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That X-Factor Cover I was talking about…

in this past week’s Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, courtesy of reader PJ Perez, who scanned it from an issue of Marvel Age (click to enlarge)…

What’s particularly interesting is that the original creative team of the book never got up to the issue where this cover was originally created for, issue #7.


Wow. That would have been the worst costume Cyclops ever had. And that’s saying a lot.

They got the color scheme wrong.
Instead of a red blur he was wearing a giant yellow X.
And yes it was the worst costume Cyclops ever had.

Graham Vingoe

July 1, 2008 at 6:44 am

So that cover figure was meant to be Dazzler rather than Jean Grey?. If I had seen that promo image at the time my first and only instinct would be that the figure was Kitty Pryde way ahead of either of the others.

Graham, I believe by the time that it was published in Marvel Age, Layton had edited the cover so that the image was Jean Grey’s profile, not Dazzler.

Originally, though, it was Dazzler.

I agree with Graham though it looks most like Kitty Pryde

Why were they off the book? What was the story behind that?

That book was a flurry of bad, ill-considered ideas –let’s count them:
1. bringing the original X-Men back together without Claremont’s involvement
2. bring Jean Grey back to life
3. bringing the least interesting version of Jean Grey back to life
4. the group pretends to be hateful mutant hunters by day so that they can help humans by night.

–So I wonder what FINALLY made Shooter or whomever say “no guys, we won’t let you do that.” I’m sure that they cited “editorial interference”, but this whole book was such a startling example of the need for MORE editorial interference.

Sorry, what? I was distracted by the fact they all appear to be emerging from an enormous flaming vagina.

Why were they off the book? What was the story behind that?

Dunno, but dollars to donuts it had to do with wanting to coordinate with the X-Office (i.e. Claremont) better. Note that Layton was replaced by Louise Simonson, who was close with Claremont, and actually was his editor on Uncanny for four years.

Andrew Collins

July 1, 2008 at 9:06 am

Jack Fear said:
“Sorry, what? I was distracted by the fact they all appear to be emerging from an enormous flaming vagina.”

Ha ha, Bob Layton = Marvel’s answer to Georgia O’Keefe.

I’m curious about why there was the quick turnover on the creative team too. It was originally Layton, and who? Guice or Shoemaker? For them to be gone seems pretty strong, especially for what was a pretty high profile launch title for Marvel back in the mid-80’s…

It was Layton and Guice. And yes, I agree that they were totally wrong for a X-book. And you can add to the list of bad ideas:

5. Revert the Beast to his human appearance and sedate personality.

Those costumes could be seen in the Deluxe Marvel Universe entries for Cyclops and Angel : which I guess was put together before X-Factor#1 was finished.


July 1, 2008 at 10:40 am

Wasn’t Apocalypse originally going to turn out to be the Daredevil villain the Owl as well?

Cyclops in largely-red just looks so, so wrong. And to whomever said the one who said the blue and yellow was the ugliest costume he ever had, I always preferred all three X-Factor costumes to the Jim Lee one with the weird strap. (I always especially liked the post-FotM costumes, with Bobby wearing pale blue and white, Scott in dark blue and white and Jean in red and gold. Though I kept waiting for Archangel to get an X-Factor uniform instead of the ‘maze’ suit he wore as Death.)

I will point out to Matt Bird that numbers 1-3 on his list certainly wouldn’t be enough to get Jim Shooter to pull them off the book, as they were direct editorial mandates from Shooter.

(Well, to be more strictly accurate, bringing back Jean Grey was Shooter’s mandate, and he insisted that she would have to come back in a way that made it clear that this wasn’t the Jean Grey that destroyed an inhabited planet, because he felt that a character who’d done that could no longer be a sympathetic character. Claremont, in turn, refused to have anything to do with a book that brought back Jean Grey, feeling that it undermined the original Dark Phoenix saga; when Shooter presented it as a fait accompli, Claremont told him to find someone else to write it. That someone was Bob Layton, who was something of a “go to” guy for Shooter–they later worked together at Valiant, as well.)

Layton really isn’t responsible for much of the set-up of early X-Factor; I suspect that’s why he left in such a hurry, being saddled with that mess of a storytelling engine couldn’t have been fun.

Jack Fear said all there is to be said.

I dunno, John Seavey, that’s not how I read it. It was Shooter’s mandate to kill off Jean Grey in the first place (rather than just de-power her) because she couldn’t be redeemed. My reading of the info we’ve discussed so far on this is that Shooter laid down some rules which pretty much outlawed her ever coming back, and then Layton, (or Busiek or Byrne or whomever), figured out a way to get around those rules, so then Shooter threw up his hands. Where are you getting that it was Shooter’s idea to get the team back together, or to bring Jean back?

I agree with the above folks in that the silhouette is definitely Kitty Pryde, in her ugly Sprite X-Men uniform. The distinctive ‘curly hair falling out of the skullcap’ is more or less unique to her, IFAIK. Although I could see Polaris in something similar.

Jean and Dazzler both generally had hat-free costumes, save for Jean’s hideous oversize-glasses Jackie-O look.

Nah, that sillhouette is Jean. Kitty’s “skullcap “costume was basically the same as Jean’s original cosutme. And Jean’s original X-Factor suit had the skullcap look too.

Ha, glad I could be of service, Brian. However, I’m pretty sure the jacked-up coloring on Cyclops’ costume was a result of the Marvel Age colorists and was not intended in Layton’s designs. There was a lot of off-coloring throughout that issue. I could be wrong, but I rarely am. ;)

The Cyclops costume is yellow on the chest and blue on the head in the Marvel Universe version.

Brian, you said the cover was intended for issue # 7, does that mean the title was just supposed to feature the male characters and then Dazzler would be a ‘surprise’ characters who joined in #7?

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