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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #220

Welcome to the two-hundred and twentieth 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 nineteen.

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. I’d especially recommend last week’s Movie Legends Revealed for a really interesting Marlon Brando story from his first film.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: John Rozum was credited for an issue of X-Man that he did not script.

STATUS: True

In August 1995, X-Man #8 came out, with a plot by Jeph Loeb and a script by John Rozum.

However, that was not actually the case.

Here’s John on the topic…

I think there was a very bare bones plot provided by the regular writer with some thematic ideas, and my job was to flesh that out into an actual story. The editor and I were both happy with it, especially given the fact that I had to write it in one night, but at the last minute new ideas were decided upon by the writer, and most of the dialogue was changed by the editor to reflect this, but the way it was done was that it was all catered to fit into already existing balloons. This not only made it awkward because nothing anybody was saying matched their expressions or often what they were doing, but people were saying things out loud which they should have been thinking and vice versa.

I’m perfectly willing to take responsibility when my own writing is subpar, but it makes me cringe when stuff like that happens, and no one reading the comic has any idea it happened. It just makes me look bad and sloppy.

Here, then, are a few pages from the issue that seem to jibe up with John’s take on the story…

Well, the record is cleared now, John! Thanks for doing the clearing up!

COMIC LEGEND: Stan Lee intended for Professor X and Magneto to represent Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, respectively.

STATUS: I’m Going With False

Reader James wrote in recently to ask about the legend that:

Stan Lee originally intended for Professor X and Magneto to be the comic book equivalent of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

It’s an interesting situation, made much more difficult by the fact that Stan Lee himself every once in awhile has said words to that effect.

However, I just don’t buy it.

It’s certainly true that later on when Chris Claremont took over the writing of the X-Men that eventually the characters of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto (whatever they’re calling him these days) became a version of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X for mutantkind.

It was during Chris Claremont’s run on the book that the civil rights analogy for the X-Men became an evident subtext of the comic book.

The most notable example of this is most likely Claremont’s X-Men graphic novel (with artist Brent Anderson), God Loves, Man Kills…

However, in the original comics, it seems a lot more likely (and pretty clear), really, that Stan Lee was not giving the work any sort of deeper subtext beyond “these heroes are mutants, making them different than the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man and the Avengers,” and he certainly was not positioning Professor X and Magneto as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

In fact, in other interviews, that WAS basically how Lee described the series, as a slightly more offbeat comic series that he originally wanted to call “The Mutants,” but that was deemed TOO offbeat (and not commercial enough) of a title.

Really, though, if you don’t believe me and think that Lee intended for the duo to stand-in for King and Malcolm X, then you certainly CAN believe this assortment of pages and panels from the first seven issues of the (Stan Lee-penned) X-Men comic book to show you that Professor X and Magneto really did not act like either Malcolm X or Martin Luther King…

Dude was chucking torpedoes at the X-Men!!

This was just a bad guy through and through, so unless Stan Lee had a really messed up idea of what Malcolm X was about (and if that were the case, I highly doubt Stan Lee would be admitting that later on), it appears that Lee is merely taking a little bit of credit for the work Chris Claremont later did with the characters.

A sort of “Oh yeah, that take on the characters you had was what I was thinking, too!” deal.

Nothing really wrong with that. I certainly don’t expect a guy to remember exact details from work he did 46 years ago that he never intended at the time to still be discussed in 2009.

But if the question is “Did Stan Lee intend for Magneto and Professor X to be like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King?” then I’m going with no.

Thanks to James for the suggestion!

COMIC LEGEND: A 1950s issue of Haunt of Fear bears an uncanny resemblance to the Sam Raimi film Drag Me to Hell.

STATUS: True

Chris Irving sent me a head’s up about this one the other day. It’s pretty darn trippy.

However, spoilers for Drag Me to Hell will follow, so be forewarned!!

Drag Me to Hell is a horror film by Sam Raimi that came out earlier this year.

In it, Alison Lohman plays a young woman who is cursed by a Lamia, a demon that, once it possesses you, you’re basically screwed, unless you can transfer the demon to another person (living or dead). In this instance, within three days of the demon possession, the person will be taken to hell.

Through the help of a swami and a seance (which her fiancee begrudgingly pays for, even though he doesn’t believe any of it), she learns about the Lamia and how to stop it (transfer it to another person – in this case, the dead body of the woman who cursed her in the first place).

However, in a big twist, at the end of the film, in a scene at a train station with her fiancee, Lohman’s character gets dragged to hell anyways (as she made a mistake with the Lamia transference).

Well, in Haunt of Fear #21, from July/August of 1953, in a story by Al Feldstein (with art by Jack Kamen and Bill Elder), we see a remarkably similar story!!

Here’s the basic gist of the story…

Now, I don’t actually believe that Sam Raimi took the idea for his film from this comic. I think it’s almost certainly just a coincidence. It’s not like the stories are even exactly the same. And it’s not like Al Feldstein invented the Lamia – it’s an established demo from Greek folklore (although it’s a demon that has been used in many different ways over the years). But it’s still interesting!

It WOULD be pretty funny, though, if EC, which was known for essentially appropriating story ideas from various forms of media (without crediting the swipe) was itself appropriated without credit!

Thanks to Chris for the suggestion! Be sure to check out his great site, Graphic NYC!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com.

As you likely know by now, at the end of April, my book finally came out!

Here is the cover by artist Mickey Duzyj. I think he did a very nice job (click to enlarge)…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you next week!

69 Comments

I’d argue Chris Claremont had a messed up idea about what both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were about as well.

That “Drag Me to Hell” thing, at least the way you describe it, is a little TOO CLOSE for comfort. I do wonder if it’s been secretly appropriated. Then-again, I haven’t seen the film.

That’s pretty freaky about Drag Me To Hell, actually. However, I still enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I think if there was any “borrowing,” it was likley subconscious.

And frankly. I take anything Stan Lee says about the glory days of Marvel with a grain of salt. I still treasure my signed copy of Origins Of Marvel Comics, but it seems to be as close to the truth about the Marvel Age as Marco Polo’s journals were to the truth about China.

Now I only saw the movie once but I seem to recall seeing something about it being adapted in the credits. Maybe it’s just my memory playing tricks on me.

Now I only saw the movie once but I seem to recall seeing something about it being adapted in the credits. Maybe it’s just my memory playing tricks on me.

It just credits the Raimi brothers – no adaptation credit.

Raimi and his brother said they wrote it right after Army of Darkness but just now got around to filming it.

Actually, “Drag Me To Hell” reminded me of one of my favorite movies, “Night Of the Demon,” which had a lot of the same elements in it. Must be one of those ideas that just shows up every decade or so.

Yeah, Mike, that’s what I figure, as well.

If the Lamia was not already an established piece of folklore, that’d be one thing. But it is, so I think it’s just an amusing coincidence.

If Malcolm wanted to take over the world and if Prof. X opposed Johnson’s Veitnam War on civil and human rights ground, yeah that would have worked.

You realise this is the THIRD “two-hundred and eighteenth” column in a row, right?

Sounds like a cause for a celebration! 218 cheers for everyone!

The similarities of plot between that issue of Haunt of Fear and Drag Me to Hell is only half the story. The visuals, and especially the ending on train tracks, is highly suspicious. Sam Raimi’s biggest financial successes lately have been the Spiderman movies, maybe he forgot you need permission to adapt a comic into a movie.

Kamen pencils with Elder inks sure make for an interesting pairing.

Man, I love those X-Men books. Try to explain the origin of X-Man to a non comic book fan, that would take a while. I think the comparisons to MLK jr and Malcom X are obviously after the fact. Sometimes Stan Lee probably gets confused about his old stuff, not because of his age or anything like that, but he wrote so much stuff how can one keep all straight.

I still have my Marvel Masterworks hardcover with the first 10 issues of the X-Men. GOLD!

There was an episode of Amazing Stories (The Spielberg show) called “Miscalculation” that was a note-for-note lift of a story from either weird Science or Fantasy, can’t recall which (I’ll look it up). In it, a nebbishy guy gets ahold of some magic girl-making chemicals, but the measurements don’t make any sense. He tries assorted ratios to get the mix right, ending up with one giant girl, one girl only from the waist up, you get the gag. They each try to get him to kiss them so they will “imprint” on him and love him forever, and when he doesn’t, they melt away. Finally getting the mix right, his roommate barges in first, the magic chemical girl kisses him first, leaving nebbish with nothing.

With the exception of a new gag at the end and the introduction of a girl he gets after his disappointment, it’s a step for step, point for point lift of the EC story, FAR too close that could be blamed on parallel evolution. I was LIVID when I first saw it, and have never seen anything that so much as a tip of the hat to the original. A very distinct exception to the high level of creativity that went into that show.

With Jack Kirby introducing Black Panther in the Marvel pantheon. Maybe it wasnt Stan Lee’s original Intention but I suspect Kirby’s influence help shape the tone of the series. And Every Writer knows that best creations take on their own lives.

Stan may not have started off with the intention of the X-men becoming a racial allegory…but he sure did bend it toward that side. And thats good enough for me.

I love wat claremont did wit the xmen. Racisim has been a problem in this country since its establishment and it was def goin on while claremont was writing the x books.

I hope it open the eyes of readers globally…WAKE UP THIS SHIT STILL HAPPENDS TODAY!

The best way to deal with lamia is to have sex with them, then eat them; though this causes you to become a hideous slipperman, and the only cure for that is to have your genitals removed. That’s what I heard.

Wow, the whole thing about EC and ‘Drag Me to Hell’ is just too close to be coincidental. The dialogue and some minor details differ between the two. ‘Drag Me to Hell’ is obviously a much-more contemporary work. The EC pages shown above, however, are just way too similar to the film in too many ways to be purely a coincidence.

Man was Kirby’s X-Men mediocre. Definitely the weakest work of his career.

ParanoidObsessive

August 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm

“Actually, “Drag Me To Hell” reminded me of one of my favorite movies, “Night Of the Demon,” which had a lot of the same elements in it. Must be one of those ideas that just shows up every decade or so.”

I’m pretty sure they actually admitted that most of the similarities to Night of the Demon were deliberate homage. Which, if anything, leads me to think that they didn’t lift the ideas directly from the EC Comic, because if they had, I would have expected them to admit that, too.

Which isn’t to say that Sam Raimi may not have read the story decades ago, and then mistaken the elements of the story for what he thought were his own original ideas. I’ve absolutely done that in the past – had what I thought was an awesome original idea, only to remember later on that it was something I read years before rather than something I came up with on my own.

Get a load of the word balloon placement on panel 4 of page 15 of the X-Men excerpt. Assuming Kirby drew Magneto’s whole figure, Stan Lee pulled a Colletta on Magneto’s head but with verbosity instead of an eraser.

Man, that X-Man dialog Is terrible- even if you hadn’t told us about the rewrite, it would still sound odd. I can see why Rozum isn’t happy.

The fact Magneto and Xavier were NOT originally intended to be X/King stand-ins is obvious for those of us familiar with the older X-Men stories. Not that I think it isn’t a valid reinterpretation, and it’s even explained in-story (Magneto WAS insane, but he was cured when he was “reborn”) but let’s keep the facts clear.

As for “Drag Me to Hell” I tend not to watch modern horror movies because they’re SO cheap (there was no real reason for that “twist ending” other than, well, every horror movie today HAS to have one).Also,I’ve heard about Lamias before (I’m a fan of mythology) but never as demons who possessed people. Then again all sort of pagan stuff got “demonized” by The Church in medieval times…

Those early original X-Men comics were just badly done all around. They all read like rush jobs and after-thought books and the Kirby work on the series was very rough and not his best work. When Roy Thomas started writing them, they really didn’t get much better and I can see why the series ended up being canceled and later rebooted. Some of the stuff just plain didn’t make me damn sense…like one of the X-Men would do something to use his power in a crowd of people…like Bobby turning into his snowman form before he was drawn as hard ice, and then somebody in the crowd would point and yell “Look, it is one of those mutants!!!” whereas in any other book they point and say “Hey, look it is one of those superheroes!” It just made no freaking sense that because these people were born with powers some of mankind hated them. It always seemed to be an aspect of the book which was forced and heavy handed, even when Claremont did it. Oh, and Stan Lee couldn’t tell you a straight story about the real behind the scenes origins of anything no matter how hard he tried. He’s one of those guys who TRULY believes that you should never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Drusilla lives!

August 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Which stories were the gang at EC “famous” for ripping off? I only know of the Ray Bradbury stuff… which they later got permission for. I think you’re exaggerating a bit, they didn’t have to rip off anyone, they [i]had[/i] the best writers in the industry at the time… period.

“Look, it is one of those mutants!!! Doesnt make sense. Try, “Hey look its one of those blacks” during the same period. Both Make no sense. Yet one was a reality and the other fiction.

Or Look, Its “One of those JEWS”

I still have never seen a clear reason why mutants are so feared in the Marvel Universe but the Fantastic Four are heroes. Somehow being born with your powers is scary. But getting them from some accident is okay. And I get that there could be a fear your child would one day turn into a freak upon hitting puberty, and how that could be scary, but it seems incredibly rare — so doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

ParanoidObsessive

August 14, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Well, look on the bright side (though, is it really a bright side?), Marvel seems fairly keen on playing up the whole “I hate and fear that which is different” angle with normal super-powered people as well (the whole Civil War thing).

Though I’d say the reason why they’d argue that mutants are scarier is because you never know who is a mutant and who isn’t. Everyone knows Reed Richards can bend himself into odd shapes, and everyone has a fairly good idea of whether or not he’s responsible with his powers. But how can you say the same about that potential mutant telepath who may be reading your mind without you ever knowing it? Maybe that creepy guy in your biology class is a mutant with the power to turn invisible, and he’s hiding in the girls’ locker room right now!

In a way, it’s almost like having concealed carry laws with weapons that can blow up entire city blocks with a single shot. Even a lot of people who support the second amendment would agree that something like that needs to be restricted or controlled – and that’s why they keep pushing the registration act storylines.

Which stories were the gang at EC “famous” for ripping off?

That’s for later installments of the column. ;)

About the “mutant fear” in Marvel comics: it isn’t so much that some people have superpowers as the idea of the WHOLE human race being slowly replaced by another that scares people. Never mind that most mutants are *perfectly* human-looking (exceptions like Nightcrawler are pretty rare) and most people would *love* to have powers. Also, the mutant hysteria has been fanned by people who happened to have great influence (scientists, government people, even religious fanatics.) Finally when the mutants themselves keep reminding everyone that THEY ARE A SEPARATE RACE (which they are NOT) you can only expect the public to believe it.

Of course, the way the public reaction has varied from comic to comic also depends on the writing, often for the worse (The way X-Statix were popular DESPITE openly being mutants- not to mention a bunch of jerks- never made much sense.)

Huh – I don’t really see how the examples provided would do anything to disprove the notion that Lee based those characters on Dr. King and Malcolm X. While I can surely accept it either way, the key word there is “based” which doesn’t mean “accurately portrayed each character exactly like their (possible) real-life inspiriations.” All I take it to mean is the simplistic influence of real-life meant that there are two “leaders” of a minority group who differ in philosophy about how they’re going to win better treatment for “their people.” Xavier leaned more toward peaceful integration and Magneto thought separation and violent conflict was inevitable. This obviously does not neatly sum up either man’s views or actions, but X-Men was obviously not a biography. Showing us totally insane dialogue and panels from the early comics wouldn’t do much to prove or disprove anything. I’d still have to go with Lee’s word on this (however faulty his memory might tend to be) since it’d be nearly impossible to disprove unless the dates of the characters’ creation were somehow proven to be before King and X’s rise to prominence.

If I create a character that I say is “based on George Washington” and I make him a character that rises to prominence in a rebellion, nobody is going to credibly disprove my claim by pointing out that my character is never elected president or says or does anything that isn’t in keeping with anything we know about Washington.

One of Stan’s Soapbox columns in the late 90s actually fairly clearly said he DIDN’T base them on King and Malcolm X, although he admitted that he may have been subconciously influenced by them.

While I agree that Raimi almost certainly read the story and it was some sort of influence, either conscious or subconscious, I think there are more than superficial differences between the two. For instance, it looks like the rational doctor is the protagonist. Raimi also depicts Alison Lohman as perhaps being deserving of the curse. And Raimi’s movie has actual supernatural elements, no ambiguous “was it a curse or suicide?” Curse of the Demon ended at a train station too.

It’s an influence, not a rip off is my conclusion.

I think the point that Brian is trying to make (and IMHO he did) is that Lee and Kirby never intended the X-Men to be anything more than a good adventure story (I also firmly believe that the “four elements” explanation for the Fantastic Four is entirely accidental/Jungian). People tend to read *anything* from the 60s as more political than it actually was, and frankly I never heard the MLK/Malcolm X analogy until the second movie. But yeah, I really think a lot of that “mutant = designated victim of prejudice” idea is way overplayed. In fact, I think Claremont’s least interesting work was when he played up the prejudice angle. Dark Phoenix, The Brood, Wolverine in Japan, the Morlocks – those were all great storylines. But I never bought the mutant prejudice thing. Someone with, say, Kitty Pryde’s powers would be the most popular kid at school, not a pariah.

It’s funny, I really liked Drag Me To Hell (not sure why it wasn’t a bigger hit), and normally when I heard about something like this it makes me admire it less. However, I look at this and while seeing the obvious comparison, I just go “huh. That’s weird.”

If anything, I always thought the Lee/Kirby X-Men had more of a “reds under the bed” commie witch-hunt sort of thing going on then any kind of civil rights analogy.

Regarding EC stories, Al Feldstein once said that Gaines had insomnia and often spent the nights reading books and using their plots for story ideas the next day. There is a good chance that the ‘larnia” story came from a book Gaines read.

A little googling shows that “Curse of the Demon” movie comes from “Casting the Runes” book by M.R. James.
The book is on Google as it’s apparently public domain now and can be read on Google Books. I haven’t read it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if all these stories sprung from the same source.

Drusilla lives!

August 15, 2009 at 10:44 am

Hopefully (in fairness) you’ll also mention all (documented) times EC was swiped as well.

My problem with Clairemont’s xmen-as-minority work was that he didn’t acknowledge the possibility of nonviolent protest. If there was a No Mutants Allowed lunch counter, Magneto would just smash it (“Homo superior eats lunch where they choose, humans!”) and the Xmen would stand and whine about how it’s really, really awful but until humanity overcomes prejudice and accepts them, there’s nothing that can be done. As symbols of anything, they’re pathetic compared to the real-life civil-rights groups.
As for “reds under the bed” I’ve often heard it suggested that Steve Ditko and his Randian views were what prompted Marvel to do so many anti-Communist stories in the sixties, but I’ve noticed rereading them in TPB that Ditko/Lee almost never has any Commies compared to Iron Man, Giant Man, Hulk, FF, etc. (my favorite is an early FF story in which Rick Jones spots a spy because he’s a literal card-carrying Communist). Perhaps a future urban legend segment?

And now that comics actually have gay and black characters, do we need X-Men to show us prejudice against a fictional minority instead?

Fraser– to answer your question—YEAH,

Because a bigot doesn’t stop with one group. usually if one hates blacks, they also hate, jews, gays, the handicapped, etc.

Also. I agree with the poster that states people “read anything into ” comics. Which is true, but there are just as many who can be ” In Denial” is people can also be in denial over what is shown as well.

But the Malcolm X/ MLK argument is moot anyway, because the connection was made a reality by Stan Lee’s very words.. and Jack Kirby isn’t alive to share his opinions. That is why he was omitted. but I know his stance on race relations and his one man crusade to change minority representations in comic during the 60′s from big-lipped, dumb caricatures to super heroes.

Stan also supported using comic books to provide some measure of social commentary about the real world, often dealing with racism and bigotry. In one famous Spider-Man story line, the wallcrawler’s best friend became addicted to drugs. The Comics Code Authority refused to let it by but it was published anyways without their approval, winning great praise. Besides promoting an upcoming comic book project, “Stan’s Soapbox” also addressed issues of discrimination, intolerance, or prejudice. Stan took to using sophisticated vocabulary for the stories’ dialogue to encourage readers to learn new words, justifying this by saying: “If a kid has to go to a dictionary, that’s not the worst thing that could happen.”

From a Stan Lee Interview.

PLUME: In the ’70′s, touring colleges, you were basically talking to the kids who grew up on Marvel comics… What was the most-asked question at these lectures?

LEE: The ones you’d expect, like “Where do you get your ideas?” So many of them were amusing. So many people would talk about religion – with Thor, let’s say – and they’d say, “How do you equate Thor’s philosophy with the Judeo-Christian theory of ethics?” The Silver Surfer is the one that the college kids would talk about the most, and that made me happy, because I really was fond of the Surfer, and I always tried to put as much of my own corny philosophy in the Surfer’s dialogue as I could.

“We paid our fare just like anyone else!”

(mutant Cyclops again, responding to the dirty looks the X-Men are receiving from fellow, human, commuters on a subway; it’s the very mundanity of the scene that makes it as chillingly pointed as any of the high end, hysterical “mutant prejudice” scenes the X-Men face these days — “Trapped: One X-Man!” X-Men, 1st series, #5, Stan Lee)

researched by D.K. Latta

@ D: “People tend to read *anything* from the 60s as more political than it actually was….”

Feh. Subtexts are not always intentional. As others have noted, Lee might have been subconsciously influenced by the King/X binary. But the reader brings his/her own attitudes, expectations and frameworks to a text, and if s/he sees a political subtext in the X-Men or anything else it is there regardless of what the author intended. No published comic book, novel, song, movie, what have you exists in some pure realm where only one, author-intended understanding is relevant. Additionally, the 1960s were a very politically turbulent time. Any artist who was at all paying attention had to be influenced by events and on some level incorporated that into his/her work. To say otherwise is to not really be aware of the climate of the times.

@ Excelsior: “Because a bigot doesn’t stop with one group. usually if one hates blacks, they also hate, jews, gays, the handicapped….”

Not necessarily. African Americans might be bigoted against Jews and/or gays but not the handicapped (cf. some of the more conservative African American churches); Latinos might hate African Americans but not whites; whites might be prejudiced against Blacks and Latinos but not Asians. Not all bigots are pan-prejudiced Klan members. An example: I once worked with a woman who told me that she did not like Black people because her daughter had been raped by a Black man. I said I was sorry for what had happened to her daughter but could understand that she might not want to talk to me anymore. “Why?” she asked. “You’re white.” “Well, it was a *man* who raped your daughter.” She was confused. She also later attended a staff party with her Mexican boyfriend.

Hmmmm….I feel it would be a little naive to think that hollywood and indy writers and producers of the horror genre are not reading through every old EC book they could to glean ideas for future scripts.Just as Gaines probably read stories of different legends and such.It is the way of writers in general to take all experiences lived or read and put them into their stories.No big deal,just credit the original creator of the idea.

I loved Onion3000′s comment about the slippermen as I assume that’s an obscure reference to Peter Gabriel’s final Genesis album, the very trippy “Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”. Nice!

Deron, I know what you mean, but I still think Stan was retconning his own story, and it wouldnt be the first time: he claimed that one of the Howlin’ Commandoes was supposed to be gay.

“Drag Me to Hell” also owes a huge debt to the film “Curse of the Demon” aka “Night of the Demon” including the transfer of the curse within a limited time and a horrific finale at a train station!
The movie is an adaptation of the 1911 short story “Casting the Runes” by M.R. James
Note that “Curse of the Demon” came out four years after the EC Comics’ story was published, so that while the EC story may have “borrowed” from James’ short story, it didn’t take from “Curse of the Demon”.

Wow, I never knew that X wanted to conquer and enslave mankind.

(that’s sarcasm, kids)

So for those defending Stan Lee and claiming that he based Xavier/Magneto on King/X… how do you reconcile that with the multiple, documented times that Stan’s memory has turned out to be faulty?

I love the man, but let’s be honest, he’s a storyteller, and it’s well-known that he’ll default to the best story, regardless of the actual truth of the matter. “Xavier/Magneto were analogues of King/X” sounds so much better than “they were just your standard opposite good/evil poles”.

I believe that TS Eliot once said “A good writer borrows, a great writer steals.”

The differences between Drag Me To Hell & that EC story are such that, even if Raimi was influenced by that story, it’s a HUGE disservice to everyone involved in the film to use words like “rip-off” of “too close to be coincidental.”

In short, quite trying to boost your own egos by bashing someone else’s work.

Unique question.
With Professor X based off Martin Luther King and Magneto based off Malcolm X, could Dazzler be worked into being based off of Josephine Baker / Diana Ross?
She’s a mutant who is an entertainer, very easy on the eyes, and could (arguably) be accepted by the general populace.
After Martin Luther King’s assassination, Josephine Baker was approached to continue his mission. She, unfortunately, passed on it.
I think it would be an interesting approach to Dazzler, and the X-men.
Just a late night ramble.

(Diana Ross is mentioned to tie into the 1960′s. Josephine Baker obviously influence Diana Ross, and Miss Ross’ presence is definitely carried on today. (Whitney Houston, Jodi Watley, Mariah Carey. Rhianna, Beyonce’)

[...] Raimi adora a E.C. Comics. A descoberta foi publicada aqui e apontada por Jorge Coli em sua (como sempre) ótima coluna na Folha de SP deste domingo. [...]

drag me to hell = haunt of fear
stephen kings the thinner
night of the demon

i think its pretty obvious raimi simply broke down what made these stories tick and rehashed them into his own film.
its no crime, eli roth did the same thing with the texas chainsaw massacre, evil dead, night of the living dead an turned them into cabin fever.
but all the people sayin “coincidence”. bullshit.
im watching d.m.t.h right now and lookin at this comic and its almost lifted scene for scene and the disagreement between the man and woman is all too similar. no doubt raimi lifted from this book,mixed it with elements from night of the demon and the thinner and named in drag me to hell. fair play to him. ive tried to break down my favorite influences an rebuild them into my own story for years and as of yet am unsuccessful. its still a good film, weve just stumbled upon where the idea’s came from. they al come from somewhere. watch the remake for house of wax again an tell me every idea idea didnt come from the tourist trap(1979)

your wording on the “drag me to hell” title line is backwards. since the comic was published first, technically, the movie would bare a resemblance to the comic, not the comic to the movie. it may seem overly critical, but the wording actually changes the meaning of the statement.

Just wanted to comment on the whole mutant fear thing in the marvel universe. it seems like the whole basis for the whole anti mutant stuff IS the powers. “Golly, Cyclops is a mutant. I hate him cause he shoots laser beams outta his eyes”…. and yet most of the other super heroes are loved cause of the powers…”Wow, Human torch is cool cause he controls fire”… wouldn’t people love everyone with powers or hate everyone with powers? It never made sense how it’s half love and half hatred for superpowered people. I know there’s been variuos reasons have been used to explain why mutants are hated in the MU, but it’s always been kinda shoehorned in afterwords and beated to death later on. That’s why I never read X-Men, especially under Claremont. I love long strung out soap opera type stories, but the mutant hatred thing was and as far as I can tell still waaayyyy to heavy handed in the X books to be enjoyable, for a poor idea that was basically introduced as a way to explore racism… and of course why people hate the X-Men and love the avengers is beyond me. In the MU most of the members of the Avengers have always been unknown people, so there’d be as much suspicion of, say, Tigra then Nightcrawler. No one would know Tigras origin (nor Nightcrawlers for that matter) so you’d thing Tigra would be hated as a mutant…but since she’s been part of the avengers, nope. She’s loved. (of course that all coulda changed. I.ve been kinda disgusted with Marvel lately since basically Secret Invation so haven’t been following any of the sbooks since…)

And btw, I’m sorry that my last point is kinda rambling. Just got home from work and my brains are somewhat fried…. and cool blog by the way

your wording on the “drag me to hell” title line is backwards. since the comic was published first, technically, the movie would bare a resemblance to the comic, not the comic to the movie. it may seem overly critical, but the wording actually changes the meaning of the statement.

Well the comic does bare a resemblance to the movie. (And vice versa.) Isn’t that what “resemblance” means?

Regarding “Drag Me To Hell” (loved it!) “Curse of the Demon” and “Casting the Runes”, I’ve also heard the same plot used in a number of old mystery radio shows, though the exact show and episode names escape me, they are all there in podcast form to inspire the next generation of horror fans and writers! This is similar to the old “House of Wax”/”Bucket of Blood” motif of a talentless or disabled sculptor producing surprisingly good work in human statues because there’s a murder victim in each one, which has been done a dozen times each as a radio show, movie and comic book. You can’t keep a good story idea down! Someday they’ll remake them all again as a walk-through hologram or something.

Surely you mean it “BEARS” a resemblance. Not BARES.

I started watching Drag Me To Hell but I had to leave because it appeared to be remarkably racist as far as I could tell.

Hah. The first thing I said to my sister after leaving the theatre after DMtH was “Wow, that was the perfect EC story! They literally could have put a Cryptkeeper top and tail on and called it a new Tales From the Crypt movie!”

Now, seeing this, it just shows me that the Raimis *were* in an EC kinda state-of-mind. But no more. The amount of stories that by this point in the thread it’s allegedly “ripped off”- plus the many more stories I could bring up where someone offends a gypsy, is cursed, is cured, twist ending- just tells me these are old tropes. Passed down since who teh hell knows when?

I don’t know enough about the situation to say whether Raimi “ripped off” anything when he made Drag Me To Hell. All I know is that I thought that movie was really crappy.

This “why do mutants get hated and superheroes get loved?” question is an interesting one that has been answered more recently in continuity.

Reed’s first act on forming the FF was initiating a massive PR initiative so the foursome would be hailed as celebrities rather than pilloried as freaks.

The Avengers were treated with major suspicion until they got a free pass due to finding and recruiting Captain America.

Nobody ever liked Spider-Man. The only surprise is that no-one ever accused him of being a mutant.

Daredevil was mostly tolerated on the grounds that nobody thinks he has any powers at all.

I know, I know. Retroactive continuity doesn’t make up for sloppy (but way cooler than DC) plotting at the time!

Jenna Appleseed

May 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Woa – so neither Bowie or The Tomorrow People (sci-fi tv series) came up with the phrase Homo Superior for the posible next level of human evolution.

[...] s’il est remarquable, le parallèle est un peu grossier et le sujet a été (trop) longuement débattu sur Internet. Le doute reste [...]

I do believe this theory on it not being based on Malcolm X and MLK is flawed. 1) it would have a more dramatic and super hero twist to it. So the basis on the concept is symbolism not exact representation. 2) if it was overly clear, the comic code wouldn’t have allowed it due to the fact they wanted comics to be dumbed down for children 3) Stan Lee prided himself on his social commentary, look what was happening in that year. 4) If he were to state it was based on Malcolm X is would be offensive to many of Malcolm X’s followers, believers and family.

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