Comic Book Legends Revealed #472
COMIC LEGEND: The X-Men Animated Series led to Cyclops and Jean Grey getting married in the comics.
STATUS: Basically True
Somewhat recently (anything within the last year or so seems recent to you when you’ve been writing a column for…oh man, I think this is essentially the NINTH anniversary of this column – nuts!), I wrote about how Whilce Portacio originally was going to have Cyclops and Jean Grey get married in the pages of X-Factor. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco, though, thought that it made little sense to do it in that book when Portacio was moving over to Uncanny X-Men very soon, along with the characters Cyclops and Jean Grey.
However, it seems very likely that when the changeover to X-Men/Uncanny X-Men happened, Jim Lee and Portacio decided to put the marriage on the back burner. Cyclops and Jean Grey were not even on the same squad of X-Men and Lee, in particular, seemed to be introducing a subplot where Cyclops and Psylocke would have a flirtation with each other.
Now it is very possible, heck LIKELY, that Lee and Portacio were planning to string the subplot along before getting back to the Cyclops/Jean Grey status quo and perhaps the wedding itself? Sure, but they left so soon after that it’s hard to say for sure.
However, it appears that behind the scenes that there was a different drama playing out (using the word “drama” very loosely here), as Bob Harras, who was the editor of X-Factor when the wedding was going to originally happen and was also the editor of all the X-Books, wanted the wedding to happen and STILL wanted the wedding to happen, but Editor-in-Chief DeFalco was not willing to go through with it.
Even a couple of years later, with Lee and Portacio long gone and Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza taking their place as the writers of the two X-Men titles, Harras was still fighting to get the wedding in there. The turning point was, interestingly enough, in the X-Men Animated Series.
In the Summer of 1993, Harras was at a story conference for the second season of the X-Men cartoon series and learned that they planned on marrying Cyclops and Jean Grey on the show.
Harras decided to use the opportunity to get the marriage into the comic. Firs off, he successfully convinced the show to hold off on marrying them (it turned out to be one of Mr. Sinister’s annoying ruses – that guy’s such a dick).
But then, he told DeFalco about the show getting the characters married and used that to convince DeFalco to agree to let the characters get married in the comic. So finally, three years after the fact, Harras got the marriage he wanted!
It’s especially interesting as this was pretty much the exact OPPOSITE of how Lois and Clark’s wedding was tied into the TV series, as explained in this old Comic Book Legends Revealed.
EDITED TO ADD: It is also interesting re-reading this old Comic Book Legends Revealed where Fabian Nicieza gave me the answer regarding the seemingly abrupt end to the Cyclops/Psylocke flirtation. Nicieza noted that it was always planned that the Cyclops/Psylocke flirtation would ultimately lead to Jean Grey and Cyclops getting married. However, now that I think about it, doesn’t it make sense that it seemed abrupt because Nicieza likely figured that it would go on longer but when Harras made his move after the X-Men cartoon situation, Nicieza had to draw it to a close sooner than he expected. That makes a lot of sense, right?
Thanks to Bob Harras and Tom Russo from Marvel Age #133 for the information!
On the next page, did Thunderbird nearly have his own mini-series?