Nowadays, we're used to writers such as Dwayne McDuffie being told for a book like Justice League of America, DC's premier superhero team, that he cannot use characters that he would want to have on the team, like big-time characters such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
Heck, Grant Morrison's JLA seemed to have an imposed change to the roster every six months ("Sorry, Superman's blue now." "Sorry, Hippolyta is Wonder Woman now." "Sorry, this guy is Flash now.").
Well, such restrictions were in place for decades, such as when Marvel Head Editor Stan Lee passed on his self-imposed restrictions from himself to incoming Avengers writer, Roy Thomas.
Thomas wanted to write the bigger names, like Iron Man and Thor, but Lee stuck him with the current team, a mixture of "Cap's Kooky Quartet" plus Wasp and Goliath.
Soon, though, even Captain America was off-limits to Thomas, as Lee wanted the Avengers to strictly spotlight the lower level characters from the Marvel Universe.
Thomas complied, and he did some great work with the Avengers, whoEVER he used, but he also made a point of bringing back the big names whenever he could, whether for a new member's initiation...
or a wedding...
And once he was on the book for a long enough time, Thomas just decided to start ignoring the order, and he slowly but surely brought them back until he had all of the "Big Three" of Captain America, Thor and Iron Man on the Avengers again.
By then, Lee was fine with it (and who knows how involved he was by then, anyways).
Thanks to Chuck at Design Notes and Roy Thomas for the information (courtesy of this interview Chuck did with Roy). And I can't mention Roy Thomas without plugging his awesome comic book history magazine, Alter Ego! Be sure to check it out!
Okay, that's it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com.
As you likely know by now, this Tuesday, April 28th, my book finally came out!
Here is the cover by artist Mickey Duzyj. I think he did a very nice job (click to enlarge)...
If you'd like to order it, you can use the following code if you'd like to send me a bit of a referral fee...
See you next week!