Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and sixteenth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Just like the last couple of months, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.
Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira invented Spat and Grovel in “Uncanny X-Men” to come up with characters that ToyBiz could never turn into a toy!
A little True, a little False
Earlier this week, I wrote a list about the most obscure “X-Men” characters who got action figures during the 1990s. Commenter Cletus G. brought up something that I was planning on doing for this week’s CBLR, so I figure I might as well still give him credit, as he didn’t know I was going to feature it! 🙂
In “Uncanny X-Men” #347 (by Scott Lobdell, Joe Madureira and Tim Townsend), the “Trial of Gambit” storyline began, as Gambit’s past comes pack to finally haunt him. In that first issue, Gambit runs into two unusual bounty hunters he knew from his past, Spat and Grovel, a woman who is aging backwards and a space lizard, respectively…
This story came out towards the end of the 1990s, a time when nearly every new X-Character was being adapted as an action figure.
As the story goes, then, Lobdell and Madureira invented Spat and Grovel specifically to introduce two characters that could never be adapted into toys because they were too bizarre.
I asked Scott Lobdell about it, and he explained that the story is GENERALLY true, in the sense that once they decided to introduce the characters, that they thought it would be a fun thing to do to design them as “unadaptable” as toys.
However, as he explained, that wasn’t the driving force behind their creation:
To be clear, we needed to put characters in the story that would help explain elements of Remy’s past — so it wasn’t as if we were creating characters SPECIFICALLY so they couldn’t be used in toys, but rather it was something we would considered specifically about their design.
So it’s mostly true, but there’s a little bit of false mixed in there.
And, of course, the most hilarious aspect of the story is the fact that they DID get made into action figures in 1998, as part of “Marvel’s Most Wanted”…
Thanks to Scott Lobdell for the information and thanks to Cletus for suggesting this one, as if I hadn’t already been planning it, I would definitely have done it NOW if I had seen your suggestion!
Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:
Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week’s legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org!