How the New Defenders Freed Up Iceman, Angel and Beast for X-Factor

This is "In The Spotlight So Clear," a feature where we spotlight times in comics where characters need to be cleared out of the way to make room for a new status quo. Like, for instance, you want to introduce a new Captain Superhero, you might want to first get rid of the previous Captain Superhero. Stuff like that.

Today, we look at how Angel, Beast and Iceman were freed up to join the then-newly formed X-Factor.

In 1985, one of the worst kept secrets was that Marvel was planning on reuniting the original five members of the X-Men in a brand new team called X-Factor. The only thing people were't sure about was how they were planning on bringing Jean Grey back to life, considering she had seemingly died way back in the Dark Phoenix Saga (okay, "way back" in this context was, like, five years earlier, but still). However, there was another problem with the news. You see, Angel, Beast and Iceman all happened to be members of an entirely different team called the Defenders!

It all started when Defenders writer J.M. DeMatteis had Wonder Man and Beast guest star in the pages of Defenders.

He then used the next issue to follow up a plot that DeMatteis had introduced in a fill-in issue of Avengers starring the Beast. The Beast ended up becoming a member of the Defenders (which were famous for being a de-centralized "unofficial" team. Essentially a bunch of heroes who just hung out at Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum and answered the call whenever something went wrong). Beast, though, believed that the team could be more of a REAL team and he took over as leader and eventually put together a more solid roster of heroes. He enlisted two of his former X-Men teammates, Angel and Iceman, who were both between superhero teams at the time and they formed basically a NEW Defenders...

DeMatteis was soon succeeded on the book by Peter B. Gillis. Don Perlin continued to be the artist on the book.

Eventually, Angel's girlfriend, Candy Southern, became an integral part of the team, even being elected the leader of the team despite not actually being a superhero! So the three mutant heroes were firmly part of the Defenders at this point.

So how do you get around that?

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