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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #373

Welcome to the three hundredth and seventy-third in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, did Superman first fly by ACCIDENT? Also, how did Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes inadvertently inspire a classic Spider-Man story? Finally, which Titan was ORIGINALLY going to die in Infinite Crisis #4?

Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and seventy-two.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Superman first flew in the Fleischer animated films.

STATUS: Technically False

Now, as the story goes, Fleischer Studios were making short Superman animated films in late 1941 and they asked DC Comics if they could have Superman fly in the films (at the time, Superman just leaped – hence, “able to leap tall buildings at a single bound”) as it looked better. DC agreed and soon, DC was adapting the idea into their comics.

That’s how the story goes (and it is how I told it in my book, Was Superman a Spy?, which you can buy here).

And, basically, that IS how the story goes. Fleischer asked if they could change it, DC said yes…

And after the films became so popular, DC adapted the change into the comics.

HowEVER, through what sure appears to be an accident, Superman actually flew in the comics many months before the first Fleischer film in late 1941.

I did a Comic Book Legends Revealed years ago (which you can read here) about how artist Leo Nowak accidentally confused Lex Luthor with one of his henchmen and drew Luthor as the henchmen, forever defining Luthor’s distinct bald look. Well, as it turns out, Nowak ALSO became the first artist to draw Superman flying!

Nowak, being new to the series (Superman #10 was his first issue of the comic after he first debuted on the comic strip), likely was not familiar with the title and only had previous stories to go by. Well, in the case of Luthor, he mistook Luthor for another character. In the case of Superman flying, I imagine it was a case where, in the old days, while Superman technically was just leaping, most artists drew it in such a fashion where it often looked like he was basically flying. Nowak just took that to a whole other level in 1941’s Superman #10…

To show that it was just a mistake, the other story in Superman #10 makes it clear that Superman CANNOT fly…

as does the lead story in the following issue, ALSO drawn by Nowak.

It would not be until 1943’s Action Comics #65 that Superman would OFFICIALLY fly…

COMIC LEGEND: Jonathan Frakes inadvertently inspired a classic Spider-Man story.


In the Top 50 Greatest Spider-Man Stories Countdown (check here to see what has been revealed so far!), one of the stories that made the list was Peter David and Bob McLeod’s classic one-shot story, “The Commuter Cometh!” from Amazing Spider-Man #267…

which shows Spider-Man tracking a bad guy to the suburbs of New York and suddenly finding himself wholly out of his element….

Peter David, being the ever-helpful guy that he is, stopped by in the comments to shed some lights on the fascinating origin of this great Spidey tale:

The story was originally inspired by an actor. Back in those days, Marvel had a character appearance program, and there was one actor who regularly played Spider-Man, a guy named Scott Leva.

[Here is Leva on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #262:

– BC]

And Scott would take great pains to give him a very spidery look, with lots of crouching and stuff. Even if he was just around the office, he never broke character and would always be crouching on things. One day, Scott wasn’t available, and Marvel needed a Spidey for a gig. So they pressed into service the guy who normally played Captain America–a young, aspiring actor named Jonathan Frakes (yes, THAT one).

[Here is an old Comic Book Legends Revealed about Frakes’ early career playing Captain America – BC]

And he walked around in the same way that he did as Cap, and I saw that and thought, “Boy, Spidey looks kinda stupid if he’s simply walking around.” And the whole story just find of flowed from that. If he’s clinging to the wall, it’s “Whoa, it’s Spider-Man!” If he’s just walking around, it’s “Who’s that guy in the Spider-Man costume?”

Story continues below

Hence, “Commuter Cometh!” including a scene which perfectly exemplifies what Peter is talking about…

By the way, from an earlier scene in the issue….

the little girl is inspired by Peter’s then-young daughter, Shana.

Thanks to Peter David for the great information!

COMIC LEGEND: Pantha was not originally going to be the Titan killed by Superboy Prime.


One of the more memorable DC Comics moments of the past decade or so (you folks voted it into the Top 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History) came in Infinite Crisis #4 (written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning). In it, Superboy Prime finds himself confronted by the totality of the Titans (who had come together to defend their teammate, Connor “Superboy” Kent). He did not react well, especially when, in one horrific moment, he freaks out and punches Pantha’s head clean off…

This was a major turning point in Superboy Prime’s turn as the tormented villain of the series.

And in the original draft of the scene, Geoff Johns killed a DIFFERENT Titan. Originally, it was Argent, the standout character from the Dan Jurgens/George Perez Titans…

who later made it on to Devin Grayson’s Titans…

who was killed.

Johns described how the scene was re-written in a column he wrote for Wizard about six years ago:

I told Eddie [Berganza, editor on Infinite Crisis] there was something wrong with these two pages. And I told Phil [Jimenez, artist for the series]. And I thought about it.

Was it a matter of who died? That was a huge question. In the first draft, the Teen Titans’ Argent was the one that faced Prime’s outburst. But it was his heat vision that did it. Eddie loved Argent and had plans for her, so she was taken off of the table. There was discussion, and a draft, where Terra was the one who was killed. But I felt like her story hadn’t been yet told–it would leave too many unanswered questions. Red Star was also proposed, due to power levels but we had plans for him. And then I realized, as strange as it sounds, we needed to use someone obscure. I hated to say it, but this moment was not about who died, but about Superboy-Prime killing.

Superboy-Prime had to be horrified at what he had done, just like the reader. It needed to be an action much more shocking than heat vision. He had to be swinging in a fury, unaware of his power.

And that’s when it finally clicked for me. Superboy-Prime had to cry. He had to be scared. And his fear would fuel him. He would continue to lash out, blaming the others for his actions. Yesterday’s hero blaming the heroes of today for his corruption.

Going through the characters further, Pantha was chosen because she hadn’t been active in a long time and she would affect Red Star, who was very close with her, when we told his story. And it worked, for the most part. People said, “Did you see what Superboy-Prime did?” instead of “Pantha died!”

The rest of Superboy-Prime’s rampage justified the Flashes racing in to dispose of this super-powered “maniac.” You can see the fear and pain and guilt on Superboy-Prime’s face as he’s pulled away, yelling that one day he would be Superman.

Fascinating behind the scenes insight from Johns. Thanks, Geoff! And thanks to Wizard!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics 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!

Here’s my new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? It came out this week! The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).

If you want to order a copy, ordering it here gives me a referral fee.

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!

Also, be sure to check out my website, Urban Legends Revealed, where I look into urban legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can find here, at urbanlegendsrevealed.com.

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…

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

See you all next week!


Man, Geoff Johns needs some therapy.

Shows me: the last time I regularly read a Titans book Pantha was a member. I had no idea she was their Deathbird or Rage or Maxima: AKA someone not seen since 1997.

Book arrived from Amazon UK yesterday Brian, loving it so far!

glad Argent survived it I liked her. I guess she doesn’t exist anymore.

I say lock him up and toss away the key.

I like how Terra got that reprieve so her story could be told, and then went on to die in 52 without said story being told.

It seems rather strange to me that Spider-Man is so out-of-place operating in the suburbs in Amazing Spider-Man #267. I say this because, as is well established, Peter Parker is from Forest Hills. I realize that Forest Hills is in Queens, which is part of New York City. But the thing about Forest Hills (indeed most parts of Queens) is that it is very suburban. So Spider-Man shouldn’t have much more trouble getting around Westchester as he does Forest Hills. The only thing I can think of is that in the Marvel universe there are a lot more tall buildings in Queens than in real life.

I actually liked Panthra and had hoped we’d find out of she was a human made catlike or a cat made humanlike. I liked Argent too, but she reminded me of Jade too much in powerset.

The reason was silly. “We need to make him a villian! Let’s have him kill someone! That will be shocking!”

Aside, someone needs to find a picture of Frakes in the Captain America outfit. :-)

Who’s Pantha?

@Squasha –

She’s the dead Titan with no head.

She’s the dead Titan with no head.

Was this the incident that inspired the title of Kelly Thompson’s column here at CBR? Or was that another instance of a decapitated female character? Unfortunately, I’m sure there are a few of those floating about.

I’m happy Argent didn’t die. I am a big fan of Jurgens Titans run (one of the few?) and she was one of my favorites on that team.

As much as I hated the gratuitous gore in Infinite Crisis and dislike the current vogue for killing off minor characters for shock value or to establish how badass a villain is, it was hard for me to get too upset about the loss of Pantha because, well, she was pretty obnoxious. Case in point: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l37xrhwbZa1qc7r93o1_500.jpg

@The Livewire: That was pretty much DC’s MO at the time under Johns and DiDio. The only shocking thing is that they didn’t choose to have him decapitate a member of the Justice League International. They almost seemed pathological in their efforts to kill them all off. (Under the guise of “well, this was a previous generations characters, but we need to tell good stories not preserve them now”….and I always wondered how Johns would feel if in ten years some new creator decided they needed to kill off Stargirl in some gruesome way to tell a “good story”.)

Superman needs to say “doggonit” more often in the modern stories.

‘How do I find out if the water is running? I know! I’ll destroy some stuff!’ Superman has always been a jerk.

So let me see here- Superboy Prime is the Superboy from before Byrnes reboot determined that there never was a Superboy? Is that what it is? I don’t read much DC, possibly because their continuity makes my head hurt almost as bad as when I try to figure out which Psylocke was which.

I missed this era of comix; there was really a character named “Argent”? I realize it means something else, but my first thought was the 70’s rock group (descended from the Zombies) who had a smash with “Hold Your Head Up”. Maybe she can form a group with “Foghat” (a superhero who subdues villains with gasses from his haberdashery), “Pink Floyd” (a radioactive barber from Mayberry) and “Kiss” (four clowns in makeup).

Hysan, Superman actually used that word recently when he was telling Lois about Romney’s station wagon. That’s right, he told her there was a “doggonit”.

Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week.

Even more Excedrin-necessary, phred; he’s the Superboy from OUR earth, or at least the one that has a company publishing DC Comics (Earth-Prime). He was introduced in a CoIE spinoff issue of DC Presents, teaming with the Earth-1 Superman. At the end of the Crisis, he got shoved into a pocket dimension with Alexander Luthor, Kal-L (Superman of Earth-2) and Kal’s wife Lois Lane, as the only survivors of their worlds. Hilarity ensued.

Being an eternal adolescent, he would occasionally lash out at his confinement, striking the dimensional barrier in ways that affected time and space. Further hilarity ensued.

All in all, a combination of petulant jerk and… whiny petulant jerk. One of the more entertaining Blackest Night crossovers had Alex Luthor promising to kill him. Fans rejoiced — until it didn’t happen…

Superboy Prime’s final 2 pages in the last issue of League of Three World’s is the biggest fart I’ve ever read in comics history.

I’ve always thought “No thanks, kid. I’m going make like Ka-Zar” is one of the all time great lines…..

So this is just additional confirmation that Geoff Johns hates the 90s. (Come on, the 90s wasn’t ALL bad at DC, and as the decade progressed, it got a lot better.) He gratuitously killed off Tempest and Damage in Blackest Night, Wally West (who really became big in the 90s) was bumped as the Flash and then vanished, and now this. I can only imagine that avoiding a lynch mob is what’s saved Kyle Rayner.

Argent got her name because her energy powers were silver-tinted (and by her own admission, she liked money).
I enjoyed Jurgens’ turn on the Titans too–lord knows, better than the Dark Raven period of Wolfman’s run near the end.
Superboy-Prime … I have always been baffled why Johns thinks he’s an interesting villain. He comes off like a 10-year-old having a snit, albeit an insanely powerful one (I do think the argument he’s Johns’ take on critical fans has some validity).
I love Barry Allen myself but I’m still pissed that they brought him back and retired Wally. Of all the “legacy heroes” of the post-Crisis era, Wally had the most right to step into his mentor’s shoes (no offense to Kyle or Connor intended)–hell, he was around almost as long as Barry was.

1990s DC was my DC. Therefore Johns in the Anti Christ.

Becca- Ah, thanks. For the explanation anyway, and the warning about the headache. I’m just going to nod and smile whenever the subject comes up, I think.

Just read the Luthor legend–very helpful as I’m giving a presentation on Superman next week.

David, I think we’re just marking the time until creators who grew up on Byrne’s Superman and 1990s legacy heroes move into comics and undo all the retro changes with their own retro changes.
Won’t someone think of the children?

Travis Pelkie

June 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm

“Argent, the standout character from the Dan Jurgens/George Perez Titans…”

Is that a joke? I honestly can’t tell.

That whole scene of Superboy Prime seems to me like it’s a “Cousin Larry Trick”. Because when I read it, it seems SOOO much like it should be a parody. Whiny whiny Superboy. “Ahhh, I didn’t mean to!!!”

Damn Geoff Johns.

How was that Superboy evil, if his DNA wasn’t part Lex Luthor? C’mon!!!

Fraser, if the next golden boy they raise up was weaned on that period, it will happen in time.

Oh, is that what Johns was trying to do with Superboy Prime? Have him be someone scared and consumed by guilt and pain? Because not a single bit of that came across in the writing.

@Ben Herman – well remember, Spidey grew up in Forest Hills, so he’s familiar with the suburbs, but didn’t grow up AS Spider-Man. He learned to be Spidey in the City.

Now it’s still a silly concept (We’ve seen Spidey in tons of places that aren’t cities around the world and beyond in Spiderman and other titles), but ah well.

The radio show with Bud Collyer might have started the flying. It started in 1940. Archive.org has some of the early episodes for free download.

Also, please repost the special on the Green Hornet. The Green Hornet did not start as a comic book property. None of the legends referred specifically to the Green Hornet comic books. If someone submitted a legend about Zorro, Luke Skywalker, Conan, John McClane, etc. that did not refer to the various Star Wars, Die Hard, Conan, etc. comic books would you run it?


When you think about it, “like an insanely powerful 10 year old having a snit” is a pretty popular villain type – there’s that famous Twilight Zone episode where Billy Mumy wished people into the corn field, at least three old school Star Trek episodes I can think of (“Charlie X,” “And the Children Shall Lead,” and “The Squire of Gothos”), Stephen King’s Carrie, Legion and Proteus from the X-Books, the Hulk and Bizarro a lot of the time, and sometimes Mxyzptlk and the Impossible Man. I suspect a lot of writers get the idea for a character like that when they become parents and one day their kid throws a tantrum and they think something along the lines of “My entire life can be derailed just because this person with only the most tenuous grasp on reason and self-control didn’t get their way – imagine if this kid could trash more than just their bedroom and the whole world had to deal with them like my spouse and I do?”

On the other hand, maybe it’s more likely their thought up by writers who see someone else’s kid having a meltdown and think “thank god I don’t have to deal with that little monster … hey, imagine if EVERYone had to deal with them, because they WERE a monster!”

I wonder whether characters like that resonate more with people who have kids or people who don’t have kids and hope they never do. (Similarly, I wonder whether the people who agree that married characters aren’t as interesting as single ones comprise more bored married people or avowed single people.)

That Spidey thing makes me laugh because I’ve always wondered about a superhero like that out here in the suburbs of sydney. I just figured they’d leap from telegraph pole to pole and whatnot.
Also, it may sound weird but I really like the idea of a hero turned villain like Prime, even if I wasn’t that thrilled that it was Prime. a kid with the power to move planets who has a massive chip on his shoulder that his world was destroyed, no one remembers him, and a bunch of false heroes have taken his gig, and he’s prepared to do something about it, it’s pretty crazy.

Hopeless Savage

June 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm

While interesting, it honestly feels hard nowadays to care about things like Pantha’s death or Argent surviving as those characters have been wiped from DC history in favour of making everyone in their teens or 20s.

I actually thought this particular scene from Infinite Crisis was pretty well done. It seemed that Superboy was pretty shocked and overwhelmed by the whole situation, and it just got way out of control. After this, I felt like he too quickly just became a straight up villain, but I liked this scene.

Andrew Collins

June 30, 2012 at 12:09 am

I love how it was never a question IF Superboy-Prime would kill, only WHO. That whole bit with Johns explaining Pantha’s death pretty much captures in a nutshell everything I hate about his writing, and his and Didio’s tenure at DC. Gratuitous gore, rape and violence to show the readers “OMFG look how bada$$ our villains are!” instead of just focusing on telling a good story…

Just read through the first Superman legend there — that last bit you show, is that the first time Superman says “up up and away”?

Superman should totally be holding guys by the shirt and bouncing up and down along telephone poles and stuff. Morrison better get that into Action soon.

I love how the legend with Jonathan Frakes boils down to that he’s a bad actor :) Actually, PAD must have written him in STNG comics or books or something, right? Probably wrote in a Captain America fetish.

Really, should Superboy be so strong that he just punches heads off? Oy.

Travis Pelkie

June 30, 2012 at 12:25 am

Just read through the first Superman legend there — that last bit you show, is that the first time Superman says “up up and away”?

The radio show with Bud Collyer might started the flying and that phrase. It started in 1940. Archive.org has some of the early episodes for free download. Superman never flew until he flew on the radio. In the comics, he was still leaping an eighth of a mile.

Since Superman was a work in progress, it makes sense that the preamble was a work in progress, too. Fans first heard “Up in the sky! Look!” rather than the other way around.



Speaking of radio:

Also, please repost the special on the Green Hornet somewhere and remove it from Comic Book Legends Revealed. The Green Hornet did not start as a comic book property. None of the legends referred specifically to the Green Hornet comic books. If someone submitted a legend about Zorro, Luke Skywalker, Conan, John McClane, etc. that did not refer to the various Star Wars, Die Hard, Conan, etc. comic books would you run it?

Commander Benson

June 30, 2012 at 8:35 am


It’s “leap tall buildings at a single bound” . . . .

Commander “Anal-Retentive” Benson

But of course! I edited it for you faster than a speeding locomotive (that’s how it goes, right? ;))!

Speaking of fish out of water, wasn’t there a Spiderman graphic novel with him in Scotland, facing the same problem of no skyscrapers to bounce off of?

I’m going to agree with those who thought that the scene with Superboy punching Pantha was well done. If you only read what’s posted here, it’s brilliant and touching.

However, if you read everything leading up to it that started the fight and everything after it, Superboy just reads like a villain challenging the hero and then reveling in the battle. I thought Infinite Crisis was horrible. I keep trying to read Johns’s stuff and enjoy it, but I can’t.

Geoff Johns says that Pantha’s death was decided in part because it would affect Red Star, a male character and love interest.

The Women in Refrigerator argument is thrown around a lot, but I think this is the first time a comic writer has actually *admitted* to it.

How telling that the argument in favour of killing Pantha hinged on how the male characters (Red Star and Superboy in this case) would react. And note that all the potential victims were female. The Women In Refrigerators mindset never really does go away when the people in charge of the stories are such unrepentant misogynists.


I’ll go further: the reason for the fight is outright stupid to begin with. It’s almost like Johns needed any reason to have the fight happen instead of, I dunno, come up with a compelling, non-contrived reason for us to get that SBP is a bad guy.

My problem with his writing is what you see in interviews like the one above: a focus on a singular end result to justify everything else in the story rather than focusing on what makes a story good (the Infinite Crisis comments about Nightwing dying instead of Superboy illustrate this; it was a big story, so a big name character had to die with an intimation that not having a character die would somehow cheat the readers). It leads to too many of his stories feeling like filler leading to a moment leading to more filler.

Interesting about the Spider-Man story. Before Spider-Man 3 came out, I suggested to a friend they should make Mysterio the villain and set it in Los Angeles. He pointed out that it wouldn’t work because LA is too spread out and lacks tall buildings.

The early Superman is chock full of “is he flying or leaping?” panels, so I’m always somewhat bemused when people state something like “THIS is the first time Superman flew”. Even when he wasn’t flying, he was changing directions during a jump or hovering or whatever.

Clearly, Spider-Man needed the Spider-Mobile.

Yes, Argent was the standout character from the Jurgens Titans. Who else could it be? Risk? Joto? Prysm? Um… I can’t even remember the others. Argent was successful enough to actually join a later incarnation of the team. She even joined the LSH in a story that had the reset button pushed before DC pushed the reset button on their entire universe.

And while this ONE scene worked well for Superboy Prime’s deterioration, I can’t state strongly enough how much I hated the way that the “happy endings” from Crisis on Infinite Earths became all pain and misery. Even the Earth-2 Wonder Woman had to leave her happy ending just so she could make a quickly forgotten statement and then fade away (die). And sadly, all the good results of Infinite Crisis (returning Wonder Woman to the Silver Age Justice League, having characters remember Earth-2 characters that had been written out of continuity, etc) were quickly made moot, just like having Earth-2 return in 52 has been made moot by having a Earth-nu-2.

Hey Cronin!

Another Awesome Article.
The Mid-00s were my favorite time to be a DC Comics Fan. It was it’s own Era and it’s over now. I lovingly refer to DC Comics 1986-2011 as the Crisis Era. It really went as far it could go as a concept but as the French say, “plus la meme change, plus la meme chose” n’est pas? Yet I am really digging the DCnU EARTH-2.

I know why people hate Superboy-Prime. He’s a Metaphor for the Worst Inside Us As Fans.
Me Personally…I love Superboy-Prime. He’s one of my fave Big Bads. He works.
This Village Voice article from 2006 really nails it:

It’s also a great “What If…” Kal-El grew up a spoiled bratty Only Child in the 70s & 80s? a statement ON Superman’s Upbringing. Here we have a Superman raised in the suburbs on the East Coast, Hampton Beach in perhaps New Hampshire. Not being inculcated with Farm Life, Ethics & Values. Which is a pretty deep meditation if you stop and ponder…
A farm life of hard work, of patience, of sowing & reaping, of birth, death, slaughter, re-birth. Of discipline in running your own land, always something to do or clean. Not getting driven to the comics store or to the Mall for an afternoon with buddies.
It’s not as Jerry & Naomi Kent didn’t raise their Clark “Right”…it was the difference in American Cultures!
The Rural Farm Life of the Heartland (literally Kansas in the TV “Smallville”) versus more Urban, Modern Values of the Suburbs.
It’ great to think about!

kriya shakti,
Rev Sully

Sully, I don’t see anything that deep in Superboy Prime’s original appearance (nor in his going dark later). It sounds like one of those pompous meditations mainstream writers like to pin on comics.
Regarding Argent, she was also the only one to make it onto the Teen Titans cartoon, as one of the second stringers recruited during the Brotherhood of Evil plotline.

I do think it merits some thought. The American upbringings of Superman vs. Superboy-Prime. Geographically, sociologically, et al.
I’m a City Guy. Farm Life is the farthest thing from my mind yet I know it takes a dedication that is transcendently beyond such urban notion of “career” or “going to the office”. The Farm Life whenever the “real” Superman was brought up in whether in pre-Dustbowl Depression America of Action Comics #1 or 1989 Kansas of the TV show have common factors. Farm life must be a constant life of preparation, of work, of raising livestock & grain.
Yet as a City Boy, emotionally I can really feel for Superboy-Prime. I live in a City where people flip out over driving and Facebook. Really Flip Out. And it strikes me that these two vastly different American men really would handle a problem differently.
It’s just my thought and it’s fun to think of.

@ Fraser
Argent was the only what who made it? Wildebeast, Pantha, Red Star, and (obviously) Terra all made appearances in the show.

But none of them originated as part of the Jurgens team.

Which is what I meant. Sorry not to be clear.

Joto made it into the Teen Titans cartoon — with his name changed to Hotspot

I am schooled thereby.

“I love how the legend with Jonathan Frakes boils down to that he’s a bad actor”

No it doesn’t. All I glean from that anecdote is that Frakes didn’t ‘get’ Spidey. It wasn’t his job to. He’s just playing Spidey as he would Cap, not realizing the incongruity.

“How telling that the argument in favour of killing Pantha hinged on how the male characters (Red Star and Superboy in this case) would react. And note that all the potential victims were female. The Women In Refrigerators mindset never really does go away when the people in charge of the stories are such unrepentant misogynists.”

You’re the one dividing characters up according to sex, not him. It’s only “telling” because you are seeing what you want to and ignoring what you don’t. He’s killed loads of male characters, too. Many in the same series, and with as little regard.
Incidentally, they eventually had to change the name of the “Women in Refrigerators” page at TVtropes, because there is clear parity of the sexes in instances of characters dying to motivate other characters. It’s just an old storytelling device. Hackneyed? Maybe. Woman-hate? No reason to believe so.

Just FYI on the Up up and away question (better late than never). It’s first said in Superman #16, when he starts leaping “across the continent” and jumps across the ocean.

Sorry about the typo… Up up and away is first said in Superman #14 , not 16. In any event, it certainly predated before the character actually flew.

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