Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #Xmen

Most recents (24)

The core superhero fantasy is associated with simplicity (or juvenilia) and is often brought forward as reason to devalue or dismiss the entire genre, but that fantasy of heroic virtue and endurance can be lifesaving to those in need and that merits consideration. #xmen 1/9
The unplanned-for joy of the project has been the social component of the social media, of talking to people for whom X-Men meant a very great deal, as it did for me personally as well. This isn’t always literary valuation – sometimes it’s about getting by. 2/9
Superheroics, in general, however, are considered sub-literary, despite having a rich place of respect in classical literature; the Ancient Greeks, for example, highly valued the concept of “aristeia,” the moment of great deeds in battle - basically action sequences. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
As noted by scholar Jeremy M. Carnes, the debate over the ethics of killing off Thunderbird in UXM #95 began quite early, and may reflect a failure of imagination on the part of the character’s creators to acknowledge a modern Indigenous existence. #xmen 1/7
As Carnes notes “As early as The X-Men #97, Marvel printed a letter from Tom Runningmouth, a self-identified American Indian, who writes ‘I was proud to see one of my people, an American Indian – America’s First citizens – become a member….’” 2/7
“’….but to my dissatisfaction in X-Men #94, you started to oppress him. But the clincher was in X-Men #95. You killed him. Why was he chosen? Why Thunderbird?’” 3/7
Read 7 tweets
In the pages of New Mutants, Xi’an Coy Manh (Karma) can be seen to function as a constant disruption of some key elements of the superhero fantasy, most prominently through her sense of priorities, which essentially never include actually being a superhero #xmen #newmutants 1/8 Image
First and most obviously, her backstory is truly horrific. She debuts in Marvel Team-Up #100, co-created by Claremont and Frank Miller with a backstory connected to the Indochina Refugee Crisis. Her parents died shipboard, and Xi’an was subjected to sexual assault. 2/8 Image
Xi’an’s younger siblings survived with her, however, and they become the focus of her life. She was appointed the first leader of the New Mutants, but never thrived in that role. She was, simultaneously, the school’s secretary to bring in income to support her siblings. 3/8 Image
Read 8 tweets
According to former Marvel EIC Jim Shooter, where most Marel writers took a hands-off approach to recruiting artistic talent to work with them, Claremont instead actively participated in scouting artistic talent for UXM. #xmen 1/5
Shooter observes that “Chris was very good at finding artists. I mean, other writers, they just let the editor find an artist. Chris is out bird-dogging artists all the time.” 2/5
“He was actively looking for artists. I know one time in Chicago, Chicago Con, this guy comes over asked me if I’d look at his samples and I did. They were really great. I said, ‘This is really good.’ I said, ‘Listen, give me your information, I’m going to see what we can do’”3/5
Read 6 tweets
In his chapter on “Marvel, X-Men, and the Negotiated Process of Expansion” from the book “Convergence Media History,” scholar Derek Johnson describes how the aggressive expansion of the X-line was necessitated by the emergence of the direct market in comics. #xmen 1/7
“Comic distribution in the 1980s had shifted away from mass-market drug stores and newsstands towards the ‘direct’ market, where specialty retailers gauged audience demand and ordered products directly from the publisher on a no-returns basis.” 2/7
“With retailers eating the cost of unsold titles, the market for content contracted, with only those titles which retailers felt confident they could sell reaching the shelves.” This meant that name recognition and intellectual property suddenly became much more important. 3/7
Read 8 tweets
The relationship between comics and nationalism is well-researched, and in Classic X-Men #29, Claremont defies the established comics treatment of The Cold War by revisiting and recontextualiing Colossus’s relationship to his motherland. #xmen 1/7 Image
CXM 29 debuts in Jan 1989, very much during The Cold War between the US and USSR, a war that was largely fought through the media at a time when sympathetic portrayals of Soviet citizens with a genuine love for their country was still quite abnormal. 2/7 Image
In his 1975 debut, Colossus was portrayed by Wein as brash/aggressive. Claremont would progressively push the character toward a more sympathetic portrayal, emphasizing both his vulnerability and his internal conflict with the excesses of American capitalism. 3/7 Image
Read 7 tweets
In Classic X-Men #6, simply titled “A Love Story,” Claremont uses a near-wordless sequence to create an intimate portrayal of Jean Grey’s world as she plans and anticipates her date with Scott, unaware of the cruel fate that awaits her. 1/7 #xmen
Importantly, the story reveals that Jean had been planning on seducing Cyclops. A note from roommate Misty Knight, and the (maybe) subtle action of hiding a photo of her parents from her nightstand make this abundantly clear. 2/7
Canonically, Jean only consummated the relationship in the Dark Phoenix Saga, which places her sexual agency in the hands of the cosmic entity, not her own, especially after the resurrection retcon that the Phoenix was entirely foreign – not Jean at all. 3/7
Read 7 tweets
Wolverine’s first solo series launches with a 6-page intro story about a bear that immediately establishes who Logan is, the duality that defines him, and his capacity to symbolize and disrupt perceptual boundaries between animal and person. #xmen #wolverine 1/9 Image
The miniseries is built around the conflict between the primal and the civilized, with particular emphasis on destabilizing the distinction between the two of them by portraying the violence of civility as well as the nobility of the primal. 2/9 Image
The grizzly encounter demonstrates this principle perfectly. The bear is terrifying and deadly, but only because of the interference of man. A good comparison might be to Grendel, with Logan thereby cast in the Beowulf role. 3/9 Image
Read 9 tweets
“Once Upon a Time – and only once – I got the chance to work with George Pérez.” In a 2004 essay introducing Uncanny X-Men Annual #3, Claremont describes his enduring joy at getting to collaborate with the late great comics legend. #xmen 1/5 Image
John Byrne was “slammed” and “we needed a penciller of his caliber who could handle team choreography, action galore, physical and emotional characterization, spectacular visuals, special effects, the works!” 2/5 Image
“So an invitation was sent to one of the House SuperStars; to our delight/amazement/surprise, George accepted.” 3/5 Image
Read 6 tweets
An important aspect of Storm’s duality, and one that contrasts her passion and will quite starkly, is her sense of interiority and self-isolation. Perhaps even moreso than iconic loner, Wolverine, Ororo often needs to withdraw and be alone. #xmen 1/11 Image
While her self-isolation can be read as part of her burden-of-leadership arc, we actually see it manifest quite clearly when Cyclops is still leading the X-Men. 2/11 Image
We first see it in the aftermath of the team’s battle with Garokk, which saw Storm desperately try to save the villain from death, but overcome by her own claustrophobia, she failed. She grieves alone, and Wolverine can see clearly that she needs her space to do so. 3/11 Image
Read 11 tweets
Wolverine #8 may be amongst the strangest stories that Claremont has ever written - a bizarre, deeply comedic take on the longstanding rivalry between a pair of iconic Marvel superheroes that seems to exist entirely out of time, genre, and expectation. #xmen 1/7
The basic premise is a chance encounter between Logan and Hulk. Hulk (somehow) doesn’t recognize Logan in his Patch persona, but Logan knows Hulk all too well and trades on their pre-existing rivalry through a series of elaborate pranks (mostly pants-based). 2/7
The most glaring strangeness of the story comes from the many anachronisms. The story is set in modern times, yet plays like very much like a comedic iteration of Casablanca, even featuring some references to the classic film. 3/7
Read 7 tweets
In "American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1990s," comics historians Keith Dallas and Jason Sacks place Claremont’s departure from X-Men into the context of the pivotal movements of the medium in the 1990s. #xmen 1/5 Image
“Like Louise Simonson before him, Claremont had fallen out of favor with Bob Harras. Indeed, Harras had spent much of the previous year undoing many of the changes Claremont made to the X-Men (e.g. removing the team from exile, returning Professor Xavier from outer space).” 2/5 Image
“Before long, Claremont had enough of the situation and he quit. His final issue was X-Men 3 (Dec. 1991), not that Marvel promoted the fact with any kind of fanfare. The printed acknowledgement of Claremont’s departure was almost unnoticeable.” 3/5 Image
Read 7 tweets
In a 2014 essay, Louise Simonson describes the affordances of the comics medium that necessitated Storm’s punk transformation and the foreknowledge that the creative team had of the inevitable backlash that would arise. #xmen 1/3 Image
“Comics is a short form – and we deal in symbols. Storm, the serene, controlled weather goddess had a billowing cape and long, flowing hair. But this wild Storm needed a new look – and she got one. We were expecting outrage! And we got it!” 2/3 Image
“We’d done it on purpose, manipulated the symbols so the readers would know at a glance that Storm had changed. Kitty took one look and – like some of our readers – burst into tears!” 3/3 Image
Read 3 tweets
As noted by scholars such as Scott Bukatman and Carol Cooper, pre-Claremont Marvel heroines tended to have stand-and-pose powers such as telepathy, telekinesis, force fields, etc. Claremont pushed against this trend in UXM with heroines who got their hands dirty. #xmen 1/6 Image
The first to make this transition was Jean, who Claremont dis-infantalized by renaming her Phoenix instead of Marvel Girl, then by advancing her mental powers to new heights with a fiery and visceral form that was dynamic and kinetic rather than prim and pretty. 2/6 Image
Storm developed at the same time, first as a powerhouse, then as a skilled hand to hand (or knife to knife) combatant, highlighted by her defeats of Callisto and Cyclops. 3/6 Image
Read 7 tweets
In describing his version of Colossus, Marc Silvestri speaks to the character’s capacity for visceral visual impact, but also of the (less-considered) emotional relationship between artist and character, something that can impact (or even define) the resulting imagery. #xmen 1/6
For Silvestri, that relationship is defined by “glee,” something that might be counter-intuitive for an artist known for dark characters and kinetic violence, but his sense of joy is clearly the focus when he describes Colossus in an interview with Marvel Age: 2/6
“Colossus is always a lot of fun. Any time you have to draw a big bruiser like that, you know you’re going to have a good time. There’s a lot of broad action with him because of his strength and size.” 3/6
Read 8 tweets
In light of his recent passing, I’d like to re-post this thread we did in 2020 on Neal Adams’ immense impact on the Claremont run of X-Men comics, and on the X-Franchise in general: #xmen
Though Claremont is credited with reviving the X-Men, the run prior to Claremont’s very nearly accomplished the same thing but for some unfortunate circumstances; nonetheless, Neal Adams’ run served as an important precursor for Claremont’s. 1/6
Neal Adams’ run on X-Men began in 1969. He was credited as artist for the series (with Roy Thomas scripting) but it was Adams doing most of the plotting as well (as revealed by Thomas in later interviews). 2/6
Read 7 tweets
Illyana Rasputin’s initial character development unfolded along a complex and atypical trajectory, yet so much of who the character is and would become is deftly articulated in the prose found on the first page of the Magik mini-series. #xmen 1/11 Image
The context preceding the story is important. Claremont let the nature of Illyana’s time in limbo dangle for over a year with just a few hints at what might have been, most notably in UXM 171. It is not clear if Illyana is a victim, or a demonic villain infiltrating the team 2/11 Image
That changes immediately with the first words on page 1 of the mini, which gives the reader their first real interior perspective on Illyana: “I was born in a small house in a land so vast you could walk for days and never see another living soul.” 3/11 Image
Read 11 tweets
Rachel Summers has been identified as both a hard-suffering character and one who is heavily queer-coded. These two attributes can also be seen to intersect in order to form a poignant allegory for the hostile treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals in society. #xmen @GoshGollyWow 1/8 Image
Basically, the idea would be that Rachel’s constant suffering and isolation from society represent the sort of cold shoulder with which LGBTQ+ are frequently treated in their respective cultures, communities and even families. 2/8 Image
In her first big UXM story, Rachel arrives in the 616, only to be brutally assailed by Selene – even the stranger who shows kindness to Ray is cruelly murdered. This sets the bar for Rachel’s frequent experience of a world in which she is simply not allowed to feel safe. 3/8 Image
Read 8 tweets
Where suggestive imagery is often considered a lazy and salacious aspect of comics storytelling, UXM 137 contains a sequence of vignettes that use sexuality to create a complex balance that advances important themes and symbols of the Dark Phoenix Saga. #xmen 1/10
Claremont & Byrne give the X-Men an evening’s respite before the final battle, and the narrative takes the time to portray each of them in brief scenes that highlight intimacy (and with it vulnerability), undress, and, in some cases, sexual drive. 2/10
Jean is seen in her robe in her private quarters; Logan emerges naked from the shower; Colossus rises out of bed in his underwear; Storm luxuriates in her own bed in the nude; Beast exchanges sexual innuendo with a Shi’ar attendant; and Scott and Jean kiss. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
UXM 137 showcases one of Tom Orzechowski’s greatest (and most necessary) talents as a letterer: enhancing the sense of a scene’s spatial geometry and movement, thus bridging the distance between the competing interests of script and imagery. #xmen 1/10
The first thing to note is the degree of difficulty. The issue is scripted by (arguably) the wordiest writer in Marvel history and pencilled by (arguably) one of the finest illustrators in that same history. Orz is caught between them, laying reams of text over drawings. 2/10
We should also note that Tom’s career began largely as an inker; thus he’s an artist with a background in visual composition – someone with an intimate understanding of how to create and enhance the sense of space on a comics page. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
Inherently and individually, Claremont & John Bolton’s “Classic X-Men” vignettes often contemplate the art of storytelling. In “The Gift” from CXM #9, Nightcrawler, a fantastic being & performer with a deep love for popular stories, is an ideal conduit for this theme. 1/13 #XMen Image
The story opens in a New York hospital, where the X-Men await news of Jean Grey, hovering between life & death after saving the team. The team’s naturalistic poses, rendered impeccably by Bolton, emphasize their close, complex bonds. But Kurt chooses to stand apart. 2/13 Image
Kurt is also forced to stand apart; sharing the vigil means using an “image inducer” to hide his true appearance. Yet Kurt doesn’t adopt a generic face; instead, he resembles Errol Flynn. Hence, he’s not simply hiding; he’s performing a specific glamorous identity. 3/13 Image
Read 14 tweets
New Mutants 50-52 portrays the tragic breakdown of Illyana’s relationship with her surrogate father, Professor Xavier, helping to set in motion the events that ultimately lead the character toward a path of outright destruction in the Inferno to come. #xmen #newmutants #magik 1/9 Image
Issue 50 (somewhat cruelly) establishes the extent to which Xavier is viewed as a father in Illyana’s eyes through the extent of her jubilance at being rescued by him, but also through her reflection on the fact that Xavier has, in her eyes, earned the role of father to her. 2/9 ImageImage
Moving beyond reaction and reflection, however, Illyana fully demonstrates her devotion to X in that same issue, by taking up her magical powers (despite having purposefully abandoned them) in order to protect Xavier, something he observes quite directly. 3/9 Image
Read 9 tweets
In a brief self-insert scene from UXM Annual #12, Claremont uses the 4th-wall-breaking character Mojo to shine the satirical lens onto Claremont himself and onto his own creative team for a bizarre bit of autocriticism. #xmen 1/9
The narrative problem presented is that the X-Men have recently died in “Fall of the Mutants” and thus the demand for X-Men stories on Mojoworld has no supply. Mojo goes off on his team of sycophants, but this time, among them, is the X-team of creators themselves. 2/9
In a single panel, we see Bob Harras, Glynnis Oliver, Ann Nocenti, Art Adams, a blustering Chris Claremont and Tom Orzechowski. Notably absent is inker Bob Wiacek, though perhaps this is reflective of the fact that Wiacek was not the main x-inker at the time. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
In an interview with CBR, New Mutants artists Bill Sienkiewicz describes the avant-garde approach that he undertook during his legendary run on the title and the deeply polarizing effect that it had on the existing X-Men/New Mutants fanbase. #xmen #newmutants 1/5
Beginning with “The Demon Bear Saga,” Sienkiewicz transitioned the New Mutants from house style to a kind of innovative, mixed-media, experimental artwork that was rarely ever seen in Marvel comics, and certainly not in a top-tier book. 2/5
“The main thing is, I felt I could play around a lot. And that was a plus. We got letters. We probably lost as many people as we gained. We had some people writing in saying, "This is amazing, this is wonderful, it's really changed" to "Stop him, Jim, before he kills again." 3/5
Read 6 tweets

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