Welcome to the five hundred and fifty-seventh 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, learn why an episode of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends only aired once! Did Jim Starlin nearly kill off Shang-Chi? And finally, did Mark Waid originally intend to use Impulse at another comic book company before bringing him over to the pages of the Flash?
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: An episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends was pulled from the regular synidcation package because of its plotline involving Spidey and the gang fighting Nazis.
Reader Cerebro wrote in about another interesting example of this phenomenon, involving the Spider-Man animated series, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.
In the Season 1 finale, in an episode written by the showrunner of the series, Dennis Marks, Spider-Man faced off against the Red Skull in “The Quest of the Red Skull”…
The episode was intended as a sort of homage of the then-recent hit film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, as Spider-Man, Iceman and Firestar aid Professor Hiawatha Smith (instead of Indiana Jones) against Red Skull and his Nazi underlings…
The episode involved a history lesson about World War II (where Firestar is oddly grossly ignorant about the events of World War II – “Wow, this Hitler guy is pretty bad!”)
And the story revolves a giant rock swastika…
In any event, after airing once, NBC then pulled the episode from their regular Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends syndication package. However, the episode DID air a few more times. At least once in 1988 as part of Marvel’s Action Universe and once in 1999 on the UPN. And I believe when the whole series went up on Netflix, it was included. But it was not included when the series aired on Toon Disney or ABC Family, as it was not a part of the show’s standard syndication package.
It’s too bad, as the episode is actually very good overall.
Thanks to Cerebro for the suggestion!
Check out some recent entertainment and sports legends from Legends Revealed:
Did Carrie Fisher Work as a Script Doctor on Over a Dozen Hollywood Films?
On the next page, did Jim Starlin nearly kill off Shang-Chi?
COMIC LEGEND: Jim Starlin was asked to kill off Shang Chi
Jim Starlin is well acquainted with comic book death. Besides the fact that he ended his famous run on Warlock by killing off both Warlock and Thanos AND Warlock’s supporting cast of Pip the Troll and Gamora, Starlin wrote one of the most famous graphic novels of all-time, the Death of Captain Marvel…
and then later in the decade wrote Death in the Family, where Batman’s sidekick, Robin, is killed…
Amusingly enough, though, he almost had ANOTHER notable death on his record.
Along with Steve Englehart, Jim Starlin created Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu (I did a comic book legend years ago about an amusing mix-up in that first adventure that also involved killing a character off). However, the character became most famous for his long run in his own title, Master of Kung Fu under writer Doug Moench.
Moench left the series (and Marvel entirely) with issue #122. The series then ended with #125, with Shang-Chi retiring from his life of adventure…
However, before that ending, editor Denny O’Neil had another idea – KILL Shang-Chi!
As you might know by now, another O’Neil ongoing series ended around that same time, Power Man and Iron Fist, and on that series, O’Neil ALSO decided to end the series with Iron Fist being killed.
He had the same idea for Master of Kung-Fu and asked Starlin to return to do the deed. Starlin, though, turned him down. He explained to Daniel Best:
DB: What made you say no to that?
JS: Well I hadn’t done the book for years, so I really wasn’t into that.
Interestingly enough, Starlin then went to DC and killed off Robin, ALSO under O’Neil’s editorship!
In any event, once Starlin passed, the series had a happier ending (just like with Power Man and Iron Fist, O’Neil actually left the series before it was done, so incoming editor Ralph Macchio I guess had his own ideas for how to end it).
Thanks to Daniel Best and Jim Starlin for the info!
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online: Which Simpsons character nearly got their own LIVE ACTION spinoff series?
On the next page, did Mark Waid invent Impulse for another company before bringing him to DC Comics?
COMIC LEGEND: Mark Waid invented Impulse for another company before then bringing the character to DC Comics.
Bart Allen, Impulse, debuted in Flash #92 by Mark Waid and Mike Weiringo…
Reader Rafael asked (in the comments section on the OLD blog, so I missed it for nine years until coming across it recently):
I heard somewhere that Impulse was a character Waid created for another publisher and the brought him to DC; have you tackled it before or have any info?
I have not, Rafael, but I’ll do it now! I asked Mark Waid about this and he said that nope, he invented Bart Allen specifically for DC. So there ya go!
Thanks for the question, Rafael! And thanks for the info, Mark!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
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