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Comic Book Legends Revealed #400 (Part 1)

Welcome to the four hundredth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, in honor of the four hundredth edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed, you’ll get a TRIPLE-sized column this week, in three parts (today, tomorrow and Sunday). The special theme this week will be that I will feature one legend that was suggested to me in each of the nine years that I’ve been doing the column, so a legend someone suggested in 2005, a legend from 2006, etc. All the way up to 2013, which is only a few days old! Today, we learn the truth behind whether Steve Ditko and Stan Lee really fought over whether to reveal that Norman Osborn was the Green Goblin! We learn of the bizarre superhero version of the Shadow from the 1960s that was written by Superman creator, Jerry Siegel! Finally, we learn about how the Son of Sam case led police right to DC Comics!

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

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Steve Ditko did not want the Green Goblin to be revealed as Norman Osborn.

STATUS: Seems to be False

In July of 2009, reader “A Tari,” wrote in to ask:

Didn’t seen this covered, thought it would be a good one at some point. The guy who runs spiderkicksbutt.com postulated that the breakup of the legendary Ditko/Lee team from the Silver Age was over the idea that Ditko did NOT want Norman Osborn to be Green Goblin. I was wondering if anyone knows this for sure, or if it could be found out?

While this is the suggestion I was able to find, I’m sure someone has asked me about this in other years, as well, as it is one of the most famous comic book urban legends I’ve come across over the years. However, it is also one that people have mostly gotten WRONG over the years. Heck, I believe in my first book, Was Superman a Spy?, I even got it wrong initially!

In that book, I correctly noted that there were so many reasons for Ditko to leave Amazing Spider-Man (mostly financial stuff) that it was highly unlikely that he left because of a dispute with Stan Lee over who the Green Goblin was going to be (with Lee wanting it to be revealed as Norman Osborn and Ditko wanting it to be someone Spider-Man had never met).

However, I believed that that was an actual dispute between the two.

In retrospect, it really does not seem to be the case.

Ditko and Lee first introduced Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #14, where he met Ditko’s greatest creation, Fancy Dan…

At the end of his first appearance, we learn both that the Goblin is new at this villainy thing and also see that the Goblin has a secret identity worth hiding…

Three issues later, Ditko and Lee reiterate that the Goblin’s identity is something that should be of interest to us…

In Amazing Spider-Man #23, Ditko first draws the man who would become Norman Osborn as one of J. Jonah Jameson’s business friends.

In Amazing Spider-Man #31, Harry Osborn is introduced…

In Amazing Spider-Man #37, Norman Osborn is introduced…

And boy is he suspicious…

In Amazing Spider-Man #38, Ditko’s last issue, Osborn gets even MORE suspicious…

And obviously, the next issue, the first issue without Ditko, the reveal occurs…

Also note that in Amazing Spider-Man #27, Lee and Ditko did the whole “it is not anyone you know” reveal with the Crimemaster…

So it would be a BIT odd if Ditko wanted to go back to that well so soon.

But really, one of the things I overlooked earlier was that towards the end of their partnership, Ditko was not even communicating with Lee directly. He was dropping off issues completely drawn and Lee would then just script them. I imagine someone must have been working as a go-between (reader Tony notes it was likely Sol Brodsky, Marvel’s production manager at the time. Thanks, Tony!). However, it seems hard to believe that under this arrangement, Ditko could ever have been FORCED to reveal the Green Goblin as anyone he did not want to reveal him as.

Ditko, though, seems to make it all come together in a 2009 essay he wrote for The Comics, stating:

Now digest this: I knew from Day One, from the first GG story, who the GG would be. I absolutely knew because I planted him in J. Jonah Jameson’s businessmans club, it was where JJJ and the GG could be seen together. I planted them together in other stories where the GG would not appear in costume, action.”

“I wanted JJJ’s and the GG’s lives to mix for later story drama involving more than just the two characters”

“I planted the GG’s son (same distinctive hair style) in the college issues for more dramatic involvement and storyline consequences”

“So how could there be any doubt, dispute, about who the GG had to turn out to be when unmasked?”

Also note that when John Romita took over Amazing Spider-Man, he thought that it was obvious that Ditko wanted Osborn to be the Goblin and was surprised when he “learned” from others that Ditko did NOT want him to be the Goblin. I believe this is because the folks who told Romita otherwise (and it has been Romita’s repeating of what was told him that has formed the main basis of the “Ditko left because he was mad about Green Goblin” legend) were incorrect.

I tend to believe Ditko here.

Thanks to commenter S. for supplying the Ditko quote! And thanks to A Tari for the suggestion!
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Check out some Sports Urban Legends Revealed!

Did a Fan Actually HIT Wally Joyner With a Thrown Bowie Knife During a Game?

Did a Monkey Really Knock a Race Car Driver From Second to Third Place?

Was Eric Lindros Really Once Traded to Two Different Teams at the Same Time?

Do Race Car Drivers Perspire So Much During Races That They Never Need to Go to the Bathroom?
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COMIC LEGEND: New York City detectives went to DC Comics for help during the Son of Sam investigation.

STATUS: True

During the Summer of 1976, serial killer David Berkowitz haunted New York City by a series of shootings that left six people dead and seven more wounded.

It was not until August of 1977 that they actually caught him. You can only imagine how desperate the police were to catch this guy, who was seemingly taunting police by leaving letters behind at the scenes of the crime. Here are some samples…

You might notice that his lettering is pretty interesting. Well, according to Bob Rozakis, the police at one point were so desperate that they came across the idea that maybe the killer was a comic book letterer or a comic strip letterer! So they actually brought the letters to DC Comics’ offices in Manhattan to ask if anyone recognized the lettering!

Obviously, no one did (good thing they never saw one of Alex Toth’s letters! :))

Ultimately, Berkowitz was done in by simple good ol’ fashioned police work, as he was spotted near the scene of a July 1977 shooting and the NYPD contacted the Yonkers police (where Berkowitz lived) to get their help to bring him in for questioning in August (initially as a witness, not a suspect) and they were surprised that the Yonkers police had had their suspicions that Berkowitz might actually BE the killer. So the police went to his apartment, found his car, discovered a rifle and more and, well, the rest is history.

Thanks to Rob London, who suggested this to me the other day, giving me a 2013 suggestion and thanks to Bob Rozakis for the information!
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Check out some classic Steve Ditko-related Comic Book Legends Revealed!

Did Stan Lee and Steve Ditko excise the whole “failed to stop the thief who then killed his uncle” aspect of Spider-Man’s origin in Amazing Spider-Man #1?

Did Steve Ditko create Squirrel Girl decades before her debut in 1991?

Did Dick Giordano bring Steve Ditko to DC Comics?

What strange change did Steve Ditko make Steve Skeates make in a Question issue?

Did Steve Ditko once have a story censored because it had the devil in it?
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COMIC LEGEND: Archie Comics did a superhero version of the Shadow during the 1960s.

STATUS: True

If there’s any consistent thing about comic book history, it is that when something becomes popular with one comic book company, you can safely bet that other comic book companies will try to follow suit. During the 1960s, superhero comics were booming once again. This led to some interesting experiments by other comic book companies. I’ve written in the past about how Dell tried to make Dracula a comic book superhero, but in 1964, Archie also tried the same…with the Shadow!

Graeme Burk suggested this in January of 2007.

The cover of Archie’s first Shadow issue seemed normal enough…

but inside (written by Robert Bernstein with art by John Rosenberger), the Shadow is dressed in unfamiliar attire…

The next issue, though, just drops all pretenses of not being a superhero comic book, as they debut Shadow’s superhero outfit!

Jerry Siegel himself took over the book with #4 and wrote it until #8. Here’s a sample from Siegel’s first issue…

Pretty darn funny. Thanks for the suggestion, Graeme!
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Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Was Roger Moore really Ian Fleming’s FIRST choice to play James Bond?!
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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? 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!

79 Comments

The Goblin is going to “Give the FOUR of you your orders”? Wait, am I missing an “Enforcers” character? Fancy Dan, Montana and Ox = 3

Wait a minute….Where is “The Big Man”? I think that’s the missing villian

“Also note that when John Romita took over Amazing Spider-Man, he thought that it was obvious that Ditko wanted Osborn to be Spider-Man”

Norman Osborn is Spider-Man?!

This may be a “Print the legend” scenario. Stan’s told, on many occasions, his version of this story, once to me, personally, in response to my question about the (at the time) heavily-touted mystery of Who Is The Hobgoblin”. His version, almost verbatim…

“When we were writing those issues of the Green Goblin, we had NO IDEA who it was going to be. So a few issues in, I said to Steve, ‘You know, Steve, we’re going to have to figure out who the Goblin is’.”

“Steve said ‘No problem, I got it all figured out. You see that guy i issue (XYZ), in the background? That’s HIM!’ ”

“And I said, ‘Steve, noooo, you can’t do it that way!’ ”

This version was clearly delivered and played up as a funny story. But BOTH versions may be true. Steve certainly introduced an unnamed version of Osborn in 23, and named him some issues later. There’s every possibility that they came to an agreement about who it would be, and Steve’s initial “Who he is doesn’t matter” idea was transferred to the Crimemaster.

Of course, Stan has a habit of amending history to fit the time constraints of the interview he’s giving. In an appearance on ABC’s Kids Are People Too, he related the history of The Hulk as if he was supposed to be green all along, claiing “I tried to think of a color that wasn’t being used in comics, and came up with Green”. That story is true, save for the fact that the color he used was gray. but that would have been a story too long to tell.

Ditko has had his cases of His Version Of Things as well. Cat Yronwode shared a great story from when Eclipse was producing one of Ditko’s titles, and they had a head-to-head about a change to one page.

“Ditko is Ditko, and nobody changes Ditko!”
“Not even when he’s WRONG?”
“No, not even when he’s wrong!”

And as I think has been discussed before, while Alan Moore based Rorschach’s speech patters on Herbie the Fat Fury, he based his journal writing style on David Berkowitz’ letters.

When we combine what we know about their last six or so issues when they were not speaking with each other the Crimemaster story when they were still talking to each other, it sure does seem like Lee is conflating the Crimemaster story with the Green Goblin story, doesn’t it?

Norman Osborn is Spider-Man?!

Ha! Thanks, fixed that.

Huh, so The Shadow traded in his twin automatics for two fists. I kind of want to see a comic book where this happens – like, IDW do a mini-series where The Shadow feels he must change his methods with the times and he goes from pulp avenger to crusading super-hero.

“Ultimately, Berkowitz was done in by simple good ol’ fashioned police work”

And was allowed to roam free longer than he should have because of good ol’fashioned non-communication between police municipalities.

Has anyone ever asked Ditko why he drew the Osborns with that weird corduroy hair?

“And was allowed to roam free longer than he should have because of good ol’fashioned non-communication between police municipalities.”

It was communication between the police that got Bekowitz caught. Didn’t you read the article?

True, David, but I presume his objection was that the Yonkers police did not share their suspicions with the NYPD until the NYPD specifically contacted them about Berkowitz. I don’t know if that’s a reasonable objection or not (as I don’t know exactly how much info the Yonkers police were going on to be suspicious of Berkowitz) but that’s what he was going with.

I’m currently reading Marvel Comics:The Untold Story and Sean Howe relates this Goblin legend as fact. I’ve got a lot of doubts about some of “inside scoops” in this book.

Hard to begrudge the guy when I made a similar mistake in my own book. ;)

Funny you used the Shadow item here, I was going to suggest a Forsaken/Abandoned on various characters who turned into superheroes for a while: this, Marvel’s original Angel, and perhaps the most infamous of all, “the new Blackhawk era.”

Howe’s book should never be trusted as fact for most things. It’s a great book but it relies so heavily on the gossip of industry people that I’d never find it remotely reliable.

Aw thanks Brian. Does that mean the other two Shadow legends I suggested will ever see the light of day? (They’re the ones I was more interested in since I don’t know the answer to them! :))

Funny you used the Shadow item here, I was going to suggest a Forsaken/Abandoned on various characters who turned into superheroes for a while: this, Marvel’s original Angel, and perhaps the most infamous of all, “the new Blackhawk era.”

And don’t forget the time when the Metal Men became real people!

Aw thanks Brian. Does that mean the other two Shadow legends I suggested will ever see the light of day? (They’re the ones I was more interested in since I don’t know the answer to them! )

Someday! :) Seriously, though, yes, at least one of them will definitely be addressed in the relatively near future.

I read some of those Shadow stories in Alan Class comics from the UK. They were pretty good straight action stories. It never occurred to me though that it was the same Shadow from the Pulp era. I just imagined they had the same fairly generic name.

That Shadow costume looks like a bizarre cross between Alan Scott and Kyle Raynor…

“Ditko is Ditko, and nobody changes Ditko!”
“Not even when he’s WRONG?”
“No, not even when he’s wrong!”

A is A and Ditko is Ditko, or anything goes!

I love how the Shadow is clearly supposed to be the same character as always–same secret identity, same archenemy–while bearing no resemblance to the original.

The Ditko/Lee thing is true. I knew Steve at the time, we talked on the phone and wrote to each other.

Which Ditko/Lee thing?

Aw thanks Brian. Does that mean the other two Shadow legends I suggested will ever see the light of day? (They’re the ones I was more interested in since I don’t know the answer to them! )

Someday! Seriously, though, yes, at least one of them will definitely be addressed in the relatively near future.

I would love an all Shadow CBLR column, if anything just to increase the chances you’d be able to find out what the wrap up to that ridiculous 90s Shadow story was going to be–and if it really got canceled because of the objections of the rights’ holder.

Four hunDRED! Four hunDRED!

And four hundred MORE!

For what it’s worth a second theory about the Goblin identity is that Ditko intended him to be Ned Leeds. This one has floated around since at least the early 1980s and is the main one that the Spidey Kicks Butt articles have subscribed to.

Stan Lee’s memory has led to various statements over the years but in the introduction to the 1995 Spider-Man vs the Green Goblin trade paperback he states there was no plan from the very beginning and that he can’t remember if it was his or Ditko’s idea to make the Goblin Harry’s father.

Congrats on #400, Brian. This has been an essential part of my Fridays for years.

I finally figured it out! Because Fancy Dan is so small, the Goblin mistook the CHAIR he was standing on, as another henchman…..That makes FOUR……(Wait, What? O_o?)

always wanted your take on the legend of ditko quiting marvel over the i.d of the green goblin being norman osborn when he want it to be an unknown since quesada said it was due to royalities. and interesting to learn the shadow had a different look

I thought Ditko didn’t like the idea of GG being Norman because he was an successful businessman, and it would conflict with his Objectivist leaning if such a man were a villain.

Congratulations on #400, Brian!

Actually, Lee and Ditko did the whole “it is not anyone you know” reveal even SOONER than with the Crime Master in #27. In Amazing Spider-Man #9, the very first appearance of Electro, Spider-Man unmasks the villain on page 20, and says, “If this was a MOVIE, I’d gasp in shock and then I’d say: ‘Good heavens! The BUTLER!’ But THIS guy I never saw before! Oh, well, it won’t take the police long to find out who he is!”

This never really stood out much at the time, though, since Electro had already related his real name & origin to the reader, but not to Spider-Man.

@penguintruth: Seriously? When Ditko wrote and drew The Question in Mysterious Suspense #1 for Charlton, he had Vic Sage take on a “successful businessman” who was in deep with the mob. Nothing in his philosophy says that all businessmen are honest; just that not all businessmen are DIShonest, and the honest ones should be respected and not penalized for getting where they are honestly.

I dont think that was a typo “Norman Osborn is Spider Man”. Oops getting my Superior Spider Men mixed up. ;)

“If the tip Weston gave Lamont Cranston,alias myself, is correct…” Wow… Wow. Look, I’m all about classic comics and their worth, not financially but to the medium itself, but wow that Shadow seems really,really bad. Makes me feel bad, yet again, for Mr.Siegel.

I’ve always read that Ditko would deal with Sol Brodsky when he wasn’t speaking to Lee. Brodsky was (basically) the production manager in the mid-’60s. John Verpoorten was later (late-’60s), I think.

Thanks, Tony, you’re totally right.

Somebody should do a study to determine why so many ESU students have borderline-personality disorder and lack the empathy recognize the signs of great stress in a fellow student.

azjohnson, I’ve seen worse lines in later issues of the book (“And to think my high school class voted me the man most likely to become a pharmacist!”)! I’m guessing the spy angle was due to Bondmania being high by the time this came out—the Shadow had a short spy-oriented paperback series of new adventures around the same time (I think). Having seen the Shadow comic back when it was new, I’m surprised it’s existence is actually a legend (Damn. I’m old).
I never bought the Goblin legend precisely because they’d pulled the same stunt with the Crime-Master (Ditko makes the same point in that essay). It’s possible they didn’t have him pegged from the first but I gather even Stan doesn’t claim that It Must Be Nobody was the sticking point. And in hindsight it’s so obviously leading up to Norman, I think Ditko would have quit lot sooner if that had been a problem.

Oh yeah, Stan is likely correct in recalling that they didn’t have the Goblin’s identity pegged from the beginning. As I show above, it is not until #17 that his identity even becomes an issue in the comic. Before that he was just a new villain and that was the long and short of it.

Regarding MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY…I’m currently reading it, myself. It, actually, doesn’t make any claim of the Ditko/Goblin legend being true. It, merely, states:

“When Ditko’s inevitable departure finally happened, the new team hit the ground running. Their first issue together featured the shocking revelation that the Green Goblin’s secret identity was Norman Osborn, the wealthy industrialist father of Peter Parker’s classmate Harry Osborn. (Rumors circulated that Ditko’s refusal to go along with this dramatic plot twist had been the final point of contention between Lee and Ditko.)”

On a side note, congratulations on 400 columns! When I saw that the first legend was Spider-Man related, I was fearing that Cronin would celebrate the big anniversary by dying and letting one of his worst enemies take over his body. Thankfully, he didn’t go that route. :)

Kit Walker

January 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

Huh, so The Shadow traded in his twin automatics for two fists. I kind of want to see a comic book where this happens – like, IDW do a mini-series where The Shadow feels he must change his methods with the times and he goes from pulp avenger to crusading super-hero.

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I would have thought that people would make back to the pulps, move away from tacky costumes and towards more conventional weaponry. However, the backlash against media violence seems to have moved the situation towards more outre adventure tales. (The impact of Star Wars and Harry Potter also encouraged more outre adventures.)

“Lamont Cranston, alias myself” is such an awesome line.

Gee, Lamont doesn’t resemble any other character that Jerry Siegel ever worked on, does he? ;)

That Son of Sam legend is creepy. It looks to me like it could be lines from a new Crow mini….

Since we all know Stan’s memory is…iffy (to be charitable. Self-serving is another term for it.), when Stan comes up with different stories that hide the real underlying issues, and Ditko tells the story as he sees it and doesn’t veer from his story, I’ll believe Ditko.

Congrats on 400!

As I show above, it is not until #17 that his identity even becomes an issue in the comic. Before that he was just a new villain and that was the long and short of it.

I wouldn’t quite say that because he is the only villain up until the point whose real face we never saw, and they seemed to make a big deal about the fact that he could be anyone, that that was part of his appeal. The fact his identity was secret was always meant to be part of his appeal from the beginning I think rather than an incidental aspect of his character, even if it wasn’t the main focus of his early appearances.

“Of course, Stan has a habit of amending history to fit the time constraints of the interview he’s giving. In an appearance on ABC’s Kids Are People Too, he related the history of The Hulk as if he was supposed to be green all along, claiing “I tried to think of a color that wasn’t being used in comics, and came up with Green”. That story is true, save for the fact that the color he used was gray. but that would have been a story too long to tell.”

Stan also has a notoriously bad memory. I remember seeing him at a convention panel in Boston shortly after the Hulk turned gray again. When the subject of the Hulk came up, he said something about wanting to go to Marvel and ask whose idea it was to change the Hulk gray. Later, at the autograph signing, I reminded Stan that he had written in the ORIGINS OF MARVEL COMICS book that he originally intended for the Hulk to be gray before difficulties with the printer forced him to change the Hulk to green. Stan seemed totally surprised by this and said he was going to have to go back and re-read ORIGINS OF MARVEL COMICS.

I wouldn’t quite say that because he is the only villain up until the point whose real face we never saw, and they seemed to make a big deal about the fact that he could be anyone, that that was part of his appeal. The fact his identity was secret was always meant to be part of his appeal from the beginning I think rather than an incidental aspect of his character, even if it wasn’t the main focus of his early appearances.

You’re right. Almost all of #14 doesn’t mention it, so I didn’t even bother finishing it, but the last page DOES talk about his secret identity. Good pick up!

Didn’t finish it? It must tell what happens to Fancy Dan before the last page ;)

His plot actually WAS wrapped up before the end of the issue!

That said, I’ve read the issue many times, I just didn’t finish it this time while flipping through issues for this piece, so I missed the end bit.

Oh, I knew what you meant. I’m just funning on your love for Fancy Dan.

Of course, everyone SHOULD love Fancy Dan. He’s awesome!

Glad that you covered Green Goblin’s secret identity. Misinformation about it has been spreading for years. It’s also worth noting that in #37, Mendel Stromm was shot at through a high window with no stairwell, then in the page you included in the article we see Osborn with a shotgun. A clear hint from Ditko that Osborn had access to flying equipment (GG’s bat glider), and paid off by Lee & Romita in #40.

I’m just grinnin’ because Osborne pulled standard Super-Villain mistake #7 when he had Spider-Man in his clutches: “Since I’m about to kill you anyway, I see no harm in my revealing everything about my true identity and my evil plans!”

1. The whole Ditko Goblin reveal legend explanation always gives me a headache.

2. I can’t understand how Mark Gruenwald let Fancy Dan and Montana slip by Scourge’s radar back in the 80’s.

3. Who knew that serial killers were great at lettering? SOS had better handwriting than most doctors I know.

4. Siegel or no Siegel, that version of the Shadow is a travesty.

Happy 400th column, Brian.

You’re right. Almost all of #14 doesn’t mention it, so I didn’t even bother finishing it, but the last page DOES talk about his secret identity. Good pick up!

Yes, but I can’t take too much credit. I literally just reread it last month so it was fresh in my mind. I’ve been making my way through the whole Amazing run from beginning to current day.

The funny thing about that Shadow legend is that he’s already a superhero. Really, he has all the trappings (well, no cape or spandex, but he has powers beyond mortal men, a distinctive outfit and fights crime), so it’s odd to me that they decided to make him more superhero.

The interesting thing about Fancy Dan is that he could get away with being kick-ass underworld muscle with nothing but a judo black belt. If they created him now, he’d be one of those guys who’ve mastered all known forms of martial arts.
Though I’d agree the Shadow was a super-hero, Ave,he didn’t actually have any powers in the pulps–those were added for radio. Interestingly while Roy Thomas has said “super hero” was first coined for the Guardian’s 1941 origin, you can find super-villain in several Shadow pulps.
Oh, an older Fancy Dan shows up as a mid-level mob boss in the M2 universe.

I would love an all Shadow CBLR column, if anything just to increase the chances you’d be able to find out what the wrap up to that ridiculous 90s Shadow story was going to be–and if it really got canceled because of the objections of the rights’ holder.

Funny, I suggested the same thing (along with the Archie version and the final page of Hitler’s Astrologer). In 2007. :)

You can use Archie’s Shadow if you ever do a roundup of the worst superhero costumes ever.

Cool Arrow: “Has anyone ever asked Ditko why he drew the Osborns with that weird corduroy hair?”

I think that was Ditko’s way of drawing a curly haired person wearing brylcreem, something like this:

http://content.artofmanliness.com/uploads//2011/02/brylcreem1.jpg

(BTW, how do you do quotes in this comment section?)

@cool arrow

I would guess that the Osborns’ “weird corduroy hair” was to make them recognizable. Norman is just in the background next to JJJ in his first appearance, a head in a business suit.

The quoted 2009 essay refers to intentionally giving Harry the “same distinctive hair style”.

tried the link to the James Bond legend but it didn’t work.

Remove the part before “spinoff”, John

It was just missing the “http://” part. I fixed it. It should work now.

(BTW, how do you do quotes in this comment section?)

Like so.

[…] ???? ??????? ?????? ???????? ?????, ????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ??????. ?????? ??????? ?? ????? ???????, ??????? ???????? […]

[…] ???? ??????? ?????? ???????? ?????, ????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ??????. ?????? ??????? ?? ????? ???????, ??????? ???????? […]

Congratulations on the 400, Brian. A Fantastic 400 Feature!

Brian, have you ever read the short story “The Ballad of Fancy Dan”?

I can hardly believe the column is already up to 400 entires; it doesn’t seem at all long ago that I started reading it each week around the 10th entry. Congrats on the milestone!

It’s shocking how much better Romita’s art looks after several pages of Ditko. I used to think they were both equally good, just in different ways, but. . .MAN. Show that to any man on the street, and they’ll pick Romita every time. He’s just objectively better.

Whereas I much prefer Ditko on Spider-Man, so I’m not sure how “objective” that assessment is.

@Charlie Ward I was just about to post a similar comment. Not that I’d use the term “better,” (well, I PERSONALLY might, but not objectively), but it’s amazing how much that comic all of a sudden looked MODERN and FRESH when Romita took over. But it kind of happened on Fantastic Four, too, when Sinnott started inking Kirby.

Certainly the clothing styles were fresher under Romita. The fashions had a more old-fashioned look under Ditko (much as I like his stuff)–I wonder if Romita’s romance comics experience made a difference?

“The Green Goblin is such a nifty villain that the sooner we meet him, the better!”

This was something I’ve noticed they did a lot in Golden- and Silver-Age comics, that I think they should bring back. I love the creators just plain out stating that their characters are awesome. I want to steal that for something.

Well, I don’t know, I like Ditko better myself. JRSR is certainly prettier to look at in certain respects.

Overall, though, I think Ditko is Objectivist-ly better.

I always thought Osborn had hair sort of like Richard Nixon. The overall resemblance doesn’t really end there either.

[…] could've given a shout-out/credited to the source that got this thing rolling: Comic Book Legends Revealed #400 (Part 1) | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources Comic Book Legends Revealed Addendum: Bob Rozakis on How the “Son of Sam” Case Took […]

Were those Spider-man pages the originally coloring? Because other than the background cameo, all of Osborn’s later appearances have him in a green suit. Coincidence? Then again, they put the Shadow in green, so maybe they intended him to be the Green Goblin.

@Fraser I do love the simpler time, where a guy who knew judo, a big strong guy, and a guy who could work a lasso were a serious threat for a guy with all the powers of a spider. I’m just sorry we never got the story where the Enforcers took on Firelord.

Could the Belmont paperbacks of the Shadow by Dennis Lynds have served as an influence?

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