Here we see how much confusion can be wrought in fandom by the fact
|Posted: 05 December 2009 at 6:14am | IP Logged | 2
that so many people who have read comics almost all their lives still do
not understand the process by which those comics are produced.
To begin with, there was no "script" at that point in the process. Chris
and I did UNCANNY X-MEN "Marvel Style", meaning plot, pencils, script,
lettering, inks. And altho we had begun our working relationship on that
book with Chris providing me with detailed, written plots, by issue 113,
when I started getting co-plotter credit in the book, we had switch
entirely to "phone plots". Chris and I would hash out the details over the
phone, then I would draw what we had worked out. (During the time
Roger Stern was editor, he was also in on this process, and Rog and I
would often talk on the phone ourselves, and frequently these
conversations would turn to the issue I was working on.)
As Chris and I had worked out the details for the original shape of what
came to be known as the Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean (Phoenix was still Jean
then, turned evil by Mastermind) flew off into space, had an encounter
with a Shi'ar ship, blew it up, and then returned to Earth. The Shi'ar
pursued her, and, in the original version, captured and "psychically
lobotomized" her. In this way, Dark Phoenix would be set up to become
a recurring villain in the series.
When it came time to draw the key issue, I, as co-plotter, decided Dark
Phoenix needed to do something "bigger" than just blow up a Shi-ar
ship. Something that would make it absolutely clear that Dark Phoenix
was the Meanest Mother in the Valley. So I decided to have her blow up
a star, and that that star would have at least one inhabited world in its
family of planets. I called Roger, ran this by him, and he approved. As I
recall, it was also Rog who suggested the "asparagus people", last seen
in AVENGERS 4. Chris liked this idea, too, and would subsequently name
them the D'Bari.
This, then, was an addition to the plot as Chris and I had originally
worked it out, not a "switcheroo".
If anything might be described as a "switcheroo" it was when Shooter --
who, by his own admission had "not been paying attention" -- saw the
pages and decided Phoenix had to be horribly tortured for all eternity for
her crime of planetary genocide. Despite the fact that this was no worse
than things we saw any of the top level Marvel bad guys do routinely
without any permanent consequences to be faced.