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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #11!

This is the eleventh in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous ten.

Let's begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Marvel killed off a Thunderbolts character because of a rights problem.

STATUS: True

In the pages of Wizard, there was a contest held to let the fans figure out who would be the next villain faced by the Thunderbolts.

The winning entry was introduced in the pages of Thunderbolts #19, and his name was Charcoal, the Burning Man.

However, this character, invented to be a one-shot villain, turned out to be TOO good of a creation, as he was quickly added as a MEMBER of the Thunderbolts for the next almost 40 issues, but was abruptly killed in a battle with Graviton in the mid-#50s.

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As it turned out, there was some debate over whether the creators of Charcoal had officially signed over all the rights to the character to Marvel, which was part of the contest rules, so since they just could not iron the kinks of the deal out, Marvel decided to instead just get rid of the character (with the intent, presumably, of bringing him back some time in the future).

So, basically, it is highly unlikely that you will ever see Charcoal in the pages of a Marvel comic again.

Which is too bad, as he was a good character.

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