Monday, April 18, 2011

Secret Origin of the Avengers

As I have said repeatedly before, Formspring is a constant source of information and interaction with comic book professionals, and no one shares more than Tom Brevoort. Marvel's SVP recently shared the secret origin of the Avengers as a book. I wasn't familiar with this story at all, and I don't think many people are, so I felt it was worth sharing it far and wide. Hit the jump to see how the Avengers got their start, and how Daredevil ties into everything.


On Brevoort's Formspring page, there had been a long discussion over what the Avengers roster should look like, and people complaining about the current team, etc. However, from there the discussion turned towards the origin behind the Avengers as a book, and Brevoort shared this little historical gem...

I don't have the room to do this justice, but here's a Reader's Digest version. Martin Goodman, Marvel's publisher at the time, was famous for flooding the market with anything that worked. So in early 1963, after the first bunch of Marvel super hero releases started to hit, he told Stan, "Give me another Spider-Man and another Fantastic Four." In other words, new characters who were very much like those characters, and would appeal to the same audience.

So two books were started: X-Men, which was the Fantastic Four style book (and even says so on the first two covers) with a team of heroes in identical blue costumes fighting a guy who resembles Doctor Doom on the cover; and Daredevil, which was the Spider-Man book (and says so on the first cover as well), the quippy urban adventurer. Now, Stan was smart enough to do more with these characters and concepts that simply knocking off his earlier characters, but that's where they started. But Bill Everett, with whom Stan co-created Daredevil, had both a day job and a drinking problem. And so production on DAREDEVIL #1 fell way behind. In those days, you booked print time way ahead of time--and if your book wasn't ready, you paid for the printing time anyway. So it was vital to get something to press on time. But Bill Everett was a favorite of Martin Goodman, stemming back to the 40s when he created the Sub-Mariner.

Regardless, there was suddenly a hole in the schedule, with no book where a book should be. In trying to solve this problem, Stan hit on the notion of doing a strip that brought all of the heroes together JLA-style--that would be a book that wouldn't require any ramp-up time, because the characters (and even the villain) all existed already. So he and Jack Kirby brainstormed the first issue, Kirby drew it up hastily, Dick Ayers inked it in what looks like no time flat, and it came out the same month as X-MEN #1. (DAREDEVIL #1 followed around six months later--with Steve Ditko pitching in to help finish it up, and with a different artist on it beginning with #2.)

Interesting, isn't it? Had Bill Everett not been running late with his work on Daredevil, things would have turned out completely different. I don't think that Marvel would have gone on long without a JLA-like team, considering how popular that franchise was, but it could have been at a later time, and with a completely different roster (even Daredevil) or maybe new characters. Hey, that sounds like an interesting “What If?”...

In any case, if you haven't checked Formspring yet, it really is a wonderful website to get involved with creators. Breevort answers a lot of questions, and while a lot of them are about calming down angry Jean Grey / Hulk / Thor fans, every now and then, we get really interesting behind the scenes look at the comic industry like the one above.


Related Posts


11 comments:

Naymlap said...

To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

twobitspecialist said...

This is actually rather interesting.

Eric in Ottawa said...

Tom Brevoort always has really interesting insights! For a while, he had a great, short blog series called something to the effect of "Books I screwed up."

Anytime he shares a story like this, I'm all ears (...or eyes).

oakleyses said...

prada handbags, christian louboutin shoes, kate spade, kate spade outlet, tiffany and co, replica watches, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, tiffany jewelry, coach outlet store online, nike air max, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, ray ban sunglasses, prada outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin, michael kors outlet, burberry handbags, polo outlet, gucci handbags, coach outlet, nike outlet, burberry outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, coach outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet online, jordan shoes, chanel handbags, nike air max, michael kors outlet store, nike free, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin uk, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online

oakleyses said...

hollister uk, true religion jeans, louboutin pas cher, new balance, north face, guess pas cher, nike air max, converse pas cher, michael kors, air max, michael kors pas cher, ray ban uk, ray ban pas cher, true religion outlet, polo lacoste, sac vanessa bruno, true religion outlet, longchamp pas cher, nike tn, hollister pas cher, north face uk, sac hermes, ralph lauren uk, nike roshe, coach purses, true religion outlet, timberland pas cher, michael kors outlet, burberry pas cher, nike free run, lululemon canada, jordan pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, oakley pas cher, vans pas cher, hogan outlet, mulberry uk, nike air force, polo ralph lauren, nike blazer pas cher

oakleyses said...

ferragamo shoes, north face outlet, instyler, nike air max uk, nfl jerseys, nike roshe run uk, asics running shoes, new balance shoes, mont blanc pens, abercrombie and fitch uk, mcm handbags, bottega veneta, p90x workout, soccer shoes, chi flat iron, nike trainers uk, wedding dresses, abercrombie and fitch, mac cosmetics, jimmy choo outlet, nike huaraches, nike free uk, reebok outlet, north face outlet, babyliss, hermes belt, soccer jerseys, nike air max uk, beats by dre, ghd hair, hollister, nike roshe run, giuseppe zanotti outlet, vans outlet, valentino shoes, insanity workout, longchamp uk, lululemon, herve leger, celine handbags

oakleyses said...

iphone 6 cases, juicy couture outlet, oakley, gucci, timberland boots, marc jacobs, pandora charms, karen millen uk, swarovski, converse, nike air max, pandora uk, baseball bats, swarovski crystal, coach outlet, ralph lauren, links of london, ray ban, hollister, montre pas cher, lancel, toms shoes, louboutin, vans, hollister, nike air max, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, replica watches, wedding dresses, converse outlet, supra shoes, thomas sabo, hollister clothing

oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet online, tiffany jewelry, tiffany and co, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet, prada outlet, jordan shoes, nike air max, nike free, michael kors outlet online, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin shoes, tory burch outlet, nike air max, polo ralph lauren outlet online, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet online, burberry handbags, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses, kate spade, polo outlet, christian louboutin uk, ray ban sunglasses, coach outlet, coach outlet store online, longchamp outlet, replica watches, christian louboutin outlet, longchamp outlet, coach outlet, ray ban sunglasses, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, prada handbags, michael kors outlet store, gucci handbags, nike outlet

oakleyses said...

timberland pas cher, jordan pas cher, polo ralph lauren, nike free run, sac longchamp pas cher, michael kors pas cher, burberry pas cher, new balance, nike air force, north face, michael kors, vans pas cher, mulberry uk, nike blazer pas cher, hollister pas cher, nike roshe, lululemon canada, louboutin pas cher, guess pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, sac hermes, converse pas cher, nike air max, true religion jeans, longchamp pas cher, hogan outlet, ralph lauren uk, nike tn, ray ban uk, north face uk, oakley pas cher, air max, true religion outlet, true religion outlet, hollister uk, ray ban pas cher, coach purses, true religion outlet, polo lacoste, michael kors outlet

oakleyses said...

jimmy choo outlet, asics running shoes, instyler, vans outlet, nike roshe run, chi flat iron, soccer shoes, ghd hair, insanity workout, hermes belt, nike huaraches, nike trainers uk, bottega veneta, babyliss, ferragamo shoes, mont blanc pens, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max uk, mac cosmetics, longchamp uk, celine handbags, north face outlet, nike roshe run uk, beats by dre, nike air max uk, wedding dresses, new balance shoes, lululemon, north face outlet, soccer jerseys, nfl jerseys, giuseppe zanotti outlet, p90x workout, valentino shoes, herve leger, abercrombie and fitch uk, hollister, mcm handbags, nike free uk, reebok outlet

oakleyses said...

nike air max, vans, baseball bats, montre pas cher, converse, juicy couture outlet, iphone 6 cases, links of london, pandora charms, pandora jewelry, lancel, juicy couture outlet, swarovski, pandora uk, marc jacobs, thomas sabo, karen millen uk, wedding dresses, supra shoes, hollister, replica watches, ray ban, swarovski crystal, converse outlet, timberland boots, nike air max, toms shoes, coach outlet, louboutin, hollister clothing, oakley, hollister, gucci, ralph lauren

Post a Comment

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Crisis - Comic Book Review Blog. Comments are always appreciated. You can sign in and comment with any Google, Wordpress, Live Journal, AIM, OpenID or TypePad account.