Welcome to the five hundred and forty-first in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to update it in a while). This week, how did Swing Kids end up killing Superman? Did Marvel have an alternate ending to Transformers #4 in case the series never became an ongoing series? And did Joss Whedon write too much script for Astonishing X-Men #1 because he thought he had 32 pages to fill in issue #1 and he only had 22?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: A director deciding to direct Swing Kids ended up killing Superman.
STATUS: I’m Going With True
Many moons ago, I wrote a Comic Book Legends Revealed about how the Death of Superman came about because the Superman titles had to delay their planned storyline, the wedding of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, because a new TV show starring the characters was debuting and Warner Bros. wanted to see if they couldn’t sync the show and the comic up.
Because they couldn’t do their wedding storyline, the Superman writers instead decided to kill Superman off.
However, the interesting thing is that the planned TV show, which didn’t air until the fall of 1993, was actually in the works as far back as 1991, with a tentative title of either Metropolis or Lois Lane’s Daily Planet, as the original idea was to spotlight the lives of reporters, with Superman just sort of a background character.
As Jerry Ordway wrote a few years ago, they were ready to go forward with that approach with TV writer/producer Thomas Carter running the show, but something happened. Here’s Ordway on the topic…
The execs were developing the show with Thomas Carter as the perfect showrunner/ producer, based on his track record on tv with Hill Street Blues, The White Shadow, all great character driven shows. It would be a gritty drama, with an emphasis on the newspaper stuff, and the stories the reporters chased down. Sounded great to us, but suddenly we hear that Mr. Carter was going off to make the feature film “Swing Kids,” and we were left scrambling to substitute a storyline for the wedding, knowing that the show was being delayed, the wedding had to be pushed back.
Swing Kids, by the way, a film about swing dancing teenagers in Nazi Germany, starred a young Christian Bale, a dozen years before he took on the role of Batman!
So had they worked out a deal with Carter, the show could have gone on much earlier and the wedding might have made it into the comics.
So Swing Kids, in effect, killed off Superman!
Thanks to Jerry Ordway for the great info!
Check out some entertainment and sports legends from this week at Legends Revealed:
On the next page, how did Joss Whedon end up writing TOO much for Astonishing X-Men #1?
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