Does "Hellboy in Hell" Finale Signal the End of Mike Mignola's Time With the Character?
Welcome to the three hundredth and fifty-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Today, learn about how close we came to a Cerebus/X-Men crossover! Plus, did a new member of the Titans debut…in a trading card set? Finally, prepare your eyes for Richard Nixon…as a little girl?!!?
Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and fifty-seven.
COMIC LEGEND: Dave Sim and Chris Claremont once planned a Cerebus/X-Men crossover.
How freaking awesome does that look? That’s art by Paul Smith and Dave Sim above, drawing the aborted Cerebus/X-Men crossover.
I’ll let Dave Sim explain what happened himself, from a comment he made on Brian Michael Bendis’ message board:
All that exists of the Cerebus/X-men crossover is notes in one of my notebooks at the time. Chris Claremont and I both got invited to a store signing in Prince George, British Columbia so we decided we would plot the whole book on the way out on the plane. This really involved me taking dictation from Chris to make sure all of his stuff was covered — I could figure out where the Cerebus stuff would fit in on my own and bounce it off him later. It’s really in such shorthand note from that it’s virtually incoherent.
It became obvious talking to Jim Shooter that this was a project Marvel was doing to keep Chris happy. Whatever Chris wants Chris gets, but they — as a corporation — really didn’t think the book would sell worth s–t. I could see their corporate point, but it certainly deflated any real interest I had in doing the book. It had “file in a drawer marked ‘H-freeze over'” written all over it.
I suggested it to Chris at Maplecon in Ottawa in front of a bunch of people. As anyone in the business can tell you, there are a lot of projects that sound really good over a few drinks after the Saturday of a Con that are in the “WHAT was I THINKING?” category when you get home and remember how much of your own work you have to do.
Here are a couple of pages of Sim’s notes…
Click here to see many more pages of Sim’s notes about the crossover, including a mention about Marvel’s sales department, which at the time included Peter David.
Thanks to Dave Sim for the information, thanks to the great Cerebus the Aardvark site for the notes and thanks to the posters who suggested I feature this one (I’m sure Travis Pelkie must have suggested this at one point or another. He sure does love him some Cerebus).
COMIC LEGEND: A new member of the New Titans was introduced in, of all places, a Marvel vs. DC trading card insert set.
In 1996, DC and Marvel collaborated on a mini-series called DC vs. Marvel. Their various characters fought against each other in the series.
In 1995, DC and Marvel put out a trading card set promoting the upcoming mini-series.
The card set had 100 cards in the regular set, but there were also a couple of special “insert sets,” cards that came one for every four packs of cards. Drawn by Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell, these two nine-card painted sets showed the Justice League fighting the Avengers and the Teen Titans fighting the X-Men (you had to put the nine cards together to form one big image).
Here are the two sets…
Notice someone strange in the second set?
Here, I’ll spotlight the card…
That’s Split. On the back of the card, is shows Cyclops’ take on the character, “A young teleporter with too much attitude and too little sense, Split could benefit from a lengthy session in the X-Men’s Danger Room.” Man, even in card sets, Cyclops is a bit of a jerk.
So anyhow, was this character intended to be a member of New Titans but turned out not to be because the book was canceled early in 1996? That’s what the DCU Guide suggests, stating:
Split was created by Marv Wolfman and originally intended to be a hero and member of the New Titans, hence his appearance in the Skybox X-Men vs. Teen Titans Trading Card Set
However, first off, Split was a character in Steel’s comic book and was created by Louise Simonson (he worked for the villainous Hazard)…
But was Wolfman planning on redeeming him and making him a member of the Titans? I asked Wolfman about it, and he said no, that he had never heard of the character in question.
So I’m figuring the odds are that they just drew a bunch of DC teen characters and drew them. I can’t speak to their motivations, just to whether he was going to be a Titan.
Thanks to John Cupach for suggesting that I feature this one and thanks to the great Marv Wolfman for the response!
COMIC LEGEND: Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams snuck Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew into an issue of Green Lantern/Green Arrow as villains…with Nixon as a little GIRL!
I’ve mentioned this before in other columns I’ve written for the blog, but when someone else mentioned it in the comments of a recent Goofiest Moments from Green Lantern #36-40 post, a bunch of comments were made in response by people who had not heard about it, so I figured I might as well spotlight it here, as well. It is a pretty awesome story, after all.
So anyhow, in Green Lantern/Green Arrow #83, Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams introduced two new adversearies for our heroes…a cook named Grandy and a powerful mutant girl named Sybil. These two characters were based on the then-current Vice President Spiro Agnew and President Richard Nixon.
Besides the bizarreness of having Nixon being a little girl, their commentary is, in and of itself, a bit odd, as it seems to imply that Agnew was controlling Nixon, which we all know now not to be the case, but I don’t know if it was even believed back then….
I mean, if you did this with Cheney and Bush, that would make a lot more sense as commentary. But Agnew and Nixon? Huh?
To make the reference even more clear, note where they were when Nixon/Sybil brought the building down on top of them…
However awesome O’Neil and Adams were during this run, subtlety was never something they went with.
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. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). If we hit 3,000 likes on Facebook you’ll get a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends the week after we hit 3,000 likes! So go like us on Facebook to get that extra Comic Book Legends Revealed! Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get original content from me, as well!
Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).
The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(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!
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.