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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #416

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Welcome to the four hundred and sixteenth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and fifteen. This week, what Marvel “Create a villain” contest winner nearly saw his character become a founding member of the All-New, All-Different X-Men and instead went TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS before he saw his character finally appear in a Marvel comic? Plus, discover if the cast of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was based on the cast of Archie! Finally, marvel at another classic Superman story with a major plot hole resolved in a 1970s reprint!

Let’s begin!

NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).

COMIC LEGEND: A “create a character” contest entrant was nearly a member of the X-Men but instead did not appear for nearly THIRTY years!


In the 1973 issue of FOOM magazine (Marvel’s fan magazine, created by Jim Steranko), they announced the winner of the “Create a Marvel Super Villain” contest from the first issue…


The following issue, they announced that Humus would instead be a charter member of Roy Thomas’ planned revamp on the X-Men! Roy Thomas was planning on doing an international version of the X-Men.


This, of course, eventually became a little something we call the All-New, All-Different X-Men…


Obviously, between 1973 and 1975 (and Thomas not writing the series), Humus was dropped.

Not until 2001, when Tom Brevoort, Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza brought the character into the pages of the Thunderbolts. The first hint happened in Busiek’s last issue and then he actually debuted in issues #54/55….


Humus’ creator, Mike Barreiro, even inked the final page of the first appearance!

And, of course, he got the credit on the splash page, just like they promised him 28 years earlier!


It’s not a charter member of the All-New, All-Different X-Men, but it is still pretty damn cool!

As Tom Daylight noted, this is particularly interesting since Thunderbolts famously used a DIFFERENT character from a “create a character” contest, only that usage did not turn out so well in the end. Read this old Comic Book Legends Revealed for more information!

As an aside, I really can’t believe I never featured this story before. It seems like something I’d have done at around the same time as the above cited Charcoal legend, which was in the first three months of the column!!

Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!

Was an Actor Nearly Denied Appearing in the Film Philadelphia Because of His HIV Status?

Was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Originally Designed as a School Project?

Was Nearly All of Toy Story 2 Accidentally Deleted Nine Months In Due to a Pair of Computer Errors?

Discover the Bizarre Early 20th Century Race to See Who Would Have the Tallest Skyscraper in the World!

Did Tom Hanks’ Oscar Acceptance Speech for Philadelphia Inspire the Film In and Out?

On the next page, was The Many Loves of Dobbie Gillis based on the cast of Archie comics?

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Assuming everyone knows the Dobie-do/Scooby-doo.connection.

I would have gone with the “fatal to any human being” line, myself. Did Kryptonians refer to themselves as human beings during the Silver Age?

I love that Supergirl and Superman can fly back in time to before Krypton exploded but they don’t seem to want to warn anyone or at least take some survivors back to the present with them. (Although I’m sure there’s some story out there where they tried and I just haven’t read it).

Since the Legion is standing right there, why didn’t Supergirl use a Time Bubble?


April 26, 2013 at 10:36 am

I figured it was Braniac 5 having an extensive knowledge of Kryptonian scientists and their dealings before the planet blowed up. But then I havent read much Silver Age LOSH and he is a Braniac so who knows.

I’m not seeing the Braniac 5 typo.

@Black Manta.. Brainiac 5 is spelt Brainic 5

I have a copy of the early1950s dobie gillis collection.VERY funny stuff,and what makes it cooler, is that the stories take place in the Minneapolis/st. Paul area,and u of m, of the late 1940s.

I have that issue of foom magazine, and my name is listed as one of the submiters.I know one of the published submiters personaly.The drawing was done right in front of me.Many pros came from the ranks of submiters listed,it was their first exposure before fandom for most.In short, the very beginning of their careers.

Funny how they did that after the whole Charcoal fiasco…

Charcoal fiasco?

And, wow, that is a pretty error-ridden story. On top of the ones listed, the colourist (or printer) even messed up Brainie’s face in the panel where Supergirl jumps to the past…

(Also…Cosmic King? Interesting mistake. That’s like ‘typoing’ Superman as Ultraman…)

I’m surprised I caught the Superman plot hole. But I also think I used Byrne revamp reasoning to dismiss it. Doesn’t Superman’s/Supergirl’s skin act as some sort of battery so he has super powers for a while even if he isn’t exposed to yellow sunlight? Maybe I’m thinking of Aquaman’s water dealio.

Kamino Neko: This was the Charcoal fiasco, regarding another fan-created character used earlier in Thunderbolts: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2005/08/11/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-11/

Pecos Asbestos McGuiliguty

April 26, 2013 at 12:11 pm

@ Dolphus

Was thinking the same thing.

Of course, there is an even bigger flaw in the story – merely that if she can travel back through time, why not simply travel back in time and PREVENT Superman from being exposed to the contaminate?

I suppose one could argue that you can’t mess with events that have now become an aspect of time itself, but that rule is broken all the time.

I’m afraid someone is going to have to explain to me what the ‘uncaught error’ is in that Brainiac 5 panel, because the only difference I see is that his beaker has a green substance in it.

Pecos: It’s just that his name is misspelled.

Charcoal fiasco?


The guys who created Charcoal tried to sue Marvel for (I think) $10,000. It was a BS lawsuit. Kurt Busiek or Tom Brevoort could give you more details over that whole mess.

Pecos: The last “a” is missing in Brainiac 5’s name. A minor error compared to accidentally misnaming a hero after a villain. Fortunately for Lightning Lad, the Legion hadn’t met Cosmic King yet (only the Adult Legion version had appeared at that point) so Cosmic Boy was less likely to give him a hard time about that error than he may have during Levitz’s run.

Oh yeah, Thunderbolts and fan created characters. Sounds like they didn’t have any problem with this one.

@Da Fug – while Kryptonians do hold yellow solar energy in their bodies, so they can retain their powers even when not exposed to it (underground, etc), it’s also established that red solar radiation is absorbed preferentially, to the point that it will push the yellow energy out. So going to Krypton, even if the story is of an era that uses the ‘battery’ explanation, will depower Superman/-girl pretty quickly. (IIRC, kryptonite is also supposed to work the same way before it gets to a lethal level.)

And thanks buttler, et al for explaining the Charcoal thing.

It also looks to me like the original “Cosmic King” panel has Invisible Kid racing to the time bubble in his invisible form.

That Supergirl-on-Krypton panel has bothered me since it was first published. My own thought back then was that maybe Kara was an invisible phantom not affected by the red sun because she was already on Krypton (a time travel gimmick DC had used before). But there’s a flaw in that theory.

Travis Stephens

April 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Wasn’t there an arc in Adventure comics where the LSH tried to help Superman go back time and save Krypton/his parents? Think if Krypton is saved it causes problems in the 30th century. Also if you travel back in time Pre-Crisis w/o a time bubble, you are phantom that is out of phase with reality. Superman went back in time saw his parents that way.

Giving Supergirl the power to travel through time and space to Krypton effectively breaks the entire Superman mythos. The retention of her powers looks like a minor gaff by comparison.

@Cass: Back in those days, Superman could dot hat sort of thing all the time. The rules were that he couldn’t exist twice in the same tim period and that he couldn’t alter the course of past events, and editor Mort Weisinger generally made sure they held fast. Time-travel that doesn’t let you change anything about the past isn’t all that big a deal, really.

I’d be hard-pressed to name a member of the Superman cast who didn’t time-travel to Krypton before it exploded. Jimmy Olsen did it in issue 101 of his comic, Lois Lane went there and tried to steal Jor-El away from Lara (Lois Lane #59). Superman certainly went back to Krypton more than once (Superman #123, 141, World of Krypton #2), even bringing Batman along at least once (World’s Finest #191). Heck, teenage Jor-El even traveled in time and met Superboy (Superboy #121)! I’m not sure Perry White ever made the trip, anyway.

Post-Crisis, people still kept making that trip. Kon-El, the Jack Knight and Mikaal Tomas Starmen…

Heck, Superman, Supergirl AND Superboy have time-traveled to Krypton already in the New 52.

If Humus Sapiens was the winner, I’m afraid to think of the losers.

Speaking of Dobie Gillis, I once read that Scooby Doo started out as an animated version of Dobie. Fred was Dobie, Daphne was Thalia, Velma was Zelda and Shaggy was, obviously, Maynard G. Krebs.

Amusingly, the Dobie Gillis *comic book* was “repurposed” into a comic book that was clearly trying to cash in on Archie, *Windy and Willie*. That short-lived title was launched in 1969, using old Dobie stories altered enough to no longer contain any Dobie Gillis licensed content (which license DC no longer had).

Photos of Dobie as a blond always look weird to me. I gather he only looked like that for the first season.

A while back DIAL B FOR BLOG not only related the Scooby Doo and Willy and Windy stories, but also reprints a TV GUIDE cover where Zelda and Thalia face off each other over Dobie for an article on “What Teenage Boys Look for in Girls.”

Also a funny parody of a famous Flash cover as “SECRET ORIGINS: Teens of Two Worlds.”


“DC reprinted it in a 1977 Treasury Edition” – There’s no such thing. Treasury’s were what Marvel called their version of what is known in printer’s terms as a Tabloid. DC only referred to their large comics as tabloids, never treasuries. I bought many of them at the time.

In this case, the reprint is in Limited Collectors’ Edition #C-52, subtitled “The Best of DC volume 1″.

Amusingly, the Dobie Gillis *comic book* was “repurposed” into a comic book that was clearly trying to cash in on Archie, *Windy and Willie*. That short-lived title was launched in 1969, using old Dobie stories altered enough to no longer contain any Dobie Gillis licensed content (which license DC no longer had).

Another classic Comic Book Legends Revealed!

but also reprints a TV GUIDE cover where Zelda and Thalia face off each other over Dobie for an article on “What Teenage Boys Look for in Girls.”

The thing is, WAS that Zelda and Thalia? The cover credits two other actresses.

Never heard of Charcoal as I’ve never read Thunderbolts.

Submitting a self-created character to be used as a one-time villain is good fun, but Marvel using him for 40 issues instead is something entirely different. Not cool without giving the man some more credit…and money.

Humus Sapiens? Sentient topsoil?

Has to be better than Hummus Sapiens, Arch-Foe of Vegan-Man.

That was a fun time to be reading Thunderbolts. Pretty much #50 – #75 is one of my fav runs on a title. It was sad to see Charcoal ‘die’. Especially considering every other character came back except him.


Comic-Reader Lad

April 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Pecos, Supergirl can’t travel back in time to prevent Superman from being exposed to the Virus X (or Jimmy Olsen’s Kryptonite lodged in his camera) because under Mort Weisinger’s time travel rules in place at the time, Supergirl would have been turned into a phantom if she traveled back to a time where she already exists.

That’s how she can be on Krypton before she was born without being a phantom.

“If Humus Sapiens was the winner, I’m afraid to think of the losers.”

There was El Guacamole, The Terrible Topenede, and Poi Pot Pete….

humus ? hummus.
unless you eat dirt

Don’t judge me, Sandra.

I see they also corrected Brainiac 5’s skin color – always interesting to see another one of the classic green/grey coloring errors in practice.

Something of a nitpick. Thalia wasn’t rich. She WANTED to find and eventually marry someone rich. She made claims that it was to support her family

Out of curiosity, is that Mel Blanc in the image with Warren Beatty?

Incredibly cool of Busiek et al. to keep that decades old promise to the fan. =0)
And he even got to ink a page! Cool stuff.

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