Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Welcome to the two-hundred and eleventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous two hundred and ten.
Comic Book Legends Revealed is now part of the larger Legends Revealed series, where I look into legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can check out here, at legendsrevealed.com.
You know, I think last week was the FOURTH anniversary of this column. Pretty neat, huh?
COMIC LEGEND: Uncanny X-Men #401 had a scene where a government official shown being with a prostitute was changed from Rudy Giuliani to Bill Clinton.
Uncanny X-Men #401 was, like all the other Marvel books that month, a “silent issue,” that is, an issue without any dialogue or thought balloons or captions.
A couple of issues earlier, writer Joe Casey introduced us to Stacy-X, a mutant who also happened to be a prostitute (who worked at a ranch with all mutant prostitutes, similar to the Mustang Ranch in Nevada).
In Uncanny X-Men #401, we see Stacy-X with a client, and although it is a silent issue, you can still pretty plainly see that artist Ron Garney has drawn former President Bill Clinton.
But here’s the kicker – as a novelty, Marvel posted (partially at the end of the issue and in full on their website) the SCRIPTS for these issues, so you would know what the artist had to work with. And on the Marvel website, we got the following description of pages 11 and 12…
Inside the bedroom now. Candlelight causes eerie, flickering lighting. Angle on the door, carefully being pushed open by Wolverine, who is already taking a cautious step into the bedroom. He’s already seeing something off-panel that puts a look of extreme disappointment on his face.
Big panel on the page. Wolverine’s POV, looking into the master bedroom of the mansion (so it’s pretty big). Candles lit all over the room. Lots of shadows. Zooming in on the king-size bed, which is completely trashed. Drenched with sweat. Sheets wadded up at the foot of the bed, pillows ripped apart, feathers leaking out. There are night tables on either side of the bed (upon one is a beeper/pager that you might want to establish here). In the middle of the bed, completely laid out on his back, spread eagle like a sexual slave, is Rudolph Giuliani (since this is the silent issue, we can get away with this if we’re smart about it… not naming him by name, try to get his likeness as close as possible. Those in the know should absolutely get the joke… the one or two X-Men readers who might be at all politically aware…). Giuliani is wearing only boxer shorts, a torn wife-beater T-shirt and his designer dress shoes. He’s also wearing one of those “sleep blindfolds” that rich people sometimes wear (why, you might ask? Because even though we’re not naming names, I’ve been told we need to be very careful with the Guliani likeness… thus, the blindfold partially hides his face). He’s so whacked out, he doesn’t even know where he is. He’s got a dizzy smile on his face. Some serious sexual stuff has been going on in this bedroom…
Wolverine walks over to the bed, in the flickering candlelight. Giuliani doesn’t even register his presence. Wolverine is looking down at the Mayor, disgusted.
Small panel. Angle on the beeper/pager on the night table, which is now vibrating and lighting up.
Another small panel. Wolverine’s head whipping around as the beeper (off-panel here, obviously) gets his attention. The candlelight flickering on his face.
The beeper in the foreground, at the bottom of the panel. Wolverine above it, looking down at it, reaching down with one hand to pick it up. The shadows of the room in the background behind him.
Wide panel. Action shot. Wolverine (now holding the beeper) in the foreground, whirling around as Stacy X (wearing her skimpy X-uniform) leaps out of the shadows in a kung-fu style kick. She looks pissed off. Wolverine doesn’t look surprised at all… he was waiting for her to make her move.
So yeah, there was a change from the script to the book.
The natural presumption is that it had something to do with 9/11, but I do not know for sure.
Joe, if you’re reading, let us know!
Thanks to my CBR pal worstblogever for posing this one to me the other week!
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