Welcome to the four hundred and eighteenth 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 seventeen. This week, did Marvel get Samuel L. Jackson to be Nick Fury BEFORE they used him as the basis for Ultimate Nick Fury? Plus, how did a typo (that was later edited out) give a clue to a future Spider-Man storyline? And speaking of Spider-Man and edits, how did Marvel “fix” a classic Spider-Man story in a 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: Marvel had permission from Samuel L. Jackson before using his likeness for Ultimate Nick Fury.
STATUS: I’m Going With False
Samuel L. Jackson famously plays Nick Fury in Marvel Studios’ hit Avengers films…
He’s been so popular that Marvel has even introduced a black son of the “real” Nick Fury so that there is a matching Nick Fury in the Marvel Universe for new readers from the films…
However, what came first, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch basing Ultimate Nick Fury on Samuel L. Jackson…
(something they even joked about in the comic)…
or Marvel making an arrangement with Samuel L. Jackson to portray Nick Fury in any possible films (and as a tie-in, then, based Ultimate Nick Fury on him)?
Reader Daniel K. heard the latter and wrote in about it awhile back…
A friend of mine told me that when Marvel started their Ultimate line of titles, they modeled the Ultimate Nick Fury after Samuel L. Jackson with the knowledge that he would be playing Fury in the newest Marvel movies. I looked this up on Wikipedia, and it’s apparently true, but it has no citations and of course you know how dubious Wikipedia can sometimes be. I was wondering if you may be able to shed some light on this myth.
As it turns out, it is close, Daniel, but no cigar. Reader Jesse ALSO wrote in about it, and Jesse’s version of events is basically the truth…
I remember reading somewhere that Marvel’s Ultimate Nick Fury looks and acts like Samuel L. Jackson, because Marvel was hoping to get Sam to play Fury in a Marvel film. Am I remembering this correctly?
That appears to be the case, Jesse, that Marvel was interested in the idea of Jackson playing Nick Fury (or rather, he was on their wish list for the role), so they went ahead with Bryan Hitch making Ultimate Nick Fury look like Jackson and when Jackson contacted them upon seeing the likeness, they THEN asked him if he was interested in the role (which he naturally was).
Jackson described the situation in an interview with Noelene Clark at Hero Complex last year…
It was kind of weird. I just happened to be in a comic store, and I picked up the comic because I saw my face. And I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I’m not sure I remember giving somebody permission to use my image.’
So he contacted Marvel…
They were kind of like, ‘Yeah, we are planning on making movies, and we do hope you’ll be a part of them.’
Obviously, the plan paid off (if there actually WAS a plan, which I am not necessarily saying that there was – I could easily see it being a case of Marvel just telling Jackson so when he inquired. Either way seems believable to me), because he WAS a part of them! A BIG part of them!
Thanks to Daniel and Jesse for the suggestions and thanks to Noelene Clark and Samuel L. Jackson for the info!
Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!
What Kind of Strange Race Against Time Did Frank Sinatra Do When Recording “Strangers in the Night?”
On the next page, see how Marvel dropped an accidental hint towards their future plans for Spider-Man 2099!
COMIC LEGEND: A typo in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man gave a hint as to a future Superior Spider-Man story.
STATUS: True Enough for a True
You might have seen the news recently that the original Spider-Man 2099 is making a comeback in an upcoming issue of Superior Spider-Man (here’s an alternate cover by Olivier Coipel for the issue)…
In an interview with Dave Richards for the upcoming storyline, writer Dan Slott revealed an interesting piece of information…
Richards: Bringing Miguel to the present day Marvel Universe isn’t a story you’re just jumping into — you’ve been planting seeds for a Spider-Man 2099 story for a while. Can you talk about that a bit for our readers who aren’t familiar with the Spider-Man 2099 character or may have missed them?
Slott: NO! [Laughs] But I can tell you that somewhere during the “Big Time” era I screwed up and wrote something incorrectly that we later fixed in the trade. If you’re an eagle-eyed fan of the “Big Time” era and you compare your comics to your trades, you’ll be able to find my flub, which tipped my hand way too early that we were planning a 2099 story.
To set up what Slott is referring to, here’s a little info about Spider-Man 2099.
Tyler Stone is the sort of evil head of the Alchemax Corporation in the year 2099.
He is the boss of Miguel O’Hara. Stone hooks Miguel O’Hara on drugs to keep O’Hara compliant to him (as Stone has begun experimenting on humans and he figured O’Hara would object). O’Hara performs an experiment on himself to rid himself of the addiction and succeeds, but also ends up giving himself superpowers. He becomes the new Spider-Man.
Stone is later revealed to probably be Miguel’s biological father.
About a decade ago, Frank Tieri introduced an old friend of Tony Stark’s named Tiberius Stone (Stone turns out to be a villain – note that Tieri intended no connection to Tyler Stone)…
and then later in that issue…
As an aside, check out the last page of the issue. How odd is that reveal of Stone and Stark’s ex-girlfriend? Are they standing up?
Dan Slott eventually had Stone show up working at the same lab Peter Parker went to work for, Horizon Labs (although Stone continued to be a bad guy, working for Kingpin)…
During Spider Island, TWICE Tiberius is referred to as Tyler.
Once in the recaps for Amazing Spider-Man #668…
and then once in Amazing Spider-Man #669…
When the story was collected, the recaps were omitted and the #669 reference was shortened to “Ty.”
So there ya go, there was your hint, everyone!
Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed related to comic book typos!
How did an ethnic slur accidentally make its way into an issue of Wolverine?
On the next page, see how Marvel fixed a plot hole in a Silver Age Spider-Man classic!
COMIC LEGEND: Marvel “fixed” a plot hole in a classic Lee/Ditko Spider-Man story when they reprinted it, and also added a Dukes of Hazzard reference to the story!
The recent discussion in Comic Book Legends Revealed of DC fixing plot holes in reprints of Silver Age Superman stories led to reader Rob H. suggesting the same for a Silver Age SPIDER-Man story!
In the classic Ditko/Lee introduction of the Sinister Six in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, there was a major plot hole…
You see, that’s the exact OPPOSITE of what Spider-Man should have done.
And when the story was reprinted in 1983 in Marvel Tales #150, that’s exactly what was done…
Amusingly enough, editor Tom DeFalco and staff did not just stop at correcting that error, but also made another change…
Thanks for the suggestion, Rob! Also, thanks to reader Father Dan for also noting the Dukes of Hazzard point to me a few years back.
Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Did Leonard Nimoy insist that Spock be killed in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?
Okay, that’s it for this week!
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