Welcome to the four hundred and seventeenth 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 sixteen. This week, was there really a Batman/Pokemon crossover? Did Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz have Dan Quayle as the villain of Eletkra: Assassin? And what’s the deal with DC and fixing errors in their reprints of old Superman stories?
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: There was once a Batman/Pokemon crossover.
STATUS: True Enough for a True
Reader George B. wrote in to ask:
when I was a kid I used to watch Batman and Pokemon on the Kids WB on Saturday mornings. I remember some kind of crossover between the two shows. Am I nuts or was there something like that?
First off, let me just note that it makes me feel old to hear people telling stories of the Kids WB as being from when they were a kid. I await the day I get an e-mail like “Back when I was a kid and Brian Michael Bendis was still in his first year on New Avengers” or something like that. But that’s neither here nor there.
Anyhow, as it turns out, George is not COMPLETELY nuts, as there was SORT of a crossover between the two properties. You see, the Kids WB would do this thing where they would sort of mash-up their shows in commercials together. So shows that had nothing to do with each other, like Batman and Pokemon, would still get mashed together in commercials. Very cute stuff.
In the instance of Batman, it involved the Pokemon character, Jigglypuff. As you may or may not know, Pokemon is about a group of little “monsters,” little creatures with various powers and the people who capture and then “train” each of these little monsters. One of the characters is, indeed, called Jigglypuff. Jigglypuff puts her/his/its (?) enemies to sleep through a lullaby (almost all of the Pokemon characters can only speak their own name, so the song lyrics are literally just “Jiggypuff, Jigglypuff, Jigglypuff” etc.). Here it is in action…
Well, the Kids WB did a commercial where Batman sings the Jigglypuff theme song to Robin to get him to fall asleep!
Check it out!
I don’t know if that is actually Kevin Conroy, but if not, the voice actor did a very strong impression of Conroy.
The best part of the commercial has to be Joker in the sleep bubble next to Pikachu…
Okay, well, the BEST part of the commercial is Batman singing the song, but BEYOND that!
So yes, George, there WAS a crossover…of sorts. Still, even if you think this doesn’t count as a crossover, it is still Batman freakin’ singing the Jigglypuff song, so it is awesome nevertheless!!
Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!
How did the Star of Father Knows Best Win the First Two Emmys for Best Lead Actor in a DRAMA?
Perhaps the biggest plot point of Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz’s classic maxi-series, Elektra Assassin (your number one pick in our recent Greatest Bill Sienkiewicz Stories Ever Told list!), was the fact that a demon-possessed politician named Ken Wind was trying to get elected (and indeed WAS elected) President…
This was something Elektra obviously was trying to stop.
Over the years, a lot of folks have guessed that Miller and Sienkiewicz based Wind on Dan Quayle, a seemingly boyishly good looking politician with higher political aspirations who most liberal folks of the 1980s were not exactly fans of….
The first problem with this theory is that the dates didn’t exactly work, as Elektra Assassin came out in 1986-87 and Quayle was not named as George Bush’s running mate until 1988. However, you could argue that Quayle WAS on the national radar back in 1986, as he successfully retained his Indiana Senate seat that year (after becoming the youngest Senator in Indiana history in 1980 when he was just 33 years old). That was a big deal since a bunch of Republicans had been elected Senator in 1980 riding the coattails of Ronald Reagan’s popularity. When it came time for them to be re-elected on their own merits in 1986, a lot of them failed to do so (a remarkable SEVEN of the twelve Republican senators who gained their seats in 1980 were defeated, eight if you count James T. Broyhill, who was appointed to finish out the term of a 1980 senator who killed himself in 1986), so Quayle being re-elected as a big deal. So it was not like Quayle was not known to a lot of people, and assuredly the guy had higher political aspirations, so it could still have worked, even if Quayle was not yet known as prominently as he would soon become in 1988, when he was one of the most famous people on the planet.
However, as it turns out, the answer was a lot simpler as to who was the inspiration for Ken Wind.
At his great Daredevil site, Man Without Fear, Kuljit Mithra asked Sienkiewicz about it and Sienkiewicz replied:
Mithra: Whose idea was it to use the photo of ‘Ken Wind’? Whose photo is that?
Sienkiewicz: Mine, and Ken Wind doesn’t exist except in pieces. It weirded me out, when years later George Bush chose Dan Quayle as his V.P. I thought, “Ken Wind has come to life.” Turns out it was not too far from the truth.
So that should about settle that, right?
Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed related to Elektra and Politicians!
Did Howard the Duck receive enough write-in votes in the 1976 Presidential Election to place on the National Charts?
On the next page, we get the answer to Mark Waid’s challenge over the mystery of how DC edited Superman #139 when they reprinted it!
COMIC LEGEND: DC edited a Superman story when it was reprinted because it incorrectly described the attributes of Red Kryptonite.
Last week, I gave you folks a challenge via Mark Waid. Could you name the error in Superman #139 that DC “had” to correct when they reprinted the story?
Kevin Greenlee and our old pal Commander Benson both wrote in with the answer.
Superman #139 has a story by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and John Forte explaining the history of Red Kryptonite…
As you might have guessed, lead DOES protect Superman from the effects of Red Kryptonite, so when the story was reprinted in Superman Annual #8, a change was made…
Thanks for the answer, guys! Good sleuthing!
Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Was Krusty the Clown originally meant to be Homer Simpson in disguise?
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. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
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See you all next week!