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Comic Book Legends Revealed #241

Welcome to the two-hundred and forty-first 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 forty.

Comic Book Legends Revealed is 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 you check out this installment of Musical Legends Revealed to see which world-famous musical composer also had a hit dance single based on the theme song to the video game Tetris!

As I mentioned in the last edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed, the “regular” edition of the column is running today because of the holiday. So you get TWO columns this week (this one and the normal one at the end of the week)!

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: The World War II slogan “Keep ‘em flying!” was originated in a Wonder Woman comic.

STATUS: False

Today’s legend is from a certain category of legends that originated from a misread sentence. I certainly can’t say that I have not come to the wrong conclusion sometimes from misread sentences (although, naturally, I personally always blame the sentence writer for poor writing rather than possibly suggest that I was the one who screwed up…hehe).

In this instance, reader David wrote in to tell me something he read in a book about comics that he bought for his nephew (what a great uncle, huh?):

I just ran into this one in an excellent book I got my nephew for his birthday, So You Wanna Be a Comic Book Artist. It’s a kid-friendly book mostly (natch) about drawing, writing, storytelling, etc., but it has lots of little sidebar factoids about comic book creators, characters, history, etc.

One that jumped out at me said “Wonder Woman’s battle cry, ‘Keep ‘em flying,’ became a well-known wartime slogan, and in 1943, she was even shown leading Marines into battle.”

First off, as an aside, here is that 1943 Wonder Woman comic where she led Marines into battle (it’s one of those comics you probably don’t want to read if you have problems with war-driven racism):

And as an extra bonus, here’s Wonder Woman leading the cavalry from the first issue of her solo title (which inspired the classic cover to her first issue)…

In any event, no, “Keep ‘em flying” was not coined in a Wonder Woman comic. The slogan was created by Lt. Col. Harold N. Gilbert, the chief recruiter for the Army. It debuted in May of 1941, months before Wonder Woman made her first appearance.

She did USE the phrase, though, in Sensation Comics #4…

But obviously, by that point, it was in REFERENCE to the phrase, which had become a very popular slogan…

Actually, as reader Rich Chapell noted, Steve Trevor himself used the phrase at the end of the lead story in Sensation Comics #1….

The phrase was so ubiquitous that, in late 1942/early 1943, after one issue where they used their own “Keep ‘em flying” logo…

all of the All-American line of DC Comics (Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc.) began using the “Keep ‘em flying” stamp (seen here)…

on their books, as you can see on these covers…

As reader Mike Blake noted, the earliest use of the logo by the All-American crowd was an adapted one where the All-American crew had THEIR aviator hero, Hop Harrigan, use the phrase on the logo for the self-titled All-American Comics (where Hop had a feature)…

On the National Comics side of DC Comics (publishers of Batman and Superman), they did not go with “Keep ‘em flying,” but variations on war bond pleas (although Batman took the whole “keep ‘em flying” bit in a different direction)…

Anyhow, getting back to the misread sentence I mentioned at the beginning of the piece, David theorized (And I totally agree) that the writer of So You Wanna Be a Comic Book Artist, simply misread a sentence that Les Daniels wrote in his book, Wonder Woman Masterpiece Edition: The Golden Age of the Amazon Princess.

In that book, Daniels wrote:

Her battle cry became the well-known wartime slogan “Keep ‘em flying!” and in 1943 she was even shown leading marines into battle against Japanese troops.

Seems pretty clear where the “problem” came in, right (and I use quotes because it is far from a big deal)?

Anyhow, thanks to David for, well, basically doing all the legwork for this legend! And thanks to Les Daniels, just because he’s a great comic book historian!

COMIC LEGEND: John Byrne essentially “took” the character of Mariko from James Clavell’s novel, Shogun.

STATUS: True

Reader Fritz wrote in to say that he was watching the DVD release of the classic 1980 TV mini-series, Shogun….

which is about an Englishman (played by Richard Chamberlain) living in Japan in the 1600s, and he was struck by how much actress Yoko Shimada’s character of Mariko reminded him of Wolverine’s girlfriend (and almost wife) Mariko, from the X-Men.

And he’s right, they’re quite similar (although not necessarily in appearance).

Here is Mariko…

And here is Mariko’s first appearance from X-Men #118 by Byrne and Chris Claremont (can you guess who did the guest-inks on this issue? And no fair if you just happen to recall offhand!)…

Well, Fritz realized that it couldn’t really work, time-wise, as the issue of X-Men came out over a year before the mini-series.

However, the NOVEL that the mini-series was BASED on, by James Clavell, had come out in 1975.

And sure enough, in an interview in Back Issue magazine (conducted by the great Peter Sanderson), Byrne says that yes, he basically just appropriated the character from Clavell’s novel and put her into the X-Men.

Claremont and Byrne were going to introduce a love interest for Wolverine who, right as they got married, would be attacked by Sabretooth (in a cavalier fashion, showing how much of a sociopath he is), leaving her brain dead. Wolverine would then be forced to pull the plug (SPOILER ALERT! That was basically how writer Larry Hama later DID kill off Mariko years later – she was poisoned and Wolverine is forced to kill her to save her a painful death).

Since she was created to die, the pair did not think it a big deal to base her her prominently on an established character (and I agree – she was just a throwaway character, so it’s a cute bit). Claremont had not yet read the novel when Byrne suggested they “take” the character, but he agreed that the “purity” of her character made her a really good match (in their minds) for Wolverine, as it would totally throw the readers for a loop to see who Wolverine falls for.

Of course, plans change, and by the time the wedding came around, Byrne had long been off the book, and Claremont went a different direction.

Thanks to Fritz for this legend! And thanks to Byrne, Claremont and Sanderson (and Back Issue magazine, of course) for the information!

COMIC LEGEND: There was almost a TV series starring Night Thrasher!

STATUS: True

Reader Albert wrote in to see if there was, indeed, almost a TV series based on the New Warriors character, Night Thrasher.

And yep, sure enough, in October of 2002, Marvel struck up a deal with UPN to produce a script for a possible series.

CBR’s own Rob Worley had the details seven years ago…

The network has picked up Night Thrasher as a one hour drama. Michael Elliot (Brown Sugar) will pen the script for the pilot and also serve as executive producer on the show. Ben Silverman, chief of the Universal-based production house, Reville, is also executive producing as are Marvel’s Avi Arad and Rick Ungar. Reveille’s Matt Edelman is producing.

Elliot wrote Brown Sugar…

but he was also coming off of the hit kid’s film, Like Mike…

Worley cited Elliot’s reasons for taking on the project…

Elliot, an African-American writer, was drawn to the project by the hero’s ethnicity. He described Night Thrasher as “a hip-hop version of James Bond.” He went on to say that Night Thrasher is “an opportunity to create a superhero for today’s generation — one like looks like them, talks like them, likes the same kind of music.”

Interestingly enough, at the time, the most recent take on Night Thrasher was a martial artist take…

but it sounds like they basically were thinking “African-American Batman” with the show.

Sadly, the show never progressed past the initial script commitment, and UPN was gone less than four years later…

That would have been an interesting TV series, if only for the reaction from the media to the name (“He does… what exactly? Thrashes in the night?”).

Thanks to Albert for the question, and thanks to Rob Worley (and Nellie Andreeva, who first broke the story) for the information!

Okay, that’s it for this installment!

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…well…later this week!

60 Comments

“And sure enough, in an interview in Back Issue magazine (conducted by the great Peter Sanderson), Byrne says that yes, he basically just appropriated the character from Clavell’s novel and put her into the X-Men.”

Gives new meaning to the phrase ‘Byrne-stole it’.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

January 4, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I hope I’m not the only person who misread that Wonder Woman page as “Look out nipples, here I come!”

I seem to remember JSA stories sometimes ending with that phrase, too. Last panels with stuff like, “Well, Jimmy, you certainly know how to KEEP ‘EM FLYING!”

I imagine Night Thrasher: The Series (and its inevitable spinoff, Night Thrasher Nights) would have been a lot like MANTIS.

Omar-

No. I read that sentence the exact same way.

@Omar: I thought that too!

Also, doesn’t it just make your happy seeing the smiles on Batman and Robin’s faces while they’re firing that machine gun?

Awwww,good times!

Brian: Regular reader and lurker. Just wanted to thank you for putting out this column. I look forward to reading it every time it is published. Thank you!!!

Thanks, Kevin, glad you dig the column.

I like how WW’s order to the troops is ‘no whoring!’

“Black Batman” is pretty much Night Thrasher’s basic concept, too. Right down to the dead parents.

Brian, I’m getting SO into this series of posts (I know you’ve been doing it for a very long time, but I’ve only been reading religiously for the last few months)…anyway, they’re amazing.

Also, the whole thing with Mariko seems just incredibly lazy to me. Why not be inspired by the Shogun character and go from there instead of just lifting her, name and all. Annoying.

‘I hope I’m not the only person who misread that Wonder Woman page as “Look out nipples, here I come!” ‘

That would have been less offensive at least.

Would the inker of Mariko’s first appearance happen to be Paul Smith? IIRC Mariko made a single further appearance in the Byrne X-Men, then next in Wolverine’s first limited series (circa #169), and after that it was Smith who next drew her.

The style looks a bit like Smith to me.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

No, the concept for Night Thrasher was that he thinks he’s Black Batman, and turns out to be cruelly manipulated by his “Alfred” and “Leslie Tjompkins.” Remember, his caretakers turned out to be the ones who’d killed his parents in the first place, and his costume turned out to be based on some sort of warrior monk caste he’d never met. The same guy who gave him the pseudo-Batman origin, Fabian Nicieza, almost immediately started taking the whole thing apart, making up his entire character arc in the first New Warriors series.

Would the inker of Mariko’s first appearance happen to be Paul Smith?

No, but that’s an interesting guess (and not because the actual inker has any connection to Smith, but just because you’re right, it DOES have a bit of an early Smith feel to it)!

I could look it up, since I bought that DVD a few years ago with every issue, but that would be cheating. Frank Miller?

I checked the name and it’s completely unfamiliar. What is the significance exactly?

My first guess as inker for that X-Men issue was also Paul Smith, but then you said it was incorrect and I guessed it could be Frank Chiaramonte (the guy who inked Byrne on the first few Iron Fists he did). But I looked up the issue and found out I was completely wrong.

Or am I?

What is the significance exactly?

That it is a name that people wouldn’t guess.

Brian, I’m getting SO into this series of posts (I know you’ve been doing it for a very long time, but I’ve only been reading religiously for the last few months)…anyway, they’re amazing.

Thanks, Kelly, glad you’re enjoying them!

If I remember correctly (too tired to dig up my X-men Essentials), the inker for that issue was Ricardo Villamonte. I think he mostly did sword and sorcery, horror and war comics but he was no stranger to super hero stuff. It was a bit odd to see Ricardo filling in for Terry Austin but his inks for that issue were more restrained than Villamonte’s usual stuff (IIRC) and was more of a fit for Austin’s style.

Steve Trevor calls out “Keep ‘em Flying Boys!” in what he thinks will be his last words in Sensation Comics #1. His use of the phrase thus predates Wonder Woman’s.

I was about 11 when I first read that, and surmised from the context that it was a popular expression of the era.

What specific issue is that story from where Wonder Woman beats the living you-know-what out the Japanese army? Just curious. I’d like to pick up the WW Archives volume containing it, if it has been reprinted yet.

Okay, obviously from a modern-day perspective, the art and dialogue are very politically incorrect. But those original William Moulton Marston / H.G. Peter stories were so absolutely crazy in pretty much every other respect. For instance, there was probably way more BDSM-themed weirdness in Marston’s original Wonder Woman run than in Chris Claremont’s entire stint on X-Men. So, unlike some other books from the 1940s, the cartoony racist depiction of the Axis just fits in with the overall what-the-hell-were-they-thinking vibe of Marston’s Wonder Woman stories.

Wonder Woman #4, Ben.

Thanks for the info, Brian. And keep up the good work. I always enjoy your columns.

Reading some DC Archive editions of things like the JSA and GL, I got the impression the slogan “Keep ‘em Flying!” was associated with the air ace who debuted in All-American #1, Hop Harrigan. None of the little logos you show here mentioned him, but I thought there were some where it had his name instead of “Let’s Go! U.S.A.”

Here’s what All-American Comics sent out to kids who wrote in to join the All-American Flying Club and American Observation Corps:

http://tinyurl.com/ycwcw5s
http://www.hakes.com/product_images/14/47049/001_big.jpg

Gonna take a shot at the inker comment and go with something that often shows up in various forms here…

Justin Time? Or some variation of?

None of the little logos you show here mentioned him, but I thought there were some where it had his name instead of “Let’s Go! U.S.A.”

You’re right, Mike, in All-American Comics (the comic where Hop had a feature), they changed the logo to say “Hop Harrigan says…”

Thanks, I edited it into the piece!

Just a guess but I thought the inker looked kind of like Dan Green.

If I remember correctly (too tired to dig up my X-men Essentials), the inker for that issue was Ricardo Villamonte. I think he mostly did sword and sorcery, horror and war comics but he was no stranger to super hero stuff. It was a bit odd to see Ricardo filling in for Terry Austin but his inks for that issue were more restrained than Villamonte’s usual stuff (IIRC) and was more of a fit for Austin’s style.

Remembering it would sort of fly in the face of “And no fair if you just happen to recall offhand!,” no?

And yes, it is, indeed, Ricardo Villamonte.

Nights. Will. Thrash.

I love how Byrne/Claremont worked the slow build with Wolverine’s character, adding little parts of the puzzle along the way. i love how he gets out one syllable of his real name, the second syllable not to be revealed until 22 issues later. that’s almost 2 years. say what you will about claremont’s tendency towards cheesiness, but that is some PATIENCE right there.

Look out Nippies, here I come!

It’s a shame we’re so PC nowadays. Would love to read a book where Aquaman beats up the Al Qaeda and says “Look out Towel Heads, here I come!”

I think that last Nightthrasher image is one of mine, LOL

Johnny the Boy wrote:
” i love how he gets out one syllable of his real name, the second syllable
not to be revealed until 22 issues later. that’s almost 2 years.”

And between that and Cap saying once way back then “At ease, Corporal Logan”, how long before we knew if it was his first or last name? Why would he introduce himself to a woman he likes with his last name? Unless he was about to do a “Bond. James Bond” type intro and got interrupted.

Roquefort Raider

January 5, 2010 at 9:33 am

I’d bet dollars to donuts that the inker was Ricardo Villamonte. Us old farts remember the most useless trivia but keep forgetting our new zip code.

Great info about Mariko; I wouldn’t have suspected she was created to be disposed of.

Frank Stallone,

It’s not just that it’s not PC, but that it would be incorrect. Other religions beside Islam wear turbans. It would be like punching a member of the IRA saying “Take THAT, cross-worshiping scum!”

Sikhs, for instance, are even more rigid than Muslims about men wearing a turban.

Frank Stallone,

I would add to Mike Blake’s comment by saying that, in fact, most muslims DON’T wear turbans at all…

Skullcaps, just like the Jewish, is the prefered headwear…

The Touregs of North Africa, the Desert Arabs and some Afghanis wear full facial wraps as protection from dust/sand… A habit adopted by many desert soldiers, including the SAS…

And yeah, my first thought was “nippies? Isn’t that bustier strong enough?”

I find it amusing, people helpfully pointing out that a racist term is based on ignorance…

Noodles, personally I prefer to try and combat ignorance by trying to educate, rather than calling the person a “dumbass racist” (even though I really want to…)

[Dan Felty]

Yeah, I thought that was pretty good, too. I almost want to blow that panel up and frame it like a Lichenstein (sp?) painting.

Glad to know this info about Mariko. I’ve always loved her character and I always will.

i love how he gets out one syllable of his real name, the second syllable not to be revealed until 22 issues later. that’s almost 2 years

His name was actually revealed in X-Men #103, two years earlier than issue #118 and Mariko’s “first” appearance, when the X-Men were fighting the Juggernaut & Black Tom Cassidy. Nightcrawler & Wolverine were being helped by some leprechauns (yeah, I know, but just go with it), and one of the leprechauns refers to him as Logan.

Blackjak, I’m pretty sure Frank Stallone realizes that the racist term “Towel Heads” is based on ignorance. Seeing as how that’s the entire basis of the joke he was going for. But humor often has a hard time penetrating holier-than-thou attitudes, so you’re forgiven for not seeing that.

I think that last Nightthrasher image is one of mine, LOL

I was actually going to credit you with the redesign, but then I realized that I was not sure exactly where that look first popped up. Was it your redesign?

I would’ve loved to see a Night Thrasher TV series.
For some reason, Night Thrasher is the only non-limited series for which I own every issue.

Luis Dantas said that Mariko appeared once more in a Byrne issue and then not until Paul Smith took over, but that’s not true. She also appeared in a flashback when Logan was fighting the Brood. That was a Cockrum story, if I remember correctly. (I no longer have that issue, unfortunately.)
So were Claremont and Byrne really planning to use Sabertooth as an enemy of Wolverine way back then? Wow. As far as I’m aware, he’d only appeared in Iron Fist at that time (but that was Claremont and Byrne, too), and I don’t think he showed up in an X-Men story until the Mutant Massacre, many many years later. (Strangely enough, he appeared in a Spider-Man story at the exact same time. A weird coincidence for someone that until then had been a very obscure character.)

I find it very heartwarming that Wonder Woman apologises to the Japanese when she attacks them– ‘I hate to hurt you, boys, but remember- you started this rough stuff’. Compare that to the sheer glee that some heroes displayed back then whenever they massacred enemy regiments.

I thought “towel head” referred to the scarf things they wear (probably to keep the sun of their necks) rather than turbans.

@DesertSon915

Sorry. I didn’t read it as humour. Just racist. Yes, just as racist as calling the Japanese “Nippies”…

Apologies to Mr Stallone if he was trying to be funny, by drawing a comparison, but I don’t think it was a good one.

As Mike Blake above my post pointed out, it wasn’t anything to do with being “PC”…

I don’t particularly care for Political Correctness, either. In fact, “PC” labels are even more offensive to me (I can’t ask for a “black coffee”? It has to be a “coffee without milk”?!!)… But there is a difference between being intentionally offensive and unintentionally…

There’s nothing wrong with begin PC – and not being racist IS about being PC.

PCness gets a bad name from a combination of people taking it to ridiculous lengths (like vertically challenged instead of short) and ones that people make up that never really existed.

At it’s core it’s very simple:
Words like “fat” and “short” are fine, but don’t use them as insults.
Don’t be racist.
Don’t be sexist.

In other words, be considerate.

What, all these posts and no one’s done the obvious? Okay:

I was a Night Thrasher, too. Finally it was diagnosed as Restless Leg Syndrome.

I’m outta here! Be sure to tip your servers!

“The phrase was so ubiquitous that, in late 1942/early 1943, after one issue where they used their own “Keep ‘em flying” logo…”

The issue in question, Sensation Comics #9, actually appears to say “Keep IT flying!” in reference to the pictured flag, rather than “Keep ‘EM flying!” in reference to the airmen. I see this as being less of “their own” and more of “something similar but completely different”.

Maybe I’m just hung up on the semantics of it, or don’t understand the wartime propaganda images that well, but your wording suggests a variation on a thing, while the actual images are/apply to two different things.

@Blackjak: The only time I’ve even heard the “coffee without milk” thing was from a couple of racists, who proudly followed up by saying they had phrased it that way to avoid ordering “nigger coffee”. Which of course not only defeats the whole purpose of not acknowledging it, but as a friend of mine pointed out, “they’re so consumed with being hateful that they’re actually assigning credit where none is due”.

Luke, DanCJ,

A friend of mine worked as a Speech Therapist at an NHS Trust (here in the UK), where she was actually told that she could not have a “black coffee”, as it “was racist”… and yes, they do in fact use phrases like “vertically challenged”…

I take your points. It’s the Extremism I have a problem with. I didn’t mean to detract from Brian’s post either. I understand the racism and jingoism used in Wonder Woman and other wartime comics of that era and the audience that they were aimed at. I got a rise out of Frank Stallone’s comment purely because I am married to an Arab (well, Kurdish/Turkish/Iraqi, anyway) and have heard one too many jingoist, derogoratory comments painting every Muslim with the same brush…

I know I shouldn’t have reacted like that, but if Christians or Vegetarians were demonised in the same way, just because Hitler happened to be both, the outcry would be deafening…

A friend of mine worked as a Speech Therapist at an NHS Trust (here in the UK), where she was actually told that she could not have a “black coffee”, as it “was racist”… and yes, they do in fact use phrases like “vertically challenged”…

Yeah, but those people are idiots. Don’t let that put you off the core concept of PC which is a very good thing.

Oh and apparantly Hitler was never a vegitarian – and demonising Christians seems fair game to me.

You’re right, DanCJ. The concept behind it is a very good thing. The idiots that take it too far are the ones that drive me nuts!

Anyhoo… I think my New Years’ Resolution is going to have to be “Chill out, and ignore the morons…”

;-)

The problem with PC is that it’s been turned into an excuse for racism: Spew something hateful, then announce that “Of course, saying that darkies were happier when they were slaves and white men did all their thinking for them will earn me the wrath of the PC Police, but I am not afraid to be politically incorrect!”

“Why would he introduce himself to a woman he likes with his last name?”

Well because Mariko is Japanese and in Japan the family name goes first when speaking to people. In fact using someone’s first name unless you are familiar with them is considered a major taboo. So it would be proper to say “My name is Blake Mike” when meeting someone from that particular culture.

Old news, but I too saw “nipples”.

But on to my primary consideration – Mariko. I loved Larry Hama’s GI Joe, but often his Wolverine fell flat to me. I thought kiling Mariko was a horrible idea, but it might have been editor driven, because it certainly makes more sense in the current “Wolverine is just a bad boy, not a failed/trying to be redeemed samurai”. Not having her to disappoint. But then they’ve lost that whole aspect of Logan (which, incidently, I saw as a one name name, like Prince or Sting, not a first or last…it’s James Howlett, not Logan something, or something Logan) where he was an animal, buy trying to achieve being a man. Not a crazed killer, but a controlled samurai who sometimes faltered. Mariko was his end price, when he proved his humanity, his goal. And that’s all gone for him being “bad-ass now”. No love interest has ever really come close for him (yeah, they play up Jean Grey, but we all know she was destined for Scott).

Not sure how to word this as a question, but maybe, as brought up above, was Sabertooth always meant to be a bigger player, or Wolverine’s nemesis? Because I’ve always found it weird that a 3rd rate villain in a 3rd rate title in no way affliated with the X titles, and not even introduced as a mutant at first, was decided much later to be their most popular character’s arch enemy. Now from this it sounds like that was the plan YEARS before he actually appeared in X-Men. But was that on purpose? Byrne was involved in Iron Fist…were seeds being planted there, or did they just like the character, and thought he was kinda like Wolverine, and wanted to move him over to the big time….and then CC did it years later when the chance arose?

M-Wolverine: Not just Byrne, but Claremont and Byrne created Sabretooth. I don’t think he was originally meant to be Wolverine’s opposite number. I mean, he was an Iron Fist villain for a very long time, and fought a few more heroes before he ever even met Wolverine. I think it’s probably that the similiarities between the two were pretty obvious and everyone kind of wondered if they were somehow connected, so they eventually decided, OK, yeah, they totally are. But it’s hard to know for sure without specific testimony from Claremont.

Well, it just seemed an unplanned event where someone realized the similarity; though I don’t recall anyone outside of the creators going “hey, Sabertooth is a lot like Wolverine, maybe they have the same powers. If remember right, in early editions of the Marvel Super Hero RPG, they didn’t even list Sabertooth as a mutant because they didn’t have an origin for him, and he certainly didn’t have any healing factor at the time. (Even up to the Spectacular Spiderman Story mentioned with the Black Cat, where’s he’s practically knocked out by ripping webbing off his face, and it left SCARS). So other than C & B, they didn’t let on that this was their plan for Sabertooth to anyone for a long time. Even though this post says they were thinking about it way back when. Sabertooth appeared dated August 1977, and X-Men 118 was February 1979. So that’s not that far apart to have plans for the character. I’m not disagreeing with you….just saying that if there were no plans from the start (and again, you make a good point…why make him an IF villain then?), they kept a good secret for a lot of years….because no one in the Spidey office even knew not to use him (or how), no more at the same time they were finally going to make him a big deal.

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