Tags Matching: chris claremont

Top 100 Summer Comics #13

Bad luck is for suckers, so here’s #13.

Alan Davis bangs out one of the best annuals. Maybe the coolest X-book that doesn’t really feature any true X-Men.

New Mutants? Check. Pre-Ninja Psylocke? Check. O.G. Excalibur? Check.

Doug Ramsey saving the day? DOUBLE CHECK!

Here’s the thing – I never liked Doug Ramsey. He sucked. He was the most transparent attempt at an everyman / everychild for the meek and meager to relate to. As if Cannonball wasn’t lame enough?

When he was killed (or put down like a poor old dog in my opinion) the New Mutants were able to grow. The team could face dangers and conflict with a different tone – simply put, Doug’s greatest contribution was dying. However, this is the best Doug story, and Alan Davis knocks it out of the park. I think this was the era when Arthur Adams was the king of the x-annual, and I think Alan Davis rose to the challenge. Home run issue for anyone who likes any of the following.

1. Alan Davis art (seriously, some of his best stuff)

2. New Mutants

3. Excalibur

4. Word Balloons galore aka Claremontian storytelling

5. Doug Ramsey aka Cypher aka the lamest duck.
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Top 100 Summer Comics #14

I’ve mentioned Acts of Vengeance enough on here that really, I need to recommend you check it out. Marvel is putting out an omnibus so I’ll get that up at some point. But this corner of the meta-crossover was so good I often forget it was even consider a part of it.

#14 – Uncanny X-Men 256

This is by far the coolest the Mandarin has ever been. Claremont and this newbie artist by the name of JIM LEE just upped the ante on the whole game with this 3 issue jaunt. Psylocke returns as a crazy ninja assassin and Wolverine is trying to get her back, despite looking like a Jersey Shore cast member trying to wake up at 7 am. Not pretty.

The best part about all this? Not surprisingly, Lee’s pencils were absolutely on point. The tone and imaging of the book resonates so well that the story was leaping off the pages. A great story that was just taken another step by the visual – perfect example of the validity and value of comic books in the literary marketplace.

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Top 100 Summer Comics #26

This issue has a certain relevance, but let’s talk about the meat and bones first.

Longshot, who doesn’t like him? Well, I bet a lot of people, but most people my age are alright with him. He was the original vapid alterna-hero. He basically is the archetype for Gambit, Every Image character ever, and many spinoff Marvel characters who would make you think that head bands and long hair were HUGE in the ’90s. They weren’t. But this was the last great story featuring the Mojoverse, and had Longshot taking a slightly more heroic turn. Scott Lobdell wrote him straight, and it was a perfect story. Dazzler and Longshot struggling against the oppressive Mojo.. it was good. Real good. And then…

#26 – X-Men 11

… It was over. This was Jim Lee’s last issue of X-Men. Done. Some of the plot threads from this (pregnant Dazzler, the rebellion in the Mojoverse) were completely abandoned. Despite Lobdell’s long run on the x-books, for some reason this was never really touched on again.

That said, it’s ironic that Jim Lee’s creative influence was supposedly one of the reasons that led to Chris Claremont being ushered off of the X-Men books… and eight issues later, at the height of the X-Men’s popularity, Jim Lee leaves. And never comes back. So who knows what would have been if decisions made with regards to the formation of Image had come two, three, six months earlier? Would Claremont have left? Would Jim Lee had lasted even 11 issues? Would (self titled) X-Men even been created? And conversely, what if Lee had stayed on? Would Liefeld? There were many little promotional hints and posters put out there that had me (and many others) salivating at what storylines were to come… What could have been.

Nonetheless, this is a great read. And it exists. So find it.(And by find it, I mean, click the image and buy it.)

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Top 100 Summer Comics #38

Simply put, this is a gamechanger. Claremont and Byrne nailed it. Every x-men related book pays homage to this two issue storyline, and really, every modern marvel comic owes this issue a little bit of credit.

#38 – Uncanny X-Men 141

A dystopian future that was spelled out on a beyond-iconic cover, everybody’s dead. Wolverine’s popularity was only grown by his heroic ends that comes in this story, and I honestly can’t think of two better issues of comic books, period. Unbelievable. If you have not read this story, I don’t think you can consider yourself a fan. Canonical.

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Top 100 Summer Comics #42

For some reason, a sure fire way for me to do a double take at the comic rack was to have the name of the comic scribbled out / tagged over / crossed out and replaced.

No clue why. But my instant reaction is something like – “Wait – wha, wha.. huh?”- and I pick it up. Maybe I buy it. But I at the least am sucked in.

This is the first issue I remember like that. I was sucked in.

#42 – New Mutants 39

And it was a good issue. Emma Frost, then known primarily as the White Queen, guilt stricken (sobbing with her head on the floor) and the New Mutants being victimized. They were ALWAYS being victimized, but this was a good one. It still gets referenced. Check into it.
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Top 100 Summer Comics… #75

It’s the day after America’s birthday. We somehow avoided an American themed 4th of July post, and I think we’ll stick with the neutral posts today.

But somehow there’s something VERY American about Superheroes v. Superheroes. It’s not quite apple pie, but man, it’s one helluva tradition. Heroes are confused/tricked/mind-controlled and end up going at it, only to inevitably shake it off and team up to win.

And… an incredible farewell issue by Chris Claremont after some 15+ years on the X-Men.

#75 – X-Men 3

Maybe my favorite Jim Lee cover. At the time, I was so excited, thinking we were in for at least 50, maybe 100 issues of Jim Lee drawing the X-Men. Nope. Not even another 5 after this issue.

And to think… since he left, he hasn’t drawn a proper full issue of an X-book since. Has he even done a cover? Sigh.

Dear Joe Q. –

I know Jim Lee is some head honcho over at the Distinguished Competition now. But I also know how much you like music. So please… chew on this.

I try not to think about what might have been
Cause that was then
And we have taken different roads
We can’t go back again
There’s no use givin in
And theres no way to know
What might have been

Make it happen, captain.


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Nothing but Star Wars…

Chris Claremont gets a lot of love from me.

Enough that I approached him at San Diego Comic Con four years ago to express a small “thank you for your work” type sentiment, though I loathe that kind of interaction for the most part.

And even enough that when he kind of awkwardly sloughed it (and me) off, that I wasn’t put off by it too much. 

For those who don’t know (please go back to square one…), Claremont is the writer who defined the X-Men for the modern world. He was basically the Brian M. Bendis of 1980-1989. He dabbled in novels, mostly in the spacey science fiction realm, so all those Starjammers and Shi’ar stories start to make sense. 

What I didn’t know was that he also authored a few Star Wars tales in his day.

Marvel published a magazine in the U.K. called Star Wars Weekly that eventually became the UK Star Wars comic series. Claremont did a bit of writing for that publication including a three part story that was eventually collected in this novel, World of Fire. An illustrated novel, this could sort of be seen as a prequel to the popular trade paperback collections that are now a must in the comic book marketplace. Looks pretty interesting to me…

Autographed X-Men #1

12 year old me is salivating at the sight of this.

X-Men #1. Red variant cover.

Autographed by Jim Lee.

Autographed by Chris Claremont.

Autographed by Stan Lee.

First, Jim Lee was probably my favorite artist of the 90s. The Image comics held me captive like no other. I had Casablanca Comics in Windham ME holding EVERY issue they released. I still have all of them. So many #1. So few #2s (since most comics only seemed to last 1 issue, Supreme anyone?).

And Chris Claremont? Shut it down. That guy could write a story about soggy bread and I would read it 4 times before falling asleep. I would even sneak a flashlight to read it after my parents told me to go to bed again. That guy was a genius. An innovator. I enjoyed his fictional books too. Great reads.

Stan Lee. Nuff said.

Someone buy me this. Comes with a COA. Dope.

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