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Topic: When I Wore a Younger Manís Clothes - 05.24.10 Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Nathan Greno
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Posted: 26 May 2010 at 7:41pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply


JB,

I seem to remember you planning on using the X-Men from your run for a Hidden Years Annual... or something? You were thinking of having Terry ink it, no?

Where would that "lost" story have fit in during your run? Between which issues?
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Dave Braun
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Joined: 12 July 2009
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Posted: 26 May 2010 at 8:09pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

This is truly amazing! Uncanny!! Thanks for doing what you do!
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Keith Thomas
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Posted: 26 May 2010 at 9:14pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

As I recall, he was super strong. The character was less about powers than about being hideously ugly -- we would never see him out of the suit, unless it was in a dark room, heavily shadowed. I wanted to play with a couple of things there -- one, that mutation could have a very negative effect on what an individual looked like

Unfortunately that concept has now been done to death, both after you left (Morlocks) and especially on recent characters, I think one of the newer X-men was a disembodied brain...
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Nathan Greno
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Posted: 26 May 2010 at 9:59pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Reading through the X-Men Companion II (Fantagraphics Books, Inc. 1882)...

JB on Caliban:

BYRNE: He was going to be an incredibly ugly Living Cerebro kind of character, whom we would never see entirely. We would only see bits and pieces of him. And he would live in this dark room in the back of the mansion and Kitty would relate to him for some reason. Chris defined the situation as being she can't stand Nightcrawler because he is "wrong" somehow, he is a human done sideways, but Caliban was so hideous and so deformed that he was a broken thing, like a bird with a broken wing, and she could relate to him on that level. And it was going to be a very trying thing for Nightcrawler, the fact Kitty could relate to Caliban and not him.

SANDERSON: Why would he be kept hidden away?

BYRNE: Because he's so ugly. Because the other X-Men don't like to look at him and he doesn't like to look at himself.

SANDERSON: Really. So even they are not immune from prejudices.

BYRNE: No.

SANDERSON: But he is nevertheless a mutated human with normal human intelligence.

BYRNE: Oh, yes, everything about him inside his head is the same, except for the fact that he's a living Cerebro.

SANDERSON: Were you going to get rid of the Cerebro computer?

BYRNE: Yeah, they were going to discover the tap that the Hellfire Club had put on it, or at least figure out that there was something amiss, and he was going to fulfill the fuction of Cerebro for them.

SANDERSON: Had you worked out as yet how they were going to find him?

BYRNE: With Cerebro. It was going to be, "Oh, look! A new mutant!" And off they'd go.

SANDERSON: Now why is it that Caliban never got into the book?

BYRNE: Because Shooter killed the concept of a second team of X-Men, the X-Men in training, because he said it sounded too much like the Legion of Substitute X-Men, so it died right there and Kitty became the only one who ever made it into the book.

SANDERSON: Had any of the others been worked out?

BYRNE: No, Kitty, Caliban, and Willie Evans, Jr., that little black kid who was in the Fantastic Four about three years ago, who made the monstrous version of the FF, were the only ones we were sure were going to be in it.

 

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Nathan Greno
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Posted: 26 May 2010 at 10:22pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

More reading through the X-Men Companion II (Fantagraphics Books, Inc. 1882)...

A couple of really interesting quotes from JB:

"I never liked Xavier in the early days. That's something I commented about to [Jim] Shooter many times when I was doing The X-Men, that I thought the emphasis on the X-Men as a school was the wrong approach. Because that was one of the elements I didn't like when I was reading it. I would go to school all day, so I didn't want to come home and read about super-heroes going to school."

"I hate the Danger Room. I see nothing wrong with training exercises, but the Danger Room can kill, and I never liked that. Right from the start I didn't like the idea that the failure to pass this particular test carried the ultimate demerit, which was that you die in there. I always wanted to do a story where Xavier got pushed in there by some villain or something and have him survive the danger and then realize how terrible it was and shut it down."

 

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 26 May 2010 at 10:26pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

 John Byrne (from Fantagraphic's X-MEN Companion II) wrote:

...No, Kitty, Caliban, and Willie Evans, Jr., that little black kid who was in the Fantastic Four about three years ago, who made the monstrous version of the FF, were the only ones we were sure were going to be in it...


Willie Evans, Jr. did appear in an "Iron Man" annual a few years after the interview with JB. Did he ever appear in another comic after that?
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Nathan Greno
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Posted: 26 May 2010 at 10:42pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Matt: Willie Evans, Jr. did appear in an "Iron Man" annual a few years after the interview with JB. Did he ever appear in another comic after that?

----------

According to the computer machine, he died in that Iron Man Annual (#8) -- and that appears to be the last we've seen of him.

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Nathan Greno
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Posted: 26 May 2010 at 11:31pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

More reading through the X-Men Companion II (Fantagraphics Books, Inc. 1882)...

Terry Austin on JB leaving the X-Men:

SANDERSON: It's amazing that you had five people sticking together for so long.

AUSTIN: Yeah, I think so too. I'm really glad that we could stick it out for so long. No one was ever more shocked than I when John called up and said, "Hey I just quit the X-Men; you want to do the Fantastic Four?" and I went "Huh?"

SANDERSON: Well, when John decided to quit, did you give any thought to staying on the book?

AUSTIN: Yeah, I did. First of all I had to get used to the idea that John wasn't going to be there any more. John had always told me he was going to do a hundred issues. When he called me up that day and said "How about going with me over to the Fantastic Four?" -- I couldn't even answer him, because I couldn't even conceive of him not doing the X-Men any more. It just seemed as if it was something that was going to go on forever, really, and in the back of my mind it has always been, "Well, as long as John is going to stick it out, I'll be there too." And then I got calls from Louise [Jones] and Chris latter on, saying "Please stay with us; we'd like to keep as much of the team as we can." But once I got used to the idea that John was not going to be there anymore, it was sort of like a door had slammed. I don't know--the best way I can put it is that once I got used to the idea that things were not going to be as they had been for the last two or three years month after month, it was sort of like "Well, it's all over now. What's next?"

 

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Dale Lerette
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Posted: 27 May 2010 at 5:24am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Now this is the type of artwork that made me want to read comics when I was a kid! Amazing work!
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Wayde Murray
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Posted: 27 May 2010 at 7:10am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Absolutely spectacular.  I have a fondness for JB's group shots/family portraits, and this is the best of them by far.  Nicely done, JB!

Congratulations on a great commission, Nathan. 

 

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Francesco Vanagolli
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Posted: 27 May 2010 at 10:38am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Thanks, Nathan. I already googled to find him and I still didn't remember him.

I read the whole claremont/JB run when I was a kid, except for that issue, which I bought when I was 20 years old (in its CLASSIC X-MEN version).

I remember with no problems stories read 15 years ago, but that... I forgot most of it. That's how memory often works...!


The Kitty/Caliban thing could be interesting. I don't even know what Caliban is doing now...
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 May 2010 at 10:44am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The Caliban who ultimately found his way into the book was not my character.

This is what happened:

About a million years ago, there was a contest to create a new mutant. This was back even before Neal Adams came to the title. A winner was selected and announced -- a character called Humus Sapiens -- with the promise that this character would soon appear in the pages of X-MEN.

But, truth to tell, no one was really eager to use the character, and X-MEN was cancelled before that promise could be fulfilled. And the promise was promptly forgotten. Certainly, during the time I was working on the book, I had not even heard of it.

Then Shooter came back to work after a convention, where someone had brought up Humus Sapiens. He ordered Chris and Dave, who were back together after my departure, to include the character immediately. This seemed a bit daft, with a character nobody had even thought about in something like 15 years, but they did the best they could, originally making him one of the Morlocks. Then saner heads prevailed, and the character was called Caliban instead.

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