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Welcome to the four hundred and seventy-sixth 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 seventy-five. This week, did we almost get ZEROX the Multiple Man!? Is there really a hidden cat on every Jim Balent Catwoman cover? And did Rube Goldberg actually sue Mouse Trap for ripping off his famous Rube Goldberg machines?
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: Len Wein originally wanted Madrox the Multiple Man to be called Zerox the Multiple Man!
Madrox the Multiple Man has become a notable character in the Marvel Universe over the last decade as Peter David made him the lead character of the X-Factor ongoing series that spun out of Madrox’s own mini-series back in 2004…
Madrox debuted in an odd place for a mutant, in the pages of Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4, by Len Wein, John Buscema and Chic Stone and Joe Sinnott (with some last minute scripting help at the end of the comic by Chris Claremont)
The story was actually originally going to be part of Wein’s run on Fantastic Four, but as it turned out, his run on FF was very short-lived so the story went into the Giant-Size issue instead.
(Wein would return to have a more substantial run on FF a few years later….
Here’s the interesting thing about Madrox’s introduction – originally, Len wanted to name him ZEROX the Multiple Man!!
In fact, he was even introduced as such in FOOM #6…
Len explained the process to me a little while ago…
My original name for the character was Jamie ZERROX (Zerrox, the Multiple Man. Get it? Boy, was I clever in those days. ) When I passed the name by then Editor-in-Chief Roy Thomas, he looked at me like I had three heads. “You’re kidding, right?” he said. “Who’s gonna pay off the huge lawsuit, you?” “But it’s not even spelled the same,” I said. “Not happening,” said Roy. So I came up with a bunch of alternative until I came up with Madrox, that sounded like an action word, and thus it has been ever since.
Since FOOM has only one R in Zerox, I think the odds are that Len is just slightly misremembering the name Zerrox, but the basics are obviously right there.
Xerox would have to take a break from threatening people who use the word “xerox” as a substitute for the term “make a copy” to go after Marvel.
Ah well, it all worked out for the best in the end, especially for X-Factor fans!
Thanks to Len for the awesome information!
Check out the latest Movie Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online: Just when did the original Star Wars film become Episode IV exactly?
On the next page – was there seriously a hidden cat on every Jim Balent Catwoman cover?
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