Welcome to the four hundred and seventy-fourth 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 seventy-three. This week, did the original ending of Age of Ultron feature Marvelman becoming part of the Marvel Universe? Was Nightmare originally supposed to be Nightcrawler’s father? And did Pat Boone actually draw a cartoon in the official Pat Boone comic book!?
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: Age of Ultron was originally going to end with Marvelman entering the Marvel Universe.
Last year, the ending of Marvel’s major event, Age of Ultron, was shrouded in such secrecy that the last issue was shipped in a black bag so as to not reveal the ending.
That ending was that due to the repeated manipulation of the Marvel timeline during the event (Ultron went back in time to take over the world. Wolverine went back in time to kill Hank Pym to stop Ultron from ever being made. Wolverine then went back in time to stop his other self from killing Hank Pym after the Hank Pym-less timeline ended up being bad, as well) the Marvel multiverse, in effect, snapped. Cracks starting popping up everywhere and characters ended up in other dimensions. Galactus ended up in the Ultimate Universe and Angela, a character originally created in the pages of Spawn, ended up in the Marvel Universe (part of a deal between Marvel and Angela creator Neil Gaiman)…
However, around the same time that they made a deal to acquire Angela, Marvel ALSO had a deal to do Marvelman comic books…
Reader Tama last week asked:
I was just wondering if theres any truth to the legend that the real reason why Age of Ultron was delayed so long is because Marvel originally wanted to have Marvelman enter the MU at the end but had to settle for Angela instead due to ongoing legal battles over the rights to Marvelman at the time
Age of Ultron was, indeed, pushed back a while.
However, the ending with Angela had been rumored for such a long time that it seemed hard for me to believe that Marvel ever had another ending in question, but I figured I would make sure and ask Tom Brevoort, who was the editor on the project. Tom succinctly responded to Tama’s question of whether there was any truth to the Marvelman rumor with – “Nope, none.”
And there you have it!
Thanks Tama for the suggestion and thanks Tom for the answer!
Check out the latest Movie Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online: Did Walt Disney really have a rule against hiring female animators?
On the next page, how did Roger Stern keep Nightcrawler’s father from being the Doctor Strange villain, Nightmare?
I am honestly surprised that I have never featured this one before. It certainly seems like something I would have done years ago (I even checked my own archives to see if I was just blanking on it and I had used it before).
Anyhow, currently Nightcrawler’s father is the demon-looking mutant known as Azazel (we discussed Nightcrawler’s origin as well as his rumored multiple body parts in last week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed). However, that was not always the plan for Nightcrawler’s father.
At one point, as featured in an old Comic Book Legends Revealed (like, REALLY old, #14!), Chris Claremont wanted Nightcrawler’s father to be the shapeshifter Mystique.
Instead, Mystique was eventually revealed to be Nightcrawler’s MOTHER.
But as it turns out, before that, Claremont had another established Marvel villain in mind for Nightcrawler’s dad – the Doctor Strange villain, Nightmare!
My pal Tim Callahan got the scoop from Roger Stern in Back Issue #29.
Stern, at the time, was the writer on Doctor Strange’s ongoing series and, Stern noted, that was back at a time when the writer of a book had stronger control over how the characters in the book were handled throughout the Marvel Universe.
Chris had come up with the latest of several crazy ideas and declared that Nightcrawler’s father was Nightmare. And I replied with something like, “No, he’s not. I’m not going to let you appropriate one of my character’s major villains.” As I recall, Len Wein crossed the room and shook my hand. And not too long after that, I did become the X-Men editor and was able to make sure that didn’t happen for long enough that Chris eventually changed his mind.
My buddy JohnByrneSays found an important quote from John Byrne on the subject, suggesting why Stern didn’t like the idea:
“Back when I was on the book, Chris wanted to reveal that Nightcrawler’s father was Nightmare, the Dr. Strange villain. Roger Stern, as editor, said no, pointing out that that would make Kurt a hybrid, not a mutant.”
Years later, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had Nightcrawler meet Nightmare in the pages of Nightcrawler’s first ongoing series (he currently has a new one out written by Chris Claremont!).
Thanks to Tim and Roger Stern for the information!
On the next page, did Pat Boone actually do a cartoon for the Pat Boone comic book series?
STATUS: Basically True
DC Comics was always willing to do a licensed book if they thought that there was a market for the title. They famously published comics featuring Bob Hope and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis for years.
However, a less famous licensed DC book was the five-issue run from 1959-1960 of a series based on the gentle rocker, Pat Boone.
The comic was an amiable mixture of illustrated stories about Boone’s life…
Comics featuring Boone (all the art in the stories were by the amazing Bob Oksner, DC’s go-to guy for licensing projects, but also one of DC’s go-to guys PERIOD, as he was an incredible artist)…
Spotlights on other young artists of the time…
and then various other stuff, like Mort Drucker cartoons, an advice column, etc.
However, for the first issue, Boone did something that very few licensed “characters” would ever do, he actually CONTRIBUTED a comic to his own comic!
For just the first issue, Boone actually drew a quick gag strip…
I know it’s not much, but come on, that’s just plain ol’ adorable!! I get such a kick out of Boone’s willingness to get involved in his comic, even if it were just for that issue (for all I know, Boone was more involved than I think and was actually answering the letters in the issues, but I sincerely doubt it).
Okay, that’s it for this week! Thanks for stopping by!