Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and thirty-ninth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
As we’ve been doing it for some time now, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.
Spider-Man was originally going to team-up with Ghost Rider as part of Marvel’s Siege of Darkness crossover event.
In late 1993, Marvel’s Midnight Sons line of comic books (the Midnight Sons was a joint group of titles that spun out of Ghost Rider, starring horror-themed characters like Morbius, Blaze, Blade, etc.) had a major crossover, Siege of Darkness, which served primarily to bring Doctor Strange into the fold of the Midnight Sons line (up until that point, Strange certainly appeared in the Midnight Sons comics, but he was a bit too “bright” of a concept to work with the darker horror titles of the Midnight Sons like Ghost Rider, Morbius, and the Nightstalkers), with writer David Quinn significantly darkening the character to make him fit the line better, including seeing Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum destroyed.
Writer Steven Grant was writing Nightstalkers at the time, as well as Spectacular Spider-Man (J.M. DeMatteis had moved over to take on Amazing Spider-Man after David Michelinie left that book), so while very few non-Midnight Sons titles tied in with the event, Spectacular Spider-Man was going to be an exception. However, after Grant had already written the issue and seen it solicited as a tie-in, complete with a Sal Buscema cover…
word then came down that any tie-ins had to SPECIFICALLY tie into the story. In other words, if your issue came out the week of Part 3, it would have to tie in with the events of Part 3 specifically, so that your tie-in issue could just slot right into the narrative. That was not the case with Grant’s issue, especially since at the point in the story where Spectacular Spider-Man #207 would tie in, the Midnight Sons were seemingly dead, so Ghost Rider wasn’t even technically AVAILABLE for Spider-Man to team up with under this new restriction!
So Spectacular Spider-Man editor Mark Powers (working under group editor Danny Fingeroth) decided to just break free from the event and become a non-official tie-in. This was a big deal back then, as this was during a time when books that altered solicitations would become returnable and that was obviously a big no-no, but it couldn’t tie in, so what could Powers do? So Grant quickly retooled the story to now be a Shroud team-up with Spider-Man…
He still tied in with the Siege of Darkness briefly…
with the villains being stuff left over from Strange’s home.
I must say, Grant and Buscema did a hell of a job managing to SUPER quickly re-work the story into a whole other area. Good for them.
Thanks to the great Steven Grant for the information about this story!
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Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week’s legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org!
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