www.cbr.com

Iron Man: When a Writer Used a Group of Villains to Vent Over a Grievance

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and forty-ninth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three legends.

NOTE: If my Twitter page hits 5,000 followers, I'll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!

COMIC LEGEND:

David Michelinie continued his grievances with Rich Buckler into the pages of his Iron Man run

STATUS:

True

The other day, I did a Comic Book Legends Revealed about how David Michelinie (and Bob Layton, really, as well) left DC for Marvel due to their irritation at Rich Buckler, who was drawing Star Hunters at the time, along with Michelinie and Layton (Michelinie as the writer and Layton on inks).

Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view.

I'll quickly recap the incident...

Rich Buckler, then a very popular artist for DC, did the covers and with issue #4, he took over as the series' interior artist, as well...

In that issue, Buckler debuted a new space ship for the team...

Buckler had provided Michelinie a couple of choices and Michelinie thought that the one used was a lot better than the other options.

A few months later, though, Michelinie discovered that Buckler had traced the ship from a then-current animated program, Space Sentinels...

Check out the ship on the cartoon...

And see them side by side...

Michelinie explained to CBR's Alex Dueben a few years ago how he reacted to the situation...

That was the result of one of my first Great Disappointments in my comics career. I had created a series for DC that had been troubled from the start--I don't believe it ever had more than two issues in a row by the same art team. At one point a new design for a major prop was needed, and the current artist submitted several original drawings and one Xeroxed design. The originals weren't very imaginative (they turned out to have been drawn by the artist's assistant), but the Xerox was pretty cool, so we went with that. After the first issue using that design had gone to print, it was discovered that the xerox had been of an animation cell from a Saturday morning cartoon show! So basically the series that I had worked so hard to create and make original was using a line-for-line theft from a TV show.

I made my anger known to DC and was told that the artist would be replaced. But I was asked not to tell anyone until the art for the current issue was finished. When the last page of art came in, I asked my editor who the new artist would be, and he told me they had decided to keep the current guy, knowing that if that happened I would quit. This showed me that DC, at least at the time, valued a dishonest (and lazy) artist over a writer who had given them unquestioned loyalty for five years. I called Jim Shooter at Marvel and asked if I could get work there; his reply was, "Would today be too soon?"

At the time, Michelinie had additionally claimed that Buckler had put the blame of the copied ship ALSO on his assistants.

Okay, so Michelinie takes over writing duties on Iron Man and Layton plotted the series with him and did finishes over John Romita Jr.'s layouts (and other guest artists).

In Iron Man #117 (by Layton, Michelinie and Romita Jr.), Iron Man defeats the Spymaster, who was trying to steal shareholder information about Stark International. However, we pull back to see a group of guys who hired the Spymaster and it turns out that they were SHIELD agents!

So, the next issue (John Byrne filling in for Romita), Stark goes to visit the SHIELD Helicarrier, not knowing that four of the agents there want him dead.

We also learn that one of the agents is named Val and another is named Buck.

Val Adair then introduces himself to Tony...

The agents then use knockout gas to knockout everyone on board and they toss Tony off the helicarrier...

Luckily, Tony gets into his armor before he splatters all over the ground. He flies back up and attacks them and learns that their plan was to take over his company to keep him from shifting away from making munitions...

At the end of the issue, Buck is holding Nick Fury hostage...

Iron Man deals with Buck pretty easily in the next issue (Romita Jr. back), but during the time everyone was out cold, the helicarrier drifted into Russian airspace, so that's a whole other problem...

Okay, so that gets settled and SHIELD takes Buck into custody and we learn that his last name is Richlen. He also blames his assistants for his own actions...

Well, obviously you get that Buck Richlen is a Rich Buckler reference, but Val Adair is ALSO a Buckler reference, since Buckler was, at the time, doing work for Marvel and DC and using then pseudonym Ron Validar, like on this Hulk cover...

So yeah, Michelinie and Layton were not fans.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Check out some other legends from Legends Revealed:

1. Did Kevin Smith Write a Decoy Screenplay for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice?

2. Did How I Met Your Mother Work an Insult of the Show by Star Jason Segel Into an Episode of the Series?

3. Did Joss Whedon Cast a Lead in a Film Based Just on One Scene in the Avengers Where She Was an Extra?

4. Was A Long Day’s Journey Into Night Released Two Decades Before Eugene O’Neill Intended it to be Released?_______________________________________________________________________________

Check back soon for part 2 of this installment's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

Top 100 Comics of the 2010s: #80-76

More in CBR Exclusives