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thuggernaut


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,435


i mean, what is this character except random nonsense? the worst of claremont's poor instincts.

she is character that "shark jumped" the x-men for me. Couldn't takes the series seriously again, really. Just lost all credibility.


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PaulMc


Member Since: Mon Sep 27, 2010


I actually really love her.

Loved the whole - is she jean, isn't she, story.

Think she makes a great villian and I especially liked the sisterhood issues with Chimera, the mastermind sisters, spiral etc.


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BrennanZ


Member Since: Sun Mar 01, 2020


My favourite time was when she was basically a member of the team in Australia and Genosha.


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Daveym

Moderator

Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




    Quote:
    My favourite time was when she was basically a member of the team in Australia and Genosha.


Yes, for me too. Before she was revealed as Jean Grey's clone during 'Inferno' she was a supporting character with open possibilities - although human that didn't stop her from being a very interesting character to watch, she was interesting in the same was Claremont's powerless Storm was interesting to follow. Or Sean Cassidy. Or Moira McTaggart. Or any number of Claremont's other supporting cast...

I don't know whether Maddie was sustainable longterm, the idea of a Jean Grey lookalike and Scott's human ex-wife floating around the x-men universe into the 1990s and beyond is a little hard to conceive, the moment Jean came back Maddie was awkward and redundant baggage. But reflecting back to the days before the 'Inferno' reveal sealed her fate, and she subsequently became all-villain, one-dimensional demoness, she was an interesting and likable character. She found her niche briefly in the Outback era and you can see her as potentially being developed as the X-Men's pilot and admin. Base co-ordinator and personal confidante..



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The Silver Surfer


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


I think the X-Men need to associate more with non-powered humans in general. Kind of seems like that fits with the message of mutants and normal humans Coexisting in peace.

But Maddie herself. It was interesting to see her journey. She was a normal woman thrown into all this chaos (we did not she was a clone yet), and it was interesting to see her react to being pushed and pulled with all the craziness around her.

She was abandoned by her husband, faked her death, never really fit with the X-Men, despite making herself useful.

By the time she became the Goblin Queen, you really understood how that could happen to her, it may not have been right, but she had been pushed and pulled so muck it made sense. Her story was a tragedy, and while you didn't agree with what she ultimate did, you could at least sympathize with how she could get to that position.


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Quantum


Member Since: Sun Dec 21, 2008
Posts: 2,270


I liked having her in the Mutant X series that took place in an alternate reality.

She didn't work at all in the regular 616.


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The Black Guardian 

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


She has only ever worked for me because of the "retcon" that turned her into a huge villain. From the moment she appeared, I was screaming that she was a villain. She was just too good to be true. There were too many conincidences that revolved around Jean, beyond just her looks.

And then came Inferno and I could finally rest easy.




City of Heroes is BACK!
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The Silver Surfer


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


I always liked Mutant X, and felt it was an underrated series.


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Unstable Molecule


Location: Calgary, AB Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,103



    Quote:
    By the time she became the Goblin Queen, you really understood how that could happen to her, it may not have been right, but she had been pushed and pulled so muck it made sense. Her story was a tragedy, and while you didn't agree with what she ultimate did, you could at least sympathize with how she could get to that position.

One theme that resounded in the Avengers title is that the team just moved on - and didn't deal with the personal carnage they wrought as they jumped from one crisis to another. Avengers Annual #10 dealt with this extremely well. Avengers Disassembled revisited it (not nearly as well, but still).

The same could be said about the X-Men, and Madelyn, in my opinion, is their biggest unresolved failure. Scott had actually been married to her. She had borne his son. She had deep friendships among the core team. And when she became a villain they basically just shrugged, said "she's evil now" and stopped caring. Friends don't do this to each other. And husbands don't do this to the mother of their child. Shame on the X-Men for never making things right with Madelyn. She is crying out for help and they are treating her as just another villain-du-jour. Not heroic, not cool and not acceptable.





"It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices." – Albus Dumbledore
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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008



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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,073




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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,073



    Quote:
    I think the X-Men need to associate more with non-powered humans in general. Kind of seems like that fits with the message of mutants and normal humans Coexisting in peace.


It is strange that though there are quite a number of relationships between mutants and non-mutant/non-powered persons, they rarely seem to last. Some writers seem to like nothing better than break up couples and/or kill off the non-mutant partner (vide also Mariko Yashida). And this even includes writers who want to get rid of one non-mutant character to replace them with another, such as when Chris Claremont had Scott dump Lee Forrester just before he first met Madelyne, or when Louise Simonson killed off Candy Southern not long before she had Warren meet Charlotte Jones. Speaking of Candy, it just struck me how similar her death was to that of Gwen Stacy (Gwen was basically killed because she was Spider-Man's girlfriend, at least before "Sins Past", and the same happened to Candy because she was the Angel's life-partner). And yet I don't really recall any stories - except in the immediate aftermath of her death - where Warren reflects to a notable extent on the love


    Quote:
    But Maddie herself. It was interesting to see her journey. She was a normal woman thrown into all this chaos (we did not she was a clone yet), and it was interesting to see her react to being pushed and pulled with all the craziness around her.



    Quote:
    She was abandoned by her husband, faked her death, never really fit with the X-Men, despite making herself useful.



    Quote:
    By the time she became the Goblin Queen, you really understood how that could happen to her, it may not have been right, but she had been pushed and pulled so muck it made sense. Her story was a tragedy, and while you didn't agree with what she ultimate did, you could at least sympathize with how she could get to that position.





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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,073


As for me, I will always say that the launch of X-Factor was where the rot in the mutant books set in. I had fewer problems than most with Madelyne Pryor than a lot of other readers, but then right from the start she seemed to be distinct enough in looks and personality to me to be considered a person in her own right.(1) And the revelation that she was Jean's clone did nothing to alter that, because I belong to the faction "Clone Lives Should Matter in Fiction".
Unlikely coincidences are what the X-Men have been built on for ages(2), so I could live with that, especially as in the storyline that introduced her a lot of these coincidences seemed to have been influenced by Mastermind's doings. I liked Madelyne well enough not to wish her dead or written out of the series. To be honest, with Rachel assuming the mantle of the Phoenix and Madelyne as Scott's wife, I saw no reason to bring Jean Grey back. All that slightly bothered me about Madelyne were a few loose ends, but loose ends is what Chris Claremont's writing is all about. ;\-\) And there's no saying that a satisfactory explanation for the unanswered bits would not eventually have emerged.
The return of Jean Grey and the launch of X-Factor to my mind were an attempt to "fix" something that wasn't broken - I was totally okay (and excited) with the X-Men as they then were, I did not want to return to the boring dynamic that got the title cancelled in the first place. (The creators of X-Factor were so engulfed in nostalgia that they even brought the Beast's and Iceman's largely forgettable silver-age girlfriends out of retirement, tried to reinstate the Scott-Jean-Warren triangle, and returned the Beast to his original looks). And it was horribly and incompetently written to such an extent, that I think it is best compared to "One More Day", another "fix" story which set out to convince readers that Spider-Man's marriage to Mary Jane Watson was a mistake and a Bad Thing, but in the end only managed to convince an awful lot of readers that One More Day is the worst Spider-Man story ever written. \:\-D With the Pryor-Summers marriage the "cure" turned out worse than the "disease" as well. The original stories tried to destroy Madelyne (now called Maddy) as a character, but were more effective in destroying Scott. And it is not just that he was shown to be a much worse husband to "Maddy" than she was shown to be a bad wife to him, it was also that he was shown to be dishonest to Jean, the woman he claimed to love, and made Hank, Warren and Bobby his accomplices in hiding the truth from her (so much for friendship among the original five). The original five were also portrayed as judgmental and ignorant jerks vis-à-vis their teammates, the active X-Men, and total dumbasses, falling for the insane scheme proposed by Warren's villainous friend and for some reason never contacting Jean's family or Havok and Polaris.

(1) The thing was, everybody kept saying that Madelyne looked just like Jean, but to me this was not borne out by the artwork. It doesn't help that under most artists' pencils Jean is just another pretty redhead - put her in civilian clothes, and she is not easy to distinguish from Hellcat, Batgirl or quite a few other characters.

(2) Sometimes also related to Jean Grey. For instance that time after the fight against Magneto in Antarctica when Jean and Hank got separated from the rest of the team and for whatever reason both parties thought the other was dead.



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Quantum


Member Since: Sun Dec 21, 2008
Posts: 2,270


For me the rot in the X titles began with the Mutant Massacre storyline. Once we got half the group running around Australia with Dazzler, the books took a turn I didn't like and didn't regain my interest at all until Alan Davis starting writing the title in 1998 or so. There's a whole ten year period of X-titles that just means nothing to me.

I thought that giving the original five their own title was a good idea for a book, but it was handled atrociously from the start. I hated all the Scott and Jean misdirection, wasn't really into the art until Walt came aboard, and I hated the idea of the five pretending to be mutant hunters.


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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,073



    Quote:
    For me the rot in the X titles began with the Mutant Massacre storyline. Once we got half the group running around Australia with Dazzler, the books took a turn I didn't like and didn't regain my interest at all until Alan Davis starting writing the title in 1998 or so. There's a whole ten year period of X-titles that just means nothing to me.


Well, it was a gradual process. The Mutant Massacre in itself wasn't a bad idea, what with about half the team being incapacitated etc. it was a really scary time. And some of the other storylines that followed were good or at least acceptable.
What annoyed me at the time was that things were steered that way that the X-Men and X-Factor always were "coincidentally" kept from meeting each other and, you know, hashing their differences out, because it was painfully obvious that once the two teams started speaking to each other there would be no reason for X-Factor to exist as a separate team any longer or for them to continue the idiotic "mutant hunter" charade. And these continual failures to meet became a bit ridiculous because not only were the two teams' bases extremely close to each other (the X-Men in Westchester, X-Factor in Manhattan), but around the time of the Massacre the two teams operated in pretty much the same neighborhoods in New York. The X-Men then briefly moved to San Francisco - a period I actually enjoyed, as it showed them being accepted fairly well by the locals - but then of course came the Fall of the Mutants and the Outback Era, which I did not enjoy as much as the arcs before, not least because during that time the X-Men pretty much completely isolated themselves from the world.


    Quote:
    I thought that giving the original five their own title was a good idea for a book, but it was handled atrociously from the start. I hated all the Scott and Jean misdirection, wasn't really into the art until Walt came aboard, and I hated the idea of the five pretending to be mutant hunters.


The Simonsons did a lot to improve things in the X-Factor title, but even they could not undo the crappiness of the original conception and execution of that series.

Addendum:

Although I didn't know the expression at the time, one of the things that bothered me most about original X-Factor was that it is a classic example of what James Blish referred to as the Idiot Plot: a plot that can only work because pretty much everybody (except the evil "mastermind") is a complete idiot. But since this a superhero story, the Original 5 being idiots wasn't enough, the plot also required for instance that Jean Grey for some reason found herself unable to use her telepathy, except for that scene in FF #286 where it suddenly - and conveniently - reappears for a while, only for it to fade out again - again conveniently - before Jean can find out about Rachel. It also was a bit convenient for the plot that Jean's parents were on vacation, apparently without leaving a forwarding address, but then the Idiot Plot kicked in again, with none of the X-Factorites e.g. hitting on the bloody obvious idea of contacting Jean's sister, even if just to ask them where the Greys were. And then there was the way the X-Factorites were totally paranoid that they did not even want to hear what their teammates on the active X-Men team had to say for themselves and even dismissed Professor Xavier's endorsement of the reformed Magneto (which Scott knew about from UXM #199-200) out of hand, and yet they blindly trusted Cameron Hodge, a smarmy git whose eventual revelation as a villain probably surprised not a single reader, and whom none of them, except Warren, had ever met before. It still boggles my mind just how badly it was written...

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IdiotPlot



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zvelf


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


Yes, I totally agree with you. X-Factor was awfully written and put Marvel on the road to ruining Scott Summers as a character while at the same time bringing Jean Grey back and failing to use her in any interesting way at all.

While we're on this topic, since Hickman brought Scott and Jean back together, it would be nice if he devoted more pages to their relationship. What does Jean think about Scott's time with Emma? How is Scott emotionally dealing with Jean's many deaths and resurrections? How about seeing them enjoying time as a couple? One of the best things about the Claremont-Byrne run is how well developed Scott and Jean's relationship was but no writer since has been able to do it was well. And I'm saying this as someone who largely likes Hickman's X-Men, unlike many on this board. (I don't like almost every other writers' take on Hickman's X-Men though.)




How to make an entrance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49xWJJvpjzI
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Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,073


Thanks for the response!


    Quote:
    Yes, I totally agree with you. X-Factor was awfully written and put Marvel on the road to ruining Scott Summers as a character while at the same time bringing Jean Grey back and failing to use her in any interesting way at all.


I think that it was one of the main failings of X-Factor in its original incarnation by Layton and Guice (i. e. #1-5 and the first annual) that it by all appearances totally lacked any imagination with regards to the characterizations and the relationships between the five main characters. (In this context it seems almost like a comment on the feature that X-Factor #5 was entitled "Tapped Out"). All the creators seemed to want to do with them was to return them to a status quo ca. the Lee/Kirby run - apparently even Candy Southern (created in 1967 by Roy Thomas and Werner Roth) was too new for them! ;\-\) At the time I was barely aware of the existence of fan-fiction, otherwise I probably would have said that it read like bad "fix fic", a story where the aim of restoring characters to a perceived state of grace outweighs all other considerations, be it that of trying to work with existing plot elements and characters (Hank, Bobby and Warren came fresh from an interesting run on The Defenders), or avoiding to weaken characters or even unintentionally making them unsympathetic.

The cast of X-Factor (four middle and upper class white guys and one middle class white woman, all U.S. citizens) already was an anachronism compared to other superhero teams, especially when set against the other two mutant books, which at the time both had international, multi-ethnic, and gender-balanced teams.(1) This was not helped when the first additions to the cast were all Caucasian males (Rusty Collins, Artie Maddicks, and the mole, Cameron Hodge), and not terribly interesting in themselves, and when, as far as the romantic subplots were concerned, Jean was relegated to an entirely passive role, and her agency as a superheroine was much hampered by her power loss and being out of touch with the world due to having spent such a long time in the cocoon. In those early issues, Jean essentially was someone to whom things happened, she rarely was allowed to speak up for herself or do something of her own volition (her decision not to speak to the active X-Men was really because Reed Richards had strongly advised her not to contact them). And Madelyne Pryor-Summers and Candy Southern only appeared in scenes where Bob Layton tried to rationalize why they were no longer going to be involved with Scott or Warren. The saying goes that you can't replace a somebody with just anybody or nobody, and as far as things went in those six stories, Scott's status as a husband and father (a change not without story potential) was being replaced with a badly written, warmed-up romance with a Jean stripped of nearly everything that had made her interesting to readers within the past decade, while Warren's sometimes stormy relationship to Candy Southern(2) was replaced with nothing, for the nonce.

(1) The active X-Men team at the time consisted of Storm (leader), Colossus, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Rogue, and Rachel, that of the New Mutants of Cannonball (co-leader), Mirage (co-leader), Karma, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Magma, Magik, Cypher, and Warlock. So both teams had more female than male members, and both were led or co-led by a woman of colour. The only other teams which still had such an old-fashioned composition were "family teams" - the Fantastic Four (including husband, wife and the wife's brother) and Power Pack (four siblings), and even they were gender-balanced at the time (She-Hulk having taken the Things place following the first Secret War).

(2) Candy Southern had shown herself a canny businesswoman and administrator in the past, even leading the Defenders for a time despite not being a superheroine herself. Warren Worthington III was used to collaborate with her in both capacities, so maybe it was also necessary to get rid of her for the Angel/Cameron Hodge subplot to work?

Did Bob Layton and Butch Guice ever mention where they intended to go with X-Factor had they been able to write the series longer?


    Quote:
    While we're on this topic, since Hickman brought Scott and Jean back together, it would be nice if he devoted more pages to their relationship. What does Jean think about Scott's time with Emma? How is Scott emotionally dealing with Jean's many deaths and resurrections? How about seeing them enjoying time as a couple? One of the best things about the Claremont-Byrne run is how well developed Scott and Jean's relationship was but no writer since has been able to do it was well. And I'm saying this as someone who largely likes Hickman's X-Men, unlike many on this board. (I don't like almost every other writers' take on Hickman's X-Men though.)


Have to agree with a lot of this, even if I didn't read the Hickman stories.



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