INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Welcome to the three hundredth and eighty-seventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, was Cable at one time really meant to be an older version of Cannonball? Plus, what’s the deal with the comic strip where the Winnie the Pooh characters are all jerks to each other? Finally, was Manhunter originally intended to be connected to the original character?
Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and eighty-six.
COMIC LEGEND: At one point, Cable was going to be an older version of Cannonball.
A ways back (damn, actually three years ago), I did a whole column devoted just to straightening out various legends about the origin of Cable. One open question I left in that column was posed by a reader named Carl, who noted:
Gee, I’d always heard Cable was supposed be the future self of Cannonball.
I meant to ask Rob Liefeld about it then, but never got around to it until just recently. I asked Rob and he said that yes, Cable was indeed intended to be an older version of Cannonball.
In X-Force #7, Cannonball is seemingly killed…
This kicks off a flashback in X-Force #8 (with guest art by Mike Mignola!) about why Cable went back in time in the first place to hook up with the New Mutants. It was all about becoming the mentor to Cannonball…
In X-Force #9, Cannonball does, indeed, return to life.
His special healing power has never actually been erased from continuity, by the way.
So what Liefeld planned on doing was to reveal that due to a memory gap, Cable did not realize that Cannonball was actually himself as a young man, so he went back in time to mentor HIMSELF!
Rob noted “A character like Wolverine has had multiple false origins, mysteries, I felt the same could be done with Cable.”
So there ya go, Carl!
Thanks a lot to Rob Liefeld for the information.
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COMIC LEGEND: There was a Winnie the Pooh comic strip where the characters acted a lot more aggressively than most Winnie the Pooh fans are used to.
My pal Justin Davis sent me a request the other day. Simply put, he wanted to know if this was a real comic strip or a joke using photoshop…
Oddly enough, it is a real strip. Writer Don Ferguson and artist Richard Moore did a syndicated Winnie the Pooh comic strip that ran from 1978 to 1988 (with reprints of the original strips running from then on. I believe some places still run the reruns).
The strip was noteworthy for how many of the plots involved the various A.A. Milne & E.H. Shepard characters just being jerks to each other.
Here are some more examples…
It is really quite surprising that Disney was cool with this take on their characters. It’s actually pretty darn good stuff.
They really had a bit of an edge to them, even when they weren’t being jerks to each other…
Thanks to Justin for the suggestion!
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COMIC LEGEND: Manhunter was originally intended as an updated version of the Jack Kirby Manhunter
In the third issue of Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson’s classic Manhunter series in Detective Comics #439, we are given an origin to Paul Kirk, Manhunter…
Seems pretty straightforward that Goodwin and Simonson were doing an update on Jack Kirby’s Manhunter, right?
However, that was NOT the original intent of the series!
As Simonson explained in Modern Masters to Eric Nolen-Weathington and Roger Ash, Goodwin had come up with a brand-new character who had a healing factor and was a clone and they just decided to use the Manhunter name because it was a good one (and DC owned the name).
It was only AFTER they had begun the series that they decided that perhaps they SHOULD tie in this new character with the original Paul Kirk, Manhunter, and that became an important part of the series (as Simonson notes, with only eight pages to work with, it made opening up the back story a lot easier when they could just work in the established Kirk character).
Thanks to Eric Nolen-Weathington, Roger Ash and Walter Simonson for the information!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
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See you all next week!
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