100 – Unexpected Wonder, with Chris Claremont

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

In which Miles follows his heart; subtext becomes text; and we celebrate a very special milestone with a very special guest.


NEXT EPISODE: Gossamyr


For a comprehensive visual companion to this episode, we recommend reading Uncanny X-Men #94-279, 381-389, and 444-473; X-Men vol. 1 #59; X-Men vol. 2 #1-3, 100-109, and 165; New Mutants #1-54, 63, and 81; Excalibur vol. 1 #1-19, 21-25, 27, and 32-34; X-Treme X-Men #1-46; X-Men Forever #1-25; and dozens of additional annuals, miniseries, ongoings, one-shots, graphic novels, and more.

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

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Buy prints of this week’s illustration at our shop, or contact David Wynne for the original!

73 comments

  1. YESSS!!!!! I’ve been checking back more than usual for this one. Congratulations on he milestone Jay & Miles!!!

  2. Sam Chesser says:

    I’m not usually one to comment, but congrats on such a huge milestone, and the perfect way to celebrate it. The best X-Men writer ever on the best X-Men podcast. Cyclops is having a very good day.

  3. XMenXPert says:

    This is some great, interesting stuff. Thanks for doing this, and congratulations on it.

    While I listened, I decided to see just how many X-comics Claremont wrote during his 16-year stint. I came up with 386. 386 X-Men comics over a 16-year period. That includes back-up stories in Classic X-Men. That is damned impressive. (And then, of course, add in his various returns to the franchise, and he’s probably above 500.) And very, very, VERY few poor issues among that entire 400-issue set.

    I’m not someone who goes in for nostalgia. I typically don’t really care much for old comics – I think a lot of them don’t hold up under contemporary standards. But Claremont’s classic X-run still stands up. It’s fantastic work.

  4. ObiJuan says:

    So now who tops the wish list? Byrne? Louise Simonson? JR Jr.? After all, you just proved you can get anybody.

  5. Noni says:

    That was such a great episode, and I think the reason behind that as a listener, other than the awesome guest, is that it encapsulates what I like so much about the show, which is how much you love what you do, and how you come back every week to talk about it with so much passion. Thank you for 100 great episodes of sincere unapologetic fun.

  6. pawpaw5771 says:

    Congratulations and thank you for 100 episodes! Here’s to the next 100!

  7. Nigel Cox-Hagan says:

    What a fantastic capper to an engrossing 100 episode run. Congratulations! Claremont was great, still passionate about the characters and crafting meaningful stories. The idea of Gambit and Kitty Pryde as a couple did blow my mind a little.

    • XMenXPert says:

      Yeah, Gambit and Kitty would have been . . . uncomfortable. I mean, he made a point here that Kitty was 15 when she dated Wisdom (though that’s really just the weirdness of the sliding timeline). So . . . how would her hooking up with Gambit have been better than her hooking up with Ellis? I mean, at least Ellis saw Kitty as being around 20. So Claremont wanted a 16-year-old hooking up with Gambit, who definitely looked to be in his late 20s (at least)?

      I did LOVE his idea of Kitty going into politics, though, from The End. She would be an absolutely perfect spokesperson for mutants.

      • Wasn’t Gambit an avatar of Mr Sinister in Claremont’s original idea for the character? His version of Sinister was a grown man in a child’s body, which adds all sorts of weirdness layers to the situation.

      • Nigel Cox-Hagan says:

        Most of Kitty’s boyfriend’s felt too old for her going back to Colossus. But then Kitty was mature for her age and largely socialized with adults. Still, Gambit feels uncomfortably older.

      • Icon_UK says:

        I’m not sure it’s quite fair to say that Kitty was 15 when dating Wisdon.

        Ellis was her primary writer at the time and wrote her as being someone over the age of 16 (the age of sexual consent in the UK) and since she could drink alcohol in a Scottish pub (without an accompaying meal) she would have to have been 18.

        Ellis was the only one writing her, so he got to decide her age, whether birthdays were shown or not.

        The fact that another writer later decided that she should be younger and wrote her as such does not invalidate the fact that Kitty was an adult as far as the writer at the time was concerned.

        It’s the new writer who made more of a mess by de-aging her than the old one making her older.

        • I agree with Icon_Uk. During Ellis’ run on Excalibur, I read Kitty as way past 15. The way I read it, she was at least 18. I felt like they finally aged her a bit. When she returns home for Illyana’s funeral circa Uncanny X-men 304, she looks like a full grown woman, and Jubilee is now the teen. I loved her relationship with Wisdom (since i was reading her as a woman now), it gave her an edge.

        • XMenXPert says:

          That was my take, too. Ellis didn’t screw up, Claremont did later on. (Actually, if you follow the sliding timeline’s rule of thumb of roughly 4 real years for 1 in-universe year, she should’ve been 17 at the time she started dating Wisdom. The sliding timeline makes this sort of thing weird in general.) Either way, I think Claremont made a mistake in having Kitty have her 16th birthday after breaking up with Wisdom. The better approach would’ve been to just go with the age-up.

      • Steve says:

        Claremont says he laid the foundation for the relationship in those issues if you look for it… by which I can only imagine he is referring to estabilishing Gambit’s procivities by having him constantly hit on Storm throughout his early appearences and then abruptly loose interest as soon as she is restored to her adult body. (Claremont written Gambit is a super creep)

    • Tom D says:

      I did the “WHAT?!” thing when Gambit/Kitty was mentioned. Under other circumstances, that could have been a good punchline to a cold open.

  8. Armaan says:

    This was an amazing episode. Thank you so much for the past 100 podcast episodes, to say nothing of reviews and write ups and X-Men Evolution recaps.
    A basic thank you seems minor and mild, but it’s either that or a rather long, rambling sort of comment and nobody wants that.

  9. “Next episode: Gossamyr”

    Wow. What a come down.

    • John Dodge says:

      I actually like Gossamyr. But then I also have the entire run of Dazzler so maybe I’m not the best judge?

      • Jay says:

        FWIW, we found that we liked the Gossamyr arc a lot more revisiting it as adults than either of us did on our first time through. It’s not necessarily one of the strongest of the series, but it’s definitely more interesting than we’d initially given it credit for.

  10. rkajdi says:

    Awesome episode, and honestly the only comics podcast I listen to. There really is nothing else even close to this out there, and almost makes me want to try something similar for other series. Except I lack a real foil to host with, good talking skills, decent sound equipment, ect. And honestly, I’m not sure that other series would work nearly as well as the X stuff does– you have such monolithic creative control on the book for so long with Claremont’s run. The only other places you really see a similar defining run is the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby FF, and once you get beyond that FF drops in quality massively until the Byrne era and later the Hickman run that finishes out vol 3.

    As an FYI, the Star Trek pitch Claremont mentioned did get turned into an episode of TNG (Lower Decks in season 7) No idea if it was the same guy, but honestly that was one of the better episode of TNG out there, and came in a season that was mostly otherwise mailing it in.

    And as a more related point, I’m wondering if the podcast is going to go into the Wolverine ongoing that started around the same time as you’re currently covering on the podcast– actually, the exact same month as the end of the Genosha arc. It’s X-Men as hell, but I also get that you might want to avoid the more chronically overexposed characters and you already have four other series you are covering (Uncanny, X-Factor, New Mutants, and soon Excalibur) so slowing the speed of the podcast much more could make it painfully slow.

    • Tony J-K says:

      I agree. Miles and Jay (switchin’ it up) are the models of how this style of show should work. I’ve given others shows a chance, and while there is some charm in them, these two really make an effort at being cohesive and deliberate in their story re-telling (and expressive fandom).

      If they ignore Wolvie’s series entirely, it would be very odd, considering they just did two episodes of the Captain Britain series (before even getting into Excalibur). Also, the Wolvie series comes into mild importance not terribly far down the line, as some villains and story developments enter the X-space. Also, Jubilee is just around the corner… So, we KNOW that series will be talked about eventually. And Jay has shared his thoughts about Wolverine; it’s not hate for the character, it’s dislike for the overexposure that happened soon after this era (which we all share).

      Claremont is still an incredibly writer. While the Nightcrawler series (and the early X-books of the 2000’s) aren’t his greatest works, it makes sense, especially after he explained the complexity of the expanded X-Universe and editorial and more editorial and even more corporate mandating reduces creative movement. Its possible he could have removed Kurt from the X-landscape like they did for Young-Scott Summers and Storm (in their corresponding solo series), but he didn’t and it still had highlights.

      Lastly, I know this is a huge tangent, but who else is just annoyed that the X-books have diminished Storm’s importance and magnificence? There are a ton of characters I want to see returned to their former glory and attention, but Storm has got to be the biggest disappointment. Hell, the “Original 5” are in two books alone (or in either an Avengers or Inhumans books), while characters like Emma Frost, Quentin Quire, Northstar, and Goldballs are just plain absent (yes, something happened to Emma after the “Cyclops Incident”).

      Anyways…So glad I get to listen to this amazing podcast every week and a whole community that is embracing and loving as this. Keep up the good work folks!

  11. Icon_UK says:

    Superb work here folks. Lot’s of new information (Especially about Rachel’s parentage, that was an eye-opener!) and a terrific interview all round! (I don’t think I’ve ever heard Miles so gleefully happy and in his element as during this)

  12. DrPlushingsworth says:

    Congratulations on the amazing milestone, and for getting an excellent guest. Here’s to 100 more and then some!

  13. Charlie X says:

    Wow.
    I was beaming all through this episode and you could really sense the excitement from Jay & Miles which didn’t get in the way of their professionalism at all. It must have been daunting speaking to someone whose work inspired most episodes of the podcast so far and a ton yet to come.
    Claremont’s a total legend, both the person who inspired me to write and who got me through some hospital visits as a child.
    Weezie would be cool, especially given this era. Alan Davis would be pretty rad, too.

  14. Slarti says:

    Congratulations on both the milestone and also the special guest. This was quite a coup for you to have been able to pull off. Here’s to many more!

    (In unrelated news, I’ve been meaning to mention this for a long while, but something seems to be wrong with the RSS feed for the site, such that I haven’t been able to get my feed reader service (Feedbin) to sync it. The W3C feed validator says, “Unable to validate, due to hardcoded resource limits (feed length > 2000000 bytes)”.)

    • Miles says:

      Huh. What feed are you using?

      I know that podcast episode feeds in particular aren’t supposed to be infinitely long, which could be responsible for that W3C error. We’ve deliberately increased our episode feed limit so that old content never falls off the map, so maybe that’s the issue?

      For what it’s worth, Feedly seems to work just fine with our site, although I know that switching feed readers is no small task, especially for just one site.

      • Slarti says:

        The base site feed: http://www.xplainthexmen.com/feed/ (Hopefully including a URL in the comment won’t trip anything that gets it rejected.)

        It used to work, some time way back, but then suddenly stopped taking updates, which is what leads me to suspect that yeah, it might be the setting of how many posts you’re including in the feed.

        In the meantime, I’ve been getting by with the new post announcements that happen on Twitter, but still, I like my RSS setup as is and it’d be nice if it worked for this again. 🙂 Thanks.

  15. John Derrick says:

    Wonderful, wonderful episode. Thanks to Jay & Miles, always and forever, and to Chris Claremont.

    I do have to call BS on one point, however: when Mr. Claremont said it was better to “leave it up to readers’ imaginations” rather than making queer subtext explicit. Hetero relationships aren’t “left to the imaginations.”

    On the other hand, the idea that Kitty & Rachel would go on to become President and First Spouse is BEAUTIFUL. I claim this as headcanon!

    • Noni says:

      I felt the same about the subtext part, I also expected him to comment more thoroughly or at least acknowledge on the problematic aspects of changing those supporting characters bodies in the Demon Bear Saga to Native American bodies. Maybe he addressed this somewhere else? I really don’t know.

    • David says:

      Yeah, hear hear. He gave a good reason for SOME of the subtext to stay as subtext, sure, but not all of it. Nobody saw any need to confine Scott and Jean to subtext.

    • Li Izumi says:

      That really bothered me too. We’ve had to celebrate subtext… The ONLY text we’ve had is subtext!

      • Icon_UK says:

        Which is such a shame, because Lord knows, if ANYONE made the separation between relationship text and subtext wafer-thin it was Chris Claremont.

  16. Jen Wolff says:

    I’m having a legit sick day today, and hearing that Claremont came up with the Sentinels attacking the sun still had me out of bed to high five my slightly confused husband. Was that the “really really big thing” that you teased at the end of Friday’s reviews?

    Congratulations, and thank you for 100 episodes.

  17. Wonderful episode guys. Seems like Claremont is just as passionate about his “kids” as he ever was. You guys did a stellar job with the episode, and I know the episode could have been 24 hours long. Thanks for the bonus size. God, the more he talked the more I could see potential tangents for all our favorite characters and we barely spoke about the villains! Damn… maybe add him as a third hose! Jay, Miles, and Chris Xplain the Xmen! hahah…

  18. Brian Morgan says:

    Jay and Miles,
    Congratulations on your 100th episode. I started listening around episode 40 (or so). I caught up on back episodes on a particularly long drive from Virginia Beach to Chicago (much to the chagrin of my wife and children).
    I truly enjoyed listening to Mr Claremont’s conversation about his years in the industry.
    I was particularly struck by the reference to the New Mutants story about the young man committing suicide, and the human aspects of the characters. While I was deployed overseas, I took an English Composition course and made reference to that story in an essay I wrote for the class.
    I asked a very good friend of mine to proof-read the essay, he was so moved by the reference to that particular story that he completely changed his outlook on comic books. My essay was entitled “X-pand Your Horizons” and I did receive an “A” for my efforts. (X related titling, as you know, is a thing).
    To hear Mr Claremont highlight that particular story fondly and as, what seemed to me, a favorite, made me VERY VERY happy.
    As I mentioned, I love love love your show.
    Thanks again for a great 100 episodes and here’s to at least 100 more!!!
    Sincerely,

    Brian

  19. LAndrew says:

    Awwww, I was hoping for some Hunstman questions. 🙁

    I kid, I kid.

    This was a fantastic podcast and it’s great to hear Claremont’s thoughts on connections between characters and readers and what makes good storytelling. Even better was hearing you two and how one gets the impression that this was the podcast it had all been leading up to it.

    Congratulations on 100 episodes, y’all! Well done! 🙂

  20. H. F. Rhino says:

    I could hear you two smile each time you asked a question. Thanks for your enthusiasm and insight over the past 100 episodes. Congrats on the milestone, Jay and Miles!

  21. TheAmazingEmu says:

    I love that Chris Claremont has both such a great recall of the past as well as still being in touch with the modern continuity. He does a great job of combining wisdom and insight with a healthy dose of cynicism (particularly when it’s come to some dumb editorial choices over the years). He was definitely great to listen to.

    I’d have loved to read a subtextually cynical Wolverine eulogy. That would be fun (particularly if it was played straight so you’d have to be aware of the subtext in order to understand any differently).

  22. Tom D says:

    I was moved by what Claremont said about why it was unwise, from a long-term storytelling perspective, to bring Jean back from the dead, because it makes every character death (or other big change) from then on have less impact since readers rightly expect that such things will be undone as soon as another writer or editor comes along with an idea.

    Looking at things from that perspective makes me glad that at least Morrison re-killed Jean and she has stayed dead. The time-displaced teenage version of her seems to me to be a different enough character that it doesn’t amount to undoing the death.

    Although it seems unlikely, I really hope Logan can stay dead permanently for the same reasons. And I would love it if, in general, Marvel editors would just adopt a policy of not killing characters who aren’t going to be allowed to stay dead (Nightcrawler being the biggest recent example).

    • John Derrick says:

      I’m very much on the other side of the “dead should mean dead” debate.

      Shared universe storytelling is a toy box, and just because one writer wanted to tell the ‘character X dies’ story (or couldn’t think of anything else to do with them, as the case may be) it need not block every writer after from putting a toy back in play. The stories about dying will still be out there anyway.

      What’s more, one of my favorite things about comics and scifi/fantasy is that sometimes love and friendship can kick even death’s ass. I know a lot of folks felt the Phoenix retcon invalidated the Dark Phoenix saga, as clearly Mr. Claremont did, but for me they only made Jean Grey and her love story with Scott Summers even more epic. Phoenix is my favorite comic character, and one of my absolute faves in any fiction, precisely because she’s died, come back, been cloned, had kids turn up from alternate universes, etc. She survived every kind of weirdness a scifi universe could throw at her (at least until Morrison), came out the other side, and made a family on her own terms. The convoluted history many see as a flaw is for this reader very much a feature. Teen Jean is all right, but not nearly as interesting to me, because she hasn’t lived through even a fraction of the weirdness that forged the Jean we knew in the 80s and 90s. (And mad props to Louise Simonson for taking the resurrected Jean and exploring the psychology of everything she’d been through in such a fascinating fashion.)

  23. Tom D says:

    (Sorry for commenting so much, but it was such a good episode with so much stuff in it.)

    It was cool that Claremont compared the current Ms Marvel run to his original X-men run. (Regardless of the fact that he was a little awkward about Kamala’s ethnicity and religion.) I love comics that manage to have a unique, seemingly personal voice while still being part of an established universe. Ms Marvel is a story that could only happen in the Marvel universe, but it feels as though it’s being written with a weight of personal experience and caring that I would only expect to see in a creator-owned comic.

  24. Icon_UK says:

    BTW I now know what jaws dropping sounds like in pure audio, because I swear I could hear that as the two of you realised that Chris was going to say it was his idea to make the Sentinels fight the sun… I can only imagine the excited look you gave each other!

  25. monkeysHeinz says:

    Congratulations, y’all. This episode is splendid,and it is deeply moving to me personally.

    I’m happy to see you meet the landmark and interview a creator who is so important to you, and it was special to me because Claremont’s work was so crucial to my development as a reader and human being.

    Listening to how and why the Scott/Madeline/Jean triangle played out the way it did was damn near cathartic for me. I feel like someone who just figured out that the reason their parent wasn’t around for Christmas was because they were portraying Santa.

    And as someone who doesn’t go to cons, this is likely the only time I’ll ever hear Chris talk about his work. Thank you. It means a lot to me.

  26. Xander Piper says:

    I was tearing up on Public Transportation listening to this. I have no rational defense for why I consider Rachel Summers to be one of the best friends I have ever had. I’m just so thankful to be a creature who can marvel, empathize, and thrill at art and literature, no matter how high or low brow. Bring on the stories Jay and Miles, I love them!

  27. thumb says:

    You know, regarding the original attempt to keep Jean dead, I’ve only just really understood Claremont’s frustration with it.

    Even today, she’s been dead for more than a decade, but we still expect her to come back anytime now. We’ll get interesting stories when she does, but there are tonnes of x-fans who started comics, became hardcore fans, and have never read an issue where OUR JEAN GREY WAS NOT DEAD!

    It’s probably like when I started reading Flash a few years after Crisis on Infinite Earths and people were still expecting Barry to come back.

  28. Sol says:

    What a great episode! I was kind of worried going in, because Claremont has always been a mixed bag for me. Much of his work in the first half of the 80s was really important to me as a kid. And then in the late 80s and 90s it kind of all fell apart for me.

    But listening to him talk here, it became clear that

    1) He loves these characters as much as I do, and in some cases I’m quite sure he loves them more.

    2) A lot of the stuff I hated from the second half of his X-men run was done under heavy editorial interference. I’d always wondered if this was the case, and while he didn’t exactly say it explicitly, he pretty strongly implied it.

    Also, I’ve got to say that back then I had not the faintest clue he was trying to imply Kitty and Rachel had a romantic relationship going on, but if I had known, they would have easily been my favorite couple in comics. I’m pretty sure that circa 1991 when my roommate and I split up the X-men characters for our own imagined stories (never heard of fanfic then, and we weren’t organized enough to actually write anything, just dream about what we might write), my first two picks were Kitty and Rachel.

  29. […] the Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast before. Their most recent episode, posted on Sunday, is an interview with Chris Claremont. It’s some good stuff, definitely worth listening […]

  30. ray says:

    I usually listen to new episode while driving from place to place. This time I waited for late night till I had nothing else to do, then I snuggled in my bad, turned off the light and listened to this untill 1:00 am.

    I tell you this, I really identify with Chris’s pain about the direction the X-Men took. I said it before and I say it now again: The early Claremont run was a magical time for me. It was one of the first comic books run I read. I was young and naive and wasn’t aware of the modern comic book universe condition. I didn’t know about characters never really dying and the meanings of franchise. There was only a story.
    It seems anything that happening in Claremont’s run is happening in real life. Characters that were inloved, betrayed, changed for real. I was deeply troubled after the Magik miniseries because Illiana’s change seem permenant. She was doomed to be infected by demons. Now and for life. I didn’t suspect this is just a way to make a cool character with demon powers. This was her life, like any other character’s life.
    Jean’s death was likewise: it was a permenant fate. Characters were bound to walk through shit, and so you could only hope you favorite character will find a truely good fate. When Nightcrawler had his romance with Amanda Sefton I rooted for them. I hoped they’ll find true love in each other, one that will last and get a conclusion.
    Nowdays none of these things matter. Comics aren’t something to root for or build a relationship into. They are a construct to write entertaining stories, and while you can achive a lot of things with the latter, it’s still doesn’t get any closer to the amount of sheer power the classical connection that you have with old comicbooks had.
    This why Jhoss Whedon Astonishing is a great run. It’s epic, it’s funny. But like a well done hollywood movie – you are left with the catharsis, with the immediate satisfaction on the end of the movie, but it doesn’t leave on you a lasting effect. It’s a cold “you get what you paid for” kind of relationship, but it lacks the element of you, as a reader, really gives yourself to the story.

    I heard this through Claremont’s ongoing answers – while Jay and Miles really enjoyed and were excited about the later directions the X-Men, as series, has taked (Inferno, etc) Chris was really still in the outcomes of the phoenix saga. He still held this feeling of dissapointment and dissaprovel that he had 40 years back! Even when he went on and wrote all these awesome stories – to him, it wasn’t the same. And neither for me. Jean’s resurrection had hit him in the most central nerve, as a creator, one he wasn’t able to get over with. He rightly felt that the unwritten treaty of confidence between the writer and the reader – was broken by this act. And the blade of the knife dug deeper with other editorial decisions such as Scott leaving Maddy, people in the school aren’t getting to grow as people, to live other life, to mature.

    It pains me so. Comicbooks cannot be the same for me. Marvel comics had became a matter of light entertainment. They work best when over-exaggerated, when keeping a light mood of somewhat immature tone. Like the movies. It can only be fun, it can only be delightful. But can it strike you in your heart like a nail? Can it hit you in your deep bones?
    Some people will still say yes. Others will criticise my opinion as exaggerated and over-dramatic. They’ll say “it’s only comics”. They are the children of this new generation. Where comics are treated as “just comics” because that’s what the big publishing houses aspire us to think.
    But I still find some comfort on this early time, when a comic book meant something more – for me.

    Thank you, Chris Claremont, for past and many days to come. With each passing year, I only feel the inspiration you’v been for me grows.

    Thank you, Rachel and Miles, for these awesome times together, and here is to all new all different – but really, for real – times to come.

    I’ll see you around.

    Ray, dramatic – peace!

    • John says:

      This is my first comment on this site after following the podcast from early on, and I loved this episode, too. I’ve never heard Claremont speak about this stuff before.

      But I had to say, you really hit the nail on the head for me. I had gotten back into comics to some degree through the MU app in recent years, and enjoyed it, but the recent Secret Wars crossover made it apparent how little real character development and good storytelling seemed to matter–instead, it was like reading Marvel’s annual corporate strategy play out, every year: this year, we’re gonna have the Avengers and the X-Men fight each other; this year, we’re gonna bring the original teen X-Men into the present; this year, we’re gonna go through all of the alternate universes and pick the coolest versions of the characters to be “real”. Nothing else seemed to matter. I’m sure some of this could be attributed to the fact that I’m practically middle-aged now, and can see the wheels at work–what was Inferno but a way to eliminate Maddie and finally bring the teams together? And what were the annual crossover events but a corporate mandate? (Even back then, I had grown weary of them by X-Cutioner’s Song–I would drop X-Men entirely in the middle of it, and the rest of comics soon after.) I know other titles may be less affected by corporate mandates, but it seems the X-Men have been dogged by them, to some degree, for years or even decades.

      At any rate, I am once again leaving comics behind, although I still enjoy the podcast (at least while they’re covering material up until 1993 or so), and may….or likely will, pick them up at some point in the future.

    • XMenXPert says:

      I see this complaint a lot, about how the stories no longer “matter,” and they’re not as powerful. I disagree. Look, here’s the thing: There’s always been powerful comics. And there’s always been less powerful comics. That’s still the case. Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery run beat the hell out of my feels. The most recent issue of Weirdworld wrecked me. Angela consistently moves me. If someone badmouths Vision, then we will Have Words.

      The stories that suck you in, that tear emotions out of you and shove them in your face and force you to feel things? Those stories are still being told. Maybe the current X-titles don’t manage it, at least for you. But if those stories aren’t blowing your mind, then try something different. I promise, you can still find Marvel comics that are as good as anything Marvel’s ever published. You might have to look at something lower down the sales charts, but you can find that stuff.

      In terms of things “mattering,” my stance has always been this: It matters to the story being told. If a character dies at the end of one series, and is brought back three months later in a different series by a different creative team? Then the death still matters for that first series.

      A lot of enjoyment of any fiction comes down to audience mindset. You can find the best story, but if you don’t have the right mindset when you read it, you won’t enjoy it.

  31. Ricochet Rita says:

    It’s so nice to have three persons together so passionate about the same stories and characters! Jay, Miles, I almost could hear you restraining your excitement in order to not interrupt Chris –I guess you were yearning for bombarding him with questions, but you are impeccable pros after all. Congratulations! (BTW, I can understand him much more easily than I can understand you; I don’t know if it’s because he speaks so slowly or because he’s English after all ;D ).

    There’s one thing I completely agree with Chris: the trouble of the (nonexistent) X-staff. In fact, I recall a lot of pannels in which X-Men are working at the kitchen sink. This leads me to an existential doubt I’ve had for years, by reading comic-books and watching Hollywood movies: most of USA people, rich or poor, live in big houses, often with two or three floors, even in manors –yet they do hand washing (?). Seriously, dudes, don’t you know what a dishwasher is?!? I mean, in my country almost everybody lives in small appartments and dishwasher is considered basic necessity. Please tell me that it’s an absurd poetic license. I mean it.

  32. K-Kitsune says:

    Kind of disappointed with how he answered/segued into something else Jay’s question regarding queerness. :/

    Would’ve loved to hear him talk about Storm, his greatest contribution to comics in my opinion!

  33. […] Chris Claremont visits Jay and Miles X-plain the […]

  34. Tomas says:

    This was great. A lot of interviewers tend to usually focus on Chris Claremont’s first X-Men run, but you covered a lot more ground, and it was really cool hearing Chris talk about elements and moments from all of his X-Men work, as well as his process and so on. I’m also amazed by Claremont’s excellent memory!

    I am a bit surprised by Claremont’s revelation that he had originally meant to have Gambit and Kitty to get together, since Kitty wasn’t in Uncanny X-Men when Gambit was introduced. I’ve read that Gambit was originally meant to be a proxy of Mr. Sinister’s and was actually going to be fixated with Rogue. The other revelations fit quite nicely, though: the Phoenix being Rachel’s other parent finally offers the perfect explanation for her nickname “Starchilde.”

  35. crawlingdeadman says:

    I teared up a bit when Claremont’s name was given because I know how much this means to you both.

  36. Cassey says:

    Kitty and Rachel as head canon forever.

  37. […] for example, Rachel Summers.  While appearing on Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men’s 100th episode, Claremont compared their relationship to that of Jean Grey and Wolverine, […]

  38. Martin says:

    So you’re saying that your listeners are a small nation of people whose happiness is predicated on the unpaid labor of a few talented individuals?

    “Those Who Walk Away from Jay and Miles”

  39. jpw says:

    OMGOMGOMG!!!! SOOOO PSYCHED FOR THIS ONE!!

  40. jpw says:

    I agree with Claremont’s assessment that bringing back Jean broke the suspense. It’s really spiraled out of control since Marvel lifted the “Dead is Dead” mandate (and before they had it, as that’s why it was instituted in the first place). I just don’t care when characters die anymore.

  41. jpw says:

    Relaunch as All-New Jay and Miles #1 next week, then?

  42. Emmanuel Boyd says:

    It is possible to see Gambit and Kitty hooking up, it was pulled off in the X-men Forever series. I’m guessing with his personality it could have helped Kitty to develop more as she grow up. I mean it wouldn’t have been like they become a couple like how it was with him and Rogue. Kitty and Remy could have a relationship like Wolverine had with Kitty and Jubilee.

  43. Theo says:

    I love the fact that Claremont admitted he watches John Oliver! 🙂
    I love listening to interviews with Claremont, just because he always seems so passionate about the X-Men and excited to talk about his work.
    Thank you so much for the podcast, it’s just so great!

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