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COMIC LEGEND: Chris Claremont and John Byrne almost did an issue of What If…? in the late 1970s featuring what would happen if Magneto formed the X-Men.
Speaking of “What If…?”s, the great JohnByrneDraws site turned me on to this great unpublished concept.
Here is a recent John Byrne drawing of what the cover WOULD have looked like on an issue of What If…? that he and Chris Claremont were working on in the late 1970s…
That looks great, right?
The basic concept was that Professor X was killed in the battle that left him paralyzed in the normal continuity. Magneto ended up forming a larger Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, including Cyclops, Iceman, Beast and Archangel and Psyke (rather than Angel and Marvel Girl). Here are Byrne’s re-design ideas from 1979…
The end result would be that Magneto and his mutants would defeat the Fantastic Four (working with Doctor Doom before Doom betrays them and then realizes that it was not a good idea for a guy in a metal suit to betray Magneto) before the FF met the Watcher, so the Watcher was not interested in Earth enough to step in when the Silver Surfer shows up, which would happen at the end of the issue.
That sounds like an awesome issue. And can you imagine a Claremont/Byrne What If…? like this at the peak of their time on Uncanny X-Men with Terry Austin? It would have been amazing (Do note that Byrne doesn’t recall for sure that he WAS working on X-Men when this story was first planned – it might have been soon before he got the X-Men ongoing assignment)!
It’s a shame that it never happened. I don’t know why it was squelched.
Thanks to JohnByrneDraws for the head’s up!
Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Did Star Trek: The Next Generation seriously use Sherlock Holmes characters in an episode without checking to see if the characters were in the public domain or not?
On the next page, did Vin Sullivan discover Superman for Action Comics #1?
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