Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Here’s the latest run that did not make the Top 158 runs!
Remember, feel free to send me more essays about these runs! You send ‘em, I’ll run ‘em! I think I only have one more left (maybe two – I forget), so if you want to see more of these, send them in! No ‘Mazing Man fans out there?
Louise Simonson’s X-Factor – 30 points (2 first place votes)
X-Factor #6-46, 48-54, 56-64, plus two Annuals
Louise Simonson took over X-Factor from Bob Layton, and soon changed the book to be more of a “teaching young mutants” book, but in her first issue, Simonson introduced Apocalypse!
Simonson’s husband, Walter Simonson, joined her on the book for an extended run with her as writer and him as artist.
Some amazing artwork by Walt Simonson in this period.
This was also the time when Simonson had Angel become Archangel.
Soon, Simonson had Beast revert back to his blue, furry self!
For the rest of her run, a big part of it was Cyclops and Jean Grey growing closer, while Iceman, Archangel and Beast also developed romances.
Simonson’s tenure on the book ended soon after Whilce Portacio took over – I forget if she was pushed off or not.
Here’s reader Elijah on why this X-Factor run was tops on his list!
I’ve always been an X-Men fan, and yet I’ve come to realize that when I think back on what I consider to be “The X-Men” of the mid-to-late 80’s, the first thing to pop into my mind is the original five as drawn by Walter Simonson. His way of drawing Cyclops particularly, will always be my default version of the character. I certainly do enjoy the Claremont-written Uncanny books of the time, but that X-Factor run is so perfect, beyond the nice symmetry of being done by a husband and wife team.
In his X-Factor Storytelling Engine, John Seavey explained one of the major elements that made the writing so good–namely, a willingness to deal with all of the GAPING HOLES IN LOGIC that were left by the book’s first, short-lived, creative team–but even more incredible than Louise Simonson’s willingness to tackle these problems, was the real emotional resonance with which she did it. She managed to turn Cyclop’s abandonment of wife and child into something that actually made me feel immensely for the character, whereas the original act had just made him just look like a massive, massive (massive) tool.
Also, Louise Simonson’s (rather protracted) way of giving Beast back his fur got to the point of almost painfully drawn out, until rewarding us at just the right time with what might be my favorite moment (and single panel) ever, in issue 33. (Think: “sh*t-eating grin.”)
Combine all of this pathos with the superhero team actually training mutant kids, (something the X-Men seemed to have outgrown at the time) having good ol’ fashioned fights with super-villains, (including completely uninteresting early baddie Apocalypse, whom she entirely retooled) and Walt Simonson in all of his angular, Thor-era glory and you’ve got a classic yarn on your hands.
Oh, and Cyclops freaking punctures the Blob just to prove a point.
Okay, that’s it until next week! See you then!
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