Among the list of things that will keep me from joining Marvel or DC is that whatever you write will be retconned away not based on fan desires but the desires of the writer. Let’s say I made a “stunning revelation” (and granted it’s a stupid one, but I had a long day today) that Supergirl learns that Jor-El was her actual father…let’s not involve adultery and blame it on her father being impotent but they really wanted to have children–I think sperm donors could exist on superscientific Krypton.

Now somewhere along the line–doesn’t matter how long, DC brings Brian Snell (of Slay Monstrobot fame) and he decides that was stupid. (In this case, he’d be right, but I’m tired so go with it.) So he totally undoes that revelation in favor of his own. Now my contribution to the Superman mythos is thrown aside like it was garbage.

Now imagine that happening to a GOOD idea?

Well, a recent Comic Book Legends Revealed article and an old one both show that if the new writer hates the idea, they’ll change it on a whim. Take a more recent example, with Superboy (clone flavored).

I don’t know where it was revealed that the kid who would take the name Connor wasn’t a full Kryptonian clone, but in the 1995 Annual it was revealed that the remaining DNA requirements were filled in by Paul Westfield, the director of Project Cadmus, the questionable genetics lab of the DC Universe.

For a reason I can’t imagine, Geoff Johns decided that he wanted to make his own revelation, that Lex Luthor was actually the other baby daddy. And in his restoration of Teen Titans, that’s exactly what he did. So how long as he wanted to do this?

Brian Cronin, who has taken his weekly column and formed an empire out of debunking entertainment and other myths, found this in Superboy issue # 26, dated April 1996. When did that issue of Teen Titans come out? September 2003. According to Cronin’s article, Johns would push for this change every chance he could. In other words, what Karl Kessel had come up with well before Johns sent in his letter didn’t matter, because what Geoff Johns wants, Geoff Johns gets.

And really, I haven’t read the story, but how and why did Luthor get his DNA put in place of Westfield? And why was Johns so insistent on it? And it’s not the first time, nor will it be the last. Let’s stick with parenting. From a previous article.

COMIC LEGEND: Marvel originally intended Magneto to be Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s father.


A few people have asked me this over the years, but the one I read recently was by commenter yo go re (who asked about it three years ago!).

And it seems like a pretty definitive “no.”

The thought was never there until Neal Adams showed us what Magneto looked like under the helmet in X-Men #62 in 1969…
And in 1970, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s “real” parents were introduced, Miss America and the Whizzer…
(John) Byrne did not like the Miss America and Whizzer reveal, so after he thought about it some, he approached Mark Gruenwald about using the idea for a possible Quicksilver story in Marvel Premiere. Meanwhile, Steven Grant also disliked the Whizzer/Miss America plot, and he ALSO theorized that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were Magneto’s children (Grant came at it from a different angle). And he, too, approached Mark Gruenwald and Avengers editor at the time, Roger Stern, about the idea.

So the idea began to be peppered into issues of X-Men and the Avengers – little hints, stuff like that, with it eventually to be that we, the readers, would pretty much know the truth.

And do you know who he decided to tell off for his “better” revelation? (The one that involved the High Evolutionary, stillborn babies, mothers dying in childbirth, all that happy stuff.)

English: Comic book artist John Byrne at the 1...

English: Comic book artist John Byrne at the 1992 San Diego Comic Book Expo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yep. John Byrne (the guy who would later turn Luthor from a criminal genius to an evil businessman and tried to tie Spider-Man’s origin to Doctor Octopus) told Stan Lee “I can write about your creations better than you!”.

This is why I’m sticking with the independent route. I’d hate to think some writer down the line would try to make Max the “real” father of Beth. I’d have to come back from the grave and hit somebody with my own tombstone.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

4 responses »

  1. Jan says:

    Kinda reminds me of what Jim Starlin did to the New Gods.

    What a jack hole.


  2. notintheface says:

    He killed ’em all off in DEATH OF THE NEW GODS.

    Another example was Brian Bendis’ characterization of the Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Disassembled. Years prior to that point, Kurt Busiek and George Perez provided a wonderful explanation of Wanda’s powers, attributing it to “chaos magic” in a way that reflected and respected the history of the character and the work that prior writers like Gruenwald, Grant and Byrne had done on her. What happened next? Bendis flushed all Busiek and Perez’ work on Wanda down the toilet by having Doctor Strange essentially declare, “Oh, chaos magic? That’s all bullshit!” in Disassembled. That was one of the things that made me lose much respect for Bendis as a writer.


    • That’s the one I was talking about. I didn’t know Starlin wrote that story. I just remember hearing about it in one of Linkara’s episodes.

      As for the Scarlet Witch, was there anything Bendis did right with that character? Cosmic/magical just isn’t his thing, which makes the fact that he’s writing New Avengers at all a bit odd. As I’ve said, it would be like me writing Batman when I’m more suited for Superman.


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