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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #11!

STATUS: True

In 1982, Roger Stern introduced a new Marvel superhero, who he gave the (then available) name of Captain Marvel.

This young heroine joined the Avengers as a member-in-training, and soon rose in the ranks until the point, in 1987, that she became the leader of the Avengers. Which was a notable feat for one of the first significant black female superhero.

This was all fine and good, but in 1988, Avengers editor, Mark Gruenwald, had different ideas about the character. He wanted Captain America to become the leader of the team (conspiracy theories abound that since Gruenwald was the writer of Captain America's book, that he wanted Cap to lead the Avengers to aid in publicizing Captain America's title...which I do not think is fair to Gruenwald. It is just as likely that he just decided that it was better for the book for it to go down like this).

However, Gruenwald did not just want to have Captain America become the leader, he also wanted Captain Marvel to be shown as an inferior leader before she was taken off the team (presumably to further show how adept Captain America is at the role).

Stern, creator of the character, reasonably balked at this change, as he felt such a move would be hard to do without looking racist or sexist, and therefore, Stern, who had been writing the title for the past 60 issues or so, was taken off the book, and replaced by Ralph Macchio and then Walt Simonson, who both basically followed Gruenwald's prescribed plot path (until Simonson then took the book in his own direction).

Which is a shame, as the decision really took Captain Marvel, who at the time had become as mainstream as you could get, off the road of "mainstream" basically for good.

Well, that's it for me this week!

Feel free to tell me some urban legends you have heard, and I will try to confirm or deny them!

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