Welcome to the two-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 two hundred and thirty-three.
Comic Book Legends Revealed is now part of the larger Legends Revealed series, where I look into legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can check out here, at legendsrevealed.com. I’d especially recommend you check out this installment of Peotry Legends Revealed to learn what poet was asked to come up with a name for a line of Ford cars (her suggestions alone are worth the read!).
COMIC LEGEND: By reprinting an issue of X-Men in their Essentials format, Marvel inadvertently showed nudity where none was intended.
An interesting thing can happen when something meant to be produced in one particular format gets changed to another one. This was made perfectly evident when an old issue of X-Men was re-done in the Essentials format by Marvel.
X-Men #123 came out in 1979. It was penciled by John Byrne and inked by Terry Austin. It was colored by Glynis Wein.
At one point in the issue, the following scene occurs…
Now, if you happened to be reading the issue, it’s likely you wouldn’t have even given a second thought to the page.
Check Storm coming out of the shower…
Again, nothing really to see there, which is just how the issue was intended to be read.
However, years later, this issue of X-Men was reprinted in Essential X-Men Vol. 2…
There, however, that same Storm panel shows up in an entirely different light…
It seems pretty clear that, as a guide to himself in drawing Storm’s body in the towel coming out of the shower, either penciler Byrne or inker Terry Austin slightly drew in Storm’s naked breast, with the idea (which clearly was correct) that the colorist would then cover it up when the panel was colored (note that Austin, if he did not draw it himself, inked the piece so that it is barely visible anyways).
And that DID happen.
However, two decades later, Marvel reprinted the scene…sans the color!!
So you get a funny example of a reprint causing nudity that was never intended to be seen!
Thanks to reader Andy S. for the head’s up (and the scan)!
COMIC LEGEND: Judge Anderson of the Psi Division was modeled after Debby Harry.
STATUS: True Enough for a True
Judge Cassandra Anderson was one of the few notable female Judge characters in the popular 2000 A.D. Judge Dredd series. She was introduced pretty early on, in 2000 A.D. #150, by writer John Wagner and artist Brian Bolland.
She soon became popular enough to maintain her own series in 2000 A.D. (here is the trade paperback collecting many of her solo adventures), written by Alan Grant mostly (if not solely), highlighting her psychic powers.
For years, folks had wondered if Anderson had been modeled after singer Debbie Harry of the band Blondie.
David Bishop got to the heart of the matter in his extensive history of 2000 A.D., Thrill-Power Overload…
when he interviewed Brian Bolland…
Bishop: According to legend Debbie Harry was the model for Anderson – true?
Bolland: She pretty much was… The thing I always found about drawing for 2000 AD was we never got to draw women. There just weren’t any. I don’t know why. I think it came out of the tradition that boys comics and girls’ comics were separate. There were artists in America whose work I admired who did gorgeous women and I wanted to have a go at it. I thought this was a great opportunity to draw a sexy looking girl. See if I could draw that.
She was based on Debbie Harry. I think I did a Forbidden Planet advert and I draw a lot of famous people into that, such as Debbie Harry and David Bowie. I think I must have just drawn her. I’m not sure she’s particularly Debbie Harry…
Here is that Forbidden Planet ad…
And here is a cover of Judge Dredd by Bolland featuring Anderson…
Thanks again to Mark S. (who wrote in for last week’s installment on Rocky Balboa, as well) for the head’s up (and the scan of the Forbidden Planet ad)! Thanks to David Bishop for the interview and thanks, of course, to Brian Bolland for the information!
COMIC LEGEND: Zodac in the Masters of the Universe was meant to be connected to Metron of the Fourth World.
STATUS: Basically False, With Some Truthiness to it
Reader Squashua has been wondering for a long time about a possible link between Zodac of the Masters of the Universe and Metron of the New Gods.
Here is Zodac on the cover of DC’s Masters of the Universe mini-series (written by Paul Kupperberg and drawn by the late, great George Tuska). He is the fellow behind Skeletor’s sword…
And here, of course, is Metron (from his first appearance in New Gods #1)…
Squashua asked awhile back…
Did the DC Comics writers intend there to be a connection between New God character “Metron” and Master of the Universe character “Zodac, the Cosmic Enforcer”?
The classic Zodac toy was a dude with red space armor and a laser pistol. Originally billed as an Evil warrior, the accompanying EARLY literature had him as more of a neutral keeper of balance, which was what followed ever since.
When he was presented in both the toy-included comic books (apparently all written by DC before Mattel took over) and the short-lived DC Comic series/insert (prior to Marvel’s Epic-line MotU series), if I recall correctly, Zodac flew around in a chair (much like Metron) and did cosmic “stuff”. The Zodac toy did not come with this chair, but if you look at the chair in the manner in which it was drawn, it is identical to the throne that comes with the original Castle Greyskull playset. There was no reason for him to use the chair, but when you go think about it, Zodac of the DC Comics issue(s) is pretty much intended to be Metron.
Here they are in their respective chairs (thanks to Squashua for the pic)…
Well, just the other week, Sean T. Collins at CBR’s own Robot 6 blog was discussing Masters of the Universe, and Squashua showed up in the comments and so did Paul Kupperberg!
Squashua presented the question and Paul answered it as follows:
DC signed the rights to MOTU before the toys were released. They had virtually no back story set up besides a very basic good guys vs. bad guys idea. A rep from Mattel came to DC and editor Dave Manak and I spent an afternoon on the floor of DC’s conference room playing with the prototypes of the figures and accessories and making shit up as we went along. I took a few notes, talked out a few very basic ideas with Dave and the rep and then went home and started writing. Zodac and the flying chair were part of the presentation, so I went with that–don’t recall for certain if the Metron parallel was brought up at the time, but with fan-boy-me in the room, I’d find it tough to believe I wouldn’t have at least mentioned it. They might have gotten rid of the flying chair (or switched it to a spot in the Castle) because of the similarity by the time the toys came out but after I’d written the comic.
A big fan of the Fourth World material, but I don’t think I ever wrote any of it, certainly not around that time…unless I’ve got a major brain fart going. My first connection with any of the Kirbyverse was when I tied TAKION into The Force, but that wasn’t until 1996.
I’m told — and I don’t know because I never watched the cartoon (being, y’know, in my 20s when it came out) — that a lot of the back story was based on the DC comic, so I guess I’m to blame, but I doubt I would’ve had Zodac in a flying chair if it hadn’t been part of that original presentation.
So it sounds like basically a no on the connection.
Thanks to Paul Kupperberg for the information, thanks to Sean for the blog entry that got this one resolved and thanks to Squashua for the stick-to-it-ness to finally get a reply to the query!! Good job!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com.
As you likely know by now, at the end of April, my book finally came out!
Here is the cover by artist Mickey Duzyj. I think he did a very nice job (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…
See you next week!