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Comic Book Legends Revealed #246

Welcome to the two-hundred and forty-sixth 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-five.

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 TV Legends Revealed to find out what involvement Bill Cosby had with the Amos and Andy TV series coming off the air!

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Barry Windsor-Smith completed a third LifeDeath book starring Storm, which he published himself when Marvel rejected it.

STATUS: True

In 1984 and then the following year, Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Claremont joined forces for two very notable issues of Uncanny X-Men starring Storm.

The books were called LifeDeath.

Well, as it turned out,Windsor-Smith actually worked on a THIRD LifeDeath installment (I do not know WHEN he did – it appears as though it was a goodly amount of time after the initial two parts), but Marvel rejected it.

Windsor-Smith held on to it until 1999, when he adapted the material into a new comic starring one of his new characters he had introduced in his Storyteller series at Dark Horse.

The character was called Adastra.

And the book was called Adastra in Africa (Fantagraphics published it)…

Here are a few sample pages…

Boy, Windsor-Smith is a great artist.

By the way, note the heavy usage of the words “Life” and “Death.”

Thanks to reader Fritz for the heads up on this one! You rock, Fritz!

COMIC LEGEND: Marvel assigned John Byrne The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones as a way to make up for displeasing Lucasfilms with their Raiders of the Lost Ark adaptation.

STATUS: False, but Based in a Lot of Truth

A couple of years back, Elliott Ruben Serrano (who you can read over at Comics Waiting Room here) wrote in to ask essentially that exact question:

Way back in the day, I’d heard that George Lucas was quite displeased with John Buscema’s work on Marvel’s Raiders of the Lost Ark adaptation so Marvel made up for it by getting John Byrne to produce their Further Adventures of Indiana Jones series. True or False?

The John Buscema part is very much true.

John Buscema (on breakdowns) and Klaus Janson (on finishes) did the art on the Raiders of the Lost Ark comic book adaptation, with a script by Walt Simonson.

As was often the case, the adapters were working from an old version of the script for the film, so the Marvel take differed from the actual film, but basically it was a fine, normal adaptation.

Here are three sample pages to give you an idea what the project looked like…

Lucasfilm, though, hated it.

Well, the person in charge of the comic book license hated it, at least. I don’t know if George Lucas was really even that involved in stuff like comic adaptations at this point.

In any event, they did, indeed, as Elliott alluded to, give Marvel a hard time over the work.

And Byrne WAS involved in assuaging their feelings, but not in the way that Elliott heard the story.

You see, Marvel wanted to do an Indiana Jones licensed comic, which made sense, as the property was a popular one (well, Byrne wanted to do one, at least, and he was able to convince the top brass that Marvel should want to do one, as well).

But after their displeasure with the movie adaptation, Lucasfilm was hesitant. However, Marvel was able to convince them to approve the concept by explaining that John Byrne, one of Marvel’s very top creators, wanted to do the comic, and he would write and pencil it (with Terry Austin inking it). So Marvel’s pitch was “The book will be done by our top guy, so you know it will be good.”

So Lucasfilm agreed, and Byrne did the first two issues of The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones…

And they were quite good.

And Lucasfilm? Not exactly fans.

Byrne has told the story a few times about how infuriating it was working with the licensing personal at Lucasfilm. Perhaps the funniest story involves the executive from Lucasfilm asking for the plot (which they had approved) to be edited when they were shown the final pages. Yes, when the comic was finished, they wanted to know if you could just change the plot of the already drawn pages to something else. Likely, they were so used to working with advertising where such demands were not so out of whack, but still, it showed a pretty dramatic lack of understanding for how comic books worked.

In any event, Byrne naturally did not want to work on the book anymore, so a new creative team was found.

The book still continued to be a good book, really – Archie Goodwin and David Michelinie did a good job writing the book and Kerry Gammill and Steve Ditko were fine choices for the regular artists.

But an extended run by Byrne and Austin sure would have been a sight to see! The promo art for their never-produced second arc looked amazing!

Elliott asked another question that I don’t know the answer to, but I imagine it is a simple answer like “Lucasfilm wanted it changed,” but when the series was promoted, it was done so with ads calling the book Raiders of (fill in the blank)…

Anyone know exactly why they changed it?

Thanks again to Elliott for the question and thanks to John Byrne for telling the story about his adventures on the Indiana Jones comic in more than a few places!

COMIC LEGEND: Gabe Jones of Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos was accidentally colored white in the first issue of the title.

STATUS: True

When Stan Lee decided to add an African-American soldier to the diverse crew of Marvel’s new World War II comic, Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, it was quite a major achievement for the time. There was not exactly a proliferation of African-American characters in comics at the time.

But oddly enough, when Sgt. Fury #1 came out in 1963…

Gabe Jones was…

white?!?

You see, while Stan Lee meant for Gabe to be black, Jack Kirby meant for Gabe to be black, colorist Stan Goldberg meant for Gabe to be back, the folks at the printing press figured it was a mistake, so they made Gabe white.

The mistake was corrected for the second issue…

but it was really was rushed job on #2 (like applying grays to a pink figure)…

but they were then caught up for the rest of the series, although for the next few years, Gabe was still more grey-skinned than he was brown-skinned.

He eventually even made his way to the cover of the title (he appeared before this issue on a cover – this one was just the first prominent one).

Soon, DC even took the hint, and added an African-American soldier to Sgt. Rock’s Easy Company (in both instances, though, a de-segregated Army was apocryphal, as neither Marvel’s Gabe Jones nor DC’s Jackie Johnson would have been allowed to serve with white soldiers during World War II).

Reader Earl makes a fine point to note that while Johnson did not join Easy Company until 1965, he actually did appear in a story in 1961 well BEFORE Sgt. Fury #1 came out.

Thanks to reader Marc for the suggestion! And thanks to Earl for the fine point about Johnson’s first appearance!

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, last 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 all next week!

90 Comments

I hadn’t heard about that Storytellers series. Was it any good?

Fascinating read as usual. Just wanted to say how I look forward to Friday evenings (I’m in the UK)
to read this column every week. Thanks Brian

I always knew Lucas disliked the green rabbit character (Jaxxon, or Jax for short, which he ain’t) in the Star Wars comic sesries, but I hadn’t heard about his company’s dislike of the Raiders adaptation. Interesting article!

“both characters, Gabe Jones and DC’s Jackie Johnson were, of course, apocryphal”

I think you meant anachronistic.

I think you meant anachronistic.

I think I meant that the idea of a de-segregated army was apocryphal, so I shouldn’t have specified the character names, but rather, the idea. But sure, I could go with them being anachronisms, as well.

To give Robert Kanigher his props, Jackie Johnson was introduced MUCH earlier, in Our Army at War #113, December 1961. There was no fanfare, no mention of Jackie being black, though the plot of the story did feature two wounded GI’s having to learn to work together. The was slightly before my time, and the first I saw it was in the recent DC Showcase of Sgt Rock vol. 1. As far as I know, he disappeared after that appearance until the one you mention. I’ve wondered whether negative reaction from newstands caused DC to back off for longer than Marvel. I know Steve Ditko started featuring black bystanders in the crowd scenes of early Spider-man issues. I wondered which was first?
I enjoy your column very much.

Was the X-Men issue all finished up already before Marvel rejected it? It even looks like Orzechowski did the lettering.

Also, I assume Lucasfilm wanted the Raiders title changed because they knew that the franchise was Indiana Jones, and only the first installment was called Raiders. Before the second two movies came out it was fair for Marvel to assume Raiders would be the name of the franchise (just like one wouldn’t assume to title the new star wars books as ‘The Further Adventures of Luke Skywalker’).

“I hadn’t heard about that Storytellers series. Was it any good?”

The art was exceptional, but the story, well, so and so. The series was split into rotating anthologies and continued onto the next issue. Each was told in a different format.

Only 9 issues were published.

Yeah, I liked Storytellers, but I’m a big Windsor-Smith fan. It really was most notably an art book. But boy, WHAT ART!!!

To give Robert Kanigher his props, Jackie Johnson was introduced MUCH earlier, in Our Army at War #113, December 1961. There was no fanfare, no mention of Jackie being black, though the plot of the story did feature two wounded GI’s having to learn to work together. The was slightly before my time, and the first I saw it was in the recent DC Showcase of Sgt Rock vol. 1. As far as I know, he disappeared after that appearance until the one you mention. I’ve wondered whether negative reaction from newstands caused DC to back off for longer than Marvel. I know Steve Ditko started featuring black bystanders in the crowd scenes of early Spider-man issues. I wondered which was first?

Good point, Earl!

I edited that into the piece. It’s definitely worth mentioning.

Gabe looks exactly like the original Hulk in that one panel.

Gabe looks exactly like the original Hulk in that one panel.

He totally does.

I had that Raiders adaptation when I was a kid! I loved it!

One line always bugged me, though. After Indy arrives at the secret Nazi base, having lashed himself to a submarine’s periscope with his whip, he thinks to himself about how he’s battered, cold, and tired…”and I think I’ve lost my hat for good.” And as we all know, Indiana Jones NEVER loses his hat.

@The Dude, Barry Windsor-Smith: Storyteller was a great book. But…BWS never finished the run due to conflicts with Dark Horse over the book. It did run for 9 of the proposed 12 issues. It was not, as they say, a hot seller. It was also printed in a large format magazine size in the days before Absolute Editions were popular.

Each issue was split into three on-going stories. The Freebooters, which was along the lines of Conan The Barbarian played by Aram/Armstrong (there was also a young innocent along the lines of Archer too). ParadoxMan was the sci-fi story about a man named Tristan who travels through time and then eventually meets Barry Windsor-Smith. And then there was Young Gods which was a Kirby-inspired story which is about, you guessed it, young gods and featured the character Adastra.

Young Gods & Freebooters eventually were “finished” and published by Fantagraphics. I’m not sure if ParadoxMan was ever completed.

The Storytellers books by Barry were great. They were really building up nicely with some very interesting storytelling from Mr Smith. Although canceled at issue 9, three very nice collections were published by Fantagraphics using new material.

Btw: The wasn’t the only time Barry reused his art. His current epic MONSTERS was started when his Hulk graphic novel was rejected by Marvel.

http://www.barrywindsor-smith.com/monsters/monstersmenu.html

Lucasfilm wasn’t satisfied with Buscema and Janson, so they put their “top guy” on the next Indy book? Wow. Nothing at all against John Byrne, whom I’ve always thought to be an incredible artist, but did they just not like Janson’s unique style and wanted something more “traditional”? (As for me, I haven’t read any of Marvel’s Indiana Jones comics, but the combo of Buscema’s old-school superheroic layouts and the darker tone of Janson’s finishes seems like a great choice for the character, and the covers above only affirm that in my mind.)

(As for me, I haven’t read any of Marvel’s Indiana Jones comics, but the combo of Buscema’s old-school superheroic layouts and the darker tone of Janson’s finishes seems like a great choice for the character, and the covers above only affirm that in my mind.)

None of those covers were by Buscema/Janson (the first one was the late, great Gene Day and the next two were by the great Walt Simonson).

Ritchard – I’d have to dig my copies out to be 100% sure, but IIRC, the Buscema/Janson pairing wasn’t either artist’s finest moment.The moody and atmospheric covers definitely weren’t indicative of what was inside.

Simonson/Buscema Indiana Jones!?!? Want want want.

D’oh! That’ll learn me to double-check before commenting.

Still, the John Buscema/Klaus Janson team sounds solid enough. I might have to track down the original issues now just to check out the artwork.

@I Grok Spock,Brian Cronin,Tom Fitzpatrick: thanks,guys. I’m embarassed to say that the only Barry Windsor Smith comic I remember reading was Weapon X (which I loved).

Hey, lookit that! In the last picture it seems Indy found the Green Lantern charger! Wow! Who needs the Ark when you’ve that? :P

I had the Raiders adaption too as a kid and loved it. I haven’t read it in years, so I can’t comment as to how well it holds up, but anybody wanting to read it can find it in the first of Dark Horse’s Indiana Jones’ Omnibuses (Omnibi?)

Because I do love to be helpful, I just put up three sample pages from the Buscema/Janson adaptation.

I noticed the same thing about the Tom Orz lettering. Did Claremont script the story?

Orzechowski did, indeed, letter it, but Claremont was not credited for the script. I don’t know if he worked on the original script and Windsor-Smith took his credit off because he changed the script, or if this third installment was to be Windsor-Smith by himself.

Daniel O' Dreams

February 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I think I remember from the special features that they originally intended the second movie to be Raiders of (something), but on seeing the popularity of the Indiana Jones character after the first film, changed it to Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom. Guess this was about the time they were producing the comics.
They even refer to the first film as Indiana Jones and The Raiders Of The Lost Ark in some more recent promotional materials.

Storyteller is Windsor-Smith’s best comic, and that’s saying a lot. As mentioned above, the art in Storyteller is jaw-dropping, but more importantly, the characters are so distinctive, funny and unique. They live and breathe on the page. It’s a shame it was never finished. Those Fantagraphics collections never completed those storylines, they just collected all the stories, plus some leftover bits and stories that were an attempt at redirecting the series. You get the impression from those Fantagraphics collections that Windsor-Smith’s technique involves a lot of revision to get the stories just right. Like Kirby’s Fourth World, even though it’s an unfinished body of work, it’s a masterpiece.

I remember BWS talking about his “Lifedeath” sequel in an interview while he was still working on it- (maybe Comics Scene or Comics Buyers Guide?). I’m pretty sure this was after Claremont had already left the X-books, so he wouldn’t have been involved.

Any idea why Marvel rejected Lifedeath III anyway? That seems like a pretty stupid decision.

I remember BWS talking about his “Lifedeath” sequel in an interview while he was still working on it- (maybe Comics Scene or Comics Buyers Guide?). I’m pretty sure this was after Claremont had already left the X-books, so he wouldn’t have been involved.

It does read that way, Dan (as though it was done in the early 90s).

Although the Fantagraphics release notes that the finished work was in a folder for “over a decade” before it came out as Adastra in Africa, so that would suggest it was made in the late 80s, when Claremont was still on the book.

So, in other words, I have no idea. :)

I hated the LifeDeath stories. Already the point when X-men started to have more bad issues than good and then you get to those clunkers that just went on and on and on.

See? That looks NOTHING like Alfred Molina! People who paid good money for a RotLA adaptation deserve – nay, are OWED – an impeccable Alfred Molina likeness!

I’m glad that the third LifeDeath ended up adapted into Windsor-Smith’s original work, because the second one was a Very Special Episode that didn’t advance Storm’s plotline at all ( or any other X-Men plotline, for that matter ), and this looks like it would have had even less to do with the X-Men. Beautiful artwork, though.

I remember reading a Claremont interview where he lists one of his regrets as never getting to work with Barry Windsor-Smith on Lifedeath III, so this says to me he wasn’t involved with the story.

Just a note:
You begin referencing Elliott in the second Legend as “Elliott” as his name is spelled on his site. However, after that you refer to him as “Elliot.” It’s a little nit-picky, but my name is Elliott and this happens all the time and can be rather tiresome.

Other than that, really great legends. I enjoy the last Indiana Jones inked artwork, it looks fantastic.

Thanks,
Elliott Sawyer

No problema, Elliott, it’s fixed now!

Oh, that Buscema/Janson art is yummy – tasteless old Lucasfilm. I did enjoy the Byrne work too, though – I seem to remember the first issue had a terrific splash of Indy in his office, from a very high angle.

Or summat.

Actually Lucasfilm were probably more used to storyboard artists, where they might use the storyboard to determine if something in the script would work on screen or not. Naturally to their unenlightened eyes comic book pages looked exactly the same to them.

Never liked Buscema on anything. My old boss at the shop i worked at agreed with me. He said that Buscema made everyone look ‘somber’ and the reader then felt somber after reading one of his books.
That always worked for me, cause i get a headache if i read a Buscema book for too long. Janson’s not my fav either, but with the right penciller, he’s pretty good.
DFTBA

Imraith Nimphais

February 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Oh Goddess! Lifedeath I and II are two of my all-time favourite Uncanny X-Men issues…and a large part of that most assuredly, is a result of one thing – Barry Windsor-Smith illustrating Ororo. I absolutely rever both the artist and the character. I eventually got “Adastra in Africa” and was absolutely blown away. To this day. Lifedeath I, II and “III” remain the crown jewels in my collection.

I also loved the Raiders adaptation and had the original, but as the one-shot “Marvel Super Special” w/an entirely different cover! I lost/sold this eons ago, but a couple of years ago bought the singles that are pictured off eBay. Hadn’t read the story in over two decades and it still held up! Great work and a lot of fun.

I even went out and bought The Further Adventures series (waaay before DH reprinted it). The Byrne story is by far the best, followed by the Gammill run. Everything else, aside from the few brilliant Michael Golden covers, are ATROCIOUS. Even Ditko’s work is terrible.

When somebody is infuriated with licensing staff at Lucasfilm or other companies, it’s personnel they have issues with. Don’t make it personal.

Sir Hartley McGovern

February 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Byrne and Austin together is awesome. They bring out the best in each other. Their artwork is really striking in black and white. Buscema is great. Janson is great. Together somehow they don’t work. Still Lucasfilm probably weren’t going to be happy with anything marvel came up with by the sounds of it.
Then again Barry Windsor Smith might have done the trick. Astounding work.

Marvel: “We have our top men working on the new series right now.”
Lucasfilm: “Who?”
Marvel: “Top men.”

John Buscema seemed like a natural for the 1930s-set Indiana Jones series considering his exceptional work on both Tarzan and the b/w Doc Savage magazine!
That said, the Raiders art does seem looser than Janson’s usual inking (probably due to redrawing at licensor’s request), but the “storytelling” (Buscema’s responsibility) is THERE!

“Windsor-Smith is a great artist.”

Not is… was. Today he is just another Howard Hughes.

…One thing to keep in mind is that most of the Lucasfilm licensing people were nothing more than catamites and “Yes Men” or “Yes Bimbos” for George Lucas during most of the late 70’s and early 80’s. They were more interested in protecting their jobs and protecting Lucas from seeing anything that might piss him off than they were in producing tie-in merchandise that was worth a frack. It wasn’t until the late 80’s after Return of the Teddi that things started loosening up a bit, with certain people being fired/replaced with professionals with a greater grasp on the various tie-in outlets. Hence the “Expanded Universe” and the Dark Horse contract. With this in mind, it’s no wonder these pathetic misanthropes had no clue *or* appreciation for John Buscema’s classic talents. It also gives them no defense against our derision.

Regarding the “gray” Gabe Jones.
1) the color separators, not the printer, were responsible for his “bleaching” in the first issue.
In those days, due to time constraints, ONLY the first page of a comic was color-proofed for publisher approval.
The rest of the book was…well, what it was.
2) Odds are, after seeing the unbound, printed “make-ready” of the entire comic (by which time it was too late to change anything), Stan Lee or Sol Brodsky probably sent a note to the separators teling them to make Gabe “black” in the future.
They meant a Black person.
The separators probably thought “black” as in the actual color.
Since they didn’t use a black (K) screen on comic book interiors at the time (though they DID on covers), the used the color combo 25C (cyan) 25M (magenta) 25Y (yellow) to make him…gray.
It’s the same gray on Batman’s costume, or for Marvel fans, the Gray Gargoyle or Destroyer (Asgardian version)
By issue #3, the mix-up was finally corrected and Gabe finally had a much more appropriate brown skin tone…
(BTW, that gray color combo is why Lee Falk’s The Phantom is purple!
The first couple of Sunday strips had him colored that gray color, but when the yellow was accidently left out on a couple of subsequent strips, he became a violet-purple, which looked better on the printed page!)

I agree with danjack that there is a somber quality to John Buscema’s art.

But that is one of the many reasons that make his art very appropriate to Marvel Comics and their flawed, melancholic heroes. His art complemented very well all the angst that Stan Lee brought to the Silver Surfer, and Roy Thomas to the Avengers. Not to mention he was perfect for a savage world like Conan’s.

So has John Byrne ever claimed that his issues of Indiana Jones are the one true version of the character and that it would be pointless for anyone to ever revisit the character because he has told every story that needs to be told with the character?

I have an old issue of COMICS INTERVIEW with John Byrne being interviewed by Jim Salicrup. Byrne tells of his frustrations dealing with the Lucasfilm lady, and Salicrup manages to top Byrne’s story: After the art was done on Marvel’s adaptation for TEMPLE OF DOOM, the Lucasfilm lady demanded a new penciler for the book one week before the book was due at the printers! Salicrup had a great quote about it. “What do you want us to do, slide the inks off and slip new pencils underneath?”

I first started collecting comics between when the two LifeDeaths were published – closer to the second than the first – and I loved the X-Men and saved up my allowance to buy up all the back issues I could. There was only one comic book store (that I knew of) in town, so if they didn’ have an issue I had to wait for the (as far as I knew only) annual comic book convention, so I got issues out of order and it took me a while to actually get LifeDeath (it also always seemed silly to pay more than cover price for issues that had been on the shelves recently that my friends who started collecting comics a little bit before I did probably had). At the time, Storm was my least favorite X-Man (it was the haircut) and while I liked the story elements, what I was really in it for at that age was seeing people in flashy costumes using cool powers and fighting bad guys. I also liked seeing them hang out and have fun. So when I finally saved up my not-so-hard-earned-but-all-I-had allowance (I got $5 a week and had to buy the new comics too) to get that issue and it was just my least favorite character with no powers wearing regular clothes and talking to Forge for twice as many pages as usual, I was not a happy camper, and I remember it as being the first comic I ever actually disliked (I have no recollection of how I felt about LifeDeath II).

I should probably reread it and see if I like it better as an adult, but I have a feeling the bad taste it left in my mouth all those years ago would still knock it down a step in my eyes.

Just had to get that off my chest.

Lucasfilm wasn’t satisfied with Buscema and Janson, so they put their “top guy” on the next Indy book? Wow. Nothing at all against John Byrne, whom I’ve always thought to be an incredible artist, but did they just not like Janson’s unique style and wanted something more “traditional”? (As for me, I haven’t read any of Marvel’s Indiana Jones comics, but the combo of Buscema’s old-school superheroic layouts and the darker tone of Janson’s finishes seems like a great choice for the character, and the covers above only affirm that in my mind.)

Personally I’d blame Janson. It looks like his inks are ruining John Buscema’s usually stellar pencils to me.

Ritchard – I’d have to dig my copies out to be 100% sure, but IIRC, the Buscema/Janson pairing wasn’t either artist’s finest moment.

The reason I don’t think it’s fair to blame Buscema is because he was only doing breakdowns, not full pencils. That’s on par with very loose, sketchy storyboarding. It’s up to the finisher, which is Janson in this case, to basically complete the pencils as well as the inks. I have no idea why they’d give such an important job involving a third party not involved in comics to Janson.

The book still continued to be a good book, really – Archie Goodwin and David Michelinie did a good job writing the book and Kerry Gammill and Steve Ditko were fine choices for the regular artists.

I remember Goodwin being great, but Michelinie was not so much.

I loved LifeDeath I, but I hated LifeDeath II. I no longer have them and it’s been a very long time since I read them, but I think what the most important difference was is that LifeDeath I was an integral chapter in the ongoing storyline dealing with all the repurcussions of the previous issue and flwoing smoothly into the next one, whereas LifeDeath II was just a story shoehorned into the ongoing plot that didn’t really fit. It just appeared that they were pandering to readers who wanted another LifeDeath, but they didn’t bother coming up with a story that actually belonged.

No offense to Klaus, but those pages looked terrible and bore no resemblance to Buscema- who, imo, is one of the greatest comic book artists ever. I can understand Lucasfilm’s dislike of the book. Those Byrne pages are really nice though, and it’s a shame they dealt with a poor licensing person. I can’t overstate how difficult it is to deal with licensors…

Does anybody know exactly why Marvel rejected LifeDeath III ?

I remember hearing something along the lines of them having a concern about it somehow advocating suicide, but I can’t remember where I read that.

Anybody??

The Raiders boulder scene should have been the splash page.

Indiana Jones was my first comic.

I’ve been a fanboy ever since, and I really want that first comic that I read. I’ve picked up some of those issues since and was always happily surprised to find a Chaykin cover or something along those lines.
I still haven’t found the issue though. I know that I bought it in December of 1984, but the cover dates are often months different, and I’m fairly certain that Indy fought a woman with a cat o’ nine tails.

Anyone know what issue this might be?

i also liked LifeDeath 1, as it was part of the normal X-story at the time. LifeDeath 2, while good, didn’t have much to do with anything other than Storm & her internal story. At least that’s what i remember. It’s been ~15 years since i’ve read either of them.
Plus, i remember Storytellers coming out and not being a big hit, but man! what GREAT art!
DFTBA

I do agree that this one wasn’t Buscema’s fault. That’s all on Klaus. I had issue 2 as a kid. That’s a kickass cover for 2.

So the Indiana Jones pages that look like Ditko are actually Buscema and Jansen? Or am I reading that wrong?

You think that’s why Lucas did Howard the Duck, to get revenge?

It was the first Marvel movie and he makes Howard the Duck. Go figure.

I watched the last Indiana Jones (something and the Crystal something) film and I swear my face melted off at the end as I was watching it.

Stlll love the original Star Wars trilogy, though. That will never change.

“Likely, they were so used to working with advertising where such demands were not so out of whack, but still, it showed a pretty dramatic lack of understanding for how comic books worked.”

So true. I’ve worked in advertising and comics for years now, and in the advertising world it’s so easy to change and revise things in an instant. Non-comics people tend to think that way too when they commission comic book work. They don’t know how long it takes to illustrate a page. They think that since it’s easy to change a print ad layout, it’s easy to redraw a comic. I’ve done some comics for advertising purposes before, and even after all the pre-approval you get (from script to thumbnails to pencils), they still want major changes after you’ve turned in the finished work! I’ve even had one that they wanted the whole story changed halfway through the illustration process.

Not to sound too much like a contrarian, but the BWS art work looks pretty lousy to me. It hurts my eyes, too much detail, too much detail.

@danjack, it’s all a matter of taste of course, but to me Buscema’s work on the FF right after Kirby left is amazingly good, just beautiful stuff. Later he started phoning it in, but late 60’s early 70’s Buscema is some of the most solidly “comics” comics I can think of, damn near perfection.

I never read the Byrne Indiana Jones stories, but he did have that great Raiders homage in Fantastic Four #241, one of my favorite comics of all time.

And since I never pass up the chance: Yeah the Janson art looks pretty weak – don’t know why I’m always so down on the guy, it’s not like he’s personally ever done anything to me.

It’s been a few years since I read Barry Windsor-Smith’s artbook Opus Vol.1 but IIRC he talks about Lifedeath III and its rejection by Marvel. Again, memory’s a bit hazy but I think he said they were skittish about the recurring theme of suicide as sacrifice. Beautiful book, btw, and I keep meaning to buy it now that I can actually afford it.

Wow….not like Buscema? I would suggest Avengers 50-62, or Sub Mariner 1-8. Always felt they spread him too thin at times, and you got a lot of “rough” (to be kind) layouts with his name on it.
Ah…Sgt Fury. JUST WHERE IS THE ESSENTIAL SGT FURY MARVEL? It’s a key 60’s era book, with Kirby art/covers…and we’ve still never seen it? Yet we have multiple Spider-Woman and She Hulk and Moon Knight? etc etc…..
Seriously…isn’t it about time for The Essential Sgt Fury and The Essential Warlock?

Gabe Jones Mad! Gabe Smash!

Buscema and Jansen is a unusual pairing. It doesn’t even look like Buscema at all.

OK, something’s confusing me (no big surprise, I hear you say…):

Lucasfilms was and is very involved in all the merchandising for the properties…

And Lucasfils supposedly did not like Byrne’s story…

…so how come when they give TSR the license to do THE ADVENTURES OF INDIANA JONES RPG, they use as the intorductory adventure included in the box set…

…an adaptation of Byrne’s first two issues in the comic book series?

Somehow, either someone actually did like the story on some level, or someone amongst Lucas’ folks made a big mistake…

cf: http://www.toplessrobot.com/2009/09/the_10_best_and_6_worst_tsr_games_that_werent_dd.php?page=2

to those who have given suggestion re: Buscema. Thanks. i have seen the issues that you are mentioning, plus others [Silver Surfer, etc] and the man’s art has never done much for me. To each his/her own right? If you love it, that is really cool, i just don’t think i ever will.
After all, everyone has taste, but not everyone can have good taste!

[Just kidding!]
DFTBA

bbb, there was a “Marvel Masterworks” of SGT. FURY a few years back– pricier than an Essentials, but nice to have in good, color reproductions. But I’d second your call for an Essentials version. For that matter, has there ever been an Essentials of NICK FURY, AGENT OF SHIELD? I have a lot of those already, but if it’s never come out, I’d love for it to, if only so new generations of comics fans can experience those mind-blowing Steranko tales.

I don’t think there is an Essentials of NICK FURY, since the Steranko-penned stories aren’t that many. There are two TPB that I am aware of that collect the Steranko NICK FURY stories, and I have them both– one for the “Who is Scorpio?” storyline, one for ‘the other stuff’. They’re both in full color, though, and if you’re into Steranko, they’re worth it. I’m sure you can find a good used copy on eBay.

I’d almost forgotten what great Byrne art looked like. Thanks!

I never liked the “Lifedeath” stories- neither the story (too grim, as if X-Men needed more of that) nor the art- Windsor-Smith has always felt to me like he needed an inker that could sharpen his edges. I must admit however that they were at least unusual, and intense stories. I can’t help but wonder what would’ve been done with the third story had Marvel actually used it.

I can see why the first Indy comics were rejected, tho- that art looks even worse than Lifedeath’s! I respect both Buscema and Klauson, but their styles just didn’t mix! On the other hand, I hadn’t seen Byrne’s art for this series; it’s surprisingly good (considering it’s not about superheroes.)

As for the Sgt. Rock comic being incorrect in having a Black man in his troop, who cares? This is hardly historically correct fiction, it’s part of the DC universe. And breaking the color barrier was the point anyway.

[…]  Comic Book Legends Revealed (#246 on Comic Book Resources) was brought to my attention because it features Barry Windsor-Smith and Storm Anyone who claims to be a Storm fan needs to check this […]

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 7, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Brian Bendis did a funny strip at the back of one of his Image books, where he told the story of when he was a young teen, and decided to do a ‘proper’ adaptation of Raiders, to make up for the Marvel one, where every shot in the film was a panel.
It all fell apart when his poo turned blue.

To those wondering why LifedEath III was rejected: according to BWS, the Marvel higher-ups felt the story “glorified suicide.” Idiots.

The idiots being Marvel higher-ups, not those wondering why the story was rejected. Sorry if the post was worded confusingly.

>> Reader Earl makes a fine point to note that while Johnson did not join Easy Company until 1965, he actually did appear in a story in 1961 well BEFORE Sgt. Rock #1 came out. <<

I think you meant "…well BEFORE Sgt. Fury # 1 came out."

Huh – I’m not even particularly a Buscema fan (I mean, I don’t think he’s bad or anything but he’s not usually an artist I get excited over) but I saw nothing wrong with those books back when I read them as a little kid and I see nothing wrong with them now.

Those Bescuma/Janson pages look quite poor to me.

Marvel: “We have our top men working on the new series right now.”
Lucasfilm: “Who?”
Marvel: “Top men.”

LOL Nice J. robb.

Love Barry Windsor-Smith’s art, but “Storyteller” sucked (retroactively) because it did not fulfill the promise made in the title — even the collected editions did not give the reader an actual story. At the time it was coming out, I loved it, though. Sure wish he had actually concluded the serials at one point.

The Adastra book I didn’t enjoy much, partially because of the story itself, partially because it really wasn’t Adastra. It was not qualitatively different than taking, say a Captain America story and renaming the character Fighting American. Gorgeous, gorgeous art, though.

The Buscema/Janson adaptation of Raiders looks just fine to me, but I’ve never been a big fan of adaptations. I’m sure the quality of the art didn’t hurt sales very much in those days before many people could actually own a copy of the movie. And compared to the later film adaptations Marvel did, where they seemed to assign only new pencillers, who were not very good at storytelling or likenesses at that point in their careers, it’s one of the best.

I think the failiure of Storyteller was because I think Smith distilled his talent in three concepts instead of putting all his magic in one. Paradox Man was the usual sci-fi mindfuck that leas to nowhere. Young Guns was Smith trying to do Kirby Thor in a comedic way. Maight be interesting on paper but was tiring after a time. Freebooters was the least problematic for me as it was essentialy a repeat of Archer & Armstrong and it’s a style of swashbuckling adventures mixing dark age barbarian waring and fantasy that has its charm. But like I said, BWS should have done one book and pull all the stops.

I believe you meant to say that Johnson appeared in Our Army at War well before Sgt *Fury* #1.

(And “apocryphal” really is the wrong word there.)

Always good to read about the hassles of licensing… :)

The pages in that Raiders adaptation just don’t do it for me. The opening scenes in the movie were all about mystery: who’s this Indiana Jones characters, what’s in the temple, why is he in the temple, what do the dark tiles mean, how’s he going to get the idol, etc.
In the comic version, we get narration telling us *exactly* what’s happening *and* we get Indy’s thought balloons to explain everything!
And is there a page missing or are we left to wonder what happened to poor Satipo? Okay, maybe showing him getting impaled would be too gory for the comic, but still.

Just imagine how much better those pages would be without the narration and thought balloons… gee, it would be just like the movie. :)

I must disagree that Lifedeath II wasn’t integral to the overall plot . Storm had been slowly coming unglued as a result of the pressure of leading the team, culminating with her stabbing Callisto. She even began to lose control of her powers, at times, and met Yukio, who was a bad influence to say the least. Her inner turmoil was expressed with her mohawk. She had effectively turned her back on her past as a naive nature goddess in favor of becoming a ruthless, hardened leader, which she thought the team needed. Lifedeath II was her finding a happy medium and an inner peace.

Anyone ever thought that Jubilee was a rip-off of Yukio?

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