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Topic: Question for JB. Unused X-Men plots (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Paul Greer
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Posted: 01 September 2006 at 12:33pm | IP Logged | 1  

I just started rereading the X-Men Omnibus. This thread has got me longing for the glory days of the X-Men.
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Darren De Vouge
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Posted: 01 September 2006 at 3:25pm | IP Logged | 2  

Wasn't issue #150 when Jean and Scott were going to get married?

***

As originally plotted, depowered Jean was to be left with the intellectual level of a four year old. So...ewww!

*****

No doubt that would have been temporary.

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Darren De Vouge
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Posted: 01 September 2006 at 3:39pm | IP Logged | 3  

The robot contains a 40 megaton nuclear device, timed to go off at Midnight when everyone in the mansion is asleep.  Maybe Prof. 'X' and Jean can be conviently away from the mansion at the time, so they cannot read "Cyclops" mind and discover he is a robot.  SInce he is asleep, Colussus will be in human form so he would not survive either...

***

How is that an Arcade style attack? Anybody could do that. What makes it unique to Arcade?

*********

I thought just the notion of a Cyclops robot, impersonating the original just screamed Arcade.  Seems to me Chris Claremont even did a story like that once, with X-Men robots in Murderworld.  Maybe that's where I got that notion from.  The bomb thing I just added.  Too mundane, I guess. 



Edited by Darren De Vouge on 01 September 2006 at 3:44pm
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Matthew McCallum
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Posted: 01 September 2006 at 5:05pm | IP Logged | 4  

Maybe it was an attack planned by Arcade's sister, Penny...

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 02 September 2006 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 5  

According to Cory's post it sounds like there was an idea to have Phoenix return and tempt Jean to take on the power again-- and I recall this being part of the planned Magneto battle in X-Men 150.

But the article goes on to say JB didn't like the idea of having Phoenix as a recurring villain because (quite logically) the Phoenix is too powerful to defeat.

But I'm confused because the original plan of separating Jean and Phoenix was pencilled and lettered before things had to be revised. 

If Shooter had supported this original version, was the plan at the time to ever bring Phoenix back? 


edit: corrected spelling of Cory's name


Edited by Mark Haslett on 02 September 2006 at 12:51pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 September 2006 at 10:59am | IP Logged | 6  

I thought just the notion of a Cyclops robot, impersonating the original just screamed Arcade.

***

Arcade is the only Marvel villain who uses robots?

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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 September 2006 at 11:05am | IP Logged | 7  

I'm confused because the original plan of separating Jean and Phoenix was pencilled and lettered before things had to be revised. 

***

Not sure where you got that from. The sequence of the Shi'ar downpowering Phoenix was penciled (and later used in the UNTOLD TALE), but it had not been lettered. That was done when the story was presented in its "original form" years later.

Nor was Phoenix going to "return and tempt" Jean. As I have descibed many times, the plan was to have Jean's parents take her to a movie ("The Cat from Outer Space" was the title we tossed around, which tells the vintage of all this plotting and planning!) where she would be set upon by muggers. This attack triggered Dark Phoenix, who was still within her. Our overall plan was to turn Dark Phoenix into a recurring villain.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 September 2006 at 11:08am | IP Logged | 8  

As originally plotted, depowered Jean was to be left with the intellectual level of a four year old. So...ewww!

+++

No doubt that would have been temporary.

***

Everything in comics is "temporary". But the Phoenix/Jean "balance" was intended to be as "permanent" as anything can be. Phoenix was meant to recur, but at the end of each arc Jean would be left powerless and "retarded" as that was now her "natural state". Certainly there was no plan to restore her for 150.

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 02 September 2006 at 11:09am | IP Logged | 9  

The whole idea of a Cyclops robot -- especially a 3 issue version of it by JB/Claremont -- is intriguing.  On the face of it, "Cyclops Robot" tells so little of the story.  Obviously, it's a bad thing.  Was it meant to be mistaken for Cyclops, as a spy or assassin?  Who was its target?  Perhaps it was a conventional looking robot meant to target Cyclops-- getting its name from that? 

Add in Dr. Strange and Ultron and it's really a puzzle.

As short-hand goes, "Cyclops Robot" is frustratingly tantalizing and non-descriptive. 
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Francesco Vanagolli
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Posted: 02 September 2006 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 10  

I liked the post-Byrne era, but my favorite run will always be the one by Claremont and JB. Seeing those notes make me think that this Golden Age could be longer. The "aborted" #150 could be better than the published story (which I never particularly liked).
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 02 September 2006 at 11:18am | IP Logged | 11  

Not sure where you got that from. The sequence of the Shi'ar downpowering Phoenix was penciled (and later used in the UNTOLD TALE), but it had not been lettered. That was done when the story was presented in its "original form" years later.

***
Interesting because a year or so before the "Untold Tale" was done there was an "X-Men Companion" produced that had most of the panels from the depowering sequence in pencil-- with letters (I think--I better double-check that*).  I assumed the whole book had been lettered, or at least that's where I got the mistaken impression.

*It's true-- whatever that means.  They're in the gallery under "unpublished artwork" (and they're really pretty pencils).


Edited by Mark Haslett on 02 September 2006 at 11:53am
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 03 September 2006 at 1:23pm | IP Logged | 12  

There's an interview at the back of "Phoenix: The Untold Story" with all the "guilty" parties involved in Phoenix's death.  Jim Shooter gathered everyone to recall what they could about how it happened and what would have happened otherwise.  That interview, I observe now, is a source for some of the confusion among those of us who tried to fill in the blanks here about what was planned.

At one point Chris Claremont is asked to say what "would have happened."  He begins by saying that's difficult for him because it was such a collaboration with JB.  Then he gives what would have been his version --

CC: "[My plans were]...over the next year having her deal with what happened with what sh did.  From my point of view, I saw it as coming to terms with the fact that she killed 5 billion people -- that she committed a crime for which she can never atone, and yet she's still alive.  The easy way out would be just to jump off a cliff, but she can't.  She has to somehow put things right with herself, witing herself.  The ultimate end of it leading up to issue #150, would be that Magneto, having found out about this, would come in, kidnapping her, and offering her the power again, on the false assumption that he could control her.  And the X-Men would come to her rescue.  They'd be battling Magneto on one section of the asteroid M and she'd be in a room all by herself with Phoenix, the effect, the power, coming back, forced to make the choice-- could I become a god again with all the power of a god, aware that in the process I may destroy living beings and planets, planetary systems, whatever, in order to survive?  Or do I deny it, and remain this kind of, what is for her, shadow of a being? [...]  ...the idea was then that we'd end on a triumphant note as Jean proved her own heroism... ...She and Scott would have gone off and lived happily ever after and gotten married and that would have been the end."

Following this, JB gets a turn to say what he wanted and describes the idea of depowering Jean totally, have Xavier turn her brain back till she was 9.  Then the Phoenix, still an evil force, would pop out every once in a while. 

JB: "So Phoenix would pop out as a sort of "Jekyll and Hyde" thing.  What you had suggested, Chris, actually was that Phoenix would apparently be destroyed in the battle on the moon and that three or four issues later would turn up as Jean back at her old apartment saying here I am, I'm back, leave me alone, I don't want to talk about it, I don't want to hear about it, I'm just going to live my life.  We sort of synthesized those...

CC: ...was she or wasn't she...

JB: ...which bubbled down into what eventually saw print, that we were going to depower her, but she was essentially going to be Jean and was going to live her life and wasn't going to be 9 years old. 

CC: And come to terms with what she'd done.  The first issue she was pretty much going to be basically in shock.  "I know something awful happened on the moon, and I didn something, but I can't remembr it so I'm just going to go on."

Then Terry Austin brings an idea to the surface that maybe Jean could possibly have died in #150-- an idea that would have made Magneto a stronger character (for causing Jean's death 150 issues after he met her) and an idea which gets retroactive support from Jim Shooter.  "Why didn't you say any of this 4 years ago?" asks JB. 

It's a fascinating look at the way this comic book came together.  It also points out how much the book we readers got was a mix of two separate visions.   Chris and JB and Shooter each have separate ideas of how Phoenix and Jean relate-- a central disconnect that really lead to Shooter insisting on the changes he asked for.  In the end of the interview, everyone agrees that the "Fate of the Phoenix" that saw print was better than what was originally planned.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 03 September 2006 at 6:21pm | IP Logged | 13  

I just gotta say that this really is a great thread! It's wonderful to have JB's insight and information on the history of one of the greatest and most influential comics stories of all-time (and that's not hype).
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Paul Gibney
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 14  

Bumped by request
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 12:37pm | IP Logged | 15  

Question:
In commissioning a private issue of X-Men, would it be feasible to commission "JB's X-Men 144" (in other words, continuing where you left off as if nothing had come after it?)


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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 16  

Yup -- tho I would suggest that an "imaginary" tale might be more
interesting.
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Mike Steele
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 3:50pm | IP Logged | 17  

This is the kind of thing I would love to see Byrne do at IDW -- write/draw these stories using "new" characters that are clearly the X-Men -- This was a great thread, I'm glad it was "bumped".


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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 3:51pm | IP Logged | 18  

…write/draw these stories using "new" characters that are clearly the X-
Men…

••

I think Image has a copyright on that idea.
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Kevin Moorhead
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 4:04pm | IP Logged | 19  

[KEVIN SHAKING HIS FIST]
That was my joke.
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James Revilla
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 8:33pm | IP Logged | 20  

Man an X Title, moving from the original 137 ending on...talk about printing gold. Would be head and shoulders above Exiles and the X-Books being made now.
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Al Cook
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 8:45pm | IP Logged | 21  

I'm not so sure I'd be interested in moving on from the original ending
planned for #137.

Say what you want about what happened there with the change, but I think it
produced a much better story, and created a much more interesting
playground for future stories.

Now those are the stories I'd like to see how JB would have told...
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Lars Sandmark
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 9:29pm | IP Logged | 22  

THIS IS THE BEST THREAD EVER!

Thank you Cory and JB.
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Joe Smith
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 9:51pm | IP Logged | 23  

In agreement with Lars.  Thanks for the bump up ahead.  I missed this 2 weeks ago.
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Brad Hague
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Posted: 08 September 2008 at 10:22pm | IP Logged | 24  

So it's a race to see who can put together the $$$ to get a commission to see the original intended death of Mariko and Sabertooth.

Man, that would be the coolest commission ever.

JB, do you remember enough to be be able to do a full issue of the "imaginary tale?"

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Mike Farley
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Posted: 09 September 2008 at 12:34am | IP Logged | 25  

I missed this 2 weeks ago.

****

It was a 2 YEAR bump!
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