OK, for those who don't already know, plug your ears...

but Professor X has died at least once before....yup, in the very pages of X-men in about 1967 or so.

How he died isn't terribly important, but it left the recent graduates with a loss of identity and direction, and they wandered aimlessly for a while. (Who are we kidding, Jean and Scott started shacking up, away from his disapproving eyes...Angel, well, he could aford whatever he wanted to do....and Bobby and Hank...well, let's just say that Bobby tried to convince everyone that he was interest in Zelda and hung out with a guy who was mishapen and talked in 10 sylable words for kicks...ok?

For those of you who weren't around for this, we present the first four pages of X-men #46, "The End of the X-men" (and life would never be the same, right?)

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He was only pining for the fjords.

You've lost me on this one, I'm afraid, Randy.  Was that a monty python reference?

Yes it's a famous Python sketch. In the sketch, though, the parrot was dead, and the guy was trying to convince the customer the bird was alive. Here, Prof X was alive, and they tried to convince us he was dead.

Actually, the best part of that whole brouhaha was that the death was played up huge on the cover, with the poke at DC using the lines "Not a Hoax! Not a Dream! Not an Imaginary Story!" 

But, of course, it *was* a  hoax, so that line was a lie, not that Roy knew that when he wrote it. Denny O'Neil was the one who revived the prof later, saying the death was a hoax. Bajinga!

Nobody ever stays dead in comics. If the guy on that cover over there couldn't even stay dead for 25 issues, how could we expect anybody to stay dead?

-- MSA

not a Hoax?  I think Denny O'Neil should have to eat all the copies of this issue!

I was taken in by this ploy, especially because they appeared to have changed the name of the book with the next five or so issues...with x-men taking a back seat to the blue plate special... Magneto, End of the X-men, Inside the Beehive, Mahaja Yaga, Red Raven, etc.

It still really mystifies me why Marvel could not sell this comic book in the 60's and yet it has been the cornerstone of the company since the mid-late 70's. When I first discovered Marvel in 1972 I lapped up the reprints and considered X Men 2nd only to the FF. I do think they should have gone back to the more uniformed look rather than make them look independent of each other.

Hmm...I remember reading a couple of issues of X-Men when I was a kid in the early 70's before Claremont/Byrne, and thinking "man, these are lame, boring characters. The one guy that has sort of cool powers is kind of a jerk, there's a guy with wings but he's nowhere near as cool looking as Hawkman, I dunno what the guy with the big hands and feet has going for him, the girl's just a girl (I was probably around 8 at the time), and the ice guy should be more powerful than he is.  I'm not impressed."

Dandy Forsdyke said:

It still really mystifies me why Marvel could not sell this comic book in the 60's and yet it has been the cornerstone of the company since the mid-late 70's.

It's funny that you should mention this, as when I read that passing about the X-men as a metaphor for the 1960s civil rights struggle, I read it aloud to my daughter (who also has read some comics, and is into Dr. Who. Vision was her favorite character, cause he was like Data in ST:TNG).  She turned to me and said, "You're just getting that now? Of course it is, where have you been?"

Despite her somewhat annoying insulting of her parent's ignorance, I think it's a case where some people see it, and some people don't.  I got that it was pitched at the awkwardness of adolescents, going through puberty and emerging with some unusual feelings and powers....but I didn't think of it as a struggle for racial equality...it just wasn't in the forefront of my lilywhite rural Michigan upbringing.  (We had zero blacks in our town, but 25 miles away, there was an auto plant, and 90 miles away, Detroit was a hotbed of autoplant politics and racial tension.)

"And there's the fact that X-Men, like most team books, has always had a substantial gay following."

 

Say, WHAT?

Where did you get that from?

I just went back and looked at the four pages I posted. I am struck by the number of close ups of down-ward tilted heads (with a tear in their eye) that occurs in the first three pages.

But then I looked at the fashion sense of the five X-men in their civies.  Lord, these people need some fashion help.

Two have plaid lines in the outer jacket. (Scott's purple coat changes to brown collar for one panel...and Hank isn't wearing oversized shoes. I thought he need like size 20 or something!)

None of them are wearing tan Macintosh raincoats, and if anything, the four men should be wearing black or brown long raincoats, don't you think?!

It was little touches like this that made me wonder if the series was "circling the drain"...I mean, anytime you kill off a main character for drama's sake ("Let's shake up the team and see what happens") or introduce a long lost brother... or reduce the masthead of the title to a bi-line ("The X-men featuring...")  it kind of sends up red flags...

Well, they never had the fashions right in the 1960's, that much is true. Additionally, I think coloring limitations had a lot to do with the coloring choices made for clothes.

That's too bad. I think I was drawn to the X Men because I liked the Teen Titans and they were the nearest thing to them. Funny, I thought the New X Men were more like the Legion of Super Heroes who I was also a fan of.

Randy Jackson said:

Hmm...I remember reading a couple of issues of X-Men when I was a kid in the early 70's before Claremont/Byrne, and thinking "man, these are lame, boring characters. The one guy that has sort of cool powers is kind of a jerk, there's a guy with wings but he's nowhere near as cool looking as Hawkman, I dunno what the guy with the big hands and feet has going for him, the girl's just a girl (I was probably around 8 at the time), and the ice guy should be more powerful than he is.  I'm not impressed."

Dandy Forsdyke said:

It still really mystifies me why Marvel could not sell this comic book in the 60's and yet it has been the cornerstone of the company since the mid-late 70's.

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