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Comic Book Legends Revealed #266

Welcome to the two-hundred and sixty-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 sixty-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 Football/Soccer Legends Revealed where you learn the sad story of the player who received a yellow card…for dying!!

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter. As I promised last week, at 2,000 followers I’ll do a BONUS edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed during the week we hit 2,000. So go follow us (here‘s the link to our Twitter page again)! Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up, but you’ll get original content from me, as well!

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Thanos was not originally based on Darkseid!

STATUS: True

In last week’s installment of Comic Book Legends Revealed, I discussed the background behind Jim Starlin’s creation of Thanos, who began as part of a psychology project that Starlin was working on while in college.

Reader Richard, though, wrote in to note that there was an added dimension to the story that Starlin had discussed in a great interview with Jon B. Cooke for Comic Book Artist #2, and Richard’s right – that interview does introduce a very interesting note about the development of Thanos as a character.

As most of us know by now, Thanos is roughly based on Jack Kirby’s classic New God villain, Darkseid.

Clearly, after the initial take-off, Starlin took Thanos in a much different direction than Darkseid, but interestingly enough, when he first envisioned the character, it was not Darkseid that likely inspired Starlin, but the OTHER notable New God schemer, Metron!

From the aforementioned Cooke interview (which commenter Richard so nicely transcribed for me)…

Cooke: In that “Blood Brothers” story in Iron Man, you started to introduce concepts that you later exploited fully in Captain Marvel. Were you developing a whole mythology of sorts?

Starlin: That was the one exception where there some long term plotting on Thanos. Kirby had done the New Gods, which I thought was terrific. He was over at DC at the time. I came up with some things that were inspired by that. You’d think that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, but that was not the case when I showed up. In my first Thanos drawings, if he looked like anybody, it was Metron. I had all these different gods and things I wanted to do, which became Thanos and the Titans. Roy took one look at the guy in the Metron-like chair and said : “Beef him up! If you’re going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!”.

Isn’t that just the greatest line?

What’s interesting is that in the interview I cited last week, Starlin said basically the same thing (that Thomas had him revamp Thanos), he just did not go into detail. In this case, though, the devil was certainly in the details, as it went from an interesting story to a story with the greatest line!

Here’s what Thanos ultimately ended up looking like when he made his debut in Iron Man #55…

Thanks to Richard for the suggestion and thanks to Cooke and Starlin for the information!!

COMIC LEGEND: Mesmero’s first appearance was a re-working of a previously announced villain Metoxo.

STATUS: I’m Going With False

Reader Chad wrote in over two years ago with the following legend and, well, today it’s finally being addressed!

Here’s what Chad had to ask:

At the end of X-Men #48, the tag for the next issue states something like “The Heat is REALLY on the Beast and Iceman when they battle Metoxo the Lava-Man!

Well, as we all know, by issue #49, the X-Men comic had reverted back to its “The X-Men” title, so there was no Beast and Iceman versus Metoxo story, instead, we got “Who Dares Defy the Demi-Men” which introduced Lorna Dane and Mesmero to us…

What exactly was the scoop there? What made them drop the Beast/Iceman story? Did they just abandon it? Is there pencilled artwork of said story? Or an existing script?

It seems to me that “Who Dares Defy The Demi-Men” features Beast and Iceman rather significantly, and thought perhaps this story grew OUT of the Beast/Iceman Metoxo story, and was altered into the Demi-Men story…

Was Lava-Man changed to Demi-Men? Heck, even “Metoxo” and “Mesmero” sound awfully similar.

Well, as Chad also noted in the beginning of his question (I cropped it out), at the time of X-Men #48, the X-Men had been trying something different with the covers, having each issue feature the logo of a member of the X-Men cast rather than the X-Men themselves (although one X-Men logo did sneak in there in #46)….

The reason for these changes is the most noble reason of them all – poor sales.

The book wasn’t selling TERRIBLY, but it also wasn’t selling well, so Marvel decided to use it to try different sorts of novel approaches to selling the comic, and one of them was to have it be the “first” comic to have a different logo every issue (quotes because while that was the intent of Marvel, I have no idea if they were the first).

And yes, at the end of #48, they had the following description…

But issue #49, by Arnold Drake and Don Heck, was the beginning of a new story.

And issue #49 also had the old logo back.

You see, the sales did not improve with the logo change, and in fact, I believe they might have actually gotten worse (I’m not sure about that – I just know that the logo change did not help the book, sales-wise), so they quickly dropped the idea.

And no, despite their similar names, Mesmero and Metoxo were not related, nor were the Demi-Men and the Lava-Men.

The Mesmero story introduced Lorna Dane, the mutant known as Polaris!

The Metoxo story never got past plotting stages (there might be some initial pencils out there, I can’t say for sure). The plot was revealed years later in an X-Men Index to have been a follow up to the Lava-Men appearance from the first year of the Avengers.

Of course, this, though, is NOT the end of Metoxo’s story!

Decades later, Kurt Busiek and James Fry decided to give us the #49 adventure that we never got originally!

In the pages of the 1994 Marvel Holiday Special, Metoxo “returns”…

and so they got Metoxo into the spirit of Christmas…

but now Metoxo’s family’s Christmas was ruined in the present! Can Beast and Iceman save their Christmas? Go find a copy of the 1994 Marvel Holiday Special (the one with Spidey on the cover) and find out for yourself!

Thanks to Chad for the question!

COMIC LEGEND: Roger Stern’s first issue of Amazing Spider-Man came about due to an editorial slip-up.

STATUS: True

Most folks know about Roger Stern’s acclaimed run on Amazing Spider-Man that began with issue Amazing Spider-Man #224.

However, his FIRST issue of Spider-Man came over a year earlier, in Amazing Spider-Man #206…

in a one-off issue with art by John Byrne and Gene Day…

In any event, him doing a fill-in issue is not a big deal, it’s HOW he got the fill-in that’s funny.

You see, Marvel actually accidentally MISSED an issue of Spider-Man on their schedule!!!

There was a changeover in the editorial on the book as Marv Wolfman departed Marvel and while Denny O’Neil initially took over as editor, he soon decided to write the book himself, so Al Milgrom came aboard as the editor.

In all of the confusion about the editorial changes, there was David Michelinie’s two-parter from #204 and 205 and there was O’Neil’s first issue, #207 – but there wasn’t a #206!!!!

Quickly, Stern came up with a basic idea for an issue that would resolve some of Marv Wolfman’s unresolved plots. John Byrne admirably agreed to draw the plot in FOUR days!! Stern scripted the issue over the weekend and the book was sent to Gene Day who did the finishes ALSO in four days!!

So after traveling thousands of miles within the span of little more than a week, Stern’s first issue of Amazing Spider-Man was done!

Stern also threw in a little nod to Wolfman through the device in the issue – the Mental Attitude-Response Variator Ray, or the MARV Ray! :)

Stern has told the story a number of places over the years, but I first saw it in an interview with Fred Hembeck back in the early 80s in the pages of FantaCo Chronicles #5, so I’ll cite that! Thanks to Roger and Fred for the information!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the 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. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

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…

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

See you all next week!

80 Comments

1994 Marvel Holiday Special: good Lord, what a terrible art!

Nah, I like that the set-up is super 90s, but the flashbacks evoke the 60s– and yet, you can tell it’s the same artist.

Oh, heck, it was pretty good for the mid-90s!

Great article, as always Brian! (Brians all seem to do well in comics, don’t they???)

Anyway, I noticed that you referred to “Thanos” inspiring Starlin, rather than Darkseid, near the middle of your first legend. I bet you’ll want to change that.

Ha! So I did, Brian! thanks for the pick-up! I fixed it.

I never did win one of those Columbia Formula 10 ten-speed racers, but I did win a runner up prize of a copy of Origins of Marvel Comics signed by Stan Lee in another one of their essay contests around that time. Not a legend, but is is true.

There are also 2 broken images – metoxo.jpg, and asm206-3.jpg

James Fry is actually not terrible. Yes, that’s very KEWL 90s art, but he knew what he was doing when he toned it down a bit. I wonder what happened to him. He seems like someone who could have survived the decade and become much better, not unlike what happened to Dan Panosian.

There are also 2 broken images – metoxo.jpg, and asm206-3.jpg

Thanks! I honestly just forgot to actually load in the former and the latter was a non-existent page. I wasn’t sure if I had 2 or 3 Spidey pages, so I added three figuring that if it wasn’t there it wouldn’t make a difference. I didn’t know it would show up as a broken image. I’ll keep that in the mind in the future when using images!

Man, did I LOVE AS#206 when it came out! At the time I was an official John Byrne junkie, and his Spidey was the fu@#!n’ cats pajamas! haven’t seen or thought about that issue in decades!! thanx again,Brian.

p.s – – that James Fry art is GOD-AWFUL!

When are we going to get the Thanos – Darkseid cross over???

How the hell can you draw something that good in four days?

Thanos even had a chair like Metron’s back in the day. Either Infinity War or Infinity Crusade, if memory serves.

Wow, can’t believe the dislike of James Fry’s art. I love his work, myself. I’ll also note that he was drawing the 1990s Beast and Iceman on model for the times. He didn’t create those looks, folks.

Fry worked a lot with Kurt Busiek, including I think on the Liberty Project, and on the Topps Silver Star series that got canceled after the first issue (I have some art originally intended for one of the later issues). I think he also drew the Slapstick mini-series for Len Kaminski (?). He also did some Elvira work. No clue what he’s doing now, but I hope he’s doing well, and I hope I see some more comics from him soon.

Nice column this week, Brian. I was hoping to see some unpublished art from the 1960’s though. I always wondered what happened to that Beast/Iceman story myself. When I discovered the Angel solo stories printed in Marvel Tales and Ka-Zar years later, I hoped that other solo X-Men material from that time would surface.

Say, weren’t you going to try to do an all Tom DeFalco legends column? Did I miss it?

How the hell can you draw something that good in four days?

It really IS amazing, but hey, we all already knew Byrne and Day were both excellent artists, and when you split the work in half (as I imagine it almost certainly was Byrne doing layouts and Day doing finishes), it’s a bit easier.

But yeah, remarkably high quality for such a little amount of time.

Great Legends, as always! Just a quick note……
One of the posters talked of the Columbia 10 Speed bikes……also the $2,500 bucks contest….
Does anyone know who won the old Clark Candy Bar contest back in the 70’s…Get your picture in a Marvel Comic, and get 10 copies to give to friends? I remember Erik Larsen mentioning this on a blog somewhere a few years ago.
Any information is appreciated!

Those Spidey pages don’t look like Byrne at all to me (maybe the MARV ray panel). Spidey at least looks like Romita, Sr./Marvel house style and not like how I remember Byrne drawing him. I wonder if that’s a byproduct of the turn around time or something else.

Michael P: Thanos is rocking the chair in Thanos Quest. It gets destroyed by the Runner when they fight.

Like I mentioned, Da Fug, it most likely was Byrne just doing layouts with Day doing finishes, so that’s why it wouldn’t look as much like Byrne’s full penciled work.

Man, John Byrne as the man back then; I wish his art was as good these days. I remember my friends and me would argue over who was the better artist Byrne or Perez. Now I realize it was George Perez who really is the man.

“Quickly, Stern came up with a basic idea for an issue that would resolve some of Marv Wolfman’s unresolved plots. John Byrne admirably agreed to draw the plot in FOUR days!! Stern scripted the issue over the weekend and the book was sent to Gene Day who did the finishes ALSO in four days!! ”

It’s sad how much things have changed.

“Wow, can’t believe the dislike of James Fry’s art. I love his work, myself. I’ll also note that he was drawing the 1990s Beast and Iceman on model for the times. He didn’t create those looks, folks.”

@Scott Rowland: I don’t know of any of James Fry’s work, but these pages SUCK! Look at all of the other pages in this column if you can’t believe where this is coming from.

MAHA YOGI RULEZ!!!

Stern – Came up with idea to resolve some of Wolfman’s unresolved plot points.

Byrne – Drew the plot in FOUR days

Day – did finishes ALSO in four days.

That, folks, is how they used to do it. Three consumate professionals, one hell of a short timeframe, and one very fine issue as a result.

It may sound sexist to say it, but I can’t resist – these be Men.

“It’s sad how much things have changed.”

Yeah, Marvel should totally go back to demanding creators fart out issues in unreasonably short time frames.

The One and Only

June 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm

The last thing James Fry worked on as I recall was excellent ARMY OF DARKNESS Vs. DARKMAN miniseries from Dynamite around 06-07. It was also plotted by Kurt Busiek and written by Roger Stern. Highly recommended if you can find it.

Also Thanos and Darksied did throw down all too briefly in 95′-96′ in the massive DC Vs. MARVEL starting with issue two. But it got broke up by the heroes. Dang it.

@ Patrick: I think Kolymar was simply saying that when faced with a huge problem, those guys got shit done. And that if this happened today, maybe the ones in charge wouldn’t be able to handle themselves as admirably.

Of course that nobody would want for this type of mistake to happen again. I’m sure that Marvel wasn’t happy with it either.

When did Thano get his Skrull chin?

“Yeah, Marvel should totally go back to demanding creators fart out issues in unreasonably short time frames.”

I’d be happy with everything coming out on time and mini-series’ being finished nowadays. There is a lesson to be learned from the past!

I do think the “nod” to Marv Wolfman was more like a barb. I remember reading somewhere that Stern and Byrne didn’t like how Wolfman portrayed Jameson as an unstable maniac.

I think it funny that Jameson is a little like Doctor Doom and Magneto, where there are basically two schools of thought about how those characters should be portrayed, the noble version and the despicable version.

This was a particularly good Legends Revealed. No one has even commented on the “…copy the really good one!” line yet!

Incidentally, I’d like to see what it looks like when someone plots a comic, but before it is “finished”. I’m not an artist by any stretch, so it would be interesting to see how much one guy does, and how much another guy has to do to make it look as good as those Spidey pages look.

John Trumbull

June 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Yeah, Marvel should totally go back to demanding creators fart out issues in unreasonably short time frames.

Patrick, please explain to me how one month to produce a MONTHLY COMIC is an unreasonably short timeframe.

It amazes me that we’ve been served up late comics for so freaking long that some fans have come to not only expect it but actually make the excuses FOR the creators.

Man, John Byrne as the man back then; I wish his art was as good these days.

——————————

Its even better now.

Is this the issue that Dan Day was working on when he had to stay in the unheated Marvel offices because his motel room was roach infested and it was all DeFalco offered? (Dave Sim’s told that story a lot, along with “Spider-Ham was an intentional physical copy of Cerebus due to Wolveroach”)

Maybe that’s a Legend for you to run with (unless you’ve already covered it and I forgot).

@Dale: With all due respect SHUT UP! I can’t let embarass yourself like this. You’re better than that. “It’s even better now.” Pass me whatever you’re smoking!

Steve Swanson

June 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I like James Fry’s work but the above example is not his best. He has a bit of a cartoony style and I wonder if he was trying to reach for the brass ring with that (then popular) style?

Also, as to what he’s doing now I think he was the artist of the Sonic the Hedgehog free comic book from FCBD.

Scott Rowland

June 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

@azjohnson5: We’ll have to agree to disagree. I much prefer the Fry pages layout wise to the Spider-Man pages, for instance. Now for the rendering on the Spider-Man pages, well, it is hard to beat Gene Day.

@ Steve Swanson: Agreed that’s not Fry’s best work above. Thanks for the tip on the Sonic comic!

My new short-term goal is to use the phrase “exam time at the weirdo school” in context.

I do think the “nod” to Marv Wolfman was more like a barb.

I could see that. Stern said it was a nod, so I guess I’ll believe him, but yeah, I could easily see it as a barb if Stern didn’t say otherwise.

Is this the issue that Dan Day was working on when he had to stay in the unheated Marvel offices because his motel room was roach infested and it was all DeFalco offered?

No. Day had these pages messengered to his home to do.

Incidentally, I’d like to see what it looks like when someone plots a comic, but before it is “finished”. I’m not an artist by any stretch, so it would be interesting to see how much one guy does, and how much another guy has to do to make it look as good as those Spidey pages look.

With guys as close as Stern and Byrne were, I bet a good deal of the issue’s plotting was done over the phone.

Oh come on… That James Fry art is not even close to the worst stuff that ever came out of the 90s.

James Fry did some good work, but during the 90’s, lots of artist were “being encouraged” by editorial to do the kewl art of the day to keep getting work. Herb Trimpe is one case in point. FF Unlimited is far from his style.

Hey, why not start a series of articles called “Hey, Whatever happened to that guy?” or some such, focusing on artists and writers that have fallen off the map?

James Fry had done some really good work. I’d never seen this X-Men Unlimited work, but he’s capable of much better. I’m sure he was just pounding out what editorial thought the kiddies wanted back then. Ugh

Yes, I still have that Spidey # 206 from way back when, and I’m sure it was mostly rough Byrne thumbnails.

Everyone cranks on Byrne’s work now, but I still love it. It’s different, but I like it. It’s too bad we don’t see more work from him.

I haven’t looked at those original X-Men covers in years, but I’d never noticed that each character was logo featured like that. Maybe it would’ve helped if they had a like style to them, more like they do now.

I am happy to have contributed an idea to your column, Brian.

Now, where are my royalties?

:)

Despite the tight deadline pressure under which it was produced, I’d say that Amazing Spider-Man #206 was easily the best issue of that book at least until Stern came on as the regular writer.

Outside of the two annuals he did with Frank Miller, Dennis O’Neil’s run was a real disappointment.

I should say best issue of that early ’80’s period, from about 200 on.

My nerdery is showing, but I just want to point out that Lorna Dane was not Polaris at the time of that story and wouldn’t become Polaris until several years following. In fact it was recurring gag in John Byrne’s (how’s that for tying things together) X-Men Hidden Years book that she didn’t have a good superhero name.

To my knowledge Thanos first had the chair when he reappeared in Silver Surfer vol 2. (This was also where I first encountered the character)

Scavenger wrote:
Thanos is rocking the chair in Thanos Quest. It gets destroyed by the Runner when they fight.

Wow, I missed that. When Thanos was most like the New Gods his weapon was destroyed by “Buried Alien”?

Was it a deliberate nod to the Flash destroying the Anti-Monitor’s anti-matter cannon?

Jonny Kiehlmann

June 26, 2010 at 2:51 am

Am I the only one who sees that Kurt Busiek probably owes some royalties to the estates of Flanders and Swan?

I’d assume so, given the demographics, but it’s definitely so: the lyrics of the song/poem at the Cafe a-go-go seem disarmingly identical to the second song http://www.justsomelyrics.com/1653444/Flanders-And-Swann-Songs-For-Our-Time-Lyrics here.

Flanders and Swann wrote and performed musical comedy songs: the above is from their 1959-67 Revue “At the Drop of a Hat”, which ran for years in the UK and US. Recordings are very widespread, and my family had the tapes when I was growing up in the 90s.

Definitely a shout-out, as one would expect from Kurt Busiek, who has excellent taste and a staggeringly wide knowledge of references.

Jonny Kiehlmann

June 26, 2010 at 2:54 am

In fact, here’s a recording: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcZmatKcS6U . The song in question, which I’ve heard hundreds of times, starts at 1:10, but the whole segment’s worth listening to.

Judge for yourself! [I’d suggest looking at this as a Comic Book Legend, Brian, but I think this solves it!]

Again, excellent taste, Kurt.

Tory:
“Hey, why not start a series of articles called “Hey, Whatever happened to that guy?” or some such, focusing on artists and writers that have fallen off the map?”

Great idea. I’ll second that.

Dave Blanchard

June 26, 2010 at 7:11 am

“Marvel decided to use it to try different sorts of novel approaches to selling the comic, and one of them was to have it be the “first” comic to have a different logo every issue (quotes because while that was the intent of Marvel, I have no idea if they were the first).”

You were quite right to question the validity of Marvel’s claim, Brian, as there are several well-known and obvious predecessors: THE SPIRIT, Dell’s FOUR COLOR, DC’s SHOWCASE and BRAVE & BOLD, etc.

Hey Brian!
i third the ‘Hey! Whatever happened to THAT guy’ articles. Also, what about a column on long time artists & their changing styles over the years. i’ve always found that interesting, as well as how inking can support/demolish another artist’s pencils. Maybe a ‘[Insert Artist] Retrospective’?
Just a thought.
Thanks again!
DFTBA

Man there are a ton of artists who no longer work in the industry, but you always wonder what happened to them. Sounds like an interesting column idea to me.

Great. Now Marvel might start using that as an excuse for late books…

“Yes, we meant to have an issue out that month, but we forgot to put it on the schedule. Sorry.”

:)

A few years ago on his message board, John Byrne mentioned that he drew the issue in THREE days, not four! Even more impressive, huh?

I’m from the group that thinks he draws much better now than he did then, on the late 70s/early 80s, his work then was still quite rough. And we still do see a lot of work from him, he is putting out a comic almost every month at IDW…

But the big tragedy is that Marvel apparently gave up on publising more Roger Stern Spider-Man Visionaires books. He is EASILY the best Spider-Man writer since Stan Lee! Why is the whole JM Stravesty’s run collected while Stern’s is not? Life is not fair!

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

JB saw this thread.

“Very odd that Roger getting his first Spider-Man gig is the story, and me drawing the issue in such a short time is mentioned only in passing!

Anyway, it was four CALENDAR days. Got the plot over the phone Friday morning, worked on it Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, all day Sunday, and got it wrapped up (literally) and in the mail Monday morning. For years I have referred to this as THE AMAZING THREE DAY SPIDER-MAN.

In those days, of course, it was “only” seventeen pages of story.

Then it sat on Shooter’s desk for about a week and a half, while they looked for an inker! Even tho it was breakdowns (what Roger called “flakedowns”, since they were almost full pencils) Frank Miller, upon seeing the pages, suggested they be shot from the pencils, but that would have been too efficient!”

JB is saying it sat on Shooters desk for over a week without there even being an inker found and yet your article says it was totally finished from plot to inks in just over a week. Do you have a link to one of Uncle Rog’s interviews about the issue and how it came to be so we can compare their recollections and how they differ?

“Do you have a link to one of Uncle Rog’s interviews about the issue and how it came to be so we can compare their recollections and how they differ?”

There is one on Rog’s Spider-Man Visionaires. Apparently between the time the book was penciled and the moment it was sent to Gene Day to be inked it was fully scripted (Marvel method, remember) and lettered, so work on it hadn’t exactly stopped on the meantime!

Yeah, scripting and lettering COULD have been done on copies of the pencils while the book was inked, but I think it must have had been hard to find an inker to do it in such a short notice.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Travis Pelkie

June 27, 2010 at 2:08 am

Not to mention, too, that Gene Day lived in (I’ll be butchering this spelling) Ganonque, in Canada. I believe it’s north of Montreal, if I remember what Dave Sim wrote in the back of a Cerebus issue (270, according to comics.org) Dave also wrote up some other memories in that ish, as it introduced the Gene Day Award. Fascinating stuff. I’d like to know, too, if Spider-Ham is supposed to be based on Cerebus, visually, but I doubt anyone would go on the record one way or another. The timing would be good, though, since the 25th anniversary special for Spider-Ham is just out.

Back to Gene Day, since I see I didn’t finish my thought. As you say in the legend, the pages were messengered to him, so it’d be interesting if his 4 days included the shipping time.

I too would be interested in the “where are they now” idea. You could just post something asking for people’s ideas of who to look at, and if anyone knows they could comment about it. Save you some of the work, maybe.

Also, I must note that as we see in this post, Kirby’s New Gods, Starlin’s Thanos et al, and maybe even the XMen could be considered part of what Sonia Harris called “the Psychedelic Age” or the “Groovy Age”.

Yeah, I really like the term.

Not to mention, too, that Gene Day lived in (I’ll be butchering this spelling) Ganonque, in Canada. I believe it’s north of Montreal

It’s Ontario, actually, around the 1000 Islands, near Kingston. It’s South West of Montreal by about 250 km.

Travis Pelkie

June 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Ah, thanks Graeme. I’m more surprised I spelled it right than that my Canadian geography is off. I plead Americanism :)

Still, the pages had to cross international borders, so that’s impressive!

Apparently, Byrne said this: “Very odd that Roger getting his first Spider-Man gig is the story, and me drawing the issue in such a short time is mentioned only in passing!”

Well, John, that may be because the title of the legend is “Roger Stern’s first issue of Amazing Spider-Man came about due to an editorial slip-up.”, not “Is it true that John Byrne draw an issue of Amazing Spider-man in THREE (3) days”. We get it, we get it, you did a complete issue in three days. it’s just that sometimes, life’s not about you.

Adam Weissman

June 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Those Don Heck pages are really well done.

Actually, Thanos had another source, at least in later appearances. Most likely, when Starlin started showing Moorcockian influences in Adam Warlock, Thanos was a stand-in for Elric’s demon patron, Arioch.

Gotta say – love ASM #206. Rog, John & Gene did an excellent job.

James Fry is a pretty cool artist – that special was not indicative of his fine work. Even so, check out the facial expressions on the furless Beast – that takes some doing.

Hi. James Fry here, creepy handle notwithstanding. I just wanted to say “Thanks” to all the folks what had nice things to say about my art on that Beast/Iceman story, and in general. As for those of you who *didn’t* care for the art—I’m feeling you, too. Let me offer a little backstory: Kurt Busiek and I had been friends and collaborators for about a decade when that story saw print. Not only did Kurt and I share a deep and abiding affection for the original X-Men, but also: a) My favorite X-Man (favorite Marvel hero, period) has always been the Beast. b) Kurt’s favorite X-Man was, of course, Iceman. And c) We’d both always felt cheated that the promised Metoxo story never materialized. For years we’d talk every now and then about what we’d do if we were given the chance to tell that tale, and eventually, Kurt convinced editor Sara Mossoff to give us the chance. So: why does the art suck so hard? Well, lots of reasons. There are things that the inker and colorist did that did not help. While they are both talented individuals, and one of them is a good friend, we were not great together. Kinda like, you may love hot fudge sauce on your ice cream sundae, but it may not taste as good with your salmon. Ultimately, however, I think a good 90 per cent of the blame must lie squarely on my shoulders. There I was, drawing a story I’d been fantasizing about for years, and finally getting to draw my Absolute Favorite Marvel Comics Hero (Non-Slapstick-division). And—I choked. Plain and simple. I wanted SO very badly for this thing to come out GREAT. One for the ages. And I not only got a world-class case of the jitters, I also let said jitters bend me over a table and have their horrible way with me. Every time I turned in a bunch of pages, I saw Eight Thousand Things that DESPERATELY needed changing (c’mon, look at Hank’s head in the first panel reproduced here. Sweet Jesus!!!). And normally, I would not have parted with the pages until at least the most egregious errors had been corrected. But, you see, that’s how I miss deadlines. and I had missed plenty. I was trying to turn over a new leaf; turn the job in on time no matter what. Well, the good news is that I did get this one in on time. The bad news is—it looked like this. It’s ironic, really. I was hoping to do the Best Job of My Career on this one, and instead, it became The Job I Hope No One Remembers. Go know.
As for “What ever happened to that guy?”, some years ago, the “missed deadlines” thing caught up with me, and the phone began to ring less and less. My last work for Marvel was the 2001 MUTANT X ANNUAL. For DC, it was a couple issues of BIRDS OF PREY and a BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES story. The Batman dealie was written by Dan Slott and guest-starred The Creeper (Huh! Another story written by a friend and discussed/planned/kicked around for years before actually being bought and published. History repeats itself!). I drew ELVIRA stories for Claypool Comics. Did a couple of issues of an Image comic under an assumed name— not ashamed of the work, just wanted to see how people responded . Did a fair amount of work on SONIC THE HEDGEHOG for Archie. There’s been some animation work (look for my name in the credits of the ULTIMATE AVENGERS 2 DVD), and the above-mentioned DARKMAN vs. THE ARMY OF DARKNESS mini-series with Roger Stern and—Kurt Busiek?! There’s just no getting rid of that guy!

Lucky for me…..

To each their own, I thought the Fry art was quite good.

I dount James is going to come back here to check if anyone responded a year after the fact, but I just wanted to say that I loved Slapstick. It combined my love of wacky cartoons with my love of Marvel superheroes, and when it ended I was genuinely upset.

Thanks for the kind words, TJ. Based on your professed affection for “wacky cartoons” and “Marvel superheroes”, it sounds like you were *exactly* the kind of reader we were hoping to reach. We still hope for the chance to do more…..

I have to stick up for James Fry. He’s done some great work in the past, and while I’m not personally a fan of the pages above, they are indeed an anomaly. His stuff is usually better. For example see his issues of Spectacular Spider-Man where he does art on a Typhoid Mary storyline written by Ann Nocenti or see his issues of Milestone’s Blood Syndicate.

If you guys get the greenlight for more, I will pick up every issue. You and Len (who, ironically, I just left a comment for on a different Legends Revealed post) should be given an Eisner just for creating the “Neutron Bum”, as far as I’m concerned.

“ONE MILLION BUCK FOR A CUPPA’ COFFEE!!!”

[…] Originally Posted by ahlhelm I wonder if Starlin gets royalties for either Essential book. Hopefully he does for at least Infinity Gauntlet. It would be nice if Marvel had to pay him something for all the money they're making off his creation. If Starlin is getting a slice then it looks like the Kirby's should get a slice of that too for Thanos "Kirby had done the New Gods, which I thought was terrific. He was over at DC at the time. I came up with some things that were inspired by that. You'd think that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, but that was not the case when I showed up. In my first Thanos drawings, if he looked like anybody, it was Metron. I had all these different gods and things I wanted to do, which became Thanos and the Titans. Roy took one look at the guy in the Metron-like chair and said : "Beef him up! If you're going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!" Comic Book Legends Revealed #266 | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources […]

[…] egg” considering the history of the two characters—Thanos creator Jim Starlin recounted in an interview published in TwoMorrow Publishing’s Comic Book Artist #2 that then-Marvel editor-in-chief […]

[…] League's Darkseid vs. Avengers 2's Thanos As Comic Book Legends Revealed points out, Thanos was "roughly based on Darkseid"  (although the character's creator Jim Starlin […]

[…] I was SURE I already had posted something about this. Guess not!Source […]

Just searched out and bought that Gotham Adventures.
Great stuff!

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