo titles featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Sub-Mariner, Hulk, Dr. Strange and Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (and the oddball transition issue: Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1).

Funny how Marvel did very well promoting their characters using “twin-billing books” while DC chose instead to keep Green Arrow, Captain Comet, & Martian Manhunter as secondary characters starring only in back-up features. You have to wonder if that’s why few DC characters besides Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash and Green Lantern were household names in the 60′s, while Marvel’s heroes were so popular.

Claremont also probably named Madelyne Pryor after British folk-rock singer Maddy Prior. (I say “probably” because it seems highly likely but I’ve never heard him directly quoted on the matter.)

For example: Londoners under the age of 50 do not as a rule us the word “blimey”…

No one on the planet talks like Claremontian dialog. It’s just his thing.:)

I was going to bring up the Gil Kane/Paul Newman story as well. The version I heard was that they lived near each other in Connecticut, I believe, and that Gil used Paul as a visual inspiration for Hal Jordan.

I’ve always been curious if other artists used real people as inspiration as well. I remember about a year ago, there was a cover of Detective Comics that showed half of Bruce Wayne’s face and it looked a lot like a young Gregory Peck.

Michael: Erik Larsen used Hardcase as a bar owner in his run on Wolverine. He even threw in a cheap gag where Cable walks into the bar and notices he and Hardcase look a lot alike.

Yeah, Claremont’s accented dialogue for foreign characters made Chop-Chop look subtle.

Dan Coyle: i always assumed Hardcase “evolved” into Cable.

I was at a convention when Walt Simonson confessed his neighbour in New York was Sigourney Weaver and he used her, with permission, as inspiration for Lady Sif in the classic Thor run.

He was kind enough to do a sketch of Lady Sif – you can see it here on http://www.zenkim.co.uk/ganja/colin/wk5.htm – just scroll down to see it.

Another fun Claremont tidbit would be the number of Doctor Who references he’d throw in.

Issue #218 of Uncanny (I think it was #218) had Sgt. Benton and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart from UNIT; later in Excalibur, the WHO organization was based on UNIT and had an Alistair Stuart of its own. (“Alistair” was the Brig’s first name)

Oh sure, Claremont would give shout-outs to Forbidden Planet all the time. He’s also friends with NPR veteran Neal Conan and he would include him in comics as himself as well. And some band called “Cats Laughing.”

Cats Laughing is a band that included fantasy writers Steven Brust, Emma Bull, and Adam Stemple among its members. Neil Gaiman used the title of one of their songs, “Signal to Noise”, for one of his books.

That Claremont guy surely gets around and a lot more urban legends could be derived from his references.

A couple of references to a rock band called “Nazgul” in X-Men and New Mutants stories are taken from the horror novel Armaggedon Rag, written by George R. R. Martin.

There is also the M-Squad, those inept jokey mutant hunters that appeared in “Inferno” and also in Jubilee’s first appearance. Individually they’re called George, Melinda, Lewis and Victor (I think). They correspond to George R. R. Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, Lewis Shiner, and Victor Milán, all of them science fiction writers, all of them working in the “Wild Cards” series of realistic superhero novels, a series that Claremont also contributed to.

Somewhat related: I remember the Science Fiction Bookshop in Edinburgh appeared in Uncanny X-Men #225. That later shut down and the (I assume) the same owners opened the Forbidden Planet there.

(Regarding Claremont dialog) When a foreigner speaks English, he must always say “my friend” in his native language. If the foreiger is Vietnamese, say it in French.

Maddy Prior of Folk-Rock band Steeleye Span WAS the inspiration for the character of the same name later to be turned into the Goblin Queen. Sigh…

How do I know this? Steeleye Span was playing a small club in Washington DC and Claremont was there with a female friend.
My friend Sue spotted him and we chatted about the band afterwards.

We had first met him months before at a NY Convention.
He signed some comics for me. I wanted him to sign my Avengers’ episode guide (the old TV kiddies) but he skipped over it.
I queried him on using the episode “A Touch of Brimstone” (banned in the US) in X-Men. The Hellfire Club was featured in that episode and Mrs. Peel was dressed as their Black Queen. An actor in that episode had the last name of Wyngarde, which is the Claremont gave as a cover name/real name(?) to the character of the mutant Mastermind.)

His reply about my query was something like this:
“That episode (which he saw in the UK) did more for most young boys libidos than anything else on TV”

The Avengers episode guide? I still have it and the man who autographed it was Isaac Asimov who made an appearance at this con (1984) without warning.
The only book I had in my hand was the Avengers book.
Alan
JettBlackBerryX

Kan-Man: “I’ve always been curious if other artists used real people as inspiration as well. I remember about a year ago, there was a cover of Detective Comics that showed half of Bruce Wayne’s face and it looked a lot like a young Gregory Peck.”

John Constantine was inspired by Sting. Maxwell Lord in “Justice League International” looked a lot like Sam Neill. Batman’s butler Alfred was originally overweight and clean-shaven in the comics, but his appearance was changed to resemble William Austin, the actor who played Alfred in the 1943 “Batman” serial. I suspect that Alex Ross based Tony Stark and Professor X in “Marvels” on Timothy Dalton and Patrick Stewart respectively. Jack Kirby is said to have modeled Big Barda’s appearance on Lainie Kazan. The Rocketeer’s girlfriend Betty was inspired by Bettie Page.

C.C. Beck claimed that many Fawcett Comics characters were modeled after real people. Captain Marvel was Fred MacMurray, Mary Marvel was Judy Garland, Dr. Sivana was a druggist he once knew, Beautia Sivana was Betty Grable, Sivana Jr. was Danny Kaye, Ibis the Invincible was Tyrone Power, Spy Smasher was Errol Flynn, Sterling Morris was Gene Lockhart, and the Lieutenant Marvels were three Fawcett staffers. There’s no record of Uncle Marvel being based on W.C. Fields, but the similarities are obvious.

Gil Kane had a history of using celebrities as visual ‘inspirations’ for many of his characters. In addition to using Paul Newman as his starting point for Hal Jordan, he used an actor named Rod (or possibly Robert) Taylor for Ray Palmer. He also often used the likenesses of such actors as Humphrey Bogart or Edward G. Robinson as crooks and villains. Additionally, the face of GL villain Black Hand was said to be modeled on the features of a longtime DC scriptwriter.

Christian Denayer’s and Andre-Paul Duchateau’s character ‘Brock’ resembles Uncle Marvel a lot.

Al & Brock first appeared in 1975
http://www.helsinki.fi/~lakoma/comics/pics/autop525/autop525.gif

The strip is an action series about two cops.

A few thoughts in response, badly organized. (It is early here…)

Claremont apparently developed his habit of slipping in bits of foreign speech with the original international X-Men because the EiC at the time (eventually Shooter but maybe it started with someone else) hated phonetic accents (“Ve haf vays….”) and had more or less forbidden them.

Byrne based much the Hellfire Club on actors: Orson Wells as Harry Leland, Donald Sutherland as Donald Pierce. “Emma” Frost was a nod to Emma Peel, and the Wyndgarde (and I believe Sebastian Shaw) was likewise taken from old AVENGERS actors and characters.

Also, apparently the main reason there wasn’t a solo Wolverine book for so long was that Claremont was able to drag his feet on it and resist the obvious corporate urge to exploit the living heck out of a good idea.

I suspect that Alex Ross based Tony Stark and Professor X in “Marvels” on Timothy Dalton and Patrick Stewart respectively.

And the Sub-Mariner was Michael Keaton, except muscled and tall and point-eared.

In a veeeery old interview book I had somewhere, called (I think)’the X-Men Companion’ ;Byrne says that Sebastian Shaw is modelled on Robert Shaw.

In the same book, in the Claremont interview, he comments that in order to do a Wolverine solo book, he’d have to write Wolverine out of the X-men.

Not sure if that was an editorial thing at the time, or not – seems kind of funny now.

Claremont also wrote Emma Bull and Lorraine Garland (aka folk duo “The Flash Girls”) into Sovereign Seven. Garland is (or was, at least) Neil Gaiman’s assistant, as well.

Since someone mentioned John Constantine, I would like to get some clarification about two stories…

First, is it true that Doom Patrol´s character Willoughby Kipling was created because Grant Morrison was denied permission to use JC in the series? If so, why? After all, Doom Patrol was published before the Great Vertigo-DCU Secession.

Second, what about that story of both Alan Moore and Pete Milligan separetely encountering a real-life John Constantine, with cigarettes, overcoat and all? Is it true? It actually happened? Or were they too drank and imagining stuff?

Thanks.

As for the inspiration of Siegel & Shuster’s original Superman, I’ve always seen a strong resemblance in those early Action Comics’ Man of Steel to football & Olympic star Jim Thorpe. He was a non-White “superman” who won numerous medals in the 1912 Olympics, and also played football for the Canton, Ohio Bulldogs, just down the road from Cleveland. I first noticed the uncanny resemblance when I was a youngster visting Canton’s Football Hall of Fame, where a statue of Thorpe in “action” greets visitors. Much of it is in the face — early Superman’s brow and nose — and beefy, muscular physique. Certainly, the Native American athlete would’ve been familiar to Joe Shuster, and numerous photographs would’ve been available for reference.

On a side note, Thorpe’s Native American name, Wa-tho-huck, means “Bright Path.” That could certainly be applied to both Thorpe and Superman, as well as Siegel & Shuster, who blazed a trail for all comic creators that followed.

Yeah, Claremont’s accented dialogue for foreign characters made Chop-Chop look subtle.

Claremont’s everything for foreign characters made Chop-Chop look subtle. I love the man’s writing, but he’s damn lucky he was talented enough to overcome a criminal lack of subtlety.

Wyngarde/Mastermind was based on actor Peter Wyngarde, who was not only in the Avengers episode “A Touch Of Brimstone” (which can be seen on DVD now; it remains notorious) but was one of the three stars of Department S and the lead in the spin-off, Jason King; I remember Claremont saying that it was Wyngarde-as-King that was the inspiration for the Hellfire Club character.

Tuckerizing (the naming of characters — and locations — after friends, acquaintances, and well known people) is quite common in comics, possibly even more so than in prose. I know Peter David does it, for one. I’ve done it in my prose work (my Andromeda novel is full of Tuckerized characters, and Micah Ian Wright turns up as a character through the back of the book, taking a lot of abuse) and in scripts (one repeatedly optioned script hasn’t a single character who isn’t a Tuckerization.)

My favorite example in comics, though, would be Steve Gerber’s Man-Thing story in the original Marvel Comics Presents, running in issues 1-6 (I think; it might be longer.) Steve put out a call to friends for volunteers to be Tuckerized, and every single character aside from the regular characters is a Tucker; mine is an evial bastard who gets his evial face fried off by Man-Thing.

On the topic of comic characters being modeled after real people, was it ever confirmed that Clark Kent was based on Harold Lloyd?

It’s been said Shuster based Superman’s appearance on Douglas Fairbanks (Senior, and sans mustache).

The Hellfire club and the actors Byrne used as their likenesses are even more apparent when you consider the character’s names:

Emma Frost – Diana Rigg (played ‘Emma’ Peel)
Donald Pierce – ‘Donald’ Sutherland (who played Hawkeye ‘Pierce’ in the movie MASH)
Harry Leland – Orson Welles (one of Welles’ most famous roles is as ‘Harry’ Lime in The Third Man)
Mastermind/Jason Wyngarde – Peter ‘Wyngarde’ (most famous for playing a character named ‘Jason’ King)
Sebastian Shaw – Robert ‘Shaw’

Gregory Peck as Batman also shows up in KINGDOM COME.

But Maxwell Lord? I just figured every white adult male with short neat hair that Kevin Mcguire draws looks like Sam Neil.

I think there’s a good chance that Mayo Kaan actually believed his claim was true. It’s not so hard to imagine that some enterprising promoters–associated with neither DC nor Siegel & Shuster–cobbled up a Superman suit and hired Kaan to appear as the newly-popular character. If Kaan wasn’t aware of the character himself at that time, then 30 years later he could very well have remembered only that Superman, and the costume, had been presented to him as a “new” character, and assumed that the unauthorized promoters must have been the guys who created Superman.

“A couple of references to a rock band called “Nazgul” in X-Men and New Mutants stories are taken from the horror novel Armaggedon Rag, written by George R. R. Martin.”

Isn’t Nazgul more likely a Lord of the Rings referance ?

Hey folks. I’m a journalist and editor. I ALWAYS cite my sources.

Unfortunately, the people who interview me don’t always include the entirety of the interview.

Although it was cut from the interview that, I guess, formed the basis of the wiki entry,I said explicitly that I was told this personally by Elliot S! Maggin, who heard it from both Julie Schwartz AND Gil Kane.

Alan Oirich,
JewishSupers.com

Ah, Claremont and his latin dialogue.

I was in Britain for six months back in 1999. Was at a convention in Bristol (a very cool one, since pretty much everyone there was drinking nonstop for three days straight) and I met Mike Lake. He told me the story behind Landau, Luckman & Lake. I informed him LLL was still being used by Marvel in Deadpool, something he was not actually aware of.

Anyway, years back I wrote a very rough first draft of a sci-fi novel. No idea if I’ll ever try to revise it to make it, well, readable, but in any case, the main character was named after my philosophy professor from college. I also nicked various other names for characters on that one, and another novel I wrote a rough draft for, from writers & actors who worked on Doctor Who :)

Y’know, one of these days I really should see about trying to revise those two into something workable that might stand half a chance of getting published.

The Hellfire club and the actors Byrne used as their likenesses are even more apparent when you consider the characters’ names

And even extra apparent when you go read the Urban Legends entry that breaks it all down

A friend of mine insists that Reed Richards in MARVELS looks just like the Professor on Gilligan’s Island (and he has a point …)

A well known tuckerizing case was that Mike Friedrich wrote an angry intense, SF writer, “Harlequin Ellis” into a JLA story in the early seventies. According to a later letter column, Harlan Ellison begged them to use his real name but the legal department demurred.

That Avengers episode–I was too young to stay up and see it but I remember thinking a Queen of Sin (as they referred to Diana Rigg’s outfit) sounded most awfully interesting.

Urban Legend: The published ending to the Omega The Unknown story, seen in The Defenders, was not actually substantively different than what Gerber and Skrenes planned; they were just miffed that they didn’t get to do it.

Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My Godddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!! that’s the first time I have something to say in this column, instead of just ask!!! Well, I’ve recently readed a Classic X-Men Issue, specifically #7, published in Spain (I’m from Argentina and both countries share the same language, and Brazil is not our capital city, by the way :-) ) and it has two stories, one classic and a new short story written by Claremont and beautifully drawn by John Bolton (by the way, most of the new stories in “Classic…” are really masterworks!). The thing is, in that issue the complementary story is about the HellFire Club and Sebastian Shaw’s wife Lourdes Chantel appears. She is a teleporter and finally dies protecting Sebastian and expressing her wish of seeing again her natal Barcelona (A very important city in Spain….We are really learning a lot of geography today, aren’t we?). Well, in the next issue the Spanish version has a full page about the fact that Lourdes was the name of Claremont translator in a 1985′s Barcelona Comic Convention (“V Salon del Comic y la Ilustracion de Barcelona”) where Chris was guest. The woman’s name is Lourdes Ortiz and in an interview with her in the same article she talks about Claremont’s taking notes on everything around him and share other interesting things about the writer and his creative process (things that Claremont commented to Her during his time in Barcelona).
For those of you that know spanish, Here is the scanned article.

For those of you that not, here’s a really interesting appreciation of Lourdes about things that Chris said to Her about being a writer: “Sometimes is like he is a victim of his own profession, because instead of living situations like everyone else, he is compelled, as a writer, to see them from the outside, analyze them and take notes”. As an (amateur) writer and drawist I really feel identified with that statement!.
And finally, What’s happening with this site? Today is Friday 4/4/08 and all the posts in this Urban Legends page are from a week ago! And this CBULR appears to me like the last one…

Oh….the article doesn’t appear…. if anyone can help me, I put it in one of this free image sharing sites…

Oh….the article link doesn’t appear…. if anyone can help me, I put it in one of this free image sharing sites…there’s some ban on putting links or what?

I fixed your link, Julio.

And thanks, that’s very interesting! Good stuff for a future piece!

And check out the latest Urban Legends #149 for this week’s ULs, Julio!

And you’re suprised to find Wikipedia is full of half-truths and little sources? Colleges everywhere are banning the use of it in History papers as a source.

There’s Forbidden Planets in Scotland as well! With Aberdeen having the cheapest one in the UK and the only one to stock back issues, if a certain other comic book shop owner is to believed…

Also, one in New York, which is how they get away with the “International” part of their name now.

[...] made Azrael Batman to avoid paying Bob Kane royalties. Robert Kanigher created Sgt. Rock #148 – Siegel and Shuster based Superman on a colorful bodybuilder named Mayo Kaan. The Guardians of the Universe were modeled after David Ben-Gurion. Chris Claremont named a group [...]

“Speaking of Claremont… whatever happened to Hardcase and the Harriers, the mercenary team he introduced in Wolverine #5 and then had guest-star in Uncanny X-Men #261?

I always thought they seemed interesting and were being groomed for -something-, but after those 2 appearances… nothing.”

What was he really going to do with them? He was off of Wolverine after a few more issues, and he’d established them as Madripoor-connected characters. They didn’t really have a place in any of his remaining stories during his run – if he’d continued on the X-titles longer, maybe there’d have been another appearance possible.

My take based on their first appearance was that they were a one-off joke type of group. You were supposed to think they were this badass new team of villains who were after the X-Men. They had codenames and got a whole two-page picture introduction where we were introduced to each one by name, and he was made to seem intimidating. We were meant to think of Reavers, Marauders and that kind of thing. But then they turn out to be his buddies.

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