Saturday, March 19, 2011

Making a Splash: Dave Cockrum's X-Men Part One

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Gonna switch gears a bit and take a look at a pile-o-splash pages that truly helped define (or is it re-define?) the Groovy Age--the late, great Dave Cockrum's original run on Marvel's X-Men revival. It's hard for the whipper-snappers out there to believe, but there was a time when Professor X's proteges were mere cult faves, their mag hanging on only as a reprint mag. That all changed when Len Wein, Dave Cockrum, and the gang at Marvel got it all together to create an "All-New, All-Different!" X-Men with Giant-Size X-Men #1 (Spring 1975). With ish #94 (May 1975) the reprints were over and the X-Men's mag was featuring brand-new stories by brand-new series writer (and the writer, who, along with artists Cockrum and John Byrne, forever defined the X-Men) Chris Claremont. It's hard for someone who wasn't there to understand just how revolutionary G.S. X-Men #1 was, but looking back at these splashes (from G.S. X-Men #1, X-Men #'s 94-100) just might put you in the right frame of mind...

Next week, the rest of Delightful Dave's Groovy Age X-Men turn. Phoenix! Fire-Lord! The Juggernaut! Magneto! The Starjammers! The Imperial Guard! Ya don't wanna miss it!


  1. These look MMMarrvvelliioouuss!! Sorry I couldn't resist! Man Dave was a great artist wasn't he? I was lucky to meet Dave in Chicago, He was doing a small model/monster show in Chicago in Sept of 2002.

    He was already ill then & to my shock in a wheel chair like Prof.X! We had been e-mailing back & forth for quite awhile. Before I actually got to meet him in person. He was a great guy, with a great sense of humor. He said he atleast had a great view at the show. He was sitting next to a former ex playboy playmate.

    I remembered loving his art on Superboy & the Legion of Superheroes. But when I picked up my two copies of GS X-Men#1. I was blown away by his beautiful artwork. I loved the plot & the twist ending. Where the mysterious villian turned out to be the island itself was a mutant & had become intelligent!That sure wasn't Gillian's Island they were on!

  2. Dave was the first pro I ever met back in 1983. He was incredibly nice to me and I just loved his X-Men run. I met him again about 20 years later and was lucky enough to get a Dark Phoenix sketch from him. He was a fantastic artist and a great guy.

  3. Storm, Nightcrawler, and Colossus. Such great costume designs. Storm looks amazing in that second splash.

  4. Yes, I was slightly annoyed that Halle Berry didn't front up in the original Storm outfit in the movie.

    BTW Can I assume those scans weren't from the original books? I recall the splash page (and a few others) for #99 had some kind of miscolouring that included a lot of blues and purples and not a lot of yellows.

    B Smith

  5. You are absolutely right that it is hard to imagine what an impact this series had when it first cme out. When I think about this, I realize how much comics have changed since then. Thanks for reminding me.

  6. I was lucky enough to meet Dave in the early 80's when I showed my portfolio to DC - during the "New Talent" search they had going on at the time. I got a positive review from Giordano that day (in Boston, where I'm from), and with my older sister, who's now a costumer in NYC went on to other areas of the convention where we met Dave. I told him how much his LSH inspired me to want to learn how to draw, due it's beauty. He was so nice and encouraging. I'll never forget him. I love these splash pages - especially the ones Dave inked himself. I feel that he was his own best inker. Though, I liked Bob Layton over him, and Mike Grell's job on one of his final Legion stories. The man co-created the characters that make tons of $ for Marvel today.



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