This is the one-hundred and fifty-ninth 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 fifty-eight. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
Seeing as how this is the beginning of the fourth year of this feature, I thought a fun theme for this week would be to feature one reader suggested legend from each of the past three years (that is, one from 6/05-to 6/06, one from 6/06 to 6/07 and one from 6/07 to 6/08)
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Ronin was going to be revealed fairly early in the New Avengers #5 or #6, but the reveal was pushed back because everyone guessed it was Daredevil, so they had to find a replacement.
STATUS: Basically True
I got this one quite often when I was first doing this column, and for the longest time, there really was nothing I could do to confirm it either way, because Brian Michael Bendis was really the only person who could do that.
Still, at the time, the big story was that there was going to be a mysterious new Avenger called Ronin.
And in a big shock, in an article in USA Today, writer Scott Bowles revealed the following:
A "mystery member" is also on the team, but he won't be identified for several issues. Suffice to say he's a Marvel favorite, a Hollywood hit, and the item in his hands is a big clue.
Here is the cover Bowles was working off of...
So, from that, it pretty much has to be Daredevil, right?
Check (more or less)!
The item in his hands?
Check (just like Daredevil's clubs)!
But it was NOT Daredevil, in a later storyline in New Avengers, the "actual" identity of Ronin was revealed...
People at the time said that there was no way it was originally meant to be Echo (a Daredevil supporting character), but Bendis at the time completely denied that it was ever anyone but Echo, despite it seeming almost certain that it was meant to be someone else at first.
A few years back, a Jinxworld reader had this to say:
Bendis has repeatedly said it was the plan all along. At this point, he's got nothing to gain by not 'fessing up to it. It would make a cool "behind the scenes" story about how plans changes, esp. in light of internet leaks. But he's stayed consistent. I think we gotta take the bald guy at his word....
Recently, in the introduction of the New Avengers Vol. 1 HC, Bendis revealed that, yep, Ronin WAS originally meant to be Daredevil. Bendis had thought the reveal was off the record when he mentioned it to the USA Today reporter, but instead, it ended up being published. Meanwhile, Bendis also planned on having Daredevil be in jail at the end of his run on Daredevil and the beginning of Ed Brubaker's follow-up arc, so upon further thought, he figured it really did not make much sense to make Daredevil Ronin ANYways even withOUT the secret being blown (which it was), so Echo became Ronin.
So there you go, people I have since forgotten who asked me that question a lot in 2005!!
Oh, the "basically true" part was because I dunno if Daredevil was going to become Ronin early on or not, so I can't say for sure that that part is true.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Paramount canceled DC's first Star Trek series and relaunched without Peter David because his new creations were more popular than the Paramount characters.
STATUS: False With a Tinge of Truth
Reader John Kuczaj sent me the following in October of 2006, in a massive e-mail that I've already used three times for material:
DC canceled their first Star Trek series and re-launched it without Peter David because Paramount was not happy that the David-created characters were more popular and prominent (Ensign Bearclaw, anyone?) than the other original crew supporting characters.
DC began their Star Trek series in 1984...
Writer Peter David began a run on the book with #48...
The series ended with #56...
Now here's where it gets tricky.
John is correct that Paramount DID get involved with the comics, and the supporting cast WAS an issue. However, I do not think that his particular spin on the story is the most accurate, as I believe Paramount's issue was more that the newer characters were crowding out their characters, and preferred their characters (who were still appearing in major motion pictures at the time) received more of the spotlight of the comic.
This view did not just extend to characters created for the comics like Bearclaw, but also to the characters from the Star Trek cartoon series who had been used in the comic, like Arex...
So no, I don't believe it was their fear that the other characters were more POPULAR, but the other bit, the more PROMINENT part, that sounds more accurate.
However, at the heart of the question is that Peter David was punished for this situation.
Well, that does not work because when the series came back, well, who do you think wrote it?
Yep, Peter David, who wrote the first year plus of the second volume of Star Trek at DC.
I dunno why he left the book the second time, though. Anyone know?
Thanks to John Kuczaj for the suggestion (almost two years later and I'm still figuring out your suggestions!), and thanks to the great Star Trek resource, Memory Alpha, for the pictures of the cartoon crew members!
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Crossgen colorist Justin Thyme did not actually exist.
Inspired by the recent Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed installment about the "Crusty Bunkers," comic book pro Drew Geraci (who just debuted this week as the new inker on Green Lantern Corps, over the awesome Pat Gleason!) dropped me a line to let me in on a little Crossgen secret.
Colorist Justin Thyme, credited on both this issue of Negation...
and this issue of Lady Death....
did not actually exist!
Nor did inker Jennifer Cross, credited on this issue of Scion...
They were made-up studio names on issues that the various inkers/colorists would jam on to make the book ship on time, hence the pun pseudonym for Justin Thyme.
Thanks a lot for the information, Drew!
I see that Mr. Thyme also made appearances at Marvel, assisting Tom Morgan on pencils for this Excalibur one-shot...
and assisting Steve Geiger on inks on this issue of Black Panther...
That Thyme guy gets around, eh?
Okay, that's it for this week!
Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for this week's covers!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week!