Welcome to the four hundred and thirty-third 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 thirty-two. This week is SORT of a theme, in the sense that each legend sort of ties into the one that follows it. So how does the true face of Doctor Doom, the Powerpuff Girls and the X-Files connect to each other? Read on to find out!
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: Jack Kirby originally intended Doctor Doom to have only a small scar on his face.
STATUS: I’m Going With False
There is a somewhat famous drawing by Jack Kirby of Doctor Doom without his mask…
Amazingly enough, it seems as though Greg Theakston actually RECORDED Kirby drawing this drawing (the above is likely a lightboxed version that Mike Royer then inked and not the ACTUAL drawing you see Kirby drawing in the video)…….
Clearly, at the point of this drawing, Kirby’s belief regarding Doctor Doom’s face is that Doom is so arrogant that he hides his face with a mask even though it only has a tiny scar. Doom has SUCH a high opinion of himself that he can’t let people see his face since the scar “ruins” it.
That, then, has been translated to be what Kirby has always believed that Doom’s face looked like.
However, Kirby was the co-plotter (and obviously the penciler) on Fantastic Four with Stan Lee for YEARS, and from Doom’s appearance in Fantastic Four #10…
and Fantastic Four Annual #2…
it sure seems like Kirby was down with the notion that Doom had a horribly disfigured face.
Instead, this seems like Kirby just came up with this idea AFTER the fact, likely around his return to Marvel in the mid-1970s. And that’s fine. I think that’s a pretty cool take on the character, but I believe it was a retcon and not what Kirby initially felt about the character, especially when the odds are quite high that neither Kirby nor Lee gave the backgrounds of their villains a whole ton of thought as of yet when #10 came out.
John Byrne later tried to reconcile both by having Doom have just a minor scar but become disfigured when he put the mask on…
Check out some Entertainment and Sports Urban Legends Revealed!
Did a Non-Band Member Sing “Incense and Peppermints” Because No One in Strawberry Alarm Clark Was Willing to Sing It?
Speaking of John Byrne, read the next page to see how DC wouldn’t authorize the use of Superman in…a DC Comic?
In 2002, the Powerpuff Girls celebrated their 25th issue of their DC Comic book series in style. The editor of the title, the great Joan Hilty, lined up a Murderer’s Row of comic book legends to draw pin-ups…
Well, John Byrne was one of these legends for the book. Byrne came up with the idea of the girls teaming up with Superman in their dreams (in their dreams, Byrne would draw them realistic-looking) after Professor Utonium read them from a Superman comic book. Byrne drew the pin-up.
But there was a catch!
Although it was technically a DC comic, it was a LICENSED title, so DC did not feel it proper to mix their characters with the Cartoon Network characters (even though Cartoon Network and DC Comics are both ultimately owned by the same company)) so the pin-up had to be altered to something sans Superman…
Too bad. It’s a great pin-up, though, when you know what it SHOULD look like!
Thanks to the great website JohnByrneDraws for the head’s up on this one! A lot of great information there. I’m sure other Byrne legends will come from that site!
Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed involving censored/edited comic books!
Was Arnold Drake edited out of the last issue of Doom Patrol?
STATUS: Basically True
This week I did a Comic Book Easter Eggs involving X-Files cameos in comics. Reader Frank W. wrote in to suggest a surprising issue of Animaniacs that just flat-out co-starred Mulder and Scully for a while!
The 1996 issue, written by Dave King, featured artwork by Walking Dead star artist Charles Adlard, who was then best known for his work on the X-Files comic series by Topps…
The Warners step in for the FBI Agents…
and later, Pinky and the Brain have a story involving the FBI’s Y-Files, as well…
Finally, our FBI heroes awake…
How bizarre is that?
The difference between this and the Powerpuff Girls/Superman team-up, though, is that both the X-Files and the Animaniacs were licensed comics from Fox Studios while Powerpuff Girls was a Cartoon Network show and not a WB show, so it was a lot easier for this to get approved, I’m sure (and even then, they made sure to give them different names so the whole thing could be covered by parody anyways).
However difficult it was, it was very cool! Thanks for the head’s up, Frank!
Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Did Marty McFly originally travel “back to the future” in a refrigerator during an atomic bomb test (a la Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)?!
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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See you all next week!