This is the ninety-sixth 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 ninety-five. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC pushed back Superman's return once they saw the big deal his death caused.
Reader Craig mentioned the following urban legend:
I can't think of any way to verify it now, but I remember hearing at the time that, since the death of Superman became such a huge deal, they had to whip up a storyline to *delay* his return, which wasn't initially intended to take so long.
Well, last week's installment of Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed saw Mike Carlin discuss how ready DC was for the reaction to Superman's death. Carlin did note one significant instance where the extra attention helped change DC's plans, and that was specifically what they did regarding Superman's return.
According to Carlin, there never was going to BE a "Reign of the Supermen" when the Death of Superman was originally planned.
Here is Carlin on the topic:
Adventures of Superman #500 where REIGN technically started... was where Superman was originally going to return to life.
Instead of being the ending, though, Adventures of Superman #500 instead became the white-bagged BEGINNING of the "Reign of the Supermen."
With the introduction of four "Supermen"...
All leading to the return of the one, true Superman, in Superman #82.
So before they saw the big windfall of the Death of Superman, the return was going to be a lot smaller. Instead, it became an additional FIVE months of stories and FOUR new characters (one of whom even ended up with his own FILM!).
Thanks to Craig for the suggestion and Mike Carlin for the confirmation.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Defiant Comics lost a court case forcing them to change the name of their comic from Plasm to Warriors of Plasm.
Often, when it comes to court cases, people really do not pay much attention to what actually happens IN the case, so much as what the case APPEARED to have determined.
That is why, going all the way back to one of the very FIRST Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, folks still think Fawcett lost the rights to Captain Marvel to DC Comics due to DC Comics suing them.
In 1993, Marvel Comics found out about Jim Shooter's debut comic from his new comic book company, Defiant.
It was called Plasm.
Well, Marvel threatened to sue, because they had a comic coming out called Plasmer, and the titles would be so similar, people would confuse the two.
Defiant offered to change the name, and offered Marvel choices. When they got no replies, they changed the name to Warriors of Plasm, and published their first issue.
Marvel sued, and the two companies were locked in court for awhile, until Defiant, ultimately, came out triumphant. Of course, the legal troubles (and paying for them) certainly did not help the small, new company, and Warriors of Plasm (and Defiant as a company) did not last for much more than a year - only a few months after winning the trial, if I recall my dates correctly.
A shame, it was some good work from a young(er) David Lapham.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: The idea for Magneto ripping Wolverine's adamantium out of his body came from a joke suggestion made by Peter David at a X-Writers conference.
Reader John asked
I seem to recall reading , possibly in his But I Digress column, Peter David commenting in a Marvel X-meeting, "Why don't we have Magneto remove Wolverine's admantum?" Anyone have any recollection about this?
That did, in fact, happen, and it occurred during the X-Writers Conference for the big X-Men crossover of 1992, X-Cutioner's Song.
You may recall X-Cutioner's Song, as it was the sixteen part crossover between the four "main" X-titles of the time (Uncanny X-Men, Canny X-Men, X-Force and X-Factor). It was "notable" for the short shrift it gave to the cast of David's X-Factor, as the story mainly revolved around members of the X-Men and one member of X-Force (Cable). Therefore, David's characters were relegated to basically sitting around as background characters.
This led to an amusing issue where, in a book called X-FACTOR, the book featured NO members of the team, but simply Bishop, Wolverine and Cable.
Perhaps it was at a moment when he was pondering the seeming absurdity of the whole situation, but in any event, when the topic came to a possible return of Magneto during X-Cutioner's Song (which was later put off for a crossover the NEXT year), David joked that hey, maybe Magneto could just pull Wolverine's adamantium skeleton out of his body.
However, as Fabian Nicieza recollects,
but none of us laughed, because we thought it was a great idea. :)
This led to the crossover in 1993, Fatal Attractions, where Magneto does, in fact, pull the adamantium out of Wolverine's body...
Leading to the time when Wolverine had only bone claws, which actually lasted for over FIVE YEARS worth of Wolverine comics!!!
That epitomizes the 90s fairly well, though, doesn't it? Sometimes, even jokes can have crossovers built around them!
Here's Peter David's own recollection of the event:
Actually, what happened was that we were all discussing how we were going to have Magneto's return be a big deal. The other writers were bouncing around the notion of a huge Magneto/Wolverine slugfest and I said, thinking out loud, "Boy, y'know, if I'm Magneto, I don't even bother with Wolverine. I just yank out his skeleton and be done with him." And there was dead silence for a moment, and then everyone looked at me and said, "That's a great idea."
And I said, "No, it's not."
And they said, "Yeah! It'll be a great visual!"
I said, "Well, sure, but then he's dead. He can't survive having his entire skeleton ripped out."
"He has a healing factor!"
"Healing factor?! If you rip out his whole skeleton, he's a pile of flesh on the floor! He'll be a healed pile of flesh! What'll he do? Ooze at people?!"
See, my vision of it was that Magneto ripped out the entire skeleton, not just excises the adamantium that was laced into it. Figures that my biggest contribution to X-continuity was simply voicing a passing thought.
Thanks to John for the suggestion and Fabian Nicieza for the confirmation! And thanks to Peter David for writing in with his take on it, as well!
Okay, that's it for this week!
Feel free to drop off any urban legends you'd like to see featured!