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TestosteRohne

X-Men Reloaded

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Yep. Sinister was the form of a child's "boogeyman" while Gambit referenced everything that a kid thought would be cool in a hero. Except, why Gambit would be Cajun...no idea. Do kids really think, "You know what would be awesome? A Cajun superhero!".

 

Those Classic X-Men back-up strips by Claremont about Sinister and Scott in the orphanage were really good.

I always really liked the character of Mr. Sinister.

Yeah, he was eternally trapped in the body of a child, even though he had lived for like a century, yet had genius level intellect, but emotionally was stunted.

 

I think another thing that Claremont wanted to do with Sinister was make him (as the boy) attracted to Scott, and that was the whole "obsession with the Summers genetic line" explanation, that Sinister was just plain creepy.

 

Nathaniel Essex (Sinister's real name) was an orphan in the orphanage, but Sinister actually controlled the orphanage. It was shown that he had some really advanced technology in the basement.

 

My re-read of Claremont's X-Men has recently taken me through "Inferno", which is when Sinister first appeared.

 

I did like the Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix mini-series by Peter Milligan, which gave an origin Sinister. It was totally different from where Claremont was going (a Victorian era eugenicist), but it was a pretty good story.

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Yessir. It's really a shame Claremont lost editorial control so much at the end. It was cool when Morrison did the big status quo shift at the beginning of his run, but Claremont did that every year or two until he left.

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Exactly! People complain because mainstream superhero comics reuse the same plots over and over again, but for nearly 200 issues, the X-Men was all about change. Picking up an issue after #200 looks nothing like an issue during the Byrne or Cockrum days. By the Jim Lee period, there wasn't even a X-Men team left anymore, Claremont had completely deconstructed the entire concept of a superhero team.

Sadly, outside Morrison, X-Men books have been the worst examples of comic books that keep going with nothing new to say since Claremont left.

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and then of course it goes right from claremont to

 

lee_x-men_01.jpg

 

 

I just realized Magneto turning into a villain at the end of Morrison's run is kind of a reference to this specifically

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I can't see it either, but here's a good enough replacement for what X-Men became right after Claremont left.

I just happened upon this horrible, horrible page by chance just now. I'm so glad I'm not even going to attempt to read X-Men after #280, as the experience could do me in, I'm sure. I can't believe I managed to keep collecting this book.

 

2015-03-03%2B00.32.18.png

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oh man...

(i have no idea why scott is acting like he has some speech disorder, all women liefeld draws look like that, so scott must have seen a lot of lightly dressed swimsuit models who miss a few ribs | not like that never happened to me, but thats only one woman that makes me talk incoherent nonsense and circumstances are all different ).

and: why is magneto so buff?

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because x men is cyclops and wolverine and storm and colossus and rogue and gambit and jean grey in costumes fighting magneto and that's what x men is

 

this blogger did a readthru of the entire claremont run, good read

 

more on the original mr sinister concept here

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That's actually Jim Lee art, not Liefield. Rob Liefield was on New Mutants which morphed in to X-Force, which was, somehow, even worse than X-Men during the early-1990s. Although, X-Force got good towards the end, when John Francis Moore was writing it, and they acted like teenagers, rather than people suffering from 'roid rage.

For some reason, editors looked at Jim Lee's work and decided, "Gee. We need to give this guy lots more creative power!". And, they felt the same way looking at Liefield and Todd McFarlane's work as well.

It wasn't all an issue with Lee that led to Claremont quitting, it was more Bob Harras being a heavy-handed editor-in-chief, wanting to "go back to basics" and put out lots and lots of cross-overs which upset Claremont more.

What goes around, comes around though, and Harras got bit in the ass when all his hot artists decided to jump ship to Image, and left Marvel in real trouble.

 

That is truly the greatest web-site devoted to a thorough reading of Chris Claremont's X-Men. It gave me a new respect for what Chris Claremont accomplished on X-Men. I followed that site while he was doing his reviews.

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I'm always a bit surprised that of Marvel's EICs it's Jim Shooter who gets a real mauling from the fans, not Harras.

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Interesting fact: this book came out right before the crash when they were still making tons off stock. I remember reading it as a kid, it would definitely make you think that things were going great.

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Yeah, I have a copy of that book too!

 

Dog-Agreed. Jim Shooter did a lot of good things as editor-in-chief. The writers who stuck at Marvel during the 1980s (like Claremont) and the new guys Shooter brought in to replace the "1970's class" never seemed to have much problem with Shooter. It was a lot of the 1970s guys who were used to a lot of creative freedom and who saw DC writers getting some extra royalties who seemed to have a hatred for Shooter coming aboard (Gerber, Englehart, McGregor, Conway, Wolfman, Wein, Thomas, etc.).

He might not have done everything right, and deserves some criticism, but Marvel in the mid-1980s was as strong as Marvel in the 1970s and DC in the 1980s. It was only later, when DC brought in all the new talent (mostly British) that DC moved so far aheead of Marvel creatively.

I think it was mainly the higher-ups who lost faith in Shooter over the New Universe which led to Shooter getting taken down. He promoted the hell out of that thing as his baby, which was going to redefine the Marvel Universe, and it was a quick flop.

Writers like Claremont and the Simonsons jumped from Marvel after Shooter lost his job, disgruntled with the editorial changes taking place after they got rid of Shooter.

 

Harras might have been more of a "yes-man", but he made one bad decision after another. He just had the speculators pumping up Marvel stock to look like he had some idea what he was doing. Harras presided over Marvel going bankrupt. That might not totally be his fault, but he deserves a lot of the blame, because he had allowed most of Marvel's titles to degenerate to the point where no one cared about any Marvel books except for the "hot" X-Men titles.

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OK, back to my overviews:

 

So, we enter my former favourite period of X-Men history, the Marc Silvestri period, including the outback story-line. Did it live up to my memories? Not quite.

There were good things done by Claremont during this period, indeed. It's still a stellar period on the book, continuing to evolve the concept of X-Men. It's just not my favourite now.

 

Let's look at the good:

-The destruction of the mansion! It was about time. The promise of this event had been planted earlier with the Morlocks. The Morlocks were true outcasts, living in the sewer system, because they were too deformed to live amongst other humans. The X-Men lived in a big mansion, and besides Nightcrawler, all of them could easily pass for regular folks. Getting rid of the mansion was something that had to happen with the changing nature of Claremont's X-Men run.

-The X-Men were changing from a superhero team to a group of revolutionaries. The book was moving away from being strictly a superhero book by the time Romita came aboard, but by the Silvestri period, the X-Men were more of a revolutionary group than a team of superheroes.

-The amount of women on the X-Men. Claremont gets praised for his use of strong female characters. Well, X-Men was the only superhero book that featured a majority of women character by this period, and it wasn't put up as some sort of gimmick. It was just how the book was set up. No one made any sort of deal out of it.

-Speaking of strong women, that brings up to the characterization of Storm. Looking back, I may end up marking the growth of Storm as a character as Claremont's greatest achievement on X-Men. She's becone a true leader for the X-Men. I'll also mention that I like how Wolverine never wants to take on the role of leader, he'd rather have Kitty lead the team, and follow, then be put in the role of leader. I think that's a neat bit of characterization, for the oldest member.

 

The original Genosha story-arc is still one of my absolute favourite X-Men stories.

 

I also have to point ot the genius of Mojo. The character has become such a horrible one after Claremont and Nocenti, it's easy to forget what a great character Mojo was for his first few appearances. Nocenti (his creator) and Claremont got what to do with Mojo. He was a character used to create a satire of mainstream superhero comics (or the mass media under Nocenti, who had a broader socio-political scope). The Uncanny X-Men Annual by Claremont with Mojo is just a work of genius. Seeing where X-Men went in the 1990s, it's almost as if the editors thought Claremont saw that as a serious blueprint for how to market superhero comics, rather than a satire. The great Mojo story was the one from Excalibur though.

 

Jubilee, in hindsight, is not such a horrible character. When you realize that Claremont created Jubilee as an homage to Robin from Dark Knight Returns, she's much easier to accept.

 

So, what's not to love then?

I feel that the promise of the John Romita Jr. period was backed away from, somewhat, as X-Men continued. I appreciate the Romita period far more. Yes, there were a number of directionless issues where Claremont was making time, but the best issues of the series are from the Romita period. I was surprised how much I changed my opinion of the Romita era. I had very few fond memories of most issues from then. I liked the Smith and Silverstri issues much more. Now, Paul Smith is a great artist, the X-Men looked like a 1980s indy book with Paul Smith on art...but, I wasn't very impressed with the stories during that brief period.

There were good ideas during the Silvestri run, like the Reavers. The idea of humans using technology to turn themselves in to machines in order to compete with mutants is a masterful plot. But, Claremont's execution never totally used the potential of the plot, I don't feel.

Also, Claremont was using sub-plots less and less as the Silvestri run went on.

And, while I enjoyed what the outback era brought to the book as a natural progression of the X-Men, it took away something from where Claremont was building with the Mutant Registration Act during the Romita period.

 

I doubt I'm going to change my views on the Jim Lee era very much. There are still some good stories to come, but Claremont's run began to go downhill after Inferno. Still far better than what we saw after Claremont! So, I feel that it's going to be the John Romita Jr. period which stands out as the high point of X-Men. Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr., and Anne Nocenti (as editor) were just the perfect team, everything came together perfectly. This was the same period as Claremont and Bill Sienkiewiecz were amazing each month on New Mutants. Claremont was just an amazing writer for the years of the mid-1980s!

 

I now enter the final stretch...I'm looking forward to reading the deconstruction of the X-Men team that's starting with the book now. I didn't appreciate that much at the time (I was starting to lose interest in comics, finally giving up on comic books after Claremont left X-Men, just because I was in high school, not in protest of Claremont leaving or anything), so I expect to enjoy these issues more. I haven't read most of the Jim Lee period issues since I first bought them!

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That's actually Jim Lee art, not Liefield.

 

Yeah. I dunno what's more telling -- that Jim Lee's career-making 1990s work was so unpolished it could be mistaken for Rob Liefeld's, or that it's still better than Rob's.

 

Needs more lines, though.

 

 

For some reason, editors looked at Jim Lee's work and decided, "Gee. We need to give this guy lots more creative power!". And, they felt the same way looking at Liefield and Todd McFarlane's work as well.

 

+1

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Sad. I wonder how much statistics and age played a role? Were a majority of people responding kids in the 1990s, and missed the earlier eras? Did the fact that X-Men sold such crazy numbers in the early-90s mean that it was bound to get extra votes? Did a lot of people fondly remember the cartoon as being during the Blue/Gold era?

Also, consider that splitting the Claremont run in two screws with the results. Claremont fans had to choose between two choices, cutting in to Claremont's total votes. Claremont would have won easily if the choice was just Chris Claremont.

 

My rankings would be:

1.) 1980s, by far.

2.) 1970s

3.) Morrison

4.)1960s

5.) 1990s

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mine too

i mean if you like the way superhero comics are with wheel spinning crossover bullshit 90s x men is probably as good as it gets. if you're gonna divide claremont's run into two seems like the trial of magneto is the logical place. or maybe mutant massacre.

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Claremont would have won easily if the choice was just Chris Claremont.

 

Can't argue with that. :tongue:

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Well, the movies came out roughly around the time of Morrison on the book, and the movies (while playing fast and loose with the material) looked to classic Claremont, and stuck to Claremont far more than they looked like the mess that the X-franchise was in the 1990s.

The first movie used the "Magneto as Holocaust-survivor" introduced by Claremont, and also had Robert Kelly.

The second one was a loose adaptation of "God Loves, Man Kills".

The third one was Dark Phoenix.

Then, "Days of Future Past".

 

The cartoon was during the early-1990s. People who probably weren't even reading the comic were watching the cartoon back then, and thinking it was cool, and that was what the X-Men comics were like. I'm guessing there are a lot more fans who think back fondly to the cartoon, rather than the comic books of the 1990s. The cartoon was far better than the actual comics being released at the time. And, the cartoon did incorporate elements from the comic books of the 1990s, and had very little to do with what came before on X-Men (Claremont, 1960s).

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