Walt and Louise Simonson pick up threads from their X-Factor run for X-Men Legends

Cover of X-Men Legends #3 by Walt Simonson
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Update: Writer/artist Walter Simonson has confirmed he's drawing two issues of Marvel's X-Men Legends title, which will revisit the original '80s version of X-Factor that he drew alongside his wife, writer Louise 'Weezie' Simonson, who will write the arc.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"I'm getting to draw it again," Simonson said on the Mainframe Comic Con Drink and Draw YouTube stream, referring to the blue and white Cyclops costume design during their original tenure on X-Factor. "I'm drawing two issues of X-Factor, and Weezie is writing, so I'm getting to draw all that stuff again."

"It's set back in her continuity, after my time on the book," Simonson explains. 

Marvel Comics has now officially chimed in, sharing Simonson's cover for X-Men Legends #3, which starts the Simonsons' two-part arc, and revealing a few details about what's in store.

"Starring the original X-Men now defending the world as the mutant team X-Factor, X-Men Legends #3 will take place just before X-Factor #43," reads Marvel's official synopsis. 

"Having defeated Apocalypse, X-Factor now uses his mysterious sentient spaceship Ship as their base of operations. But when Ship begins to malfunction, they’ll realize Apocalypse’s true plans are just beginning to unfold," it continues. 

"Don’t miss a rematch decades-in-the-making when the full breadth of this iconic villain’s original motives are finally revealed!"

Here's the video of the previous stream in which Simonson discusses the project, around the 8:50 mark:

Original story follows

The husband and wife creative team of writer Louise Simonson and artist Walter Simonson will reteam on an X-Factor story for Marvel's upcoming new X-Men Legends title, which will tell in-continuity stories set in the past by high-profile X-Men creators. 

Louise Simonson - affectionally known as "Weezie" - was previously confirmed to be writing an upcoming arc in the series announcement. Now we know it'll be illustrated by Walt Simonson, who has recently been posting X-Factor character sketches on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

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Louise took over X-Factor Volume 1 - which at that time was a title created by Bob Layton reuniting the original five X-Men - with issue #6 in 1986 and remained with the title for five years through issue #64. Walt joined his wife of then six years as the penciler beginning with X-Factor #10 and drew 23 issues through 1989 culminating with #39.

Among the major story developments during the Simonsons' X-Factor run was the creation of the now-major X-Men villain Apocalypse in Louise's first issue, and Warren Worthington III's evolution from Angel into Archangel (considered a shocking development at the time) and his temporary villainous role as one of the aforementioned Apocalypse's Four Horsemen.

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During her X-Factor run, Louise spun off a group of teen characters that were featured in the title into the X-Terminators limited series. That team featured characters like Boom-Boom, Rusty Collins, and Rictor (Simonson's creation) who she would later add to the New Mutants monthly series. 

Louise was the New Mutants writer up to issue #97 before penciler Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza took over as writer and scripter with New Mutants #98 and transformed it into X-Force #1 two issues later with Boom-Boom as a member. 

In her last major X-Factor arc, Scott Summer and Madelyne Pryor's baby Nathan was infected with the techno-organic virus and taken 2000 years into the future, a plot development that was not originally intended to be but was later retroactively incorporated into New Mutants/X-Force leader Cable's origin. 

Interlocking X-Men Legends covers

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Additionally, Newsarama has learned Simonson's art will likely be physically lettered directly on the original boards, a technique that has fallen out of favor in recent years with the advent of digital technology and will likely be a boon to the collector value of the new art. 

Simonson's art will likely be lettered by his long-time collaborator John Workman. 

Marvel Comics declined to comment for this story. 

OF COURSE Louise Simonson makes Newsarama’s countdown of the greatest X-Men creators of all time!

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.