Comic Book Legends Revealed #185
This is the one-hundred and eighty-fifth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and eighty-four.
In honor of the chat transcript going up later today between Mark Waid and myself, here is a special All-Waid edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed!!
COMIC LEGEND: Waid and Alex Ross were forced to use Alan Scott instead of Hal Jordan in Kingdom Come.
A few people have asked me this question in various phrasings over the years, but reader Florian was the most recent AND the one who asked this specific variation on the question:
When Mark Waid and Alex Ross did Kingdom Come a few years ago, Ross refused the use of Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern in the story, rather wanting Hal Jordan in the role. DC didn’t like the idea because Jordan was still used as the villainous Parallax at the time, so they ended up using Alan Scott as the only Green Lantern in the story.
By the way, Kingdom Come is over a dozen years old. That’s hard for me to believe. Comic Book Resources actually started up as a Kingdom Come fan-site! Times surely have a-changed.
In any event, I asked Waid about this awhile back, and he said (note that Waid explicitly added that this is based on what he recalls from twelve years ago, and was not presuming to speak for Alex Ross) that, basically, yeah, they did not want to use Kyle Rayner in Kingdom Come.
However, Alan Scott was not forced upon them, but something they came up with on their own.
Alan is on the top right of this Absolute Kingdom Come cover (click to enlarge)….
Here is a recent action figure made of the Kingdom Come Alan Scott…
You could obviously argue that they came up with him on their own because they figured DC wouldn’t let them use Hal, who was still Parallax at the time, if they DID want to use him, but in the end, it was their decision, not DC’s.
In fact, Waid recalled only one thing being “forced” upon he and Ross, and that was that Superman would have to have long hair in the flashbacks, as he did in the comics at the time.
Note that Ross, in the flashbacks, makes a point to have it be a ponytail and not the mullet look of 1993-96.
Oddly enough, Superman cut his hair just a few short months after Kingdom Come ended.
So yeah, sorry, Kyle Rayner fans! The Kingdom Come guys weren’t big fans! But at least DC did not force them to use Alan Scott!
Thanks to Florian (and others) for the question, and thanks to Mark Waid for the answer!
COMIC LEGEND: The Kang who appeared in Waid’s second run on Captain America was originally meant to be the actual Kang.
Reader Miken asked me this one back in May:
At the beginning of Mark Waid’s Heroes Return Cap run they immediately establish Kang is up to something. Then eventually he’s shown ressurecting the Red Skull. Then toward the end of the Skull arc we find out the Watcher guiding Cap through previous issues was actually Kang in disguise, who is then revealed as being Korvac. This never really sat well with me, because for what reason would Korvac need to be disguised as Kang when bringing back the Skull?
Well when the Kang subplot in Cap was still looming Avengers Forever started, and at the time I was wondering how this would tie to Captain America if at all. (Time travellers can have many simultaneous appearances without contradiction) But anyway was Kang changed to Korvac at last minute due to him being in AF?
I never got around to asking Waid, so I actually asked him in the chat that you’ll see transcribed Friday around noon Pacific, and he went into great detail there, so you can read the chat for the precise details, but I’ll give you the general ones right now…
Yeah, Miken, Kang was originally going to be the bad guy but Kurt Busiek asked Waid early on if Busiek could have Kang (this was pre-Avengers Forever, but certainly that’s what Busiek was thinking about). However, as Kurt himself notes in the comments, while Waid believed that he was being asked not to use Kang at all, Kurt originally planned for the two to BOTH use Kang (since he was a time-traveler, after all, he could be in both stories without a conflict). A nameless editor, though, told Waid that Kang was off the table, so Waid went along with it.
The interesting thing that Waid noted was that Korvac was not originally the person who was going to be impersonating Kang. Originally, Korvac was going to be impersonating Thanos over in Waid’s Ka-Zar run!
But someone called dibs on Korvac then (Waid no longer recalls who), so Waid told the Ka-Zar story with Thanos being, well, Thanos.
So when Korvac ended up NOT being used by the other writer, Waid brought him over to Cap.
Isn’t it funny how this stuff all seems to eventually work out?
Thanks to Miken for the question and thanks to Mark Waid for the answers! And additional thanks to Kurt Busiek for the clarifying information!
COMIC LEGEND: Waid’s original origin for Onslaught was that he was simply the evil side of Professor X.
Reader Cousin Dick asked me the following over two years ago:
Is there any truth to the rumor that Mark Waid had a different origin for Onslaught?
The rumor I heard was that part of their disagreement was over Onslaught’s origin. I heard that Waid wanted Onslaught to be a long-suppressed part of Xavier’s personality, whereas Lobdell wanted Onslaught to be caused by Magneto’s corruption of Xavier.
Can’t find the answer to this anywhere, but maybe you know people like Waid who you can contact and find the real story.
Ultimately, the major villain Onslaught did, in fact, turn out to be created when Professor X was forced to mind-wipe Magneto during the Fatal Attractions storyline. When Xavier wiped Magneto’s mind, he ended up gaining some of Magneto’s personality, which ultimately corrupted Xavier and created the Onslaught entity – a bad guy powered by perhaps the most powerful telepath on Earth.
Once Onslaught was defeated, Xavier was back to normal (although powerless for awhile).
But what WAS Mark Waid’s original plan for Onslaught?
Well, here is a sneak peek from the chat, where Waid basically confirms cousindick’s take on the story word for word….
Brian Cronin: Speaking of rumors, we had another one: “What was your original Onslaught origin?”
Mark Waid: The original take on Onslaught–and whether or not this would have been a good idea is open for debate, because I’ve always been the first to say that I wasn’t a great fit on X-Men–
Mark Waid: –is that it was just intended to be Xavier’s dark side that had been percolating for decades. IMHO, the last-minute decision to shoehorn Magneto into the mix was a confusing misstep. But maybe not. Again, I’m not the best judge of anything X.
So there ya go!
Thanks to cousindick for the question, and thanks to Mark Waid for the answers!
By the way, for a previous installment of Comic Book Legends Revealed about how Lobdell created Onslaught before actually figuring out who/what Onslaught WAS, check here!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week!
Be sure to check out the Mark Waid chat transcript on Friday, sometime before noon Pacific-time!