The Thought Process Behind the Creation of Various X-Men


Through my various readings from books and articles online, I have come across various tidbits of information behind the creation of various X-Men. I'll attach links to some of the websites below:

 

1. http://www.uncannyxmen.net/db/article/showquestion.asp?faq=4&fldAuto=315

In this article named "How to Create a Legend (Dave Cockrum's designs for the X-Men), the writer collected various info and original concept art of the 2nd generation X-Men (Storm, Wolverine, Thunderbird, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Phoenix). I found this article fascinating because it was packed with a lot of info. For example, who would have ever imagined Strorm was the amalgamation of a female african were-cat (provided the costume and ethnicity), a male weather manipulator (provided her awesome powers), and a green bird lady (who provided the elegant, tall physical features)? This can lead to what-ifs, like how different would have the X-Men comics have been if Storm was replaced by the original "Black Cat" with her feline powers? They also reveal that Colossus was intended to take over the leadership role until Claremont took over as a writer. Again, what if Colossus had taken over leadership instead of Storm way back when (would Storm be the same character)? This article also revealed the concept of a mutant nixed from being a part of the book because the editors thought he was too similar to Nightcralwer, the character was named Vampyre (not like a traditional vampire but literally 1/2 man 1/2 bat with bat wings for arms). Again, I highly suggest that you read this article if you are interested in the creative design that was put behind many of our favorite X-Men characters.

 
2. http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070408172443/marveldatabase/images/d/dc/Shadowcat_%28Kitty_Pryde%29_concept_art_Bryne.jpg 
While looking through Shadowcat's character gallery, I came across this pic of Bryne's initial concept art with notes for her. I found this pic to be fascinating because it allows one to see an actual piece of the creative process. It also mentioned early ideas for the New Mutants, which I also found interesting. I think its worth a quick look at. 
 
3. The following info comes from Mallory's X-Men: The Characters and Their Universe 
*Professor X was put in a wheel chair because Lee thought visually it looked better for someone with a purely psionic power to be wheelchair-bound (luckily, that idea didn't stick for our later telepaths Psylocke and Emma) 
*Beast initially talked in a lazy English slang that Thing used 
*The 2nd gen team was made international so that Marvel could have a character from each country where comics were selling well at the time (Canada-Wolverine, Germany-Nightcraweler); however, this marketing plot didn't prevent Marvel from making their 1st priority the need of intrinsic worth in the characters. 
*According to Cockrum, "When we put together Giant-Size number one, a subtext of the story was that it would be an entrance exam for new characters. We brought in Banshee and Sunfire because we figured that some people are going to have to fail the test. Then it turned out that we all liked Banshee... [and] Thunderbird," However, Thunderbird was killed (despite the creative team's liking the character) because his powers were repetitious of some of his teammate's powers (Colossus-super strength/durability, Wolverine-heightened senses, etc)
*Gambit was originally created to be a traitor within the X-Men 
* Wolverine was considered to be killed off instead of Thunderbird! What would Marvel comics be like today without Wolvie appearing in a billion comics? 
 
4. I don't remember where I read it: Banshee was originally meant to be a woman; however, Stan Lee suggested that they make her a man since "fans like male villains better" So now you know why a man is named after a female spirit. Also, they just rehashed their original idea by creating his daughter Siryn (who now has the codename Banshee, funny how things workout sometimes even if its decades later). 
 
Anyways, I hope others out there find this info to be interesting because I know I enjoyed learning more about some of my favorite X-Men. 
 
Also, if anyone else has heard anyother cool tidbits of info, has links to websites or articles with info, or pics that shed some light on the thought process behind any X-Books characters, please share in the comments below.

15 Comments
15 Comments
Posted by PhoenixoftheTides

Yeah, I read the first article years ago. Storm ended up becoming an idealized African character and IIRC some aspects of her original design were used for the Hellions' Catseye.

Posted by cattlebattle
@Topher5151992: No Offense,
 but all this stuff is pretty much X-Men common knowledge
 
And The Professor being in a wheelchair thing is BS, If you believe that Marvel stole a lot of ideas for the X-Men from the Doom Patrol (which I do) that's the real reason Prof was a parapalegic........coincidence my @$$
 
You forgot to mention that Wolverines claws were not meant to be part of his mutation, originally they were part of his gloves...due to it never being really adressed they just decided to make it a part of him
Posted by Topher5151992
@cattlebattle
Sorry, I didn't realize that this was all common knowledge. Clearly, I don't get around to talking to a lot of other X-Men fans. Personally, I didn't know alot of this stuff until recently when I came across the article. For example, I hadn't heard of Vampyre, of all of the characters that got meshed into Storm, or of the possibility that Wolverine was going to be offed in place of Thunderbird. I just thought these were some interesting tidbits that hopefully some more casual X-fans will get a kick out of. 
 
Also, I remember reading the issue in which the X-Men's powers were blocked and they all had to use their non-mutant talents, like Colossus's natural strength, Storm's thief skills, Kitty's tech savy, and Wolverine's claws to win in the end. I was surprised when I first read it, so yeah his claws outfirst were just meant to be tools. 
 
And to be honest, I can't help but agree that their could have been some inspiration from Dr. Caulder in regards to the wheelchair, but he was only introduced 3 months prior to Charles (June vs September 1963).
Posted by joshmightbe
@cattlebattle: Wolverine was also originally intended to be an actual wolverine that was mutated to look human
Posted by SC

Great blog! I know most of this stuff already, but nyeh, I wouldn't consider this common X-Men logic, most fans I meet online only seem to know the last five years of books and/or the stuff that matters to them. I appreciate how you compiled all the info in any case! I have some links to blogs, threads, articles somewhere that have a few more small tidbits from the mouths of Byrne and Cockrum, and other writers artists etc, I'll try look for them.  
 
The wheelchair coincidence isn't that weird, its likely that both DC and Marvel writers and artists drew inspiration from other sources like TV, books and movies. This has happened a lot before and after, and always will. No good ideas have ever, been original *smile* its all about the source and discovering which cave man did it first, or barring him, the next person who can be traced back to. lol, but yeah, cool thread. 

Moderator
Posted by Topher5151992
@SC
If you do find more links/tidbits, I would appreciate it if you posted here. I find this stuff interesting, even if I'm learning this stuff so late in the game.
Posted by ntb1124

I thought it was cool info, it is not as common knowledge to casual fans like myself... though I do remember hearing the Wolverine was going to wolverine that was mutated into a human and was slowly reverting back into his original form..

Posted by SC
@Topher5151992:  Of course! *Smile* I'll book mark this thread. I haven't checked your link yet, I wonder if it mention Jean's first Phoenix costume, they wanted to go with white, but there were concerns due to the quality of paper whether the other side of the page might come though. They were throwing around designs for a Captain Marvel should cape as well. A more recent behind the scenes tidbit, is that Emma Frost basically got her secondary mutation diamond form, because Morrison couldn't acquire the use of Colossus and he wanted an ultra durable character for a scene.  
 
Uncannyxmen.net as you already know is a good source. Another source thats a bit more expensive is a magazine called the Classic Marvel Figurine collection. (comes with lead figurines, but has info usually about characters origins) 
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Posted by papad1992

I really liked this info... very interesting!!!
Posted by Dakens son

That's a nice blog.Good work friend,you made a great search.

Posted by cattlebattle
@SC said:
Great blog! I know most of this stuff already, but nyeh, I wouldn't consider this common X-Men logic, most fans I meet online only seem to know the last five years of books and/or the stuff that matters to them. I appreciate how you compiled all the info in any case! I have some links to blogs, threads, articles somewhere that have a few more small tidbits from the mouths of Byrne and Cockrum, and other writers artists etc, I'll try look for them.   The wheelchair coincidence isn't that weird, its likely that both DC and Marvel writers and artists drew inspiration from other sources like TV, books and movies. This has happened a lot before and after, and always will. No good ideas have ever, been original *smile* its all about the source and discovering which cave man did it first, or barring him, the next person who can be traced back to. lol, but yeah, cool thread. 
ugh.....You've never heard that there was a mole inside in DC comics, they (DC) had been planning a "Teenage group led by a man in a wheelchair, that were considered more outcasts than super-heroes" presenting The Doom Patrol, however Marvel got a hold and presented The X-men, Don't you also find it funny that X-Men faced the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants while The Doom Patrol faced the Brotherhood of Evil, no coincidence
 
I don't mean to throw around the term rip off like a mad man, There has always been, and still is, characters being "inspired by" and "influenced by" other characters from both top comic companies. It's just the fact that Marvel has always denied that claim when it is so blatant that they stole the idea
Posted by SC
@cattlebattle: I have heard lots of stories, stuff about the moon landing being false and actually being an advanced alien space ship. 0_0  
 
I find it funny how people apply the term coincidence and blatant and this is not directed at you, this is directed at people generally, because from an objective shared standpoint and understanding, I and others know how people can see what they want to see, when they want to see something. Patterns, trains of thoughts, flawed perceptions. Though out life and histories there have been numerous examples of ideas and concepts being presented almost simultaneously independent of each other, and even more when they were independent of each other but sharing a common origin or sauce. Don't you find it funny that DC's biggest character ever was 'ripped off'? Its just a fact that EVERYBODY, EVER rips off Gary the Caveman. So everyone needs to pay their dues. lol (I am not saying what you say and others say is not possible, its just not the only possibility) 
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Posted by cattlebattle
@SC said:
@cattlebattle: I have heard lots of stories, stuff about the moon landing being false and actually being an advanced alien space ship. 0_0   I find it funny how people apply the term coincidence and blatant and this is not directed at you, this is directed at people generally, because from an objective shared standpoint and understanding, I and others know how people can see what they want to see, when they want to see something. Patterns, trains of thoughts, flawed perceptions. Though out life and histories there have been numerous examples of ideas and concepts being presented almost simultaneously independent of each other, and even more when they were independent of each other but sharing a common origin or sauce. Don't you find it funny that DC's biggest character ever was 'ripped off'? Its just a fact that EVERYBODY, EVER rips off Gary the Caveman. So everyone needs to pay their dues. lol (I am not saying what you say and others say is not possible, its just not the only possibility) 
the only reason it's not accepted as a fact is because Marvel denies it, I would just like to compare it as a religous freak calling evolution a hoax because he refuses to believe it....I know, not a very tasteful analogy, but you get the point. As for other characters, It's not uncommon two companies whether it comics or otherwise release something similar at the same time, look at film industries.. one studio releases Megamind and another studio releases Despicable Me      2 months later, not the same exact movie but has A LOT of unmistakable similarities, This is my point. There is always someone from one company selling information to its competitor
It's not a coincidence and it's not uncommon I'm not making an unshakable opinion like "you can't deny this" or anything. I'm sure there has been instances when two things have emerged being identical some points in history this just has to much infallible evidence
Posted by SC
@cattlebattle: That's not the only reason. I mean, I could make the same claim about DC ripping off Marvel, so its a fact if DC deny? That's not how facts work I am afraid.  
 
Evolution has stone cold, solid proof. As well as being pretty complicated subject.  
 
My criticism of your point is sure that might happen, and its not uncommon, but its NOT a false dichotomy. lol My point is even easier to get yes?  
 
I think you and me, where have different definitions of infallible evidence, and your claims here are based on circular reason, which is great if thats enough for you? I am just saying that for me? No, I am too skeptical and I don't want a right answer and if there was infallible evidence then there would be nothing funny or coincidental about this topic, just fact. So your facts are? Your sources are? When I try to prove a point? I have facts and I have sources. Were you the Marvel mole in DC? 0_0 
 
Will Brian Michael Bendis get you? Blink twice if you are in danger!!
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Posted by DP812

You know what's actually more likely? That these creators all knew each other and they frequently discussed ideas. Back in the day, working in comics meant you worked in the bullpen. Marvel and DC were both located in New York and many of the creators would hang out together. The entire reason the Fantastic Four were even created was because Marvel and DC's publishers were golfing buddies and after DC's publisher talked about how well Justice League was selling, Marvel's publisher went to Lee and told him to create a team of superheroes.

Both Marvel and DC have had characters and concepts that, either intentionally or unintentionally, were ripped off from each other. They've also got stuff that, either intentionally or unintentionally, was ripped off from other pop culture. It happens in entertainment, a whole hell of a lot. Does it really matter if the X-Men were a rip-off of Doom Patrol? Both of them have gone in very different directions and both of them have had really good stories. So really, who gives a shit?