Welcome to the five hundred and ninety-third in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, learn how close we came to seeing human students enrolled at Xavier’s School for Mutants! Discover what major scene ended up being cut from “Batman: The Long Halloween”! And find out whether Dudley Moore was going to play Mister Mxyzptlk in “Superman III”!
Had Grant Morrison stayed on “New X-Men”, he was going to have human students enroll at Xavier’s.
With issue #114, Grant Morrison took over as the writer of “X-Men”, with the book being rebranded as “New X-Men”.
Morrison drastically reshaped the Marvel mutant universe, with three major events just in the first story arc, namely the destruction of the mutant nation of Genosha (16 million mutants wiped out at once), the explosion in the mutant population in the world (giving Xavier’s its largest class of mutants ever) and the revelation to the world that Professor Charles Xavier was a mutant himself (how in the world had an earlier writer not already done that?).
Morrison did a lot with the school, as he introduced and then developed new students at Xavier’s who were the key parts of the back end of Morrison’s run, including the famous “Riot at Xavier’s!” storyline…
Morrison’s run came to a close with “New X-Men” #154, a briefer run than he originally intended, but still a pretty complete story.
However, had Morrison stayed on the book, he was going to go to a whole new world with the school – he was going to open up Xavier’s to HUMANS! The school was for “gifted students,” so Morrison was going to expand that to extraordinaly gifted NON-mutants (NOTE: Generaton X had previously done a “human students” storyline, but that was at the secondary Xavier’s school that used to be the Massachusetts Academy).
The first storyline Morrison would have done had he stayed on the title was to introduce the first human student and show the prejudices he suffered from from not being a mutant. However, the student would be a great guitar player, and Morrison would have played with the idea that something like being a great guitar player is, in and of itself, sort of like a mutant power.
Sadly, his run ended earlier (Tom Skylark in the future in Morrison’s final story is probably a remnant of that idea, as he seems to be a human member of the team).
Thanks to PopImage for their interview with Grant Morrison, which I don’t think is available online at the moment for some reason.
Alberto Falcone’s body (or, at least, a body) originally was going to be shown during “Batman: The Long Halloween”
Two of the most famous scenes in Marvel Comics history occurred in the second and third parts of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s classic Daredevil storyline, “Born Again.” At the end of the second issue, after the Kingpin had systematically destroyed Matt Murdock’s life (froze his bank accounts, stripped him of his law license and blew up his home), an unhinged Matt Murdock tried to kill the Kingpin. He was beaten severely and then thrown into a taxi cab with a dead cab driver and Matt’s prints on the murder weapon. He was going to die a disgraced murderer.
However….there was no corpse.
At the end of the next issue, we see how that classic phrase “There is no corpse” has haunted the Kingpin…
The important thing to note about these scenes is that they play into something that most readers of popular fiction understand now from seeing it over and over again. If there is no corpse, then the person isn’t “officially” dead.
This played a role in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s classic “Batman: The Long Halloween” (SPOILERS AHEAD FOR LONG HALLOWEEN! I SUPPOSE SPOILERS BEFORE FOR BORN AGAIN, BUT COME ON, PEOPLE).
In the fourth issue, the son of Carmine “The Roman” Falcone, Alberto Falcone, was seemingly murdered by the serial killer known as The Holiday Killer (or just “Holiday” for short)…
In the next issue, Batman confront Carmine at his son’s grave…
However, you might have noticed that despite there being a grave and all….there was no corpse.
And don’t think that people didn’t notice that! It didn’t help that the first three issues each had people killed by the Holiday killer and each of them had, well, a corpse…
And sure enough, Alberto was revealed to have faked his death because HE was the Holiday killer (or a Holiday killer, at least).
What’s fascinating to me, though, is that originally Loeb and Sale were going to address this very issue! Here, from the trade paperback collection of “The Long Halloween,” are pages that were cut for length that actually DID show A body for Alberto Falcone (obviously not HIS body, but still)…
I totally understand why they cut the scene, but it’s funny how that really did lead to a lot of people thinking that Alberto faked his death. I wonder if people would have still thought that was the case even if that above scene had been used.
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at CBR: Was Dr. Harrison Wells on the Flash based on an obscure comic book character?
Dudley Moore was originally going to play Mister Mxyzptlk in “Superman III.”
In that column, I discussed how the original film treatment written by Ilya and Alexander Salkind for “Superman III” involved Brainiac as the main bad guy (it also involved a very bizarre new love interest for Superman….Supergirl!), but that treatment had been eliminated well before Richard Pryor had been cast in the film.
However, that same treatment also had a role for Mister Mxyzptlk in it.
So after last week’s column, reader Jim S. wrote in to ask that, okay, so Pryor was never going to play Brainiac, but what about the rumor that then box office star Dudley Moore was going to play Mister Mxyzptlk?
This one has slightly more to it. When the Salkinds had their original treatment for the film, they DID have Dudley Moore in mind for Mister Mxyzptlk.
“Having him in mind,” however, is as far as it went. Again, Warner Bros. nixed the treatment pretty quickly, and if they had a problem with Brainiac being too hard to translate, I imagine that they would have the same issue with the super-powerful magical imp.
So Dudley Moore was never approached to play Mister Mxyzptlk. But at least he was ALMOST approached!
Thanks to Jim for the suggestion!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
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See you all next week!
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