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Dr. Peter Corbeau Is Just Too Fascinating To Be Forgotten

This is "I've Been Here Before," a feature that deals with a term that I coined called "nepotistic continuity," which refers to the way that comic book writers sometimes bring back minor characters that they themselves created in the past as characters in their later work (we're talking after a break of at least two years or so). This is not an insult, it's just interesting to note it when it occurs.

Today, we look at the return of Dr. Peter Corbeau.

Chris Claremont is obviously the most famous example of this particular trend in comics, but what I admire a lot about Claremont is that he is also devoted to OTHER people's characters. For instance, when Claremont returned to the X-Men titles in 2000, he did a lot of excellent work with Dr. Cecilia Reyes, a character introduced just a year or so before he returned. Similarly, when he launched X-Treme X-Men, one of the characters he spent the most time on in the series was Bishop, a character introduced after he left the X-Men for the first time in 1991. Also, of course, it is worth noting that Claremont didn't create Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm, Colossus and Professor X and yet he is quite famous for what he did with those characters over the years. So, if Claremont had not created Dr. Peter Corbeau, it would not shock me to see Claremont use him in other comics. However, in this instance, despite Corbeau technically debuting in an issue which Archie Goodwin wrote and not Claremont, Corbeau IS a Claremont creation. Claremont came up with the plot for Incredible Hulk #148, which Goodwin wrote in his debut as the scripter on Incredible Hulk. So while technically I guess Corebau is "officially" a Goowin creation if you're going by "Whoever did the issue the character debuts in outside of some sort of creator agreement is the creator" rule, then Goodwin is Corbeau's creator, but come on, it's obviously really Claremont.

In the issue (with art by Herb Trimpe and John Severin), Dr. Corbeau is working with Thunderbolt Ross to capture the Hulk...

Once they do so, we see that Corbeau has found a way to use the sun to cure Corbeau's old roommate, Bruce Banner, of being the Hulk....

Now that the sun is all crazy, Bruce volunteers to have the treatment reversed (Bruce is a good dude), but Corbeau resists...

Sure enough, however, the process IS later reversed in the issue. The issue ends with the sun no longer in the specific state they need it to be in for the process to work again.

A few months later, Corbeau shows up again in Avengers #102 (by Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler and Joe Sinnott), ANOTHER comic book with a Chris Claremont plot assist (Claremont was an intern at Marvel at the time)...

In 1973, Claremont got the chance to write his first comic book himself, Daredevil #102, and he, of course, referenced Corbeau in the issue...

In 1974, Steve Englehart became the first writer without a Claremont plot assist to use Corbeau, as he is brought in in Incredible Hulk #172 (by Englehart, Tony Isabella, Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel) to help try to cure the Hulk again (spoiler - it does not work)...

That would be it for Corbeau for a few years...

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