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Welcome to the four hundred and nineteenth 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 eighteen. This week, did Marvel nearly put out a Spider-Man graphic novel in the 1980s where he romances a married mob wife? Plus, did Brian K. Vaughan offer a challenge involving a racy joke in a Batman comic? Finally, be sure to check out old Steve Ditko Spider-Man characters updated for the 1980s!
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COMIC LEGEND: Bob Layton wrote an unpublished Spider-Man graphic novel with Spidey romancing a mob wife.
Sometime in the mid 1980s, Bob Layton began work on a Spider-Man graphic novel with an excellent art team (Paul Smith on pencils and Barry Windsor-Smith on inks) that was to be a major change in Spider-Man’s life.
First of all, Layton was going to have Spider-Man get shot a number of times, making it the first time that Spider-Man had to recover from a major injury. Secondly, Spider-Man was going to be nursed back to health by the wife of a mob boss. The two of them would have an affair.
In the end, Spider-Man realizes he cannot continue their affair (after he saves her husband from a mob hit…a task he actually considers not doing).
However, either way, the graphic novel was to be a major turning point in the life of Spider-Man and would have been reflected in the pages of his monthly comic books.
The only problem was that with an art team like Paul Smith and Barry Windsor-Smith, you’re not likely to get a timely release and the book ended up getting delayed so long that Marvel had a change in Editors-in-Chief from Jim Shooter to Tom DeFalco. DeFalco felt that the story was TOO big of a change in Spider-Man’s status quo so he squelched the project.
Here are a few of Smith’s penciled pages…
Check out Bob Layton’s website here to read his full plot for the graphic novel.
Thanks to Bob Layton for the great info! Bob is always really informative about his past works! His website is awesome.
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On the next page, learn about a challenge involving Brian K. Vaughhan and a “juvenile” joke!
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