Welcome to the five hundred and sixty-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, is Marvel sitting on a “Deadpool Almost Destroys the Marvel Universe” one-shot? Did Marvel do a Green Goblin comic book about Rob Liefeld leaving Image? And did Mike Grell intentionally create a lame superhero for DC’s Bloodlines Annual?
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COMIC LEGEND: Marvel has a finished and unpublished Deadpool Almost Destroys the Marvel Universe one-shot.
Deadpool the film is smashing all sorts of movie box office records, even as we speak. The character is a sales bonanza right now. So it is interesting to note that Marvel is actually sitting on a completed Deadpool story where he almost destroys the Marvel Universe!
A few years back, Marvel put out a well-received Deadpool mini-series by Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic (with stunning Kaare Andrews’ covers) about Deadpool killing the Marvel Universe…
However, over a decade earlier, artist Jim Calafiore (who drew a number of Deadpool comics between 2000-2002, including the amusing parody of the G.I. Joe “Silent Interlude” issue…
almost did his own variation of that theme, with a fill-in story he wrote and drew called Deadpool Almost Destroys the Marvel Universe.
Here’s Calafiore on the issue at his website:
This is the filler story that actually made it all the way to finished inks before being “killed” (they cancelled his title and re-launched him with a new look).
To be honest, the impetus for the story was a notion I had to cram in every Marvel character I could in to one story. So I came up with an alien invasion scenario. The twist is that the story is told in reverse, starting with the end of the battle first, and progressing backwards in snippets to the end, which is the beginning. There we see how the whole thing is Deadpool’s fault. I had a lot of fun with the character, throwing in as many little gags as I could (facing Captain America, Deadpool says “Say Captain, ain’t you like WAY overdue for a promotion”), some of which are very dated by now (I had the new Captain Marvel in there, who’d just been introduced, but everyone thought he was the original, and wondered “Aren’t you dead?”).
The idea behind the story is that Deadpool has a cold and he accidentally gives it to an alien ambassador, killing the alien instantly. This leads to the alien race declaring war on Earth and all of the heroes of Earth must prevent the destruction of Earth, all due to Deadpool’s sniffles.
Here are some pages (this would be around 2000, hence the outfits for some of the characters). I’ll post them in reverse order (so chronological order)…
Deadpool killing the alien through a sneeze…
All the heroes getting together because of Deadpool….
Captain Marvel irked at Deadpool continuing to ask, “Aren’t you dead?”
A beautiful double-page splash of the climactic battle…
Captain America telling Deadpool not to kill any more alien ambassadors…
Come on, Marvel, there’s still time to do this as a one-shot! Everyone loves Deadpool comics! Even “set in 2000” continuity stories! Heck, you know how Deadpool occasionally has “Flashback” issues? This could be one of them!
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COMIC LEGEND: Mike Grell intentionally created a bad superhero for the 1993 Bloodlines Annuals.
STATUS: I’m Going With True
In 1993, both Marvel and DC did special Annual events where they introduced brand-new characters in each of their respective annuals from those years. I spotlighted all of the DC creations here and all of the Marvel creations here.
However, the deal DC and Marvel both worked out was that the characters created would be considered work for hire creations, so that really hurt the incentive for most of the creators involved to give Marvel or DC their top creations.
One of the characters who always seemed to be particularly weak was Mike Grell’s Hook, created for Green Arrow Annual #6…
However, it was not until my pal Jamie Coville showed up to give me the scoop that I learned just how intentional the Hook’s lameness was.
At his website here, Coville quotes Grell from a 2008 comic convention panel:
DC had that policy. There was a line of books that they did. They mandated that everybody had to create a new character and by the way, it was work for hire and DC owned the character. Being a professional prostitute [laughter from the panel] I did, but I accidentally created a good one. I had already sent in the outline for the story as soon as it went in I went “OH CRAP! THAT’S A GOOD CHARACTER!” [Laughter] I got on the phone with the editor and I unsold it. [Lots of Laughter] The character that I created, I convinced them it wasn’t very good. The character I created, the one that showed up in print was this war veteran who had a prosthetic hand or a prosthesis and when he would active his power, his hook would become this giant hook/claw thing that could cut through anything. By the time I’m done the editor was going “Yeah that’s great! That’s great!” *Whew!* that was close.
Thanks to Jamie and Mike Grell for the information!
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online: Did the original host of Blue’s Clues leave the show because he was going bald?
On the next page, did Marvel do an issue of Green Goblin about Rob Liefeld’s departure from Image?
Longtime reader Rollo Tomassi wrote to me about an interesting issue of Green Goblin, the short-lived series starring Ben Urich’s teenage nephew Phil as a superhero version of the Green Goblin.
The issue in question (Green Goblin #9, by Tom DeFalco, Scott McDaniel and Derek Fisher) is about a brash, young, creative mind of a video game company who is forced out of his start-up company and gets revenge using a special virtual reality suit.
The characters pretty clearly ARE meant to be riffs on the Image creators, as come on, just look at their names…
Larson Toddsmith? That’s not even trying!
There’s a funny bit in there about copyright violation (McDaniel amusingly would later become the regular artist on Batman’s solo book)…
In any event, the book came out in 1996, which is when Rob Liefeld famously split from Image Comics over disputes over how to run things. So it is understandable that Rollo Tomassi would presume that this was meant to be a commentary on that.
However, the timeline doesn’t work. This issue came out in April of 1996. The first Image split didn’t happen until June of 1996 when Marc Silvestri first left Image with his Top Cow Studio while in conflict with Liefeld. Liefeld then left in September (upon which Silvestri returned to Image).
So unless DeFalco was supppppppper prescient, then no, this is not a reference to the Image split of 1996.
Thanks for the suggestion, RT!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
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