Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Uncanny X-Men 279

[Jason Powell's final post about Uncanny X-Men. Sheesh. The guy is a Piotr Nikolievitch Rasputin among men.]

“Bad to the Bone”

This is Chris Claremont’s final issue of Uncanny X-Men. Per his Comics Journal interview in 1992, it became so “painful to write” that he stopped halfway through, and writer Fabian Nicieza was brought in to complete the issue (and the remaining two chapters of “The Muir Island Saga,” in X-Factor 69 and Uncanny X-Men 280).

Thus, none of the latter material – featuring Forge, Wolverine and Rogue and a few others on Muir Isle – is Claremont’s. Essentially his 186th and final issue is a single vignette featuring Professor Xavier vs. a possessed Colossus.

It is not the most sonorous note on which to end, although happily Claremont gets to go out on a more tangible high, with X-Men #’s 1-3. And other material from around this time – Uncanny 275 and 277, and X-Factor 65-68 – contains some prouder material. Perhaps it’s best to think of it all as a grand fireworks display, with those other, greater stories the ones that provoke all the “oooh”’s and “aaah”’s, while issues 278 and 279 are the inevitable duds.

Then again, that’s not entirely fair. Uncanny X-Men 279 actually does contribute a unique note to this chorus of endings: one that is dark, and rueful, arguably adding a bit of bluesiness to the brightly colored excitement of “Endgame” or “Mutant Genesis.” Claremont’s pages in Uncanny X-Men 279 are narrated by Xavier, and his running monologue – surely being informed by Claremont’s own feelings at this point – are profoundly depressive in both tone and content. Consider first his early description of Colossus:

“Piotr Nikolievitch Rasputin. I found him in the Siberian collective that had been his home for most of his young life, a farmboy with the soul of a poet. But also – most importantly in my eyes, in my arrogance – a mutant. And so, I made him a warrior.”

Xavier’s chastising himself for recruiting Peter in the first place is quite affecting – it takes us back to Giant Sized X-Men #1, which is, of course, the issue just before Claremont began writing. There is a genuine sense of regret being conveyed here. Xavier questions his actions from 17 years ago; just as, perhaps, Claremont is questioning a decision that he made 17 years ago? It doesn’t seem at all impossible that, with his tenure ending so ingloriously, the author might genuinely be questioning whether writing a comic book was the best way to spend the last 17 years of his life. (Note that this was all happening not long after Claremont had turned 40 years old – prime mid-life crisis time.) It’s a surprising moment from both Xavier and Claremont, not least because it seems so very much from the heart.

The other particularly significant moment in the sequence occurs towards the end, when Xavier uses his telepathy to snap Colossus out of the Shadow King’s mental control. Per the narration, the key to accomplishing this end is by stripping away the “Peter Nicholas” persona that Piotr gained via the Seige Perilous, thus forcing him back into his original, Colossus identity. Considered as metaphor, this is harsh stuff. Only a few pages after lamenting having made Piotr into “a warrior,” Xavier finds himself forced to commit the exact same sin. There is a sense here that Peter’s humanity is being sacrificed to Xavier’s agenda.
As noted earlier, a lot of the tension between Claremont’s aims and Bob Harras’ was to do with Claremont viewing these characters as people first, superheroes second. Harras – representing the view of Marvel shareholders as much as anything else – held the reverse priority. Uncanny X-Men 279 can be persuasively read as Claremont’s final surrender. The character of Colossus is the final battleground, which seems appropriate as he has long been portrayed as, first of all, the artist/creator in the cast (thus well aligned with Claremont), and also the “soul of the team” (and therefore emblematic of Claremont’s humanist outlook).

With Peter’s humanity sacrificed on the altar of editorial fiat, the war is truly over. This is why Claremont can’t write anymore. After one last scene -- a two-page interlude wherein the villain of the story proclaims that his evil influence will now spread beyond Earth and to “the stars!” – Claremont calls it a day on the series that defined him as much as he defined it for the better part of two decades.

As for “The Muir Island Saga,” it is guided over the rest of this issue and the next into a decent – if somewhat anti-climactic – conclusion. Nicieza manages to weave several of Claremont’s subplots into a logical ending that quite cleanly disposes of the Shadow King. The material is all perfectly readable, though from Nicieza’s first page the character voices seem off. It’s astounding how quickly it becomes clear that these really are Claremont’s characters, and anyone else attempting to continue their story will seem like a shadow (so to speak) in comparison.

25 comments:

deepfix said...

"After one last scene -- a two-page interlude wherein the villain of the story proclaims that his evil influence will now spread beyond Earth and to “the stars!” – Claremont calls it a day on the series that defined him as much as he defined it for the better part of two decades."


I appreciate that, by your reading, the last thing Claremont wrote for Uncanny was the victory of the villain much as what, in his mind, happened in real life.

Arthur said...

Have there been any indications about how Claremont intended to end the MIS? From X-Men Forever, I gather that he didn't want to re-cripple Xavier.

I like your linking of Xavier's doubts about his past decisions with Claremont's. I remember CC saying in an interview something like he had just bought a house, so it was hard to leave such a cozy position. He also said that Harras would often change dialogue, which made other bits of dialogue not make much sense. By the end, he and Harras were communicating by Fax, just so there was documentation of what was said between the two.

Next? X-Men 1-3, then a "Claremont After-X" summary, then my Tuesdays become less enjoyable?

Art

Anonymous said...

Xavier has been re-crippled at least three times since Claremont restored his ability to walk: at the end of the Muir Island Saga, in an epilogue to X-Cutioner's Song, and at the end of Morrison's run. It's a pretty ghastly signal of a return to the status quo.

Geoff: Any plans on re-visiting Morrison's New X-Men or Whedon's Astonishing X-Men in relation to Claremont's once Jason wraps up his series?

Dave Mullen said...

This wasn't a bad issue despite the circumstances, It gave us a great reintroduction of Collosus and developed the Shadow King plot very well. In a lot of ways it was reminiscent of the Fall of the Mutants/Inferno issues as the threat and the way it was sold is very similar in scale and tone to this.

I can remember exactly where I was when this issue, and noted the writers credits, I don't need to tell you what a shock it was that the status quo had changed so abruptly and without explanation - I think the readers and fans deserved one considering Claremonts long marriage to the book and in hindsight it was a rather extreme indictment of what sort of company Marvel was at the time.
This was long before the Internet so readers like me were completely in the dark as to what had gone on, when you look back from todays perspective and with the benefit of the politics involved it was obvious he was never going to be allowed to stay, the company and marketplace were changing dramatically and Marvels obsession with the bottom line deserved what was to happen with the sales crash of '96...

Uncanny X-men in the coming months is an entirely forgettable experience and I do wonder if Harras had been expecting or wanting Claremont to quit, there doesn't seem to have been any preperation for such an eventuality but it certainly seems in poor taste that subsequent writers such as Lobdell aped his very distinctive style and verbosity so closely. I had no particular problem with Lobdels plots but could never get past his clonage of Claremonts prose style.
I guess though this is the problem (and fear) they had at the time as CC had put such a distinctive stamp on the book and characters they were sailing into wholly untested waters without him...

Jason said...

Art,

For what it's worth, there are -- I believe -- ten more weeks' worth of blogs. After the four you correctly guessed are in the pipeline, there are six more blogs on what I think are Claremont's most interesting post-X-Men and/or non-X-Men works. I don't know how much those entries will be of interest to the people currently reading this series, but they will be there nonetheless! So you'll be seeing stuff from me until around Hallowe'en or so.

Jason said...

Dave,

From what I understand, Claremont's quitting was a surprise to editorial. I don't recall what Harras has said about it, but then-EIC Tom DeFalco says he was really shocked when Claremont quit.

I won't re-hash my personal opinions of Lobdell's writing yet again, lest it start to seem a bit like overkill. But according to Paul O'Brien, Lobdell (who at the time was fairly green) becoming the new regular X-writer was very much the result of a lot of behind-the-scenes chaos. If I'm recalling O'Brien's words correctly, Lobdell was never even told he was the series' new regular writer. He just was brought in to fill-in for an unspecified amount of time, and after months of no one telling him to stop, he realized he must be the new defacto regular guy.

Ken Dynamo said...

I was just tuning nine in the summer of 1990, and after reading x-men 268 and 269 i had decided that jim lee and chris claremont were the greatest comic artist and writers respectively. i also assumed they would both be working on x-men for the rest of my life, and how sweet a prospect was that?

well in about a year that plan was totally ruined. oh well, thats why comic stores have back issue bins, right?

glad to hear there's still some several blog entries on the way, jason. so who is going to go back to revisit all the new mutants and x-factor issues? someone, please?

Jeff said...

Uncanny really sucks after Portacio/Lobdell take over but, to be fair, I thought X-Men vol. 2 became the defacto flagship title at that point, and that was decent until Lee left. (I even have a soft spot for Fabian Nicieza's run, to be honest.)

Jason said...

Ken , let me announce my new contest. Anyone who is able to get 100 different people to come see the New York premiere of "Invader? I Hardly Know Her" (invaderihardlyknowher.com), I will blog about 50 issues of any comic-book series they choose.

Jeff, good point about the "flagship" switchover. That does help to explain the haphazard handling of Uncanny. I don't have much to say about either X-Men series post-Claremont, but certainly there was a time right before I jumped off where adjective-less X-Men did manage -- if nothing else -- to remain more of that Image-specific style of "cool." You had Nicieza and Art Thibert (doing a Jim Lee impersonation), then Andy Kubert, doing stories that were very angsty and self-serious, while Lobdell was doing a lot of Peter David-style sitcom writing for Uncanny.

That's a broad generalization, I realize; I know Lobdell was more than capable of pulling the angst as well. I'm just thinking about that awful Morlock three-parter by Lobdell and Tom Raney that just seemed so hokey, and was roughly concurrent with a Nicieza/Thibert two-parter about Xavier's father and Weapon X and such.

At the time, in comparison with each other, Nicieza's stuff seemed a lot more intense than Lobdell's. In retrospect, of course, and as the X-franchise unraveled completely anyway, those tonal differences turned out to be pretty academic.

Teebore said...

Another fantastic post, and a great way to end the Uncanny portion of your endeavor.

One of the things (and I'm sure I've said this before, but it's worth saying again) I love about your examinations of these issues is that the connections you make and the things you point out are both brilliant and so apt that I wonder how I missed them.

Xavier-as-Claremont, shredding Colossus-as-X-Men, reluctantly returning him to an undesired retroactive state? A brilliant connection, yet at the same time, it fits so well I wonder how I missed it the first time around.

a two-page interlude wherein the villain of the story proclaims that his evil influence will now spread beyond Earth and to “the stars!”

How prescient on Claremont's part, considering Harras will, within a few short years, transition from the X-editor to Marvel's Editor-in-Chief. ;)

He just was brought in to fill-in for an unspecified amount of time, and after months of no one telling him to stop, he realized he must be the new defacto regular guy.

That's my recollection as well, from both Paul o'Brien and others. It sounds like the Image Exodus really, REALLY caught Marvel with their pants down.

Dave Mullen said...

(Scott Lobdell)...That's my recollection as well, from both Paul o'Brien and others. It sounds like the Image Exodus really, REALLY caught Marvel with their pants down.

I would say that's an understatement and a half(!)

There's a sweet irony to that very mercenary chessmove by all that well groomed, new, red hot talent bailing out suddenly like that on its perceived slavemasters and a big commercial company like Marvel got exactly what it deserved by it given they were to a large degree formenting the extreme commercialism of comics at that time. I don't think DC for example lost anything (barring sales perhaps) when Image formed...
What CC made of it we can only imagine though all in all it was a sad sad situation that it all unfolded like this.

I wonder to an extent if our individual opinions of Claremonts exit is colored by when exactly you started reading his work on it and what therefore your perception of the X-men as a working concept was.
I'd been there since Uncanny #181 and caught the Classic X-men reprints and my perception of the book was that it was not a typical superhero book - the X-men was more a movement and social reaction than a proactive public force like The Avengers, they didn't do costumes and their enemies were not the obvious moustache twirlers of other teambooks. That's why I was never sold on Mr Sinister, Apocalypse or the likes of Cable and X-man.
The X-men Claremont served up was a more subtle, intelligent work than that sort of glitzy 'Hollywood' approach.

Jason said...

Claremont's comments about the Image thing are fairly diplomatic. There may have been a secret part of him that was relishing the irony, but his public statements at the time were fairly even-handed. He did admit in 92 that he had hoped his quitting would hurt Marvel more than it did (which is to say, *at all*).

Dave Mullen said...

No quite true, realistically I don't think CC quitting hurt the books saleswise at all at that point. They were virtually bulletproof. But the reality is while the books were graced with some of the finest up & coming Artists in the buisiness (some of the finest and dynamic ever seen in fact) it was all built on the strength of Claremonts own 17 yearlong bedrock of award winning work on it. So While the books were fine in the shortterm when the buzz and glamour of the engineered early 90s Boom had worn off it was always going to come back down to the strength of the writing and sense of direction... from this point on there were probobly too many over-ambitious chiefs wanting to steer the X-men ship and not anyone with enough writer power to be able to stamp their own interpretation and ideas. I'd argue not since Claremont first left has any writer felt like they might be around longterm or had any honest investment in the book... indeed none has been as respected as CC was on it and this was by now a purely commercial venture as opposed to a creative one.
And that's just how Marvel appear to want it.


I think the next thing CC did after his X-men exit was at DC, possible JLA:Scary monsters but definitly Sovereign Seven which was an interesting attempt at a self owned concept, an interstallar version of the x-men in fact.... I don't remember too much about it but it seemed pretty solid initially.
I've always wondered whether he ever had any real ambition to write for other books than the X-Men, it took up such a huge part of his carreer in comics I never had the sense he was much interested in the comicsworld outside it. But I've never bought into the constant criticism he lost his writers touch as a good deal of his work after was actually very very good - his JLA and DC projects are very under rated frankly, his Fantastic Four wasn't brilliant but neither was it bad and his X-treme X-men doesn't deserve half the crap it gets either.
What I have gradually noted on the internet comics forums is a very worrying and sustained trend for targeting creators for no good reason than they're there. Especially older ones such as DeFalco, Perez, Byrne, even the ultra succesful Alan Moore is being given incredible levels of abuse whenever he dares to say anything about anything these days...
It could be described as internet Bullying, it could be described as slander, but I'm certainly ashamed to be even remotely associated with the fanbase that seemingly endorses it.

Dave Mullen said...

No quite true, realistically I don't think CC quitting hurt the books saleswise at all at that point. They were virtually bulletproof. But the reality is while the books were graced with some of the finest up & coming Artists in the buisiness (some of the finest and dynamic ever seen in fact) it was all built on the strength of Claremonts own 17 yearlong bedrock of award winning work on it. So While the books were fine in the shortterm when the buzz and glamour of the engineered early 90s Boom had worn off it was always going to come back down to the strength of the writing and sense of direction... from this point on there were probobly too many over-ambitious chiefs wanting to steer the X-men ship and not anyone with enough writer power to be able to stamp their own interpretation and ideas. I'd argue not since Claremont first left has any writer felt like they might be around longterm or had any honest investment in the book... indeed none has been as respected as CC was on it and this was by now a purely commercial venture as opposed to a creative one.
And that's just how Marvel appear to want it.


I think the next thing CC did after his X-men exit was at DC, possible JLA:Scary monsters but definitly Sovereign Seven which was an interesting attempt at a self owned concept, an interstallar version of the x-men in fact.... I don't remember too much about it but it seemed pretty solid initially.
I've always wondered whether he ever had any real ambition to write for other books than the X-Men, it took up such a huge part of his carreer in comics I never had the sense he was much interested in the comicsworld outside it. But I've never bought into the constant criticism he lost his writers touch as a good deal of his work after was actually very very good - his JLA and DC projects are very under rated frankly, his Fantastic Four wasn't brilliant but neither was it bad and his X-treme X-men doesn't deserve half the crap it gets either.
What I have gradually noted on the internet comics forums is a very worrying and sustained trend for targeting creators for no good reason than they're there. Especially older ones such as DeFalco, Perez, Byrne, even the ultra succesful Alan Moore is being given incredible levels of abuse whenever he dares to say anything about anything these days...
It could be described as internet Bullying, it could be described as slander, but I'm certainly ashamed to be even remotely associated with the fanbase that seemingly endorses it.

Dave Mullen said...

No quite true, realistically I don't think CC quitting hurt the books saleswise at all at that point. They were virtually bulletproof. But the reality is while the books were graced with some of the finest up & coming Artists in the buisiness (some of the finest and dynamic ever seen in fact) it was all built on the strength of Claremonts own 17 yearlong bedrock of award winning work on it. So While the books were fine in the shortterm when the buzz and glamour of the engineered early 90s Boom had worn off it was always going to come back down to the strength of the writing and sense of direction... from this point on there were probobly too many over-ambitious chiefs wanting to steer the X-men ship and not anyone with enough writer power to be able to stamp their own interpretation and ideas. I'd argue not since Claremont first left has any writer felt like they might be around longterm or had any honest investment in the book... indeed none has been as respected as CC was on it and this was by now a purely commercial venture as opposed to a creative one.
And that's just how Marvel appear to want it.


I think the next thing CC did after his X-men exit was at DC, possible JLA:Scary monsters but definitly Sovereign Seven which was an interesting attempt at a self owned concept, an interstallar version of the x-men in fact.... I don't remember too much about it but it seemed pretty solid initially.
I've always wondered whether he ever had any real ambition to write for other books than the X-Men, it took up such a huge part of his carreer in comics I never had the sense he was much interested in the comicsworld outside it. But I've never bought into the constant criticism he lost his writers touch as a good deal of his work after was actually very very good - his JLA and DC projects are very under rated frankly, his Fantastic Four wasn't brilliant but neither was it bad and his X-treme X-men doesn't deserve half the crap it gets either.
What I have gradually noted on the internet comics forums is a very worrying and sustained trend for targeting creators for no good reason than they're there. Especially older ones such as DeFalco, Perez, Byrne, even the ultra succesful Alan Moore is being given incredible levels of abuse whenever he dares to say anything about anything these days...
It could be described as internet Bullying, it could be described as slander, but I'm certainly ashamed to be even remotely associated with the fanbase that seemingly endorses it.

Geoff Klock said...

Anon -- I don't think I will be returning to Morrison or Whedon after Jason's amazing and daunting work, but I am working on something for you guys.

Jason said...

Scary Monsters was much, much later -- I think around 2003, actually well *after* Claremont had returned to Marvel and the X-Men circa 1999.

I believe Claremont's first major work for DC, post-1991, was his Star Trek graphic novel, Debt of Honor. According to "Memory Alpha," it came out in July of 1992, less than a year after Claremont's final X-Men comic.

The other biggie was Dark Horse's Aliens/Predator: The Deadliest of the Species. A twelve-issue series, this was Claremont's first big effort post-X-Men, the first issue debuting in 1993.

Other major Claremont material during his time away from Marvel included:

Sovereign Seven (as you mentioned), which debuted around 94 or 95.

Image's WildCATs 10-13, his reunion with Jim Lee, which I think was around this same time.

Dragon Moon, a novella co-written with his wife, Beth Fleischer, featuring illustrations by John Bolton. (Just recently acquired this one; haven't read it yet.)

His full-length prose novel, "Grounded!" (a sequel to 1987's FirstFlight), which was published in 1991, roughly concurrent with his last couple X-Men issues. And the third book in the series, Sundowner, was released in 1994.

I've got blogs in the pipeline about "Deadliest of the Species," "Debt of Honor," his trilogy of prose novels, the WildCATs stuff with Jim Lee, and 2003's "Scary Monsters." Oh, and one about a couple of his FF issues too.

Nothing about Sovereign Seven, though, which I found disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Dave says: ...indeed none has been as respected as CC was on it and this was by now a purely commercial venture as opposed to a creative one. And that's just how Marvel appear to want it.

Tom Spurgeon makes a similar observation in his review of The Invincible Iron Man Annual #1:

I always get the impression that talented writers like Fraction, Brubaker, Parker, Bendis are serving Marvel rather than using the creative platform to create something of their own the way the best writers of 20 years ago might have approached their gigs. I'm not interested in making that observation a criticism, and it's not how I intend it, although I understand people may take it that way. I think it's a reflection of the times, and the way all of these writers do more personal work elsewhere, rather than it being a referendum on any creator's skill.

I remember reading an interview with Claremont after he left where he says something like, in writing Uncanny, he was playing with other peoples' toys and was eventually forced to put them back on the shelves the way he found them. I think he also compared watching the animated series with stabbing himself in the eyes.

Has anyone read/enjoyed Claremont's Superman/Wonder Woman Elseworlds mini-series Whom Gods Destroy? I thought that one was well executed.

Ken Dynamo said...

i think it's extremely difficult to look back at the early Image days with an objective eye. it's even tougher without knowing truly went down in the discussion between the corporation and the creators.

you cant help but wonder why Marvel couldn't have accommodated their talent. sure, they can't let them own the stuff they create thats used in the marvel universe, but Epic had been up and running for years (and i had ass loads of Groo to prove it).

Jason - good luck with the play - looks cool (and who doesn't love a 'hardly know 'er' joke?). Wish I still lived around new york. unfortunately i can't promise anything close to 150 heads but i'll be sure to pass the word around to the people i know up thataways.

Jason said...

Ken,

Thanks for the well wishes! Fingers crossed ... I hope this thing does well! And I would be, truly, immensely, crazily grateful if you spread the word to any New York folk about the show! Thank you so much!

As for why Marvel didn't accommodate the Image crowd, it seems at least somewhat possible that they didn't want a repeat of the "New Universe" failure of the 80s. Epic was an imprint that did stuff that was beyond the scope of the mainstream superhero line (usually anyway), whereas all the Image guys wanted to do was *the same thing they were already doing*, but in a way that they would get more money. Peter David called them on this on day one: That the Spider-Man guys immediately went off and did solo superhero comics, while all the X artists created team books. There was not even the illusion that there were unique visions being pursued; it was very much just "how can we make more money doing what we're doing now?" Which is perfectly fair -- it's the question I ask myself daily -- but Epic was, at the time, being pushed as something that was "too edgy" for mainstream Marvel. Even the Havok/Wolverine miniseries from Epic seemed extreme for the time. I don't think they were interested in making Epic into a house that just published a bunch of Marvel clones. (This is all just guesswork, though, of course. I could be way off here.)

Anon, the quote from Spurgeon is interesting. Particularly because I've seen opinions from other online comics pundits (if you will) that made the same observation, but with a tone that skewed in the opposite way: That the creators of 20 years ago were really naive and foolish to pour their hearts and souls into these commercial properties. There was a nauseating article on Claremont that basically suggested he wasted his entire life by doing X-Men, and he would've been "better off writing romance novels." I remember that article pissed me off so much that I wanted to write 300 blogs refuting it. Thank god I regained my senses before committing to *that* ...

And, "Whom Gods Destroy" ... So you liked it, Anon? That is interesting to hear. I read that one for the first time only very, very recently. Like, a few months ago. I went in really wanting to like it, but I found myself getting confused the closer I got to the end. I really loved the first two issues -- it contained some fascinating stuff -- but by the end I was getting lost. It was an interesting premise, albeit it lacked a good strong hook. "What if Superman debuted in 1939 but then no other superheroes debuted afterward, and then things proceeded in real time from there, but then at some point Metropolis gets bombed and so everybody moves to Chicago, and then in the 60s Bruce Wayne is elected president, and then in the 90s when Lois Lane is really old, she gets taken to Paradise Island and de-aged and turned into Wonder Woman ..."

And believe it or not, I was still with CC for all of that. But then he turned Superman into a centaur and he lost me ... :)

I'd definitely like to see you write a defense of it, though, if you have the time. I enjoy being convinced that a Claremont comic I am cool on was better than I realized ...

Zed said...

Jason - you referenced Claremont's re-teaming with Jim Lee on WildCATs #10-13, but what about his similar re-teaming with Silvestri on Cyberforce #9-11? The Cyberforce story was a continuation of the WildCATs story with Claremont using the same characters he introduced in the former (The Huntsmen and co.)

You said you plan on writing about the WildCATs issues, but what about the Cyberforce stuff?

(I'm not sure where I stand on them now. It's been years since I read them - but I remember really liking both at the time.)

Jason said...

I don't know, I've got nothing but love for Claremont/Silvestri, but at the time I really hated the Cyberforce issues. I never gave them a second try, either -- I think I sold 'em or something.

It's entirely possible that if I re-read them, I'd end up liking them a lot. It'll be a while before I have a chance to test that theory, though. :)

Ken Dynamo said...

i never thought of the 'new universe' fears from Marvel. i also always kind of assumed the image guys were just looking for an excuse to form their own company and then beat Marvel at their own game, hence they weak attempts share the image universe. that sure didn't last long.

and i remember the peter david v todd macfarlane debates. in a lot of ways theyre still going on with bendis v kirkman. in the end though, for the creators, a lot of it comes down to being about the money, so i find it easy not taking sides (i just want good comics, like everyone else, right?)

too bad there was no ICON imprint back in the 90's. but it was a whole different industry back then so no point getting bogged down in the what ifs.

Anonymous said...

This may be the only time I'm tempted to say anything remotely sympathetic to early image, but the X-artists, ironically enough, may have left Marvel for the same reason Claremont did: too much editorial interference.

Apparently Harras insisted on the mass kill-off of Claremont characters, the introduction of Bishop, and the reappearance of Mikhail Rasputin (among other things) in Uncanny. Liefeld didn't want to do X-Force, he wanted to do Wolverine, hence all that Weapon X and immortal mutants stuff in X-Force. And Luefeld hated the decision to make Cable Nathan Summers. I think he even wanted Cable to be from Kang's time, not a future ruled by Apocalypse. And it's notable that the X-ecutioners song crossover was already planned by editorial when the artists quit.

The superstar artists may ultimately have had as little power over the X-franchise as the superstar writer. Editorial and marketing were running the show.

-- Dan

Jason said...

Very interesting, Dan. And pretty surprising, at least to me. (Definitely had no idea about the Liefeld Wolverine thing!)

Wacky times!