Welcome to the four hundred and eighty-seventh 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 eighty-six. This week, was the Batman villain Anarky originally created to become the new Robin? Did Jack Kirby not know what color the Thing was going to be? And finally, did Iron Man really make an oddly sexual proposition to Captian America in a 1974 Cap issue?
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: Anarky was created with the intent of him becoming the new Robin.
Commenter Jonathon Riddle wrote awhile back:
I read somewhere once that Anarky was created to be Jason Todd’s replacement as Robin. The idea was to be that Batman, impressed with Lonnie’s creativity, effectiveness in the field, and tactical mind, would train and mold the youngster into a force for altruism and a follower of Batman’s philosophies. When Tim Drake was introduced in Batman by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Tim got the editorial approval and Anarchy fell into obscurity – at least until recently. I don’t know if that was Alan Grant’s plan for the character or not, but it gives that story an interesting dynamic if it is true.
Anarky was introduced in Detective Comics #608 by Alan Grant, Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchell (Anarky was created by Grant and Breyfogle). He was a vigilante who used rather extreme methods to punish “bad” people, like corrupt heads of corporations…
In the next issue, though, after Batman defeats Anarky, he discovers something shocking…
Despite Batman’s protests at the end that he wasn’t thinking of Robin, that’s exactly what Alan Grant WAS thinking at the time.
He revealed in an interview with DC Leaguers (an Italian DC fan site) that:
I had originally hoped, when I wrote the first story that Anarky would eventually end up as the new Robin. But, unknown to me, Denny O’Neil was already working in secret with Marv Wolfman to create Tim Drake.
Grant and Breyfogle at least got the chance to introduce Tim Drake in his new Robin costume a year or so after that Anarky issue…
Grant also had some good rivalry stuff with Anarky and Tim Drake.
So it wasn’t quite a matter of O’Neil choosing Tim Drake over Anarky so much as Tim Drake had already been decided on before Anarky was introduced, but otherwise, the story as Jonathon says it is true.
Thanks for the suggestion, Jonathon and thanks for the info, Alan Grant and DC Leaguers!
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online: Did NO Simpsons fan correctly guess who shot Mr. Burns?
On the next page, did Jack Kirby seriously not know what color the Thing was going to be colored?
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