Hidden Gems #1: Delectable delights about comics and comic creators
Updated: Mar 11
New finds this week
by The Mysterious Masked Marauder
Writing a blog about comics can be a tough task especially because the subject has a fan base of discerning and knowledgeable comic fans and collectors. So while setting about to write this, I knew that there would be many of those discerning fans who are much more knowledgeable than me (and whose dissertations I periodically enjoy!). So for a while I was stuck. I didn’t know what to write. And then, as it sometimes does, reading comics provided the answer. Or, to be more precise, reading comics-related publications like Amazing Heroes, Comics Interview and The Comics Journal, besides several superb online blogs.
I discovered that the advertisements, articles and interviews in these publications contained many hidden gems of comic history. Hopefully a few of these stories will be new and interesting to at least a few of the readers. Here are a couple to get us going.
In Amazing Heroes #75, Chris Claremont reveals that Alan Moore once submitted a hundred word script for three comic pages that he contributed to the Heroes for Hope X-Men Special comic (1985). In those three pages, he describes three books that Magneto has displayed behind him.
Here’s the story in Chris Claremont’s own words:
Alan Moore wrote pages 16-18 of Heroes for Hope, and Chris Claremont was right, those three books were not shown on the actual page. But it certainly made me think a little differently about Magneto. Although I must confess I haven’t read any of those books, I know enough about them to understand that of course Alan Moore was right – those books would certainly be on Magneto’s bookshelf! What’s more interesting, is that perhaps this reveals a little something about Alan Moore’s own technique for understanding or developing characters, in addition to showing what an erudite person he is. Of course, we all knew that already, didn’t we!
Family Tree: Wonder Man, Ultron, The Vision… and who?!!!
If you’re a Marvel fan like me, then the extraordinary relationship between Wonder Man (soon to have his own MCU series!), The Vision (mega-star of The Avengers and Wandavision) and Ultron (he got his own Avengers movie!) probably fascinates you. And, discerning and knowledgeable fan that you are, you definitely know that in the comics, Ultron was created by Hank Pym (a marvelously more interesting character than his MCU movie counterpart), and that Ultron, in turn created The Vision. And you probably know that in the comics, The Vision’s brainwaves were based on Wonder Man’s own brain patterns. So I guess they are all related, in a way. But here’s what I didn’t know was that there was a fourth Avenger, originally one of the Golden Age Invaders, in the family tree. I discovered this while browsing through my copy of Amazing Heroes #75, which I should mention, I discovered in one of the bombastic box shops at Pink Ponk Comics, that fine emporium of back issues and collectibles. And no, George didn’t make me write that! Anyway, back to our story. I’ll let this fine advertisement speak for itself:
Now as if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, let’s not forget that this family tree has some new branches, two of which first appeared in The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Limited Series (1985), and also appeared in the MCU’s Wandavision (2021):
Now these two young chaps grew up in the comics to become Wiccan and Speed, members of the Young Avengers, and there was a wee hint to that effect in Wandavision too:
Had enough of the Vision’s family tree? Wait, there’s more! In The Vision vol 2 mini-series (2015), writer Tom King introduced Viv and Vin Vision, android children that he created himself. Now Tom King is the same guy who wrote the brilliant mini-series Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, now confirmed by James Gunn for the DCU. The Vision is, in my opinion, one of the best pieces of work by this talented writer. Here’s a look at the Vision’s second pair of twins:
So there you have it folks. As far as I can tell, that’s the totality of the Vision’s family tree. Unless of course, you want to rake up Grim Reaper. But that’s a story for another day.