DAREDEVIL #7 Switcheroo April, 1965
Wally Wood original artist
Hey!?! This drawing--it looks somehow eerily familiar!?! But...but...HOW can that be??..

Simple, folks--it's the old Switcheroo!!! The reason you feel overcome with deja view is 'cuz you just glimpsed this composition with it's original stars, Marvel's Daredevil, and their own personal undersea monarch, Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Before you now is a redone version of the same situation, only the analogous DC Comics characters find themselves taking center stage. But what is this "Switcheroo" and how did it come to be? I'm glad you asked...
A little over a year back, my attention was taken by an ad for the 13th issue of Roy Thomas's superb Two Morrows publication, ALTER EGO. Legendary DC artist Murphy Anderson had taken members of the embryonic Marvel superstar aggregation, the Avengers, and dropped them into what appeared to be a recreation of DC's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA#1! The term that first came to my mind was, "way cool!" The next thing that popped into my head was "How can I rip-off this concept?" Well, I quickly figured out a way--before ALTER EGO#13 even hit the stands, I'd conjured up a "Dateline:@!!?*" page for CBG spotlighting wee warriors Ant-Man and the Atom in reverse roles on opposite cover scenes. I found it to be a fun twist on my Classic Cover Redo shtick, and I was more than willing to give credit where credit was due on that initial go-round and heaped all sorts of praise on Roy for his brilliance in conceiving the idea. Unfortunately, in my eagerness to get this strip to press, I didn't actually wait to get a copy of AE#13 in my sweaty little hands. If I had, I would've realized that it was a Con host by the name of Shelton Drum who had prevailed on the mighty Murphy to create this unique illustration for the cover of the 2001 Charlotte, N.C. Heroes Convention program book. Roy was so taken by it that he received permission to use it as the cover of his fine magazine, but 'twas Shelton who sparked the notion. Inasmuch as they both contacted me afterwards, I'd long wanted to clear up any misconceptions that I may've inadvertently caused. And with my recent nonappearance in CBG, this here is my first opportunity. So--Shelton Drum thought it up, Roy Thomas popularized it, and I, Fred Hembeck, stole it! I'd like to thank the first two fellas, and request forgiveness for the third.

The tableau you see before you was recently commissioned by a long-time Aquaman fan. Yes folks, Aquaman actually has fans!?! And my patron, who's engaged me to scribble several sea king scenarios in years past, is one of the biggest!! As proof of just how nice comics fans can be, he takes my relentless digs at his hero good-naturedly in stride, undoubtedly smiling all the while at my pot-shots through gritted teeth!?! Thanks, fella, you've been a great sport! (...and why do I suddenly feel like Don Rickles wrapping up his act?...)

A successful Switcheroo is precipitated on characters of corresponding abilities replacing one another, and these four principals--particularly the pair of Davy Jones locker-mates--certainly fit that criterion. Then you have to consider if the transferal will function artistically. While Batman is a good trade-off for Daredevil, that cape of his would play havoc with the composition, leaving the star of our commissioned piece almost totally obscured. Solution? Torn cape. Hey, why not? It's happened before. As for the logo, it was decided that "Detective" was the best stand-in for the original, since it not only also began with "D", but contained a like number of letters as well. After that, it's just a matter of paying attention to details--the "Superman of America" sticker in lieu of the "M.M.M.S." one, the "Gotham Gazette" masthead replacing the "New York Daily Press" heading, and see those two fish up in the background?? On the DD#7 cover, they're merely innocent swimbyers, but on the revamped version, they're in constant contact with the telepathically inclined Aquaman, actual finny friends of the swim-suited superhero. As to the CONTENT of that conversation, well, you'll just have to use your imagination, but if Aqua creator Mort Weisinger could've lent his talents to the mix, we may well have seen a thought balloon that read somewhat along these lines:" Our friend Aquaman has gone mad! He's fighting his fellow Justice Leaguer, Batman! Why is he battling a friend--and a hero far more popular than he is??" Why indeed? Ponder that, Aquafans--all half-dozen of you!! (…sorry, guy--you KNOW I'm kidding, right? Right?!? ...heh...)