As the quest for exhibits of an “eye-level aesthetic” continues…

Eve Tushnet embellishes upon Forager’s discussion of Claremont’s run on the X-Men. Along the way, she explains: “I haven’t read pretty much anything between 1983-ish and NXM“, about which I will say–Eve, my friend, you are lucky! Personally, I’m right there with Forager in appreciating what Claremont & Cockrum did on the title in the 1970’s, and I like some of the Byrne stuff too (there can’t be anyone that actually hates the Dark Phoenix Saga, can there? Even among those of us–like me–who feel that the increasingly solemn/operatic tone of the series had negative long-term consequences for the super-hero genre as a whole). In my opinion, Byrne & Claremont, each of whom has proven to be quite insane when given autocratic power over a strip, somehow managed to keep each other in check enough while working together to produce some enjoyable stuff–but the X-Men in the mid-to-late-eighties–when I was buying comics weekly–was absolutely terrible. And–although Claremont didn’t write X-Factor–his take on mutants was influential in forcing the 60’s cast (which I love in the Roy Thomas/Werner Roth issues of 1966/67) to endure even more painfully melodramatic adventures unrelieved by any irony whatsoever (anyone remember Calvin Hodge and the “crucifixion of Warren Worthington on wings of steel” stuff? and the “where-is-my-mind?” saga of the “simpleton Beast”?) But at least X-Factor had cool Simonson art! Meanwhile, on the Uncanny series you got Silvestri and Leonardi, which just wasn’t any good at all (Silvestri’s women look as if they will NEVER BLINK AGAIN).

Oh yeah–this was the cover of Time the week I was born (kind of a lame one–I don’t want to be associated with an energy crisis, I have enough trouble getting up in the morning):

Link via Johnny Bacardi via Laura Gjovaag.
Good night friends!


  1. Yeah, I agree that things fell apart for the title during the mid-to-late 1980s. However, I really dug “X-Factor”, probably because of all the pain and suffering. But my favorite X-title from that period was “The New Mutants” (‘natch).

    Silvestri’s work really was (is) quite awful.


  2. Forager,

    I never really gave New Mutants a fair shake, I’m afraid–only picked up the title when big crossover events forced me to… which caused me to resent the title like the Devil! (do you think that’s what Marvel intended?)

    As for X-Factor–well, I had every issue from #1 on up to about #60, so I guess they had something for me (even after Simonson moved on). I remember, in particular, one issue (number #55 I believe–I don’t have’em anymore) with the Beast, Mesmero, and Vera from the Thomas/Roth days, which really grabbed me!


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