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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #425

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COMIC LEGEND: Venture Brothers was originally intended as a comic book.

STATUS: True

The Venture Brothers is an excellent television series that is ostensibly about the grown son of a scientist adventurer who is, himself, a scientist adventurer now with his two sons (the “Venture Brothers” in the title of the series)…

venturebrothers

but that’s really just a drop in the bucket of what the Venture Brothers is about. The series doesn’t just satirize the world of Jonny Quest, but also G.I. Joe and countless other comic book concepts. The comic book connections to the series are many. The first DVD collection of the series even had artwork by the legendary comic book artist Bill Sienkiewicz…

billsventurebrothers

Just last week, we did a Line it is Drawn based on mashing up comic book characters with Venture Brothers characters.

However, interestingly enough, the series was first intended AS a comic book!

Series creator Christopher McCulloch (who uses the pseudonym Jackson Publick for the series) was a longtime animation writer and storyboard artist (most notably for Ben Edlund’s Tick series) when he started up the Monkeysuit Anthology with a few other cartoonists who worked in animation. The series ran for a few issues over a couple of years at the turn of the 21st Century.

monkeysuit
In any event, McCulloch created the Venture Brothers as a story for the anthology. He soon realized that the concept was far too intricate for just a 12-page comic book story in an anthology so he developed it into a TV series (first for Comedy Central and then eventually for Cartoon Network, where it has been airing for five seasons now).

Thanks to Travis Pelkie for the head’s up about this information!
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Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed related to animated series!

Was the Human Torch replaced by H.E.R.B.I.E. in the Fantastic Four cartoon because the network was afraid that kids would, inspired by the Torch, set themselves on fire?

Was Renee Montoya invented for a cartoon?

Did Daredevil almost have a cartoon series where he’d have a dog sidekick?

Did SlimKid3, of the rap group The Pharcyde, produce a rap song that the Human Torch performed in an episode of the 1990s Fantastic Four cartoon?

Was a DC character who was okay for a DC cartoon considered too adult for a DC toy?

Did Marvel squelch a Captain America cartoon series in the 1990s that was set during World War II because they were not allowed to mention Nazis at all?

Was Val on Josie and the Pussycats really the first African-American cartoon character?
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On the next page, was the look of one of Marvel’s Avengers based on one of the TV Avengers?

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31 Comments

Jorge Martinez

June 28, 2013 at 9:59 am

I always thought they were mixed in the Squadrom Supreme tpb. Love that series!

Also Claudio Castellini?! What ever happened to him? He was great. I love that Silver Surfer book he did years ago.

@Jorge – I believe the ashes were mixed in with both.

Yep, they were mixed in with both.

To answer your question: Yes, I have that poster in color.

Pecos Asbestos McGuiliguty

June 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

Re The Black Widow thing. I still don’t totally buy it.

I don’t mean to say that he’s lying – just that whether conscience of the fact or not, I can’t see that Emma Peel didn’t influence that costume. BW looks way more like Emma than Miss Fury – the ‘rope shooters’ sure, but if anything the original BW costume looks influenced by Miss Fury not the new one.

Thanks, Phantom-Longbox!

Natasha’s rationale for going to fight Spider-Man is even more ridiculous than the average hero vs. hero story.

Fraser, I believe at the time Black Widow was a villain. People tend to forget that she was a Russian Spy during the cold war.

I believe at the time Black Widow was a villain. People tend to forget that she was a Russian Spy during the cold war.

You’re right that she started as a Cold War spy, but by that time (1970), she had been rehabilitated. She was a frequent guest star in the Avengers, in her role as Hawkeye’s girlfriend, and starred in at least one major plotline (the Red Guardian). She was only an active villain in Iron Man’s run of Tales of Suspense, around 1964-65.

Maybe it’s the reproduction or seeing it at a fraction of its intended size, but that Castellini poster is a mess.

I actually think Natasha’s rational for going after Spider-Man makes pretty good character sense.

She was trained to be the best in everything she did and, where and how she was trained, the consequences of being second best were to be strongly avoided. She may have ostensibly switched to the side of the good guys but she was still the same ruthless, arrogant, unyielding person she’d always been (and remains to this day). In fact–if memory serves–this story marks the beginning of her embracing a role as an actual crime fighter (thus her reference to starting a new career). Prior to that, even though she’d left the USSR, she was still operating on the shady side of the law in the U.S. (which is why, despite Hawkeye’s urging, the Avengers wouldn’t accept her as a member). Her approach to dealing with Spider-man was pretty much in keeping with her established character . . . Spider-Man had something she thought she needed and the the only way it occurred to her to get it was to take it.

Obviously the dialogue is overwrought and uber-dramatic, but that’s just a byproduct of the times for comics in the 70s. Her actual behavior is pretty much in keeping with who the Widow always has been and still is.

Didn’t Miss Fury come back in Dynamite’s “Masks” series?

Did Natasha ever have powers?

Doug: Yes. And now she has a Dynamite series of her own.

For some reason, the third page won’t load.

The server had an overall hiccup. It should be fine now.

Something less obvious; what about her hair color? Previous depictions showed her with black hair.

Wait, can the black widow stick to walls? Is that still in her poweset or has that been lost in the retcons?

@Fredll, if it has been retconned, it would have been fairly recently. I remember her sticking to walls in her 90s appearance in Daredevil.

Slightly morbid thought on the Greunwald story – what are the chances of actually getting a copy of the book or poster impregnated with his remains?

Chris McCullough also did some comics work on The Tick: Karma Tornado and his own short-lived series Cement Shooz, both available pretty cheap. They’re probably most interesting as curios of what he was up to twenty years ago.

@Kamino Neko –

The first printing has the ashes in it. It has a round sticker on the cover that says something to the effect “Celebrating the Genius of Mark Gruenwald”, and the forward says his ashes were added to the ink… I don’t know if subsequent editions have the same claim in the forward.

That’s not what I’m getting at, though.

If you got a first printing copy, what are the odds that you’ll get one that had some of Greunwald’s remains in the ink?

It’s almost certainly not 100%, unless the first printing was a very small run.

The volume of cremains used, the volume of ink used, how thoroughly the ink was mixed once the cremains were added, and the number of issues printed using the cremains-impregnated ink would all influence that.

tone – I have a non-first printing. I don’t remember the wording, exactly, but the foreword is unchanged, there’s just a note added specifying that it was only the first printing.

I think Emma Peel needs a much smaller gun. Looks like she can barely carry that thing it is so huge.

So, why was she called “Miss Furry”? Did she not shave?

Notice that the new Black Widow costume doesn’t have heels, just like Miss Fury’s, and unlike Emma Peel’s And Miss Fury’s costume in no way, shape, or form looks more like the original costume than the new one. It’s like Romita says: he ditched the mask. Sure, maybe he was subconsciously (that’s conscious, not conscience) influenced by Emma Peel. Makes sense, even. Just refuting the rest of the needless contrarianism in the 5th comment.

So Busterchops, you’re saying Emma believed size doesn’t matter?

My mom worked at northeast graphics and brought home that poster for me. Hope it’s still on my closet back home. they use to do a ton of marvel prints.

This IS the poster with Mark’s ashes, I can say with certainty.

Mark was my uncle, so I was one of the 20 who received one.
It was only now that I found (through a comic book friend of mind who saw the poster in my place and did some digging) who the artist was. It’s been a mystery since then, as it’s not signed. Thanks CBR!

On a side note, I’m hang out with his widow, Catherine, and when we went to see the Avengers together, I can actually say I saw it with the widow of the creator of the Hawkeye character- Cool bragging rights. (full disclosure: I wasn’t aware of this fact until she pointed it out.)

I have a first printing of Squadron Supreme. That poster is pretty nice, too. Much better for it to be one with all the characters than one with just Spider-Man.
@Ed; that IS incredibly cool!

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