Comic Book Legends Revealed #397

by  in Comic News Comment
Comic Book Legends Revealed #397

Welcome to the three hundredth and ninety-seventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, was Psylocke’s death in X-Treme X-Men originally meant to be x-tremely temporary? What is the “Cosmic Code Authority?” And who came first, Reed Richards or the Professor from Gilligan’s Island?

Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and ninety-six.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Chris Claremont killed off Psylocke in X-Treme X-Men with the intent to return her to life very soon after


Awhile back, I did a feature on how Psylocke was originally going to be killed off during the Psi War storyline. While she survived that tale, it was only a couple of years later that she was killed off in the second issue of Chris Claremont and Salvador Larocca’s X-Treme X-Men…

Claremont, though, merely planned for her death to be temporary, with the idea being that when she returned, she would be stripped of all of the Crimson Dawn stuff that had been added to her story (including her facial tattoo) plus perhaps even returning her to her original body (and not the Asian body she ended up in).

Larocca even worked up a design for her return…

However, this was during a period where Marvel had decided that no characters would return from the dead, so Claremont’s plans were squelched.

Three or so years later, though, Joss Whedon brought Colossus back from the dead (a character that both Claremont AND Grant Morrison wanted to use in their X-Men runs but couldn’t because he had just been killed off before New X-Men and X-Treme X-Men began)…

So in 2005, Claremont was able to follow through and return Psylocke from the dead.

Thanks to Alice for the Larocca drawing!

Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!

Did the TV series 227 Really Use the Same Set as Sesame Street?

Did the Flintstones Do Commercials for Winston Cigarettes?

Did the Beverley Hillbillies’ Theme Song Have Alternate Lyrics for Each of Their Sponsors?

COMIC LEGEND: Jim Starlin did an issue of Warlock that was approved by the “Cosmic Code Authority.”


Reader Mike Smith asked about this one:

there was a time when Adam Warlock have stories published under not the Comics Code Authory, but by the “Cosmic Code Authory”!!! Can you check that out?

Sure, Mike, but it’s a quite simple one.

Simply put, it was a joke.

Jim Shooter told the tale over at his neat site last year:

Jim came into the office occasionally. Once he was there when an issue of either Captain Marvel or Warlock was about to go off to Chemical Color Plate. He got ahold of the cover and cut-and-paste altered the Comics Code Authority seal so it said “Cosmic” Code Authority. Nobody noticed and it was printed that way.

In the comments section, the great Tony Isabella wrote in to correct Shooter’s recollection…

Al Milgrom asked me to get him a stat of a Comics Code stamp…and I got him one. I knew what Jim and he were plotting. I thought it was hilarious. I was also amazed that no one caught it.

However it was specifically done, the main point is that it was a joke for just that one issue. And that’s how Strange Adventures #179 came to be approved by the Cosmic Code Authority…

As Shooter notes in his version, the Comics Code was run by just a couple of people at the time, so something so minor could easily have slipped by them.

Thanks for the question, Mike! And thanks to Jim Shooter and Tony Isabella!

Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed!

What’s the relation between Google and the comic strip character Barney Google?

Did Jim Starlin accidentally kill off the wrong character once in a Shang Chi story?

Check out how Joe Madureira addressed his annoyance with Roger Cruz in an issue of Uncanny X-Men!

COMIC LEGEND: Reed Richards was based visually on the Professor from Gilligan’s Island


Another easy one!

Reader Kayla wrote in awhile back to ask:

Someone posted a reply to a thread on Occasional Superheroine’s blog ( in relation to Reed Richards’ look and character: “I’ve heard that Reed Richards’ look and character really was based on Russell Johnson/The Professor… maybe it’s just an urban legend.” I’m curious to see if there’s any truth to the rumour. Are you able to look into it, if you get a chance?

Sure, Kayla, but this one is pretty straightforward.

The Fantastic Four debuted in 1961.

Gilligan’s Island and its Professor did not debut until 1964.

So no, Jack Kirby did not have the Professor from Gilligan’s Island in mind when he created Mister Fantastic’s look.

The confusion I am sure comes from Alex Ross using the Professor (played by Russell Johnson) as his model for Reed during Marvels.

Thanks for the question, Kayla!

Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Did A Charlie Brown Christmas, the classic anti-commercialism TV special, originally have an additional scene featuring their sponsor in the program?

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is And my Twitter feed is, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Here’s my new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).

If you want to order a copy, ordering it here

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Also, be sure to check out my website, Urban Legends Revealed, where I look into urban legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can find here, at

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…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!