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Welcome to the four hundred and thirty-fourth 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 thirty-three. This week, did John Byrne really want to reveal that every Doctor Doom since Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s run was a Doom-bot? Did DC not allow Kevin Smith to even reference the Powerpuff Girls in an issue of Green Arrow? Plus, does Captain Comet owe Adam Strange his return to the DC Universe?
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: John Byrne wanted to reveal that every Doctor Doom since Jack Kirby and Stan Lee was a Doom-Bot.
A couple of weeks ago, reader Joe M. wrote in to ask:
Brian – Did you already do one on the story that, while on FF, Byrne wanted to say that all appearances of Dr. Doom, with the exception of his introuction, were all robots?
This legend takes me back, as it is related to the legend that made me start this column in the first place.
First off, no, Joe, Byrne never intended to reveal that all other Dooms were Doom-bots. He did famously introduce the concept of retconning Doom appearances as Doom-bots, which he did in Fantastic Four #258 (which I covered in my very first Meta-Message, as Byrne was sending a statement to Chris Claremont over Claremont’s usage of Doom in the pages of Uncanny X-Men).
Almost certainly, Joe is confusing Byrne with Walter Simonson, who revealed in Fantastic Four #350 that the Doctor Doom who had been appearing in the title recently was actually a Doom-bot and the “real” Doctor Doom had returned after spending some time away.
And perhaps Doom had not been seen since this story in Fantastic Four #40…
Leading to this shock by the Thing…
I believed the story that had made the rounds for a number of years that Simonson had a list of which appearances of Doom he felt were “real” and which ones were Doom-bots. I wrote about it on the blog. That was false and Simonson’s correction of my mistake inspired this very column.
But Byrne never had any “nearly ever Doom is a Doom-Bot” position. He just came up with the idea that led to other writers exploring ideas like that.
Thanks for the question, Joe!
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On the next page, what is the deal with DC and the PowerPuff Girls?
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