Thursday, May 16, 2013

1986 - Anatomy of a cover - X-Factor #1 revisited

Take #1

Take #2

Take #3

Take #4

From the Walt Simonson Appreciation Society Facebook page:

"X-Factor 1 cover, unpublished sort of. Pen and India ink. 10 x 15. 1985.

This is the drawing that did NOT run as the cover for X-Factor No. 1. It did show up on a French reprint a year later or so because of the way Marvel filed stats for overseas reprinting. 

The short version is that there was some difficulty getting a cover done for the first issue of X-Factor. I know that Butch Guice, the original penciler on X-Factor, did more than one cover. I seem to remember he did about three, although I don't think I ever saw any of them. Recently on the web, I read that he did seven! That seems excessive, but I don't really know. 

In any case, at some point, I was asked to pencil and ink a version. This was it. There was a strong emphasis at the time at Marvel to show full figures with their feet intact. Hence the layout here. The cover passed some sort of muster and went off to the printer. However, before it could be printed, it was recalled and another version of this drawing, re-inked by Joe Rubenstein, was done, probably using a lightbox though that's just a guess. In any case, that's the version that appears on the cover of X-Factor 1. (A stat of this version apparently went into the Marvel files, and wasn't replaced with Joe's version. Hence the French reprint not long afterwards.)"


  1. I had no idea Simonson did the original layout for that cover. Huh!

  2. Fantastic! I'd never seen the alternates before. I actually really like take 2 and take 3.

  3. "Take 3" was later finished and offered as a Marvel Comics Art Print, too:

  4. Hey alldaycomics, thanks! I just put up a blog post on that, but didn't make the connection.

  5. And now we know why Ron Frenz did X-Factor covers for Guice beginning with issue 3(Mike Zeck did issue 2). Three or Seven attempts would cause me to decline the future post.



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