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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 10:12am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I'm interested in the X-Men today. Created as mutants with eXtra power, the original X-Men all had one power, although Iceman could use his in a variety of ways.

Come the ANAD X-Men, and it seemed that most of them had multiple powers. Colossus and Thunderbird were pretty consistent with the originals; Banshee and Sunfire kinda fit in the Iceman mold (one ability but used in a variety of ways.) Storm and Nightcrawler and Wolverine seemed to me to have multiple abilities that weren't really related (as I don't think of "weather control" as a singular ability.)

So part of this topic is to discuss the nature of mutants and the various X-Men.

But the biggest one is - exercise your imagination, and make up a new mutant for the X-Men. Try to stick to the original model for my purposes; one power or ability, even if it can be used in multiple ways.

My mutant would be El Oro, with the power of affecting light. He can affect light in a selected area, from total darkness to blinding brightness. He can see in complete dark. He can make himself or others invisible. He can change the color of things. Someday, with a lot of training, he might be able to create an offensive light beam ram, or a laser.

Do you have a mutant you wanted to see or display to us? What do you have?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 10:25am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

At the risk of enraging his fans, Nightcrawler annoyed me from Day One. AN extra power. So he’s funny looking, has eyes that glow, fangs, fur, a prehensile tail, can bond to surfaces, teleports (with fire and brimstone!) AND is invisible in shadow!!!! ARRGH!!!!!

And these days, do NOT even get me started on “secondary mutations”!!

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 10:36am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

And then there was Nightcrawler's name!


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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

At the risk of enraging his fans, Nightcrawler annoyed
me from Day One. AN extra power. So he’s funny
looking, has eyes that glow, fangs, fur, a prehensile
tail, can bond to surfaces, teleports (with fire and
brimstone!) AND is invisible in shadow!!!! ARRGH!!!!

---

Gambit was the worst in this regard, in my opinion.
When he showed up his power was to charge objects in
his hands and throw them and they explode.

But not only that, he had superhuman reflexes that
would easily match Spider Man, was blocking bullets
coming from auto fire rifles (I instantly thought back
to how big of a deal it was that Daredevil blocked ONE
bullet from a revolver), took out Wolverine in a duel,
took out Gladiator with ease. It was nuts, I hated
him.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Gambit was happily after my time.
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John Popa
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

A friend of mine who's maybe a dozen years younger than me once said he's 'old enough to remember when Gambit was cool.'

I replied 'I'm old enough to remember that Gambit was never cool.'

We had a laugh.
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Philippe Negrin
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I had an idea a long time ago for a mutant who could action any mechanism at a distance (provided he coould see it). Not much of a power but could be useful in a team book. I think I had a name too but can't remember now. Catalyst ?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 12:53pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Gambit was a forerunner of that breed of characters whose names tell us NOTHING about them. Not even handy for picking them out of a group. I think Shatterstar may have been the nadir of this “thinking” but I could have missed one or two.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I think Storm's power set works quite nicely. It is summed up very easily ("controls weather") and the codename ties in well and the whole makes sense. Nightcrawler is a bit of a catchbag though. Walks up walls. And teleports. And disappears in darkness. And can fence with his tail.

Wolverine isn't much better. Great sense of smell. Great sense of hearing. Keen eyesight. Healing power. The adamantium stuff is a clever add-on, making use of his healing power to make him the only person who could have survived the process/surgery, but then you have the stupid retcon that he also has natural claws. He is also strong, fast, agile, has superhuman reflexes, and didn't he have some kind of special psyche that was resistant to mind-reading? He's the best at what he does. And that includes a lot of things.

Trying to think of a mutant on the spot seems difficult, cos so much has already been invented. Makes me appreciate the mutants JB came up with for the Hellfire club. Sebastian Shaw and Harry Leland still seem like fresh takes.

Maybe a mutant called Bellows with super-powerful lungs.

 
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Jason Larouse
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 2:40pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Gambit was a forerunner of that breed of characters whose names tell us NOTHING about them. Not even handy for picking them out of a group. I think Shatterstar may have been the nadir of this “thinking” but I could have missed one or two.

***

Cable was pretty bad in this regard too. Although nobody knew what his powers were supposed to be for about his first decade so I'm not shocked they went with a generic name! 
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Richard Stevens
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 2:42pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Was it Wolverine's psyche that resisted telepaths, or was it the adamantium in his skull? I'd have an easier time accepting the latter.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 3:18pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Was it Wolverine's psyche that resisted telepaths, or was it the adamantium in his skull? I'd have an easier time accepting the latter.

——-

One aspect is that his mind had become so fragmented by mind wipes and memory implants that it was difficult for telepaths to effectively navigate his mind. The other aspect is that when he is one of his berserker rages, he is operating on an instinctual level that made him difficult to read or control mentally.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 3:20pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Peter M. - I am minded to disagree with you simply because Storm can do so many different things.

She can generate lightning from her own body. She can cause clouds to rain or snow. She can control winds, to the point of able to lift her (and others) to carry her through the sky.* She can make the environment colder or hotter. I have no issue with the assemblage of powers being assigned to the hero called "Storm" - but her abilities seem very disparate to me.

*How strong must a wind be to carry a fairly hefty looking young woman like Ororo? Would that cause an inordinate amount of collateral damage? Or is her control over them that tight?

For my part, I think I would rather have the power(s) and then define a name more than saying that she controls weather, and then start adding abilities. And again, it seems a bit scattershot. Even Magneto, powerful as he is, bases his power on one mutant ability; magnetism. Storm (and Nightcrawler) seem to exceed that, to me.
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Mark McKay
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 5:04pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Wasn't Gambit just Longshot re-imagined? Down to the name and all? 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 6:53pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Eric, regarding Storm: was generating lightning from her own body part of the original deal with Storm (or even now)? To me, she hurls lightning in the same way as Thor... that is, by controlling the weather.

All the disparate powers you list seem very easily to come under the heading of controlling the weather. All Storm's abilities seem to stem from what we would consider variations of weather in a way that seems more consistent than, say, Magneto generating a force field which seems more of a stretch under the heading of controlling magnetism than making it rain or snow or thunder and lightning under the heading of controlling the weather.

Regarding Gambit, he entered the frame shortly before I ditched the X-Men for good and I know little about him, beyond him being almost an apex (or nadir, depending on your viewpoint) of Claremontisms. However, this CBR Legends page claims he was not supposed to be Longshot reimagined: LINK (scroll down, it's near the bottom)


From the page linked to above:
"Chris Claremont did not intend Gambit to be Longshot, rather Gambit was going to be a new villain with ties to Mister Sinister (granted, the original conception of Mister Sinister, not the one that ensuing writers came up with)."
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Craig Bogart
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 8:26pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I remember reading the second part of Day of Future Past when I bought it off the spinner rack, and Wolverine mentions having a healing power.  I thought "What the heck?  No one's ever said anything about a healing power before!"  Even then it struck me like having Spider-Man start being able to communicate with Spiders in his 50th appearance.
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Steven Myers
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 9:13pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I think they've made Nightcrawler's physical powers part of his natural genetics, and teleportation his mutant power. But I may be misunderstanding. I agree with JB that he goes too far as far as being a mutant...but I love the guy!

I think Thunderbird had more than 1 power: super strength, senses, reflexes, or some such.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 11:41pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

What about the powers to speak in idosyncratic dialect? Was Frenchy in Blackhawk a mutant?

In the first new line-up you have "ja, mein freund", "da, tovarich", "aye, me boyo", and Ororo wasn't entirely without dialect either referring to a goddess alot. I'm not sure if Wolverine was meant to sound 'Canadian' with all the 'bub' this and 'darlin' that, but it really didn't register with me as Canadian at all, the 'eh' bits seemed spread fairly thin, thank the white wolf und gott in himmell!

But then they added Rogue with all the southern drawl "sugar" things, and deep bayou Gambit... well I do declare and guarantee it was all too much! However... maybe we were lucky we didn't get Thunderbird saying "klahowya, pale face" or Sunfire sticking around after Giant-Size #1 adding "hai, honorable associate" or something to the supposedly cosmopolitan mix.

So whoever else they add can they just speak English fairly straightforwardly, please?


Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 04 February 2019 at 11:43pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 12:45am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Maybe there can be an X-Man called "Umlaut" whose mutant power is the ability to correctly pronounce and translate any word or phrase in any spoken language. We can retcon him into G-S X-Men #1 and have his powers turn against him as he struggles to compensate for the linguistic shortcomings, cliches, and idiosyncrasies of his teammates, which eventually overwhelm him and cause him to explode. Jean is killed in the explosion but is back before breakfast the next morning with no one the wiser. Xavier hushes up Umlaut's death and wipes everyone's memory because he is a rat bastard, while Cyclops briefly dates and then discards his widow when she becomes pregnant.

Morrison or Bendis can then rapidly age the child to adulthood and send him on a quest for vengeance against his crummy father and the rest of the team in "L' Revanche! Emphasis on Revenge!" a twelve-part crossover series that will carry across six separate titles and a special insert comic sold only with early pregnancy tests.


Edited by Brian Hague on 05 February 2019 at 12:46am
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Brian, are you sure that wasn't a real story? It sounds familiar... and sounds like another complicated plot finagle that I didn't pay t read. :)

Peter M., I recall Storm manifesting lightning at least once, in the second part of the Arcade story (yeah, like I remember the issues at this late date) But I seem to recall that she very often shot lightning from her hands, rather than calling it from the skies. I've no problem with Magneto forming a force field... although, like Alan Scott, I'd like to think he could still be taken out by a 2 x 4.

Ms. Jansen, I think a little cultural linguistic element here and there adds some flavor to the characters - emphasis on a little. (Query: Would Xavier's telepathic language lessons have included such euphemisms and shortcuts?)

I didn't mind Wolverine's healing factor. I minded his instant healing factor. I wasn't very fond of what we saw in the movies. I would be okay with, "My god, wasn't his arm half off three days ago? He's perfectly healthy now!" "Yes, but I still wouldn't want to see him after a fight with the Wendigo."

As for Gambit... do they wear a lot of heavy dusters in New Orleans with an outlandish purple and blue body suit underneath? To me, he was, as noted, another accent using blow-stuff-up character. As subtle as getting beads during Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras conversation:
"Show me your boobs!"
"Oh yeah? Show me your nuts!"
"Sure! Didn't I just ask you to flash me in public in full daylight?" :P :) :D
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 8:45am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Umlaut sounds like a bit of a zero in terms of substance; I fear if you put him in the team, he'd be little more than a cipher.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 11:27am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Brian, there was: Cypher (Doug Ramsey, an American boy able to translate any language) in the New Mutants. I think Peter and Eric remember him as well. I remember his introduction and that he sort of teamed up with Warlock (Mark II), no idea after that as I had drifted away for a few decades. Your story might be more entertaining though! :^)
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 11:29am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

That occurred to me, Peter, so I tried to differentiate him from Doug ever so slightly by focusing his powers only on the spoken word, rather than copying Doug's more varied and sophisticated abilities. I hoped that since he'd only be around for the space of this single storyline, the similarities wouldn't be too glaring. 

Another telling difference: the robot pal who would have later dug Umlaut up and puppeteered his dead body about like a marionette would have run on alternating current rather than direct, as Warlock does. See? Totally different. :-)

(Edited to add: Rebecca beat me to posting a reply! I really take too long writing these... :-) And Rebecca, I'm sorry if my response above contained a spoiler for the what finally happened to poor Cypher.)


Edited by Brian Hague on 05 February 2019 at 11:32am
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 2:44pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Gambit and Rogue are now off in their own, non-X-Men-team title, called Mr. and Mrs. X, and I hope they stay there forever.

Re: Warlock. I liked him. I had no idea why he was on an Earth mutant team. See also: Longshot. 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 3:08pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Warlock and Cypher were actually a decent, if odd, team. I'd forgotten about Warlock digging up Cypher's corpse. Maybe it was a metaphor for Marvel's treatment of dead characters in general.

I'm looking forward to the new six-issue limited series of X-Men vs Men-X, in which Cyclops and co encounter a mirror universe version of the team. including Tualmu, who can correctly pronounce and translate any spoken phrase, but only backwards.
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