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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #445

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Welcome to the four hundred and forty-fifth 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 forty-four. This week, was the Scarlet Witch originally supposed to die at the end of Marvel’s Siege crossover? Did Lou Reed really used to dress up as Robin from Batman and Robin at kid’s birthday parties? And what was the deal with the secret countdown during the Death of Superman?

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: Scarlet Witch was originally going to be killed off during Siege before Marvel decided to kill off the Sentry instead.



In the time leading up to Marvel’s 2009/2010 crossover Siege, the event was promoted as being the culmination of the various stories that writer Brian Michael Bendis had done ever since taking over the Avengers back in 2005 with Avengers Disassembled. Here’s a video trailer Marvel did saying as much (there were other promos saying this, as well, but I couldn’t find any handy)…

Therefore, since the story was seen as a culmination of events that began with Avengers Disassembled, there were some fans who thought that the Scarlet Witch (the driving force behind both Avengers Disassembled and House of M) would be involved. At the time, it seemed clear to me that the theory was more just a matter of “this is where these stories have all led” rather than “this will directly tie into the plot of Avengers Disassembled” but hey, I certainly don’t know everything.

So in my recent Abandoned Love piece about how the Scarlet Witch was redeemed of her actions in Avengers Disassembled, reader David Fullan wrote:

Just got here, hope this hasn’t been asked or answered yet. I heard tales that Witch was supposed to be the sacrifice at the end of Siege. That the whole thing was plotted way ahead of time by Bendis, but that Marvel felt it would be too upsetting. So he was forced to use the Sentry instead. Anyone else heard this?

While I figured it was not true, who better to ask than the always informative Tom Brevoort, who was the editor of Siege. Tom not only confirmed that it was false, he even shared with me Brian Michael Bendis’ original outline for Siege, then titled Dark Siege. While a few things DID change here and there from Bendis’ original outline, the death of the Sentry was always part of it.

Here’s the important part of the outline…


So that pretty much explains that, doesn’t it?

Thanks to David for the suggestion and thanks to Tom Brevoort for going above and beyond with the excellent information!

Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!

Did Barry Manilow Seriously Write “Mandy” About His Dog?

Did Bill Cosby Really Try to Buy the Rights to Amos and Andy to Keep it Off the Air?

Did Giorgio Moroder Write “Danger Zone” and “Take My Breath Away” with his Former Mechanic?

Was Masi Oka on the Cover of Time Magazine as a Child?

On the next page, did iconic rocker Lou Reed really used to dress up as Robin from Batman and Robin at kid’s parties?

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An unfortunate effect of the Superman countdown is that it made for a faster and faster read. Victoria BC’s downtown isnt the biggest in the world, and I was more than a little annoyed that I started reading the death issue on a bus and the bus hadn’t even left downtown before I finished the issue. If memory serves I was at least tempted to partly solve the problem of that comic’s lack of scarcity, even if I could only contribute to that solution by one copy.

I didn’t know the Superman part was even an urban legend. I remember reading about that in Wizard or some such comic magazine back in 1992/93 when the Death of Superman was happening.

That second legend has me just speechless, in all my years of VU worship I never encountered that bit of trivia!

I was skeptical at first, but that wide Bat chin does look a great deal like Cale’s

Thanks! I’m chuckling thinking about the endless arguments over who was going to be the one to dress up as Robin, and just how hopped up on speed they probably were at these kids birthday parties.

Kiss the boot of shiny, shiny leather indeed!

Bryan, the phrasing “Scarlet Witch was originally going to be killed off during Siege before being changed to the Sentry” makes it sound like the Scarlet Witch was transmogrified into the ol’ Man of a Thousand Exploding Suns (or whatever it was). Which probably would have made for a good story.

Oh, and John Cale as Batman + Lou Reed as Robin= mind blown. I just wish the picture was larger so that I could make it my wallpaper.

The Lou Reed / John Cale thing is a hoax. The photo is from the 1980’s, and it was originally published in 2006 in somebody’s Flickr account:

Thanks, Rodrigo, I fixed it!

Ah my sense of reality is restored. I thought that was a bit early for Lou to be sporting his curly locks.

I did have a hard time imagining them doing that, but when you’re desperate for money…

God, I so wish it were true though!

Also: Man, I wish I could have have had the Dynamic Duo (either B&R or Reed & Cale) at one of my birthday parties!

I’ll never understand why Tom Grummett didn’t become a huge name. Only a blind man couldn’t see how great those pages linked in the article are.

How about a real VU/DC link, namely the photo of Nico and Warhol as Batman and Robin??

Now that was a nice surprise to see you tackling what I brought up in the other thread. The rumor as I heard it, was that Wanda would have had Sentry’s spot on the Norman Osborne Avengers and of course be his ace in the hole against the remaining members of the Cabal. She then would find redemption in a heroic death at the climax of Siege, only for marvel to kibosh it as they wanted her to come back as a full time, full fledged, classic Avenger. Not that I mind, I much prefer her to the Sentry anyday.

I can’t believe that Bendis still uses double spaces after his commas and periods!

And using double spaces after commas was ALWAYS wrong. The whole point of double spaces after periods was so as not to confuse them with commas.

I agree, Red. Grummett is one of my all time fave artists.

I think you’ve got a minor typo. You referred to Superman #75 as being one of the first three chapters of Doomsday when that was the last. Methinks you intended #74? :)

One other pretty cool thing with the panels in #75 is the finale. The entire book has been one panel per page, then the last two pages (Superman dying in Lois’ arms) form a spread. And the final image of the book is three pages, seen by unfolding the gatefold back cover (and re-using the portion of the image from the left-hand page).

The Velvet Underground didn’t dress as the Dynamic Duo, but Nico and Andy Warhol did: http://blogs.artinfo.com/lacmonfire/2011/03/11/biggest-warhol-batman-shocker/
For a magazine shoot during the Batman TV craze.

I dunno, I can see where someone might think John Cale would have dressed up like that.

After all, they say fear is a (Bat-)man’s best friend.

I’m just curious, where do people hear all these rumors? A lot of legends start out with “I heard back in the day x was going to do this” etc, but where are people getting that from? Are there a bunch of writers and artists giving out hints about things online somewhere? Where did whoever asked hear that the scarlet witch was going to die originally during Siege? Because it kind of reads like “I wonder if it was going to happen this way, but there’ll be a better chance of my question being used if I say I heard a rumor about it.”

@Paul, I think rumours can come from anywhere, from something a pro said in an interview to something someone posted on a message board that somehow snowballed into a rumour.

I don’t know Brian’s criteria for choosing legends to showcase, but I’d assume they don’t need to be full-fledged rumours. My guess is that if he gets a suggestion sounds interesting enough and he finds something worth noting in his research, he’ll showcase it, even if the rumour only exists in the head of the person who proposed it!

FWIW, I recently sent Brian a legend suggestion (which I don’t know if he’ll use) that’s kind of the opposite of a rumour: I have a strong suspicion that I couldn’t verify through my own research, so I relayed to the expert, who might be able to dig up something interesting!

I don’t know Brian’s criteria for choosing legends to showcase, but I’d assume they don’t need to be full-fledged rumours. My guess is that if he gets a suggestion sounds interesting enough and he finds something worth noting in his research, he’ll showcase it, even if the rumour only exists in the head of the person who proposed it!

I’d say that the criteria is generally if someone reasonably believes something to be true, I’ll feature it. So, like, if someone writes in with “Stan Lee is secretly an alien” then whether that guy truly believes it or not, it is not a reasonable position to have. Now “the Scarlet Witch was going to be killed instead of Sentry”? That seems like a reasonable possibility, even if it is one that I doubted to be true. When I began this column, it was specifically TO address beliefs people had that weren’t necessarily true.

@brian Cronin

Then can you please explain why WIZARD said Mephisto was the villain to watch for a full year and he did NOTHING til december? Was he supposed to be in something marvel planned all year or was it just brand new day hype? Cause that is a jerky thing marvel wizard did then. I was hoping to see him do ANYTHING in a long time and waited 11 months for his “villain of the year” claim to happen. IMO not really “villain of the year” watch worthy

I originally found it somewhere online way, way back on a message board. And please, my name is David, not who ever.

Grummet didn’t become a big name because his stuff is bland and generic.

That page has no backgrounds.

A bit harsh, but yeah, Tom Grummet’s has always been very standard with no particular distinguishing features. I’ve always wondered why some people get excited about his work.

Tom Grummet can never become a big name because of the curse of the Superman mullet era.

Personally, backgrounds don’t mean a whole lot to me, especially when rendering action scenes. Those are GORGEOUS pages, in my view. Tremendous work, with sequences that make sense and some nice Miller-esque flair thrown in with the more traditional character models (which I prefer, personally, to the more “cartoony” artists).

I agree that Grummet’s a great artist. He was one of my favourites as a kid (though now I’m older, the Superman artist of that era I really lean toward is Bogdanove).
I’d say “solid” or “traditional” where some apparently say “bland” or “standard”. His style isn’t exactly what was trendy at the time (I.e; horrible, amateurish, over-rendered shite), so it isn’t that surpsurprising to me he wasn’t/isn’t more well-regarded (I mean in general; it’s fine that some people here have expressed dislike of his style. Different strokes and that).

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