This is the one-hundred and thirty-eighth 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 one-hundred and thirty-seven. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Dwayne McDuffie once pitched a series called Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers.
STATUS: True, in a way.
Tom Brevoort's Blah Blah Blog is an amazing resource of Marvel history. Be sure to check it out here. You'd be doing yourself a huge favor.
Anyhow, someone asked me about this story awhile ago, and as it turns out, it came courtesy of none other than Tom Brevoort's awesome blog!
In an entry from last year, Tom explains that, in late 1989, Rocket Racer started showing up again in the pages of Web of Spider-Man...
and Night Thrasher had just debuted in the pages of Thor (along with the rest of the New Warriors)...
McDuffie (then an editor at Marvel), took slight issue with the fact that this was basically a quarter of the black superheroes appearing in Marvel Comics at the time, and they were a bit, well, similar.
This led to McDuffie's hilarious parody pitch...Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers.
So yes, technically, Dwayne McDuffie really did make a pitch for Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers.
And yes - his point was well taken.
A few years later, McDuffie would launch Milestone Comics, which gave us a great many amazing black heroes, most notable (in my opinion, at least) being Static and Icon and Rocket.
Imagine that - making a point and also doing something about it?
Well done by McDuffie.