Ménàge à Trois
Back in 1976 for eight months or so Dave Cockrum and I shared a big, three bedroom apartment in Bellerose, Queens, till I eventually found a nice place of my own in Queens Village. Both of us had worked on the Legion of Super-Heroes, of course. In fact, I narrowly missed having Dave draw some of my stories when in the mid-1970’s when I started writing the Legion again for a while, shortly after he left the series.
Though I was working on staff at Marvel, my boss, Marv Wolfman, graciously allowed me to finish the three or four Legion scripts assigned to me by editor Murray Boltinoff before I took the job at Marvel. Dave loved the Legion characters and was very interested to hear about the stories I was working on and kibbitz a little. Roger Stern, who also lived in Queens and hung out with Dave and me once in a while, chipped in on the plots, too. It was fun. Like a barn raising.
Anyway, Dave and I talked a lot about the characters and series, what I’d done with it, what he’d done. He was proud of the fact that he’d gotten away with giving the Legionnaires individual physiotypes rather than the cookie cutter bodies they’d always had before. He had to be subtle about it. DC in general and Murray in particular did not look kindly upon straying from the herd.
Dave being Dave, he had his own funny/clever nicknames for the Legionnaires. The only one I can remember off the top of my head is the one he came up with for Shrinking Violet: “Itty-Bitty Pretty One.”
At some point, he showed me a two-page spread he’d drawn in issue #200 of Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes. Somehow I hadn’t seen that issue before.
The wedding of Luornu Durgo/Duo Damsel and Chuck Taine/Bouncing Boy. Let’s see, she can split into two of herself so…ménàge à trois?
Or had they lost their powers at that point? I forget. DD had her powers when I used her ten issues later. I think. It was a long time ago….
Dave was very proud of that spread. Dave being Dave, he drew the Martian Manhunter in the background, since the wedding took place on Mars. I love the body language, the acting…great stuff.
I don’t remember much about the story, but by virtue of that spread alone the wedding of Luornu Durgo (times two or not) and Chuck Taine is memorable.
About 30 years later, in 2007, I went back to the future and wrote the Legion of Super-Heroes again for a while. That proved to be one of the most frustrating and disappointing professional experiences I’ve ever had, and this is me, remember, so that’s goin’ some. Nonetheless, I think I wrote some good scripts.
The “regular” penciler, a talented young man, had trouble making the schedule. The editor asked me to come up with a two fill-in stories that were in continuity, at least in a token way. Okay….
Mark Waid, the previous writer (aside from some fill-ins) had left me a little gift, accidentally, I think. In one issue of his run, he had Dream Girl, whose prophesies are infallible, predict that she and Brainiac 5 would get married. Later, he killed off Dream Girl pretty convincingly.
I pitched an idea to the editor, who liked it. I wrote out a plot of sorts, mostly for my own purposes, to get the story straight in my head. Below is that plot and a brief description of the second fill-in, part two of the story. Please keep in mind that this isn’t a plot in the sense of a Marvel plot. It was NOT intended to be given an artist to draw. It was for my use and to get across to the editor what I was up to ONLY. No one else saw it.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
|Francis Manapul’s interpretation|