'Ms. Marvel's Villains Were Created Because Of An '80s Batman Controversy
Ms. Marvel finally revealed the show’s villain – beyond simply the awkwardness and abject discomfort of adolescence. By the end of episode three, Kamala is straight-up brawling with her great-grandmother’s interdimensional friends, who go by many names including “Djinn” and “Clandestines.”
Evidently, the show is pulling from a more obscure Marvel comics source; the 1994 superhero team The ClanDestine, created by Alan Davis. Although, in the comic, these characters are granted powers by a genie, while in Ms. Marvel they are, themselves, Djinn, presumably paving the way for an inevitable Kazaam team-up.
Weirdly, in a butterfly effect sort of way, this latest Ms. Marvel twist owes a debt to Batman – specifically the time Batman, uncharacteristically, wielded a gun, Dirty Harry-style. In the ‘80s, Davis worked at DC and drew the artwork for Batman: Year Two, in which we learn that Batman secretly squirreled away the handgun that Joe Chill used to kill his parents, with plans to use it to murder Chill. The cover even featured Batman posing with the gun – which is like seeing Indiana Jones make out with a boa constrictor.
Davis’ artwork originally featured Batman carrying a Mauser pistol (as the writer requested), but when he saw the pages featuring the death of the Waynes in the yet-to-be-released Batman: Year One, Joe Chill used a whole other kind of gun. Davis appealed to DC to have just those few panels in Year One fixed, but instead, they ordered him to redo all of his Year Two work with the alternate gun. Davis refused (another artist had to do it) and quit DC to take a job at Marvel. This wasn’t the only reason, but reportedly, the Batman fiasco was “the last straw.”
Davis went on to co-create the X-Men spin-off Excalibur series and, after that, The ClanDestine. And now, 30 years later, references to those characters are popping up in a hit TV series, which likely will allow for their creator to … purchase a 2002 Toyota Camry off of Craigslist.
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Top Image: Marvel/DC Comics