Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and eighteenth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends.
Caliban of the Morlocks was introduced based on a character designed to be part of a “New Mutants” squad with Kitty Pryde.
A few years back, I wrote a Comic Book Legends Revealed about how John Byrne and Chris Claremont were going to do a brand-new group of young mutants who would become students at Xavier’s school of mutants.
Byrne came up with a few of them, including Kitty Pryde and a character named Caliban…
Soon after Byrne left the title and Dave Cockrum returned, a character named Caliban debuted in “Uncanny X-Men” #148 (by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein)
Reader Chris T. wrote in to ask if Caliban was connected to Byrne’s Caliban. It makes sense, of course, but as it turned out, not only was there no connection, the character originally wasn’t even going to be called Caliban!
You see, as I noted in a Comic Book Legends Revealed a few months before that other Comic Book Legends Revealed about the new team of mutants, there was a character named Humus Sapiens who was part of a fan contest to introduce a new Marvel character. He eventually showed up in the pages of “Thunderbolts” decades after he was originally supposed to debut.
It had only been less than a decade at the time, though, that someone mentioned to Jim Shooter (Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief) that they hadn’t used the character yet, so Shooter had Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum work the character into “Uncanny X-Men,” and the character was going to be a Morlock. However, eventually they were allowed to not go with the idea (or the idea was dropped for other reasons), so the character instead became Caliban!
Later on, Kitty was almost forced to marry him!
Thanks for the suggestion, Chris!
Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed at CBR: What Animal Actually Inspired King Kong’s Creation?
Check back Sunday for part 3 of this week’s legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!