Welcome to the five 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 first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to update it in a while). This week, discover the amazing “Lost” Superman story by Dave Gibbons, Alan Davis, Brian Bolland and Garry Leach! What did the Brazilian version of Daredevil’s Born Again replace a heroin needle with? Finally, did Marie Severin color panels all one color to obscure violence in old EC Comics?
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: Dave Gibbons, Brian Bolland, Alan Davis and Garry Leach did a Superman story that has never been published!
The year was 1988, Superman was celebrating his fiftieth anniversary and the city of Cleveland wanted to do something to celebrate the occasion. There were bold plans for a Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster museum, a Superman statue and a convention for Siegel and Shuster to celerate the anniversary. To help fund the project, a club (The Neverending Battle) was formed and they decided to do a tribute comic that they would sell to raise money for the museum. Tony Isabella was loosely in charge of the project (but very, very loosely).
As so many of these very well-intentioned endeavors go, the whole thing fell apart. There were only two stories completed for the project. One by Mike W. Barr, Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger (you know you’ve been writing about comics for a long time when Schaffenberger just rolls right off of your keyboard without looking twice) and one by a titanic team-up of some of the best British comic book creators of the 1980s, who all donated their art and their time for free (they are swell guys. Dave Gibbons is, like, some sort of alien prince, he’s such a great guy). Loosely led by Gibbons, who wrote the framing sequence for the short story, the comic had three pages by Dave Gibbons and then one page apiece by Alan Davis, Brian Bolland and Garry Leach.
The original art for the project is sadly lost (at least hopefully lost and not stolen), but luckily for us, Gibbons’ made copies of the original art at the time to help the other artists keep track of the story.
My good buddy Daniel Best has the entire story at his site here, so do go check out the whole thing there.
But here are pages from Gibbons…
The Gibbons’ page above was later used for the cover of TwoMorrows’ Krypton Companion…
It’d be awesome to somehow still see this published, in color!
Thanks to Dave Gibbons, Gerry Turnbull (who provided Daniel Best the scans) and, of course, Daniel Best, because he is awesome.
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online to learn the bizarre true story behind Little House on the Prairie’s “baby battering ram” episode!
On the next page, did the Brazilian edition of Born Again also make an interesting edit to a controversial issue containing drug use?
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