Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and thirty-eighth 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.
Pyro of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants was originally intended to be gay.
As we have discussed at many points in the past here at Comic Book Legends Revealed, while they helped create one of the all-time greatest runs on a comic book title in the history of comic books (they routinely finish in the top two or three runs whenever we do our Top 100 Comic Book Runs vote), the relationship between John Byrne and Chris Claremont on X-Men was an awkward one. Just recently, I noted how Byrne was so irked that Chris Claremont added a sound effect to an explosion that Byrne drew in an early issue of their run that Byrne made a reference to it in an issue of Fantasic Four a couple of years later.
The main problem with their working relationship came in how the issues were produced. They would co-plot the story, Byrne would draw the issue based on the plot and then Claremont would script it. As time went by, Byrne would do much of the plotting himself and then Claremont would script over it. The problem (from Byrne’s perspective) was that since Claremont added the script AFTER Byrne’s plot, then Claremont had final say, of sorts, on what happened in the issue.
This was the case in X-Men #141, where we met a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Byrne intended for new Brotherhood member, Pyro, to be gay and drew him with that in mind. Claremont, though, decided to instead make him British.
It reminds me of this song from Legally Blonde: The Musical, “Gay or European”…
This, of course, gets into questions of having a character “look” gay and all that.
Byrne had already decided to leave the series at this point for other problems he had with Claremont. He would draw only two more issues after this one. Since Destiny and Mystique ended up being a couple, that would have been quite a progressive supervillain team!
Claremont later decided to make Pyro Australian, but in that first story, he’s referred to as an “Englishman” twice.
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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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