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    Walt Simonson and Joe Rubinstein X-Factor #1 "The Return of Jean Grey" Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1986). Few first issues of the 1980s were as eagerly anticipated as this one, which reunited the original X-Men at a time when the new X-Men were at the height of their popularity. Heavy pre-release marketing hinted that one member of the group could not yet be revealed, and this missing member turned out to be none other than Jean Grey.

    In "Third Genesis," Charles Xavier is gone, whisked away to the far side of the universe by the Shi'Ar Empire, but his dream is not dead. His original X-Men, Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman, and the recently resurrected Jean Grey have reunited as the super-group called X-Factor to see his dream of mutants and humans co-existing in peace realized and brought to fruition.

    Marvel highlighted the attribution of both penciler and inker of this issue in Marvel Age #64 when they showed the printed comic and captioned it "The published version by Walt Simonson and Joe Rubinstein." The book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, published by HarperCollins last year, revealed that Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter rejected the first seven covers drawn by other artists until Simonson was brought in. The choice of Simonson was understandable given that he was perhaps the number one fan favorite at the time and, as Thor #337 and others showed, an accomplished cover designer. However collecting Simonson art is quite a challenge, as very few Simonson covers have ever been offered on the collector's market! Joe Rubinstein tells us his recollection is that at Shooter's request he lightboxed Simonson's cover art (which was originally inked by Simonson) and re-inked the resulting piece himself to produce the final published cover offered here. The book Modern Masters Volume Eight: Walter Simonson notes, "Walter penciled and inked the cover of X-Factor #1, but it was reinked by Joe Rubinstein for publication."

    One thing we've noticed about covers of #1 issues: once sold, they have a way of remaining locked up in a private collection never to be seen again. Given the popularity of this first issue, and the significance it holds to anyone who was buying comics back then, we expect the same to happen for this piece. It's being sold without reserve, so don't miss your chance to bid as it will be your only one!

    This cover has an image area of 9.75" x 15". There is some light overall paper aging; otherwise, the art is in Excellent condition.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2013
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,729

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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    Please give a big thank you to the entire Heritage team. Everyone was a pleasure to work with and Heritage delivered beyond our expectations.
    Cheryl Rubin, Sr. Vice President-Brand Management DC Comics,
    New York, NY
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