Welcome to the three hundredth and second in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and one
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 Music Legends Revealed, which sort of ties into today’s theme by telling the story of how Alice Cooper’s song for the Man with the Golden Gun did not make it on to the film’s soundtrack!
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Special theme week – all the legends this week involve British comics in some capacity!
COMIC LEGEND: Alan Moore took over the Captain Britain strip because of a disagreement Alan Davis had with the previous writer over a story involving Northern Ireland.
As you all know (and I discussed recently in a Comic Book Legends Revealed installment), Alan Davis and Alan Moore had a very famous run on Captain Britain for Marvel UK during the 1980s. Moore took over from writer Dave Thorpe.
What’s interesting is WHY Thorpe left the book.
You see, in a two-part storyline that was set to appear in Marvel Superheroes #384….
Thorpe decided to address the problems in Northern Ireland between the Catholic and Protestants in Belfast by having Captain Britain go to Belfast (where half the teens there adored him and half the teens hated him).
Davis did not agree with the story. In an interview with Amazing Heroes, Davis noted, “I didn’t find anything entertaining about this or the story. At best it was for adult conumption, at worst it was insulting.”
Davis went to their editor and after she checked with the higher-ups, she came back and told Thorpe to re-write the script. Thorpe felt that Davis was afraid of backlash over Davis’ Irish parentage, but Davis insisted that he just “didn’t feel the subject matter was suitable entertainment for the age group our comic was aimed at.”
Thorpe’s re-write was basically the same story, only now instead of Belfast and involving Catholics and Protestants, the comic took place in “Fablest,” where the Coalitch and the Rottenpasts warred with each other. The Rottenpasts had descended from the Dutch and grew orange trees. The Coalitch grew potatoes.
Davis refused to draw this story, either.
So their editor told Davis to re-write the story himself (the time constraints did not give them time to do a brand-new story), and he turned it into a story of two rival gangs…
With Captain Britain getting himself involved in their fight…
After a fill-in story for Marvel Superheroes #385, the story was finished in #386, with a fairly pat ending…
Thorpe and Davis were at odds on the strip, and editorial was forced to choose between them, and Davis “won.” So with #387, Alan Moore took over as the writer of the strip, and the rest is, as they say, history.
Thanks to Fritz Hood for suggesting this one! And thanks to Alan Davis and Amazing Heroes for the information!
COMIC LEGEND: Warren Ellis’ Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis is a re-worked Excalibur script.
Recently, Warren Ellis did a mini-series starring the X-Men with artist Kaare Andrews.
Commenter David asked me the other week, when I featured a legend about how Ellis re-worked his unpublished End Times script into Ultimate Extinction:
I have another Warren Ellis one for you. Me and most at my LCS believe that Warren Ellis reworked an unpublished Excalibur script into Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis. Is there any truth to this?
Ellis did have an awesome run on Excalibur. Could it be true?
I found this same story being repeated over at Comic Bloc, by a poster named Sentinel119:
I feel that this was a leftover Excalibur story that Ellis just retooled to fit with the Astonishing X-Men. It seems like Emma should be Rachel, Cyclops should be either Nightcrawler, Storm should be Meggan, Wolverine should by Kylun, and Beast should be Captain Britain. I wish I could have seen this story with those characters. It would have been so much better.
So I asked Warren Ellis about it, and he said no, specifically noting that there were no leftover Excalibur scripts.
In addition, after I noted that it sounded weird to me, since Ellis did not even USE Kylun in his Excalibur run, Ellis noted that he had to look Kylun up on Google to even see who he was!
So yeah, not an adaptation of an Excalibur story.
Thanks to David for the suggestion and thanks to Warren Ellis for the information!
COMIC LEGEND: Alan Moore wrote and drew a BJ and the Bear story.
Reader Jeff wrote in a few weeks back to ask,
“A friend told me that Alan Moore once wrote a comic book about BJ and the Bear. Is that for real?”
Amazingly enough, Jeff, it is, in fact, for real.
BJ and the Bear was an American comedy series about a freelance trucker (BJ) and his pet chimpanzee (Bear) who traveled the country in their cab over semi truck, having all sorts of misadventures while being constantly harassed by the somewhat corrupt Sheriff Lobo, who actually was popular enough to get his own spin-off!!
In 1982, BJ and the Bear got an annual over in the United Kingdom by Grandreams.
In it, Moore produced TWO articles (text and art). One was a piece on CB radio slang. The other was a short story about monkeys. I’ll show you the latter story…
For the other one, check out Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s great LiveJournal site devoted to the works of Alan Moore.
If you appreciate Pádraig’s work (and why wouldn’t you? It’s great!), maybe you’ll think of throwing him a couple of bucks. I know he’s had some money issues with some cancer problems last year. I just gave him five bucks. You can donate a buck or two here. I figure it’s nice to appreciate cool comic sites like Pádraig’s, and we’re only talking a few dollars, right?
Thanks to Jeff for the question! For the record, the CB story mentioned was later ALSO used in a Dukes of Hazzard Annual. I wonder if those Duke boys will ever show up in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? One can hope!!
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!
Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).
The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(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!