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Wednesday, March 27, 2013 

Extra article about Claremont

Besides the interview CBR did with Chris Claremont, there's also another one he did with Newsarama in the past week, where he had another important point to add:
In general, Claremont says he would like to see contemporary mainstream comics integrate stories more with the real world, rather than staying cloistered in the world of superpowered affairs.

"The one thing I have never been comfortable with in the modern presentation of character — and it may have changed, this is some years ago — is their total isolation from the rest of the world," he said. "It's all about superheroes interacting with superheroes. There's no normal life. No normal people. That was the whole point, for me, when I had Kitty in her miniseries working at the University of Chicago. Because life goes on. She's not there forever. None of them should have been there forever, because that way leads to stagnation."
He's quite right about the massively insular angle superhero comics have fallen victim to in modern times. This might be the biggest weakness in team books: they've often seemed like the ones most likely to feature say, superheroes dating superheroines, yet there's little or no "civilian" paramours turning up, if at all. When Marv Wolfman wrote The New Teen Titans during the 1980s, he avoided this pitfall pretty well when he created college instructor Terry Long, the boyfriend/husband of Donna Troy, who, compared to other supporting casts in superhero books who'd been entombed, was lucky to just die by ways of a car accident in 1997. And, there was also Cyborg's relations with Sarah Simms, a teacher for handicapped kids. Similarly, Roy Thomas introduced Candy Southern in X-Men in 1967 as a girlfriend for Archangel. And when Louise Simonson was working on X-Factor, she introduced TV reporter Trish Tilby, who'd been a girlfriend to Beast for a while. This is exactly the kind of supporting/recurring cast team books today are sorely lacking, as the heroes only date each other. But unless the insular editors and publishers can be replaced, the insular directions will still remain firmly in place within team titles.

Unfortunately, Claremont, much as I may respect his past work, doesn't seem to have what it takes anymore to write X-Men, judging from his output during 2000-2010. And at the end of this article, he says:
"If Brian [Bendis, writer of All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men] comes up with a vision that hooks you on Page 1, and keeps you going, and makes you want to come back for more, then the argument's over. He's got it. That's always been the case, with every writer. That's what we are here for. It's what makes this fun."
But Bendis doesn't have it, and wasn't interested in to start with. He's only cared about doing what pleases him alone, and not a whole wide public out there. I know Claremont's trying to be diplomatic, but it's no use, that's only acting oblivious and apologizing for some of the worst writers to take over Marvel's products since the turn of the century. It doesn't help one bit if a writer is powerless and has no courage to point out where newer writers are blowing it with the series he wrote for nearly 16 years. And strange, isn't this the same guy who said he wasn't happy with what happened to Cyclops? Why's he being lenient here with the very hack-writer who did what I thought Claremont was disappointed with?

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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