Ask Chris Claremont about ‘X-Men Forever’ #1
While we’re still transcribing the rest of the first massive interview with Chris Claremont, he’s graciously agreed to answer questions about X-Men Forever going forward. So here’s what we’re going to do:
We’re going to collect questions from you from now until Sunday at midnight. Then we’re going to present the best questions to Chris, along with a few of our own. We’ll run the answers on Wednesday.
With X-Men Forever running bi-weekly, this will give you a fix to tide you over between issues. And we may work with Marvel to add some of these questions and answers to trade collections of the book.
Oh, and yes, SPOILERS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS THREAD. If you haven’t read the issue yet, don’t blame us for any spoiled surprises.
Mr. Claremont, I was disappointed that there was no conversation between Kurt and Logan in the first book. I thought, as best friends, that they would have something to say to one another when meeting for the first time after Wolverine's supposed death. If Logan is going to stay dead in this series, then my hopes for more Kurt/Logan stories are obviously dashed. However, if Logan's healing factor manages to kick in, can we please, please, please have some Kurt and Logan buddy story team-ups? Or, if he stays dead, perhaps some flashback stories?Also, when you so kindly spoke to me about Nightcrawler at the Columbus Ohio convention (I was the old lady in the green shirt who kept you talking for so long), you said that you had "big plans" for Nightcrawler. Were you referring to this series, or is there even more in the works for Kurt?Thank you very much,Nancy
Sorry, I was so excited to be asking you questions again I forgot to mention that I am enjoying your new series. Thanks again!Nancy
Mr. Claremont:In at least two different interviews, you've mentioned that XMF is, in part, about the question, Why are there no (or at least very, very few) old mutants? Was this theme something toward which you were building in 1991, or is it something that has come with reflection and hindsight?What do you believe makes it such a compelling question to ask? Does it allow for interesting character development, a reassessment of what we thought we already knew about the X-Men, something else, all of the above?Thanks for your time (and all the wonderful stories over the years). As someone who's read X-Men for decades, I found issue #1 to be an excellent debut, and I look forward to what you have planned in the months to come!-Dion
My name is Jack. I just wanted to ask you if X-Men Forever will keep the X-Men in their 90's uniforms or will they switch after #4? (The preview at the end showing the upcoming covers has me very concerned). I sure hope that you will keep them all in the current 90's uniforms. Most fans cannot understand this, but I completely lost interest in the normal X-Men books after the X-Men uniforms changed (Age Of Apocalypse is where the X-Men's downfall for me began and they have never recovered since). So I know if you switch the team out of their perfect 90's uniforms as well, I will lose interest in this title also. To me, the appearance of the X-Men is just as important (sometimes if not more important) than the actual story and I found the early 90's designs to be perfectly designed. Please consider leaving the X-Men in their current 90's uniforms. They are perfect, colorful, unique and as long as they remain like this, I promise to keep buying this title. It's the first X-Men comic I have been excited about since the fateful X-Men #41 issue where the perfect X-Men look and team came crashing down.- Jack
I loved Claremont in the 70's and 80.s but i find that his text is too heavy to readi have purchased Xmen forever 1 and I admit i enjoyed it and will be back for issue 2my concern is that i would prefer it to be monthly not biweekly as i feel the writer can prepare and develop the story more– I cant wait to see the return of paul smith illustrating this tiltle later in the year. MR Claremont Good luck with this tiltle — I hope you dont just do 12 issues and then get moved on by the powers that be.
One of the plot-threads left dangling when Claremont left the original series was the backstory of Mr. Sinister and Gambit. Claremont has hinted that Mr. Sinister is actually Nate, the young boy who Cyclops befriended in the orphanage as a child, and Gambit is actually Nate's childlike vision of hero. This interesting plotline was hinted at, but never followed through on. Mr. Claremont, will you be provided us with insight into the background of these characters?
Mr Claremont:Given the unique opportunity to essentially create a whole new timeline (a new universe?), was there ever the consideration, or opportunity, or temptation, to commence from a different starting point? I'm thinking specifically of your original plans post-Uncanny X-Men 137. Did you ever consider restarting from there? Or some other point? Or was it always (adjectiveless) X-Men 3?Kind regards, Jarrod
Couple of process questions:One of the drawbacks you've mentioned in the past is only having so much space in each issue to get to what you want to get to. Do you see the biweekly publishing schedule as a benefit (in that you get to put out more story than normal in a given amount of time) or a hurdle (tighter deadlines)? Can you think of a specific instance where that accelerated schedule has let you do (or kept you from doing) something you wouldn't normally have done on a regular monthly schedule?This might be a better question for your editor, but I'll ask it anyway: given your obvious familiarity and success with these characters in the past, how does someone edit your work on them? Is it a case of just getting out of your way and making sure everything else runs smoothly, or do you enjoy a more overall devil's advocate-type collaboration?
Oooops…forgot to add that I am a big fan of your original run and enjoyed XMF #1 a lot.
Chris just reread XMF1
CHRIS just read XMF1 for the second time and Ive got to admit it certainly has been the best read this month from any of the x titles…I hope you can continue to entertain good work
Mr. ClaremontIs Sabretooth sticking around for the long haul, or is he only staying for a short while?
Chris,As of X-Men #3, Dazzler was still hanging out with Lila Cheney at her Malibu mansion. Any chance the two will return? Maybe team up? Maybe they can hold a concert together! Or is Dazzler off of your radar after New Excalibur? :(
Are there any plans to have any of the original New Mutants in the book?
Mr. Claremont, I understand your desires to want to branch away from certain "Claremontisms" as you call them, but I truly believe that Sage was one of your more innovative creations. She has a plethora of untapped potential that seems perfect for X-Men Forever. What directions do you see her character going in this series? I know that she is still with the Hellfire Club at this point – but can you foresee a break from her master, Shaw, and if so, under what circumstances would that happen?
I wonder when Rogue reconected with the X-Men during the "Muir Island Saga" why no one asked her where she had been for so long?Why didn't any of the X-Men ask about what happened to the Carol Danvers persona when she returned,especially after the STINK Storm made in UXM#244?
Shortly after X-men #1-3, we see the X-men Blue team go against Fenris and Omega Red, and the Gold Team goes to the Hellfire club only to have a run in with Fitzroy and the Sentinels. Will we be seeing the original Hellions in X-men Forever at all? With the story coming out different, will we be seeing Bishop appearing at all?
Dear Mr. Claremont, I was a big fan of Generation X (the comic series, not the actual generation). Will they play a roll in the series at some point? And if so, could you please use MONDO?
Are there any plans for Selene to show up?
I am so glad you have returned to writing the X-men. With so many story lines and unresolved subplots from your initial X-men #1-3 and uncanny series what can we expect to see in future issues? Not wanting any spoilers just hints of future story arc.Thank you
Which parallel earth is this? Earth-xxxx…
Hello Mr. Claramont, I just wanted to ask U, will Ms. Martinique Jason appear in the future of X-Men forever. Please and thank U so so much for your time, Peace
Mr. Claremont,I know you said there was no retcon in Betsy Braddock being in Kwannon's body, but I'm sure she'll still be Asian due to Spiral's manipulation. Do you have any plans to make her look british again and let us see that lilac'd haired beauty one more time? How did you feel about Fraction's horrible new arc where he blew British Betsy's face off and still stuck her in the Asian body making the whole plot pointless? It was a hurtful stab in the heart to us fans who have wanted to see her true form for many years!
Mr Claremont,First, thank you so much for taking the time to answer fan questions.My question is will we be seeing any of your later creations at some point in X-Men Forever. By later creations I mean characters like Lifeguard, Slipstream, and some of the cast members from Excalibur Vol 3 like Wicked and Freakshow. While X-Men Forever takes place much earlier than these characters were introduced, since it is not in the 616 Marvel Universe I was hoping some of these characters might pop up in cameo roles or as team members down the road?
Mr. Claremont thanks for doing this book, I left X-men in th 90's and wished they could go back and pick up where I left off and I got my wish. With no spin off titles or cross overs this should be a great book. My question is about the Phoenix as of Excalibur #25 you seemed to be setting Rachel up as how your original Jean as Dark Phoenix was going to be , that is someone who would get corrupted be defeated and turned good again but keep lapsing to the dark side. But now in this book you have Jean but no Rachel so how will the Phoenix force be treated? As a possessing corrupting entity or as the ultimate manifestation of Jean's powers as the original original incarnation of Phoenix was?
What's wrong with keeping the costumes designed by Jim Lee? They were cool and they've been immortalized thanks to the 90's animated series. They are almost iconic at this point. Plus, if you had never really left the title after issue #3, it's safe to say that the costumes would have stayed too.
Is it possible that Neal Shaara will show up–preferably with a new codename? I'd like to see him get a second chance.Also, is there any hope that Jean Grey will take a closer look at Madelyne Pryor's memories, and maybe discover was really going on in her mind as she was being perverted into the Goblin Queen? Will Jean learn that Maddie tried to resist the demonic influence?
Hi Mr. Claremont. I'm enjoying XMF so far. Now for a few questions.1. Will you be introducing any brand new African American male mutant heroes to the X-Men or the X-Universe as a whole? As an African American male, I would like to see more heroic male black characters brought into the X-Men and the X-Universe in general. I would also like to see new characters from ALL racial and ethnic groups introduced in this series (which is something that you have done and excelled at over the years).2. Will either Shola,Sketch,Red Lotus,Wicked,Freakshow,Hub,Lifeguard,or Slipstream be joining the team or appear in this series sometime in the future?3. Will Big Hero 6 or any of the characters you introduced in that series, be making an appearance in this series? I would really like to see either Fred or No Ginger (are either of them mutants) join the X-Men.4. If Wolverine is indeed dead and stays dead, will you be introducing a brand new male character to take up the claws and mantle of Wolverine who (a) has different powers from Wolverine and Sabretooth and (b) is NOT Wolverine's son? I don't want either Kitty to become a female version of Wolverine or Sabretooth to take over as the resident Wolverine of the group (we been down that path several times before in regular continuity).5. I know that it might be too soon to ask, but how were the sales on XMF #1 and the pre-order sales for XMF #2?6. Since XMF is a $3.99 book, will there be back up stories in each issue either written by you or written by another writer? If yes, what possible characters would be featured in those back up stories?
Is there any chance that we'll see more romantic moments between Jean and Logan during X-Men Forever? Did you originally want Jean and Logan to end up together as a couple?
The end of issue one showed Wolverine burnt to a skeleton? Does this mean he's dead? If so, why would you kill a great character like that? Surely it will hurt sales.
Dear Mr Claremont,Despite a mutual attraction in the past, the Logan and Jean relationship was just that, an attraction between friends, unlike the strong emotional love between Scott and Jean. At least that was how it seemed to me. From the moment Jean returned in X-Factor's early issues, Scott and Jean went from an uneasy reunion to a rocky relationship to a proper relationship to some confusing moments (due to Maddie's memories going to Jean) to eventually a stable and strong connection (even raising Nathan together). Despite what seemed like a "pity" kiss for a dying Logan in X-Tiction Agenda, Jean never seemed to doubt her love for Scott by the time the original members returned in X-Men #1. Now in X-Men Forever, she seems to behave like she is stuck with Scott when she rather be with Logan. Would you be showing us any possible hidden moments when she discovered these feelings for Logan? I am not against this, but I rather see a natural progression of the relationship. Other than that, great to have you back!Thanks.The Hornet
Please, Mr. Claremont, leave Dazzler alone.
Chris, I have always been a fan of your original characterization of Emma Frost and am increasingly annoyed by the attempts of many current writers to downplay Emma's villainous ways. I have always dreamed of reading more stories of her "dark" years from you, and now with X-men Forever, that seems like a possibility. Is there any chance be seeing her antagonizing the x-men, or just being downright evil in X-men Forever?
Hi Mr. Claremont!,. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer fan questions.Will Bishop appear on Storm's Gold Strike Team?Thanks! Spectra
HI Mr Claremont. Let me start by saying that I was first introduced to the X-Universe during the Inferno saga and i've been hooked ever since.Now to my question: Since Rogue is one of my favorite X-Ladies, what are you plans for her in terms of her powers? She seems to still have the Ms. Marvel abilities, which is good, but what did Cortez do to Rogue? Did he boost her powers or did he diminished them?Loved X-Men Forever 01. It reminded me of the good ol' days where anything could happen. Are there any plans to relocate the X-Men out of Westchester? Thank you for your time and keep up the good work!
Hi Mr. Claremont -Please use JUBILEE!!! She is the BEST! =)Much respeckz,A fan
Hi Mr Claremont,You certainly seem to be sewing the seeds for Kurt and Kitty to be returning to the X-Men, but is there any chance that we might see the rest of Excalibur in X-Men Forever, at some point in the coming months?
EXCELSIOR—Hey Chris have any of your kids shown any inclinations toward writing..and can we expect a X-baby series from them in the future?
Any chance of re-introducing Neal Shaara, preferably with a new codename? I'd like to see him get another chance.Any hope that Jean Grey will look at Madelyne Pryor's memories and gain some insight into, and sympathy for, what was going on in Maddie's mind in the time leading up to Inferno? Did she try to resist the demonic influence? (If X-Men Forever #1 has already dealt with this, I apologize; my comics come at the end of the month and I'm avoiding spoilers.)
Is there any chance we'll be seeing you using Mimic? You never got the chance to write the character in Exiles because he was already dead by the time you came abaord. I'd love to see your take on him.
Mr. Claremont,Amazing work on the first issue. I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us. I was wondering if you could explain if there is a "Rachel" in this universe. As you have stated in the past, the Rachel that exists in the 616 universe is "unique". Does this mean that she does not exist in this universe? If not, how did Excalibur form? If she did/does exist, how does this affect her and Jean in terms of the Phoenix Force (as you envision it in this universe)?Also will we be seeing Sage or Illyana appear in this series?Thank you for you time!!
If you don't want to wait until Sunday, here's what Chris posted about Rachel at comixfan.[QUOTE=Chris Claremont;1489909]Re Rachel — she is very much a part of this continuum, she's just not around right now. That happened from time to time as I recall in "Excalibur." Ideally, she'll be back when readers least expect it and much fun will be had by all.Cordially,Chris Claremont[/QUOTE]
Kitty Pryde has always been my favorite X-Man, and you obviously have great love and appreciation for the character, as evidenced by your treatment of her through the years. That being said, however, will Kitty ever find happiness in love? I feel that Colossus is her perfect mate, but I don't get the impression that that will be a story you will be visiting any time soon. Is it a case of "been there/done that" or do you simply not have any Colossus-centric stories to tell? Also, now that you have a chance to un-do the travesty that was Illyana's death after your departure, do you have any Magik storylines that we can look forward to, or barring that, any of the New Mutants? During your tenure on X-Treme, there was talk of an idea of bringing in Sage, Forge, Moonstar, and Wolfsbane as supporting characters and I was always saddened that this idea never saw the light of day. Anxiously looking forward to the months to come. X-Men Forever, indeed!
First, I would like to congratulate you on X-men Forever 1 which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now that you've established a new 161 universe in X-men Forever, would you ever considering writing the x-men in the main stream 616 universe again?Also, as a huge Sage fan, is there any chance of seeing her appear in X-men Forever? I really hope so!
Hello Mr. Claremont,As someone that has stopped reading X-Men shortly after you left in 1991, I was wondering why did you choose to start with a new team entirely instead of using the Blue/Gold team that were there in 91 and then slowly but surely "branch out" toward something different? Isn't this book supposed to be "What if Chris Claremont had not left the X Universe after X-Men #3?"?Also also around that X-Men 1-3 came out there was also a goverment sponsored X-Factor and the new outlaw X-Force mutant team. And also new villains like The Upstarts. Are you planning to include all these concepts into your run and perhaps re-think them into something that would satisfy you more? It would intrigue me to see your version of Cable for instance. And how perhaps with Nick Fury there he would force the X-Men to arrest Cable and his team.
Will you do anything interesting with Nightcrawler or will he be wallpaper here as well?
Mr. Claremont:Do you have any plans for Cable in this series? Since he was not revealed to be the son of Cyclops and Maddie Pryor at the time you first left the X-men in 1992 or thereabouts (nor was he even revealed to be a time-traveler at that point in time to my recollection), it could be quite interesting to see the divergent path that you might take this character on as opposed to who he became/was revealed to be shortly after you left.
It appears XMF #1 was a near immediate sell-out at the distributor level. Thanks and congratulations to Chris, Tom, and everyone else involved!
I'd just like to say I loved X-men Forever 1, I loved the extra pages in X-men Alpha and I've subscribed to the series. I quit reading comics when Christ Claremont left X-men the first time, I only came back to the X-men and any comic really when he did in 2000. I've been repeatedly dissapointed by Marvel not allowing him to stay on Uncanny or the main X-characters and this series is exactly perfectly what I've always wanted Marvel to do and I'm very happy about it. I dont' know if its too late for Mr. Claremont to write back to one of my comments but here goes. Question 1. I don't know if it's intentional or what but it seems like there is a reluctance to reference the fact the X-men were dead to the world shortly prior to this storyline. Kitty and Kurt weren't just "away with Excaliber" they were terribly injured and had to leave the team after the morlocks massacre. When the X-men died they missed it and then they formed Excaliber, which for commercial reasons kept them out of the main x-books far too long. Even in the 616 there was really never a satisfying reunion of Kitty Kurt and the main x-team, and we appear to have missed it here. I know it all could have happened behind the scenes and you need to get the new storylines going but that was a BIG plot point that just never had a satisfying conclusion. I always thought Kitty would be furious at Storm when she found out, happy they were alive but you know how Kitty can get. Any chance you could at least reference this plot point? I know it's been over 20 years since the Fall of the Mutants but I think your fans are the core of this book's audience and would deeply appreciate as many references to those great days as we can get. 2. Logan almost always calls Jean "Jeanie" but not here. I can feel the balancing act of not wanting to alienate new fans with too many inside references or characterizations versus staying true to your vision of the characters, but again I think your fans are with you 100 percent on this project. So, anychance you'll bring back more of the Claremont characterizations we love? It seems out of the question now but I've been eager to hear "I'm the best there is at what I do …." for a LONG time.
After seeing the preview to issue #2 and a certain characters skeleton, it came up on a certain former X-men artists message board, that said character is missing bionic implants or at the very least mutated wrist bones to accommodate claws if they are supposed to be natural. After you wrote so many times on your original run about the bionic implants housing his claws I was wondering why they were missing. Giving Wolverine natural bone claws was one of my biggest gripes after you left X-men if you were going to kill him anyway couldn't you have at least left the bionic implants in place?
With this opportunity to go back in time to the point you left, do you find yourself overwhelmed with trying to keep up with a few of the cool storylines you've liked by other writers that followed your run? What's your thoughts on Age of Apocalypse or Onslaught?
If this series continues to be successful, and I'm sure it will be, what do you think the chances are of any other titles taking place in your "Forever" time line?
dear mr c.i really liked x-men forever#1 but i have a question and im sure this may sound selfish but is there any really important stuff that is going on with storm that may change anything that is going on with her now??? cuz these days writters just put her to the back or send her to fight death and get stuck so we dont (hear her at all) or she is just kept oooout of the major things x-men!!!! also is she hard to write cuz maybe thats there problem
Over the decades I've read a variety of your X-Men work, and your affection towards certain characters. However there remains a consistency that I've noticed in that time, which is that you don't use Iceman as much. In the past you've set the record straight saying that the character hasn't been available at the time when you were writing that X-book, but c'mon… that can't always be the case whenever you write an X-Title – whether it's current continuity, alternate universe, or future reality.