Welcome to the four hundred and sixteenth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and fifteen. This week, what Marvel “Create a villain” contest winner nearly saw his character become a founding member of the All-New, All-Different X-Men and instead went TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS before he saw his character finally appear in a Marvel comic? Plus, discover if the cast of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was based on the cast of Archie! Finally, marvel at another classic Superman story with a major plot hole resolved in a 1970s reprint!
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: A “create a character” contest entrant was nearly a member of the X-Men but instead did not appear for nearly THIRTY years!
In the 1973 issue of FOOM magazine (Marvel’s fan magazine, created by Jim Steranko), they announced the winner of the “Create a Marvel Super Villain” contest from the first issue…
The following issue, they announced that Humus would instead be a charter member of Roy Thomas’ planned revamp on the X-Men! Roy Thomas was planning on doing an international version of the X-Men.
This, of course, eventually became a little something we call the All-New, All-Different X-Men…
Obviously, between 1973 and 1975 (and Thomas not writing the series), Humus was dropped.
Not until 2001, when Tom Brevoort, Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza brought the character into the pages of the Thunderbolts. The first hint happened in Busiek’s last issue and then he actually debuted in issues #54/55….
Humus’ creator, Mike Barreiro, even inked the final page of the first appearance!
And, of course, he got the credit on the splash page, just like they promised him 28 years earlier!
It’s not a charter member of the All-New, All-Different X-Men, but it is still pretty damn cool!
As Tom Daylight noted, this is particularly interesting since Thunderbolts famously used a DIFFERENT character from a “create a character” contest, only that usage did not turn out so well in the end. Read this old Comic Book Legends Revealed for more information!
As an aside, I really can’t believe I never featured this story before. It seems like something I’d have done at around the same time as the above cited Charcoal legend, which was in the first three months of the column!!
Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!
Did Tom Hanks’ Oscar Acceptance Speech for Philadelphia Inspire the Film In and Out?
COMIC LEGEND: The cast of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis were based on the cast of Archie.
STATUS: I’m Going With False
Reader Brad wrote in a couple of months back to ask:
I’m a big fan of CBL and have one I’ve wondered about since my early days of fandom. I’m a big fan of Archie comics and I heard that the Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was created due to a failed attempt at an Archie series.
For the first point, it seems so unlikely that I feel safe just giving it a straight false. Max Shulman’s Dobie Gillis (who introduced in a series of short stories in the early 1950s) was in a hit film in 1953 starring Bobby Van as Dobie and Debbie Reynolds as his love interest…
The 1959 TV series was also created by Max Shulman, with the change being a shift from college to high school. Shulman died in the 1980s without ever speaking to the point, but there certainly doesn’t seem to be any hint at all that Dobie Gillis was an adapted Archie project. It was, after all, pretty clearly adapted from, well, Dobie Gillis.
To the second point, though, I think you just have an example of people finding connections where they do not actually exist.
Dobie Gillis starred Dwayne Hickman as the “every teen” Dobie Gillis, with Bob Denver as his beatnik best friend, Maynard G. Krebs.
Warren Beatty was the rich jerk Milton…
Tuesday Weld was the rich girl Thalia that Dobie desperately wants to impress….
and Sheila James was Dobie’s friend who is smitten with Dobie…
As you might guess, many folks have drawn comparisons to Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Veronica and Betty…
Here’s the thing, though. Only Dobie and Maynard were actually in the pilot. Thalia shows up in episode 1 of the official series. Milton doesn’t show up until episode 2. Zelda shows up in episode 3, but she does not have a rivalry with Thalia in the episode and then the two don’t appear in a single episode together before Weld left the show after the first season (Thalia would be replaced by “many loves” in the ensuing seasons, no other regular girlfriend).
So when you combine the fact that Dobie Gillis was an established character and add in the fact that Jughead is not a beatnik and add in the fact that Zelda is a science nerd and finally, most importantly, add in the fact that Thalia and Zelda are never actually in a rivalry over Dobie on the show and I just don’t see any way to make the connection.
Shulman never spoke about it either.
I think there’s enough to go with a false here. In fact, I think it is much more likely that it was the success of Dobie Gillis that led to the attempt to turn Archie into a TV series (which failed) a few years later in 1964. You can read about that failed series here.
Thanks to Brad for the question!
Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed related to Archie Comics!
Did they ever explain what the S on Jughead’s shirt stands for?
On the next page, what classic Superman story had a major plot hole that DC had to fix in a 1970s reprint?
This is a sequel to last week’s story of a similar situation with the Superman classic “Under the Red Sun.”
In the classic Superman story in Superman #156, “The Last Days of Superman” by Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan and George Klein (#62 on our list of the 75 Greatest Superman Stories of All-Time!) Superman believes (erroneously) that he is dying from a rare Kryptonian virus. Supergirl gathers his allies to cross off the items on Superman’s proverbial bucket list.
At one point, Supergirl goes back in time to explore a rumor that a Kryptonian scientist cured it…
As it turns out, Superman never had the virus (Jimmy Olsen did something stupid). However, do you notice the major plot hole here? Mark Waid certainly did. He challenged me to find it. I did not. He then told me what it was and there it is when DC reprinted it in a 1977 Treasury Edition. Notice the change in the page…
Hilarious. “Uh…yeah, red kryptonite! That’s the ticket!”
Interestingly enough, earlier in the story, the Treasury Edition also catches a typo with the Legion…
but the very next page does NOT catch another typo…
Interesting (by the way, from reading that Brainiac 5 panel, if you thought “Huh, I wonder if they’ll go to the ol’ Legion trick of having Legion members think a teammate is evil for no reason?” Then you would be on the right track).
Mark also wished to open up to the audience to see if anyone could find a THIRD time that DC did this, with Superman #139 (which was reprinted in 1983 in DC’s Digest series). If you can find the change, e-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll feature you in a future Comic Book Legends Revealed!
Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Did Mike Myers ask to re-do all of his Shrek dialogue with a Scottish accent after they already had a rough cut of the movie finished (costing Dreamworks to go over budget making changes to his already animated scenes)?
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!
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