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Remember to Forget – That Time the X-Men Decided Hunting Down Mutants Was a Good Idea

by  in Comic News Comment
Remember to Forget – That Time the X-Men Decided Hunting Down Mutants Was a Good Idea

In this series we spotlight comic book stories that are likely best left forgotten. Here is an archive of past installments.

Today, we take a look the short-lived career of the original X-Men as mutant hunters…

When you boil down to it, X-Factor was simply an attempt to make another X-men book, using the original X-Men, who were not being used in the main X-Men book at the time. So really, writer Bob Layton had a tough situation to work with right from the beginning, let alone the fact that he initially wrote the series without Jean Grey involved and then had to rework the whole thing to work Jean Grey in there (this led to Cyclops doing some incredibly sketchy things that I guess would deserve their own “Remember to Forget” installment – I’ll get on that in the future, so please put aside your “Cyclops is a jerk” comments until that time).

Anyhow, once they are all together in the first issue (by Bob Layton, Butch Guice and a bunch of inkers – Layton and Guice had to rewrite and redraw the entire thing in two weeks!)

The original X-Men come together when Jean Grey turns out to be alive. They don’t want to go back to the other X-Men because Charles Xavier had left the school in the hands of Magneto and the original X-Men are like, “Nuh uh – screw that.” Instead, Warren’s friend Cameron Hodge explains their new idea – X-Factor!

I love Beast thinking that this sounds just like something Professor X would have thought of.

Watch them in action in the first issue…

After they explain the situation to Rusty…

You have to give Layton a ton of credit, he did not shy away from addressing in the comic how this really didn’t exactly make a whole ton of sense.

He had a government official explain to Hodge that it was a bad idea…

When they investigate a boy pretending to be a mutant to get back at the kids at school, Jean is all, “Damn, we are sort of creating more paranoia, aren’t we?”

I don’t know where Layton was going to go with the idea, but he was off the book pretty quickly, with Louise Simonson joining Butch Guice on issue #6, and rigght off the bat, she has the characters address the oddity of their current situation…

However, in the following issue, she continues to commit to the idea, even as we see the problematic nature of it all. The X-Factor mutants pretend to be a SECOND group, eventually known as the X-Terminators, who fight against X-Factor for mutants, thus giving X-Factor cover to help the mutants without people thinking that they are colluding with mutants. But, again, as you can see, this just fosters MORE anti-mutant hysteria, which is what was the problem for the mutants who need help in the first place!

Chris Claremont couldn’t help but get in a little dig himself in Uncanny X-Men #210 (by Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Dan Green), although Claremont, being a kindly soul, nicely framed it against Magneto ALSO doing something that could be seen as contrary to the mutant cause…

So Simonson was in a weird situation. She clearly didn’t like the hand she had, but what could she do? Go to the next page to see how she got past the whole situation…

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