In 1991, the X-Titles were up in the air, as all the books, with the exception of Larry Hama's Wolverine, lost their creative teams - including Chris Claremont, who wrote the X-Books since 1976, an incredible 15 years. On the other hand, the X-Men were at the height of their popularity: X-Men #1 sold 8.3 million copies, numbers not seen since the Golden Age. There was talk of movies (back in the day when no comic ever got a movie) and an animated series was on the way. So the X-Titles were not only superpopular but also looking for a new direction, a winning combination for really dynamic new proposals.
We all know how all of this ultimately turned out: X-Factor, which was originally a team book with the original five X-Men, which Peter David revamped with characters the X-Office wasn't using, as a government sponsored mutant superteam that received paychecks from Uncle Sam for fighting evil. It was great to see Alex Summers leading his own superteam, as well as old standby favorites like Quicksilver, Wolfsbane, and Polaris.
But it almost didn't happen if Bob Harras had instead gone with Fabian Nicieza and Erik Larsen's proposal for the team!
The above image was the only part of it. Notice that the only two characters to remain the same between the Nicieza proposal and the Peter David run were Havok and Polaris. People forget this, but in Uncanny #250, Lorna Dane lost her magnetic powers and gained tremendous size and superstrength in the Savage Land.
Incidentally, the Erik Larsen costume design for Havok and Pyro (yes, the proposal had Pyro reforming and becoming a good guy) are my favorite, which isn't that hard considering how Alex Summers has never had an interesting look.
Two characters in the proposal would later be used by Erik Larsen in other projects. The cyborg design was re-used by Larsen for the successful Super-Patriot series, and the cute but monstrous lizard girl became a part of Larsen's comic Freak Force. The girl dinosaur would have, as I understand, been a heretofore unseen member of the Morlocks that joined X-Factor.
All things considered, even though the proposal was rejected, things worked out fine. Erik Larsen would go on to found Image and become a multimillionaire, and Fabian Nicieza created with Mark Bagley "the super-team for the 90s," the New Warriors.