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Kane/Cockrum cover; new X-Men begin (Sunfire quits) (8/75) Comic Book Impact rating of 9 (CBI)
Kane/Cockrum cover; new X-Men begin (Sunfire quits) (8/75) Comic Book Impact rating of 9 (CBI)It is not everyday a comic book comes out that changes the face of the entire industry, but X-Men #94 was an issue that had wide-reaching impact, that echoes throughout popular culture in the modern day. The storyline, involving old X-Men nemesis Count Nefaria, is rather standard fare, but it is not the actual plot of this issue that makes it a top Bronze Age key, rather, it is the appearance of the new X-Men team, Storm, Banshee, Wolverine, Thunderbird, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Sunfire, that put this issue in the ranks of legendary comics. Although the new characters were introduced in Giant-Size X-Men #1, this is the first issue in the run to feature X-Men mk. II. The series was languishing in reprint purgatory and close to cancellation before this issue revived the franchise. A renewed breath of life turned out to be perfect for Marvel fans who were longing for a jolt of fresh energy, and this new group of X-Men took off like a house on fire. These characters are now the ones most closely associated with the franchise, and the addition of John Byrne into the mix later in the decade would only serve to send this title into the stratosphere; along the way Wolverine would grow into one of Marvel's top sellers, giving rise to an enormously successful movie franchise, and myriad other X-Men spin-off comics. It all started here. Any X-Men fan worth their salt needs to own this landmark book.
David Emmett Cockrum was an American comics artist known for his co-creation of the new X-Men characters Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus as well as the antiheroine Black Cat. Cockrum was a prolific and inventive costume designer who updated the uniforms of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He did the same for the new X-Men and many of their antagonists in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Gil Kane was a Latvian-born American comics artist whose career spanned the 1940s to the 1990s and virtually every major comics company and character. Kane co-created the modern-day versions of the superheroes Green Lantern and the Atom for DC Comics, and co-created Iron Fist with Roy Thomas for Marvel Comics. He was involved in such major storylines as that of The Amazing Spider-Man #96–98, which, at the behest of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, bucked the then-prevalent Comics Code Authority to depict drug abuse, and ultimately spurred an update of the Code. Kane additionally pioneered an early graphic novel prototype, His Name Is... Savage, in 1968, and a seminal graphic novel, Blackmark, in 1971. In 1997, he was inducted into both the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame and the Harvey Award Jack Kirby Hall of Fame.
McLeod was a journeyman artist who worked at most of the comic publishers, he got his start in the industry thanks to a recommendation by Neal Adams, most notably know for his work on New Mutants, McLeod's collective body of work is impressive and far flung.