Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
This is the one-hundred and fifty-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 fifty. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
This was not intentional, at first, but I noticed I had two out of three that were themed, so I added a third one, to make it all a theme this week – “Based on.”
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Stuart Immonen based the cast of Nextwave on the cast of Scrubs.
Reader Ed sent me the following image (which is apparently making the message board rounds) with the question, “is it true that the cast of Nextwave was modeled after the cast of Scrubs?”
Now, even if this is NOT for real, whoever did the selection and cropping of these photos deserves a commendation – that’s some fine work right there.
Okay, so I asked Stuart Immonen, and he gave a pretty straightforward answer:
No… I’ve never seen the show, and don’t know the characters.
I think that’s about as definitive of an answer as you can get, right?
But boy does that pic look neat!
Thanks to Ed for the question and thanks to Stuart for the answer!!
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Jan Duursema has a Jedi Knight based on her.
Artist Jan Duursema is a longtime comic book artist, having worked for Marvel and DC on a number of series, since the 1980s, probably most notably a run on Arion, Lord of Atlantis, a run on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and a run on X-Factor in the early 90s.
However, she really came to prominence when she began drawing Star Wars comics with writer John Ostrander for Dark Horse comics. She has been working on Star Wars comics ever since, so long, in fact, that she has managed to make her way INTO the Star Wars universe, in a way.
Artist Joe Corroney is one of the most notable artists out there for doing Star Wars artwork, as he has done art for LucasFilm on cards, posters, magazines, etc., with perhaps his most noticeable work being on Star Wars Insider, as well as doing a run on Star Wars Empire, which was the sister book to Star Wars Republic, which was drawn by Duursema.
Presumably there is a friendly bond when working on a property like Star Wars, so awhile back, Corroney, on his website, introduced a new Jedi Knight, Ur-Sema Du, as a tribute to Duursema.
At first, this was just a nice tribute by Corroney to his friend, but then, in an issue of Star Wars Insider, Abel G. PeÃ±a wrote a short story, “Unknown Soldier: The Story of General Grievous.”
In this story, with artwork by Corroney, Ur-Sema Du is featured, making Corroney’s tribute character forever a “canonical” Star Wars Jedi Knight.
Which is not bad work, if you can get it.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Jill Thompson has had at least THREE comic book characters modeled after her!
There is no doubting that writer/artist Jill Thompson, while being extremely talented, also has a very interesting visual appearance.
With her bright red curly hair, Thompson cuts a striking figure.
Here she is with artist Gene Ha (courtesy of his website):
So it should not come as much of a surprise to find that Thompson has been the inspiration for the visual look of a comic character, but what IS surprising is to note that she is the visual inspiration for at least FOUR comic book characters!!!
First off, just counting work she has done, Thompson used herself as the basis of the character Etain during Thompson’s tenure on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman…
And much later, Thompson based her brilliant children’s comic book/book series, The Scary Godmother, also on herself…
Over in the Invisibles, artist Steve Yeowell appears to have based Ragged Robin on Thompson, although Thompson doesn't seem to think so...
And in Kingdom Come, Alex Ross DID specifically use Thompson as the model for Joker’s Daughter (and her husband, Brian Azzarello, as the basis for another character, the villain 666).
Reader Derek filled me in on Thompson’s inspiration history, and he was curious about one that might make it FIVE characters, as Derek had heard that perhaps Fathom, from Bill Willingham’s Elementals (Thompson’s first comic book work, no less!) was ALSO based on Thompson. I don’t see the resemblance, but if anyone knows for sure, let me know!!
Thanks to Derek for letting me know about this, and thanks to PopImage (I didn’t see a specific credit, so I guess I’ll just credit Andrew Wheeler and Christopher Butcher, who were both editors there), who I see did a feature on just this topic back in 2000 (they supplied the pic of Etain)! Thanks, guys!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for this week’s covers!
While you’re here, check out the Top 100 Comic Book Runs countdown (you can follow it here)!
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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