Writer/Artist John Byrne discusses X-Men: Elsewhen…
…In a June 30 post on Byrne’s official forum, he wrote: “Just had one of my wilder ideas. Remember when Chris was doing X-MEN FOREVER, picking up from when he left the book? Immediately some people started speculating about me doing the same, X-MEN EVERMORE, picking up from my own exit point.
But just now I thought of something that would be even more fun. For the sake of reference, let’s call it X-MEN ELSEWHEN, picking up with the coda of X-MEN 136, but proceeding as if Shooter hadn’t thrown his king-sized monkey wrench into the works! So Jean* doesn’t die, Scott doesn’t leave, and, well, a whole bunch of other stuff does and doesn’t happen.”
During the panel, which was moderated by former IDW Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall, I asked Byrne to talk a bit more about X-Men: Elsewhen and how it came about.
[See link to Byrne’s images for Elsewhen here. At press time there are 21 pages revealed so far.]
“There was some discussion on my website: ‘What if you went back to Marvel?’ and it planted this itch in my brain,” Byrne replied. “I thought, what if I went back to Marvel? Could I go back to Marvel? Can I do that? I haven’t drawn like that in 20 years.”
To scratch that itch, Byrne illustrated a sample page featuring a battle between Wolverine and Sauron in the Savage Land.
“And then I did another one,” Byrne said. “And what the Hell, I’ll do another one. And suddenly, there were 20 pages. And then I got an email from [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] C.B. Cebulski saying, ‘Love it! Let’s talk about this!’ Oh, that’s unexpected. So yeah, it just happened as a fun thing. It’s still just a fun thing as far as I’m concerned.”
Byrne admitted he has no plans to ink the pages, which he said were being created at a rate of a page per hour. Still, he’s not immune to the artist’s desire to rework existing art.
“Usually I would finish a book and send it away,” Byrne said. “But now I’ve gone back and redrawn the stratojet about 12 times and redrawn Kitty and changed one entire page… I’ve started to turn into George Lucas.”
And like Lucas, Byrne has his alternate history X-Men saga mapped out in his head, even if it’ll never fully see the light of day.
“I know what the next issue is, and I know what the third issue is, and I know what the fourth issue is, and following Marvel tradition, of course, the fifth issue is Doctor Doom.”…