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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 07 February 2019 at 10:17pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

My mutant power is that my right hand is usually colder than my left. (For the record, I'm left-handed.)


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Peter Martin
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Posted: 07 February 2019 at 10:21pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I did come back when Jim Lee started penciling, tho. 
------------------------------------------------------------ ----------------------
So did I, very briefly! Then they split the team in two and I quit again.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 07 February 2019 at 11:54pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The ongoing perversity of the title held my attention through the slow spots. That Kulan Gath story was seriously messed up, involving torture, bizarre physical mutations, and the like. I spent a good deal of my tenure as an X-Men reader unable to believe they were getting away with this stuff. Unfortunately, the characters were becoming increasingly more shrill and one-note, as everyone's power was a song within them, everyone's heart was that of a warrior born (except the guys, who secretly wanted to be housewives,) and every battle was one with no quarter asked and none given. The more I read these Claremontisms, over and over again, the less I could stand them. Keeping up with the team was no longer my heart's desire. When Ororo pwn'ed Scott, I held on for two more issues, actively disliking the book, and then with #204, I came to the bizarre, left-field conclusion that I could just NOT buy the thing for the first time in five years. No one would call me out on it. No one was coming by to inspect my collection to make sure that I had them all. I could... buy something else instead... I had found freedom, and in freedom, power. And that power was a song within me.

I did pick up the occasional issue after that. I was vaguely fascinated by Silvestri's looser, more newspaper-strip style, and bought a couple of those. The team berating and sneering at helpless, hapless Havok for not being a true warrior born; for not having earned his place beside this team of blood-bonded warriors and being a "boy" with much to prove, set my teeth on edge. Seriously, when you've been created by Neal Adams and served during the arguably most creative era in the team's history, you shouldn't have to take guff from the British side character in pink with the diaphanous flowing sleeves for how tough you are. The X-Men under Claremont often climbed ALL the way up their own asses. 

I revisited again during the Jim Lee period, buying a few back issues to catch up. Again, the art was interesting. Never was a second-or-third generation artist more obvious in taking from his inspirations. Issue #274, you're reading the story of Forge being tortured in a Barry Windsor-Smith from Weapon X basement, turn the page, and bam! You're in Arthur Adams' Savage Land with that cute, romantic couple Rogue and Magneto! Again, stuck around for a few issues, but the weirdness of the Shadow King turning people into his "hounds" (how does turning human beings into dogs get to become a cliche?) finally ended that renaissance. Since then, the gaps between issues have been years in length.

Steven, I like your paper-cutting mutant, Chop. Perhaps he can work with the mutant master of vibration and edge-alignment, Jog. There could be an entire team made up of Stitch, Fold, Gripper, Offset, and should we pursue the adult market, Stripper and Trim. We'll call the book, "The Bindery..."

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David Schmidt
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Posted: 08 February 2019 at 3:58am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Wow! I love reading you Brian.

And you're right. At one point (perhaps between Uncanny X-Men 200 and 210), the  X-Men weren't heroes anymore but soldiers (with that weird line: "We're X-Men, we endure") and they lost something in the process.

Before that they were teenagers or young adults who fought evil mutants to protect a world that hated them and then they were warriors fighting just everybody (even themselves when a Marauder took control of Polaris...).
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 08 February 2019 at 5:49am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I kept going with the title, but after X-Men # 175 it did seem there was a big shift in the style and tone of the stories. And to be honest, it was the JR, Jr., Marc Silvestri and Jim Lee art that kept me on the title longer than I would give it nowadays.

It was under less than ideal circumstances that Chris Claremont was let go from a book he clearly loved although looking back maybe he did need a sabbatical. What we got after being so corporate, editorial and crossover driven was not an improvement.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 08 February 2019 at 9:56am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I quit around the time Brian H. did, and I noticed something else that I hated. It seemed that the X-Men stories stopped being about super heroes on missions and more about a group of mutants who were constantly defending themselves from attack and assault. It's so long ago, so I don't remember many, "Sauron is attacking the museum! Let's go, X-Men" as much as "This-or-that group is attacking us! We have to defend ourselves!"

And Young Paranoid Superheroes (r) doesn't hold much interest for me.
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Steven Myers
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Posted: 08 February 2019 at 7:18pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Exactly, Eric! I remember discussing back in the late '80s how if I were to write the X-Men I would try to turn them back into super-heroes. The same for Daredevil, who was great with the ninjas and noir under Frank Miller, but was just lost when others tried to do it.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 08 February 2019 at 11:01pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

David, thank you, sir. I appreciate that. 

Eric and Steven, I agree. In time, the X-Men became all about the X-Men. Not the adventures they undertook. Not the missions. Not Professor Xavier's Dream. It was just the X-Men reacting to attacks from foes of the X-Men or X-Men going to conferences about the X-Men or X-Men playing baseball with X-Men when the home of the X-Men is suddenly destroyed by X-Men hating robots... Maybe the X-Men would meet a group of mutants and invite them to join the X-Men, but the proud members of the mutant sub-community that were not X-Men would tell the X-Men that not to be an X-Man could still be a proud thing, not that the X-Men believed them, since they knew that being an X-Man was a burden and an honor like no other... 

At a certain point, a Superman story is about a bank about to be robbed or an asteroid that needs to be deflected. Batman, however inbred it becomes, is still somehow about Gotham and crime and dealing with loss... The X-Men, however, became all-but-entirely about the X-Men.


Edited by Brian Hague on 08 February 2019 at 11:02pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 February 2019 at 11:13pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Excellent point, Brian. Essentially, the X-Men went from proactive characters (seeking out new mutants and trying to build better relations between mutants and humans) to reactive characters (fending off direct threats to them).
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 08 February 2019 at 11:36pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Greg, that was Eric's point. I was just agreeing with him.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 February 2019 at 1:48am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Doh! My tired eyes somehow skipped over Erics post! Credit where credit is due!
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John Cole
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Posted: 11 February 2019 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Back in 1991 Marvel fired Chris Claremont to go with Jim Lee's vision for the X-Men then he left eight issues later and Marvel just used writer of the month to rehash Claremont's stories badly ever since.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 11 February 2019 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

JB was on both the X-Men titles for a few months after Claremont. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 February 2019 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

JB was on both the X-Men titles for a few months after Claremont.

And what a nightmare THAT was!!!

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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 11 February 2019 at 9:51am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Jim Lee stayed until issue 11 as plotter/penciller, and then Fabian Nicieza wrote issues 12-45. 

There was a bit of stability.


Edited by Greg McPhee on 11 February 2019 at 9:51am
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 11 February 2019 at 9:54am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Chris Claremont has said in interviews that knowing how things turned out with the Image exodus, he wonders if he'd played along with Bob Harris that he might have been a very valuable asset to Marvel after they all jumped ship.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 February 2019 at 1:18pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Chris is perhaps misremember. Marvel has a long history of discouraging the talent from thinking themselves important. The characters are important. The keyboard tappers and pencil pushers are... fungible.
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 11 February 2019 at 1:43pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Chris is perhaps misremember. Marvel has a long history of discouraging the talent from thinking themselves important. The characters are important. The keyboard tappers and pencil pushers are... fungible.

=========================================================

True. And, perhaps, after 16 years and loyalty to Marvel, he did believe they should repay that. A sadly nave view that I can understand why he took.

You only have to look back at what happened with Roger Stern on The Avengers to see this.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 11 February 2019 at 2:09pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

It certainly seems that loyalty is no longer a useful character trait.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 11 February 2019 at 5:43pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I recall that one of the first storylines to appear post-Claremont involved Forge proposing marriage to Storm. She asks for some time to think about it, and he, over the course of the issue, angrily comes to the decision that she will never place him above her leadership of the X-Men, and leaves in a huff, yelling at her on his way out. She then crumbles to her knees in tears and says, in a small voice, "I was going to say 'yes.'" 

I could tell that the books were going to be random globs of soap opera from then on. Lee, Nicieza, whoever it was who wrote that, had no idea who these characters were.

(Looking it up, it turned out to be Scott Lobdell, from whom I have never read a decent, well-written thing. One of those writers the credits serve to keep the reader from wasting money upon.)


Edited by Brian Hague on 11 February 2019 at 6:07pm
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Dale E Ingram
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Posted: 12 February 2019 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Neither Scott Lobdell, who was writing Uncanny X-Men, nor Fabian Nicieza, who wrote X-Men, understood the characters. At times I was convinced that they hadn't even read an X-Men comic prior to writing one. 

I think the real problem of that era was Bob Harras. He seemed hell-bent on running Claremont off, and then once Claremont was gone, he himself had no plan or vision for the books. And in my opinion, he didn't seem to place much importance on hiring qualified writers with vision, either.

My new, mutant character would be called "Clod". Clod would have the ability to control the soil. Dirt, rocks, clay, mud, etc. 

Since he'd be a student at the school, I think it would be a lot of fun to watch Clod slowly learn how to use this power. Perhaps initially the manifestation would only be some very crude effect. His ability would feel like a curse, because when he was stressed, he'd inadvertently cause tremors and sinkholes to appear. He'd have no control over this, becuase he wouldn't even understand what he was doing. But over time, under Professor Xavier's tutelage, and a fair amount of study of geology and pedology, he'd learn stuff. We'd get to watch him try and fail, and occasionally learn something new and succeed.

When the New Mutants book first came out, I thought Claremont did a pretty good job of giving the students limitations to their powers that they had to struggle with. Sam couldn't steer, Bobby was strong but not invulnerable, and since he was solar charged, had a finite limit to the amount of energy he could expend. Dani's power was very unreliable. He lost track of it himself, and later writers didn't even bother, but I thought for a book that was in a school setting, it was a good story idea to give them something to aspire to and watch them learn. Rather than have Clod be just like the New Teen Titans' Terra, I'd rather watch the character learn very slowly and stay away from the fancy effects.



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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 12 February 2019 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Fabian Nicieza is on record as saying that the 3 years he was on the X-Men was not the happiest time of his writing career due to editorial and corporate dictating more often than not what he should do. Lobdell seemed to play along, but Nicieza was eventually fired for not.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 February 2019 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I knew the X-Men had come to a bad place when the creation of Bishop was ordered--by the marketing department!
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Dale E Ingram
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Posted: 12 February 2019 at 8:57am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

In my experience as a citizen of this planet, any time anything is driven by the marketing department, in any industry, it is a bad thing. 

How involved were they in Bishop's "creation"?
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 12 February 2019 at 9:00am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

That explains a lot. You can find very few interviews with Nicieza about that period as he doesn't seem to like discussing what was going on at Marvel and what the writers were being subjected to by corporate. Any he has given are very short and move on to his other works.
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