Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fifteenth week of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Here‘s Part 1 of this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed! It might have accidentally become an “X-Factor” theme week! Let’s continue!
Jean Grey was going to have telepathic powers at first in “X-Factor” #1
I’m Going With False
In Fantastic Four” #286, Jean Grey was revealed to be alive and that the Phoenix was actually a cosmic being who just took on Jean’s appearance and memories while the REAL Jean was in a cocoon in the middle of a bay in New York. When Jean was revived, she was not all that worse for the wear, except that she had a little bit of brain damage. When the Phoenix took her place, Jean had access to powers of telekinesis AND telepathy.
But, as Mister Fantastic noted in “Fantastic Four” #286, the part of her brain that contained her telepathy was damaged…
They’re very vague about whether it would come back or not.
In “X-Factor” #1, by Bob Layton, Jackson Guice and Joe Rubinstein, it confirms that her telepathy is gone.
However, there’s a few interesting things about “X-Factor” #1. The first is that Layton and Guice re-wrote and re-drew the entire issue after their original effort was turned down by Marvel’s then-Editor-in-Chief, Jim Shooter. I wrote about that many years ago in an old Comic Book Legends Revealed.
The second is that the plot of the first issue involves a young mutant who is accused of burning a young woman. The set-up for the series was that the heroes would disguise themselves as “mutant hunters” and then when they captured the mutants in trouble, they would take them home and train them.
Here’s the issue, though. Here’s what happened to young Rusty Collins when he was deemed to be a menace by the authorities…
He then escapes from prison when he freaks out on the chief again. X-Factor captured him and brought him home where they let him know that they were going to train him….
Here’s the thing, and it’s what reader Ray M. wrote in about. How did they know Rusty WASN’T just a little psycho who got off on burning people? How did they know he was just misunderstood? Ray theorized that Jean originally had her telepathic powers when the issue was written and that she could read people’s minds to learn the truth. Then, when the issue was re-tooled, they just kept it in without the explanation.
I asked Bob Layton about it, and he said that nope, she was never a telepath in the first issue, as Bob was never a fan of having telepaths on teams. As he noted to me, “In my view of the conventions used in writing comics (and the laundry list of standard abilities), a telepath would be nearly impossible to defeat. ”
Which is fair enough. Obviously, eventually Jean got her telepathic powers back long after Layton was off the book.
But there ya go, Ray!
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at CBR: Was A Seinfeld Episode About Guns Scrapped After Filming Had Already Begun?
Check back Sunday for part 3 of this week’s legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!