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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #159

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

Seeing as how this is the beginning of the fourth year of this feature, I thought a fun theme for this week would be to feature one reader suggested legend from each of the past three years (that is, one from 6/05-to 6/06, one from 6/06 to 6/07 and one from 6/07 to 6/08)

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Ronin was going to be revealed fairly early in the New Avengers #5 or #6, but the reveal was pushed back because everyone guessed it was Daredevil, so they had to find a replacement.

STATUS: Basically True

I got this one quite often when I was first doing this column, and for the longest time, there really was nothing I could do to confirm it either way, because Brian Michael Bendis was really the only person who could do that.

Still, at the time, the big story was that there was going to be a mysterious new Avenger called Ronin.

And in a big shock, in an article in USA Today, writer Scott Bowles revealed the following:

A “mystery member” is also on the team, but he won’t be identified for several issues. Suffice to say he’s a Marvel favorite, a Hollywood hit, and the item in his hands is a big clue.

Here is the cover Bowles was working off of…

So, from that, it pretty much has to be Daredevil, right?

Marvel favorite?

Check!

Hollywood hit?

Check (more or less)!

The item in his hands?

Check (just like Daredevil’s clubs)!

But it was NOT Daredevil, in a later storyline in New Avengers, the “actual” identity of Ronin was revealed…

People at the time said that there was no way it was originally meant to be Echo (a Daredevil supporting character), but Bendis at the time completely denied that it was ever anyone but Echo, despite it seeming almost certain that it was meant to be someone else at first.

A few years back, a Jinxworld reader had this to say:

Bendis has repeatedly said it was the plan all along. At this point, he’s got nothing to gain by not ‘fessing up to it. It would make a cool “behind the scenes” story about how plans changes, esp. in light of internet leaks. But he’s stayed consistent. I think we gotta take the bald guy at his word….

Recently, in the introduction of the New Avengers Vol. 1 HC, Bendis revealed that, yep, Ronin WAS originally meant to be Daredevil. Bendis had thought the reveal was off the record when he mentioned it to the USA Today reporter, but instead, it ended up being published. Meanwhile, Bendis also planned on having Daredevil be in jail at the end of his run on Daredevil and the beginning of Ed Brubaker’s follow-up arc, so upon further thought, he figured it really did not make much sense to make Daredevil Ronin ANYways even withOUT the secret being blown (which it was), so Echo became Ronin.

So there you go, people I have since forgotten who asked me that question a lot in 2005!!

Oh, the “basically true” part was because I dunno if Daredevil was going to become Ronin early on or not, so I can’t say for sure that that part is true.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Paramount canceled DC’s first Star Trek series and relaunched without Peter David because his new creations were more popular than the Paramount characters.

STATUS: False With a Tinge of Truth

Reader John Kuczaj sent me the following in October of 2006, in a massive e-mail that I’ve already used three times for material:

DC canceled their first Star Trek series and re-launched it without Peter David because Paramount was not happy that the David-created characters were more popular and prominent (Ensign Bearclaw, anyone?) than the other original crew supporting characters.

DC began their Star Trek series in 1984…

Writer Peter David began a run on the book with #48…

The series ended with #56…

Now here’s where it gets tricky.

John is correct that Paramount DID get involved with the comics, and the supporting cast WAS an issue. However, I do not think that his particular spin on the story is the most accurate, as I believe Paramount’s issue was more that the newer characters were crowding out their characters, and preferred their characters (who were still appearing in major motion pictures at the time) received more of the spotlight of the comic.

This view did not just extend to characters created for the comics like Bearclaw, but also to the characters from the Star Trek cartoon series who had been used in the comic, like Arex…

and M’Ress…

So no, I don’t believe it was their fear that the other characters were more POPULAR, but the other bit, the more PROMINENT part, that sounds more accurate.

However, at the heart of the question is that Peter David was punished for this situation.

Well, that does not work because when the series came back, well, who do you think wrote it?

Yep, Peter David, who wrote the first year plus of the second volume of Star Trek at DC.

I dunno why he left the book the second time, though. Anyone know?

Thanks to John Kuczaj for the suggestion (almost two years later and I’m still figuring out your suggestions!), and thanks to the great Star Trek resource, Memory Alpha, for the pictures of the cartoon crew members!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Crossgen colorist Justin Thyme did not actually exist.

STATUS: True

Inspired by the recent Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed installment about the “Crusty Bunkers,” comic book pro Drew Geraci (who just debuted this week as the new inker on Green Lantern Corps, over the awesome Pat Gleason!) dropped me a line to let me in on a little Crossgen secret.

Colorist Justin Thyme, credited on both this issue of Negation…

and this issue of Lady Death….

did not actually exist!

Nor did inker Jennifer Cross, credited on this issue of Scion…

They were made-up studio names on issues that the various inkers/colorists would jam on to make the book ship on time, hence the pun pseudonym for Justin Thyme.

Thanks a lot for the information, Drew!

I see that Mr. Thyme also made appearances at Marvel, assisting Tom Morgan on pencils for this Excalibur one-shot…

and assisting Steve Geiger on inks on this issue of Black Panther…

That Thyme guy gets around, eh?

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for 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!

85 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

June 13, 2008 at 5:07 am

Maybe PAD left the book ‘cuz he got bored of writing Star Trek?

I also read it somewhere that he met his wife through Star Trek, and so, being divorced, maybe it’s a bad reminder.

I find it rather hard to believe that Echo was Ronin, since she has breasts, and the costume didn’t look that
bulky.

Am I wrong there?

T.

Maybe PAD left the book ‘cuz he got bored of writing Star Trek?

Sure, could be many reasons. Just noting that I don’t know if there WAS a particular reason or not, and a lot of times, writers give reasons for their departures, so I was wondering if anyone knew if David gave his.

I find it rather hard to believe that Echo was Ronin, since she has breasts, and the costume didn’t look that bulky.

The costume was padded!

Doug Atkinson

June 13, 2008 at 5:40 am

I know that David had trouble with one of the higher-ups at Paramount, who was issuing ridiculous edicts to him under Roddenberry’s authority (such as “Captain Kirk is no longer interested in pursuing relationships with women”). I don’t remember if that’s the specific reason he left the comic (and I’m about to leave for work, so I can’t track it down right now), but that was a problem he was having at the time.

Yeah, that’s the story I recall, too, Doug.

I know David has written that he had major issues with a Paramount higher-up, I just don’t recall if that was what specifically led to David’s second departure from the title, or if it was a separate problem (like David not getting other Star Trek-related work).

Not a big deal, of course, as it doesn’t affect this week’s legend, but I am curious about it.

Also worth noting that Peter David soon created his own batch of Star Trek characters for the New Frontier line of novels, and he is currently writing and IDW series featuring that crew.

It would be hard for Paramount to tell him how his own characters would act!

“It would be hard for Paramount to tell him how his own characters would act!”

No, it wouldn’t. Paramount owns the characters. If Paramount wants McCoy to be a Klingon from now on, McCoy will now be a Klingon. Even if Peter David created characters for Star Trek, thus Paramount, if Paramount wants them written differently, they will be written differently.

Maybe PAD left the book ‘cuz he got bored of writing Star Trek?

I would find that almost unbelievable. I mean, it’s possible, but if there’s anyone alive who could write Star Trek forever and never get bored by it, it is probably Peter David.

He does have a significant web presence and there’s a good chance that he’d probably respond to the question if some prominent comic book blogger wanted to e-mail him and ask…

If memory serves, the problems he was having with Paramount did not involve the comics, but the novels. I could be wrong, though. He wrote about it in an old But I Digress column, so if there’s an archive online, it would be easy enough to find (if anyone cares that much).

The Echo story is interesting. It just goes to show that one can never fully believe what editors and creators say about what goes on behind the scenes.

That Quesada cover is terrible. What, was Captain America sick that day so they brought an inflatable doll as a stand in?

Ethan Shuster

June 13, 2008 at 7:18 am

About the cancellation of the first Trek book and it’s later reappearance. I believe that new series was a relaunch following from the recent release of Star Trek V. It would seem to me that the more accurate truth as that, when the new series was launched, Paramount told DC and/or David that in their new series, they want focus on the main characters and too the relaunch as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean.. I presumed that he wrote a bunch of new ones, too, simply to have some younger characters. Also, I believe a new Next Gen series started right around the same time as the regular Trek’s #1.

Incidentally, I read those early issues and I wasn’t a huge fan. I felt that — and maybe it was partly because it followed the dumb-ness that was Trek V — David relied too much on humor and turned some of the series into a Trek sitcom.

I don’t believe David’s divorce impacted his writing the Star Trek comic any; aside from the timeline being off, it certainly didn’t stop him from writing New Frontier books.

I thought Ronin was originally going to be Captain Atom. :)

The whole Echo-being-Ronin-story would’ve made more sense if an image inducer (like Nightcrawler used) had been mentioned as being part of the costume.

Check out the GCD entries for those CrossGen books… :-)

Bart Jarmusch

June 13, 2008 at 8:14 am

Peter David left because Richard Arnold of Paramount hassled him so much. You should ask on PAD on his site http://www.peterdavid.net, but essentially it got so bad that PAD turned in the script to issue 19 under a different name, and it sailed through with no problems after months and months of notes on every script he had previously submitted. Once it was clear to him that he was the target, he left the book. After Roddenberry’s death, Paramount canned Arnold. I might not have recalled all the specifics correctly, and I apologize for any errors.

I think the problem was the Echo reveal was so unsatisfying and nonsensical that most readers immediately knew there had to have been a more interesting plan in place at one time. Probably should have gone with Hawkeye right off the bat.

I get the impression Richard Arnold was the bane of most people’s existences back in the day when he was top dog in Star Trek licensing. I can’t remember if this was Peter David’s story or not (it likely was) but I remember reading that among Richard Arnold’s pronouncements about the comic was that the characters couldn’t have thought balloons because “our characters don’t think”.

Of course the irony about changing the Ronin identity to Echo was that, of course, that it too was revealed before the comic came out! (The Marvel Encyclopedia included it!)

wow. that image of capt. amercia by joey Q is terrible. terrible. I think it challenges liefeld for worst drawing of captain america ever.

I didn’t know that captain america had 40 inch biceps, learn something new everyday.

SanctumSanctorumComix

June 13, 2008 at 9:09 am

Bart,

Yes.
I recall reading JUST that, a few years back.
After having every script torn to shreds by the higher-ups, he slipped a few in via a pseudonym (almost exactly like the previous scripts) and they sailed through without any red-ink.

So, he found that HE was the target and split.

But, I ALSO seem to recall something about the REASON for the vehemence was that David had SAID something negative about the higher ups, and so they took him to task via the scripts.

Hmm… now I’ll be wondering about that for awhile until I have a chance to double check.

Oh, and Justin Thyme?
“Just in time”
That’s actually pretty funny.

~P~
PTOR

SanctumSanctorumComix

June 13, 2008 at 9:11 am

van_line,

Well, look at that illo of SENTRY.
I’d swear that was a Leifeld drawing INKED by Quesada or Miki.
That CAPE!!!
Those HANDS!!
Those ridiculously TINY FEET!!!
WTF?

~P~
PTOR

Jeremy Bement

June 13, 2008 at 9:25 am

My question regarding Peter David is: in reading the New Frontier novels that he has written he had Arex and M’Ress show up on board the Trident. Since New Frontier takes place in the same time frame as Next Gen, are they the distant relatives of the cartoon characters or of the comics versions?

One of the secondary characters from the first series was the security guard who was so tall that he couldn’t be seen on panel above his waist. Wonder how Sterno got through the doors? :-p

“Justin Thyme” is a bit cheesy, but in a nice old-school way. However, I think the pseudonym of Jennifer Cross is much neater: “Cross, Jen.”

I think the problem was the Echo reveal was so unsatisfying and nonsensical that most readers immediately knew there had to have been a more interesting plan in place at one time.

Speak for yourself – the choice to make Ronin Echo was pretty clever, in that it makes sense both for the character and for the story…

Bart Jarmusch has the basics of the Peter David/Richard Arnold conflict correct. Gene Roddenberry’s office started getting much stricter with all the Star Trek licensing after TNG premiered in 1987. By the early 90s, many of the novelists complained about more interference & the fans noticed a downswing in quality in the novels & comics.

Peter David has said that when Richard Arnold told him that the Gold Key comics were what ALL Trek comics should aspire to, David laughed in his face. So obviously their relationship did not get off to a good start.

Among the more bizarre notes that Arnold gave David:

“Captain Kirk is no longer interested in romantic relationships with women.”

“This submitted story is nothing more than a cross between two Star Trek episodes. It is nothing at all like Star Trek.”

If you look at the early issues of the post-STV comics, even Arex & M’ress were retouched/renamed to become different characters. My’ra (the ram-headed alien who had a crush on Sulu, named after PAD’s then-wife) was originally going to be M’Ress playing chess with Spock (M’Ress and Sulu actually had a fling towards the end of the original DC run). And I believe that Ensign Fouton was originally drawn as Arex.

This is just for the first issue or two, of course. My’ra & Fouton became characters in their own rights, but were still written out in the first dozen issues, by Paramount’s demand. Actually, this could make for a good Urban Legend in its own right, Brian. Peter David or Bob Greenberger could probably give you more detail.

I don’t know if the timeline is right, but I used to know someone who did Star Trek novels, and I recall hearing about one period where Paramount were heavily restrictive on the content of any tie-in works.

You HAD to focus on main characters from the series but you couldn’t have ANY character development, and everything had to be the same at the end of the book as it was at the start. Not impossible guidelines to work under, and not even unusual for corporate properties, but nobody with any creativity in their soul would want to do it for long.

I hope Justin Thyme doesn’t ever sign an exclusive contract. :) Then again, I kinda hope he does… it would be nice to have one company hit deadlines.

Jeremy Bement

not 100% sure, but characters are the “originals” and they fell thru some time of timewarp, i think.

And then there was the “R.J. Blaise” character who was, at Paramount’s insistence, dropped from a story in midstream–as in, she’s in one issue and out the next with no explanation whatsoever. She wasn’t changed to another character, she simply disappeared from the story as if she had never been there.

A real Richard Arnold note, after a writer mentioned a character’s underwear: “We haven’t established that they wear underwear.”

I knew some of the Star Trek thing. I was a huge Trek fan back in the late 80s/early 90s and I bought almost every issue of the Star Trek and Next Gen books that DC put out. One of the key characters in the early days of the relaunch was a woman named RJ Blaise, who was Kirk’s body guard/love interest. She was a fairly major character until one issue when she just didn’t appear anymore. They never even gave an explanation of what happened to her. Her departure didn’t get addressed until an oversized bonus issue years later which wrapped up her character and then wrote her out again. I found out a few years back that her removal had been mandated with such immediacy that there wasn’t even time to write her out. Such are the headaches of working on a licensed comic, I suppose.

I’ve heard PAD tell the story of the script submitted under the pseudonym. The pen name used was “Robert Bruce Banner” a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk, on which PAD had a lengthy run. Apparently no on noticed at Paramount.

Jeremy: M’Ress and Arex arrived in the New Frontier series via time warps. Each had a temporal incident at different times in the past, and they arrived in the TNG timeline that way.

I smell an all PAD CBULR column in the future. Should be plenty of material: Incredible Hulk, Star Trek, Capt. Marvel, X-factor, etc.

Also maybe ask the man himself to debunk the urban legends he gets asked the most about.

Even though Ronin may have originally been Daredevil, that doesn’t mean that anything seen in the actual comics illustrated that. He was in promo art and talked about in interviews and such, but Ronin didn’t even show up until issue 11, i believe. So regardless of the original concept, it doesn’t seem Bendis changed his mind after introducing the character into the story, only beforehand.
And the fact that Echo/Ronin didn’t have breasts is a worthless argument. It’s not terribly hard to make a woman look like a man by padding their chest. Also, keep in mind we are dealing with characters that include a guy with the power of a million exploding suns. But we can’t suspend disbelief when it comes to a guy in full costume actually being revealed to be a woman?

Bart J. has it essentially correct.

The fact is that Richard Arnold’s notes became increasingly ludicrous, such as shutting down a romantic interest for Kirk by asserting that Kirk was no longer interested in women. We were reaching the point where it was becoming impossible to get stories approved. Richard rejected one story with the assertion that there was “too much violence,” even though the violence consisted of a sustained fist fight scene with Kirk (as if they never had those in Trek). As a test, I submitted a script under a fake name which sailed through the approvals process even though it had far more violence than the previous script which was rejected for that reason. When that was approved, I knew that it had nothing to do with the stories and everything to do with Richard’s enmity toward me (a far longer story to go into.) At which point I resigned from the book since I felt I could no longer do the job I was hired to do, namely provide stories for DC.

Final kicker: The fake name under which I submitted the story that was approved? “Robert Bruce Banner.”

PAD

PAD,

What is the craziest rumor or “urban legend” you have ever heard about you or your work?

Back in the EC Comics days, the letterer was often credited as “A. MacHine”.

“in reading the New Frontier novels that he has written he had Arex and M’Ress show up on board the Trident. Since New Frontier takes place in the same time frame as Next Gen, are they the distant relatives of the cartoon characters or of the comics versions?”

I think he did a quickie explanation of them being caught in one of the half-million time distortions scattered around the Star Trek universe, and volia! Instant supporting characters for when he splits up the Excalibur crew.

Is the New Frontier comic any good? I gave up on the books when David went from “light humour” to “as many lame jokes as possible in every book”, but I’d be willing to go back.

Richard Arnold is notorious for being a PITA back in the day. He had one author’s book rewritten to the extent that only ~30% of the original was left and it was still published with the original author’s name on. He made one author remove all references to the Andorian religion from their novel because ‘such a religion had not been seen to exist’ or something. He was almost single-handedly responsible for turning a good book line into a pile of dreck. After GR died, Paramount ditched him, according to some reports the same day, and by 1996 all of his editorial dictates (no continuing characters created by authors, no interconnectivity between novels, etc) were no longer in effect.

See Bendis’s denial that Ronin was ever intended to be anyone else despite what we have just learned is why I still cant believe Jessica Jones wasnt originally conceived as Jessica Drew….

“Speak for yourself – the choice to make Ronin Echo was pretty clever, in that it makes sense both for the character and for the story…”

No it doesn’t. Echo never had any ties to the Hand. She never studied under a sense. She was never a spy. And she never worked for the Kingpin. She was a concert pianist who only learned kung fu to kill Daredevil(because Kingpin lied about Daredevil killing her father. Oh, and she learned all her kung fu from watching Bruce Lee movies and a tape of Daredevil and Bullseye fighting on the news(remember her power is to perfectly imitate anything she sees). All this spy/ninja/Hand back story was promised to be filled in later(I stopped reading the book so I don’t know if it actually was…). The switch to Echo was sudden, sloppy, and incredibly out of character. I mean, I’m fine with Echo being on the team, but Bendis barely tried to write her in, he just inserted her clumsily into a Daredevil story. What’s even more bothersome, is that the story would have worked if he would have just dropped the Ronin character all together and used Wolverine.

Also, there was some art from some book…I think that Amazing Fantasy book that was out at the time…that surfaced on the internet with the hot new Avengers team assembling, and Daredevil was in the group. When the book saw print, Daredevil was edited out.

Oh man, so my “Justin Thyme Fan Club” is now in the trash can, damm, I really wanted a photo with him. :D Peace.

Yeah, that Quesada cover is all kinds of awful. Look at Ronin’s awkward posture and proportions.

Sentry in Quesada picture looks familiar to me. I think it reminds me of Magneto on an old Art Adams cover, but I’m not sure…

“Speak for yourself – the choice to make Ronin Echo was pretty clever, in that it makes sense both for the character and for the story…”

Except that a deaf superhero makes no sense at all to begin with. Yes, even less sense than a blind hero with all his other senses heightened; at least he has a chance if someone comes up behind him with a sword.

And when you’re deaf and rely entirely on your eyesight to know where your enemies are, a mask that most likely limits peripheral vision is even more stupid.

Paul1963

RJ Blaise was in way more than one issue.

Kirk had gotten himself in trouble with Starfleet and Kirk was sent a “diplomatic censure” or some such who Kirk would have to consult with on matters not realting to ship operations.

David had built the character from an antaginist to a romantic interest for Kirk when he was issued a directive to drop the character imediately. He wasnt given an opportunity to write out the character. He did site in the letter column of issue 19 that he was leaving because of continued interference and edicts that did not make sense.

Pity I thought his stories in the second run was exceptional and my best friend Andre who is a huge Star Trek fan (more than me) loved his run.

The series afterwards got more and more tedious until I dropped it at about issue 30 or so

that should be “antagonist”

:)

“What is the craziest rumor or “urban legend” you have ever heard about you or your work?”

I honestly don’t know what rumors and urban legends there are about me or my work. If people have enough of them, maybe I will put them all together into a single column.

PAD

If memory serves me correctly, Bearclaw was created by Mike W. Barr. I featured the character prominently in one of the post-Barr issues I wrote.

Funny thing about that story.

It was originally announced as appearing in The Best of Star Trek trade paperback that DC published way back when. Richard Arnold bounced it. Why?

“Because there is no prejudice in Starfleet.”

Now Peter David and a few other people know the real reason Arnold bounced it, but it’s a story I only tell at conventions when I’m in a “nostalgic” mood and to people I trust not to put it into print.

Tony Isabella

I don’t believe much of anything Bendis does say, especially “We planned it all along!” comments (see recent Secret Invasion stuff). I don’t know why writers don’t like to admit that they are making it up as they go along. Are they worried they won’t be seen as being as all that intelligent or something, or the work will be considered inferior if it hasn’t been planned out for years and years? Stuff that is made up on the fly can be quite good, actually (see BSG and the first 6 seasons of the X-files).

I haven’t read any of PAD’s comic book Star Trek stuff, but I have read some of his novels, and would recommend them to anyone who is either a fan of Star Trek or PAD. “Imzadi” was one of my favorites of his.

“I don’t know why writers don’t like to admit that they are making it up as they go along. Are they worried they won’t be seen as being as all that intelligent or something, or the work will be considered inferior if it hasn’t been planned out for years and years?”

There’s a fair sized chunk of the internet that would go ape over a revelation like that and would think it devalues the work. But surely if you’re under the deadline crunch some stuff is just going to get made up on the fly and you figure it out in detail later. Especially if you’re working multiple books at a time like Bendis, Johns etc.
The editors must basically trust the writer’s instincts and then step in if it starts going off into the realms of the weird (“No Mark Millar, Captain America is not a gay man in love with Tony Stark. We’re going to need something else to end Civil War with….”)

New Avengers got me back into comics after literally a decade without reading them, and were the first comics I read as an adult. And so I honestly felt pretty ripped when they revealed Daredevil’s alternate identity to be some person I’d never fucking heard of, and dropped the series for a bit to see what DC had to offer (not much).

I mean, it didn’t even seem like a ‘mystery’ until the ‘reveal’. It looked like a plan by the characters to give Daredevil plausible deniability. It was like the Penguin ripped off a latex face mask to reveal that he’d secretly been the Riddler all along.

Of course Ronin was supposed to be Daredevil. This is like Bendis saying that Spider-woman was always not just an alien but the queen of the aliens and the conspiracy was always an alien one, even though that makes no sense given NA #1-4, especially her chat with Black Widow, and hell, it doesn’t even make sense in terms of NA #23 unless the Skrull queen likes to drink herself stupid and cry alone, “think like the person you’re replacing” my ass. Bendis just says he planned things all along and people want to believe. Still a great book, though.

Gordon Purcell

June 14, 2008 at 7:21 am

One extra Trek note: We were in the middle of a first contact story scheduled for Star Trek 16-17 that was a fun look at fans and with little violence or other objectionable matter. But halfway through drawing the story, Richard Arnold bounced it twice for unclear reasons. We needed to hustle to make a tough deadline, so we grabbed the only guest script available. So Trek 16 was one of the first DC credits for J. Michael Straczynski!
PAD is currently writing his excellent NEW FRONTIER series for IDW and I’m currently drawing the STAR TREK: YEAR FOUR miniseries with original series writer DC Fontana. No idea what ever happened to that Straczynski guy…:)

I really wasn’t in the internet when the whole Ronin thing was starting out. I do recall reading an article where Bendis was so proud because nobody had accurately figured out who Ronin was. When the issue came out, and it was revealed to be Echo, my first comment was, “Who?” I almost had a feeling of: “No wonder nobody figured it out, they used a character nobody heard of.” I do recall those two whole issues they tried to give the impression that it was Electra, but I guess a character nobody ever heard of was a better fit along the World’s Mightiest Mortals.

Why are people still talking about this stupid Ronin thing in New Avengers? Urban Legend it hasn’t even been a couple years! LET IT GO!

Richard Arnold was the worst thing ever to happen to Star Trek. I’ve never heard anything positive about his involvement with that universe, and I have to wonder how it is that one man was given so much power despite apparently not having a clue what he was doing, and having no people skills whatsoever. Some of the arbitray mandates and decrees he foisted on the writers during his tenure were truly bizarre, and were largely reponsible for the bland and mediocre novels and comics that came out during part of the ’90s.

The shame of it is that there were many talented people at the helms of those comics and novels, and Peter David was high on the list. I loved his work on DC’s Star Trek and ate up every issue. When that first series ended, I was very sad to see it go, and though Mr. David made an honest go at it during his second DC run, the series just wasn’t the same without Nancy, Bearclaw, Konom and DC’s other original characters.

Richard Arnold damaged the Star Trek comics, just as he damaged the novels and every other branch of Trekdom he oversaw. Here’s hoping Richard Arnold–the Rob Liefeld of Star Trek–is never let near that or any other franchised universe again.

Not that I feel strongly about this or anything.

One thing no one has mentioned, how f’ing brilliant are those J.K. Moore trek covers?

“Now Peter David and a few other people know the real reason Arnold bounced it, but it’s a story I only tell at conventions when I’m in a “nostalgic” mood and to people I trust not to put it into print.”]

Horse-hockey.

…Considering the damage Richard “Melakon” Arnold caused the Trek franchise during his reign of terror, he *deserves* to have all the skeletons dragged out of his closet and set on parade. PAD wasn’t the only writer who got buggered by his power-trip, and as noted it actually took years to get the novels back to at least some semblance of order, while the comic book line has – with the exception of DnA’s Untold Voyages line under Marvel – yet to recover to the level of quality PAD took it to. The schmuck truly deserves no respect whatsoever, much less consideration.

[remembers a Creation Con from 1993 where several fans reported being so pissed by Arnold’s comments regarding Trek licensing and a “conspiracy of writers and fans” being behind his ouster than there was an active search for tar and feathers]

FunkyGreenJerusalem

June 15, 2008 at 6:24 pm

All those people who make fun of the Liefield Captain America should be making fun of that Quesada Captain America!
His shoulder is two and half times bigger than his head… not his muscles, his actual shoulder!
(Not too mention Ronin looks like he/she is leaning on a bar, and that Wolverine looks like a Mars Attacks alien in a mask)

As someone else mentioned, the biggest flaw in having Ronin “revealed” to be Echo revolved around the fact that the character is deaf. Unless she’s got “radar-hearing” (like DD’s “radar-vision) then there’s no way she’d ever pass for a non-deaf person, in secret, for very long. Imagine operating in a group of people and only knowing what’s being said if you look directly at the person speaking! How long would it be before the others in the group realizeed that you were deaf? A minute? A couple of minutes? Does anyone belileve they could actually pull it off for even half an hour?

It was just a stupid “reveal” that hopefully no one really bought.

I believe the Joe Q cover was just suppose to be a sketch for the six different artists to work from to create the interlocking variants for the first six issues.

When NA #1 went to a third printing, they inked and colored his sketch, and made it a cover. (but forgot to add the logo).

“Urban Legend it hasn’t even been a couple years! LET IT GO!”

So, if it was older, it would be more valid to keep focusing on it?

Sorry, you have not made sense.

“One thing no one has mentioned, how f’ing brilliant are those J.K. Moore trek covers?”

Pretty brilliant. He’s one of those guys that never stayed in comics very long, which is a shame, because he’s great.

Marvelbunny–
I know R.J. Blaise was in more than one issue. I was reading the book when she was in it. I was just saying that she was cut out of the story in mid-stream. If I remembered the issue numbers after all this time I would have cited them (“She’s in Part 1 in issue #X, then she’s gone in Part 2 in issue #X+1 with no explanation”).

Ensign Bearclaw (and his father) were definitely created by Mike Barr — they’re in the very 1st issue of the DC Star Trek run, long before David took over. (For the longest time, I thought that Bearclaw was supposed to be the son of a character form the animated TREK — but, turns out, that was Ensign Walking Bear.)

I may be way off base here, but couldn’t Echo fight based on any fighting style she saw? She didn’t need all of her peripheral vision just to fight ninjas. She still knew how to fight like Daredevil.

I like how Ronin’s identity has changed, what, 3 times now?. Ronin means masterless samurai, doesn’t it? It’s kind of neat that people with various agendas take up the mantle when it’s convenient. It’s not like it’s all complete shite.

[…] here at Comic Book Resources, there’s an entertaining post of interest to Star Trek fans about the ouster of Peter David […]

know R.J. Blaise was in more than one issue. I was reading the book when she was in it. I was just saying that she was cut out of the story in mid-stream. If I remembered the issue numbers after all this time I would have cited them

She was in issue #13, part one of “The Return of the Worthy,” co-written by PAD and Bill Mumy. Then, in issue #14, which was the second part (and was delayed an entire month), Blaise was gone without a trace.

Raspberry Jam Blaise was a great character–I would have liked to have seen Peter David utilize her further, had idiocy not prevailed. Luckily, he was allowed to bring R.J. back years later, in the Star Trek Special, which explained away her absence and also revealed what R.J. stood for.

Richard Arnold is currently working for Creation Entertainment in charge of interviewing and introducing the guests at their conventions and is the coordinator for the exhibitor /dealer rooms. Not sure if he does this for all the Creation shows or just Trek. He also sells Star Trek trading cards at their shows.

I remember hearing the story about Peter David slipping in the script under the pseudonym and it flying through. Too bad, his and Mike Barrs stories were probably the best Trek stories I ever read. “Gold Key” indeed…heh.

When I worked on Star Wars stuff in the late 1990s, even Lucas Licensing wasn’t that anal or strict.

You’re absolutely right, Marc. I’ve been writing for various Lucasfilm licensees since the mid ’90s, and I also used to write for Star Trek Communicator before that magazine went under, so I’ve seen how both licensing departments operate. But never have I run into the sheer insanity that Mr. David seems to have run into with Richard Arnold. Absolutely nuts. I can’t imagine why Arnold would have had such an issue with David’s writing–he’s one of the best Trek authors in the history of the franchise. His run on DC Comics is brilliant, and his novels are consistently the best of the line. I’d forgotten Arnold was working for Creation. Maybe that at least partially explains why that convention has so completely fallen apart in the last decade.

[…] of the previous one-hundred and fifty-eight. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged byhttp://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/06/12/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-159/Is Preity on the verge of break-up? 22 Jun 2008, 0000 hrs IST, AFSANA AHMED ,TNN The Times of […]

ParanoidObsessive

November 22, 2008 at 1:55 am

>>> Richard Arnold was the worst thing ever to happen to Star Trek. I’ve never heard anything positive about his involvement with that universe, and I have to wonder how it is that one man was given so much power despite apparently not having a clue what he was doing, and having no people skills whatsoever.

Considering what some Trek fans think of Berman and Braga, one might question whether or not there’s something endemic involving people who have no business making crucial decisions getting their hands on some part of the franchise or other.

>>> As someone else mentioned, the biggest flaw in having Ronin “revealed” to be Echo revolved around the fact that the character is deaf. Unless she’s got “radar-hearing” (like DD’s “radar-vision) then there’s no way she’d ever pass for a non-deaf person, in secret, for very long. Imagine operating in a group of people and only knowing what’s being said if you look directly at the person speaking! How long would it be before the others in the group realizeed that you were deaf? A minute? A couple of minutes? Does anyone belileve they could actually pull it off for even half an hour?

In theory, it would be possible to install some sort of sound-detecting technology in the helmet that could process local sound and display it as a visual read-out, which would not only solve the speech problem, but the “someone is sneaking up behind you” problem. But then again, that isn’t the route they took with the character.

>>> I may be way off base here, but couldn’t Echo fight based on any fighting style she saw? She didn’t need all of her peripheral vision just to fight ninjas. She still knew how to fight like Daredevil.

Even Daredevil can’t fight what he can’t see (or more precisely, hear). All the reflexes and fighting skill in the world doesn’t help if you have no idea where your target is in the first place. Even “blind fighting” relies on SOME sensory input (usually sound), so “deaf fighting” would still require sight. A ninja in your blind spot is still going to be able to kill you dead, whether you have the fighting ability of Daredevil or Aunt May.

[…] after Born Again. Alan Moore created John Constantine BECAUSE he looked like Sting #159 – Ronin was going to be revealed fairly early in the New Avengers #5 or #6, but the reveal was pushed … Paramount canceled DC’s first Star Trek series and relaunched without Peter David because […]

>The costume was padded!

Echo must be really good. Not everyone could do acrobatics in a fat suit.

Yes, a fat suit with Elevator shoes that give the the height, bulk, and shape of a man, not a woman. The whole thing was ridiculous, and gets into Bendis being more interested in “shock” than story. If there was a good reason for Daredevil to become Ronin it wouldn’t matter if we knew or not. But it was all about “guess who”, and he came up with the most preposterous answer.

And to the other story, while there were other good ones (Barr comes to mind since he was mentioned), the best Star Trek comics were written by Peter David.

Just a clarification here about “Justin Tyme”– in regards to the Excalibur book, I was asked in to help out at the eleventh hour to make the shipping date. I was not the original artist assigned to the book, Chris Wozniak was. Sometimes things happen and deadlines get threatened and fast thinking editors have their go-to guys to help out. The name “Justin Tyme” along with “M. Hands” (many hands) and even the composite “Jack Fury” has been used on numerous occasions to credit the uncredited contributing artists.

[…] Indeed, you can spot a lot of his New Avengers line-up here. There’s obviously Luke Cage, who Bendis has shepherded from relative obscurity to the forefront of the shared universe. There’s also Spider-Man and Wolverine, who would be his most controversial recruits to the team. There’s obviously Captain America. There’s also Daredevil, who was originally intended to join the team under the alias “Echo” until an overzealous reporter spoiled that particular plot thread and Bendis had to make a last-minu…. […]

Its probably that PAD is an untalented tosser who thinks he is god’s gift to writing.

Richard Arnold was reviled by every single Star Trek novelist. There were plenty of victims of his obsessions.

Oh, and screw you.

PAD

I mean this with all sincerity, I wish more creators would tell people to go screw themselves when they act so cowardly. Well said Mr. David.

Well, it was just such a bizarre random insult to come in on a years old thread. Richard Arnold spent years making life miserable for every book writer connected to “Star Trek.” And some anonymous yahoo comes in and tries to make it all about me. Everyone who worked on Trek during the Arnold years have horror stories.

Several of the more egregious Arnold dictates are mentioned above, although one of my favorites remains when I depicted Kirk, Spock, et al with thought balloons. A style that’s fallen out of favor in more recent years, but in those days they were commonplace. And Richard ordered the cessation of their use with the following edict: “Our characters don’t think.”

To fully understand what a weasel he was: Pocket submitted one of my MS for approval, a book called Q-In-Law, involving Q crossing swords with Lwaxana Troi. The maximum that Richard was supposed to take to approve it was six weeks. Six MONTHS later he had yet to approve it. He offered no comments; he just stonewalled it. At a NY Creation Con that we were both attending, and he kept avoiding me, I figured I had nothing to lose. I did a reading from Q-In-Law in a packed ballroom where I knew that Richard was in the back. It killed. The fans loved it. Richard quickly retaliated. A few days Pocket gets an angry letter declaring that QIL would require massive rewrites because it was “an insult to Star Trek.” Yet he continued to provide no specific criticisms. We were supposed to guess.

More months passed and the book was in danger of missing shipping. We were running out of options. I seized a last-ditch effort: Majel Barrett was going to be a guest at a local convention. We already had the cover proof (even though the book wasn’t approved) so I took a fresh copy of the manuscript, with the cover included, and brought it to Majel. Without mentioning the stonewalling by Richard, I told her I was interested in getting her feedback since it focused so heavily on her character. She said she’d love to read it.

She was as good as her word. Apparently she read it that very weekend. Because–and this I got word of from friendlies within Paramount–she breezed into the Star Trek office and raved to anyone who would listen about this WONderful upcoming Trek novel, Q-in-Law. And she goes into Richard’s office and says, “Richard! Have you read this WONderful book, Q-in-Law!”

And Richard says, “Why no, Majel! I haven’t yet. But I’ll get right on it!”

The book later saw print with a handful of exceedingly minor changes.

Richard Arnold, kids.

And for any anonymous gits who feel that this is just some talentless hack complaining because Richard was fighting to prevent a rubbish book from being published, see the fan responses yourself:

http://www.amazon.com/Q-In-Law-Star-Trek-Generation-No-18/dp/B000Q0FPUE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345815301&sr=8-1&keywords=Q-in-Law

PAD

While the first legend is about Bendis’ Ronin, on the first Star Trek cover is an ad for Miller’s Ronin!

Coincidence?

And who posted it? Of course, Brian cRONIN. This is getting weird…

[…] With the high profile of The Next Generation securing his position, Roddenberry was able to leverage more control over the tie-ins set inside his universe. Richard Arnold immediately began cleaning house. The on-going DC Comics Star Trek series was immediately cancelled and wiped away, replaced with a follow-up that would be much more tightly regulated by Arnold and others. (One that didn’t deal in as many original or “non-canon” characters.) […]

How can you not love PAD?

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