Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum << Prev Page of 6 Next >>
Topic: Tom Brevoort on the original ending to UNCANNY X-MEN 137 Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Jim Burdo
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2020
Location: United States
Posts: 217
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 3:22am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

There are conflicting reports over whether Thunderbird has been resurrected on the new mutant home of Krakoa.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robert Bradley
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4592
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 4:56am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Comic book deaths were still pretty uncommon at the time Jean Grey died.  You have a pretty short list of major Marvel characters (other than villains) who had died off through the early 1980s -

Junior Juniper (1963)
Charles Xavier (1968 - revealed alive in 1970)
Una (1969)
George Stacy (1970)
Janice Cord (1970)
Lady Dorma (1971)
Odin  (1972 - resurrected shortly thereafter in 1972)
Gwen Stacy (1973 - clone introduced in 1975)
Ancient One (1973 - revealed to exist as a cosmic entity in 1973)
Swordsman (1974 - body revived by the Cotati in 1974)
Thunderbird (1975)
Jean Grey (1980 - revealed alive in 1988)
Glen Talbot (1981)
Elektra (1982 - resurrected in 1983)
Captain Mar-Vell (1982)

The death of a major character was still pretty rare in 1980, and the only one that really compare was Gwen Stacy.  Gwen's death (along with Norman Osborn's) was probably the most shocking and controversial.  But it, along with Charles Xavier's "fake" death earlier, set the tone for character resurrections.

Jean's death was one of the first of a major active hero (Charles Xavier was the first, but the Swordsman was really a B-list villain turned hero and Thunderbird wasn't really that established) and the biggest death until they decided to kill of Mar-Vell a couple of years later (which thankfully has stuck).

When Elektra was brought back less than a year after her death I think the idea of deaths being permanent was pretty much out the window, and now what major character hasn't been killed and resurrected at some point?



Edited by Robert Bradley on 07 September 2021 at 8:52pm
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Darren Ashmore
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 30 April 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 808
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 5:47am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

It's interesting to speculate how the X-Men title and the
industry in general would have turned out if Wolverine had
been killed off instead of Thunderbird.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg McPhee
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 August 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4490
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 7:40am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

It does seem that Wein, Cockrum and Claremont had it in for our little Canadian hero until JB stepped in.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 13770
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 10:05am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Brevoort's blog is comprehensive. Wow.

From my perspective, I started collecting Marvel comics with a vengeance in late 85, at which point Marvel was both in the process of bringing her back and giving birth to a different Phoenix, so I never felt a direct impact from Jean dying.

The story (I hesitate to say 'event' because it has different connotations) certainly influenced what came after. Killing Jean was obviously an organic and unplanned affair, though it seems the impact unfortunately spurred creators later on down the road into offing characters as a cynical ploy to attract attention to a title. I'm thinking of A Death in the Family, the Death of Superman and so on.

I'm curious as to whether DC would have got rid of Supergirl in quite the same manner they did in Crisis if it was not for the Death of Phoenix half a decade earlier.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Colin Ian Campbell
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 24 April 2015
Location: England
Posts: 135
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Junior Jupiter (1963)
***
I think you mean Junior Juniper.

Glen Talbot (1981)
***
Glenn Talbot briefly returned from the afterlife in Incredible Hulks [sic] #619-620 (2011)

Elektra (1982 - resurrected in 1983)
***
I think Miller's resurrections of Elektra in DD #190 and Elektra Lives Again were intentionally ambiguous. When Marvel reneged on what they had promised him and let other writers use her, Miller said she was still dead.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robert Bradley
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4592
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 4:48pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I think you mean Junior Juniper.

That I did!

Glenn Talbot briefly returned from the afterlife in Incredible Hulks [sic] #619-620 (2011)

That was a Life Model Decoy, so Talbot has remained dead.

I think Miller's resurrections of Elektra in DD #190 and Elektra Lives Again were intentionally ambiguous. When Marvel reneged on what they had promised him and let other writers use her, Miller said she was still dead.

He must not have been paying attention to the Gerber/Marvel Howard the Duck situation.

Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Jason Czeskleba
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 30 April 2004
Posts: 4358
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 6:35pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Robert, you omitted a few early Marvel superhero deaths:
Bucky Barnes (1963, though the event was retconned to have happened in 1944)
The original Human Torch (1966)
Toro (1969)
I believe all of the above have been resurrected at some point post-1985, right?

and in terms of deaths of supporting characters, there also was:
Ben Parker (1962)
Franklin Storm (1964)
These latter two would fit into the category of "created to be killed" rather than the killing off of established characters.

I agree that Jean's death did open the floodgates of character deaths... for the obvious reason that fans were becoming the dominant share of the market, and X-Men #137 demonstrated that fans would buy up multiple copies of any issue with a major character death.


Edited by Jason Czeskleba on 07 September 2021 at 6:38pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Steven Myers
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 10 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5443
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 6:56pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

There are some cases where characters "really died" for a considerable amount of time, but the original writers said they had a way to bring them back written into the original story. Iron Fist, Barry Allen, and Professor X come to mind.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Robert Bradley
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4592
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 8:51pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Jason - I was thinking characters who appeared regularly and then were killed off.  Bucky was killed in a flashback and Jim Hammond and Toro were brought back for single issues.  Most readers probably had no attachment to the WWII characters by that point in time.

edit - They also did the same with Red Raven (single appearance), Marvel Boy (single appearance) and Miss America (flashback)




Edited by Robert Bradley on 07 September 2021 at 8:54pm
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Mark Haslett
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5287
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 9:42pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Just re-read the Len Wein interview from 1981 in the "X-Men Companion."

He says two things that establish the predestined ending of Thunderbird. One, he states unhesitatingly, that Thunderbird was created to die "from the very beginning" to show to the reader that, "Well, this was a real group!" His final quote: "Thunderbird was put in there as a throwaway, meant to surprise you."

Second, he explains that issues 94 and 95 were finished plotting and 94 was drawn before Chris came on board. They were originally the contents of GSX#2, but got split into two issues when the decision was made to go back to the regular series.

So he was a kind of extension of the Uncle Ben model-- a character designed to die for the effect his death would have on the characters who were meant to carry on the series.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 3183
Posted: 07 September 2021 at 9:57pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I was going to mention Giant-Sized #2 but didn't know if it would have any bearing.

Excellent point about Thunderbird as an Uncle Ben type of figure!

So he, or someone, was a planned death in the book, like Shooter's Ferro Lad back in the go-go-checks days. Phoenix wasn't planned to die at all. I thought, and think, it was a good call though she should die, but because it did work so well and had real impact with readers, it seemed to inspire the desire to make 'history' by doing the same thing again, and again, and again. They wore it (and me) out with all the superheroines dying or being radically changed and maimed! I think it was that fallout from Phoenix (and Elektra) that mostly targeted heroines with darker stories, that unbalanced superhero comics for awhile to some degree.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 

<< Prev Page of 6 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login