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X-Men Reloaded

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For the film? That roster is early-1980s Claremont X-Men.

Nightcrawler and Colossus were on the Excalibur team for the majority of the 1990s.

Or, maybe more like Ultimate X-Men's roster...although, I don't think Nightcrawler was a regular in UXM.

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Well, the movies came out roughly around the time of Morrison on the book...

A bit before I think? I know the Ultimate X Men came out aimed at the people who'd enjoyed the films but couldn't be arsed reading a comic with thirty odd years of complicated continuity, and I think the revamp across the rest of the X Men line (not just Morrison, but Joe Kelly trying to do something like Morrison on Uncanny and a new Claremont title that didn't last for the purists, iirc) followed on from that in a bid to make the core titles a bit more accessible as well. Not sure of the dates, but the first film at least would have had to be out by the time Morrison took over writing X Men if I'm not misremembering...

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Yeah, the Ultimate line started as a way to appeal to new fans coming in from seeing the movies, when it was just Ultimate Spider Man and Ultimate X-Men.

Ultimate X-Men under Mark Millar wasn't much better than what was going on in the regular X-Men books, pre-Morrison. His character-driven stories were pretty damn good, but the rest of his run was hard to get through. You wondered if Millar was actually taking any of it seriously, or if it was meant as some sort of cryptic farce.

 

Joe Casey's run on Uncanny X-Men was a big misfire....Stacey X, the hooker mutant. I don't know what went wrong. Casey had some decent ideas, and Casey is usually a good writer, but his Uncanny X-Men was just a mess.

 

Was that when Claremont's X-Treme X-Men started? It seems like that was earlier. God, just that name alone.

Yes, I decided that, as a completist, I should buy X-Treme X-Men as well as Uncanny and X-Men...God, that book was hard to get through most months. It started out sort of ok, but then Claremont spent a year on a rip off of the Star Trek movie (the villain was even called Khan!). Oh god, that was bad.

Then, he introduced lifeguard twin mutants who spoke in surfer slang...and this was in the 2000s. Oh, and also, he introduced a Hindu mutant character, who he reused the name Thunderbird on. Did Claremont really not know the difference between Indian and American Indian, or did he think it was a funny offensive joke? He could have called the new character Garuda, at the very least. And, Gambit went blind and had to depent on Rogue....

Oh god, why did you remind me of that book? Oh, why did I actually read the damn thing?

Think happy thoughts about Claremont's original X-Men run. Don't think about latter-day Claremont.

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Since I've been enjoying Claremont's X-Men so much again, I decided to pick up Chris Claremont's first novel, First Flight.

Claremont wrote a trilogy of science fiction novels, mainly during the period after he left comics. Although, this first one seems to have been written while he was still on X-Men, which probably improves its chances for being readable. Nah, I don't know how talented Claremont is as a prose writer. Since those are his only three novels (he did some tie-in work-for-hire prose, but that doesn't really count), he might not have been that well received. Howard Chaykin gives it a good review on the back though, so there's always that!

It seems to be a space opera, which means I'm not sure how much I'll enjoy it. It shouldn't come as a surprise, as Claremont always made it quite apparent while working on comics that he was a big fan of space opera (even shoehorning it in to X-Men, when it never really fit the series, but who's going to complain when it gave up the Dark Phoenix Saga*).

*I've always really liked the Brood too.

Reviews online seem to say that first one is a good read, but the other two go downhill.

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The Claremont X-Men drinking game

 

Take a sip every time Cyclops thinks or says the phrase, "my uncontrollable optic blasts".

 

Take a sip every time a character uses a single word or phrase from their native language in a sentence that otherwise contains perfect English, tovarisch.

 

Do a shot every time the cover contains the phrase, "Welcome to the X-Men", and the phrase "Hope you survive".

 

Take a sip every ten times Wolverine calls someone "bub". (Hey, it's "dangerous", not "fatal".)

 

Do a shot every time Kitty Pryde changes codenames.

 

Take a sip every time Rogue muses on how sad it is that she's unable to touch anyone due to her mutant powers.

 

Take a sip every time an issue features a cameo appearance by an obscure Marvel character for no reason other than Chris Claremont wrote their now-canceled series and can't let go of said character. (Candidates include Carol Danvers, Jessica Drew, and Misty Knight from Iron Fist. For truly dangerous living, expand it to include villains like Mystique and Deathbird.)

 

Take a sip every time Psylocke gets lauded or idolized within the text because Chris Claremont clearly had a major crush on a fictional character.

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Surprisngly, Rogue didn't become so whiny until after Claremont left the title. I was surprised to find out during my re-run that she very rarely gets upset about her powers during the Claremont run. It seems like it was during the creepy Gambit relationship that we had to hear Rogue mope and moan every other page about how badly her powers screw her over. Meanhwihile, Gambit is teasing the fuck out of the poor girl.

"Jus' give me a little peck on the cheek, chere. I don' mind. I live dangerously." "Sugah, you know I can't. Please leave me alone." "I cannot do that, because I am that scummy guy at the bar who won't take no for an answer, chere!" "Oh, Gambit, talk like that makes me want to make sweet love to ya'll, but I can', because I'm a cursed mutant, dammit!"

I was kinda hoping, since Claremont was never very fond of Professor X, that Claremont would play up the fact that Rogue left her foster-parents (Mystique and Destiny) to join the X-Men, so Professor X could help her with her powers, that he'd play up how badly Professor X failed Rogue. But, nope, it's rarely touched on.

 

Hey! I find it really endearing that Claremont wanted to keep working on pet characters he had worked on in the past. It was a tried and true Marvel concept during the 1970s, that since series would get canceled at random, that writers of those characters would finish their stories in other books that said writer took over.

I always loved that at Marvel!

It just showed that Claremont cared about those characters and didn't want to see them fade in to limbo or get messed up badly by other writers. See:Carol Danvers.

And, Mystique was a X-Men character. Claremont introduced her during his run on Miss Marvel, but he never did much with her. She was a mutant, so it made sense that Claremont would find more use for her in the X-Men. Mystique shouldn't be mentioned at all.

 

The rest of those? Yeah, I wouldn't play that game.

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It's a parody, but it's not far removed from X-Men dialogue in the 1990s.

It's a parody of writers after Claremont. The Gambit/Rogue relationship wasn't started until after Claremont left.

Claremont had Magneto and Rogue dating, and the intimation was that the two did manage to touch.

The stereotypical Cajun accent for Gambit was introduced by Claremont though. Claremont's Rogue wasn't quite so southern US cliche though, that was more innovation after Claremont.

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since Claremont was never very fond of Professor X

 

which has interesting implications for his stance on Israeli politics when you consider that he saw Professor X and Magneto as Ben Gurion and Begin. Is Claremont a Likudnik? He doesn't look mizrachi...

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Probably not, since he's an American citizen and supports US Liberal positions.

On Israeli politics, he might favour them, considering his original Legion story-line from New Mutants, where he most fully shows his view on Israel.

 

Are you sure he saw Prof X that way? I never saw that stated anywhere, and Xavier is goyim.

Stan Lee said he based Prof X and Magneto on Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X (even though both are white!). I jyst assumed Claremont was sort of playing on that, although Magnus is Jewish.

What I really thought is that having a rich, white, Aryan dude with a big mansion leading the X-Men took away a lot from what Claremont did with the team.

It was right after Xavier was written out that he also had the mansion destroyed.

In interviews I have readm Claremont just said that Professor X keeps the X-Men from growing up. They're adults now, they don't need some teacher. That they could never be mature characters as long as they had an old man being their moral compass and having them live in his home. He also showed that with his view on the original X-Men, that he wanted them to grow up and move on, not keep being X-Men like they were as teenagers. He explicitly had Scott retire and get married...something that was messed up when Shooter and Louise Simonson decided to start X-Factor.

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http://nymag.com/nym.../features/3522/

Actually, Claremont says he always saw Professor X and Magneto as echoes of David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin.

 

from an Israeli perspective Ben Gurion was no less hawkish than Begin, the parallels with Xavier would be more about internal stuff--Ben Gurion and his successors essentially ruled the country like a one party state, state controlled media, all the jobs going thru one big labor union that then voted as a bloc for the ruling party. When Begin won the elections in 1977, it was a huge deal for the lower classes of Israel, largely immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, who had previously been shut out of the system. To this day, the Likud's base is in the 'development towns' on the periphery of the country, and the Labor party's base is in the wealthy coastal cities. Not sure what the Magneto parallel would be, but I can definitely see Xavier as the old elite of the country.

 

Thinking of the Israeli labor party as "left" and the likud as "right" is not necessarily a good way to look at things, especially in the classic likud era of the late 70s, 80s. It really was the party of the poor and disenfranchised.

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Well, to be fair, Magneto was always portrayed as much more of the Socialist. Magneto was really the ideal of Plato, to be most accurate. In God Loves, Man Kills, Magneto shared his plans for the world. Mutants as a superior race would rule, but humans would be well taken care of. People would have to give up certain democratic freedoms, but he said that humanity probably wouldn't miss what it gave up for enlightened rule. He said mutants would use their powers to solve the world's ills, and poverty, starvation, and disease would be wiped out.

Professor X never really cared about the poor. His position was always live and leave alone.

 

As far as politics, being American, I've never really given much attention to whom the poor supports to gauge much, considering that the mass base of the Repubs is made up of many of the poorest sectors of the country. Meanwhile, a lot of wealthy urban people make up a big portion of the Dems mass base.

Of course, minorities are much more likely to support the Dems.

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Yeah, there's something very counter-revolutionary about the early x-men. In 1944, the Ben Gurion-commanded Haganah kidnapped and turned over to the British around a thousand revisionist-affiliated people, from active revolutionaries to people who were only members of a revisionist party. They got deported to North Africa, some were tortured, some died. There was a huge amount of tension between Mapai and the Irgun--in 1948, they fired on an Irgun ship bringing weapons for the war, after already coming to an understanding about splitting the shipment 20%-80%. The ship sank, 16 Irgun members died, 200 were captured. Begin ordered that the Irgun not retaliate for any of this. Years later, he said if he wanted to be remembered for anything, it was keeping the country out of civil war. I can't see Magneto doing that, altho that could be a good characterization for him--I guess the alternate DOFP timeline kind of was like that.

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It depends who writes Magneto, and what they think of his views.

Claremont was the one who saw the most positive in Magneto....that if a government plans to persecute a minority, that the best idea is to try to fight back, rather than hide and hope things get better (ala Stan Lee's Professor Xavier).

 

Alan Moore saw Magneto in a different light, as he wrote a chapter in that X-Men: Heroes For Hope benefit comic book where Magneto gets his wish to rule humanity. He has good intentions to help mutants and doesn't intend for humanity to be persecuted, at first, but he eventually finds himself in the role of Hitler. Proclaiming mutants as the master race. Other mutants take it upon themselves to set up concentration camps for humans, who are an inferior race, so it doesn't really matter if humans are persecuted.

 

I think, at the heart of it, both visions speak to how to view Magneto. When mutants are a persecuted minority facing potential genocide from the government, Magneto looks like a freedom fighter, whose message is far less reactionary than Professor X. But, once mutants are no longer facing persecution, Magento's message look far less positive, and along the lines of totalitarianism.

While I don't agree with Morrison's take on Magneto, that he's just a self-centered terrorist, Morrison's view of the whole debate is the most mature.

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@vagabond i really like the idea how you interpreted x and magneto as israelic political parties. how did you get the idea? (i mean apart from magneto being a jew)

 

@christian can you explain, why you think morrisons view on magneto is the most mature? (is it because it is the least extremist?)

 

also the dialogue you have written reads a lot like bad manga/ anime dialogues (add " ,senpai" to rogues sentences and you know what i mean :wink2: )

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It wasn't that I found Morrison's take on Magneto, himself, the most mature. I found Morrison's take on Magneto to be pretty immature, actually. He really just went back to the Silver Age interpretation of Magneto, that he's just a crazy zealot who rants and raves.

 

I was saying that I took Morrison's take on the ideological struggle between Professor X and Magneto, vis a vis "what is to be the route of a persecuted minority in a democratic nation?" to be the most mature.

The conflicting vision has always been one of Stan Lee's conservative Professor X, "minorities should hide what they are, lay low, play along with the majority, not make waves, and try to keep down others who do try to make waves" versus Magneto's radical, "minorities must fight the system".

Morrison basically says that both sides are wrong. You don't just keep your head down and hope things get better, as history shows this has never been how societies change. You also don't try to start a revolution, because if you are a minority, you'll most likely just get slaughtered, and probably turn a lot of people against your cause. Instead, you use the culture, you put mutants in the forefront of the mass media within a positive context, you make mutants out to be cool and hip. You sell the idea of mutants to the masses.

That's really the most mature response of the persecuted minority, when confronted with the choice of "do nothing" versus "use violence".

 

Morrison's run changed the whole dynamic of the mutant minority in society by the end of his run. Rather than feared and hated by society, by the end of Morrison's run, mutants were accepted. Teenagers were growing up wishing to be mutants, because mutants were in style.

It was sort of a dead-end for the X-books, because there wasn't really anywhere for future writers to go with the book. Instead, Marvel decided to do the "House of M" story-line, where Scarlett Witch used her magical powers to eliminate 90% of mutants. Instead of mutants as the "next stage in human evolution", mutants were now an endangered species.

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oh ok. that is different. i have actually thought about the whole violence in a revolution thing. and even though the incorporate the media into your plans is nonviolant, it is till a revolution. the whole outline of that approach could propably be compared a little to the feminist/ gender/ gay revolution (although at least the women did not have the minority thing going for them). i wonder though if in our society the role of extremism is underplayed in that kind of revolution. dropping names: black panthers (and malcom x previous to his mecca journey)as well as radfems (like dworkin). while our society holds the idea high that peaceful revolution is the only true thing, those people had a really relevant role to play, hadn't they?

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To an extent. It depends on the circumstances. I don't tell people what to do, if they think violence is the answer, and are willingto accept the responsibilities, then more power to them.

I'm thinking of the Jewish ghetto uprisings against Nazis. Some people said violence would just make things worse for the Jews...well, they were facing genocide! It couldn't get much worse. Self-defence was their only option.

The problem with violent revolution, as opposed to using violence as a tactic, is that it's all about taking power. You replace one set of rulers with another, and many times the new boss is even worse than the old.

The Black Panthers original goal was community control. They only wanted to use violence as self-defence, like against cops. The Black Panthers probably didn't accomplish that much in the end, and their members went to jail.* It could be argued that they grew more radically violent, and lost their focus on good goals, like pushing for community control.

*I realize that some members were framed.

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@vagabond i really like the idea how you interpreted x and magneto as israelic political parties. how did you get the idea? (i mean apart from magneto being a jew)

 

 

 

it's directly from claremont

http://nymag.com/nym.../features/3522/

Actually, Claremont says he always saw Professor X and Magneto as echoes of David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin.

 

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oh i overread that vagabond.

 

i only brought that up, because in our school system, we learn a lot about say gandhi and king and a few others, who have stood on the frontlines on a peaceful revolution. i think that that is a distorted picture. gandhi propably makes your point the most on how to use the media to your advantage in a peaceful manner. but not every situation of suppressed minorities is the same and not all of them have all the means to influence the media. and that has always bugged me, because we are trained to think: peaceful ways good, violence bad. maybe in the us they see that differently, due to the the declaration of independence basically being a declaration of war.

 

i don't particulary like the example with the ghettoized jews. mainly due to the fact that they faced extinction and most of them were fully aware that they could be the next one to be brought to a train and never to be seen again, or starve to death right there. their options beside violence were almost non existent.

 

the 3rd reich in general puts the whole non-violent revolution thing in a really different perspective. there is a rather famous example of a couple of students who were ought to fight the propaganda of the nazis with their own, that is pretty much what you described as the approach outlined by morrison. the name of this group was white rose (if you have never heard of them, it's quite interesting to read up on). however the media itself was not influencable, because opposition there was non-existent and in the end, as sad as it is they had achieved nothing, but being tortured and executed. in the end if someone would have taken a rifle and executed hitler and maybe goebbels on the spot, maybe the second world war would have never been started. maybe there would have been up to 80 million more people alive by the year of 1946. i am aware that the nazis are generally considered a weak argument, however in the case of the peaceful and the violent way, the 3rd reich in it's extreme nature shows the limits of a certain kind of morality.

 

how a differentiated view on violent means is important was shown when the german green party was elected in '98 as a junior coalition partner for our labor party. the greens always ran with a hardline no-war program. it was one of their central points. when the operation allied force (kosovo) took place, german troops where participating. like i said this was sanctioned by a gouverment, that had partially run on pacifism. which leads to two conclusions: either they were lying about their premises from the start, or they never really tested their world views in a debate including extreme scenarios.

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Yeah, x-men ended up having a break between a more militant faction and a more conciliatory faction, too bad Rob Liefeld drew it and wrote it. In the Claremont era, the x-men became a lot more proactive post-mutant massacre, culminating with their invasion of Genosha.

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