Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fourteenth week of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Here‘s Part 1 of this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed! Let’s continue!
Stan Lee changed the plot of Adam Warlock’s first appearance dramatically from Jack Kirby’s original plot.
I was thinking of this one when writing about the history of Ayesha, who was created by the same group who created Adam Warlock.
When Jack Kirby and Stan Lee first began working on “Fantastic Four” together, they would work out plots together and then Kirby would draw the issue and Lee would script it. Over time, though, Kirby began to do more of the plotting by himself, as Lee trusted him to come up with the plots for the stories and then Lee would just script the book over Kirby’s plot.
I don’t know if Kirby was necessarily angry over the fact that in 1965, Lee began to give Steve Ditko plotting credit over on “Amazing Spider-Man”…
But he probably didn’t particularly LIKE the idea, either, so it is likely not a coincidence that less than a year later, in “Fantastic Four” #56, Lee stopped taking a writing credit and instead just gave Kirby and himself a shared creator credit…
Still, Lee ultimately decided what would make it into the comics. So Kirby could have a plot in mind, but if Lee wanted to change it, he could do so, even leading to Kirby having to re-draw certain pages (years later, the lawyer for Kirby’s estate used that as a great argument that Kirby was a freelancer, not doing work for hire, since he was not paid for the pages that he had to re-draw because Lee altered his plot).
Perhaps the most interesting example of Lee messing with Kirby’s plot was the introduction of Adam Warlock, then dubbed “Him.”
In “Fantastic Four” #66, we meet the Enclave, a group of scientists who needed Alicia Masters’ help. Here, they discuss their plan to help humanity…
In the next issue, though, we learn that they are actually evil!
And in the end, their creation, Him (later Adam Warlock) showed up and destroyed his creators…
However, Mike Gartland wrote in “Jack Kirby Collector” #24 that Mark Evanier explained that Kirby’s original intent was that the Enclave WERE honestly good in their intentions. Kirby’s idea was to do a riff on Objectivism. His idea was that the Enclave ended up creating a true Objectivist, but a true Objectivist being wouldn’t put up with the flaws in his creators, hence him destroying them.
Lee decided to go with a more straightforward evil mad scientist plot. It’s interesting, Kirby’s idea sounds more interesting, but it also might have kept Him from ever becoming a hero like Adam Warlock.
Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed at CBR: How Was Han Solo Nearly in Revenge of the Sith?
Check back Sunday for part 3 of this week’s legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!
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