By Topher5151992 15 Comments
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:
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.
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.