Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and seventy-second week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
NOTE: I noticed that the the CSBG Twitter page was nearing 10,000 followers. If we hit 10,050 followers on the the CSBG Twitter page then I’ll do a BONUS edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed during the week that we hit 10,050. So three more legends! Sounds like a great deal, right?
Doctor Druid was always going to turn evil as an Avenger.
After Roger Stern was fired from the Avengers, the replacement writer on the series, Walter Simonson, was given the order to break the team apart. The way that this was done was by having Doctor Druid force his way into the leadership of the Avengers (after undermining the previous leader, Captain Marvel) and then having them serve his lover, who he doesn’t realize is manipulating him (she tells him she is Nebula, the old Avengers villain introduced in Stern’s run, but in reality, she is the Terminatrix, a time-traveling villain from the world of Kang the Conqueror). Things come to a head when they flat out mind control the rest of the Avengers for their mission (which is to basically give Terminatrix control of time itself)….
They fail, but She-Hulk is so freaked out over what the Terminatrix did to her that she quits and Druid seemingly dies along with the Terminatrix, leaving only Thor and Black Knight. Black Knight is slowly turning into his own Ebony Blade, so he’s out, so that leaves Thor, who is busy with his own issues, so the Avengers are BASICALLY defunct, but as soon as Thor returns to Earth, he quickly re-forms the team.
Anyhow, the issue that a lot of people have wondered over the years is how much of this was planned by Stern when he introduced Doctor Druid to the team in Avengers #276…
Obviously he didn’t intend for the Avengers to break up, but Doctor Druid has always been creepy as heck, so did Stern perhaps plan on Druid being a bad guy eventually?
For instance, in Avengers #278, the Wasp keeps having dreams about her tenure as Avengers leader and they sort of compel her to leave the team…
She talks to Druid about it, and he sure seems to be pointing her in the direction of leaving…
But was he being manipulative? Or was he just being a good guy helping with her issues?
This has confused a number of readers over the years, and one reader actually asked Stern about it at Stern’s old message board, and here is what Stern had to say:
I always intended Druid to be the Charles Emerson Winchester of the group…pulling his own weight on the team, but often getting on other members’ nerves.
He was supposed to fill the group’s Pain-in-the-Ass Quotient, much as Hawkeye had done once-upon-a-time…in a very different way, of course. Druid was the erudite wise-ass, as opposed to Hawkeye’s lovable butt-head.
But once I was fired, things got very strange.
So no, Stern was not planning on having Druid be evil. I was thinking about that Stern quote recently when the actor who played Winchester on M*A*S*H, David Ogden Stiers, passed away. Then when I decided to do this as a legend, I figured I’d do another legend about Stern’s run. Funny how one thing leads to another.
Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed – Did Jar Jar Binks nearly have his OWN annoying sidekick?
OK, that’s it for this week!
Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo, which I don’t even actually use on the CBR editions of this column, but I do use them when I collect them all on legendsrevealed.com!
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!
Here’s my most recent book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).
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Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends. — half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).
The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…
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See you all next week!
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