Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #4!

by  in Comic News Comment
Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #4!

This is the fourth 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 three.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Artist Joe Jusko dressed up as Captain America for the cover of a comic book.


Artist Joe Jusko is well known for his comic book paintings (amongst other paintings he does).

In fact, here is a sample of his art on a Captain America print…

However, that is not Jusko’s only Captain America experience – for in 1982, he posed wearing a Captain America costume on the cover of Marvel Team-Up #128.

Jusko is a big man, so he certainly fills out the Cap costume well.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC changed the outcome of a comic book because the original ending had been leaked to the public.


For conspiracy theories regarding moves in the comic book industry to really truly exist, there must be some precedent for said moves.

The ending of the Armageddon 2001 mini-series is an example on which all future conspiracy theories rest.

In 1991, DC had a summer crossover among all their annuals. A man from a future ruled by a despotic former superhero named Monarch travelled from 2001 to 1991, to discover what former hero became Monarch.

This man, Waverider, had the power to see people’s futures upon making physical contact with them.

Each of the annuals that year he would check out the future of those characters, so each annual would be a story of the future.

In any event, DC had it planned to be Captain Atom to be revealed as Monarch. However, news of this event had leaked well before it was revealed (or, as one other rumor goes, the folks who licensed Captain Atom to DC were not pleased with DC making him a big villain – but that is unlikely to be the real reason, as people on the “inside” all refer to the incident as “the news was leaked, so we had to change it quickly”).

Hawk, from Hawk & Dove, ended up being the sacrificial lamb.

Here is Barbara Kesel, writer of Hawk & Dove, on the topic (courtesy of the great resource Titans Tower):

Let’s get one thing clear: that wasn’t a planned ending of Hawk and Dove. That awful story was an Armageddon 2000 special created after somebody at DC spilled the beans about Captain Atom’s being Monarch. Then, a small number of people worked feverishly to find some other character to sacrifice, and since H&D had just been cancelled! ”

If you’ve ever pitied anyone, pity Jonathan Peterson, the poor person who had to give me the news. I wasn’t pleased, and wasn’t shy about sharing. If there’s anything I hate with a passion, it’s characters behaving out of character, especially when it involves a smart woman being stupid for no reason. H&D becoming Monarch could have been a clever idea: if they BOTH became the character, their innately opposite natures could explain a schizophrenic villain. As it was… it was a last-minute fix that sucked.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Nicolas Cage took his last name from Luke Cage, Hero For Hire

STATUS: True, depending on when you talk to Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage originally began acting under his birth name, Nicolas Coppola, which reflected the fact that he was the nephew of acclaimed director, Francis Ford Coppola.

However, since he did not want to appear like (in his words) “some nepotistic asshole,” he decided to take a stage name.

The origin of the last name choice, though, has changed over the years. Originally, Cage (an avid comic collector, with a collection once worth in the millions, before he sold it recently) was quite up front about the fact that he took the name from the comic character, Luke Cage.

In the last decade or so, though, Cage has also begun citing the avant-garde musician John Cage as the inspiration for the name.

So they both could be influences, I suppose, or a more cynical person would say that he wanted a more “sophisticated” inspiration behind his name when he became an Oscar-winning actor.

I will let you all draw your own conclusions.

So there you go!

Feel free to suggest urban legends you’d like to see debunked (or confirmed) in a future installment!