Saturday, July 7, 2018


My Vast Accumulation of Stuff continues to reveal historical finds from my career and even from  before my career. Sometime in the early 1970s, I began corresponding with Marvel’s Roy Thomas and even phoning him on occasion. My ambition was to write for Marvel Comics and, Crom bless him, Roy was willing to read even my most outlandish notions.

This X-Men pitch came about because I was sorely disappointed when X-Men went from new stories to all reprints. I had loved what Roy Thomas was doing in the title and didn’t want to see it end. As a mark of my ignorance of the comics industry, I assumed that all it would take to get new stories back in the title would be a writer pitching said new stories.

Reading over the below for the first time in two or three decades, I don’t recall my process in coming up with this pitch. Nor can I recall why I thought these ideas were so terrific as to overcome The X-Men’s poor sales even when the title was written and drawn by Roy Thomas and Neal Adams. Clearly, I had way more confidence than ability at that time of in my life.

This pitch picks up the X-Men’s adventures after they battled the Hulk in Las Vegas and after Hank McCoy left the team to appear in Amazing Adventures. It’s presented for whatever amusement you might derive from it.


After their battle with THE HULK in Las Vegas, THE X-MEN were forced to go into hiding on PROFESSOR XAVIER’s estate because of a growing fear of mutants on the part of the public. The X-Men have come to believe they should concentrate on surviving until mankind is either ready to accept them or destroys itself. Even Professor X shares this pessimistic viewpoint. He had learned that graduate HANK McCOY has become THE BEAST, wanted by the authorities, and is blaming himself for Hank’s misfortune.

The private world of the X-Men is shattered by the appearance of CAL RANKIN (THE MIMIC), TED ROBERTS and RALPH ROBERTS (THE COBALT MAN). After Cal and Red graduated from college, they entered into partnership with Ralph and his research company. While working on a telepathic communications system, they discovered a weird kind of thought control device. It allows an operator to reinterpret the images his subject received and so “control” the subject’s reaction to them. The trio is fleeing from the agents of THE NEW WORLD, an organization so mysterious that its aims are as unknown as its origins. The New World wants the thought control device. The X-Men refuse to get involved at first, but when the three men prepare to make their own stand on the estate, the X-Men come around.
The Professor had sent HAVOK and LORNA DANE to bring THE BANSHEE into the fold. Just as the three mutants arrive, New World agents capture the device and turn them against their fellows. As defeat for the X-Men draws near, a ray blast restores Cal’s mutant power, albeit slightly changed. He can now adopt both the ability and the form of any one person for a limited time. Unless that person is within a mile radius, though, Cal can not duplicate their powers. The Mimic uses this power to impersonate the leader of the band of New World agents and destroys the thought control device. The New World agents pick up their marbles and walk away, seemingly satisfied by this turn of events.

Following the initial encounter with the forces of New World, the X-Men will attempt to gain the respect of mankind and the God-given rights they have been denied. The Banshee returns to London to fight for mutant rights there while Alex and Lorna carry their struggle to Washington D.C. They will be opposed there by THE SPYMASTER in his identity as SENATOR ROBERT PASSEN, who doesn’t want another group of government-approved crime fighters.

Some future story lines would include:

The X-Men attempt to learn if Hank McCoy has indeed turned into a menace, but, when they find out he is not, will respect his wishes to determine his own destiny.

The Mimic is troubled by a personal identity crisis when he starts to feel he is not his own man, merely a caricature of other man and quits the X-Men until...

...Senator Passen sees the connection between th Beast of the X-Men and the new Beast and tries to destroy the credibility of a growing acceptance of mutant rights.

MAGNETO attacks the Earth with a new band of mutant marauders, each possessing some elemental power. They are HELLFIRE (previously seen as SUNFIRE), GIBRALTER, WINDSONG and HYDRON. They launch attacks in five different locations, forcing our merry mutants to divide their forces to face the attacks. This would allow for a possible guest shot by the Beast.
THE TOAD, having received a pardon through THE AVENGERS and now performing in a circus, is accused of murdering the circus owner and stealing the payroll. There is an eyewitness account of a man hopping away from the scene of the crime. The X-Men have to prove the Toad is innocent or their cause will be damaged. And who is the real killer? Daredevil’s old foe, THE LEAP FROG.

ROGER VANE (who was last seen in Iron Man #9) is the new leader of the Maggia. He decides to settle that group’s long unsettled debt with the X-Men. After learning WHITNEY FROST was part of the crime syndicate, Vane joined the Maggia and worked his way to the top via treachery and his political/social connections. MADAM MASQUE would likely make an appearance in this story.

The New World organization will appear from time to time to reveal new little clues to their mysterious origin. The full story would wait until we build sufficient suspense.

If I had to guess, I would guess I wrote the above pitch quickly, making it up as I went. I wanted the X-Men to travel all over the world, not unlike the international status that was part of the new X-Men team that would come along a few years later. The X-Men did become globetrotters/universe-trotters) during Chris Claremont’s many years on the title.

I didn’t have an actual origin for The New World organization or I would have included it in this pitch. Like writers such as Len Wein and others, I would throw something into a story and then figure it out later.

Astute Marvel Universe scholars will recognized that I re-purposed Magneto’s elemental allies in The Living Mummy series I wrote back in the day. My love of obscure characters (and my desire to bring them back into the Marvel Universe) is also evident in some of the characters mentioned above.

It’s not likely I will be writing X-Men comic books any time soon. However, you never know when one of my old ideas (or some version of them) will turn up in one of my new stories.

That’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for a few words on comics legend Steve Ditko, followed on Monday by the first part of my “Coast to Coast with Marvel” travel report.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. With Mimic being one of my favorites, this sounds like some amazing stories.