Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and seventeenth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends.
Mark Gruenwald introduced a cure for Captain America as a set up Mark Waid's Captain America
Towards the end of his decade-long run on Captain America, Mark Gruenwald had Captain America suffer from the effects of the Super Soldier Serum sort of "expiring," at which point it began to slowly poison Captain America, leaving him forced to use a special suit of armor to keep himself moving.
In one of Gruenwald's last issues, we learn that the villainous Superia had cut a deal with Cap's old girlfriend, Diamondback, where Diamondback would become Superia's new second-in-command, Snapdragon, in exchange for Superia coming up with a cure for Cap (as shown here in Captain America #440 by Mark Gruenald, Dave Hoover and a few inkers)...
At the end of the issue, Superia gives Cap a brief taste of her cure, which temporarily cures him of his problems...
In the next issue, she offers him the cure for real, but Cap would have to agree to cut a deal with her and obviously such a deal would not be a good thing for the side of good...
In Avengers #385 (by Bob Harras, Mike Deodato and Tom Palmer), Cap ultimately rejects her offer, but then the Red Skull (who was suffering from the same problem as Cap since he was living in a cloned body of Cap's) swooped in and took the cure for himself...
Well, when Mark Waid took over Captain America with Ron Garney and Scott Koblish, the Red Skull used his own blood to then cure Captain America (as he needed Cap's help to defeat the Cosmic Cube)...
I have a feature called In The Spotlight So Clear, where I highlight examples of comic book writers setting up stuff for the writer who takes the book over from them (you can check out the examples I've featured so far here).
I had assumed, then, that that was what Mark Gruenwald was doing here. He was coordinating with Mark Waid and setting up a cure for Captain America for Waid to use at the start of his run. It just makes sense, right?
I asked Mark, though, and he told me that no, he had not coordinated any of that with Gruenwald. Gruenwald was quite willing TO do stuff to set up Waid's run and Waid did take him up on one aspect (I'll feature that in a future In The Spotlight So Clear), but the Superia cure was not coordinated between them at all. Waid just picked up the stuff that Gruenwald had set up, but Waid could have just as easily come up with an alternate solution for Cap's dilemma on his own. There was no connection between the two Cap scribes on the topic.
Thanks to Mark Waid for the information!
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed - Did the Most Interesting Man in the World really appear as a red shirt in an episode of the original Star Trek series?
Check back later for the final part of this week's Christmas-themed Comic Book Legends Revealed!