Welcome to the five hundred and fifty-second 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, has Marvel banned the controversial “Ms. Marvel gives birth to her own rapist” Avengers #200 from ever being reprinted? Did Andy Warhol seriously direct a Batman movie? And what is the surprising reason behind Moon Knight’s Jewish heritage?
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 has banned Avengers #200 from ever being reprinted.
STATUS: I’m Going With False
Avengers #200 is one of the most controversial comics Marvel has done, and one of those books where pretty much everyone involved has essentially said, “Sorry, our bad.” The story involved Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) getting pregnant out of nowhere. Circumstances took away the original resolution of the story (as detailed in this old Comic Book Legends Revealed), so the new plot was, well, pretty darn uncool. I go into it in further detail in this Things That Turned Out Bad, but in a nutshell, Ms. Marvel gives birth to a mystery baby and the baby is revealed as…
Time disturbances were appearing all over the world. Hawkeye, naturally, blames this guy and his machine so he destroys the machine. It turns out that the machine was the key to FIXING the disturbances.
The guy, Marcus, then reveals how he came to be born on this Earth…
So yeah, he used machines to make her have sex with him and then he used machines to make her pregnant with him so that he could be born on Earth so that they could be together. And the Avengers WERE TOTALLY COOL WITH THIS. Very quickly, the story was denounced in an Avengers Annual by Chris Claremont (after an excellent article by Carol A. Strickland pointing out how messed up Avengers #200 was).
The story in Avengers #200 has never been reprinted. This led reader Christopher M. to write in to ask:
Is it true that Avengers 198,199 & 200 have never been reprinted due to the infamous “Ms Marvel raped by Immortus’ son story?”
I asked Tom Brevoort about it, and he explained that there is no policy at Marvel preventing them from reprinting #200. He did note, however, that #198 and #199 contain appearances by Red Ronin, who debuted in the licensed Marvel comic, Godzilla, and thus (depending on the agreements) there might be issues with the rights for those issues. But no, no company policy keeping them from reprinting Avengers #200.
That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a sort of quasi-ban in place in terms of no one being interested IN reprinting it, ya know? It’s not like people are clamoring for such a controversial story to be reprinted. It just isn’t some official Marvel company policy to never reprint it, that’s all.
I trust Tom, so I’m going to go with a false here.
Thanks to Christopher for the suggestion and thanks to Tom for the answer!
EDITED TO ADD: My pal Michael P. notes that the stories WERE reprinted in black and white in Marvel Essentials. Christopher actually sent the question twice, the second time he made sure to say “in color,” in case they were reprinted in black and white in an Essentials he hadn’t seen. Patrick Joseph, though, notes that the issues are scheduled to be released in the next Marvel Masterworks for Ms. Marvel. So there ya go, false all the way around!
Check out some Christmas-related entertainment and sports legends from Legends Revealed:
On the next page, did Andy Warhol direct a Batman film?
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