Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Welcome to the two-hundred and sixty-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 sixty.
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 Novel Legends Revealed to find out if Charles Dickens was really paid by the word!
COMIC LEGEND: Joe Rubinstein ghost-penciled Wolverine #3 for Frank Miller.
Reader Jesse wrote in the other day to ask:
Someone just told me one I’d never heard before: supposedly Frank Miller started working on issue #4 of the classic Wolverine mini-series written by Chris Claremont before he finished issue #3. Joe Rubinstein pencilled and inked issue #3 aping Miller’s style and accepting only his inker’s credit, but was paid a full page rate and what would have been Miller’s royalties for the issue.
I just looked at the trade paperback and it sure looks like Miller’s layouts- albeit with Rubinstein’s inks- to me. But now I’m curious.
Well, first of, let’s take a look at a few pages from Wolverine #1, by Miller and Rubinstein…
Here’s a few pages from #3…
And here’s a few pages from #4…
I don’t really see any significant differences in the issues, either, but as it turns out, if there WERE any differences, there was a very good explanation for any difference between how each issue appeared.
I asked Joe Rubinstein about the story, and he graciously answered that he had never heard that story before, but he could explain why the art might look a bit different. You see, Miller laid out all the issues very quickly, all four issues in about a month (Rubinstein called it “almost the Kirby Barrier”).
Rubinstein then spent nearly two months finishing the layouts for #1, then about a month for issues #2 and 3, and finally, for issue #4, less than a month.
So that likely would explain any differences in the issues.
Also, just in a general “this art looks different than Daredevil,” Rubinstein noted that, while Klaus Janson eventually ended up also finishing Miller layouts on Daredevil, for much of their run Janson worked off of actual penciled artwork, hence the change in art style from Daredevil to Wolverine (here are a few Miller penciled/Janson inked pages)…
It IS true to note, though, that Miller is credited for pencils for the entire mini-series as opposed to layouts, so there is something to be said, I guess, for Rubinstein not getting “enough” credit for the mini-series.
Anyhow, thanks to Jesse for the question and thanks to the great Joe Rubinstein for the awesome information! You know who’s a great inker? Joe Rubinstein. I don’t know if he’s doing any regular series since he and Mike Norton left Green Arrow/Black Canary, but if he isn’t, he totally should be, as he’s way too good not to be used on a monthly book.
COMIC LEGEND: For almost the first FIVE years of the Garfield comic, Odie was not Jon’s dog.
When Jim Davis’ Garfield debuted in June of 1978, it looked a lot different than what people would think of when they picture the famous strip…
And while the visuals were certainly a lot different, Davis was also experimenting with the SET-UP of the strip, as well.
He eventually figured that he needed for Jon to have another human around to talk to, so in August of that year, he introduced a roommate named Lyman….
and with Lyman came a certain familiar canine…
Well, pretty quickly, Davis realized that he really didn’t NEED another human, and after awhile, Lyman was pretty much non-existent in the strip until finally, at the end of April, 1983, he made his last appearance in the regular comic strip…
Odie popped up a week or so later…
And at the end of May 1983 we got our new status quo – Odie and Garfield were now BOTH Jon’s pets…
And that’s how it has been ever since!
Jim Davis has always had a great line when asked about Lyman, something along the lines of “People better not look in Jon’s basement.”
Check out more great Garfield strips at the official Garfield comic strip archive here!
COMIC LEGEND: Mort Weisinger had a rather…adult response to a fan letter regarding marriages that Superman and Lois Lane had both had in early ’60s Superman comics.
In an era of “imaginary stories,” the Superman titles still managed to have a number of odd “real” ones, as well, especially a pair of stories that came out within months of each other in 1960.
The first one, in Superman #136, written by Robert Bernstein and drawn by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye, introduced us to a man from the future who says he is destined to marry Lois. Superman seems to think that that sounds logical – “I guess if it’s destined, it’s destined” but Lois changes her tune when she sees the weird looking guy (who turned green and alien-looking due to comet radiation in the future) revert back to a good-looking guy…
So yes, Lois was now basically a widow. Trippy, right?
A few months later, in Action Comics #266, it was now Jerry Siegel who teamed up with Boring and Kaye to tell the tale of an alien named Jena the Space Girl who blackmails Superman into marrying her (and to get him to actually love her, she tries a love potion, with disastrous results)…
Okay, these stories are silly and all, but what makes them especially notable is what happened a year or so later, when some fan tried to drop some knowledge in the Superman #143 letter column before Superman editor Mort Weisinger dropped some BETTER knowledge in return…read on!
You sure put that kid in his place, Mort!!!
How awesome is the idea of Mort Weisinger teaching kids about the birds and the bees in a letter column in 1961?
Thanks to Mark Engblom of the amazing Comic Coverage for the letter!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com.
As you likely know by now, in April of last year my book 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…
See you all next week!
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