It’s hard to fathom it now, but once upon a time, the ‘X-Men’ were one of the few misses from the early days of Marvel Comics. Created by the legendary Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the teenage mutants’ comic was actually cancelled! In 1975, writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum introduced an “all-new, all-different” team in ‘Giant Sized X-Men’ #1. The issue piqued reader interest and soon ‘The Uncanny X-Men’ series was revived, but Wein did not return to pen more adventures of this new international group. Instead, one writer practically begged for the chance to take over, Chris Claremont.
Under Claremont‘s pen, some of the most iconic events in the team’s history unfolded. ‘The Dark Phoenix Saga’ remains the team’s most famous storyline, with ‘Days of Future Past’ a close second. His ‘God Loves, Man Kills’ graphic novel heavily influenced the earlier ‘X-Men’ films. His 1991 ‘X-Men’ #1 appeared in the ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ as the best-selling comic book of all time, with retailers ordering 8.1 million copies. He recast Magneto from a typical hand-wringing supervillain into the Malcolm X to Professor Xavier‘s Martin Luther King and converted the weakest original X-Man, Marvel Girl/Jean Grey into the sun-destroying Dark Phoenix. And while Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm and Wolverine were already in place when he came aboard, he either created or co-created other such icons as Dazzler, Emma Frost, Gambit, Kitty Pryde, Legion (star of his own TV show on FX), Mystique, Pyro, Rogue and the teams Alpha Flight, the New Mutants and X-Factor.
Now the writer is getting a massive tribute, a documentary focusing on his years of turning the X-Men into comics’ most successful franchise.
Chris Claremont came to Marvel as a young man, and was assigned a book that no one else
wanted, a book on the brink of cancellation: X-Men. Over the next 17 years, his work on the title
turned it into the biggest franchise in comic book history. Forty years later, his work has been
adapted into ten films, three TV series, countless video games and become a part of our cultural mythology. But, it all started with one writer and his commitment to emotionally honest
storytelling and real character building.
‘Chris Claremont’s X-Men’ will be released on VOD on February 6.
Source: Player One