GENERAL ROSS?

Discuss chronologies for characters in the main "Marvel Universe"

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GENERAL ROSS?

Post by chrissy » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:27 pm

Hi, everyone! I was reading JIM #86, which is an early Thor story where Thor first meets up with Zarrko, the Tomorrow Man. I'm planning to write something about this on my blog The Marvelous Zone and began to mention that General Ross makes an appearance (bottom of page 3). Then I checked with Russ to see if it makes sense that Ross would appear in a Thor story. I checked both his chronology and the Index and I don't see him listed for this story, but by golly...I think this is him! Take a look. What do you think?
isthisross.jpg
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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by Col_Fury » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:14 am

That does look like Ross, doesn't it?

Journey into Mystery #86 (Nov, '62) was published the same month as Incredible Hulk #4 (also Nov, '62), so Gen. Ross already existed as a character by that point (Meaning, it's not like we've found a character who looks alarmingly like Gen. Ross, but before Gen. Ross made his first appearance).

This is also the same month as Fantastic Four #8 (Nov, '62 again!). The Sub-Mariner had already appeared in Fantastic Four #4 (May, '62). The Sub-Mariner was a pre-existing character (he had his own title in the '40s), so cross-title continuity had already been established in the Silver Age Marvel Universe before Journey into Mystery #86.

And only five months later, Spider-Man tried to get a job with the Fantastic Four in Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March, '63), "proving" both books (ASM & FF) existed in the same universe.

So it's possible this is Gen. Ross. Did Jack Kirby intend this to be Gen. Ross, or was "grey-haired man with a moustache" Jack Kirby's default "American military General" character model? It's not like there's only one General in the military at a time, and this one could just look amazingly like the one who chases the Hulk around. OR... this could be Gen. Ross testing weapons to chase the Hulk with. Would Gen. Ross use Thor to test weapons, though? I dunno, maybe.

I'm leaning toward this being Gen. Ross. What do others think?

Good find, Chrissy!
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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by loki » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:33 am

Given the Marvel method, it's also feasible that Kirby drew someone he intended to be Ross, and that Stan Lee failed to pick up on it and so didn't use the name. I definitely agree that it does look like Ross, and it would make sense to test anti-Hulk weapons on Thor, the closest person to the Hulk's strength and durability who the US military would have available and willing to be such a guinea pig.

Can we confirm his exact rank via the art? Though it wouldn't be definitive, if he is the same rank (not just general, but the number of stars) as Ross, it would be circumstantial evidence in favour of it being him, with the converse being true if the ranks don't match.

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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by chrissy » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:51 am

This was my idea exactly: that Ross would be testing weapons to use against the Hulk! At first I thought I would be going out on a limb to say such a thing in my blog, but after hearing these replies, I feel that perhaps that idea is not so preposterous after all!

BTW, as for the number of stars, this panel gives the clearest view, so not sure if counting starts will be possible. But I look forward to seeing if an exact determination can be made. Thanks so much for your input!
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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by Jason Doty » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:54 am

He's at least a two star (Major General), which is on the collar of his shirt above the tie.

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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by Leoparis » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:07 pm

In the Marvel universe, there is a general looking like Ross who is stationed in New York, Henderson or something.

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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by Russ Chappell » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:27 pm

Leoparis wrote:In the Marvel universe, there is a general looking like Ross who is stationed in New York, Henderson or something.
Chrissy, are there any clues in the JIM story to determine where the test is taking place?

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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by Paul Bourcier » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:31 pm

If it is Ross, my chronological analysis of this period suggests he'd be here between Hulk #3-4.
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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by Chris McCarver » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:12 pm

Russ Chappell wrote:
Leoparis wrote:In the Marvel universe, there is a general looking like Ross who is stationed in New York, Henderson or something.
Chrissy, are there any clues in the JIM story to determine where the test is taking place?
It's specifically ID'd on the last page as a desert in New Mexico.
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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by Col_Fury » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:28 am

Chris McCarver wrote:It's specifically ID'd on the last page as a desert in New Mexico.
I hear the Hulk likes to jump around in that part of the country... :wink:
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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by loki » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:31 am

I think we're as far along with this as we can really go. It looks like Ross, and circumstantial evidence supports the possibility, but we've got nothing definitive that can confirm it. Was it intended to be Ross? Impossible to say without checking with those who created the story, and even the ones who are still with us aren't easily contactable. But even if it wasn't, there is some precedent for an unnamed character later being retconned into being someone we already knew (Misty Knight springs to mind, as does Sally Avril).

Personally, if it were purely up to me, I'd be fine with concluding it is Ross (retconning it to be him, even if that wasn't originally intended). If we'd known about this when we were doing the Thor Index, we could have gone to editorial to get confirmation / permission to identify this general as Ross, and if we ever do get a Hulk Index in the future, we might still have such an opportunity. But until then I think the best we can say for sure is "looks like Ross, may well be him." As to how (or if) to note such a thing on Ross' chronology on this site, that's really down to what Russ and the other staff here to decide.

Edit: And, belatedly and echoing Daron, darned good find Chrissy!

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Re: GENERAL ROSS?

Post by Russ Chappell » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:22 am

Since we're not intended to be an official extension of Marvel editorial policy, the identification of characters has always been left to our best judgment, barring Marvel speaking in one direction or the other. We do this kind of thing all the time. How many mass X-Men scenes were we left to our own devices, to identify the characters? I see circumstantial evidence to support the contention, and I haven't seen anything yet to dispute it. I'm inclined to add it.

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