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Comic Book Legends Revealed #293

Welcome to the two-hundred and ninety-third in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous two hundred and ninety-two.

Comic Book Legends Revealed is part of the larger Legends Revealed series, where I look into legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can check out here, at legendsrevealed.com. I’d especially recommend you check out this installment of Movie Legends Revealed for the truth behind the famous quip Laurence Olivier supposedly said to Dustin Hoffman while filming The Marathon Man. Also, which famous movie star was actually publicly censured by the United States Congress for her adultery?!

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). As I’ve promised, at 2,000 Twitter followers I’ll do a BONUS edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed during the week we hit 2,000. We are getting quite close, so go follow us (here‘s the link to our Twitter page again)! Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get original content from me, as well!

With the end of one year and the beginning of a new year coming up, this week’s legends are all somehow related to TIME!

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: O.M.A.C. was originally a “Captain America in the future” concept.

STATUS: True

More than a few times during his career Jack Kirby found himself in awkward situations from a creative standpoint.

One of these times was the late 1960s/early 1970s, when he was still working for Marvel Comics. Kirby was still a Marvel employee, but, just like Rosemary in the classic Bob Dylan tune Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts, “She was with Big Jim but she was leanin’ to the Jack of Hearts.” Similarly, Kirby was with Marvel, but he was leaning in another direction. In 1968, he did not necessarily know what direction that might be – it might have still been with Marvel, just in a different role (Kirby certainly gave Marvel every opportunity to keep him around), but he knew that he was increasingly displeased with his situation as it was at Marvel. So it would not be surprising at all if Kirby began to doubt whether he wanted to provide new characters to his current company when he might want to leave. We know that as he got closer to departing Marvel, that that is exactly what he began to do (hold on to new characters for use at his next company), but, of course, that does not mean that every idea he chose not to use was for that reason. Ideas go unused for all sorts of reasons. It’s only an interesting possibility that perhaps as early as 1968 he was thinking about a possible future beyond Marvel.

In any event, while working on Captain America in 1968 with Stan Lee and Syd Shores…

Kirby came up with the idea of introducing the Captain America of the future. The idea ended up not being used, but it clearly stuck in the back of his head.

Fast forward to 1974, when Kirby was in another awkward situation. He was under contract to DC Comics, but they had already canceled his biggest and most notable idea for them, his Fourth World line of comics and had also just canceled one of the next series he created for them, the Demon. He was still doing Kamandi, the far-out adventures of a teen in a post-apocalyptic future, which was doing well for DC.

By this time, Kirby was already thinking that perhaps DC was no better of a situation for him than Marvel was, and began to give serious thought to leaving the company. However, he was still under contract, and the terms of his contract demanded a remarkably large output of work (fifteen pages of art and story per week!), so you would have a period where Kirby would practically be an idea factory, tossing out new idea after new idea after new idea, hoping some of them would catch on like Kamandi did.

Almost certainly with the success of Kamandi in mind, Kirby went back to his unused “Captain America of the future” concept and introduced O.M.A.C….One Man Army Corps in mid-1974!

As you can see from these pages of O.M.A.C. #1, the parallels to the origin of Captain America are striking…

and then when Buddy gets his powers…

It basically is “Captain America of the future,” although naturally with a bit more of a dystopic flavor to it that I don’t know if Kirby necessarily had in mind in the late 1960s.

Thanks to Mark Evanier for the information behind O.M.A.C.’s origins, which he detailed in DC’s recent hardcover collection of the eight issues of O.M.A.C. (it also did not exactly catch on, and by the time it abruptly finished, Kirby was on his way back to Marvel for a second try)!

Here’s that hardcover…

COMIC LEGEND: Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio had a specific X-Traitor in mind when they introduced the concept.

STATUS: A Nice False/True Blend, Mostly on the False End

In Uncanny X-Men #282, a mutant from the future was introduced named Bishop…

In Uncanny X-Men #287, he joined the team, but not before we learn that Bishop discovered something about the past while in the future – that the X-Men were killed by one of their own!!

Eventually, the story was explained as it being Professor Xavier who was the traitor, as Xavier’s dark side merged with Magneto’s dark side to create the malevolent being known as Onslaught.

However, obviously, since Onslaught did not exist at the time, he could not have been what Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio had in mind for the X-Traitor.

As you might imagine, tons of speculations has accumulated over the years over who the X-Traitor was supposed to be, including a sizable group of fans who thought that it would turn out to be Bishop himself!

Earlier this year, Vaneta Rogers over at Newsarama addressed this specific question when she asked Lee and Portacio about the X-Traitor.

And, in a refrain that you will find familiar after reading the previous installment of Comic Book Legends Revealed where we learned how Scott Lobdell introduced the concept of Onslaught without having a particular character in mind, the X-Traitor, too, was created without one specific character in mind.

That isn’t to say that there wasn’t ANY character in mind, but just that there was not a specific character in mind.

From Rogers’ column, Lee notes that “there were a couple possibilities that would work depending on which fandom was guessing. The choices we had would work with the hints we were laying down” and Portacio recalls, “And yes there was discussion on Bishop being that traitor, though to my recollection, no decision was ever made. I never drew a page to that effect.”

So there’s definitely a bit of a mix here between true and false, but I think it enough of a false to go with “false.”

Thanks to Vaneta for getting the answers, and thanks to Jim and Whilce for giving them!

COMIC LEGEND: Chronos was not canceled by DC!

STATUS: True

Chronos, by John Francis Moore and Paul Guinan (with inks mostly by Steve Leialoha and Denis Rodier), was a fun comic book by DC in the late 1990s.

It starred Walker Gabriel, a fairly amoral fellow who took over as Chronos after the earlier Chronos died.

The series was filled with impressively intelligent musings on history and the nature of time travel, while also having time for more offbeat stuff, like having superheroes from the past show up.

It was a really clever series, and one of the few modern titles seemingly to receive the Grant Morrison seal of approval, as he gave Walker Gabriel a key role in DC One Million and recently, Gabriel showed up in the pages of Superman Beyond.

However, it was one of those comics where, like the very similar comic (which was also out at the same time), Chase, it seemed perhaps a bit TOO out of the ordinary to succeed in the modern comic book marketplace.

So when it ended after issue #11 (the 12th issue of the series, counting its “one millionth” issue tie-in with DC One Million), pretty much everyone chalked it up as yet another “Brilliant But Canceled” comic book series, like Chase, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comics, etc.

That, though, was not the case.

As artist Paul Guinan pointed out at the time, telling Comic Book Resources’ Beau Yarbrough :

Yes, John Francis Moore has ‘pulled the plug’ on ‘Chronos,’ and in fact used that very phrase himself.

Among the reasons he gave me were: a deadline schedule that didn’t allow him to spend the time he needed on his scripts, editorial circumstances that contributed to the book going in a direction he didn’t care for, aesthetic disappointments, and low sales.

You can go to Beau’s site here to read Paul’s full letter, which goes into minute detail over the circumstances behind Moore deciding to end the series when he did.

Now, is this a case of quitting right before you’re fired? Perhaps, as Chronos’ sales were low enough that had the book not turned things around dramatically, it likely WOULD have been canceled a few months later. However, DC was giving it a shot at turning things around, so who knows what might have happened?

So when you discuss Brilliant But Canceled comics (and there are a lot of them!), do note that Chronos technically does not belong amongst their number.

Thanks to Beau and Paul for the information!

Okay, that’s it for this week! I wish you all a Very Happy New Year!!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

105 Comments

I wish DC would collect Chronos. That was a fun book. Plus, Destiny of the Endless drops by in it.

Man, the 90s X-Men brain trust really did a lot of long-term damage to the franchise, the more of these Legends I hear of. And now Bob Harras is the driving force behind DC. I wish them luck.

What I don’t get with the X-books in the 90s…why not just take the extra 2 hours or so and create a backstory for your new villains and an endgame to your mysteries at the time of conception. It has to be easier than trying to tie in a bunch of unrelated, contradictory clues into a coherent resolution years later down the line.

Compare the way the 90s X-books set up, teased and resolved mysteries as opposed to how Morrison did it in his X-run. Regardless of how you feel about the actual story, you have to give it props as being coherent, well-teased and consistent throughout.

Chronos was a great series. To me, it was better than Chase.

Wasn’t that also the Claremont school of subplotting? Toss an idea out there, let it dangle, come back to it later when you have a handle on it.

Also bondage and mind control.

Cool…………………..

That OMAC cover is really creepy, like WTH is happening to that woman? and why OMAC is throwing ‘that’ at you? Weird.

The X-traitor is like a legend inside a legend, nobody knew exactly who was traitor, not even the man who introduced the idea in the first place!, is something like ‘Hey, let’s put this idea and let’s see what happens’, ah well, it turned out to be kinda interesting.

Happy New Year :D

Peace

Wasn’t that also the Claremont school of subplotting? Toss an idea out there, let it dangle, come back to it later when you have a handle on it.

No, Claremont had a different fault but one that ended up with the same results. Claremont would have an actual resolution in mind when introducing a plot or fairly soon after introducing it, then take so long to get around to the resolution that his editors would change and the resolution that was approved under the original editor would now be nixed by the new editor, forcing it to be redone. Since he couldn’t resolve it the way he originally planned, he would either have to create a new resolution or choose not to resolve it at all since he couldn’t do it the way he originally wanted, thus leaving it for future writers to resolve as editorial saw fit.

When you read interviews with Claremont and see his original plans for many characters and storylines, you see that his clues and teases actually were consistent, not with the eventual conclusion that was published but with the conclusion he originally had in mind.

It’s still partly his fault though, because you’d think after being burned several times he’d learn his lesson and resolve his stories faster to prevent getting screwed down the line by an editorial change.

is something like ‘Hey, let’s put this idea and let’s see what happens’,

If you read enough of Brian’s Legends revolving the X-books in the 90s, you see that was the norm rather than the exception it seems.

>That OMAC cover is really creepy, like WTH is happening to that woman? and why OMAC is throwing ‘that’ at you? Weird.

It´s not actually a woman. It´s a pre-made human-looking android companionship, later to be assembled into a fully functional artificial substitute for your personal socializing needs.

And OMAC is throwing her away because he´s not happy finding out that… well, you should really check out these stories. OMAC is Kirby at his craziest, most brilliant creative streak. Together with Eternals, the Cosmic Thor run and the Fourth World stuff, I think it´s one of his best works.

Hey, the X-books of the 90s were at least better than the mainstream X-books we have now. Morrison was incredible, but it’s all been downhill since House of M and Decimation.

Morrison was incredible? Hardly. In my opinion, Morrison’s warped take on the X-Men ruined them, and they’ve never recovered. Everyone talks about how “creative” Morrison’s stuff is, but his X-Men stuff and his Batman stuff continue to strike me as just being f-ing weird.

Well, perhaps we can at least agree that the pre-Morrison X-books were better before the current stuff…

any era of X-Men is better than the current. I actually hope they either kill or exile Cyclops soon as his version of the X-Men and living on utopia is awful.

The X-Men were about acceptance and not about isolation. Decimation ruined the concept of the X-Men to me.

I loved the early 90’s X-Men. I agree, the plots were haphazard and half-thought at times, but it was an exciting time. I also enjoyed Morrison’s run for a different set of reasons. The current X-books are really struggling to excite me though. Fraction doesn’t have strong antagonists to play with. I love Legacy but its really just character pieces. We just have too large a cast of X-Men now and a ton of underdeveloped, uninteresting younger members.

I so loved OMAC and was not a happy camper when it was cancelled. I had an interesting take on the character and was ready to submit a proposal for OMAC (even taking into consideration the Jim Starlin backups from Kamandi) when John Byrne did his 4 issue thing. And now post “52”, Brother Eye a failed Batman experiment and killer cyborg robot forms over co-opted humans…..

OMAC what have they done to thee???

OMAC is maybe my favorite Kirby work. Probably his outright best, after the Fourth World.

I completely agree. I liked the Morrison run very much and felt it was a real advancement (for the first time in ages and ages) in the development of a mutant subculture, of the idea of Xavier’s dream (what with them going public, albeit because of Cassandra Nova), the idea of the school as a school for more than five people at once, and so on. Personally I like to treat this iteration of the Marvel Universe as leading from Morrison’s X-Men and Chris Claremont’s X-Treme X-Men right on to X-Men: The End, which wraps up a lot of Chris Claremont’s plotlines and gives a sense of closure to it all without Decimation and so on getting in the way. :)

“With the end of one year and the beginning of a new year coming up, this week’s legends are all somehow related to TIME! ”

Rather funny that, I’m just watching reruns of the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy.

Kinda apropos, eh?

Well, perhaps we can at least agree that the pre-Morrison X-books were better before the current stuff…

I dunno, the current stuff to me suffers from being dull. It has a direction, just a dull one, too dreary to excite extreme love or hate, just apathy. The 90s stuff to me was aggressively mediocre and directionless, but it pursued it’s mediocrity and directionless with extreme zeal and passion.

90s X-Men reminds me of this old Onion article:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/takecharge-cando-guy-makes-horrible-decisions,717/
Makes terrible decisions and screws everything up, but does it with inspiring zeal and supreme confidence.

90s X-Men wasn’t for me, but I can see the appeal it has for some people.

The X-Men were about acceptance and not about isolation. Decimation ruined the concept of the X-Men to me.

Honestly, were they really? Looking back, there was always a separatist, almost supremacist air to their whole operation post All-New, All-Different X-Men. They always put themselves above humanity’s laws and rules. How many wanted criminals did they just decide to take in, hide from authorities and reform without ever consulting anyone? Rogue, Sabretooth, Mystique, Juggernaut, Magneto, Marrow (who led a slaughter at a nightclub)? As bad as Austen was, he was the only writer who really tackled the idea of them being called to task by the powers that be over this tendency they have to thumb their noses at outstanding arrest warrants and crimes. Their refusal to play ball with outside society doesn’t really seem like seeking acceptance and integration to me.

How long have they hid the true meaning of the Xavier Institute from the public? It wasn’t until MOrrison’s run that they went public. Until then they were living a lie and hiding out in plain sight. That sounds like isolation to me.

While I don’t like Utopia simply because it sounds boring to me, I don’t think it’s incredibly inconsistent with other dickish, selfish moves the X-Men have done.

My take is Marvel did the decimation story because of what MOrrison did during his run. He exploded the mutant population worldwide, so much so that offing 16 million of them in Genosha didn’t make a dent in the world wide population. So I blame decimation and what followed on Morrison. :)

Thanks for the Great articles this past year Brian! I’ve looked forward to your column every week and you always came through with flying colors! Here’s to an even better 2011!

Chronos, Chase and Major Bummer (which I don’t think took place in DCU proper).

ParanoidObsessive

December 31, 2010 at 2:41 pm

>>> It’s still partly his fault though, because you’d think after being burned several times he’d learn his lesson and resolve his stories faster to prevent getting screwed down the line by an editorial change.

To be fair to him, that style of planting seeds long before he intended to actually use them made for an incredibly intricate and somewhat unpredictable writing style, which was interesting in its own right (and part of what made the X-Men so damned popular while he was writing them). Sure, there’s more danger of seeded elements not panning out (or panning out differently) because of editorial interference, but it still adds a richness and realism to the setting that simply isn’t there in most comics.

>>> Hey, the X-books of the 90s were at least better than the mainstream X-books we have now. Morrison was incredible, but it’s all been downhill since House of M and Decimation.

The problem is that a lot of what’s happened SINCE Morrison in the X-titles can be deliberately traced back to him. Whether you love his stories or hate them, he really broke a lot of things while he was there, and forced the X-titles out of parity with the rest of the Marvel universe and where editorial wanted them to be.

Half the storylines of the last 5-6 years have only happened because Marvel tried to fix a lot of those things. And then had to fix the new problems that came up because of their “solution”. And then had to fix THAT. And so on. House of M and Decimation? Existed SOLELY to find a way to undo the sheer number of mutants running around because of Morrison’s take on things. And the Messiah Complex and Second Coming storylines only exist because they had to pay off on the loose ends from House of M and Decimation. Marvel is only JUST starting to reach a point where they can honestly plot a new course that isn’t directly or indirectly shaped by trying to undo Morrison’s setting changes.

And he’s doing the same thing now in Batman – creating problems which are going to be awkward to fix once he’s eventually gone.

Morrison IS a good writer, but he exists very much in the moment, focused on telling his OWN story. And if that means ignoring past continuity he doesn’t like, or causing problems for future writers who will have to “clean up” after him, he simply doesn’t care. Part of why he’s at his best when writing original characters or fairly obscure “forgotten” characters, and why his weaknesses become more obvious when he’s helming one of the key properties of a given company.

>>> Honestly, were they really? Looking back, there was always a separatist, almost supremacist air to their whole operation post All-New, All-Different X-Men.

Reminds me of how, during Secret Wars, they deliberately removed themselves from the “hero” team and essentially joined forces with Magneto (who was still pretty villainous at the time), solely because “mutants needed to stick together”.

Then you’ve got their willingness to work together with the Hellfire Club against anti-mutant threats, the desire to fake their own deaths and act as a secret strike-force that acts with lethal force (at least per the original plan – what actually happened was obviously somewhat different), a willingness to cross national (and later, planetary and even intergalactic) political lines without any real authority, sending Ms. Marvel into the Pentagon to wipe out all trace that the X-Men ever existed from government files…

The X-Men honestly HAVE been pretty damned separatist. Sure, they’ve generally preached integration and tolerance, but in practice, they’ve generally acted more under a “Until you accept us 100%, we feel no need to conform to any of your rules or standards” sort of mentality.

Reminds me of how, during Secret Wars, they deliberately removed themselves from the “hero” team and essentially joined forces with Magneto (who was still pretty villainous at the time), solely because “mutants needed to stick together”.

Then you’ve got their willingness to work together with the Hellfire Club against anti-mutant threats, the desire to fake their own deaths and act as a secret strike-force that acts with lethal force (at least per the original plan – what actually happened was obviously somewhat different), a willingness to cross national (and later, planetary and even intergalactic) political lines without any real authority, sending Ms. Marvel into the Pentagon to wipe out all trace that the X-Men ever existed from government files…

The X-Men honestly HAVE been pretty damned separatist. Sure, they’ve generally preached integration and tolerance, but in practice, they’ve generally acted more under a “Until you accept us 100%, we feel no need to conform to any of your rules or standards” sort of mentality.

Great examples. I bet if we took the time to think about it, we could think of dozens upon dozens of examples. To me Utopia seems like a logical extension of how they’ve always been. Not to say that I like the story, just that it isn’t the 180 degree turn so many people claim it to be.

To be fair to him, that style of planting seeds long before he intended to actually use them made for an incredibly intricate and somewhat unpredictable writing style, which was interesting in its own right (and part of what made the X-Men so damned popular while he was writing them). Sure, there’s more danger of seeded elements not panning out (or panning out differently) because of editorial interference, but it still adds a richness and realism to the setting that simply isn’t there in most comics.

I agree but when you let over seven years to a decade pass before returning to subplots, that’s a little excessive. And while I do forgive him for it because it led to some great story atmosphere, I think after getting burned the first 5 or so times he’d learn his lesson and only dangle plots for say 3-5 years tops.

If anyone ever has hours, days, WEEKS to kill, you can see Chris answer tons of questions from fans about original plans for characters and storylines what went wrong here:

http://www.comixfan.com/xfan/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=25

It’s a forum that’s been going on for years, and he’s incredibly candid about things.

I don’t think Utopia is a logical extension of how the X-Men have been, but so much of their backstory has been damaged by character-destroying retcons that much of the last few years — like Tony and Reed and Nick and other Marvel characters — that, for the moment, almost none of them are the characters I knew and loved from 1980 through 2004 or so. They may have crossed legal lines (being outlaw heroes and all that) but they were never amoral or immoral the way they’ve been rewritten to be. I don’t know how Cyclops and Professor X can really be fixed, for example, though I have faith that eventually they will be by some future writer — even if it’s by wholly ignoring the last few years and consigning things like X-Men 1.5/Vulcan to the oblivion they richly deserve.

Marvel really bungled the x-books by undoing Morrison’s work IMO. It still boggles my mind that Marvel thought Decimation and Utopia were good ideas. Just ask yourself, Who are the X-Men going to fight if all of their mutant antagonists have had their x-gene shut off or are now living with you on an island. And that’s the problem right there. The X-Men are now an army and they have no one to fight. At least with Morrison you had the x-corporation in place to use all of the extra x-men cast members. The school was a proper school. We don’t even have a school anymore and every stinkin’ mutant is sharing bunk beds on the island. You can’t even have a workable cast. The only thing they kept was White Queen as the new girlfriend.

Not sure why people are blaming things on Morrison when what the guy does is attempt to move characters and franchises forward. What he left X-men with was a treasure trove of ideas to pick and choose from for at the least a decade or 2. It isn’t his fault Marvel chose to move backward, side ways or any other method of movement but forward. Even more than that he resynchronized the X-men into what the franchise had come to stand for or at least said it was to stand for. The disenfranchised, outcasts of the world.

The problem is that a lot of what’s happened SINCE Morrison in the X-titles can be deliberately traced back to him. Whether you love his stories or hate them, he really broke a lot of things while he was there, and forced the X-titles out of parity with the rest of the Marvel universe and where editorial wanted them to be.

Half the storylines of the last 5-6 years have only happened because Marvel tried to fix a lot of those things. And then had to fix the new problems that came up because of their “solution”. And then had to fix THAT. And so on. House of M and Decimation? Existed SOLELY to find a way to undo the sheer number of mutants running around because of Morrison’s take on things. And the Messiah Complex and Second Coming storylines only exist because they had to pay off on the loose ends from House of M and Decimation. Marvel is only JUST starting to reach a point where they can honestly plot a new course that isn’t directly or indirectly shaped by trying to undo Morrison’s setting changes.

See, this reasoning goes off a premise that I don’t quite agree with…that House of M and Decimation were necessary “fixes.” I don’t think the amount of mutants Morrison established as being in the world was something that required any fixing. And even if they did not like that status quo, that didn’t mean they had to be so extreme as to whittle the number down to 193. To go from 10s of millions to 193? Pretty drastic! There’s a huge range of compromise they could have pursued. Nothing in Morrison’s run necessisitated such an extreme response.

I don’t think it’s quite fair to blame Morrison for that. Nothing about the idea of tens of millions of mutants existing really ruined things for later X-writers. House of M and Decimation to me weren’t examples of the Marvel writers trying to fix something that was broken and breaking it worse. It was a case of trying to fix something that was perfectly fine with a nuclear option right off the bat.

Yeah, Decimation is what really broke things, and ignoring the brokenness for years afterwards made it significantly worse. The trajectory they’re on now is encouraging, even if the actual stories coming out are kinda second-rate.

Interesting that there was no resolution to the X-Traitor. I’d thought for years it was pretty clearly intended to be Gambit, but the question was whether Bishop’s coming to the present day had changed this outcome or not. In any case, the Onslaught explanation was pretty ludicrous.

“The problem is that a lot of what’s happened SINCE Morrison in the X-titles can be deliberately traced back to him. Whether you love his stories or hate them, he really broke a lot of things while he was there, and forced the X-titles out of parity with the rest of the Marvel universe and where editorial wanted them to be.

Morrison IS a good writer, but he exists very much in the moment, focused on telling his OWN story. And if that means ignoring past continuity he doesn’t like, or causing problems for future writers who will have to “clean up” after him, he simply doesn’t care. Part of why he’s at his best when writing original characters or fairly obscure “forgotten” characters, and why his weaknesses become more obvious when he’s helming one of the key properties of a given company.”

If editors wanted the X-men to be in a certain place, they should have put them there. Morrison is playing with their toys, and if he was doing something they didn’t want they could have stopped him. It really isn’t fair to blame Morrison; Marvel wants the sales numbers that his big ideas bring but don’t want to shake up the status quo, and they can’t have it both ways (or, rather, they can, but they end up in what some consider a mess).

Sounds like a good idea for a series of articles in 2011, Brian: Brilliant, but Canceled.

Compare the way the 90s X-books set up, teased and resolved mysteries as opposed to how Morrison did it in his X-run.

Indeedy. In fact, there’s an interview out there where Morrison said he generally tried to resolve plots and subplots within a year. The exceptions, of course, were Xorn and the Sublime mega-arc.

Regardless of how you feel about the actual story, you have to give it props as being coherent, well-teased and consistent throughout.

Well, for the most part. You do wonder where the other superheroes in New York were during Planet X (even five black hole bomb threats aren’t going to get ALL of them out), although one can infer explanations for that (Sublime kept most human heroes from interfering, while Magneto took out those who tried with his Kick-enhanced powers). Also, Jean’s last scene in “Here Comes Tomorrow” wasn’t terribly coherent, although you still get the gist of what happened.

Man, the 90s X-Men brain trust really did a lot of long-term damage to the franchise, the more of these Legends I hear of.

Indeedy. Still, things hadn’t gotten TOO out of hand by the time the X-Traitor concept was introduced. If Jim Lee and While Portacio had stuck around, we probably would’ve seen the resolution to that subplot much earlier than we eventually did.

Chronos sounds like a pretty interesting series. DC had a bunch of great comics out in the 90s that didn’t last very long, although I’m glad Moore got to decide the final fate of <i.Chronos himself. Maybe his adventures will get reprinted in the new DC Comics Presents series?

Ugh. As usual, I messed up the code. Will try again…

Meh, quotation marks are easier:

“Compare the way the 90s X-books set up, teased and resolved mysteries as opposed to how Morrison did it in his X-run.”

Indeedy. In fact, there’s an interview out there where Morrison said he generally tried to resolve plots and subplots within a year. The exceptions, of course, were Xorn and the Sublime mega-arc.

“Regardless of how you feel about the actual story, you have to give it props as being coherent, well-teased and consistent throughout.”

Well, for the most part. You do wonder where the other superheroes in New York were during “Planet X” (even five black hole bomb threats aren’t going to get ALL of them out), although one can infer explanations for that (Sublime kept most human heroes from interfering, while Magneto took out those who tried with his Kick-enhanced powers). Also, Jean’s last scene in “Here Comes Tomorrow” wasn’t terribly coherent, although you still get the gist of what happened.

“Man, the 90s X-Men brain trust really did a lot of long-term damage to the franchise, the more of these Legends I hear of.”

Indeedy. Still, things hadn’t gotten TOO out of hand by the time the X-Traitor concept was introduced. If Jim Lee and While Portacio had stuck around, we probably would’ve seen the resolution to that subplot much earlier than we eventually did.

Chronos sounds like a pretty interesting series. DC had a bunch of great comics out in the 90s that didn’t last very long, although I’m glad Moore got to decide the final fate of Chronos himself. Maybe his adventures will get reprinted in the new DC Comics Presents series?

If other editors and writers couldn’t make a new status quo for the X-books set up by Morrison work, that’s not his fault. He did more with the series and its interaction with the outside world (not the Marvel universe, but a world approximating our own) than any writer. The expanded school, the idea of mutants as a recognizable minority, the X-corporation, mutants having different social classes, the X-Corpoation, and the intriguing new characters
made for a (mostly) compelling read. There were flaws in the execution and some issues that were mediocre or confusing. I still consider New X-Men what the franchise should aspire to.

Punching out Magneto and whining every 30 days got old fast. Even if Morrison’ & Co’s output was less consistent than I would have liked, the overall vision was sound. Marvel got gun-shy, and the X-books crapped out.

I haven’t read Morrison’s X run in awhile, but I find it amusing if one of the criticisms is that he “made too many mutants exist”. Didn’t the XMen run into new mutants every other month? Weren’t there about 10 X books before Morrison (and Milligan’s XForce/XStatix)? It really doesn’t seem that “too many mutants” is the most compelling argument against the Morrison run.

Chronos was a great book, and I need to find the 1million issue, as it’s the only one I’m missing. Great series, and glad to find out that JFMoore wanted to end it himself (it had such a great wrapup, from what I remember, that it totally makes sense that JFM wanted to end it there). What’s he done since then in comics?

And it’s kinda funny, given the same number of issues, that he was the writer on Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg, the 12 issues after the main series ended. The last letters page kept insisting that “yeah, we ALWAYS intended it to be a 12 issue maxi series”. Apparently, people didn’t get the joke since I saw either here or on Bleeding Cool recently that someone was pissed about that statement. I read it years later and could tell they were being “yeah, 12 issue maxi series, THAT’S the ticket!” But sometimes fans gotta get pissed.

Interesting that there was no specific XTraitor in mind. Not surprising, given how the whole thing just floated around for years. (They introduced the plot element on the cartoon, didn’t they? How did it resolve on there?)

Here’s a separate post about OMAC with

SPOILER ALERTS

Just in case you want to not post it, Brian.

OMAC is a creepy but AWESOME book, and I’ve just read the first issue. (I got it not too long ago, actually. Now I want that HC!)

Anyway, in Gaiman’s 1602, we find out that the time anomaly is

SPOILER

Captain America.

From our future. Because the serum gives him extra long life.

Now, given that Gaiman is obviously a Kirby fan (since the Eternals was his other big Marvel project), is it possible that Neil knew, or suspected, that OMAC was supposed to be the future Captain America and that that element of the plot of 1602 is a nod to that?

Onslaught didn’t exist but the evil side of Xavier already existed since an episode in 1977 plus the X-Men Micronauts mini in 1984. Chronos was cancelled. Yes the writer left but DC could have assigned it to another writer.

Interesting that there was no specific X-Traitor in mind. Not surprising, given how the whole thing just floated around for years. (They introduced the plot element on the cartoon, didn’t they? How did it resolve on there?)

Spoilers below…

Bishop thought Gambit was the X-Traitor, but it was actually Mystique in disguise. The show merged the X-Traitor subplot with Days of Future Past by making the X-Traitor be the person who shot Senator Kelly.

“The problem is that a lot of what’s happened SINCE Morrison in the X-titles can be deliberately traced back to him. Whether you love his stories or hate them, he really broke a lot of things while he was there, and forced the X-titles out of parity with the rest of the Marvel universe and where editorial wanted them to be.”

I don’t really think he “broke” anything, though. Sure, he took the X-Men places where editorial didn’t want them to be; for example, Quesada and Jemas wanted Morrison to whittle down the number of mutants, but allowed him to expand it (the Genosha genocide may have been a compromise). Yet Morrison left Marvel with so much to play with: the Scott and Emma relationship, X-Corporation (mutant teams around the world!), secondary mutations, transhumans/mutation through surgery (U-Men), a growing mutant culture and so forth. Not to mention the dozens of new characters arriving at Xavier’s school every semester.

“Honestly, were they really? Looking back, there was always a separatist, almost supremacist air to their whole operation post All-New, All-Different X-Men. They always put themselves above humanity’s laws and rules. How many wanted criminals did they just decide to take in, hide from authorities and reform without ever consulting anyone? Rogue, Sabretooth, Mystique, Juggernaut, Magneto, Marrow (who led a slaughter at a nightclub)?”

Indeed. It’s amazing how no one tried to press charges or arrest Wolverine, Rogue, Gambit, etc. once the school went public.

“To me Utopia seems like a logical extension of how they’ve always been. Not to say that I like the story, just that it isn’t the 180 degree turn so many people claim it to be.”

Utopia? I thought it was called Genosha ;) Although I think their similarities are intentional, especially now that we’ve seen that recent “Fear Itself” poster with Cyclops in Magneto’s costume.

“Personally I like to treat this iteration of the Marvel Universe as leading from Morrison’s X-Men and Chris Claremont’s X-Treme X-Men right on to X-Men: The End, which wraps up a lot of Chris Claremont’s plotlines and gives a sense of closure to it all without Decimation and so on getting in the way.”

Yeah. I wish X-Men: The End had been a better story, but you make a pretty good point. You also had the House of M reality, which was pretty much Magneto’s take on Morrison’s New X-Men.

The OMAC power-up situation reminds me a lot of Prince Planet. PP had the fanned headpiece too, didn’t he?

“That OMAC cover is really creepy, like WTH is happening to that woman? and why OMAC is throwing ‘that’ at you? Weird.”

That was exactly the reason why I picked up that comic in the first place when I was a kid. It intrigued me. I wanted to know what was going on inside the book.

Always a fun read, but I don’t see anything definitely linking Cap with OMAC other than a vague similarity, the one creator and some informed speculation. Where are the usual notes, quotes, and Evanier? OMAC has definite superpowers and is a heavy-handed agent of big brother, unlike Cap, and lots of superheroes started as wimps before their origin stories. Kamandi was as much like Cap as OMAC, if not moreso. There was also a wimp-to-hero story in one of the monthly 2001: A Space Odyssey “Beyond The Movie” issues for Marvel, a great but brief Kirby concept book that eventually focused on Machine Man and morphed into that title.

Kirby was definitely a huge idea generator, and held stuff back before leaving a company, but I’m not seeing the links between those two characters.

From the Kirby OMAC legend: “However, he was still under contract, and the terms of his contract demanded a remarkably large output of work (fifteen pages of art and story per week!),”

I don’t really get why those points were highlighted the way they were. That comes to essentially 60 pages of art/story per month or 780 pages per year. Kirby was more than capable of putting out that much (as he’d shown in the 1960s). I mean, yes, by today’s standards (where many “hot” artists seem incapable of producing 15 pages of art/story per month–and some seem unable to produce that much in a year), it’s almost inconceivable. But there is a reason why Kirby was given the moniker of “King Kirby” and that was his prolific output of comic art.

Also, I’ve always been puzzled by the whole Decimation deal. I NEVER understood, much less accepted, Marvel’s “rationale” that mutants were supposed to be a minority but that before Morrison basically vaporized Genosha, there were 10s of millions of mutants. Did no one at Marvel look at the world’s population? Even assuming that there were 65 million mutants before Genosha became a mass graveyard, that still amounts to only 1% of the whole world’s population. Look at that again–ONE PERCENT. Since there were presumably fewer than 20 million mutants (most of whom apparently lived in Genosha), we’re talking less than 1/3 of 1%. Now, the last time I checked, 0.333% of any given population is a very definite minority. And for Morrison to kill off 15 million, that would leave a mere 5 million (at most) spread around the whole world. Did the idiots-in-charge at Marvel bother to look at how many Jews there are worldwide? Fewer than 20 million live all over the world (roughly 8 million live in the US and Canada combined). There is only ONE country where Jews do not constitute a “minority” of the population, and that’s Israel. In the US and Canada, which have a combined population of nearly 340 million, Jews make up only 2.35% of the total population. But would anyone think that 20 million Jews worldwide would be an “unacceptable” number to represent a minority?

I DID understand Marvel’s frustration at the incredible ease of creating new mutant characters but to simply eradicate a whole subset of the human population for no sensible reason was completely inexcusable. Even the use of “Decimation” as a story arc was wildly inappropriate. The term “decimation” means “a reduction by 10%” (I suppose the creativity factor at Marvel was lacking when the title was decided–words like “annihilation” or “eradication” or “extermination” would’ve conveyed the same sense without misrepresenting a word any more than it has been already). Obviously, between Morrison’s Genosha-cide and House of M, the reduction of the number of mutants from 10s of millions down to a mere “198” (or whatever number Marvel has now established as the “real” figure) was not a “decimation”–it qualified as a near-extinction. (And then for TPTB at Marvel to give us ANOTHER Summers brother–as a mutant–because all that “mutant energy” couldn’t simply have gone away showed that Marvel simply doesn’t understand biology. There was no “energy” lost following Wanda’s “no more mutants” as the ones that got depowered were, in comic-fan terms, retconned so that they never had mutant powers. The fact that there were some bizarre physiologies remaining could have simply been explained away as serious birth defects or rare diseases and afflictions. But please explain how any “energy” was lost as the result of the depowering of folks like Feral, Mirage and Artie Maddicks, none of whose powers operated with traditional, measurable energy. Feral’s powers were pretty much a mutant version of Tigra’s “genetically-modified and mystically-enhanced” powers or a feline version of Wolfsbane. As for Mirage and Artie, theirs were mental powers–the first created illusions, the other produced telepathic “holograms” of his thoughts; since neither was so badly stricken to the point of having just enough brain function to keep their bodies functioning, it’s safe to say they didn’t lose any energy following their depowerment.)

I assume the highlighting of Kirby’s 15 pages a week is more that it was an element of the contract. I’m guessing (not certain) that he was doing that much at Marvel in the ’60s and that’s why it got put into the contract, but man, that’s still a ton of contractually obligated work. Especially when they kept cancelling his titles. I assume when he had the (3, 4?) Fourth World books, it was pretty easy to focus on those titles as his output (which would basically fulfill his contract with those books). Having those cancelled, he had to put out whatever other titles he could to make the page count. I assume that’s where those great Losers stories come from, having to fill contractual pages.

Re: mutant numbers — I didn’t get the impression reading GM’s XMen that the Genosha incident was killing off most of the world’s mutants. It seemed more that it was a massive genocidal attack that turned out to raise awareness of mutants in the greater Marvel U. To make the analogy (which is probably going to be seen as trivializing, my apologies), one result of the Holocaust was greater worldwide awareness of Jews and their culture and religion. In XMen, the 16 million or so that died on Genosha served to “wake up” the Marvel U to the fact that mutants existed, they weren’t going away, and the professor decided that (to mix metaphors) coming out of the closet would serve his goals better than pretending to not be mutants. I don’t think Morrison’s XMen made there be less mutants, in fact, just the opposite. It was the House of M/Decimation stuff post Morrison/Milligan/Austen/Casey that thinned out the mutant population, not anything in Morrison’s run.

It’s funny that of the 198, they’re ALL (seemingly) mutants we’ve seen before. This could be explained away by saying that Wanda “kept” the ones she knew of and liked.

And the “energy” might be as much from Wanda’s hex power as anything that took energy from the mutants in question. Although you may remember, we saw Beak in human form in New Warriors #1 (the Initiative version), and the change from his bird form would have necessitated some sort of energy discharge, one would think.

And from what I’ve read, not only was that “energy” used for Vulcan, but it was used for some storyline in New Avengers, and possibly used somewhere else as well. So not only was it probably not necessary, it was “used up” several times.

It’s really too bad Lee and Portacio didn’t mention who, other than Bishop, they were considering for the X-Traitor..that would have been interesting.

I started reading X-men at the time Bishop came on board, so I have fond memories of those stories. I really like time travel stories.

I’ve got about 3 different Bishop mini series too! ;)

I don’t read any of the X-men series anymore because there is just to many crossovers, you just can’t get any momentum going. And Morrison’s run (which I love) was pretty self contined too.

Actually, now that I think about it, isn’t there an outstanding shooting mystery from the later issues of X-Factor involving Mystique? When the team had Havok, Sabretooth and Wildchild on it?

I may have to reread them….. Can anyone help out? ;)

I really enjoyed that run. Rouleau’s art was great too.

I don’t really get why those points were highlighted the way they were.

Whether Kirby could produce those many pages in a week is different from Kirby having to produce those many pages a week, especially since he only had one regular title and he had to produce the scripts for the pages on top of the art, something he was not doing at Marvel in his heyday (although he was doing right before he left).

Brian from Canada

January 1, 2011 at 7:13 am

James —

The mystery I think you’re referring to is Who shot Graydon Creed? and it was solved in the mini-series X-Men Forever as being Mystique from the future killing her son there. (NOT the tidiest solution but a solution nevertheless.)

Brian from Canada

January 1, 2011 at 7:38 am

Regarding the whole X-Men writing thing…

90s X-Men happened by accident. Claremont walked when too much power was given to Lee and Portacio. Lee and Portacio had no real plotting experience, and quit the books a year after to form Image — whose trademark seems to have been a lack of real writing capability. Lobdell was brought in because he was available, and the challenge of keeping it forward while balancing events and other books is astonishing.

But look at the subplots and you’ll see that, Onslaught included, a resolution always came within the year for the core books — save for Legacy Virus, which Lobdell was brought in to solve (Claremont didn’t touch it). Onslaught was an idea dropped because they needed something, but it was hashed out in a way that was at least logical to the books at the time and consistent with the portrayal of the X-Men in the past.

And Lobdell, I must say, retconned very little to get there. Yes, he had Amelia Voght be part of Charles’ pre-X past, but the rest was working of pre-established history.

Morrison didn’t do that. Morrison presented a grand scale without really caring about X-Men history too much. If you don’t believe me, look at Beast: it’s a natural secondary mutation despite his blue fur being an accidentally artificial mutation. Emma’s move back to the X-Men is also contradictory to her character, since she fled from them because of the violence they attracted and ends up back with them in a higher role?

But that didn’t matter because he was changing the map. He made the mutant population explode and presented new ways of presenting that population. And when Joe Quesada saw that the mutant population was going to replace the human population, he needed to curtail it — fast. It’s THAT idea that led to “House Of M”; the X-Men cannot be the hunted minority IF they are becoming the majority.

“House Of M” was a nice tie up to the Avengers storyline with Scarlet Witch that would nix the mutant flower in the bud through “Decimation”. And, with it, he was able to get the staff to pare down the mutant population to those who were important.

But it didn’t work.

It sucked. It sucked because — and this is where I think Quesada’s event staff really began to drop the ball — they didn’t take into consideration the impacting affect on the readership connected to those characters. The mutants in District X could be wiped out easily enough, but removing the powers from front-line characters such as Magneto, Xavier and Gambit made it impossible to continue writing stories with The X-Men’s most popular characters.

Every story afterwards seemed to be about getting those characters’ powers back, or through some replacement. Even into Utopia, you had stories where Jubilee was rejected for her loss of powers. That’s not good when she’s the star of the DVDs you’re marketing, and goes against the whole friends-for-life aspect that marked the Claremont days and into Lobdell (such as Charlotte Jones, Tom Corsi, etc.).

Uncanny and Legacy today have been battered. Events that have non-X resolutions are coupled with X-resolutions to make a huge mess (like Civil War on Cable, Messiah Complex to help Secret Invasion, etc.). Nobody at the X-office even seems to care about the recent history either: Cable’s island actually turned out to be non-aggressive and open, so why couldn’t Cyclops do the same?

There’s no capability of consistency like Claremont, no scope of vision any more like Morrison, and there’s no ability to create new challenges for the X-Men like Lobdell’s era. What we have now is an X-Men franchise that’s run by a contradictory editorial: Joe Q wants better X-control but lets the books go out of control, resulting in the creation of a THIRD core X-book when neither of the other two are doing the job they should.

Brian from Canada

January 1, 2011 at 7:40 am

Brian:

Isn’t the whole “Marvel employee” the basis of the lawsuit being brought by his family? ;-)

“The X-Men honestly HAVE been pretty damned separatist. Sure, they’ve generally preached integration and tolerance, but in practice, they’ve generally acted more under a “Until you accept us 100%, we feel no need to conform to any of your rules or standards” sort of mentality.”

Funny, I always saw them as the opposite–their whole shtick was that if they stood around and acted nobly for long enough, humanity might recognize them as people, discrimination would end. If the real civil-rights movement had done that, we’d still have segregated rest rooms.

OMAC kicked off amazingly well with Kirby’s little details about the society of the “world that’s coming” but it rapidly lost my interest as Omac battled weird machines, weird monsters–and that was pretty much all there was to the book (and it wasn’t even very interesting monsters).

But yeah, nothing about this screams “captain america of the future” just because he turns from zero to hero (which is, after all, a standard shtick for superheroes). What exactly was the original concept when he was at marvel?

DC’s slogan should be-“DC, where good comics die.”

Re: OMAC being based on a Future Captain America story- without knowing what that Cap idea was all about, how can you assume it was the same as Omac’s? That’s just a guess, not a certainty.

(Btw, MAN that Kirby OMAC stuff was crazy. It also had more logic holes than I can count and TERRIBLE dialogue. And yet, it was SO FUN just to read- look, a deathtrap that’s basically a room-sized paper shredder! Hah! Thanks for showing it Brian! :D )

Re: The X-Traitor- I remember seeing that scene and wondering “Do they actually KNOW who the traitor is or are they just going to make it up later?” Now I know. :(

Re: Chronos- again, is there any hard evidence that the comic was canceled because the writer quit? Especially if as you said DC was likely going to cancel it anyway.

I also would like to see a Brilliant But Canceled column, if only to find out if titles like Chronos or Chase REALLY did not deserved to be canceled or if that’s just fan complaining (certainly, I never saw anything special about either.)

Re: Sijo, if your internet got you here surely it can get you to the referenced column describing the full story behind Chronos no longer being published? Is that not enough hard evidence? Are you looking for signed paperwork from Mike Carlin and John Francis Moore that things went down as Paul Guinan indicates?

“Utopia? I thought it was called Genosha ”

Genosha and Utopia don’t have that many similarities, specially considering that in the end Utopia turned out to just be an X-men base, like the mansion was.

“Emma’s move back to the X-Men is also contradictory to her character, since she fled from them because of the violence they attracted and ends up back with them in a higher role?”

Easily explained: she left because of the violence, but when she was in Genosha there was a genocide, meaning violence got her anyway. Best thing to do is be in a place where you have more people to fight with you.

Plus, there’s the whole Cassandra Nova thing from Whedon’s AXM run, though it’s not clear how much of it was real.

“. And when Joe Quesada saw that the mutant population was going to replace the human population, he needed to curtail it — fast. It’s THAT idea that led to “House Of M”; the X-Men cannot be the hunted minority IF they are becoming the majority.”

16 million mutants is about 0,25% of the world population (and this is the MU, that has Atlantis, Wakanda, and other countries that the real world doesn’t have, so their population might be ever bigger). It would take several decades or even centuries for them to become a majority.

The real reason for House of M was to remove most of the X-men’s importance to the MU and to Marvel in general and make the Avengers their #1 franchise, both because Marvel was planning their movies and because Quesada was a fan of them growing up and not an X-men one.

The problem as I see it with the millions of mutants is that it used to be established that there weren’t a lot of mutants, and every time the X-Men met a new mutant it was a big deal because there was so few of them. I like some of what Claremont did when he expanded that by keeping their power levels lower. But going from dozens to hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands as happened during Claremont’s run is still a lot different from going to millions.

Also there’s the issue of time in comics. Essentially by Marvel time the original X-Men came together in the early 2000s and in those ten years the mutant population has exploded exponentially. That’s not even one human generation (15 to 20 years), so for Morrison’s numbers to work he has to go meta (and I’m sure he did so deliberately) by saying that the X-Men have existed for fifty years, at the same time they have only existed in their world for less than a decade. It’s the only way to get those numbers and since he’s used that kind of thinking in other works I’m willing to accept it as deliberate and not a mistake.

For a company though it’s a bit of a problem because millions of people with power tends to change the whole world, and affect that whole world in ways we couldn’t begin to identify with. Marvel works better than DC in part because it is ‘the world outside your door’ rather than a clearly seperate world. Imagining that these characters exist in our world and saves it on a regular basis helps reader empathize with and cheer for the heroes because the heroes are saving THEM. Sure, it takes suspension of disbelief, but not as much as the ten Avengers are the only way of solving a problem when there’s a nation with a million strong mutant army (which they may not have, but could have pretty easily).

I’ve never really felt the necessity for the “world outside your door” stuff. It restricts stories in unnatural ways, and doesn’t really add anything.

15 pages a week is an incredible pace of production. I doubt many people other than Kirby (maybe none) could stick to a schedule like that. He was basically putting out two completed comics each month. I find that staggering. Just incredible. I think a pretty standard pace is one page, drawn and inked, per day. That contract called for Kirby to more than double that production. It’s even more impressive considering that he probably took a day off once in a while. Finally, the guy was also writing the stories. I find it astounding.

“I’ve never really felt the necessity for the “world outside your door” stuff. It restricts stories in unnatural ways, and doesn’t really add anything.

I agree for the most part.

And about the sliding time-line: Magneto is a Holocaust survivor, yet by it he only begun fighting for mutants in his 60’s or 70’s, and Iron Man was fighting communists in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

LouReedRichards

January 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm

To all those questioning what proof there is that OMAC is a concept related to a futuristic Capt. America I’d say go back and re-read the paragraph right before the image of the hardcover. It says it all right there.

“Thanks to Mark Evanier for the information behind O.M.A.C.’s origins, which he detailed in DC’s recent hardcover collection of the eight issues of O.M.A.C.”

If not here’s the actual sentence from the hardcover:

“The secret is that some of the ideas Jack tossed into OMAC were ideas he’d had for six or seven years earlier… ideas for a never realized version of Captain America set in the future.”

That’s good enough for me.

On an unrelated note:
Some people consider Colletta to be Jack’s worst inker, I disagree. Syd Shores is far and away my pick for worst Kirby inker. It’s a shame though because the pencil work I’ve seen from him is quite nice, I guess it’s a case of two styles just not lining up.

And the more urban legends I read here the happier I am that I never picked up the X-Men on a monthly basis – what a nightmare!

Thanks for that Brian! ;)

Brian from Canada

January 2, 2011 at 2:05 am

Omega:

Forget the math. Morrison established in his comics that the mutant population would overwhelm the regular population within one or two generations. THAT’s how exponential it was. And that’s why Marvel had such a huge problem: it was one thing to have an island nation like Genosha that didn’t intersect with most of the Marvel Universe on a regular basis, it’s another to have District X right in your backyard.

Spider-Man, Daredevil, Captain America… they’re street-level heroes who might chase after a villain into District X and end up facing ordinary people far more powerful than they are. And, heavens forbid, Frank Castle should be chasing somebody in there, because then the X-Men would be responding to anti-Punisher violence — which moves Punisher further away from being what he is.

Quesada DID have a dislike for the mutants — one of his three goals was to reduce their number down. (Another was eliminating Spidey’s marriage and the last was making the stories unpredictable.) I will grant you that. But it had nothing to do with making The Avengers their number one franchise.

“House Of M” and “Decimation” were a cleanup of the new vision of the future that Morrison had so that Marvel could be back on track in its singular vision. Even in Bishop’s timeline, the mutant population isn’t that big. It’s only global in Cable’s timeline, which is either contradictory or follows Kang’s rulership of the planet.

Brian from Canada

January 2, 2011 at 2:06 am

joe:

Only one artist today is capable of knocking out two comics per month regularly, and that’s John Romita Jr.

While I respect Evanier’s expertise in Kirby matters, I’d still like at least a quote or a synopsis–did Kirby say that Omac was Cap of the Future, for instance or does it follow what Evanier knew of the original concept or is the Evanier’s best guess? And what did he have in mind for the original concept–a time traveler? Or a story actually set in the future? Or did the concept advance that far?

On the Marvel timeline–yeah, updating to “15 years before now” never worked well. We know Nick Fury has his immortality drug for instance, but how come all the Howlers are still in shape? And Namor now spent five decades wandering around as a Skid Row hobo instead a few years. But I can’t think of a better solution, so …

Evanier is probably mis-remembering the OMAC thing. The character is VERY clearly a futuristic version of Captain MARVEL, not Captain America.

Flip, I think Captain America makes more sense, since the transformation was a single-shot deal–although Dr. Skuba later reversed it, it was meant to be permanent, much like Steve Rogers undergoing the super-soldier treatment. But your point shows why more details would help with this legend.

Thanks, Fraser. I really believe either M.E. mis-remembered what Kirby told him or maybe Kirby said “Captain America” when he meant to say “Captain Marvel”. It doesn’t really matter, though. Just take a look at some of the similarities between OMAC and the Big Red Cheese:

– OMAC (the anagram) = SHAZAM
– Buddy Blank = Billy Batson
– Buddy and Billy are both transformed into adult superheroes
– Buddy transformed by a beam of light from the all-wise, all-powerful Brother Eye in outer space = Billy transformed by a bolt of lightning from the all-wise, all-powerful gods in Heaven or Olympus, or wherever they’re supposed to be
– OMAC having the eye symbol of Brother Eye on his chest = Captain Marvel having the lightning bolt symbol of the gods on his chest
– OMAC’s yellow gloves with circular bands = Captain Marvel’s yellow gauntlets with circular bands

Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are more. Taken individually, they may not amount to much, but when you consider them all together, I think the connection is pretty obvious.

Cheers!

AverageJoeEveryman

January 2, 2011 at 10:59 am

I thought it was extremely obvious that OMAC was a futuristic version of Prime. Duh.

You mean Malibu’s Prime? That would be a neat trick, given OMAC preceded him by more than a decade. Or was that a joke?

But Flip, Buddy Blank isn’t a child, he looks like a 18-year old to me, or older. That is one major difference between him and Captain Marvel. Further similitaries to Captain America: his origin is scientific as opposed to magical, he is a supersoldier too, he lacks a family of similarly powered heroes.

LouReedRichards

January 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Short of having Black Talon resurrect Kirby and getting a quote straight from the source, I’d say that the single greatest living expert on Kirby will pretty much have to suffice. It’s not perfect I admit, but it’s as good as any proof we’re likely to get.

To me, OMAC being based on Capt. America makes much more sense than Capt. Marvel for the following reasons:

– Kirby co-created Capt. America, and Kirby had a pronounced preference for working on his own creations as opposed to others – Deadman in the Forever People serves as a good example.
I know Kirby worked for a bit on Capt. Marvel in the Golden Age, but I think his knowledge and preference would lean heavily towards Capt. America

– The fact that Kirby held back ideas (which is a well documented fact) his last several years at Marvel WHILE working on Capt. America naturally leads one to assume that his ideas would be closer to the Marvel characters than a defunct title of semi forgotten character at that point.

– Capt. Marvel hadn’t been published since the early fifties and Kirby was toying with these ideas in the late sixties. He hadn’t made the jump to DC yet and DC wouldn’t even own the rights to Capt. Marvel for another year or two after Kirby made the switch to DC

– The similarities that Capt. America and OMAC share, the single shot deal that Fraser pointed out, not going back between Buddy Blank and OMAC. Once he’s OMAC he’s OMAC for good. Both were agents of their respective governments.

While I do find the Capt. Marvel idea intriguing and admittedly not one I had ever thought of, it just doesn’t seem as logical as the Capt. America angle. (to me anyway)

It’s all a moot point anyway since AverageJoeEveryman obviously has figured out what the REAL deal is…

@ Fourthworlder – any thoughts?

AverageJoeEveryman

January 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm

“You mean Malibu’s Prime? That would be a neat trick, given OMAC preceded him by more than a decade. Or was that a joke?”

Seriously?

Seriously. OMAC was early seventies, Prime was early nineties.

AverageJoeEveryman

January 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm

“Seriously. OMAC was early seventies, Prime was early nineties.”

Okay I was just joking then to make it absolutely clear, Im pretty sure that anybody that replies on these boards wouldn’t actually make that mistake. Now I have no idea if you’re in on the joke now or not.

I honestly wasn’t. I’m glad it was a joke, and figured it was probably a joke, but I have too much experience with ignorance to think it had to be (cynical? Me?).

Wow, you folks are hard to convince!

Rene: Just because Buddy Blank is a few years older than Billy Batson…well, that really doesn’t mean much. They were both young, dark-haired lads with the initials B.B. They don’t have to be exactly the same in every respect. The similarities outweigh the differences.

Lou: You’re really keeping me on my toes, here! First, I don’t know if Mark Evanier is “the single greatest living expert on Kirby”. If he is, that doesn’t mean he’s right about everything. For example, he mistakenly attributed the inking on some of Kirby’s early Fourth World character illustrations to Don Heck, when they were clearly done by Frank Giacoia.

Second, Kirby was very fond of the original Captain Marvel. He and Joe Simon were given the assignment to produce the first issue of CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES, the best-selling ongoing superhero comic book of all time, by Fawcett editor Ed Herron, who was hired into the comics business by Simon when the latter was the editor at Fox Publications. Simon and Kirby also had a short-lived but memorable brush with Captain Marvel’s co-creator, the great C.C. Beck, in the 1950s, when Simon procured his services to draw the initial installment of their Spiderman/Silver Spider character–which later morphed into The Fly for Archie and then, in a round-about way, Marvel’s Spider-Man ( and PLEASE, let’s not argue about that one now).

So by no means was the World’s Mightiest Mortal a “semi-forgotten character” at any time–by Kirby or anyone else. In fact, it was Kirby who presented DC publisher Carmine Infantino with the idea of resurrecting the Big Red Cheese at DC in the early seventies. And if you don’t believe me on that, you can check it with Mark Evanier.

Lastly, just because OMAC doesn’t change back and forth to Buddy…well, see my answer to Rene, above. Remember, I’m saying OMAC was INSPIRED by Captain Marvel, not a DUPLICATE of him. There are a lot more STRONG similarities between OMAC and Captain Marvel than there are between OMAC and Captain America. And if you don’t believe good ol’ Flip, drop a note to John Morrow, editor and publisher of THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR, and ask him what HE thinks.

sending Ms. Marvel into the Pentagon to wipe out all trace that the X-Men ever existed from government files…

Well, to be fair, I think that on that specific occasion the X-Men were actually justified. At the time that story took place, the federal government was initiating the blatantly un-Constitutional Project Wideawake and building an army of mutant-hunting Sentinels. So I don’t blame the X-Men for breaking into the Pentagon to destroy all of the government’s files on the team.

As far as accepting mutant criminals & terrorists into their ranks, yep, the X-Men have a distressing habit of doing that. But the US government actually gave pardons to Mystique’s Mutant Brotherhood and hired them on as federal agents to track down unregistered mutants.

So, between the Sentinels and Freedom Force, the feds certainly weren’t by any means white as snow.

And let’s not forget the Avengers accepted Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch into their ranks, plus the Black Widow for a while. One accused thief, two mutant terrorists and an ex Soviet spy. I vaguely recall a reference at the time to the first three being cleared of all charges, but still (I greatly enjoyed the issue of Thunderbolts that showed the public being less than welcoming of the Kookie Quartet).

“Forget the math. Morrison established in his comics that the mutant population would overwhelm the regular population within one or two generations. THAT’s how exponential it was. And that’s why Marvel had such a huge problem: it was one thing to have an island nation like Genosha that didn’t intersect with most of the Marvel Universe on a regular basis, it’s another to have District X right in your backyard.”

That’d be kind of fun to see, actually. Humans having to deal with their neighborhoods slowly becoming “mutant neighborhoods”? All kinds of story potential and metaphors to explore there.

Also, considering how slowly time passes in the Marvel U, we probably would have never see the day where mutantkind becomes the dominant population. We definitely would have never seen humankind go extinct, except maybe in some stories set in the future.

“Genosha and Utopia don’t have that many similarities, specially considering that in the end Utopia turned out to just be an X-men base, like the mansion was.”

It’s more than that, though. Cyclops also declared Utopia an open haven for mutants in the Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia story, as opposed to offering haven to the oppressed in general. While he’s not keeping humans out, he’s not exactly inviting a whole lot of them in…

Obviously, Cyclops wants to keep mutants free and safe, but he’s encouraging them to head over to an island that’s isolated from most of the human population. And that’s what makes Utopia like Magneto’s Genosha.

The one thing about Marvels sliding time scale that has really hit me lately, is that poor Captain America would (currently) spent over 50 years on ice! Think of how much the world had changed in those 50 years. The poor guy wouldn’t know what to make of flat screen (color) tv’s, video games, cell phones, modern music (he would have been asleep thru the birth of all current forms of the music genre), people untrusting of the government, instantaneous communication across the world…

…and that’s without touching upon “Marvel tech”, like holograms and teleportation!

Missing the world from the mid 1940’s to the mid/late 1990’s is HUGE!

I can buy him missing approx. 20 years, as originally told. Piling the decades on top of that? Yeesh!

Not to mention Namor spending something like 40 years wandering around as an ageless hobo! No one wondered why he didn’t get older after a couple decades?

I guess the Marvel sliding timescale only works when you don’t think on it too hard.

I just gotta say, I LOVE the screen name LouReedRichards.

In fact, I’m thinking that in Reed Richards’s lab, the sound of all the machinery (and maybe even the sound of Kirby Krackle) is the same noise as on “Metal Machine Music”. I’ll have to read “This Man, This Monster” with that on in the background.

Can I be the one who says, “maybe Kirby combined elements from Captain America AND Captain Marvel to create his own new thing?”

LouReedRichards

January 3, 2011 at 12:32 am

@Flip

Yeah you’re keeping me on my toes as well!
The points you bring up are interesting and intriguing. To my eyes the comparisons to Capt. America just seem much easier to see than the comparisons to Capt. Marvel, given where Jack was at in his career. It just fits better and inherently makes more “sense” intuitively to me.

I didn’t mean to imply that Kirby had forgotten about Capt. Marvel, just that the comics market in general had.
I just don’t imagine that many children in the late sixties had that much access to the character. But I wasn’t born until ’72 so I can’t speak from personal experience on the matter.

If Mark Evanier isn’t the greatest living authority on Kirby then I’m not sure who is. I do believe that he is the best expert on Kirby for the period we are discussing though.

I’ll take your word on it that John Morrow shares your belief, that’s good and he’s certainly a worthy person to have backing up any points on Kirby. Maybe he or Evanier could chime in on the forum and clarify any points either way, but that might be wishful thinking on my part.

I’ve made about all the points I can in defense of the way I see it. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

BTW: You’ll get no argument from me about the whole Spiderman/Silver-Spider issue. I have found it to be one of the most tedious and contentious debates surrounding Kirby that I have ever seen. The discourse on that matter has devolved to the point of making a devoted Kirby fan like myself think “Who the hell cares” on more than one occasion. People may already be thinking that about the OMAC question as well, but at least it’s been a civilized discussion.

Also: would you be so kind as to post a link or refer me to the New God images you’re talking about?
I think I know which images you’re talking about but I want to be sure and damn If I can’t put my hands on them at the moment.

Thanks!

LouReedRichards

January 3, 2011 at 12:49 am

@ Travis Pelkie

Thanks! I appreciate the kind words.

You know you’re right, I never really thought about it too much, but damn I bet that is what Kirby Krackle sounds like. It would probably work well for any story involving Sub-Atomica, the Negative Zone, Galactus or Willie Lumpkin.

Although reading while listening to Metal Machine Music might cause seizures.
Kids, be sure and check with a parent or legal guardian first!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr0KkzbbqPI

You know, the first time I listened to Metal Machine Music, I swear I could hear the “dah-d-d-d-dah!” fanfare from the Superman movies in there somewhere.

I paid entirely too much for my record of MMM, given that the sleeve was in poor shape. The records are fine, but man… The worst part is that I’d gotten it at a local record show that has different regional shows in the spring and fall, and I thought “wow, this is rare”, so I got it at the inflated price.

Next show, the same dealer had another damn copy of it. @#@$!!

But the best part is the locked groove at the end of side D, which I didn’t realize until I went, jeez, this side is a lot longer than the others. Oh, that’s why it says 16:04 or (infinity symbol). You can keep it going forever!

“Galactus’s voice reverberates through the atmosphere like Metal Machine Music played backwards! Hide your wimmens!”

As a kid in the sixties, I didn’t know anything of the Shazam troupe, but I know a lot of slightly older fans remembered or were studying up on the Golden Age. And certainly the comics-producers hadn’t forgotten, as witness all those Captain Marvels in the sixties Brian mentioned in an earlier column.

Lou: Thanks for your thoughtful response. For confirmation of my note about John Morrow, please see his “Opening Shot” column in issue 40 of THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR.

I’m not really aware of any specific links to the New Gods images I was talking about, but I’m sure they’re all over the internet. They’ve also been printed numerous times over the years in various books and magazines about Kirby. You know the ones I mean: Orion, Lightray, Mister Miracle, Mantis, etc.–those big, hand-colored character illos that Jack did in the latter half of the sixties for all those new characters he had created (including some, like Captain Glory, which didn’t see the light of day until the nineties).

In his book, KIRBY: KING OF COMICS, Evanier states that all of them were inked by Don Heck. This is clearly wrong, as it’s well established and very obvious just from looking at them that most were inked by Frank Giacoia; probably a couple (Darkseid and Metron) were inked by Kirby himself; and a few others (like Rameses and Enchantra) were inked by Heck. Yes, Evanier probably is the greatest living expert on that period of Kirby’s career, but he’s still human!

As a final note on how well remembered Captain Marvel was by people in the comics industry, I concur wholeheartedly with what Fraser said in his comment above. And in view of the fact that it was Kirby who initially brought the idea of a Captain Marvel revival to DC in the early seventies, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he had also presented Stan Lee and Marvel with the same idea in the sixties, only to have them turn it down in favor of a new character with the same name. Of course, that’s pure conjecture on my part, but just imagine how much healthier the good Captain’s comic book life would have been if he had been published by Marvel Comics (as I’ve always felt he should be) instead of DC Comics. His name, after all, was NOT “Shazam”; nor was it “Captain DC”. It was Captain MARVEL; so it only makes sense that the original and GREATEST character to use that name be published by Marvel Comics. Nuff said.

As far as accepting mutant criminals & terrorists into their ranks, yep, the X-Men have a distressing habit of doing that. But the US government actually gave pardons to Mystique’s Mutant Brotherhood and hired them on as federal agents to track down unregistered mutants.

So, between the Sentinels and Freedom Force, the feds certainly weren’t by any means white as snow.

But they’re the government. Legally they’re arguably allowed to pardon. X-Men aren’t.

funkygreenjerusalem

January 4, 2011 at 6:02 am

Thanks for the Chronos info Brian!

I enjoyed that series, even though I never felt it lived up to it’s potential – I thought the late 30’s-ish Chronos from the start of the book should have been lead, not the younger one, or failing that, both have been the lead of the book, with issues covering both of them.

Always annoys me when stuff-ups and ‘great ideas’ from management get in the way of a good book.

LouReedRichards

January 4, 2011 at 10:45 pm

@ Flip:

Oh yeah I know the images you’re talking about. I know I have some saved on my hard drive, but I’ll be damned if I can put my hands on them now- frustrating! I did a little searching online and couldn’t find them right off the bat and all the other cool Kirby articles out there kept sidetracking me – from his color palette to the Dr. Doom/Darth Vader connection, I spent way too much time just surfing.
At first I thought you were talking about the Thor Presentation pieces, which certainly look like Heck’s inking, but then I realized my mistake. I’m going to search again, mostly just because it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen any of them and I do love me some good Giacoa inking.

I’ll find that issue of the Jack Kirby collector, it’s been too long since I bought one anyway.

I had a co-worker/friend who adored the original Captain Marvel and had a distinct dislike for Marvel. I used to have a good time asking him “so why again is it that they call him Shazam?” it never failed to piss him off.
It is sad that to the vast majority of people out there he’ll be forever known as Shazam and not his rightful name. I do think he would have had a harder time fitting into the Marvel Universe’s worldview.

Thanks!

LouReedRichards

January 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm

@ Travis Pelkie

I’ve been taken a time or two at a record show as well. I’ve also found some real bargains though.
Viva by Roxy Music for 75 cents!

I always have the same elated/slightly depressed feeling after looking through boxes of records and comics.
Just to realize the amount of “junk” that has been produced vs. the amount of “good stuff” can be overwhelming. Plus my hands always get dirty – that particular record/comics kind of dirty!

I don’t own MMM on vinyl, it was always out of my price range, so I just own a digital version. I’m missing out on the locked groove. I don’t usually make it all the way through anyway. I’m pretty sure the wife would kill me after side A ended. She much prefers happier, sober “Fly into the Sun” era Lou.

Do you have the Take No Prisoners album? That’s my favorite Lou record, I love the banter on “Walk On the Wild Side” and “Sweet Jane”. That version of “Street Hassle” always blows me away. It was my first Reed album ($3 used!) and was the perfect way to kick off the collection. It’s decidely more Funky Flashman than Galactus, but still a lot of fun.

LouReedRichards, I have been LISTENING to “Take No Prisoners” for the last few days. I bought the 2 CD version that came out (whenever, a few years back) and just decided to pop it into the CD player in the last week. Great stuff, the banter is great and the songs rock. I need to listen to it with headphones on since it was recorded in “quadrophonic sound”, or whatever.

I always have to listen to MMM when I’m alone at the house. It was bad enough when I listened to the Peter Brotzman trio, the “that sounds like cats dying!” gripes. Especially if I had to admit that I paid about $35 bucks for it. (I did get the Lou Reed Live record, then, too, and that’s supposed to be outtakes from RockNRoll Animal. Good stuff.)

Um, to include Brian, I like “Foot of Pride” that Lou does on the Dylan 30th Anniversary CD. yeah

Lou: Yeah, the Norse Gods (Thor) Portfolio pieces were inked by Heck. Very nicely, too. But as I mentioned, most of the Fourth Worlds were done by Giacoia.

I know what you mean about looking for one thing to do with Kirby and then getting sidetracked by other stuff. Kirby’s work is so endlessly compelling that it’s almost impossible for that NOT to happen!

As for Captain Marvel, I’m not sure he’d have a harder time fitting into the Marvel Universe’s world view than he currently has fitting into the DC Universe’s world view–which in my opinion is very poorly indeed. It just depends on how it’s handled. Honestly, with a little care, I think the entire Fawcett library of characters could (and should) be brought into the Marvel fold. I’d love to see the Big Red Cheese teamed up with Captain America, Spider-Man, the Hulk, the F.F., etc. Don’t know if it’ll ever happen, but it’s fun to speculate!

Take care.

Brian from Canada:

Forget the math. Morrison established in his comics that the mutant population would overwhelm the regular population within one or two generations. THAT’s how exponential it was. And that’s why Marvel had such a huge problem: it was one thing to have an island nation like Genosha that didn’t intersect with most of the Marvel Universe on a regular basis, it’s another to have District X right in your backyard

Isn’t the whole point of the mutant thing that they’ll overwhelm the regular population within a couple of generations?

As David Bowie said: Gotta make way for the homo-superior.

And District X is probably the best X-comic I’ve ever read so I don’t see a problem there.

Only one artist today is capable of knocking out two comics per month regularly, and that’s John Romita Jr.

And it shows. I’d hazard a guess that back when he was doing far superior work on Miller’s Daredevil: The Man Without Fear he wasn’t rushing so much.

“Only one artist today is capable of knocking out two comics per month regularly, and that’s John Romita Jr.

And it shows. I’d hazard a guess that back when he was doing far superior work on Miller’s Daredevil: The Man Without Fear he wasn’t rushing so much.”

Yeah, JR Jr. calls it his “Deadline Style”; as in, gotta do whatever I can to get this in by the deadline.

His artwork really has evolved from an obvious Romita Sr. / John Buscema clone into his own weird blocky style. Truth be told, I *love* Jr.’s style, but when he rushes his work it is not pretty. That work that Brian included from the Uncanny X-Men is gorgeous. Has anyone made Jean Grey look so beautiful without resorting to drawing her like a supermodel?

I’ll take Jr. over that hack Greg Land any day of the week, twice on Sundays. Just stick Jr. on one book, give him Klaus Janson or Dan Green as his inker and be prepared for some great work.

I stumbled across the collected Omac in the library here and here’s how Mark Evanier tells it:
Jack Kirby, much as he loved Captain America, was never entirely comfortable with the Man Out Of Time aspect of Cap, finding it too different from his own post-war experience to really relate to. He then started tinkering around with better ways to handle Cap and hit on the idea of a far-future America recreating Captain America to deal with the future’s threats to freedom. Only as noted, he decided not to do it for Marvel and eventually changed it to OMAC at DC.
There’s no quotes from Jack, but it’s detailed enough I’m inclined to credit Evanier knows what he’s talking about. (I think it also fits with Jack and Stan putting Cap back into WW II after the first few issues of his Silver Age strip–I just finished Essential Captain America I and when they revert to present-day adventures, they admitted it was in response to reader requests, so I’m guessing that wasn’t their first choice).

DazedGenoshan

July 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm

X-Traitor: Always thought it was Gambit, which seems like a strong possibility given that he was intended to eventually be revealed as a villain. At the time I never expected it to be resolved (and certainly not in the baffling manner seen in Onslaught) as there were just so many averted dooms-day futures flying around the X-books at the time in particular, and the Marvel Universe in general.

Seems like I’m in the minority for being in the tank for the just about every run on the X-Men except for the ’90s run spanning post-AOA up to Morrison’s New X-Men run. I initially hated Decimation, and still don’t really care for the idea, but when I finally read the stories that came about as a result I was surprised at how much I liked (some of) them. I had heard Marvel’s motivation behind it wasn’t so much because of Morrison’s intricate expansion of the mutant population, but more so due to the indirect result of a trend to have new characters in non-X-books simplified in their origins by just having them be mutants.

As for the X-Men’s snubbing of secular authorities… well, considering the US government in the Marvel U. spends trillions of dollars annually to develop Sentinel tech and other genocidal weapons to wipe mutants off the face of the earth their actions seem justified. Not to mention all the things the anti-mutant crowd seems to get away with in this ACLU-free universe; numerous main-stream citizen organizations not only preach genocide and bigotry to public acclaim, they actually go through with it and never seem to be prosecuted or investigated either. There was even a scene in the Morrison run where the Westchester PD tells Jean Grey to sod off when she pleas with them to come protect the school CHILDREN from being attacked by anti-mutant terrorists. Children being shot by terrorists and the cops just plain don’t care. That’s cold-blooded. Also, the global community just seemed to shrug and give a “ho-hum, what are ya gonna do?” response when Genosha was wiped out by Sentinels. They continued to FUND and develop Sentinels for f’sake!

The X-Men’s anti-authority stance only seems sane in light of the authorities being complacent in straight up murdering even children in cold blood.

That being said, what always DID bother me about the X-Men was how they only have a passing, “fair-weather” regard for the safety of the students and kids placed in their care. The New Mutants were essentially abandoned by all the “grown-ups” in the ’80s, almost all of the Generation X kids have since been murdered b/c no one bothered to check up on any of them when their premise was abandoned, and more recently the handful of post-Decimation students were cast adrift or even cast out by the X-Men in-between Messiah Complex and the migration to San Francisco. If nothing else, Morrison actually portrayed them as being responsible to their students and adhering to their original purposes of training young mutants and protecting individual mutants from exploitation and murder.

ok,a few years late and a dollar short and I’m sorry abut that, and I don’t-know if its been addressed in the following comments because honestly got to-probably 3 quarters down comment wise but about the Captain America Omac thing: Kirby probably had the Cap of the future story but tweeked it enough for Omac that it wouldn’t be seen as cap in the future both by fans and by Marvel. Again I apologize

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