Robot 6

Avengers owe their existence to a missed ‘Daredevil’ deadline?

avengers1The Motley Fool marks the 50th anniversary of the Avengers with an article that’s part history lesson, part early celebration of Disney’s potential box-office haul from films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers: Age of Ultron (it is a financial website, after all). But the interesting part of the piece is a bit of trivia I’d never read before: that The Avengers #1 was thrown into production only because of a major delay on Daredevil #1.

While the article doesn’t provide a source, that tidbit may have come from Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior vice president of publishing, who explained in 2011 that the company planned to follow The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man in 1963 with The X-Men and Daredevil. However, between his day job and his drinking problem, artist Bill Everett fell far, far behind on Daredevil #1, leaving Marvel with a printing deadline but no comic.

“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,” Brevoort wrote.

An so it fell to Stan Lee to quickly come up with an idea for a comic that could fill the whole, and keep Marvel from losing money to a missed deadline. His solution was a title that brought together five of the company’s superheroes — Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, the Wasp and the Incredible Hulk — Justice League of America-style.

“So he and Jack Kirby brainstormed the first issue,” Brevoort wrote, “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 made it to newsstands about six months later, in 1964, thanks to some help from Steve Ditko. Joe Orlando assumed duties as artist with the second issue.

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11 Comments

I knew DD was good for something.

lol, funny, but DD has had his moments! Miller’s run still defines the character to me :)

Well, Brian Cronin says it’s apparently true, and I tend to take his word on these things. http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2011/04/22/comic-book-legends-revealed-310/

To be fair, I was also just relying on Brevoort. I believe it IS true, but I was relying on Tom to give it a true. I am comfortable with that, but it’s not like I had any unique information.

“However, between his day job and his drinking problem, artist Bill Everett fell far, far behind on Daredevil #1, leaving Marvel with a printing deadline but no comic.”

Now THIS is the kind of SHIT I am sick to death fof seeing on comic-book message boards, let alone in a GOD-DAMNED “new” site.

Bill Everett worked at an ad agency ON SALARY. That means it was a MORE-THAN-FULL-TIME job.

“Drinking” had NOTHING to do with DAREDEVIL #1 being late. That ASSHOLE Martin Goodman demanded that Stan lee produce a comic named “Daredevil” SPECIFICALLY to prevent Charlton Comics & Pete Morisi from reviving the ORIGINAL character of that name, and to make sure he put a stop to them ASAP, put the book on the production schedule, BEFORE the first issue was finished, in fact, BEFORE the series was even “created”!

So for this, IDIOTS keep pointing fingers at BILL EVERETT, one of the BEST writers and BEST artists Marvel ever had working for them in the 40′s and 50′s.

“Daredevil #1 made it to newsstands about six months later, in 1964, thanks to some help from Steve Ditko. Joe Orlando assumed duties as artist with the second issue.”

Why don’t you mention that Jack Kirby designed the circus-acrobat costume & came up with a concept inspired by his earlier STUNTMAN series from the late 40′s– whiich Bill Everett rejected in favor of making him lawyer blinded in an accident (inspired by his daughter who was legally blind, and possibly the 1940 pulp character THE BLACK BAT), and created the supporting cast of Foggy Nelson & Karen Page while he was at it. ALL of which with ZERO input from his “editor”.

DAREDEVIL #1 remains a DAMNED good read, decades later. Which is more than I can say for DD #2-4, written and illustrated by Joe Orlando, and butchered beyond belief by that same “editor” into 3 of the WORST, most UNREADABLE Marvel Comics of the whole of the 1960′s. Orlando quit because he got fed up with having to rewrite & redraw page after page after page because his “editor” kept second-guessing the story after it was already drawn, in “Hollywood” fashion.

DD finally came together when Wally Wood came onboard– but he left when Lee refused to give him PAY AND CREDIT for writing the book, as well (plus, he got an offer to spearhead an entire line of comics from Tower).

Losing 3 writers in only 11 issues… great track record. NO way to start a new series, that’s for sure.

Henry R. Kujawa, you wrote both comments above.

I believe you.
Thanks for bringing light on it.

Bill Everett was a good artist. I remember some of his well polished inking on Jack Kirby’s Captain American and his beautiful art stint with Sub-Mariner series.

I’ve read on Mark Evainer’s blog that Lee could’ve removed Everett from Daredevil but didn’t because he liked the guy and wanted him to get paid. Evanier usually knows what he’s talking about. He even mentions the possibility of drink being involved. The link to the specific post is here.

http://www.newsfromme.com/2013/09/15/blind-dates/

I just wish Everett had been able to produce more because he was really, really good.

I suppose it seems like such a no-brainer now, it’s easy to throw it off as rumor, but if Evanier, Brevoort, and Cronin say it’s true as far as they know, that’s good enough for me until evidence to the contrary surfaces.

Agreed that Bill Everett was amazing. I’ve seen reprints of his work from the Golden Age, drawing Namor the Sub-Mariner and Venus, and it’s really beautiful stuff. His output in the Silver Age, however limited it was, is also impressive. Everett had the unenviable task of following immediately after Steve Ditko on the Doctor Strange feature in Strange Tales, and was quite good, all things considered. His few issues of Sub-Mariner in the early 1970s were also nice. And there were a couple of issues of Captain America where Everett inked Gene Colan’s pencils, which looked astonishing.

I’ve always thought that the Kirby art on the early Avengers looked half-baked. This would explain why.

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