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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #103

STATUS: True

One of the more interesting things that is lost to the vagaries of time is why, exactly, Walt Simonson drew the Marvel/DC crossover X-Men/New Teen Titans, as Simonson has never drawn either the X-Men NOR the Teen Titans before.

In addition, Titans artist George Perez was clearly willing to do a Marvel/DC crossover as he was the original artist on the aborted JLA/Avengers crossover from the early 80s.

The answer was in how the crossovers between the companies were produced. Rather than sharing production, they would instead alternate producing each title, using creators from their company (although DC made a point for the first crossover to use creators who had worked for both DC and Marvel).

The first one, in 1976, featured DC creators (at the time) Gerry Conway and Ross Andru, both of whom worked on the Amazing Spider-Man during the 70s.

The second one, in 1981, featured Marvel creators Marv Wolfman (although Wolfman, of course, worked for DC, as well), Jim Shooter and John Buscema.

The third, later in 1981, featured DC creators Len Wein and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

The fourth was the X-Men/Titans crossover, and since it was handled by Marvel, Perez was off-limits.

So who to have draw the comic book? At the time, there were only three artists associated with the Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans - Dave Cockrum, John Byrne and George Perez.

Perez we established was unavailable as he was working for DC.

Byrne had just left the title the previous year, so they weren't getting him to come back to do the book.

Cockrum had JUST signed on to draw Uncanny X-Men again, and clearly would not have been able to fit a giant-size crossover book into his schedule.

So that left Marvel with, well, nobody.

So they decided to just go with a great artist - Walt Simonson.

DC was to go next, with Perez' JLA/Avengers, and Perez was even planning on drawing the sequel to the first X-Men/Titans (when it got back to DC's turn), but when JLA/Avengers fell apart, Perez did not feel like doing another one, even when it was suggested that the sequel could REPLACE JLA/Avengers on the schedule.

Man, can you imagine a 1980s Perez X-Men/Titans book?

That would have been amazing!

Okay, that's it for this week!

Feel free to drop off any urban legends you'd like to see featured!

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