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Traci Adell, the WWF, Fatale on TV, and the Web of the Snyder – Part 2

First This

 
When Fatale is brought up, occasionally I am accused of ripping off the concept of Chris Claremont’s power-stealing character Rogue, created in 1981. For anyone out there who subscribes to this nonsense, I would like to point out that I created the first (as far as I know) power-stealing character, the Parasite 15 years earlier in 1966. If I ripped off anyone, it was “my own, personal self,” as a former boss of mine used to say.

 

And while I’m in a complaining mood, Wikipedia lists artist Al Plastino as co-creator of the Parasite. Why do they do that? I created the design for the character, did layouts for the issue of Action Comics in which he appeared and Al did not deviate from the sketches I provided at all. Al created plenty of characters, but not the Parasite.
Hrrrumph.

Traci Adell

(A PICTURE OF TRACI ADELL – J, PICK ONE OF THESE:

 

 

 

I am too twitterpated to make a rational decision.)
Heehee. No decision here. -JayJay the Mischievous Blog Elf
Traci Adell was the Playmate of the Month in Playboy Magazine, July, 1994.
Here’s her “Data Sheet”:

 

Traci Adell became the live action Fatale.

 

Broadway Video Entertainment and the World Wrestling Federation
Lorne Michaels’ company, Broadway Video, is the co-producer of Saturday Night Live and producer of other TV shows. It is also owns the premiere video editing/processing company in the world (hence the company’s name “Broadway Video”). During the mid 1990’s, Broadway Video had a division called Broadway Video Entertainment. BVE owned and managed a library of films, television shows and classic properties like The Lone Ranger and Lassie. In addition, BVE invested in various ventures including Broadway Comics.
BVE was my 50/50 partner in Broadway Comics, though they were the General Partner and had ultimate decision-making power. The media/entertainment/licensing types at BVE got us a meeting with executives from the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) to discuss opportunities that might have mutual benefit.
I adamantly (but politely) refused to do licensed WWF comics. Been there, done that and it sucked.
So we talked about other things. We described our characters. They were interested in Fatale!
Hmm.
Long story short, after a few meetings they, the WWF and particularly Vince and wife Linda McMahon who ran the WWF, wanted to work with us in a joint venture-type deal with Fatale. Joint venture: Read: Not a lot of money changing hands, but perhaps a mutually beneficial opportunity might emerge.
Given the major motivators of media involvement listed last post—briefly: big exposure, heat, A-list star involvement and/or a major capital investment, none of which we, Broadway Comics or Fatale had going for us—why would the WWF, which already had a substantial television presence, be interested in little us?
I don’t know, but I have theories.
  • Possibly they thought that by working with us, they could get for free or cheap some useful creative input. I doubt it, actually. Vince McMahon has no shortage of confidence in his creativity. But, he might have thought that lesser lights like us could supply some straw he could spin into gold.
  • Possibly they imagined that working with us might be a foot in the door to getting exposure on national TV powerhouse Saturday Night Live. Maybe even a guest-host appearance by Vince McMahon and a bunch of WWF based skits.
  • Possibly they liked the idea of having a stake in the success of Fatale, imagining (as I did) that Broadway Video’s clout might spawn a movie, TV show and/or major licensing opportunities, the benefits of which they would share in. Getting a piece of a character that might really take off has its appeal.
Whatever. They wanted to work with us on Fatale.
So we, BVE and I, set about casting an actress to play Fatale.
When I was shown Traci Adell’s headshot and stills I almost applauded. She was, to quote a song from Bells Are Ringing, “…better far than a dream.” She even looked like Fatale. Perfect. Except she was a little taller than we’d imagined Fatale to be. Traci is 5’11”.
5’11” doesn’t seem all that tall to me. I’m 6’7” and change. So…no big deal, I figured. More on that later.
Anyway…the Broadway Video Entertainment execs and the Hollywood based Broadway Video people and I picked Traci from a field of many.
Traci passed muster at some audition in Hollywood. I wasn’t there.
P.S. Traci heard tell of being mentioned here and sent me (via JayJay) a nice e-mail. She fondly remembers her Fatale experiences.Sweet. Of course.

Anyway….
BVE flew her to New York and I got to meet her.
Holy moley!
Seeing Traci in person is…startling. She’s that pretty.
Traci is wonderfully photogenic but no photo does her justice. She’s unbelievably graceful. Maybe that’s why still pictures don’t deliver the full scope of her presence and her charm.
Traci met Broadway Comics’ core creative crew—Janet “JayJay” Jackson, Pauline Weiss and Joe James. We had drinks and a nice, long chat in the lobby bar of the Hilton on 6th Avenue where BVE/Broadway Comics put her up.
Traci is very open and completely genuine. And genuinely nice.
We all fell in love with her.
JayJay found a few pictures of Traci taken at Broadway Comics’ offices:
Traci and some comic book character
Barbara Morcerf: finance, Janet Claire Jackson and Pauline Weiss: writers/creators, Traci Adell: superstar, Erica Rodriguez: creative contributor, Debbie Fix: managing editor/head of production
Autographing Powers That Be #1
I met with Vince McMahon, his wife Linda and their WWF execs a number of times about the Fatale project.
Vince McMahon is a fast-thinking, creative, spontaneous guy. He can create on the fly. He reminds me a bit of Marv Wolfman—never at a loss for ideas. He’ll have ten to your one. Even if eight of them are less than brilliant, two rock, and he wins.
Vince would make adjustments to storylines and events intended to occur right up to the very moment the wrestlers entered the ring.
You do know that all professional wrestling events are scripted, right?
Linda McMahon is a smart, attractive, formidable woman. Once, she gave me a ride home in her limo from the offices of whomever we were meeting with and we got to talk for a little while. She’s aware, insightful, sharp and tough as tenpennies.
Once, the McMahons invited a group of us Broadway Comics people to a live event in Pittsburgh, my home town. We had great seats on floor level, just far enough back from the ring to have the best possible view. I’d been to WWF events before (remember, VALIANT was a licensee) but never watched from so close up. As I recall, people sitting in the chairs in that premium section were allowed to take the chairs with them when they left! I think Pauline and Alan Weiss actually did, and had them shipped back to New York.
Pauline and Alan were pro wrestling fans, which was a great help. They were up to date with the current buzz.
Together, at the request of the WWF, our core creative group crafted a couple of potential storylines involving Fatale to be acted out in the WWF live events and in their TV shows. I pitched our ideas to Vince, Linda and a group of WWF execs at their offices in Stamford.
The general gist: Obviously, we couldn’t have Fatale/Traci doing feats of superhuman strength like lifting the Undertaker over her head and tossing him out of the ring, but she could have a Siren-like irresistible attraction and a debilitating/enervating kiss. So, we played the super-Siren angle. One of our storyline proposals was a Helen of Troy-type thing, in which first two, then many wrestlers went to war over Fatale’s affections.
The second proposal was that there would be a hostile takeover of the WWF, aided, abetted and manipulated by Fatale. There was a wrestler called King something-or-other. He was going to oust Vince McMahon and become the new absolute ruler of the WWF.
In each of the scenarios, Fatale would start out appearing to be a “heel” (villain) but eventually be revealed to be a “face” (short for babyface, a hero).  Each of the scenarios involved male and female combatants in the ring, fighting at the same time—jealous women, jilted girlfriends, rivals. We proposed upping the ante regarding romance/sex/sexiness.
Our proposals were flatly refused. I was told that no way could there be women combatants in the ring with men. Out of the question. Vince didn’t like the powers that we proposed for Fatale—even though I offered that they could turn out to be something in her lipstick instead of supernatural abilities. And Vince didn’t like the takeover angle.
Sigh.

P.S. The lipstick thing might have been someone else’s idea. Pauline’s maybe?
But they still wanted to try using Traci and Fatale.
At some point, Traci and I went to the WWF’s TV studios in Stamford to tape a promo (I think it was a promo). She’s a talented, capable actress. Utterly confident, effortlessly natural on camera.I believe Traci appeared as Fatale on one or two WWF TV shows. They basically used her as eye candy, as I recall. Her part wasn’t nearly as important as it ought to have been, or so it seemed to me.  Fatale should have been the main focus, the star. They weren’t doing what we’d suggested and I think Vince, for once, just didn’t have an idea of what to do.

Nothing came of it. Vince took whatever story he was playing out in non-Fatale directions. A primary reason I was told: Traci was too tall.
The WWF (and others) routinely lie about/exaggerate the size of their performers. I once had a picture taken (at the Licensing Show in New York—or maybe it was Toy Fair) with Razor Ramon, billed as 6’7”, about the same as me. I towered over him. They had to shoot us from the waist up and I had to bend my knees—a lot—to lower myself down to his height.
No way to hide the fact that 5’11” Traci, in the ring in heels (and therefore 6’3”-ish) was obviously taller than wrestlers billed as 6’7” or more.
Awkward. For the WWF, that is.
If it were up to me, I would have run with it, made a big deal of her “goddess-like stature.” Or something. But that didn’t fly.
I think Vince, Linda and the WWF missed the boat big-time with Traci and Fatale. The live-action portion of the project got sort of back-burnered.
Anyway…that’s how I remember it. Corrections and embellishments from those in the know welcome.
Meanwhile, somebody came up with the idea that we could create a Fatale comics story that would run, serialized, in one of the WWF magazines. We started on the project.
Here’s the first plot:

 

Fatale
Serialized Comic Strip for WWF Magazine
Plot Outline
(Our intention is to focus on the “femme fatale” aspects of Desirée’s power, similar to her live WWF appearances—which is not to say that she won’t be the same as in our own comics—rather, we’ll play her abilities to drain people’s strength and abilities a bit more subtly and mysteriously—i.e., she probably won’t be lifting any tanks.)
The story begins with Desirée (Fatale), a popular Hollywood actress, on location at the site of the ancient Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, filming a movie called “Cortez” (which allows us to put her in an exotic, sexy Aztec costume). She’s crowded around by cast and crew, admired, fussed over.
During an action scene take, a well-organized, armored squad of terrorist types tries to kidnap Desirée—spectacular action. Desirée manages elude her kidnappers, and escapes into the maze of trailers and props around the movie set.  A woman motions her to duck into a safe haven, only to grab Desirée and menace her with a knife—the woman wants to kill her!
A brief struggle, and Desirée escapes, again by the skin of her teeth. Thus begins the chase of Desirée through exotic locales throughout the world.  She’s being pursued by a cult, who’ve been convinced by their high priest/leader that Desirée was the living embodiment of the death-goddess Kali, and that through a mystical ceremony involving Desirée and the priest, an “age of enlightenment” will commence—a time when the high priest will take possession of the world’s wealth and power and lead it to final death and destruction.
The woman who menaced Desirée, named Bavani, is a high-ranking member of this cult and a true believer, though she’s afraid of this “age of enlightenment.” She’s lovely (though not as stunningly gorgeous as Fatale) and deeply in love with the high priest. The high priest, however, has the hots for Desirée, and has cruelly cast Bavani aside. Bavani’s jealous of Desirée, and dependent on the high priest, and has dedicated herself to Desirée’s destruction.
Throughout this chase, we demonstrate men’s “fatale” attraction to Desirée and her devastating and mysterious power over them, as well as highlighting her charming and girlish personality, which contrasts with the wild physical action and confrontations she becomes involved in. Thanks to the world-spanning locations, she’ll also have opportunities to wear beautiful (and occasionally outrageous) clothing.
We build to a one-on-one showdown/catfight between Desirée and Bavani. Desirée manages somehow to convince Bavani that she’s right to fear the cult’s age of enlightenment. She and Bavani become allies, and they join forces to attack the cult leader.
In a climactic battle between the cult’s thugs and the two women, it is revealed that it is Bavani who is the prophesied vessel of the spirit of Kali—and that the high priest knew it all along, but cynically decided that “it’s whoever I decide it is!”—and he just wants Fatale. Together, Bavani and Desirée overthrow the priest. Bavani, who’s learned from her new friend Desirée how to be assertive and in control, assumes her rightful place at the head of the cult, and introduces a true age of enlightenment, re-dedicating the cult to world-scale creativity rather than destruction.
Here’s the first script:
Title     
Goin’ Back to Kali

Credits
Created by Broadway Comics
Written by Janet Jackson, Joseph A. James, Jim Shooter, Pauline Weiss

Cast of Characters
Fatale
Bavani
Various crew members, including a director, assistant directors, a matronly makeup woman, grips, best boys, electricians
Location and Reference Watch
A movie set near Tenochtitlán, Mexico. Typical movie set stuff (lights, cameras, trailers, etc.). The location includes a pyramid with a small shelter-structure at the top, jungle all around the area. See reference.
Panel 1
Fatale is sitting on set, in a director’s chair, wearing an exotic, sexy Aztec costume. A matronly woman is fussing with her hair and headdress while male crew members and extras are hanging around her, admiring her. She’s wearing an exotic, sexy Aztec costume. Behind her, we can see a trailer, but we can see the edge of the trailer and behind it, a confused, slightly frantic-looking assistant director.

Caption
On location in Tenochtitlán, Mexico, shooting the feature film Cortez…
AD
Where’s the cameraman? And the grips? And the best boy, fer cryin’ out loud?
Makeup girl
…so the director saw you on Rodeo Drive and cast you on the spot?
Grip
Wow! Shopping as a career move…!
Best boy
I bet guys make you offers all the time, if you know what I mean.
Fatale
Well, most men are actually very polite…and shy.
Makeup
Isn’t it wonderful that you get to work with that yummy Antonio Banderas?
Fatale
Uh-huh…but I’m more excited about working with Anthony Quinn!
Panel 2
Fatale is now standing up, so we get a full figure shot of her in costume.  The grip looks stunned by her beauty.  The 2nd AD, clipboard in hand, is gesturing toward the set.  The AD from the previous shot is in the background, on a megaphone.

Grip
The Queen of the Aztecs never looked that good.
2nd AD
All ready, Miss Hopewell?
Fatale
Yes, except I’d trade my empire for a box of Godiva chocolates right now!
AD
Places, everyone!
Panel 3
Fatale is standing at the top of the pyramid…see reference, this is an Aztec pyramid similar to the one at Santa Cecilia, with a little sheltered structure at the top of it.  This is a bit of an upshot, so that we can see the director and crew looking up at her.  In the background, we can see several approaching helicopters in the distance.
AD
Roll cameras…ready…annnnd, action!
Director
Hold it, cut, cut!  What are those helicopters doing up there?
Panel 4
Downshot now, as a number of masked men, clothed head to toe and armed with clubs, nets and rope, rappel down ropes from the helicopters and attempt to grab Fatale.  She reacts, startled. We can see the film crew at the bottom of the pyramid

Fatale
Yikes!
AD
What’s going on?
Director
I don’t know…but it looks great!  Roll film!
Panel 5
Fatale fights off her attackers—no huge slugging action, though.  She’s ducking under a thug swinging a club who’s losing his balance, and at the same time kicking another thug off the pyramid.  In the background, we see another woman, Bavani, (wearing a t-shirt and safari shorts, looking like another crew member; pretty but nowhere as beautiful as Fatale) at the entrance to the structure at the top of the pyramid, motioning to Fatale.

Thug (swinging)
I’ve got her—aahh!
Thug (falling)
Whoa!
Fatale
Don’t worry!  It’s not the first time some guy underestimated me!
Bavani
Quick, in here!
Panel 6
Full figure. Shoot at the entrance of the structure from inside, as Fatale enters, unaware of Bavani. We can see the helicopters hovering behind her. Bavani is just at the entrance, behind Fatale, about to attack Fatale with a knife.

Fatale
Those guys were trying to kidnap me!
Bavani
And I…am trying to kill you!
Caption To be continued…
Bottom of the page caption (type)

Fatale also appears in her own comic book, on sale monthly at comics shops everywhere.
Mayan Ruins, Tikal, Guatemala
In Tikal, Guatemala, many Mayan ruins of the 3rd and 4th centuries have been excavated and studied. The area, one of the largest Mayan ceremonial centers, is believed to have sustained a population of 50,000 until it was abandoned, for unknown reasons, in the 10th century.  Kevin Schafer, ALLSTOCK, INC.
Chichen Itza, Mexico
Archaeologists believe that the Formative period of Mayan civilization began as early as 1500 BC, but the peak of Mayan cultural achievement came during the Classic period, AD 300 to 900. During this time, the Maya created unique art and architectural styles, made astounding astronomical observations, and developed a system of hieroglyphs for recording significant events. The contributions of this civilization continue to be felt in Mexico, and thousands of tourists visit the country’s many Mayan ruins, such as those of the Post Classic city Chichén Itzá, shown here.  Randy Wells, ALLSTOCK, INC.
Northwest of Mexico City, the small pyramid in Santa Cecilia Acatitlán is the only completely intact Aztec temple in existence. Although its age is unknown, it predates the 14th-century Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, the site that later became Mexico City.
I don’t remember if we actually produced this or other episodes, or whether or not any got printed.Broadway Comics came to the beginning of its end around then. A lot of things were left undone or drifted away. More on that next time.

P.S. A number of WWF stars and execs defected to Turner’s WCW around that time. Interestingly, the WCW soon began a major storyline entitle “New World Order,” about, more or less, a hostile takeover of the WCW.
And, didn’t the WWF eventually do a hostile takeover storyline? I think so.
And didn’t they both start having male-female conflicts and combats in the ring? And more romance/sex/sexiness? I think so.
Just sayin’.
NEXT:  The Web of the Snyder

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34 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    "Seriously, can anyone recommend Warren Ellis's Secret Avengers?"

    [MikeAnon:] I did like hearing Captain America say, "I don't believe in torture. It's ugly, dishonorable, and unreliable. So I'm going to let my colleagues do it." [–MikeAnon]

  2. Sean Kiley

    Insightful comments indeed, but I'd throw a couple of points in there.

    Vince would reboot established wrestling stars into completely new characters for a couple of reasons. Mainly he would want to create a 'work-made-for-hire' persona that Titan would own for merchandising purposes. Kerry von Erich, for instance, (at that point in his unfortunate life struggling in the ring with only one foot) could not go back to Texas and wrestle as the Texas Tornado. Vince had all those trademarks sewn up. The Ultimate Warrior arrived in WWF rings unchanged from his wrestling persona in Texas, tweaking just his name from the Dingo Warrior. All his identifiable traits – the face paint, hair, streamers, strings etc – went unchanged, but Warrior still had to fight Vince in the courts for use of his own likeness and image rights.

    The other reason Vince changed incoming established stars' personae is because he wanted to punish and humiliate them. He took great pleasure in humbling troublesome rivals from other federations when they eventually, as they all did, washed up at the WWF. Thus the frivolous crown and cape gimmick for the legendary Race, the ridiculous polka dots for Dusty, the Godzilla suit and lighter fuel for Ricky Steamboat and the coxcomb and cock-a-doodle-do for Terry Taylor. This thirst for payback even had tragic consequences – Vince was punishing Owen Hart for some trivial offence by relegating him back to his Blue Blazer super-hero gimmick at the time he plummeted to his death making a super-hero-style ring entrance.

    And Mick Foley was allowed to make a considerable contribution to his gimmick on joining the WWF. Vince had him down originally as 'Mason the Mutilator,' in a chainmail costume, but Foley rejected the name and costume and came up with the name 'Mankind' himself. I'm sure you're right that Vince was reluctant to get behind ideas that weren't his own, but he has been known to give really smart and imaginative wrestlers, like Mick Foley and Chris Jericho, some creative freedom.

    Da fug we doing yacking about the wrestling? Anyone read any good comics recently? (Seriously, can anyone recommend Warren Ellis's Secret Avengers?

  3. Dear Aaron,

    RE: "Since we're talking about the Parasite, I wonder what your thoughts are on the use of a newly-designed Parasite in the second volume of Superman: Earth One coming out later this year:

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=36273 "

    Superman: Earth One. Sigh. When will they stop treading over the same ground again and again? "Newly designed Parasite": When will they stop recycling old characters and create something new? If creators' reluctance to create new things W4H for DC is the problem, then DC ought to improve their participations and incentives for character creation. For the record, I don't find the new version of the Parasite appealing (not that the design I came up with 46 years ago was any good either) and the story as briefly described sounds like the same old stuff.

  4. Jim,

    Since we're talking about the Parasite, I wonder what your thoughts are on the use of a newly-designed Parasite in the second volume of Superman: Earth One coming out later this year:

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=36273

  5. Someone go fix all the Valiant wiki pages that list Bob Layton as a founder of the company. That's flat out annoying.

  6. Anonymous

    When it comes to Wikipedia, what matters isn't whether something's true or not, but whether it can be found from a "reputable source". I've just added a citation to the article, citing this blog post. It should be quite easy to adapt the edit I've made to any other Wiki claims that Jim corrects on here.

    However, if there are competing claims about the facts (and the other side is backed up by citations), don't just delete the other claim – make sure that you note that the facts are disputed, and cite Jim's blog as a source for his side of the argument. Doing anything else is asking for your edit to be deleted.

    And if you want to see how I've added the citation, have a look here

  7. Dear Mike,

    RE: "On a side note, one of my all-time favorite reality shows from back in the day was MTV's "Tough Enough", in which a number of male and female contestants vied to become the next big wrestling stars. Watching the physical pain they went through as well as the psychological traumas many of them endured made for some entertaining and even uplifting viewing. [–MikeAnon]"
    Here's a little known fact for you: Don Perlin once tried out to become a professional wrestler. He went through a great deal of training and practice. The tale he often told of why he quit — exaggerated a great deal, I'm sure, for comedic effect — was that one day as practice was winding down, one of the female wrestlers wanted a practice partner, but all the other women had gone home. She asked Don (or he volunteered, I forget) to practice with her — and she clobbered him, dominated him. He quit after that.

    P.S. One VALIANT day, Don, Fred Pierce and I were walking up Seventh Avenue on our way to lunch. Suddenly, Don reached out and casually shoved this big, robust young man — no, let's call him what he was, a thug — passing by the other way, sending him staggering aside. The thug gathered himself, and screaming expletives turned to attack Don. 62-year-old Don calmly turned and faced him. So did ex-Israeli Secret Service Agent Fred. I stood there like a doofus, wondering what was going on. The would-be attacker thought better of fighting and ran. Turned out that Don had noticed the thug inches and seconds from snatching some woman's purse. If it had come to blows, my money was on Don. Fred I'd give even odds.

  8. I just checked the Parasite entry and it has been corrected to give Jim sole credit for creating the original character.

    Regarding Traci Adell, I remember her well from her Playmate days. She stood out due to her dark hair and blue eyes, harkening back to the days of classic pin-up models such as Betty Page. Traci has always been a beautiful lady, it's great to know that she is a nice one as well.

  9. Anonymous

    Wow, she's lovely. I wonder what Ms. Adell's doing nowadays….anyone have any insight?

  10. PC said: Czeskleba, it wasn't reverted yet, but it might be because you removed a citation. Apparently, the Shooter/Plastino credit was taken from "DC Comics Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle".
    **********************
    True, but the citation I removed said nothing about the *creation* of the Parasite, it simply said that the first Parasite story was written by Shooter and drawn by Plastino. So it wasn't an appropriate source of information about the creation of the character in the first place. The person who cited it was (incorrectly) extrapolating that Plastino designed the character based only on the knowledge that he drew the first story.

    I suppose I should have created a new citation linking to this blog as my source, but I wasn't sure exactly how to do that and didn't have time to take to figure it out.

    You're right that they might remove my correction anyway though, because the moderators there can be dolts. Here's an example. If you look at the wikipedia entry for Doomsday +1 (a mid-70's Charlton series drawn by John Byrne) you will notice that they say the cover of issue #1 has been credited to both Byrne and Tom Sutton. Now, if you look at that cover you can see that it's obviously Byrne's work. More importantly, Byrne's very distinctive 1975-era signature box is visible in the lower left corner, though it's been cropped out and partially obscured by some numbers. Furthermore, Sutton never claimed to have drawn that cover.

    When I saw that error a year or so ago I fixed it so it correctly credited Byrne. However, the moderators deleted my fix. Their rationale was that there are some "sources" (comic-related websites) that erroneously list Sutton as the cover artist. Never mind that these websites do not cite any source of their own for the claim that Sutton did it… the simple fact that those "sources" exist means wikipedia has to give them credence, I was told. I suppose if I created a website that said the cover of Doomsday +1 #1 was drawn by Fatty Arbuckle and inked by Adolph Hitler, then the mods would consider me a valid source too and modify the article accordingly.

    The sad thing about wikipedia is that a lot of their articles are taken and regurgitated on other websites, propagating the errors in them. It wouldn't surprise me if those websites that incorrectly credit Tom Sutton for the cover of Doomsday +1 #1 originally got their information from wikipedia, creating a ridiculous tail wags the dog situation.

  11. Anonymous

    sounds so out of character for Byrne

  12. Dan

    I was stunned that my grandpa believed wrestling was real. Upon the first moment, I knew immediately it was fake. Not a single move or motion looked convincing in any way. The big clue was no resistance. They don't fight against the opponent, they go with the motion. I don't understand why that's not readily noticeable to some folks.

  13. PC and Defiant1,
    The McMahon family has always promoted a more gimmicky brand of wrestling, with less actual wrestling and more punch-kick-brawl style stuff, going all the way back to Bruno Sammartino in the 60's and 70's. Hulk Hogan was the same in the 1980's, until Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels showed up as main-event guys in the 1990's, it was usually the muscled up less mobile guys that were on top. And Vince and his family have always pushed the bigger guys, like Gorilla Monsoon, Killer Kowalski, Superstar Graham, Andre the Giant, Big Show, Undertaker (especially Undertaker) and so on. The big knock among wrestling historians (yes, they're out there) is that the WWF was an unathletic circus in the 80's and 90's.

  14. @DAK: Your Wikipedia entry states that B.Ö.C. is the definitive authority on your life, not you. (Teasing!)

  15. PC,
    I'd think the risk of serious (real) injury is greater with acrobatics, I think it makes sense that Vince might not be as enthusiastic to support that style of wrestling. I would rather my stars fake injury rather than actually receive serious injury. Acrobatics require timing and synchronization. The physics of F=ma while flying through the air at a misjudged angle… not good in my opinion.

  16. PC

    Czeskleba, it wasn't reverted yet, but it might be because you removed a citation. Apparently, the Shooter/Plastino credit was taken from "DC Comics Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle".

    Jim, editing articles about oneself is usually frowned on Wikipedia, mostly because of concerns about using WP for self-promotion or self-aggrandizement. If you find a mistake, it's best to point it out in the talk pages.

    John Byrne once staged an all-out war against Wikipedia, erasing multiple sentences from his own article.

  17. PC

    Back when Steven Grant had a column at Comic Book Resources, he would occasionally talk about wrestling. I remember a complaint about the WWF/WWE, or more specifically Vince McMahon, insisting on promoting the more massive type of wrestlers instead of the acrobatic ones, disregarding public tastes.

    I remember from when I watched wrestling, back in the early 90s, how popular Bret Hart was becoming, he was clearly being groomed to become Hulk Hogan's "heir" in the WWF, until Lex Luger was turned from heel to face. Then it was Luger everywhere.

    A few years later, I tried getting back to wrestling, and was surprised how much Shawn Michaels had buffed up, becoming just another bruiser. He was no longer agile, a shame, since I first saw him as a member of the tag team The Rockers, and they jumped around a lot.

  18. Regarding Wikipedia… for some reason I trust the site in relation to complex science, but anything a layperson is capable of writing… well.. I think it is garbage.

  19. I'm not a fan of wrestling at all. I went to one wrestling match at Ted Turner's Channel 17 studio in Atlanta. It bored me. The action behind the camera interested me more than what was going on in front of the camera. I don't think I ever considered any of the hostility real. I couldn't tell you one wrestling league from another, but I did hang out at a club that was frequented by a few. I worked with Ted DiBiase's fiance. She quit the job when they got married… was it 1979? I asked another wrestler if they were still married and he said they were.

    I was hoping to get the name of the wrestling magazine that published the strip mentioned above. Again, I'm clueless about any details of who wrestles for who and which magazine features which league.

    I see the name Bavani as a character. I looked up online to see if that name is an alternate spelling of Bhavani… a manifestation of Durga. The name evokes a greater sense of power to me than "Fatale". I'm a tab bit curious what inspired the use of that name. I assume it was Alan or Pauline Weiss.

    I'm in agreement with Ja, I think Erica Rodriguez has the prettier face. Attractiveness is subjective of course, but I dated a Playboy coed model a few years ago. I lost all interest in seeing her when another girl I'm madly in love with was willing to take me back again.

    I've always dated out of my league, so that makes it harder for Traci Adell to really fascinate me. She looks full figured, but otherwise average to me. I'm dating someone that is prettier in my opinion. One of the first girls I was in love with married the road manager for Guns & Roses at their peak. It's a good thing that everyone has different tastes.

  20. Anonymous

    [Digger:] Jim’s Hrrrumph moment here (regarding an erroneous credit for Al Plastino as co-creator of Parasite) reminds me how unconvinced I remain of the pervasive credit for Plastino as co-creator of the Legion of Super-Heroes (he drew the story in Adventure 247). IIRC, even DC buys into and propagates this credit, but I cannot help remembering that (a) Curt Swan drew the cover, and (b) DC covers were sometimes drawn before the story was drawn, or even written! If that happened in the case of Adventure 247, then would not Swan be the actual artistic co-creator of the Legion? And if we don’t know whether the cover or story was drawn first, shouldn’t we be saying we don’t know who the artistic co-creator was?

    [–Digger]

  21. Anonymous

    "You do know that all professional wrestling events are scripted, right?"

    [MikeAnon:] Learning that fact is what caused me to lose interest in wrestling. I didn't mind that there was an overall storyline being adhered to, but it did bother me that the winners of the matches were being decided beforehand. So long as I believed the match was at some level a contest rather than a play, it held my interest. After that, nah. Maybe if they would decide the matches beforehand by a random coin toss I would go for it again, just to see how the writers would have to spin things for the characters after each random win/loss.

    On a side note, one of my all-time favorite reality shows from back in the day was MTV's "Tough Enough", in which a number of male and female contestants vied to become the next big wrestling stars. Watching the physical pain they went through as well as the psychological traumas many of them endured made for some entertaining and even uplifting viewing. [–MikeAnon]

  22. M.

    So who writes those Wiki entries on us, anyway? And what is their motivation? –DAK

  23. M.

    I have found that to be the case. Even though I am, ipso facto, the world's greatest authority on — David Anthony Kraft.

  24. Dear czeskleba,

    Thanks. I once tried to correct an error about me on Wikipedia. It wasn't even something controversial or debatable. Not being digitally savvy, it wasn't as easy for me as it is for you, but I managed. But they unfixed my fix immediately.

  25. Get Traci's permission and post her reminisces here or a Q&A, please.

  26. Dear Sean,

    RE: "I think part of Vince McMahon's problems up until about 1998 or so was that if it wasn't his idea, he wouldn't throw his full weight behind it."

    Very insightful. I believe you're right.

  27. Comic fans tend to assume that whatever artist drew the first appearance of a character also designed the character, and hence should be credited as co-creator. Obviously that's not always true (Wolverine being one of the most famous examples). Nice thing about wikipedia is that it's easy to fix errors like that. Al Plastino is no longer credited as co-creator on wikipedia. Hopefully their mods will let my correction stand… they can be dolts about such things sometimes, and it's unfortunate an extremely flawed product like wikipedia is used as a primary source by so many folks.

  28. Jim,

    I think part of Vince McMahon's problems up until about 1998 or so was that if it wasn't his idea, he wouldn't throw his full weight behind it. It happened in 2001, when they bought out WCW and ECW and did an invasion angle.

    It should have been so brilliant, every wrestling fan's wildest dream. It petered out and left a horrible taste in everyone's mouth.

    You can look back to the 1980's and see Vince's inability to get behind other people's ideas. Just about every single time they brought in a new guy with an established past, he was changed into something else and his past was totally ignored. I'm not talking about minor guys, either. He turned former 7-time NWA World Champion Harley Race into "The King." He turned internationally known talents like Kerry Von Erich into "The Texas Tornado" or Curt Hennig into "Mr. Perfect". Florida and NWA Tough Guy Dusty Rhodes became a polka-dot wearing buffoon. I could go on and on with it.

    Vince wouldn't get behind Cactus Jack, known all over the world as an insane risk taker, but when Mick Foley, the man behind the mask, became Mankind, a Vince McMahon creation, he became a three time world champion.

    It's really no surprise to me that the McMahon's didn't want to use your idea at the time, because they weren't his ideas. He won't get behind something he has no attachment to, no input into the creation of.

    My guess is that if you'd been able to pitch this to the WWF in 1998 or 1999, it would have been taken much more seriously and found it's way into storylines.

  29. Jim,

    Yes, the WWF (now WWE) have done storylines based on pretty much everything you suggested (almost exactly, I might add…)

    When WCW did their "New World Order" angle, their ratings consistently beat WWF's for about a year. I wonder how things would have gone for them had they gone with your ideas… 🙂

  30. "Then?" I need more caffeine this morning to get my fingers to work properly! *Ahem.* "I asked Al (Plastino) directly about that in the interview.

  31. Jim –

    For what it's worth, I asked Al directly about then in my first conversation with him and he makes no claims on the Parasite whatsoever. He didn't even recall the character.

  32. ja

    WOW.

    Erica Rodriguez is even more beautiful than Traci Adell. What an wonderful face!

    Sigh… =P

  33. My two cents… We had no idea what to expect when Traci visited us a Broadway, but we were so pleasantly surprised. She was so sweet, charming and down to Earth. When Jim says we all fell in love with her, he's right. She impressed me as a very honest, genuine person and was just wonderful in all of the dealings we had with her. I wish her well!

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