web stats

CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #439

1 2 3
« Previous

COMIC LEGEND: Doctor Doom’s mask appeared in a Marvel comic before Doctor Doom did!

STATUS: False

Reader Frank W. wrote in to ask:

I am fascinated by comic book prototypes. Like how DC had a Supergirl show up in a Superman story before they introduced the real Supergirl. Things of that nature. Marvel had a bunch of them as well and I was hoping that you could write about them. Like before the Fantastic Four, there was a comic with a bad guy who had a mask exactly like Doctor Doom’s. Perhaps you could spotlight that?

Comic book prototypes ARE a cool thing, Frank, I agree, but I think that you’re falling for something that I think too many fans…if not “fall” for, at least misinterpret.

There certainly ARE real life examples of comic book prototypes, such as Frank’s example of DC featuring a Supergirl in 1958…

supergirlproto1

before debuting the REAL Supergirl in 1959…

supergirlproto2

However, it seems with Marvel Comics in particular that a lot of these prototypes are basically just examples of Marvel artists drawing similar characters. We’ve dealt with a few of these in past Comic Book Legends Revealed, like supposed prototypes for Uncle Ben and Aunt May and a prototype for the Thing.

The example that Frank writes about is very much in the same vein.

In Tales of Suspense #31, the bad guy had a very familiar looking mask…

ironmask1

ironmask2

Sure looks like Doctor Doom’s mask from Fantastic Four #5, right?

drdoom1

However, those comics came out THE SAME MONTH in 1962!!

Granted, it appears as though Kirby DID draw the Iron Mask comic first, looking at the production codes…

drdoom2

but we’re talking basically at the same exact time, so did he take the drawing he did on Monday and copy it on Wednesday? Possibly, but that’s a far cry from being a “prototype” and, again, the comics came out the SAME month, so it wasn’t like the Iron Mask creature was around on the scene before Doctor Doom. I think it’s just the case of Kirby drawing similar masks.

Thanks to Frank for the suggestion!
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Does Nintendo really own the rights to a porn parody of Super Mario Brothers?
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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 newest 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!). 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!

1 2 3
« Previous

36 Comments

Judging by the characters’ smiles and jovial look I’d say this would more likely be the Half-Kaddish, which is (at least at my synagogue) sang rather than recited like the Mourners’ Kaddish is.

You just know that, if John Byrne were still working at Marvel, he’d find some way to explain that the monster in the iron mask was tied to Doom somehow.

When I first saw Tales of Suspense #31 (probably about 1990), I thought the Monster in the Iron Mask looked a lot like Ookla the Mok from Thundarr the Barbarian.

(Those early 1960s monster/weird stories are AWESOME!)

So what *was* the secret of the Monster in the Iron Mask? How did that one end?

I’m not too familiar with how the production codes worked at Marvel at that time, but it appears the two books were probably produced within a month of each other, but that’s if the codes were assigned when Kirby actually turned them in. The other possibility, if production numbers were assigned when the book was published is that that monster story could have been an old inventory issue that laid around for a while and coincidently was published at the same time. Again, I think an expert on early Marvel would know more than I. I lean more towards Brian’s explanation though…

Travis Stephens

October 4, 2013 at 10:03 am

Funny. I think Stan Lee wanted the Juggernaut to be Professor X’s real brother, and not his evil step-brother. However, he got stuck on the Cain Marko name. Stan had a fascination with the Marko name (e.g. Sandman, Man Mountain Marko). The only way he could work it out was for them to be step brothers.

Travis Stephens

October 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

Actually I read the whole Marko thing in one of those ’70’s. Marvel Mags. If I can find it, I will let Brian know.

“how much the show embraced the Jewish heritage of the main characters, the Pickles”

The Pickles were a mixed marriage.

You just know that, if John Byrne were still working at Marvel, he’d find some way to explain that the monster in the iron mask was tied to Doom somehow.

I feel like that’s too much even for Byrne. Roy Thomas on the other hand…

Crud. Now I’m worried that someone, somewhere, someday, will want to follow-up on Stan’s abandoned idea that Xavier and Magneto were brothers.

I think people are way too thin-skinned about stereotypes. But I’m Irish, so I’m drunk and have been punched in the head a lot, so what do I know.

So what *was* the secret of the Monster in the Iron Mask? How did that one end?

SPOILER WARNING!!

I was just about to post this, but I didn’t want to ruin it for people who might want to dig it up. But since you asked …

IT’S NOT A MASK!!! IT’S HIS REAL FACE!!!!

There’s another Jack Kirby one I know of where in 1957 he drew a story about Thor where Loki stole his hammer and forced him to live on earth until he found it. The twist, it was in Tales of the Unexpected for DC comics.

Not really adding anything to the conversation, I know, but I have always loved Superman’s comment on the cover of Supergirl’s first appearance – mostly the “uh.” Since he is, you know, currently FLYING – is seeing a girl flying that odd of a sight? So I always read that “uh” to be Supes’ thinking, “Wow, that came out totally wrong and sounded sexist! How can I cover that up? I know, I’ll pretend I think she’s an illusion!”

The Pickles were a mixed marriage.

True, but they have a Jewish heritage even if they are a mixed marriage. They have a Christian heritage as WELL, but they still do have a Jewish heritage.

I’m not too familiar with how the production codes worked at Marvel at that time, but it appears the two books were probably produced within a month of each other, but that’s if the codes were assigned when Kirby actually turned them in. The other possibility, if production numbers were assigned when the book was published is that that monster story could have been an old inventory issue that laid around for a while and coincidently was published at the same time. Again, I think an expert on early Marvel would know more than I. I lean more towards Brian’s explanation though…

The job numbers were assigned when the job was turned in, so the two stories were turned in very close to each other. I did a legend a few years back where I discussed how Marvel used inventory stories. The inventory stories all had the codes from when they were turned in (sometimes years before they were published).

So was the talk about his iron mask and his weakness a trick? Or was he, as they often did back then, filling in the puny humans on how to defeat his evil self?
There’s a great bad-memory story in “Faster and Furiouser,” a book on the AIP movies: Roger Corman was looking to do another Edgar Allan Poe film and told his assistant it was going to be based on The Black Cat. “Uh, boss, you did that last month in Trilogy of Terror.” As the author notes, that’s a good reason not to assume Corman’s memory of events is spot-on.
I don’t think Juggie is necessarily a deal-breaker on Professor X. It could easily be one of those separated-at-birth things like Magneto discovering who his children are. Or it could have been a half-thought rather than intent (“I want to get into the Professor’s past, his family–would Magneto be good? Nah, I’ll come up with someone new.”). I’m not sure it does fit his storytelling style–the only other reveal of that sort I can think of by Stan was Mike Murdock, and he was a fake. But if I’m forgetting something, I’m sure someone will point it out.

His iron mask was to trick the humans into not trying to use his only weakness against him – gas!

Why, of course, didn’t he just bring an actual gas mask is beyond me.

The whole thing comes together with an all-time classic panel (when a stage magician figures out that the alien is using misdirection to convince people that he is wearing a mask)…

“Just like that guy said!”

I’ve always found that “A Great 3-Part Novel” tagline on the prototype-Supergirl cover to be inexplicably hilarious.

Ah, thanks.

I miss stories in which some random dude holds the secret to salvation. Some hobo with night terrors could be your savior.

That’s going to be the next fortune cookie I get, I just know it. “Some hobo with night terrors could be your savior.”

“Some hobo with night terrors could be your savior.”

Yeah, the Second Coming has been a lot rougher on Jesus than expected.

The Rugrats Chanukah special had one of my favorite Jewish jokes on tv. The kids knock over a man in a dreidel costume and he says that he broke a shin.

it’s crazy that the jews took offence on how the grandpa character looked like.
the cartoon was produced by jews too, wasnt it?
no sense of humour.

I’d seen that cover to Tales of Suspense before but never saw any interior pages. On the cover, the character even wears a green costume

“However, he got stuck on the Cain Marko name. Stan had a fascination with the Marko name”

I understand that the name Cain Marko is a refence to the Mark of Cain, what is a good name for an evil brother, but totally wasted in the case of Juggernaut, because the “brother” thing was not so explored. It would fit better in Cassandra Nova.

HoosierX wrote:
“When I first saw Tales of Suspense #31 (probably about 1990), I thought the Monster in the Iron Mask looked a lot like Ookla the Mok from Thundarr the Barbarian.”

Which is likely since KIRBY himself WAS the artist/designer for THUNDARR the BARBARIAN cartoon.

Miguelito Hotito

October 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I just showed that Monster in the Iron Mask panel to my three year old son and asked him who it was…
he said “It’s Doctor Doom!”

Out of the mouths of babes…

@Mr. Speck:
I believe that “three-part novel” was the term used for a comic that was all one story, instead of three shorter stories, which was the standard at the time.
It fell out of use once full length stories became the norm.

Travis Stephens

October 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Apokoliptian

I’m not so sure what Stan Lee had on mind when he formulated the concept of the Juggernaut and his background.Juggernaut may have been intended as a “one off ” character with the morality play of Cain and Abel as feuding brothers built in.

However, it doesn’t explain the 6 or 7 uses of Marko as a name.

Which is likely since KIRBY himself WAS the artist/designer for THUNDARR the BARBARIAN cartoon.

While he worked on it, he didn’t design Ookla.

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2006/11/23/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-78/

Other than the pre-MU monsters that were later brought into the MU (eg, Fin Fang Foom) are any of the supposed pro-hero ‘prototypes’ really valid?

The only one that springs to mind is the alien Sandman from JIM #70 and even that’s a bit of a stretch…

Professor X being in love with Jean was brought back up in the 90s in the “Onslaught” event.

And it was just as creepy then…even moreso now with All New X-Men highlighting how young the O5 are. It was also a plot point in Ultimate X-Men before most of them were unceremoniously killed off.

As to someone picking up on Stan’s idea of making Xavier and Magneto brothers, I wouldn’t put it past Bendis to do just that…he’s all about the shock value…which is why young Cyclops and X-23 are making out on an upcoming cover (which I’m sure has nothing to do with the fact that it’s essentially like having Cyclops and Wolverine hook up).

One of the first X-Men comics I picked up (not the first, but maybe among the first twelve or so) was a reprinting of X-Men #3 (X-Men: The Early Years #3) and I’ve been suspicious of Professor X ever since! But… who doesn’t love Jean.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives