Saturday, January 29, 2011

X-Factor #214: Gunslinger Misfire

One of the interesting things about the comic book industry is that it can respond fairly quickly to changes in media trends.  One of the other interesting things about the comic book industry is that these quick responses often look very strange.  For example, I imagine a conversation much like the following took place at Marvel Comics sometime in mid 2010:

Joe Quesada, then Marvel Editor in Chief: “Hey, that new Cohen Brothers version of True Grit looks like it will be pretty good.  A lot of people who read comics also liked The Big Lebowski.  Jody, let’s try to have one of your writers come up with an excuse to run a western themed cover around the time True Grit comes out."

Jody Leheup, Editor: “Um, okay, I guess we can do that.  Peter David is writing some of our books.  He the co-writer on the Dark Tower adaptations and wrote those funny space westerns.  Peter, what do you think?”

Peter David, renown comic book writer: “Well… sure, why not.  I can maybe drop a story in as an interlude between X-Factor stories, sort of a dream sequence that looks like a lost chapter from Wolves of the Calla?

…and that appears to be the origin of X-Factor #214.  Turns out it was actually meant to be a tie between the Marvel Universe and the ongoing Dark Tower stories, but the licensing agreements fell through.  Not a bad comic, but weirdly conceived, weirdly executed, and despite the cover not really a western.  Also probably doesn't make any sense unless you have at least a passing familiarity with the Dark Tower series.

Dang it!

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