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Topic: Question Concerning Phoenix/Dark Phoenix for JB (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Jeremy Boyd
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Joined: 21 September 2006
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 12:34pm | IP Logged | 1  

Thinking about the nefarious villains you've created in another thread got
me to thinking about Phoenix/Dark Phoenix and it raised a question that I
assume you might be able to answer.

Was Phoenix created with the sole intention of her becoming Dark Phoenix
or did that idea develop later?

As always, thanks for taking the time to answer every silly little question that
gets asked round these parts...
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 1:28pm | IP Logged | 2  

Phoenix was invented to give Jean Grey something more than her rather diminutive Marvel Girl power levels. Over the next few years, unfortunately, Chris kept upping and upping the levels, (even when I tried to draw it otherwise!) so that the X-Men were very much in danger of becoming fifth wheels in their own book.

Chris didn't want to stop boosting her power, and I didn't want to go on fighting against it, and one day Steve Grant said "Why not make her a villain?"

When Chris passed this along to me, I wasn't crazy about the idea -- Jean was one of my favorite characters -- but, as was so often the case with Chris on the job, there wasn't really much of the "real" Jean left. So I suggested Mastermind as the way to "turn" Jean (Chris at that point had read only the Thomas/Adams issues), and off we went from there.

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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 1:32pm | IP Logged | 3  

JB,

The details of your collaboration with Claremont are intriguing to say the least.  As you point out, obviously the stuff Chris came up with for X-Men became wildly popular but I would certainly love to see what would've happened with you flying solo on Uncanny X-Men for about two or three years after the FUTURE PAST storyline.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 1:43pm | IP Logged | 4  

That would take some serious manipulation of the spacetime continuum, Joe!

See, thing was, altho Chris and I worked pretty well together, we were often at odds on who the characters were. As noted, until just a short time before I left the book, he had read no issues of X-MEN other than those produced during the Thomas/Adams run, and so, while I kept trying to maintain the characters as they had been for 60+ issues, he kept trying to turn them into other people. People I largely didn't like.

And the problem was, no matter what I drew or scribbled in my margin notes, Chris would write the characters and the scenes as he felt moved to do when the pages where in front of him -- often completely changing my or even our original intent for a scene -- and THAT was what was seeing print. So, if the fans were loving the X-Men -- and it seemed they were! -- it was Chris' X-Men they were loving, not mine. I Chris had left instead of me, I very much doubt the book would have proved as popular as it did in the long run.

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Andrew Hess
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 2:01pm | IP Logged | 5  

JB said " . . . I[f] Chris had left instead of me, I very much doubt the book
would have proved as popular as it did in the long run."

******

Yeah, but those would have been REALLY cool comics!
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 2:24pm | IP Logged | 6  

If your XMHY work is any indication of how you would have handled things, your solo X-MEN would have been great!
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Greg Woronchak
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 2:25pm | IP Logged | 7  

As a collector around the time the book was very popular (the Paul Smith issues), I found the stories increasingly confusing, and the characters becoming 'robotic' (if that makes any sense).

I dropped the book at 175 and have absolutely no clue why it became such a juggernaut (ugh, bad pun <g>).

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Greg Reeves
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 2:41pm | IP Logged | 8  

I for one appreciate JB's honesty as to his contribution to the book's popularity; based on when I started buying X-Men (around #165) the greatness of the title was almost purely due to Claremont for me.  Paul Smith secondly, then JRjr.  I've always loved complicated subplots in comics, but the ideas themselves around the Jim Lee period really started to ruin it for me.
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Aaron Smith
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 9  

It might be too late for this to ever happen, but I think the only person who could ever get me to try X-Men again would be JB.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 01 May 2008 at 6:53pm | IP Logged | 10  

JB wrote, "That would take some serious manipulation of the spacetime continuum, Joe!"

***

Let's try it!




Seriously, I understand what you mean, JB.  I really respect your opinion about how it was Chris' characters that made it to the fans and obviously that's what they were eating up.  The X-Men were never among my favorites as a kid and the most X-Men I ever read was about a year ago when I plowed through the Essential volumes collecting the Byrne/Claremont run.  I enjoyed it a lot but I would still like a peak at that other spacetime reality where you had autonomy for awhile. 
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Jeremiah Hetherington
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Posted: 02 May 2008 at 3:34am | IP Logged | 11  

I found the book at 150. I definetly recall reacting strongly to Cockrum's cover. (And also a house ad depicting a Thunderbird gravestone and Iceman as a snowman with a broom.) I really loved D.C.'s X-Men stuff. It wasn't until many months later that I finally saw JBs run, and although it never affected my love for Cockrum's art, to this day Ive never read a series of comics that has thrilled me more than JB's time on the X-Men. It's one of those things. I'm unabashed.  
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Joe Zhang
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Posted: 02 May 2008 at 4:58am | IP Logged | 12  

"I found the book at 150."

#149 was my first. Cockrum's covers were certainly powerful.
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