web stats

CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #168

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

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Writer/Artist John Byrne has been involved in an inordinate amount of eerie coincidences.

STATUS: True

I almost considered putting a “False” for this one, if only because, upon looking into this bit, I found stuff like:

Byrne is sometimes believed to possess the power to predict events in our world, when he does his comics, and of course these events are predominantly tragedies.

And THAT, of course, is totally bogus, as well, come on. Heck, I would go further to say that I doubt the veracity of “is sometimes believed,” as I don’t think there’s anyone who ACTUALLY believes that.

But anyhow, yes, John Byrne has been involved in an inordinate amount of eerie comic book coincidences.

Fairly early on in his career at Marvel, Byrne drew an issue of Marvel Team-Up with writer Chris Claremont that involved a blackout in New York City.

Soon after the issue was released in 1977 (and months after Byrne had drawn it), New York City had one of its largest blackouts ever.

The next year, when Byrne was on Uncanny X-Men with Claremont, the pair had Japan be struck by an earthquake (courtesy of Mose Magnum).

In 1978, Japan was struck with a number of earthquakes.

(Speaking of Claremont, towards the very end of his run with Byrne on Uncanny X-Men, the pair depicted the dystopian world of 2013 in “Days of Future Past.” One of the characters from that story made it to the present, and in a later issue of Uncanny X-Men (#189), the character included a (in retrospect) chilling “flashback” to the destruction of the World Trade Center.

)

When Byrne began work on the first issue of his Superman reboot, his introduction of Superman to the world was going to be when Superman is forced to save the NASA space shuttle (he doesn’t specifically say Challenger, just “the NASA space shuttle”).

While working on the issue, though, the Challenger space shuttle tragically was destroyed. Luckily, Byrne was working far enough ahead that he was able to redraw the pages so that now it was Superman saving a fictional space-plane (with Lois Lane aboard, natch).

Finally, and perhaps most notably, in late August 1997, Wonder Woman #126 came out, reflecting the short-lived death of Wonder Woman, Princess Diana of Themyscira.

That Saturday, the REAL Princess Diana was killed in a car accident.

Some weird stuff, no?

Byrne, himself, wrote in to Scientific American magazine after Michael Shermer had written a skeptical look at a different writer’s claims to have predicted the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and stated most of these facts, concluding:

My ability as a prognosticator…would seem assured-provided, of course, we reference only the above, and skip over the hundreds of other comic books I have produced which featured all manner of catastrophes, large and small, which did not come to pass.

Well said, Mr. Byrne.

Thanks to reader StereotypeA for reminding me of the “Byrne Curse,” thanks to Kate Willaert (you can see her site here) for the Uncanny X-Men #189 panel, and thanks, of course, to John Byrne for the information.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Billy Dee Williams was paid to NOT be Two-Face in Batman Forever.

STATUS: True

My pal Sean Whitmore asked me to take a look at exactly what was the deal with Billy Dee Williams and the Batman films, so here it is!

A common occurrence in the world of big budget movie series is the notion of the film companies having options for the actors in the films for later sequels, so that if the company wants, say, Brandon Routh to play Superman again, he’ll have already agreed to do the sequel (occasionally, these deals even include what the actor will be paid for the sequel).

A slightly different contract scenario was the case for Billy Dee Williams and his ill-fated quest to play Two-Face in the Batman films.

When Williams signed on to play Harvey Dent in the first Batman film, as part of his contract, he was signed on to play Two-Face if/when the Batman films decided to use the villain.

However, when Tim Burton decided to pass on Batman Forever, the second sequel to the film, incoming director Joel Schumacher did not want Williams for the role, so the producers instead paid Williams his fee for the film for NOT appearing in the movie as Two-Face.

That led to Tommy Lee Jones becoming Two-Face.

This is similar to a situation that happened in the late 1980s with Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables. He had signed a contract with Bob Hoskins to have the actor play Al Capone, but when the studios forced De Palma to cast the more marketable Robert De Niro in the role (reader Tom Russell believes that De Palma always wanted De Niro, but didn’t think he could get him due to scheduling conflicts, so went after Hoskins and then De Niro’s schedule opened up), Hoskins walked away with a sizable paycheck for NOT doing the movie. Reportedly, when told about the decision to not use him, Hoskins took it in stride and asked De Palma if he had any other films Hoskins could not appear in.

So anyhow, that’s what happened with Billy Dee Williams and Two-Face, Sean! Thanks for the suggestion!

EDITED TO ADD: Reader SKFK brings up an interesting point. Williams was originally going to be in Batman Returns, as well, to set up his role as Two-Face, and those scenes were cut from the film (prior to filming, I believe). So Williams may also have been paid to not appear in Batman Returns, as well. Thanks, SKFK!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Grant Morrison intended for the Beast to be gay during his New X-Men run.

STATUS: False

Grant Morrison’s handling of Beast in New X-Men was cause for a bit of controversy/confusion regarding a line in New X-Men #125.

In New X-Men #125, Beast is leading a tour of the X-Men mansion to a group of reporters, including his ex-girlfriend, Trish Tilby, who broke up with Hank after his latest transformation (into more of, well, a Beast).

The tour is interrupted as the mansion comes under attack by Cassandra Nova’s forces.

Beast takes the reporters to safety, and Tilby realizes what a fool she was, and tries to get back together with Hank, to which he replies:

“We had some fun together didn’t we? When you think back, I have some GREAT photographs. I played Chopin by moonlight, you danced NAKED and fell in the shrubbery. But the truth is that I’m not interested in a relationship with a human being right now. In fact, I think I might be gay.”

And then rushes off to battle.

Morrison brings it up a little later, when Emma Frost calls out Hank on the joke.

And then Morrison gets even more explicit in New X-Men #134 (thanks to Pink Kryptonite for the transcription)

Beast: What? The gay stuff? Come on, Scott! I’m challenging all kinds of stereotypes here!

Cyclops: But you’re not gay. I know you’re not gay, Hank.

Beast: So? I might as well be! I’ve been taunted all my life for my individualistic looks and style of dress… I’ve been hounded and called names in the street and I’ve risen above it.

Cyclops: Oh, for crying out loud, Hank. I love you, but you’re officially on the road to apocalyptic mind loss. No one but you is going to find this funny.

Beast: Come on, I’m as gay as the next mutant! I make a great role model for alienated young men and women. Why not?

Of course, though, now that Morrison actually took the time to explain the joke further, the reaction went from, “OMG! Morrison made Beast gay!” to “OMG! Morrison made Beast gay and then Marvel made him un-gay him!”

Rich Johnston cleared this up in an interview with Morrison back in 2003:

RICHARD: There has been speculation about certain Marvel concerns making their way into your work of late. A recent scene where Henry McCoy reiterated that he wasn’t gay to Cyclops seemed over-elaborated, especially when he had done so, slightly less obliquely to Emma Frost an issue or two before. Editorial concerns pushing aside storytelling concerns, or too many fans with too much time on their hands? Both?

GRANT: It’s always fans with too much time. The Beast thing was my mocking, ironic take on the whole ‘Let’s have a Gay on the team’ current I was seeing elsewhere. I thought it would be more fun and more sophisticated to explore the very concept of ‘gayness’ and people’s strange need to define themselves using such off-the-peg labels. It was also to point out that, like the Beast, it’s possible to be flamboyant, stylish, witty and ‘gay’, without being homosexual…so I wanted to have a character stand up for the people who are neither gay nor straight nor anything other than just plain ODD – the people who don’t have shops to shop in and helplines to phone, but who feel as alienated and persecuted as any ‘Gay’. The scenes with Beast were presented exactly as I’d intended and the whole thing will play out and make its little point as intended.

The only things I’ve had imposed on me at Marvel are those stupid ‘PREVIOUSLY’ pages which nobody reads anyway. Everything anyone needs to know is there in the story so I really don’t understand the fascination for these ugly text pages – they look like ’60s DC’s.

There ya go!

Thanks to Rich and Grant for the information! And thanks to Boogie and Dennis for the scans of the panels in question!!

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!

144 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 15, 2008 at 5:28 am

Interesting that you’d bring up that bit about Byrne’s predictions, however, in 5 years, we will be coming up on 2013. Which is the year of the famous “Days of Future Past”.

I wonder what MARVEL is going to deal with this two-parter, now that the time is almost upon us.
Keeping in mind that NONE of the X-men is, well, any older than they were when Uncanny X-men # 141-142 appeared.

They’ll probably simply ignore it, the same way they ignore Reed Richards and Ben Grimm’s having served in World War II and Peter Parker having attended the premiere of the first Star Trek movie. All direct date references in comics are eventually unofficially retconned by the sliding timescale.

Hopefully nothing. The last thing I want is more post-apocalyptic stories with boring personality-less robots as antagonists. right now.

Maybe instead of “Byrne is sometimes believed to possess ” it should read “Byrne sometimes believes he possesses…”

Weird. I was reading NXM #125 earlier today… do I, in fact, have a Byrne-like gift for predicting the topics of Brian’s Urban Legends?

No.

That’d be cool, though.

Not-so-gay-Beast was my favorite character subplot that year.

Ultimate Beast had a great subplot at the same time… Hank gets duped by a ‘girl’ he meets on the internet into revealing that Magneto is still alive. Turns out the girl is Blob.

Sorry Mr Byrne, (can’t believe I’m saying this) but I just read the bit where he himself disproves the theory…

I’m reminded of Grant Morrison and Mark Millar’s seemingly uncanny prediction of British political events when they featured John Smith’s heart attack and Tony Blair being Prime Minister in Zenith and Maniac 5 respectively.

The byrne story reminds me of an urban legend about the british comic 2000ad, in the 80s or 90s they ran a strip called bradley about a typical kid/hooligan and one of the storylines was having him try to break into the music business by meeting such famous bands/singers as the Sisters of Mercy and Jason Donovan, anyway as i recall within a few months of the story every band/singer featured in it either split up or left their record company.

John Byrne predicts the future! That’s why, when I was all alone on Christmas, a Brood attacked me, and I had to burn it with my SR-71 jet engine in the basement. Tough holiday.

I’m not bothered so much by the possibility of Beast being gay (other than it being out of character) than by the context in which it was said.

It was a petty comeback. It was basically “Oh, NOW you want to come back to me? Too bad, because I don’t like girls anymore. Or humans.” Ok, so even the best person has off moments- but that just doesn’t sound well, and Morrison should’ve known he would get in trouble for it. Not that Morrison ever admits he’s wrong, or does he?

I think it’s so funny that Morrison mentioned he was satirizing the current trend to have a gay character in team books – because at the time he said that, his fellow Uncanny writer Chuck Austen was doing that very thing with Northstar (who he brought on the book amidst hype of good things, but then proceeded to remind us every issue that he was gay, gay, GAY). I usually don’t like when creators take swipes at each other, but I don’t mind if it’s Austen.

There was that X-Force issue in which the World Trade Center was attacked, too. I think that speaks more to the visibility and prominence of the WTC than any psychic ability on the part of the writers.

The one X-character who’s visibly older now than at the time of ‘X-Men’ 141-142 is Shadowcat.

With the Beast, what would have been funnier is if he could have had Beast so comfortable with his sexuality he could have had some more fun with the gay references and really ham it up…

have him doing come on’s to Scott or making references to how good he looks in his skintight costumes…

“Yeah Scott, you didn’t know I liked man-ass? After all of those group showers??”

maybe thats a bit too subversive for mainstream tho…lol..

I think that off all the actors who were paid not to appear in movies (Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz getting paid not to be the “Bad Boys” is a famously weird example) Nic Cage got the biggest payday (upwards of 20 million?) not to be Superman. If they had replaced him with someone better than Routh, I would have said they’d got their money’s worth.

“Our Worlds at War” and the “Dark Knight” sequel are, of course, the more immediate examples of predicting the fall of the towers.

In fact, “Our Worlds at War” was truly uncanny. Starting in early 2000 here: first they had a blatantly immoral businessman run for president, seize the presidency through fraud in November, get exposed as corrupt and see his popularity plummet throughout the following year… Then, in Septermber 2001, he has his ass hauled out the fire by a sudden attack that destroys the tallest buildings in America’s biggest east coast city. He regains his popularity by ordering a massive armed retaliation (Of course, in the comic book, he retaliated against the people who actually attacked us. That shows how unrealistic comics are.) For a while, he coasts on high numbers again, allowing him to do his evil deeds in secret… Then, a few years later, the country realizes just how corrupt he is and turns on him once and for all.

And each of these events happened just BEFORE they happened in real life. That has to be the most startlingly prescient series of comics even published, right?

I inspired an Urban Legends Reveale! Woohoo!

Thank you Psych class!

Remember kids, learning is fun cause knowledge is power!

Re: the Billy Dee Williams example. In Hollywood parlance, that practice is known as “play-or-pay,” meaning that you get paid whether or not you do the project. It’s a common practice.

Interesting stuff, as always. The coincidence one was pretty amusing, though I’d like to fix one thing about it:

“In EVERY YEAR, Japan is struck with a number of earthquakes.”

Don’t be silly — of course Byrne doesn’t predict these huge international tragedies. He causes them. All this time spent reading superhero comics, and you don’t recognize a real-life supervillain when the evidence is staring you in the face.

Parodied in the Animaniacs’ theme song, where they have “pay-or-play” contracts, meaning they won’t make new cartoons (which would annoy/embarrass WB executives) as long as they’re paid.

Not to be nit-picky, but from what I understand, De Palma had intended for De Niro to be Capone the entire time. There were scheduling conflicts, and so De Palma cast Hoskins; De Niro became available again, and De Palma– who had worked with De Niro before either of them became “big”– recast him. Hoskins was paid in full. (At least, this is according to the Behind-the-Scenes Untouchables documentary. De Palma could be misremembering, though.)

To be slightly more nit-picky– and this is something that’s bugged me for a long time but that I’ve been able to ignore hitherto– this was the one-hundred sixty-eighth in a series, not one-hundred and sixty-eighth. When talking about numbers, “and” is only used to separate whole numbers and decimals, or dollars and cents. It’s something that, admittedly, a lot of people do– like people who say “literally” when they mean “figuratively”– and, personally, I blame Disney and their Dalmations.

“Jeff Ryan
John Byrne predicts the future! That’s why, when I was all alone on Christmas, a Brood attacked me, and I had to burn it with my SR-71 jet engine in the basement. Tough holiday.”

Sorry Jeff, and I really hate to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as Christmas Brood. That was just your Uncle Bob in a suit.

Still a tough holiday, though, since you incinerated him.

I don’t recall Luthor “seizing the Presidency through fraud” in the “Lex 2000″ storyline. My recollection is that he stepped in to bail out the earthquake-devastated Gotham City at the end of “No Man’s Land” and rode into the White House largely on the basis of that deed. “Hey, look, I saved this city when the previous guy just wrote it off, vote for me!”

Here’s a controversial notion that DC will never address: In the DCU, by all rights, the World Trade Center should still be standing and Osama Bin Laden should be in prison, and there should be no coalition forces in Iraq. Why? Because a) there are so many metas in or around NYC in the DCU (or there were in 2001, at least) that by the time the second plane came into view it could have been intercepted and diverted, so no impact on the South Tower; b) said metas could have quickly extinguished the fires in the North Tower, so no collapse; c) Luthor would NEVER have allowed Bin Laden’s relatives to leave the country without being questioned, and, in all likelihood, required to provide DNA samples; d) Luthor would have dispatched Team Luthor agents to Afghanistan with scanners designed to track down individuals matching those DNA samples; and finally e) Luthor didn’t have a personal beef with Saddam Hussein, so no invasion of Iraq.

Now, given that time doesn’t pass for the characters in the DCU the way it does for us, we’re fast coming up on the point where 2001 would fall into the period between the disbanding of the JSA and the emergence of the modern wave of heroes, so that would be the explanation for metas not responding to the 9/11 attacks. As it stands, though, seven years ago the DCU had Superman, a couple of Flashes, at least two Earth-based Green Lanterns and enough magic-users and fliers to make a significant difference in the way things ended up on that terrible day.

(Some may bring up The Boys #21 as another possible outcome, but I tend to think the JLA, JSA, Titans and others are a LOT smarter than the Seven and have numerous members who KNOW HOW A PLANE WORKS and KNOW HOW TO FLY ONE.)

And then there’s the question of whether 9/11 would carry the weight in the DCU that it does today, given that there have been a couple of U.S. cities attacked and/or destroyed by nukes or other WMDs there (Coast City destroyed by Mongul during the Return of Superman storyline, Kansas City destroyed in “Our Worlds At War,” a nuclear explosion outside Fawcett City in The Power of Shazam, Bludhaven destroyed by Chemo and I’ll bet there are more that haven’t been Superboy-punched away)–plus two entire middle-eastern countries wiped out by supervillians (Cheshire and Black Adam have both destroyed countries–Cheshire with a nuke and Black Adam with his bare hands).

Anyway. I’m overthinking this as usual.

They may have been better off with Billy Dee Williams in Batman Forever.

“Interesting stuff, as always. The coincidence one was pretty amusing, though I’d like to fix one thing about it:

“In EVERY YEAR, Japan is struck with a number of earthquakes.” ”

A good point, this – predicting an earthquake for a country that averages approximately 1500 earthquakes per year is nearly as difficult as predicting that the sun will come up tomorrow. ;)

Forever still would have sucked, but at least Two-Face would have been more velvety.

Aww, yeah.

One might make similar arguments regarding 9/11 in the Marvel Universe.

And of course more Marvel characters are in New York City proper.

“All direct date references in comics are eventually unofficially retconned by the sliding timescale.”

Apart from Vietnam Punisher in Punisher Max. Go, Punisher Max! Wooo!

(Except that they panicked and removed his DOB or whatever it was from the front of one of the covers. Doh).

I can see it now- lando mackin’ on th’ ladiez.. even with a crusty head, he still gets more ‘tang than nasa.

i would very much like to have those stupid ‘PREVIOUSLY’ pages for Final Crisis…

Hey, you guys, I just remembered that wasn’t a Christmas Brood, that was a Christmas N’Garai that Kitty blasted with the jet! The Brood hadn’t been introduced yet! Duh.

Re: Luthor election fraud: To be fair, I was just skimming the comics at the time. I thought I remembered some sort of chicanery. I could be mis-remembering.

(checking wikipedia, I see that there was some question of whether or not Luthor had a hand in causing the Gotham cataclysm in the first place. That wouldn’t be the “let’s not count all the votes” type of fraud, that would be more the “let’s make a secret deal with Ayatollah to not release the hostages yet” kind of fraud, but still…)

(I also see on wikipedia that America later learned that President Luthor had previously known that Imperiex was determined to strike, yet did nothing to deter it, so there’s another parallel…)

wasn’t Marlon Wayans also paid NOT to play Robin in Batman Returns?

RJ, I’m sad to say that it wasn’t a Brood or a N’garai. it was (sigh) my uncle Bob.

But on the plus side, my unlce Bob was the Ultra-Humanite. So it all balances out.

R. J. Sterling: Yes, one might, what with frickin’ Avengers Mansion AND the Baxter Building being right there on Manhattan.

Bat, I paid Marlon Wayans not to be Robin in Batman Returns out of my own pocket.

I can’t be the only one who wonders how Quasar figured into Jeff Ryan’s Christmas misadventure.

The real irony of the Byrne UL is that John Byrne doesn’t believe (and rather outspokenly) in using coincidence *in comic book stories.* For him, almost any coincidence is unbelievable – like the guy Spider-Man fails to stop just happening to be Uncle Ben’s future killer, for instance. Which is why he had this whole convoluted setup for why it *wasn’t* just a coincidence in “Spider-Man Year One.” And that’s just one example.

That Byrne thing reminds me of Back to the Future II, which predicted that Miami would have a baseball team (which it didn’t at the time). And now they do; the Marlins. True.

Of course, subsequent iterations and embellishments of this fact have been falsified:
http://www.snopes.com/sports/baseball/bttf2.asp

Tom Russell wrote:
“To be slightly more nit-picky– and this is something that’s bugged me for a long time but that I’ve been able to ignore hitherto– this was the one-hundred sixty-eighth in a series, not one-hundred and sixty-eighth.”

One hundred AND sixty eighth is perfect English. As in England. I think that’s why I enjoy Cronin’s column so much, he speaks my language :)

Ditto!
;-)

BTW – I checked the Oxford English Dictionary for the pronunciation of “Magneto”..

Apparently it’s a third way – “Mag – nitt – oh ”

Seriously…

I hated it when they started referencing 9-11 in the universes of both DC and Marvel. It just cheapened it. The biggest example I can remember is in X Men when Austen was “writing” it and Havok wakes up, and they start explaining to him everything that’s happened in the past few years, and included the towers. A billion people died in Genosha. Skrulls did some horrible stuff. Angel has a sword and is making out with a teenage girl. The towers fell. Magneto leveled New York City. Just completely gross.

Sorry Jeff, I didn’t want to be the ruiner of youthful fantasy.

If it makes you feel any better, my Uncle Bob showed up on Christmas dressed as Gladiator, and he tried to kidnap my family to save the Shi’Ar, even after I punched him across the city. They showed up again a few weeks later, dressed in horrible spandex bodysuits.

Then we incinerated him.

http://www.uncannyxmen.net/db/issues/showquestion.asp?fldAuto=218

You know, Morrison raises a strong point.

Those “Previously” pages are incredibly pointless and ugly. They should be chucked in favor of more story per issue.

Also, Brian, you will be getting to the bottom of the Psyche/Psylocke pun debate, won’t you? I have faith in you, man.

Luthor’s awareness of Imperiex’ coming was the wedge that started his downfall as President.

Lex legitimately (as far as we know) won the presidency, but the chicanery was when Braniac’s B-12 virus wiped out all records of his criminal activity from all electronic storage media (why no one bothered to look at old newspapers instead is a question, though) at the start of 2000.

And except for the usual fundraiser special, 9/11 does not seem to have occurred in the DCU (maybe because Luthor did NOT ignore the briefings left behind by the Clinton people?).

Grant’s whole “gay” dialog looks to me like a riff on the subtext of mutants as stand-ins for gays in the X-Men movies. Remember when one of the X-Men’s parents asked, “Couldn’t you just NOT be a mutant for us?”

“One might make similar arguments regarding 9/11 in the Marvel Universe.”

Don’t bring that up, you’ll just make Doom cry again.

The part about Byrne reminded me of this. I was working on an animated commercial for a pizza company and we had a scene were the space shuttle delivered a pizza to astronauts on the moon. Someone came in the room one day and said in a very matter of fact way “Well the space shuttle just blew up.” I thought they meant they had dropped the animation cels and destroyed days of work that would need redone. No. It was the day Challenger blew up.

I think the explanation about Billy Dee Williams is a little bit off. I’ve read that Tim Burton planned to have Two-Face as one of the villains in Batman Returns, but his characters was written out of the script and Williams’ contract was bought out during the production of Batman Returns, way before Joel Schumacher replaced Tim Burton. (Remember that Billy Dee Williams was not in Batman Returns.)

http://www.geocities.com/burtonsbatman3/rumors.html

Okay, that’s Magnitto. What about the Sub-Mareener? And Gladiator did what to the Ultra-Humanite in the Alien suit now?

And, it’s funny, the first time I read that X-Men story, I didn’t know who Grant Morrison was, and I thought, “Oh, this is just another stupid ‘Let’s have a gay on the team’ moment.”

Its a hard thing to want to keep relevant issues with the real world while juxtaposing them with what are pretty commonplace events in the MU. In Bru’s Cap, the Red Skull detonated a WMD in Philadelphia- outside of that book, there’s virtually no reference to it I can remember in recent dates. Plus during Kang’s invasion New York was basically leveled (by both Kang hitting it and converting portions into a prison camp if I remember correctly and The Master’s fortifications)- all damage from which has been shrugged off and ignored- sometimes in other hero books where the timeline is the same! There have been many other instances of mass destruction in MU’s NY, but hey, what are you going to do? Real world events supercede fictional ones, especially when writers and artists are trying to cope with those events just like the rest of us.

Speaking of strange occurrences, does any remember being chilled when they went to the comic book store the day after 9-11, only to find how unnerving that issue of Joe Casey and Mike Wieringo’s issue of Superman was…with that first page image of burning twin buildings? Superman even had that “black shield” on his chest to honor all that had fallen in “Our World’s at War”…

Speaking of Beast, I remember being a bit disappointed that he didn’t end up being more sexually fluid, like, an example of post traditional gender identity…I mean mutants are the next step, I think it would make sense if more were not gay or straight, but bi-sexual. But I did find that scene with him and Trish super cute.

And coming from a straight man who does look more than a lot flamboyant, and having many gay male friends, I really appreciated how Austen handled the Iceman-Northstar friendship. Sometimes feelings get a little hurt, but you can have a good friendship nonetheless.

The Destroyer novels have a fairly good prediction ratio for current events as well. They wrote a story about the Shah of Iran falling sick and needing the protection of the Master of Sinanju that came out months before the events of Iran began. They used both Roy Orbison and Carl Sagan in major roles shortly before they passed on.

I recall a Science Fiction story that gave a fairly solid explanation of how an atom bomb would work – several years before the Manhattan Project went public. The author got a very interested visit from men in black suits.

Heck, China Syndrome – the single greatest bit of timing for a movie in the history of film.

It’s just sheer chance – when you write about current events and try to figure out what will happen next, then write a story about it, you’re occasionally right.

As much a Morrison supporter as I am, I disagree. I’d rather “What Happened Last Time” be summarized neatly outside the story, rather than crammed in as exposition.

I’ve got to second kushiro’s bit about earthquakes in Japan. It’s a bit like writing about an earthquake in California – more of a cliché than a surprise.

That would have been a stupid pizza commercial. The space shuttle was designed to work in low Earth orbit and could never reach Luna.

As to the Japanese stuff, I believe Byrne was referring to one of the particularly large earthquakes that struck Japan in 1978, either the Miyagi-Oki one or the Izu one.

Whenever New York (or anywhere in the US) is levelled in the Marvel U, Damage Control fix it!
Usually witin a day or so!!

I think in the DCU, it tends to be done by the JSA or the Titans…?

Morrison’s X-Men is amazing. I don’t know why that “is Beast gay” thing needed explanation, I thought it was perfectly clear in the comic.

In a 1993 issue of UN Force, they showed an attack on the Twin Towers the same month it happened, which generated a lot of press coverage.

There was an issue of Superman where he battled tornadoes in the mid west, I got it a few days after there was a tornado in Nebraska.

A 1940s Superman strip dealt with atomic weapons that caused a stir with the government.

John Byrne wasn’t the first and its doubtful he’ll be the last.

I remember standing in line to meet an artist at a convention, listening to two people talk about how Morrison’s X-Men was “stupid” because he “turned the Beast gay.” This was *after* the issue with the Cyclops conversation was published.

True Blackjak- very true- not much Damage Control can’t handle, and yes, DCU heroes actually do pitch in and rebuild infrastructure (I think they actually gave that explanation – convenient though it was- showing a fully intact Metropolis… after Metropolis as a whole had been completely leveled merely a single issue or two prior by Luthor’s “Scorched Earth Policy” being enacted which brought down whatever Doomsday didn’t in prior issues soooome time ago). I just kind of sat there looking at that page, raised an eyebrow, shrugged, and continued on with the story thinking “ok, a bit lazy, but I guess somebody wanted a full return to tradition as quickly and cleanly as possible without dealing with the interesting ramifications”. Let Batman deal with a completely trashed city, right?

Oh and BRiAN, I’m with you- not only did I “get” what Morrison was doing, I thought it was pretty hilarious- Beast lending some much needed levity during a pretty intense situation, and simply continuing the goof for a bit. If anything, Cyclops couldn’t get the joke, and I think most fans took a cue from him forgetting what a rascal Henry can be. Hell, I have an openly gay family member who is also into comics who was always touting how great it was that Beast “came out” and I had to be the one to clue him in to the debunk a few panels down the road. And this was after the TPB of those issues was out. Whoops!

The DC superheroes tried to stop the planes in 9/11, but Bin Laden had the Spear of Destiny.

Blackjak wrote:

“Whenever New York (or anywhere in the US) is levelled in the Marvel U, Damage Control fix it!
Usually witin a day or so!!”

Totally right, they had the “superfund” to do that, and in New York is easy because “There’s been so much damage caused by super hero battles over the years, the city of New York was legally declared a perpetual disaster area”. If you don’t believe me, read WWH: Damage Control. :D Peace.

“Ok, so even the best person has off moments- but that just doesn’t sound well, and Morrison should’ve known he would get in trouble for it.”–I thought it was totally high-five-at-the-bar-later-worthy.

“Here’s a controversial notion that DC will never address: In the DCU, by all rights, the World Trade Center should still be standing and Osama Bin Laden should be in prison, and there should be no coalition forces in Iraq. Why? Because a) there are so many metas in or around NYC in the DCU (or there were in 2001, at least) that by the time the second plane came into view it could have been intercepted and diverted, so no impact on the South Tower; b) said metas could have quickly extinguished the fires in the North Tower, so no collapse; c) Luthor would NEVER have allowed Bin Laden’s relatives to leave the country without being questioned, and, in all likelihood, required to provide DNA samples; d) Luthor would have dispatched Team Luthor agents to Afghanistan with scanners designed to track down individuals matching those DNA samples; and finally e) Luthor didn’t have a personal beef with Saddam Hussein, so no invasion of Iraq.”–a) DCU metahumans aren’t as concentrated in NYC as Marvel U. metahumans are/were at that time. DCU metahumans have always been more spread out. b) I’m sure that in both the DCU and the MU, the casualties were far less. I’m not even sure that it happened in the DCU. Did it? c) Why? Luthor’s the same sort of corrupt capitalist that Bush is. Everyone makes Bush this weird pariah, as if he’s the ONLY ONE, but all business leaders are like him. They all sold out our country a long time ago, they’re all sociopathic, they’re all real-life supervillains, and Luthor’s no different. d) Not if he didn’t want bin Laden found. Why do you think Bush has “failed” to catch the guy? e) Neither did Bush. This was an invasion plan that his cronies laid out in 1996 at Project for a New American Century.

The phrase “is sometimes believed” is what Wikipedia refers to as “weasel words”. . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_words

“I hated it when they started referencing 9-11 in the universes of both DC and Marvel. It just cheapened it. The biggest example I can remember is in X Men when Austen was “writing” it and Havok wakes up, and they start explaining to him everything that’s happened in the past few years, and included the towers. A billion people died in Genosha. Skrulls did some horrible stuff. Angel has a sword and is making out with a teenage girl. The towers fell. Magneto leveled New York City. Just completely gross.”–9/11 was cheapened by the media and the Republican Party and big businesses and the military and flag salesmen long before that scene.

We can add the loss of Billy Dee Williams acting like a lunatic in half-make-up to Schumacher’s list of infractions.

This isn’t Wikipedia and there are no editorial rules for the style used in comments. One of Wikipedia’s sillier rules, by the way, out of a legion of silly rules…

Also, “weasel words” sounds like a pejorative that Jerry Pournelle would use…

Hmmm…. Spear of Destiny would’ve been a cool explanation, but he wielder of the spear would’ve had to have been in the U.S. in order for that to work, since the spear doesn’t control people from a long distance. Also, if the person had the Spear of Destiny, and was close enough to influence those susceptible to magic, the wielder would’ve had Superman and others destroy the towers, not save them.

Maybe that mad genius Bin Laden broke up the Spear of Destiny in many little pieces, not as powerful as the whole thing, but able to stop and control superhumans in a more modest radius, and it’s required for most card-carrying Al-Qaeda members to carry a piece of it in important missions.

(And that was tongue-in-cheek, if anyone is wondering)

Damn, Brian, you’re as fast as lightning!

Ouch, being paid NOT to be in the film. It sounds good until you realize that’s his job and it doesn’t do him anygood in the long run. Just like the Nicolas Cage thing when he was supposed to play Superman (no, really) and it wasn’t going to happen, but he would of been paid anyway. But he gave the money back because in principle he wasn’t working he wasn’t taking the money he could of easily of kept it.

I saw part of the Batman and Robin film (the George Clooney one). Good lord!

Seeing as Bin Laden originally stated that he had nothing to do with 9/11, and hasn’t been seen since 2001 I seriously doubt he had the Spear of Destiny. (1.) I doubt he had anything to do with the World Trade Center bombings. And (2.) I’m pretty sure Bin Laden has been dead for about seven years.

All the confusion about Beast’s joke is a perfect example of how X-fans were not smart or sophisticated back then.

And then there are the people who thought No-Girl was an actual character.

Of course OBL didn’t have the Spear of Destiny. It’s in a museum, where it’s been since the end of WWII, when Patton took it– oh, shoot, that’s OUR Earth, and not the one in the DCU.

btw, according to the legend of the Spear of Destiny, relinquishing it would mean death. Oh well.

but wouldn’t that be a great concept? The Spear of Destiny could control one half of the heroes in the DCU U.S., and they could have this big war where the heroes fight each other to prevent the 9/11 attacks, and then when the Twin Towers fell, the leader of the one camp could suddenly realize the devastation that their fighting cost, and surrender to the authorities… ah, never mind… that story would never work in comics… too lame.

Was it really the Challenger that Superman was going to save in Man Of Steel? Every other version of this story I’ve seen has just identified it as “a space shuttle”. It seems far more likely to me that Byrne would’ve used a fictional name for his space shuttle. Perhaps you’re mixing this up with Samaritan in Astro City, who DID save the Challenger?

And personally, I think they should’ve had Billy Dee Willaims play the handsome side of Two-Face and Tommy Lee Jones play the scarred side. :)

COMICS DUFFER
“Lex legitimately (as far as we know) won the presidency, but the chicanery was when Braniac’s B-12 virus wiped out all records of his criminal activity from all electronic storage media (why no one bothered to look at old newspapers instead is a question, though) at the start of 2000.”

Heck yeah! Take Spider-Man for instance, he unmasked and uh…the video, no no, the old newspapers….no I mean the YouTube vids….

Ah screw it…Lex did no wrong, or the Media would have a record of it…ain’t that right Spidey… ;)

I’d actually disqualify two of the “Byrne coincidences”, to be honest; blackouts were common in NYC at the time, and earthquakes have always been common in Japan. The inspiration for those stories came from frequent real-life occurrences, and the fact that they continued to occur after the story was published doesn’t make it an “eerie coincidence”, just a normal event.

If I wrote a story with a sunrise in it, and the sun rose the day it was published, would that be an “eerie coincidence”? :)

[...] – If one examines Man Of Steel #1, one might notice that, from certain angles, the Constitution looks a whole lot like a Space Shuttle orbiter. Alan Kistler states that the Constitution’s look was altered “at the last minute” following the January 1986 explosion of the shuttle Challenger. There may be a Byrne-board post on this topic, but I haven’t found it.  [UPDATE:  With thanks to commenter Vinnie B, here's some more info from the latest "Urban Legends Revealed."] [...]

Brian from Canada

August 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Morrison must have missed the memo on those recap pages: they were supposed to be catch up for the readers so that they WOULDN’T have to read the same stuff over and over and over when it got put into the trade afterwards. Some writers know how to slip it in, but most don’t.

Unless your Joe Quesada, that is. Then you just write in Mephisto changes time and everything you’ve never liked has never happened. (By the way: in the Faustian deal, the deal maker always dies a quick and horrible death — so when is Joe Q. finally gonna pony up and kill of MJ because he hates her so much?)

“And then there are the people who thought No-Girl was an actual character.”

She was. She was Martha, the brain-in-a-jar girl.

“Just like the Nicolas Cage thing when he was supposed to play Superman (no, really) and it wasn’t going to happen, but he would of been paid anyway. But he gave the money back because in principle he wasn’t working he wasn’t taking the money he could of easily of kept it.”

Where did you get this info. Pay-or Play is quite the norm in Hollywood, so I’m pretty sure Cage took the money he was legally entitled to. If you sign a contract to pay someone $20 mil. then back out before the job happens, that person has a right to expect to get paid.

I’d actually disqualify two of the “Byrne coincidences”, to be honest; blackouts were common in NYC at the time,

The last blackout had been 12 years earlier.

Was it really the Challenger that Superman was going to save in Man Of Steel? Every other version of this story I’ve seen has just identified it as “a space shuttle”. It seems far more likely to me that Byrne would’ve used a fictional name for his space shuttle.

Yeah, you’re right, Byrne just says “NASA space shuttle.”

Of course, there’s many many many more examples of Byrne stories that haven’t had anything to do with the real world.

Picking your data ALWAYS makes it easy to find “coincidences.”

I never had a problem believing 9/11 could happen in the DC and Marvel Universes (well, once I got a handle on believing it could happen in the real world!) because, as many people have pointed out, that kind of thing happens all the time in comics. It’s as easy to believe that no heroes were on hand to stop it as it is to believe that the Fantastic Four and Avengers are ALWAYS “off planet” when Magneto or the Sentinels attack New York.

As for why it would have such an impact, that’s harder to explain, but not impossible. After all, car accidents happen all the time, but when Princess Diana (the real life one) is in one, it’s the lead story on the news for days. As with celebrities, it’s not unreasonable to believe that there are a few buildings and monuments that, were they destroyed, would get more attention than entire lesser-known towns. Sure, more people died when, say, Black Adam attacked Bialya, but then, in real life, no one said “I guess 9/11 wasn’t so bad after all” after Hurricane Katrina or the tidal wave in southern Asia. And supervillian attacks are probably viewed by people on the street as uncontrollable and random (even when they’re not), almost like natural disasters, while 9/11 was a calculated attack carried out by normal people.

On a lighter note – the whole “Mag-Neet-O, Mag-Neht-O, Mag-Nit-O” thing: it’s amazing how hard it is to convince people that the way they’re used to pronouncing it is wrong. People who grew up saying “Mag-Neht-O” hear the correct pronunciation, and all they can hear is “Mag-NEATO!!” and they can’t get over how silly the “neato” part sounds to their ears. Meanwhile, personally, I’ve never able to see how anyone could hear “Magnet-O” and not think it sounded like a Thundercats character. Similarly, I know someone who absolutely insists that Darkseid is pronounced “Dark Seed” and that, you know, ALL the cartoons he’s appeared in over the years have been pronouncing it wrong.

“As to the Japanese stuff, I believe Byrne was referring to one of the particularly large earthquakes that struck Japan in 1978, either the Miyagi-Oki one or the Izu one.”

I think I have to go one step further in calling BS on this myth. First of all, just for interest’s sake, the earthquake takes place in Uncanny X-Men # 118, not # 119.

More relevantly, the quake in X-Men takes place in “Agarashima,” on the main Japanese island of Honshu. Since there is, I’m pretty sure, no “Agarashima” on Honshu, nor, again I’m pretty sure, can there be, since “agara” isn’t even a word in Japanese (“shima” is, as in Hiroshima, most commonly meaning “island”), I don’t think Claremont and Byrne were be referring to anything particularly. They’re just writing about a quake in a country prone to quakes, about as prescient as saying that if you let go of an object in your hand, it will fall.

Mag-knee-toe, Mag-ni-to, Potayto, Potahto, let’s call the whole thing off! (this joke ripped off from an issue of What The?! back in the early 90s)

I remember a story in an issue of ‘Spoof’ from 1972 or early 1973, which may possibly have been a reprint from ‘Not Brand Ecch’, in which he was referred to as ‘Magneat-O’. Before that I had pronounced it ‘Magnetto’, but that clued me in.

In all seriousness, I’ve always put it down to variations in accent, dialect and cultural upbringing…
Tom-ah-toe/Tom-ay-toe indeed…

Maybe to avoid these silly arguments, we should just call him “Mags”? (or “Maggie” in reference to the “Iron Lady”??)

Or if that’s disrespectful, then how about “Mr Lensherr”?

“Not that Morrison ever admits he’s wrong, or does he?”

He never has to because he never is wrong. And his farts smell like strawberries.

“I don’t know why that “is Beast gay” thing needed explanation, I thought it was perfectly clear in the comic.”

Yeah, me too. Basically, I saw it as him trying to be a role model for people and showing them that it was ok to be a mutant, gay, or both. The cobversation between Scott and Hank was a reference to an article stating that Hank was gay in the same issue, I think.

“All the confusion about Beast’s joke is a perfect example of how X-fans were not smart or sophisticated back then.”

Um, no, some of us got it.

I remember the Twin Towers being damaged (or even destroyed, not sure) in the ad for the original Damage Control miniseries. That would’ve been 1988 or so.

I remember an issue of Action Comics that came out the week of the Oklahoma Ciry bombing that featured on the cover Lois Lane in the middle of a fiery explosion (I don’t remember the issue number, but it was during the “Death of Clark Kent” storyline).

comicsatemybrain

August 16, 2008 at 8:00 am

Speaking of foreshadowing and of Hank McCoy’s orientation, there’s a scene in Defenders #131 where Bobby Drake tells a university student that he is the Beast’s boyfriend. McCoy protests (“Bobby! Why did you *say* that?? What if she *believes* you??”).
In the 1980′s McCoy’s response would have been proof enough that it really was all a joke. Based on the confusion surrounding New X-Men 125, I think that if the same Defenders scene were published for the first time today, some fans would interpret it as the Beast wanting to stay in the closet. (Which would of course ignore those scenes in the Avengers where he enjoyed being a big hit with the ladies b/c of his pheromones!)

morecowbell2001

August 16, 2008 at 9:52 am

Why does everyone get so uptight every time some hack writer tries to say a character is gay?
The only way the beast is gay, is if Stan and Jack intended him to be when they created him. I can jump up and down on a piano and call it Mozart if I want, but that don’t make it so.
Perhaps all these gay writers should stop gaying up the existing Marvel universe and create a new group of militant gay superheroes. They could hang out and play grab ass all day, and critique other superheroes costumes, and redecorate their head quarters. The fanboys would love it.

Thanks for putting everybody’s perspective in the right frame of reference, ‘morecowbell2001″. We all know that’s what gay people do all day– just think lusty thoughts about other people of the same sex, and critique the fashion sense of others who are ‘wardrobe-challenged’. Yeah, right….

The thing about Hank McCoy suddenly ‘being gay’ is such a load of BS. It comes from the thinking that some people have that says being gay makes you behave in a certain way. Not so, folks. Excuse the pun, but can we set the record ‘straight’? As a gay friend of mine in SF just recently told me, he recently had some guy at a bar ask him to “do something gay’. (My friend doesn’t ‘look’ gay.) Well, folks, you don’t “DO” gay, you “ARE” gay. A gay man may look just like any other man, and unless they tell you they are gay, you will never know. Not all gay men are flamboyant; not all care about fashion, not all dress up in women’s clothing, walk with a swish, talk with a lisp, or whatever other horrid, trite stereotypes you want to fling out there to express your ignorance/homophobia. There are enough brain-dead goons out there who want to demean people who are different than them– it gives them a sense of superiority to cover up their own weaknesses, their own lack of self-esteem, and perhaps even doubts they have about their own sexual orientation. There are lots of homophobes use attacks against gays to cover up the fact that they themselves are gay– it’s a cheap way to throw suspicion off themselves, and usually harms others in the process.

Anyway, when I read the issue in question, I had to ask myself if I read it right… After re-reading the comment, I quickly decided it was a sarcastic, bitter comment from Hank to Trish, because Trish had broken up with him over his new appearance. Nothing more. Bitter people say things they don’t mean, just because they want to hurt the person at the other end. And since he was under a lot of stress at the time, trying to figure out what was going on with his own body, Hank was just being sarcastic. It was obvious he wasn’t using his cool. I realize that the casual reader may have been caught off guard by all the things going on in that issue, but c’mon, Hank McCoy has never been gay.

As for his comments with Bobby Drake, ‘straight’ guys do share banter and joke around… that does not mean they are gay. Bobby and Hank have been friends from the start of the X-Men. They were just trying to poke fun at each other.

100 comments? Good grief! Cronin, you got a good thing going here. Either that, or “Byrne the prophet plus Batman movies plus X-Men sex” was just a pathetic attempt to get ratings. :)

Rolf P: Exactly how I read it…

He was hurt, he had just undergone a secondary mutation that turned him into a blue Tony the Tiger, and was feeling more self-conscious than normal…

He didn’t want to talk about it, so said something “stupid” as you do on the spur of the moment when you are emotionally battered…

I’m not saying that his being gay is “stupid”, I’m saying that we all say things that we don’t really mean, usually designed to hurt (or at least push away) those trying to help/interfere…

“One of Wikipedia’s sillier rules, by the way, out of a legion of silly rules…”–Damn them for wanting their encyclopedia to be accurate and reliable. It’s not like the credibility of the internet as a popular reclamation of knowledge dissemination is at stake or anything.

“Also, “weasel words” sounds like a pejorative that Jerry Pournelle would use…”–It’s actually a technical term often used to describe the ways that advertisers lie.

“All the confusion about Beast’s joke is a perfect example of how X-fans were not smart or sophisticated back then.”–Yeah, “back then.” They’re so much smarter now.

“Perhaps all these gay writers should stop gaying up the existing Marvel universe and create a new group of militant gay superheroes. They could hang out and play grab ass all day, and critique other superheroes costumes, and redecorate their head quarters. The fanboys would love it.”–Did you really miss your Klan meeting just to type that?

“Damn them for wanting their encyclopedia to be accurate and reliable.”
A number of Wikipedia rules do help it to be accurate and reliable, sure. A significant number of them do not, with some even helping to make it less so*. The “weasel words” rule is one that does not make the encyclopedia more accurate or reliable, but was just a matter of a style that enough people found annoying to argue and vote against being acceptable, nothing more.

“It’s not like the credibility of the internet as a popular reclamation of knowledge dissemination is at stake or anything.”
Holy melodrama, sister. Whether or not the “credibility of the internet as a popular reclamation of knowledge dissemination is at stake” or not (a pretty over the top statement in itself), it certainly doesn’t depend upon all of us being absolutely deadly serious about Wikipedia’s rules at all times, even on sites that aren’t, in fact, Wikipedia. Like, you know, here.

“It’s actually a technical term often used to describe the ways that advertisers lie.”
Yeah, I know what it is, that was what’s called a “crack” or “wisecrack.” I’d tell you to look it up, but the Wikipedia article for “crack” treats it as strictly an Irish term, which I know is not the case, and wise crack leads only to an article about a gay and lesbian standup comedy TV show. Maybe there were once articles related to the meanings we’re all more familiar with for these words, but got removed for being “original research” or something stupid like that…

PS: please don’t take my response to Jono regarding the stuff I said as in any way siding with the halfwit homophobe he rightly smacks down in his last response. Just to be clear…

This just in from Byrne: “They call me Mr. Glass.”

“They’ll probably simply ignore it, the same way they ignore Reed Richards and Ben Grimm’s having served in World War II and Peter Parker having attended the premiere of the first Star Trek movie. All direct date references in comics are eventually unofficially retconned by the sliding timescale.”

Not in Astro City….

“On a lighter note – the whole “Mag-Neet-O, Mag-Neht-O, Mag-Nit-O” thing: it’s amazing how hard it is to convince people that the way they’re used to pronouncing it is wrong. People who grew up saying “Mag-Neht-O” hear the correct pronunciation, and all they can hear is “Mag-NEATO!!” and they can’t get over how silly the “neato” part sounds to their ears. Meanwhile, personally, I’ve never able to see how anyone could hear “Magnet-O” and not think it sounded like a Thundercats character. Similarly, I know someone who absolutely insists that Darkseid is pronounced “Dark Seed” and that, you know, ALL the cartoons he’s appeared in over the years have been pronouncing it wrong.”

The one I never thought about was Namor the Sub-Mariner until I heard it otherwise. I never thought of it as Mariner like the sailor and baseball team. I always thought it was submariner like like the vessel or the type of pitching motion in baseball.

“They’ll probably simply ignore it, the same way they ignore Reed Richards and Ben Grimm’s having served in World War II and Peter Parker having attended the premiere of the first Star Trek movie. All direct date references in comics are eventually unofficially retconned by the sliding timescale.”

Not in Astro City….

“On a lighter note – the whole “Mag-Neet-O, Mag-Neht-O, Mag-Nit-O” thing: it’s amazing how hard it is to convince people that the way they’re used to pronouncing it is wrong. People who grew up saying “Mag-Neht-O” hear the correct pronunciation, and all they can hear is “Mag-NEATO!!” and they can’t get over how silly the “neato” part sounds to their ears. Meanwhile, personally, I’ve never able to see how anyone could hear “Magnet-O” and not think it sounded like a Thundercats character. Similarly, I know someone who absolutely insists that Darkseid is pronounced “Dark Seed” and that, you know, ALL the cartoons he’s appeared in over the years have been pronouncing it wrong.”

The one I never thought about was Namor the Sub-Mariner until I heard it otherwise. I never thought of it as Mariner like the sailor and baseball team. I always thought it was submariner like like the vessel or the type of pitching motion in baseball.

As a gay person, I’m happy that there are guys like Morecowbell2001 in the “enemy camp”.

By being so amusing and clueless you can’t help but ridicule your own narrow-minded views. Keep with the good work, my friend.

“He was hurt, he had just undergone a secondary mutation that turned him into a blue Tony the Tiger, and was feeling more self-conscious than normal”

It would have been funnier if Beast had said he was seeing Lockjaw of the Inhumans.

True, but we always think of something funny to say AFTER the event…

How many times have you thought “Damn!! That’s what I SHOULD have said…”?

morecowbell2001

August 17, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Ouch!
You guys sure showed me. You’re right of course, Because I believe that homosexuals are sexual deviants, and they are in the true sense of the word, I must also be A NAZI! or a member of the Klan! Of course it goes without saying that deep down I’m also gay and just can’t admit it to myself. I’m not in any camp Rene, I just get disgusted by members of the Gay Mafia perverting characters that weren’t created by them and are meant to by read by kids. Comic creators should leave their gay agenda at home. I mean really, just what is it with you people?

Okay, the Bush Derangement Syndrome here could take solid form and rape somebody. It’s that damn thick.

Capitalists aren’t real-life super-villains simply automatically.

And the Beast Urban Legend only came up because most people who “read the comic” didn’t actually read the relevant comics.

The World Trade Center is an obvious target for giant killer robots.

9/11 would have never happened in DC because Superman is Superman.

Probably the reason why no one has captured Osama bin Laden is because he is either in a place we are not looking in, or the more obvious answer is hey: the Military does not have an arrest mandate.

I mean really, just what is it with you people?

Little patience for unabashed stupidity.

Personally, I don’t think you’re secretly gay. I don’t think you’re a Nazi. You might be a Klansman, but I doubt it – otherwise you’d have used some racial slurs in there along with the sexual ones.

So no, you’re not any of that: you’re just plain old dumb as a post. Leaving aside the homophobic idiocy, Stan and Jack’s intentions for the character stopped mattering the minute they stopped writing him. The only opinion that matters is Marvel’s: they own the character, so if they hire someone else to write him and okay the submitted script, then that’s all the approval that’s needed…

“I’d tell you to look it up, but the Wikipedia article for “crack” treats it as strictly an Irish term, which I know is not the case, and wise crack leads only to an article about a gay and lesbian standup comedy TV show. Maybe there were once articles related to the meanings we’re all more familiar with for these words, but got removed for being “original research” or something stupid like that…”

Ironically, this is incorrect. It’s spelt ‘craic’.
I find it highly amusing that someone is having a hate rant about something that poked fun at the very thing they’re ranting against. But at least he gives the Gay Mafia the capitalization they’re due.

morecowbell2001

August 18, 2008 at 7:30 am

Well, speaking of dumb,
You may not realize it yo go, but Marvel doesn’t have an opinion, Marvel isn’t a person. The decision of whether to change a character from what their creator intended into a homosexual or a homicidal maniac is made by whatever jackass is sitting in the EIC chair at the time.

I understand that in this particular case, the Beast was making an off-hand remark to make a point, I get what the writers intent was. But the fact that fans would have been so quick to accept such a wholesale character change is what ticks me off. That kind of crap has gone on wayyyy too much in the past six years or so. There ought to be some level of respect paid to long-time fans, and to the intent of guys who made this stuff up in the first place. The Authority is a perfect example of the right way to do it, create a bunch of new characters and make some gay or whatever you want, no problem. Do it with the Justice League and you ought to be sucker -punched. It’s ridiculous that in a room filled with books about muscle men flying around in thier underwear, that it’s almost impossible to find something safe for a kid to read. But I can see why there’s so many gay readers.

And just for the record, I’m not a homophobe, some of my best friends are gay. HA! HA! Sorry couldn’t resist. But seriously, whatever weird stuff you want to do in your bedroom is up to you, I don’t care, man on man, man on chicken, whatever floats your boat. I just don’t need to know about it, nobody does. Enough with the parades, and the public declarations, it’s unneccesary. And stop being so sensitive, if you don’t want straights making jokes about you all being interior decorators and fashion consultants, then tell your friends to get new jobs. You sure overeact to a pretty harmless jab.

You think I’m someone that kids should be shielded from. How can I consider you anything but an enemy? After all, if you think it isn’t safe for kids to read comics with gays in it, you must think that it isn’t safe for kids to be exposed to gay people.

And what is this paranoid Gay Mafia stuff? I don’t understand why all Social Conservatives feel persecuted. You don’t know what real persecution is. Persecution is when you can’t kiss your loved one in public for fear of being beaten or thrown out of the establishment. Persecution is when a bunch of crazies make a demonstration in your goddamn funeral saying God Hates You. I wish there really was a “Gay Mafia”, we may need it.

Compared to that, complaining because one existing comic book character among hundreds is being associated with gays is childish and petty, beyond petty.

I don’t think you’re a Nazi. But you have one thing in common with the Nazis. The Nazis also believed in a Jewish Mafia, a sinister and powerful cabal manipulating things for their agenda. It’s always the guys with all the power that are the most paranoid. Maybe it’s just that they aren’t satisfied with 99% of the pie, they gotta have 100%.

You may not realize it yo go, but Marvel doesn’t have an opinion, Marvel isn’t a person. The decision of whether to change a character from what their creator intended into a homosexual or a homicidal maniac is made by whatever jackass is sitting in the EIC chair at the time.

Actually, legally, corporations like Marvel are persons – they have rights and obligations, they can sue and be sued, they can own property, etc. They’re what lawyers call a “non-natural person,” but a person nonetheless. But that’s just an aside, not the point I’m trying to make.

Marvel, as a company, owns a certain set of characters, and have since day one. The company, comprised of any number of workers, make thousands of decisions that lead to the final result. Using the present example:

Beast says he’s gay. Okay, so Grant Morrison chose to put the words in the character’s mouth. But someone chose to hire Morrison. And the editor chose to okay the script. But someone chose to hire that editor. Quesada was EIC, but he hasn’t always had that job. Someone chose to hire him, as well. There’s no step in the process where someone went outside the Marvel corporate system to get this story published, which is why I say Marvel’s (that is, everyone who has been hired by Marvel Entertainment Group specifically to do the job of making decisions about things like this) opinion is the only opinion that matters. Marvel owns the character, Marvel hired a specific group of people to oversee the character, Marvel trusts those people with what they’re going to do to the character.

And stop being so sensitive, if you don’t want straights making jokes about you all being interior decorators and fashion consultants, then tell your friends to get new jobs. You sure overeact to a pretty harmless jab.

I don’t think the problem is that they’re overreacting to the joke – the problem is that what you (who’s now told us he doesn’t care what people do in their bedrooms) said as a joke is the same thing that the jerkholes (who DO care what other people do in their bedrooms and want to stop it) say in all seriousness. A plain text format can’t properly convey the difference between your joke and their manifesto, so people who are used to hearing the second react to it the same way…

Guys and gals, calm down! Poor morecowbell2001 is just scared of being exposed to Gaydiation!

You know… the stuff that the Gay Mafia are trying to sneak into the media to corrupt us all!

That’s how you become Gay isn’t it? You’re not born that way, with alternate mental wiring, but you get MUTATED by Gaydiation, which gives you strange powers like fashion sense, rhythm and the ability to radiate your own Gaydiation!

Remember you can’t edukayte evreewun!

“She was. She was Martha, the brain-in-a-jar girl.”

I forgot about that revelation. I always understood the case to be that No-Girl was a joke made up by Basilisk at first. Maybe he was just using Martha’s codename to make fun of Xorn, and I misunderstood.

Isn’t it great how bullies always use the same bully language?

“Stop overreacting! I’m just messing around!”

If only they could see how much of a stereotype they are.

The only way that I will ever accept that the Beast is blue and hairy is if Stan and Jack had explicitly stated that the beast was blue and hairy when they created the character! This idea of the beast being blue and hairy is simply evidence of a hack writer trying to graft their own BS onto the established legacy of a character and is totally counter to the way that the beast had been portrayed during the course of the original run. I hate everyone and wish they were all dead!

Here’s one for you. DC did Infinite Crisis so that it wouldn’t have to address the matter of 9/11. WIth worlds being mixed up, the Trade Towers could just be gone, and everone knows why, but no one has to explain why the Metas weren’t there-everyone already knows. So its not in the skyline anymore, but no one wonders why. As for the other post 9/11 things, obviously after Luthor left office, someone became president. Someone who followed our ‘glorious leader’ much closer.

morecowbell2001

August 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Rene, I don’t think kids need to be shielded from you because you’re gay, unless you insist on discussing it with them. But then, I wouldn’t want a straight person discussing his sexual preferences with kids either. I do believe in sex education but I don’t think X-men comics, or any superhero comics for that matter are the place for it.
I do believe that some members of minority groups have an agenda they want to push to further the interests of thier group. Doesn’t make me a Nazi though. If I started writing Batman next month and decided to make him catholic, and devoted page after page to him discussing his beliefs with Robin I’m pretty sure someone would accuse me of pushing a Catholic agenda. I realize that there are a lot of gay comics creators out there, but so what? there probably always were, but why are they now compelled to make an issue of it by retconning existing characters to push thier gay agenda? The fact that someone is gay is not offensive, it’s this “I am Gay hear me roar!” crap that rubs me the wrong way. Being gay is a birth defect, like a club foot or cleft palate, no one should be persecuted for something beyond thier control but it shouldn’t be the defining thing about you, and you shouldn’t flaunt it. I don’t introduce myself with “Hi, I’m Bill and I like oral, with women.” it’s not relevant.
And just for the record I’m not scared, or feeling threatened, or trying to bully anyone, Look back through these posts and you will see how angry boys and girls leapt at the chance to take me to task and call names because they didn’t like my opinion. You demand tolerance from others for your differences, and yet you have none yourself.

Yes, obviously the X-Men comics are the first place where all unsuspecting children will be taught to believe in the hidden gay agenda– by now you should have understood that!! What the heck do you think the stories are REALLY about?? They’re all about gay people!! Let’s just ignore that phrases like ‘homo superior’ get bandied about in the books on a frequent basis– the whole theme of people who are ‘different’ being totally oppressed/persecuted by the main sector of the populace (who secretly wish they were gay–oops, I mean mutants!) just shouts out “gay agenda”!! Even the topics discussed are gay-related– what do you think the Legacy Virus was if not an indirect representation of the HIV virus/ AIDS? Get with the program!!

All joking aside, it’s really sad that people can sympathize and empathize with the mutants and their struggle to be accepted and cheer for them in their fights against the Sentinels, or the Purifiers, or other humans who fear the mutants, yet at the same time, try to slap down the gay community who are far less a threat to peace than an imaginary mutant is… Gays and lesbians want nothing more than to be left alone in peace, but with the same benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy.

Gay people are just as normal as you are, ‘morecowbell2001′, maybe even moreso, because we have a lot of social injustice and prejudice to bear. The stigma of being a mutant– oops, I mean gay- forces people to hide in fear from families and friends. It forces some to turn to suicide. The internal anguish shared by the mutant community is something we gay people can relate to because it IS US!

The demonstrations and marches of the gay community will continue–because it is an injustice to treat us as ‘separate but equal’. We love just like anyone else. It’s about time people like you stop associating gays or lesbians as deviants. We are PEOPLE, with the same feelings as you. Just because gays and lesbians can find love in places you cant, it doesn’t make us different. We love just as deeply, we pay just as many taxes, we get mad at being treated unfairly just like you do. But we don’t get the benefits you do, and don’t get the treatment you do, so until we do, the demonstrations will continue. Unlike the mutants, mature gays and lesbians who have accepted who they are will not run and hide in fear. Why is that?

It is because some of us have seen the truth, and the truth has set us free. We are free from condemnation, but not free from religious intolerance. We are free from the shackles of wrong teachings of both Church and State, but we are not free from social ignorance and injustice. We are free to choose our loved ones and express that love with great passion, but we are not free from laws that try to deny us that same love. So we will march and demonstrate and parade in peaceful ways to show that we are no different. We are NOT asking for MORE, we are asking for THE SAME.

You don’t know anguish until your loved one is in a hospital room, all alone, dealing with his fear of the future by himself because you, his partner of many years, are denied visitation rights because you’re not his ‘kin’– that same kin that rejected him because of who he loves. You’ve never been denounced and degraded by your church pastor in the presence of the entire congregation just for loving someone who has better morals and ethics than 99% of the congregation, a regular tither, and a fierce prayer warrior, simply because he loves a man and not a woman.

I don’t mean to write long messages all the time, but this time, I hope it was worth it– maybe someone has seen the light, and can be a little less defensive next time a gay person is mentioned in a comic book… it’s just a comic book, for crying out loud. The real issues are here in OUR world.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a quote from Clarence Page, a syndicated columnist at the Chicago Tribune: “If you aren’t in favor of gay marriage, don’t have one.” ‘Nuff said already.

morecowbell2001

August 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Well said Rolf,
You managed to write an intellegent post and made some very valid points without a lot of name calling and insults. If more people were like you we could all just agree to disagree and get along.

I believe the situation for Gays in up here in Canada is probably better than down south, and I think you should be treated equally as a straight couple. I could just do without the parade every summer that I believe does more harm than good for your cause. People are less likely to think of someone as a deviant if they’re not wearing a leather thong and dog collar while waving a dildo around in a parade.

Oh, and that thing about all straights secretly wishing they were gay? Sorry man, not true. Don’t tell your friends though, wouldn’t want to spoil it for them. We are however jealous of your fasion sense and ability to get along with women so well.

“Ironically, this is incorrect. It’s spelt ‘craic’.”
The error’s on the part of the Wikipedia contributor then, as it’s given as a secondary spelling in an article reached by searching for “crack.”

Defect implies disadvantage. People don’t flaunt club foot because it makes them obviously disadvantaged. That not the case with homosexuality. Being gay feels good, as good as being straight, and I don’t think any emotionally balanced gay wishes he was straight.

Even so, in an ideal world where everyone had the same rights and acceptance, I don’t think many gays would feel a strong need to flaunt it. But in a world where a lot of people are out there doing their best to paint homosexuality in a negative light, flaunting it becomes a defense mechanism to balance things out.

And I’m pretty tolerant of differences, except when those “different people” are out to deny me my rights. Live and let live. You live your life the way you want it. I certainly didn’t feel angry when Chris Claremont started to explore Nightcrawler’s catholicism in a very positive light in X-Men, even though I’m not a Catholic. I didn’t feel angry or threatened when they made him even MORE Catholic in the movie. The X-Men has a big cast, by all means, lets make them diverse.

And even though I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Christianity (or any of the Abrahamic religions, I like Islam even less), I don’t feel any dread when I think that kids will be exposed to Nightcrawler in the movie. I don’t want to rule the world, I don’t want to tell kids what to think, and I don’t want anyone else to be just like me. I just want people to let me be what I am, and to be able to do the same stuff everyone else does.

I don’t think, for instance, that a woman should be “tolerant” of certain African tribes that practice genital mutilation. I know this is a lot less extreme case, but I’m not tolerant of people that think I should be “kept in my place”, and I never will be.

I’m not in the habit of discussing my sexuality with strangers unasked, and much less with kids (I don’t even like kids). But I would never try to act “manly” in front of any kid, and I certainly wouldn’t lie to a kid that asked me why I’m holding hands with a guy, the same way I think no straight guy would be expected to tell a kid that the lady he’s been kissing is just his “friend”. Now, if a comic book marketed to kids had any gays or (straight people, for that matter) having graphic sex or something, then yeah, I’d be concerned.

And I have to say that I’m not hot on writers retconning characters into being gay. But I don’t remember many cases of that in a Marvel/DC comic. Rawhide Kid? In Beast’s case, he wasn’t really gay, as pointed above. And it wouldn’t make any sense for him to be gay, as he’s been pretty much established as a ladies man in many Avengers stories. Now, if a character has been presented fairly ambiguously (as is the case with Storm or Obsidian or Renee Montoya, for instance), then making them gay or bisexual and “coming out” isn’t really an unnatural development.

After reading all this, I can only say:
Tom Russell, if you’re so nitpicky, how ’bout typing Dalmatians instead of Dalmations? A not o.
These threads get ridiculous sometimes and here I am contributing.

Storm?

Being gay is a birth defect, like a club foot or cleft palate

See, it’s things like “birth defect” that are making people react to you like a bigot. A less inflammatory analogy (club foot and cleft palate? really? that’s what you came up with?) would be, say, being born left-handed. If you don’t want to have people over-react to you, you can’t open with something that’s immediately going to put them on the defensive…

Storm, yeah.

I didn’t say she was, only I woud not be surprised. In he early years of appearances in the comics, she had many of the marks of the sexually confused.

A young lady that joined a team full of interesting, handsome, sensitive young men, and yet she doesn’t seem to be too interested in anyone of them. Formed a strong bond almost immediately with Jean Grey. Met the Japanese girl, Yukio, and found in her a “kindred spirit” that “awakened” her wild side in her mohawk years.

Her flings with men had been all brief and inconclusive (Arkon, Dracula?).

I think her first serious (non-retconned) romantic interest was Forge, and that more than 10 years after she was introduced?

A serious case could have been made in those days that Storm was a lesbian, a bisexual, or at least confused. Well, now she is married, and her aloofness could always be attributed to other factors. But if Chris Claremont had revealed her as a lesbian in 1979, it wouldn’t have seemed forced (I realize Marvel would not let him do it, though).

I dunno. I always saw her alloofness as part of her character at the time…her being the emotionless Goddess who was above it all. The period she met Yukio was her going through a period of self-doubt that started long before Yukio, during the Brood adventure. She didn’t chase after her teammates because it wasn’t in her character to, her being afraid her loss of emotional control would wreck havok through her powers, etc.

A better example of a character becoming gay would be Karma. One of the better ones, I think.

Yes, her aloofness can be attributed to other factors, but still she was the only major Marvel hero with no romantic interest for more than a decade. She didn’t have to be a lesbian, I’m only saying that it wouldn’t be all that surprising if she was.

I thought Storm was regularly getting it on with Wolverine… His Healing Factor/near-immortality making him easier not to worry about his getting hurt/killed…

What’s up with the inconsistent look of the Beast changing from book to book? In one he looks like a lion then in a different book he’s looking like his old self or whatever. I know he’s supposed ot be mutating more and more, but it seems like people are just doing what they want…

Yow. Nothing was intended or implied by my mention of Wikipedia’s rules. It just came to mind, is all :)

Thanks for posting the additional pages of the comics in question… I guess in the future, we should go to the actual source and look at the actual wording, and verify the actual context in which things were presented. I guess if we all did that in the first place, there would be no ‘urban legends’ to discuss then.

Rolf P:

Nah…
If only…
People will always read different things into things…
If you look hard enough for connections or subtext or whatever, yuou can usually find SOMETHING and make an implied connection.. Even if it was not the creator’s intention…

I was always under the impression that Billy Dee had a Pay or Play contract, which generally speaking would mean he shouldn’t be paid for not appearing, only if someone else appears instead of him.

Ah, I wish they’d directed Lee’s Two-Face as brooding instead of a cackling Joker-wannabee; he would’ve made a great Two-Face—not knocking the casting, only the direction.

[...] a completely different tangent, Rachel was mentioned in last week’s Comic Urban Legends. Brian Cronin blogs about the uncanny number of eerie coincidences in John Byrne’s projects [...]

I’m glad that Morrison never intended for the Beast to be gay. I really, really (REALLY) hate when a writer changes a character’s sexuality or ethnicity. If you want to write a story about a character who belongs to a specific ethnicity or sexual orientation, then either pick a character who fulfills the requirements or create a new one; DON’T go changing a character’s previously established sexual orientation or ethnicity to fit your story/vision/agenda.

“he Beast thing was my mocking, ironic take on the whole ‘Let’s have a Gay on the team’ current I was seeing elsewhere. I thought it would be more fun and more sophisticated to explore the very concept of ‘gayness’ and people’s strange need to define themselves using such off-the-peg labels. It was also to point out that, like the Beast, it’s possible to be flamboyant, stylish, witty and ‘gay’, without being homosexual…so I wanted to have a character stand up for the people who are neither gay nor straight nor anything other than just plain ODD – the people who don’t have shops to shop in and helplines to phone, but who feel as alienated and persecuted as any ‘Gay’.”

Christ, Grant. That’s much WORSE.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives