Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fiftieth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Yes, we’ve seriously done 650 of these bad boys. Yikes.
As we’ve been doing it for some time now, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.
The Walking Dead was originally set on another planet, hence it being called Dead Planet.
Partially False, but Mostly True
This week had a bonus CBLR edition as I did one on Wednesday about Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead #75, which paid off on an old joke Kirkman had involving aliens and The Walking Dead. However, reader Matt O. wrote in to tell me how aliens actually played much more of a role in the origins of The Walking Dead (and my pal Jamie later noted to me on Facebook, as well, after I had already decided to make this week’s legends be all about the origins of The Walking Dead).
Anyhow, the key to this all is that what eventually became The Walking Dead originated in a pitch by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore for a series called Dead Planet. Here is part of their original pitch…
The concept of this series was that in the 27th Century, Earth has become basically a utopia. That is, until space explorers discover an inhabitable planet that is empty. A mineral on that planet, though, could basically turn people into zombies. The government thinks that this could be a useful tool for war. You know, drop a bomb on an enemy with this mineral mixed in and whoever doesn’t get killed in the initial blast then turns into a zombie and kills the others.
The idea is that, of course, this mineral gets released on Earth and we would slowly see the planet, over a long period of time, turn from a utopia to a disaster.
Each arc would feature different characters and it would take place over years (possibly even hundreds of years). Kirkman argued that one of the hooks for the book was the fact that each arc could stand on its own, and therefore the book could end at any time and fans could get a full story. Smart approach.
It all was based on the basic pitch for The Walking Dead, which was the idea that Kirkman is most interested in what happens after the END of the zombie film. What goes on later on? That was what Dead Planet would explore.
Image Comics, though, turned the pitch down.
The false part is just that it was still set on Earth, and most of the time I hear Dead Planet described as being set on another planet. That’s not the case. The basic idea of the pitch, though, is the same, so it’s mostly true, just with a little bit of false mixed in.
Okay, that’s it for Dead Planet, but Kirkman and Moore, of course, were more resilient than that! Check back tomorrow to see what happened next!
Thanks to Matt O. for the suggestion, thanks to Jamie Coville for telling me more about this stuff and thanks to Dave Marks at the Zombie Research Society for information about this and the rest of this weekend’s The Walking Dead-related legends!
Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:
Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week’s The Walking Dead 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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