Did Joss Whedon almost write X-Men instead of Grant Morrison?
Find out how Joss Whedon almost wrote in the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed X Men ahead of Grant Morison’s run on the series.
Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the eight hundred and twentieth episode where we take a look at three comic book legends and determine if they are right or wrong. As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three captions.
Joss Whedon almost wrote X-Men BEFORE Grant Morrison.
In 2001, Grant Morrison was hired by Marvel to completely revamp the X-Men Universe and that’s exactly what Morrison did with an epic run on the (renamed to reflect this new era) New X-Men….
a run that I described last year in the Top 100 Comics Countdown as: “Marvel basically gave Morrison complete freedom to do whatever they wanted, and what they wanted to do.” was to make major changes to the title, eliminating the traditional costume (going with a “leather jackets” look), which is similar to what the movies have done, to make Beast look like the Beast from the famous movie. 1940s Jean Cocteau, adding Emma Frost to the X-Men by having him reveal that sapiens house was on the verge of disappearing and, of course, introducing a new villain named Cassandra Nova who systematically leads the Sentinels to destroy the mutant population of Genosha. . And that was only the first arc in history !!!
After that, Morrison kept the pace and new characters abound, from Xorn, Angel, Beak and the Stepford Cuckoos to John Sublime, Fantomex and Kid Omega.
The book was intended as a sort of tribute to Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s racing, in that Morrison would attempt to approach the same stories as them, but in a different way. Did they have a Sentinel story? Morrison would make a Sentinel story. Did they have a Shi’ar story? Morrison would make a Shi’ar story. And so on.”
Morrison was then followed in the series by Joss Whedon, who at first thought he was going to literally follow Morrison on New X-Men, but Marvel then thought it made more sense to kick off a new ongoing series just for Whedon called Amazing X-Men.
This race ALSO counted down last year, where I noted: “When Grant Morrison left New X-Men, Marvel had big shoes to fill. Fortunately, Joss Whedon, popular writer and creator of the television series Buffy the vampire slayer and angel (more Firefly), was a huge X-Men fan, so he took on the task of following Grant Morrison’s run, and Marvel gave him his own title to do so, pairing him with acclaimed artist John Cassaday.
Whedon’s first task was to introduce the idea that the X-Men felt they needed to be more public as a superhero, so Cyclops insisted that Kitty Pryde, one of the X’s best public faces -Men, join the main team (made up of Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast and Emma Frost).
Whedon’s first script was about a “cure” for the developing mutant gene and how such a cure would affect mutants everywhere. It turned out to be a conspiracy involving evil aliens, and it all had to do with the return of… Colossus !!
You see, the Russian mutant, who was believed to be long dead (or, rather, believed to be dead fairly recently) was not actually dead, he was caught up in a great alien conspiracy. Colossus and Kitty had a tearful reunion.
The following scenario involved the Danger Room coming to life and fighting the X-Men. This scenario also involved Professor X. Then Whedon and Cassaday started a very long story that solved the great alien conspiracy. Whedon’s sense of humor and good ear for dialogue made the book a great place to seek out some lovely interactions between the characters. Cassaday’s illustrations, meanwhile, were good for both character work AND action scenes, making the book a visual delight.
Here’s some fascinating info on these two epic races – Whedon almost wrote X-Men INSTEAD of Morrison! See, the X-Men redesign was high on Joe Quesada’s priority list as the new Marvel Comics editor, and Quesada’s initial idea was to go REALLY big for X-Men. Not that Morrison wasn’t tall, of course, but Morrison was tall COMIC BOOK (huge, even) while Joss Whedon, of course, was tall TELEVISION SHOW.
At the time, Whedon was trying to get a Buffy the vampire slayer ongoing animated series and Whedon was working with the big TV producer, Jeph Loeb, who is also known to occasionally write comic book stories (you know, some of the most beloved comics of the last thirty years, like Batman: Along Halloween) and so Quesada got Whedon’s phone number from Loeb and according to Amy Pascale’s 2014 book Joss Whedon: The Biography, Quesada cold called Whedon and said, “Hey, Mr. Whedon, you don’t not know me, but I was you wondering, how would you write a [X-Men] delivered?”
Whedon then gave a long pause and replied, “Can I take a day or two to think about it?” ”
An excited Quesada told him to take a whole week. In the end, Whedon just had too much on his plate at the time. Both Buffy the vampire slayer AND angel were still on air and Firefly was about to go for it and Whedon just didn’t have the time. Three years later, however, things were different and his X-Men run began.
Thanks to my buddy Zack Smith for suggesting a related caption that led me to this story!
SOME OTHER LEGENDS OF ENTERTAINMENT!
Discover some entertainment legends related to Christmas from Legends revealed:
COMING SOON PART TWO!
Check back soon for this episode’s Legends Part 2!
Feel free to send me any suggestions for future comic book legends to either. [email protected] Where [email protected]
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