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Comic Legends: Which Avenger Artist’s First Issue Was Cut Into Pieces?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Comic Legends: Which Avenger Artist’s First Issue Was Cut Into Pieces?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and forty-fourth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends.

COMIC LEGEND:

Steve Englehart disliked Dave Cockrum’s original art for Cockrum’s first Avengers issue so much that he cut up the pages to re-arrange the panels.

STATUS:

True

After leaving DC Comics, where he had become the acclaimed artist on the Legion of Super-Heroes feature, Dave Cockrum settled in at Marvel Comics (he initially intended to continue to do some side work for DC, but his departure from Legion led to DC’s higher-ups essentially black-balling him at the company).

He eventually became a semi-regular artist on Avengers, where he gained whole new group of fans for his outstanding work as the alternate artist on Avengers during the Celestial Madonna storyline (writer Steve Englehart was cleverly expanding the story through the use of Giant-Size Avengers specials, so no one artist could draw the entire storyline). He debuted on Giant-Size Avengers #2 (Neal Adams ended up doing some uncredited inks for Cockrum towards the end of the issue), with Hawkeye and Swordsman having to team-up to rescue the rest of the team…

Do note that this means that both Hawkeye and Swordsman could single-handedly defeat the X-Men in battle. Canon!

Here they are in battle with one of Kang’s robots, which are powered by the Avenger trapped within it…

Anyways, Cockrum’s art was VERY well-received by fans when this issue came out. Within a few years, he would be launching the All-New, All-Different X-Men with Len Wein.

However, you know who WASN’T as big of a fan of Cockrum’s art? Writer Steve Englehart, who didn’t have a problem with the figure work or anything like that, but he felt that the storytelling was all off. So Englehart literally used a scissors to CUT UP Cockrum’s pages and then re-arranged the panels in a way that Englehart felt told the story better.

Here’s one of those pages – note the top right panel…

Pretty amazing, huh? As noted, Cockrum drew a bunch more issues of the Avengers with Englehart, so obviously Englehart was fine with him otherwise, but it’s still amazing to see a guy do that to another creator’s work. But hey, everyone really liked the issue, so I guess it worked!


Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed – Did Peter “Chewbacca” Mayhew need special protection while filming in the Redwood forests of California to make sure people didn’t shoot him, thinking he was Big Foot?


Part 3 will be up later on Sunday! Feel free to write in with suggestions for future legends to either cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com!

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