Comic Book Legends Revealed #536

Welcome to the five hundred and thirty-sixth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, in honor of two comic book characters in the news, we’ll do a pair of legends featuring Psylocke and a pair of legends featuring Devil Dinosaur!

Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to access it to update it in a while).

Click here to read this week’s legends.

Was Perry White Nearly Played by a James Earl Jones on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Perry White was nearly played by a black actor on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

The issue of color blind casting for film and television adaptations of comic book properties has long been a controversial subject for fans. The simple fact of the matter is that most famous comic book properties are fifty, sixty and in some cases, nearly eighty years old and back in 1938, 1956 or 1961, it was just highly unlikely that African-American characters were going to be included in the supporting cast of the comics. Therefore, movie studios casting these films and TV series today now take that into account and look for a more diverse cast. This is nothing new, of course. Batman Returns was originally going to include Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face and had Tim Burton remained on the Batman films, it is likely that Marlon Wayans would have been Robin in the third Batman film. Both of those roles, though, were eventually cast with white actors (Tommy Lee Jones and Chris O’Donnell, respectively). Recently, though, there have been some changes. 2002 saw the late Michael Clark Duncan cast as Kingpin in the Daredevil film. 2013 saw Laurence Fishburne play Perry White in Man of Steel. Just recently, Mehcad Brooks was cast as James “Jimmy” Olsen in the upcoming CBS Supergirl TV series.

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Interestingly enough, though, Perry White was almost played by a black actor twenty years ago on the ABC TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Find out what happened!
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Did Dexy’s Midnight Runners Hire Their Violinist After Seeing Her at a Bus Stop?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND:Helen O’Hara was hired by Dexy’s Midnight Runners after the lead singer of the band discovered her at a bus stop with her violin.

The story of a musician being pulled out of a crowd to join a band is a popular one, even if it is rarely true. Interestingly enough, in a past edition of Music Urban Legends Revealed, I spotlighted the true story of Scarlett Rivera, who Bob Dylan literally plucked from the obscurity of a New York sidewalk to perform on his album, Desire.

However, in the case of Helen O’Hara, violinist for Dexy’s Midnight Runners from 1982 to 1987, the truth is less interesting than the fiction Kevin Rowland (lead singer of the band) came up with to explain how O’Hara joined the group.
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Did the 1970s Gas Crisis Cause the Demise of the Original G.I. Joe?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about toys and whether they are true or false.

TOY URBAN LEGEND: The original line of G.I. Joe toys ended because of the 1970s gas crisis.

G.I. Joe was a popular children’s doll (or “action figure”) who debuted in 1964.

G.I. Joe was a twelve inch plastic doll that had vinyl outfits. As the character became more and more popular, the maker of the toy (Hasbro) began developing different varieties of the toy. In the late 1960s, with the Vietnam War at his peak, the “soldier” aspect of the toy was downplayed and G.I. Joe became more of an “adventurer” than a “soldier.”

By the late 1970s, the toy had gone through a number of changes and sales had slowed a bit. However, the biggest cause in the demise of the original G.I. Joe came in a surprising place – Iran.
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Did Chuck Norris Turn Down the Karate Kid Because it Dishonored Karate?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Chuck Norris turned down The Karate Kid.

When it comes to legends, Chuck Norris has pretty much anyone beat, as there is a whole industry made up of just inventing facts about Chuck Norris, like “There used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but they changed the name because no one crosses Chuck Norris and lives” and “When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.” However, even a guy as legendary as Chuck Norris still has some false stories told about him. One of the most notable characters in the 1984 film, Karate Kid, is the “evil” sensei, John Kreese, played by Martin Kove. Kreese infamously tells one of his pupils to use an illegal kick to the knee with the intent of injuring his opponent (Ralph Macchio’s Daniel, the “Karate Kid” of the film’s title).

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It gets that pupil disqualified, but sets it up so that another one of Kreese’s pupils will win by default. It almost knocks Daniel out of the tournament, but Daniel’s sensei, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), uses a pain suppression technique to allow Daniel to keep competing. In the finals, Kreese has his classic line where he tells his remaining pupil (Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka) to “sweep the leg” (attack the injured leg). Daniel, of course, succeeds anyways. A long-standing rumor was that the original choice to play Kreese was Chuck Norris, but Norris turned it down because of the bad example it gave for karate instructors.

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Is this “Chuck Norris fact” true?
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Fantastic Four Legends Revealed

In honor of the Fantastic Four’s new movie, we decided to spotlight past editions of Comic Book Legends Revealed that have featured the Fantastic Four over the years!

Check them all out below!
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #535

Welcome to the five hundred and thirty-fifth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, in honor of the release of the new Fantastic Four film, it’s an all-FF edition of CBLR! Did Grant Morrison really propose a storyline involving the Invisible Woman being sexually attracted to the Human Torch? Did Chris Claremont and John Byrne really co-write an issue of Fantastic Four? How was the Phoenix’s return in the pages of Fantastic Four re-written AND re-drawn? And finally, did John Byrne’s Fantastic Four run once have a fill-in issue when no fill-in issue was needed?

Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to access it to update it in a while).

Click here to read this week’s legends.

Did Kanye West Re-Record His Vocals on “Through the Wire” AFTER His Jaw Injury Healed?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: The official release of “Through the Wire” has re-recorded vocals by Kanye after his jaw had further healed.

In the beginning of the 21st Century, Kanye West had made a name for himself as one of the top young producers in the rap industry. However, West wanted to do more than produce other rappers’ tracks. He wanted to do his own songs. He had trouble getting signed and even after Roc-a-Fella Records signed him, they were unsure if they actually wanted to put out an album of his music.

This changed with the release of “Through the Wire,” a song that West wrote after a devastating 2002 car accident he was in coming home from a production session. The accident left his jaw wired shut. While in the hospital, he heard Chaka Khan’s 1985 hit “Through the Fire” on the radio (from her album I Feel For You)…

The phrase “through the fire” made him think about his accident, and specifically the wire around his jaw. Less than two months after the accident, West recorded “Through the Wire,” a song about his situation.

The powerful tune convinced Roc-A-Fella to back West on a solo album and in late 2003 the tune was the lead single from West’s 2004 classic rap album, College Dropout…

However, what many people do not know is that the official album release of “Through the Wire” is not the actual song that West recorded right after his accident.
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Was Ray Palmer on Arrow Originally Going to be Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Originally Blue Beetle was going to take over Queen Consolidated on Arrow instead of the Atom.

When it comes to writing an ongoing TV series, there are always going to be obstacles that will get in the way of the story that you are trying to tell. We have spotlighted a number of these obstacles over the years, from one of your lead characters dying to discovering that the actor you hired to play John Lennon in your TV movie has the same name as the guy who killed John Lennon. Heck, current Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim was even a staff member on David E. Kelley’s The Practice when Kelley was dealing with a massive obstacle on his other show, Ally McBeal, where Ally was set to marry Robert Downey Jr’s Larry Paul right before Kelley had to instead write Larry offf of the show entirely (check out this old TV Legends Revealed to find out why). In the case of TV shows like Arrow and Flash, though, the showrunners of the shows have to keep in mind that they are dealing with licensed characters, and as a result, certain characters might unexpectedly become unavailable to them. One of these incidents led to the introduction of Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer in this past season of Arrow.

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Find out how Routh could have possibly played the Blue Beetle instead!
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Did Robert Lowell Once Live in a Tent on His Mentor’s Lawn?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to poetry and poets and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of all poetry legends featured so far.

POETRY URBAN LEGEND: Robert Lowell famously responded literally to a joking suggestion by famed poetry professor Allen Tate that Lowell could live in a tent on Tate’s yard.

Robert Lowell, the father of “confessional poetry” was one of the most celebrated poets in the history of American poetry. The Boston-born poet was the sixth U.S. poet laureate and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

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Lowell originally studied at Harvard University, but he changed his mind when he met famed English author Ford Madox Ford at a party in Boston after Lowell’s second year in school. The Good Soldier novelist remarked that he was headed to go stay with famed poet Allen Tate (the SECOND U.S. poet laureate) in Ohio, where Tate and John Crowe Ransom were teaching at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

Lowell actually ended up in Ohio before Ford. This led to an amazing exchange between he and the Tate’s that Lowell later recounted to the Paris Review in 1961…
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