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Welcome to the three hundredth and thirty-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, discover which actress nearly replaced Sean Young as Vicki Vale in the 1989 Batman film, learn the amusing truth behind Storm’s mohawk haircut of the 1980s and find out why Lobo left the R.E.B.E.L.S. during the 1990s!
Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and thirty-seven.
COMIC LEGEND: Michelle Pfeiffer was close to portraying Vicki Vale in the first Tim Burton Batman film.
As you may or may not know, before Kim Basinger took over Vicki Vale in Tim Burton’s Batman…
The role of Vale belonged to Sean Young. However, Young injured herself soon before filming was set to begin while preparing for the film (she was riding a horse for a planned scene in the film – said scene was dropped after Young’s injury).
The producers had to scramble at the last minute to find a replacement and Basinger ended up with the plum role.
However, interestingly enough, Basinger was not the first choice to replace Young.
Reader Locksley M. wrote in to say that he had read somewhere that Michelle Pfeiffer was going to be Vicki Vale but Michael Keaton nixed the idea because the two were dating at the time.
Pfeiffer, of course, famously played Catwoman in the sequel to Batman, Batman Returns…
But could we have had a more serene Pfeiffer in the earlier film?
Yes, it is true, Pfeiffer was, indeed, the first choice of director Tim Burton to replace Young.
And yes, Keaton did nix the idea, but not because they were dating, but rather because they had recently stopped dating. Keaton felt working together so soon after their relationship ended would have been awkward, so he opposed the idea.
Producers Jon Peters and Mark Canton conferred and they came up with Basinger.
In fact, Pfeiffer was also not the first choice for the SECOND Batman film. Annette Bening was initially cast as Catwoman, but after she became pregnant she backed out of the role and this time (being now three years after their relationship), Keaton did not oppose (or, I suppose, maybe he did and they just didn’t pay attention to him this time around).
So there ya go, Locksley, thanks for the suggestion! Thanks to Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters’ great book, Hit and Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood for the scoop on how close Pfeiffer came to playing Vale.
COMIC LEGEND: Storm’s mohawk haircut was originally a joke by Paul Smith.
In Uncanny X-Men #172, the X-Men travel to Japan for Wolverine’s wedding. This is what Storm looked like at the time…
In the following issue, though, Storm goes on a wild adventure with Yukio and her hair is messed up…
and when she meets back up with the rest of the X-Men later in the issue, she has made a change…
Behind the scenes, the plan all along was for Storm to get a new look following her adventure with Yukio. However, the mohawk design by Paul Smith was initially a joke!
Smith recounted the tale on CBR’s message boards a few years back:
If we’re talkin’ Storm, that was a bad joke that got way outta’ hand.
Storm had just lost most of her hair and she needed a hairstyle out of what was left. I did a number of portraits, all quite lovely and feminine, thank you very much. As a JOKE, I included a shot of her as Mr. T. You know, the kind of shot where they HAVE to go the other way. Weezie [X-Men editor Louise Simonson]’s response? “They’re going to hang us whichever way we go. Let’s commit the murder.”
I argued it was a joke and a monstrously bad idea but, given my departure following 175 was set prior to beginning my run, my vote didn’t count. So I did what I could with what I had left. I don’t know that Dave [Cockrum, original designer of Storm] ever really forgave me for that.
Thanks to Paul Smith for the great information!
COMIC LEGEND: Lobo was removed from R.E.B.E.L.S. ’95 due to reader complaints over his inclusion in the title.
R.E.B.E.L.S. was a spin-off from L.E.G.I.O.N. following the events of Zero Hour, where the main cast of L.E.G.I.O.N. go on the run from their own organization, which has been corrupted by the evil son of Vril Dox and Stealth (the leader of L.E.G.I.O.N. and one of the top operatives for the team).
Lobo was originally a member of the team (as he was bound to L.E.G.I.O.N. due to an oath to Dox), but he soon left…
An anonymous commenter wrote in with the following suggestion the other week:
Lobo actually LEFT R.E.B.E.L.S. ’95 at the height of his popularity (one shots, guest shots, mini-series, ongoing series) due to reader complaints about him to that title.
I asked Tom Peyer, who wrote the title at the time, and he said nope. Peyer even checked with his editor on the book, Dan Raspler, to make sure that he was not forgetting anything, and Raspler agreed that they wrote Lobo out of the book because he did not fit the “underdogs on the run” feel of the title, as he was too powerful and too much of a comedic character for the mood that Peyer and Raspler were going for on the title.
Thanks for the information, Tom and Dan!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
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