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Comic Legends: Which Hero Almost Didn’t Last Past Giant-Size X-Men #1?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comic News Comment
Comic Legends: Which Hero Almost Didn’t Last Past Giant-Size X-Men #1?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and thirty-second week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends.

COMIC LEGEND:

There were almost THREE X-Men who were destined to not make it with the All-New, All-Different X-Men.

STATUS:

True

One of the problems with the original story for the debut of the All-New, All-Different X-Men in Giant-Size X-Men #1 is the fact that Len Wein and Dave Cockrum worked on the story for a long time. It went through a lot of variations. Work lasted so long on Giant-Size X-Men #1 and what was going to be Giant-Size X-Men #2 (but instead became X-Men #94 and 95) that Len Wein ultimately had to give up the title (due to his increased duties upon becoming the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics while working on the story and thus having to choose between dropping the Hulk or dropping the X-Men) before the stories even all saw publication!

Because of that, there has been some confusion over the years between what Cockrum recalls and what Wein recalls, most notably when it comes to Thunderbird, as Wein is pretty sure that they were always intending on having Thunderbird die off, while Cockrum is unsure.

What it sounds like is that Thunderbird’s death might not have been ALWAYS in the cards, but just decided very early on. It sounds like the original plan was never to include all of the new X-Men in the series going forward, but the debate is whether that non-inclusion was always meant to be due to death or not.

In speaking to the X-Men Companion’s Peter Sanderson back in 1981, Cockrum recalled it being more of a matter where early on, they were going to have a few character “flunk” the original test for the new X-Men and they decided that Thunderbird should be one of them. The other two, though, were going to be Sunfire and…Banshee!

However, they then decided against the “flunking” X-Men idea, so now they had to come up with another way to get rid of Sunfire, who they didn’t want on the team at all. So he just left in a huff…

And then they decided on the whole “let’s just shock everyone and kill Thunderbird off” idea…

But Banshee somehow made it through! Of course, for Banshee to remain, they decided that they had to revamp the character’s look, as the original take on Banshee was far too…bizarre-looking…

So Cockrum re-designed him to look like a normal guy (also de-aging him slightly, as Wein and Cockrum both agreed that it didn’t make sense to have him look like a PEER of Charles Xavier)…


Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed at CBR: Did M. Night Shyamalan base The Sixth Sense on an episode of the Nickelodeon horror show, Are You Afraid of the Dark?


Check back later today for Part 3 of this week’s legends! And remember, e-mail me at cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com if you have any suggestions for future comic book legends!

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