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.)
Monday, April 18, 2011
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...
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.