In which we continue our delve into the eldritch end of the X-Universe, Illyana Rasputin has a rough childhood even by X-Men standards, Kitty Pryde is a Niven fan, Limbo is way metal, Vincent Price is our Belasco, and Rachel and Miles have feelings about female friendships in Claremont's X-Men.
Welcome to Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, a weekly podcast in which X-Perts Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes explore the ins, outs, and retcons of fifty years of Marvel's greatest superhero soap opera!
In our ComicsAlliance debut, Cyclops makes a startling discovery, Carol Danvers joins the team (sort of), Chris Claremont calls out some bullsh*t, Havok still has terrible taste in hats, and Peter Corbeau gets his own theme music.
The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it’s disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it’s also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.
Two spin-offs of Guardians of the Galaxy launch in recent weeks: The Legendary Star-Lord and the already-surprise-hit Rocket Raccoon. Marvel Unlimited's got a fairly thorough, if not quite complete, selection of most of the Guardians' previous appearances, especially the ones in the Annihilation/Annihilation: Conquest/Annihilators sequence. But their prehistory is worth digging into, too, and there's some choice proto-Guardians material in the archive.
Q: Why do you think the X-Men didn't find their audience until two decades after they were created? -- @godofthunder851
A: I've got a minor quibble with your timing in this question -- it was more like 12 or 15 years, really -- but you've got an interesting point there. I think most comics readers are well aware of that piece of trivia about how the X-Men were about to get the axe before Giant Size X-Men #1 breathed new life into the franchise and set them on the path of becoming what was probably the single most popular and influential franchise of the '80s and '90s, and that's not really how things usually work. In comics, you tend to either come out of the gate to massive, enduring popularity (like Batman or Spider-Man), come out strong and then fade away for whatever reason (like, sadly, Shazam!), or just sort of flounder in the midcard. It's rare that something sticks around on the edge of being canceled for a solid decade before it finds its footing, and nobody bounced back harder than Marvel's Merry Mutants.
But really, what you're asking here is two separate questions: Why didn't the X-Men take off in 1963, and why did they in 1975? So let's look at the history and see if we can't figure it out.
The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series. This week, we finally tackle one of the cornerstones of the X-Men as we continue with the Dark Phoenix Saga!
Though he didn't have any real input in The Wolverine, writer Chris Claremont will get some say in the next movie based on one of his classic X-Men tales: Days of Future Past.
The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, arrived in theaters this past weekend. This is the sixth time Jackman has played the iconic X-Man, and the role has taken his career to heights it likely otherwise never would have reached, and much of that is owed to Chris Claremont. Along with artist Frank Miller, Claremont created the original Wolverine miniseries that this latest film is largely based on, and over his near 20+ years writing X-Men stories he did more to influence the development of Wolverine than anyone. Despite that, neither Claremont or Miller's name appears anywhere in the credits of the film, with not even so much as a "special thanks."
In an interview for Vulture, Sean Howe, the author of the Eisner-winning Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, asked Claremont for his thoughts on the film, how he feels about seeing his words on screen, and not being given any credit for the film's creation.
This weekend's X-Men: Days of Future Past panel at Comic-Con featured four actors who play two mutants: Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy, who have portrayed Professor Charles Xavier in four combined films, and Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender, two actors who've starred as the mutant revolutionary Magneto. Following that, in a clever bit of advertising, 20th Century Fox has released the first two promotional posters for the upcoming X-Men: First Class sequel, with one being a split image of Stewart and McAvoy's respective Xaviers, and the other showcasing McKellen and Fassbender. You can check them both out below.