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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #117

by  in Comic News Comment

This is the one-hundred and seventeenth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and sixteen. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Kitty Pryde was in the original treatment for Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars, but was removed before the comic was released.

STATUS: False

Reader Pete wrote in to ask why Kitty Pryde was cut from Secret Wars, as she originally appeared among the group (in the famous Mike Zeck group drawing) in an early advertisement for the series…


However, after checking with Marvel, as one might expect, Zeck was simply asked to draw the Avengers, X-Men, etc., and he simply assumed Kitty Pryde would be in the book.

As it were, she was never intended to be in the series, so the image was just cropped out, and we got the classic cover we all know and love…


Thanks to Jim McCann and Tom Brevoort for the information and thanks to Pete for asking the question!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Marvel and DC only trademarked “superhero” because Mego trademarked it first.

STATUS: True

As detailed in a very early installment of Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, DC and Marvel own a joint trademark on the term “superhero.”

But as reader “Comic Reader Man” asked me awhile back, the reasons WHY DC and Marvel ended up trademarking it is quite interesting.

In the early 1970s, Mego began a line of action figures, licensing the use of superheroes from both Marvel and DC.

The title of the line was “World’s Greatest Super-Heroes”.


Mego decided to apply for a trademark (and were granted one) on the term “super-hero.”

DC and Marvel took issue with this, and threatened legal action, which Mego avoided by giving up its rights to the term (some stories say they sold any rights they had for the nominal fee of one dollar, but I do not know about that for sure).

DC and Marvel then filed for a trademark on the term themselves, which they have held ever since. This most likely explains why they decided to file together, rather than one trying to eliminate the other from using the term.

Thanks to Mego Museum for some information, and for just being a plain old awesome website!!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Marvel took a British comic book character and basically just put her into Alpha Flight wholesale.

STATUS: True

In an earlier installment of Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, I talked about how DC changed the name of their new hero, Red Fox to Crimson Fox because of concerns of a British comic book company over their hero called the Redfox.

Part of the reason that the Redfox folks were so gunshy was due to the fact that a previous character of theirs had been taken and used (and ultimately became a pretty important character) in an issue of Alpha Flight, as the character Dream Queen.

Reader Robert Pincombe wanted to know what the character was that was taken, so here it is….

First off, there was Demon Queen, from Redfox, in 1986 and 1987.




Then, in 1988 and 1989, in Alpha Flight, here was the Dream Queen, the demon daughter of Nightmare and Zhilla…




Pretty funny, huh?

Here is Fox, creator (and artist) of Redfox, on the topic (from the comments to this piece):

The only one that shows the Demon Queen in her original form is the head shot in the first picture. The others are of Redfox when possessed by the Demon Queen, so the similarities in design are less evident.

And it wasn’t just the visuals, although I don’t recall the details now. I spoke to John Byrne at a convention later that year and he wasn’t surprised to hear about it. Apparently Mantlo had something of a reputation.

And it wasn’t the only time the Demon Queen was used as source material by Marvel. At one point a Demon Princess or Goblin Queen or something like that popped up in X-Men, and while the similarities were more subtle, I knew that Chris Claremont read Redfox, and I have the photos to prove it. So the next time I saw him at a con I asked him whether it was more than a coincidence and he neither admitted nor denied it. He just gave a big smile.

Thanks, Fox!

And thanks for suggesting this one, Robert!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free to drop off any urban legends you’d like to see featured!