THE X-MEN COMPANION #1: Len Wein Interview

Continuing our look at the two-volume X-MEN COMPANION published by Fantagraphics in 1982, just as X-MEN was expanding from being the darling of the Direct Market to a full-on juggernaut across the whole of the industry. Writer and historian Peter Sanderson interviewed pretty much all of the principle writers and artists involved in the creation of the All-New All-Different X-Men for this book, and conducted so close to the time when the characters and storylines were originated, it’s a true Rosetta Stone for understanding this pivotal period in X-Men history.

Peter’s next interview was with writer Len Wein, who actually wrote GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 which introduced the new team, and who co-created all of the new characters with artist Dave Cockrum. Len had intended to be the regular writer on X-MEN when it was going to be a quarterly title, but the demise of the Giant-Size line and the decision to shift the series over into what had been the long-running reprint title meant that he wasn’t going to be able to fit the series into his schedule. His plot for what would have been GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #2 was instead split in two and a young Chris Claremont was given it to dialogue, thus beginning his long and fruitful association with Marvel’s mutants. Wein had a number of different ideas in mind for where he would have gone with the series had he continued writing it, and so this interview is a bit of a window into “What might have been.”

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