Welcome to the two-hundred and sixty-eighth 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 sixty-seven.
Comic Book Legends Revealed is 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 Movie Legends Revealed to learn the secret of how involved Alvin York was in casting Gary Cooper to play him in Sergeant York.
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COMIC LEGEND: There is a Superman reference of some kind (either a picture or a statue of Superman visible in the episode or some spoken reference) in every episode of Seinfeld.
You see this one around the internet a lot.
Just as an example, on WikiAnswers, someone asked the question: “Is there a Superman in every seinfeld?”
and the stated answer is, “[Y]es, there is a superman reference in every episode of [S]einfeld.”
But really, it is quite simple to find this referenced on many different sites. Here, for instance, are a couple of sites I found quickly enough…
While yes, Jerry Seinfeld IS a big Superman fan (heck, he even did a series of TV commercials for American Express with Superman!)
and yes, there are a great many references to Superman in Seinfeld over the years (TONS), it is not true that they appear in every episode.
Right off the top, two of the most famous episodes of Seinfeld were devoid of any Superman references – the episode that they spend in a parking garage looking for their car and the episode where they are waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant.
In addition, the most famous Superman visuals did not even come about until the fourth and fifth seasons of the show, respectively.
Season 4 saw the debut of the Superman magnet on Jerry’s refrigerator…
And Season 5 saw the debut of the Superman statue on Jerry’s bookcase…
Patrick Fullerton has a good list of Superman visual references at his website here (thanks to Patrick for the picture of the magnet and the statue).
Speaking of working little references into stories, here are two legends about comic book creators doing just that…
COMIC LEGEND: Steve Skeates worked in a bunch of obscure drug references into his Aquaman run.
Richard Duncan contributes to the acclaimed Aquaman fanzine that John Schwirian puts out called The Aquaman Chronicles. You can read more about it here. Other contributors include some of our favorite comic book bloggers (particularly on the topic of Aquaman), Laura Gjovaag (whose husband Eric runs a great Wizard of Oz website) and Rob Kelly.
In any event, in the magazine, they’ve been having a recurring feature where famed Aquaman writer Steve Skeates (from the original Aquaman ongoing series) discusses some of the behind-the-scenes stories involving Aquaman.
Well, Richard wrote in to tell me about a particularly interesting bit of behind-the-scenes manuevering on Skeates’ part involving some rather obscure drug references that he worked into the series, with Aquaman #47 being a notable example of the references.
As Richard wrote…
Skeates revealed that at least three of the characters he created had, as he says, “drug-induced monickers.” Narkran, the major villain, came from “Narc.” And two Atlanteans supporting cast members were named Dex (short for dexedrine, a type of speed) and Mupo, who appeared in several issues and was a love interest for Aquagirl, was “opium” spelled backwards. (Editor Dick Giordano made him leave out the “i”)
Sure enough, here they are, from Aquaman #46 and 47…
It really does work that the “narc” is trying to take down the two “drugs.”
It’s funny, Mupo is a bit of a cult favorite among longtime Aquaman fans – I wonder how many know of his drug-inspired background?
Thanks to Richard, John Schwirian and, of course, Steve Skeates, for the information!
COMIC LEGEND: John Ostrander was a Supergirl supporting character before he was a comic book writer even!
H, from the awesome comic blog, The Comic Treadmill, sent me this one awhile back.
As you may or may not know, the great comic book writer John Ostrander got into comic book writing in his early-to-mid 30s after a career as an actor in the Chicago theater community. This was circa 1983, when he began doing work for First Comics, and when First Comics’ co-founder Mike Gold went to DC later in the 1980s to become a Senior Editor, he brought over some of the talent he discovered at First, like Ostrander.
And then DC Comics fans got to learn how great Ostrander was, as well (currently Dark Horse fans know how great he is).
In any event, an amusing sidenote to Ostrander’s story is that while he became a comic writer in about 1983, he was actually a comic book CHARACTER even BEFORE that!
In 1982, Paul Kupperberg was writing the relaunch of Supergirl’s title, The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl, with artwork by Carmine Infantino and Bob Oksner.
Like Ostrander, Kupperberg was living in Chicago at the time (he lived across the street from Ostrander and the two were friends), and he decided to have Supergirl move to that city to attend college as her new status quo. As part of this set-up, she also had a new supporting cast.
One member of that supporting cast?
Here he is from the first issue of the title…
and the second…
and the third…
Ostrander once joked that he should have killed off “John Ostrander” in Suicide Squad. That would have been pretty funny!
Thanks to Brian K. Morris’ interview with Kupperberg, from Back Issue! #16, for the information! And thanks to H for suggesting it!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
As you likely know by now, in April of last year my book 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 all next week!
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