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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #384

Welcome to the three hundredth and eighty-fourth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, marvel at a comic book filed as a legal brief in a United States District Court! Plus, did an insult by a Marvel editor drive Jim Valentino to help co-found Image Comics? Finally, discover the comic origins of the classic Nintendo video game, Hogan’s Alley!

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

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: A lawyer recently submitted a comic as a brief in a case.


Recently, the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Apple and five publishers of e-books on charges of price fixing as Apple and the publishers were trying to get around Amazon’s standard $9.99 price for e-books, which the publishers felt were, in effect, pricing other competitors out of the market.

The judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cole, was set to accept a settlement between the Department of Justice and Apple and the publishers. Lawyer Bob Kohn wanted to submit an amicus brief to the court to argue against the settlement. Cole limited the length of his brief to just five pages. With this limit in place, Kohn decided to get creative. With the help of a comic artist friend of his daughter, Kohn produced a five-page comic book to argue the case.

Here is the brief in full…

Sadly (for Kohn, at least), Cole was not persuaded and the case settled.

You can download the full brief here at the American Bar Association.

Thanks to my father for suggesting that I feature this one.

In honor of my new Sports Legends Revealed column at ESPN.com (you can read the first one, Did Richard Nixon really call a play for the Washington Redskins?, here), I’ll spotlight a few of my Sports Urban Legends Revealed.

Like, Did the Governor of Colorado Really Lose Pikes Peak in a Football Bet With the Governor of Texas?

COMIC LEGEND: Did Jim Valentino leave Marvel for Image Comics after being told that he was less valuable on Guardians of the Galaxy than anyone else on the book?

STATUS: False (but close!)

Before becoming one of the founders of Image Comics with his creations Shadowhawk…

Jim Valentino was likely best known for his run on Guardians of the Galaxy as the writer and penciler of the series…

Reader Travis Pelkie wrote in to suggest a story he heard about Valentino’s departure from Marvel to Image…

I was thinking of was an old Wizard interview with him where he said that his editor on Guardians of the Galaxy told him that the colorist on that book was more important than he was. And he was the writer and penciller! So that’s what pushed him to join the other Image boys.

I asked Valentino about this and he confirmed/debunked the story.

Yes, it is true that the editor said it to me. No, it’s not true that it had anything to do with my participation in the co-founding of Image. In fact this was said to me when I asked to be let off of penciling duties, but to continue to write the book due to my increased responsibilities as a result of Image’s formation.

It is worth noting that Valentino did, in fact, write an issue of Guardians of the Galaxy after Shadowhawk #1 came out…

So it all works out, time-wise.

Thanks to Travis for the question and thanks to Jim Valentino for the answer!

Did Dennis Eckersley Coin the Term “Walk Off” the Same Year He Gave Up Kirk Gibson’s Legendary Walk-Off Home Run in the World Series?

COMIC LEGEND: The classic Nintendo video game Hogan’s Alley is based on the Yellow Kid, in a roundabout way.


Hogan’s Alley came out in 1984.

It was one of the very first video games where you would use the Nintendo “gun” to shoot at stuff on the screen. In this case, it was a galley of bad guys mixed with good guys…

The game was based on the real life Hogan’s Alley, which was an FBI training ground in Camp Perry in Ohio that used a town as a simulated training ground for agents. Today, Hogan’s Alley is set up in the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia…

Story continues below

The video game mentions the FBI connection…

However, the FBI, of course, named their training complex after…Hogan’s Alley from the Yellow Kid!

The FBI freely admits to lifting the name from the strip, stating on their website:

Curious where we got the name Hogan’s Alley? Turns out, we borrowed it from the “Hogan’s Alley” comic strip of the late 1800s. The alley was located in a rough neighborhood, so we thought the name fit our crime-ridden town.

I gave you the history of the Yellow Kid (created by Richard Outcault) here.

So much like how the comic strip Skippy gave us Skippy peanut butter (a tale I detailed here), now the home of the Yellow Kid lives on more as the name of an FBI training ground and a classic video game than it does the original usage!

Thanks to Jeff Ryan for suggesting I feature this one and thanks to Mike Wright’s excellent feature on the origins of the video game for the information (Mike, in turn, credited the above-mentioned Yellow Kid column, so this piece is like a snake eating its own tail).

Did the Jamaican Bobsled Team Carry Their Sled to the Finish Line After a Crash?

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!


Off subject a bit, but I couldn’t help but laugh that Shadowhawk #1 came out at the height of the investing craze (when comics were sealed in plastic and treated like Faberge eggs), and, yet, you chose to use a creased copy of the newsstand version of Shadowhawk #1 above. Nicely done.

The Jim Valentino story sounds like the editor of Guardians of the Galaxy had a case of sour grapes about the formation of Image Comics.

Off subject a bit, but I couldn’t help but laugh that Shadowhawk #1 came out at the height of the investing craze (when comics were sealed in plastic and treated like Faberge eggs), and, yet, you chose to use a creased copy of the newsstand version of Shadowhawk #1 above. Nicely done.

Ha! No commentary there, the foil cover just doesn’t translate well when it is scanned (it is the same reason I use the newsstand version of Amazing Spider-Man #400 when I reference that book, because the fancy cover just basically looks like a blank cover when you scan it).


Ironically, the newsstand cover is probably more rare than the Foil cover.

Who was the editor of GOTG at the time?

Nintendo may have called it the Light Gun, but everyone I knew called it the Zapper.

Indeed, Rollo.

I felt I should clarify I was mocking the investment mentality and hyped gimmicks. Even if I lost interest quickly after the reveal, the first Shadowhawk was probably the best overall comic released by early Image (considering that Savage Dragon has always been awesome and Spawn was quite good in the start, that’s not empty praise). And the whole second-person narrator with an unknown protagonist bit–even if he hadn’t pulled it off, I’d have to respect Valentino for it, because that took some enormous cajones to even attempt.

Will Eisner would have loved the brief! Wonder what Scott McCloud has to say about it? :)

That is an impressively detailed panel of the Yellow Kid.

Now I wonder, who was the colorist of Guardians of the Galaxy?

That is an impressively detailed panel of the Yellow Kid.

It is a great panel. That panel also played a role in Outcault’s departure from the strip. Check out the linked piece to find out how!

My goodness, but that GOTG cover is poorly drawn

Which one?

Take your pick!

@ majorjoe23 and AS,

Craig Anderson and Evelyn Stein were credited as the editor and colorist during Valentino’s run.

I would like to point out that the GOTG cover was NOT drawn by Valentino.

GOTG by Valentino was one of my favorite books at the time. Not sure how it would hold up if I read it now. But the book quicly became s**t as soon as he left.

Anyone who wants a fun read should track down Valentino’s “normalman”. Read the whole maxi-series as each issue was a tribute to a different comic company or genre.

Valentino’s GotG was okay, but it went off the rails for me when Vance found Captain America’s shield and became Major Victory or whatever the hell that was.

Loved this edition mostly because all three of these elements interest me.

I just want to point out that the Hogan’s Alley training ground photos used depict the training ground named Hogan’s Alley in Quantico, Virginia started in 1987. The Camp Perry version of Hogan’s Alley was established in the 1920s and was used by the Special Police School. I just worked on an episode of a series detailing Criminal Profiling and the FBI and we used a number of Hogan’s Alley photos to depicted FBI training.

Thanks, Mark, you’re totally right. I’ll edit that in there.

I really love the entire concept of Hogan’s Alley. How great would it be to visit that place?
I think there’s even a movie theatre.

Congrats on the ESPN thing, totally deserved. Your legends series rules.

Now I liked the Major Victory bit.

I would like to point out that the GOTG cover was NOT drawn by Valentino.

One of them is, one of them is not. I think you can guess which one was not drawn by Valentino.

The Hogan’s Alley sign uses all capital letters. Why in the wide wide world of sports is there a dot over the “I” in “NICE” ?

Hey, Brian Cronin, I’m inferring that your a lawyer, and I apologize if that is not the case.
I just wanted to get your thought on this: Doesn’t NY district court have a specific format for their briefs? I’m surprised the court accepted this type of brief and that the client was okay with this format.

Sorry for the repost – Please delete if possible

I think that goes too far for the courts to dictate what type of underwear lawyers should wear.

Oh, not THAT kind of briefs….

The funny thing is that I was just thinking, “Yeah, what the hell happened to Vance? They basically made him into an completely different character concept. Did getting the shield somehow magically free him of the containment suit, or did they get, like, the Dr. Strange of the future to magic him out of it?”

So I looked it up and indeed, they got the Dr. Strange of the future to magic him out of it. I swear to god, I didn’t even know there was such a thing; it was just the easiest, lamest plot device to come to mind. Hilarious.

Is the Sorcerer Supreme of the 31st century named D.X. Machina?

Hahahaha. He should be!

I remember Shadowhawk got press because it was revealed the main character had AIDS. So, t hat’s something. Actually I bought all the Image #1s because it was so new and cool at the time. I also had Guardians of the Galaxy #1, too. So, there you go.

The Hogan’s Alley segment was fascinating! When I was in high school, during the summers I would volunteer at the National Matches at Camp Perry and one year had the opportunity to participate as volunteer staff at Hogan’s Alley. At least at that time, they were training police officers. I always thought it was just a generic term for that type of training, didn’t realize it was THE inspiration behind a video game. I also didn’t realize it was moved to Quantico, which is within 20 minutes of where I grew up.

Evelyn Stein, the colorist for GotG at the time, stayed on till the book was cancelled. I wonder what happened to her after her run at Marvel. She colored a lot of books!

Major Victory’s head / neck on that last GOTG cover, WTF?

Doc Ock — proof that using your mechanical arms to rip open trucks of Hostess Fruit Pies all over the city is a BAD master plan…

Let me say “woo hoo” at getting another of my suggestions used here, btw. Yay me!

GotG was awesome to 13 year old me. I dunno how 33 year old me would dig it. I’m afraid to reread it! But Valentino is awesome, which we discussed on another post, which led to this comment. I think it’s issue 23 with Valentino inked by Tex, and it is AWESOME. Shadowhawk’s great, normalman’s great, the autobio stories (including a Touch of Silver) are great…he brought Alan Moore to Image with 1963 (although I guess that didn’t quite turn out great in the long run…), and I would say if not for Valentino pushing for more of the indie books to come in, the Image we know and love today would not exist. So praise him!

Actually…have you covered GotG and Valentino here before? Because there’s another related bit I should email you about….

buttler, I totally forgot not only how Vance got out of the suit (or that he had to…), or that the Dr Strange of the future got him out, but that there WAS a Dr Strange of the future. I SHOULD have known, because one of the bits that made me giggle even at the time was that EVERY late 20th century hero survived in some form for 1000 years.

Also, the Dr Strange of the future is a dragon, or a worm, or some shit like that. Swear to god. I have GOT to dig those comics out again.

Though not the first comic I ever read, Jim Valentino’s Guardians of the Galaxy was the first comic I ever bought with my own money. Issue #17. I then promptly bought every back issue in the following weeks with my five dollar allowance.

Back then I could get five comic books a week. With five dollars. It was heaven.

“Valentino’s GotG was okay, but it went off the rails for me when Vance found Captain America’s shield and became Major Victory or whatever the hell that was.”

I think you mean the Major Victory thing (around 19 or 20, when they go back to Earth), as opposed to finding the shield, which is the first story in the series.

“Also, the Dr Strange of the future is a dragon, or a worm, or some shit like that.”

This is getting confused, and confusing for people who haven’t read it, so I should point out a distinction — Doctor Strange survived to the GotG future [he does, I believe, die somewhere in the series]. He’s the 30th Century “Ancient One”. Then, there is a 30th Century Sorcerer Supreme, Krugarr. He’s from a species of alien which pre-dates his appearance here by about a decade [in real-world publishing chronology, I mean].

I know this because I randomly re-read these recently after hearing the news about the movie coming, even though I know it won’t be *those* Guardians. For the time period, they’re pretty decent comic books, but it just reminds me how bad the time period was.

“Though not the first comic I ever read, Jim Valentino’s Guardians of the Galaxy was the first comic I ever bought with my own money.”

If that’s not true for me, it’s damned close. For me, it was #13, with the crazy future Ghost Rider on the cover.

Had Kohn made his comic a little more engaging and action-focused maybe he would have won. Like, he could have put all the dialogue happening while both main characters were fighting robot ninjas or something. As it is, it’s just like one of those political cartoons.

So I strolled to this blog, as I do every Friday evening without fail and can’t help but notice a story about one of my favorite reviews, Hogan’s Alley. I read awhile and notice my name towards the end and SCREAM LIKE A SUGARED UP SCHOOLGIRL CONFRONTED BY THE BIEBS!!! Seriously though, thanks for the shout-out and been a long time listener, first time caller to your blog but thinking that will change soon as my reading the first run of New Warriors is seriously putting a kink in my NESquester work!

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