Hello. My name is Field, Lyle Field.
In the Fall of 1992, you may have heard the cry of the X-Cutioner’s Song, where a solitary gunshot transformed the X-Men’s lives forever (again). At a complimentary musical performance in Central Park, Professor Charles Xavier (founder of the X-Men) calls for peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants and is responded by gunfire… triggered by Cable! Put in Mr. Sinister, Apocalypse and Stryfe and you have a hit song
The original 12 part saga (taking place in the Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, X-Factor and X-Force) set the stage for the future of the X-Men following the departure of some of the key creators on the franchise—Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio and Rob Liefeld.
X-Cutioner’s Song took place during some of the most historical memorable events in the comic book industry. Image Comics was formed by the six creators who have made their mark on some of the most popular Marvel Comics titles during 1992. Todd McFarlane made his mark on Amazing Spider-Man & Spider-Man (whose #1 issue sold 3.1 million copies in 1990) created Spawn. Rob Liefeld co-created the popular Cable in the pages of the New Mutants, which became X-Force (whose #1 issue sold 3.6 million copies in 1991) was the controversial creator of Youngblood. Jim Lee awed comic book readers with his art on Uncanny X-Men and then X-Men (whose #1 issue sold 7.2 million copies) started WildCATS. Marc Silvestri created his own team known his Cyber Force loosely based on his work on Uncanny X-Men and then Wolverine in the late 80s and early 90s. Erik Larson moved over as artist on Amazing Spider-Man and then Spider-Man created the long running Savage Dragon. Jim Valentino revamped the Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel Comics and took a chance on his creation called Shadowhawk.
Despite the fact the individual issues that made up the X-Cutioner’s Song sold well, it could not compete with the Death of Superman story arc that took place in the Superman titles during the same period. The culmination of the story arc concluded in Superman #75 with the Man of Steel’s “death” (which sold between 3.3 to 3.6 million copies).
What is unique about the X-Cutioner’s Song is the creators responsible for it. The writers were Peter David, Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza while the primary artists include Greg Capullo, Andy Kubert, Jae Lee and Brandon Peterson. Keeping the creators in line is then X-Men Group Editor—Bob Harras. Some of the names may be familiar to you… as creators behind some of the New DC 52 titles.
Scott Lobdell is the writer on Superboy, Red Hood & the Outlaws & the Teen Titans. Fabian Nicieza is the writer on Legion Lost. Greg Capullo is the artist on Batman. Andy Kubert will soon be doing a 2 issue gust stint as artist on Action Comics. Bob Harras is the Editor-in-Chief of the New DC 52 just like he was Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics in the 90s.
There has been other creators that have been part of Marvel Comics during the early speculation ’90s era that are now creators behind some of the New DC 52. Jim Lee and Scott Williams continue to work together as an art team on the Justice League just like they did in Uncanny X-Men and then X-Men. Tony Daniel is the writer/artist on Detective Comics and writer on Savage Hawkman when in late 1993 he took over X-Force from Greg Capullo. George Perez was working for both Marvel and DC at the time with Wonder Woman, Infinity Gauntlet and Hulk: Future Imperfect is currently writing the first 6 issues of Superman while inking the new Green Arrow series. Ron Marz took over from Jim Starlin on the Silver Surfer is currently writing Voodoo. Scott McDaniel is the current writer/artist on Static Shock while back in the early 90s he was starting out as the primary artist on Daredevil. Rob Liefeld drew New Mutants before it was transformed into X-Force.
It seems a conspiracy was set up by Jim Lee and Bob Harras to bring back some of the creators responsible for Marvel’s early 90’s heyday and try to recreate it in 2011 with the New DC 52 line.
Interesting convergence indeed. But will history be repeated especially since under Harras regime as Editor-In-Chief when Marvel Comics almost went bankrupt in 1997. Harras was eventually replaced with Joe Quesada in the early 2000s as Marvel Comics wanted to go a different direction. Guess we will have to wait and see what is going to happen in the next few months. Let’s hope that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Well, it was a nice introspective. If you are interested in reading X-Men: X-Cutioner’s Song (minus the polybag with those ridiculous trading cards that I gave away to a bunch of kids), you can order either softcover or the recently released hardcover version.
I’ll smell you later.