From Comic Book Urban Legends #75:
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Grant Morrison and Mark Millar pitched an “evil Professor X attacks superheroes” story a year before Onslaught!
Here’s another great story courtesy of Scott Braden’s excellent series of Untold Tales that used to appear in Overstreet Fan. This one happened in December 1996’s Overstreet Fan #18.
The concept of Grant Morrison and Mark Millar’s pitch for Marvel Tales: End of the World is that Professor X would become corrupted by a flaw in Cerebro’s programming. The two would merge into a super-powerful being known as the X-Terminus.The X-Terminus would then proceed to destroy the entire Marvel Universe. We would learn this from the sole survivor of the last universe the X-Terminus destroyed, an alternate reality Wolverine.
In fact, there was a weird twist involved with the alternate reality Wolverine:
“We even had a subplot that would deal with that newly-arrived Wolverine,” Morrison added, “who was married to the Jubilee from his reality. When he eventually meets our Jubilee, who’s always had a crush on Logan (that was never reciprocated), and she meets this guy who’s in love with her–both of them can’t deal with it. She doesn’t know how to take him, while he can’t deal with the fact that this woman he cares for is not his wife. So there was also a history to create some emotional stuff around.”
Kinda creepy, no?
Anyhow, Marvel told them they couldn’t use Professor X, so instead, the pair decided to use the Puppet Master, under the logic of “let’s turn the lamest villain into the biggest one.” The concept of the series then changed, with Morrison and Millar instead showing in the first two-three issues HOW Puppet Master kills everyone, and only at the end of the second or third issue reveal that this is an alternate reality, but now he’s coming to OUR Earth for the end of the series!! Here’s Millar on how it would go down:
“What was so great about this series was that the Puppet Master would actually destroy bits of the Marvel Universe,” Millar added, “Everybody is lying around, totally messed up. Some are even dead. Grant and I thought there were so many crap Marvel characters at the time, thanks to all those terrible books that came out during the early ’90s. We just wanted all of those really bad characters killed off, and we thought that this was a good way to do it.”
Ultimately, it would come down to Alicia Masters having to stand up to her father, at which point he’d kill her, sending the Thing into a rage…
This gives the Thing the strength to get up. He’s groggy, but he manages to come face-to-face with the Puppet Master, whispering, ‘It’s clobberin’ time!!’ He’s uncontrollable with grief as he suddenly gets in there and kicks the crap out of the Puppet Master. Then, having literally had the sense beaten into him, the Puppet Master uses his last dying breath to bring Alicia back to life. He just passes his energy over to her.”
Ultimately, though, Marvel passed on the idea, but a year later, Professor X’s “dark side” helped created the evil bad guy Onslaught who, for a time, was thought to have killed the most famous Marvel superheroes.