Did you read Uncanny X-Men in the ’80s? Did you get a job or a girlfriend or both and wander away from comics? And have you been tempted to dip your toe back in those waters but were intimidated by the idea of having to catch up on 20 years’ worth of stories?
Well, my mutant-loving friend, have I got some comics for you.
Chris Claremont wrote the X-Men’s adventures from 1975 to 1991 — aka the first 17 years of my life. He didn’t create the most prominent members of the team — Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, etc. — but he certainly shaped them. The stories he penned made the X-Men the hottest characters in comics, leading to several spinoff series with Xs on the covers.
Here’s how influential Claremont is when it comes to the X-Men. You know how Stan Lee has an obligatory cameo in all of the Marvel movies? Claremont was afforded the same honor in X-Men: The Last Stand. He’s the guy whose lawnmower starts floating in the prologue.
Last year, Marvel brought back Claremont back to the world of mutants with X-Men Forever. The premise of the series, which is now in its second volume, is that Claremont is picking up where he left off in the early ’90s. The two decades’ worth of stories published since then are being ignored, as are the dozen or so X-Men series in stores now.
But, as of today, X-Men Forever has a companion series of its own. The first spinoff of Uncanny X-Men was New Mutants, a series about a group of teenagers who trained at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters with hopes of one day joining the big club. So, it’s only natural that Claremont’s latest work would lead to, you guessed it, New Mutants Forever.
I was a big fan of New Mutants back in the day. It introduced me to the bizarrely beautiful art of Bill Sienkewicz. But the series was renamed X-Force to spotlight the bizarrely popular art of Rob Liefeld. And any book that undoes that atrocity will have my loyalty for awhile at least, if not forever.
TODAY’S NOTABLE RELEASES
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #157: Larry Hama is to G.I. Joe what Chris Claremont is to the X-Men, and he’s doing the same thing to G.I. Joe that Claremont is doing to the X-Men: picking up where he left off after an extended run in the 1980s.