Tell me, what do:
have in common?
You guessed it. Chris Claremont.
Claremont, well-known for his stint on X-Men that would last 17 years (1975-1991) is responsible for not only some of the most beloved characters in the X-Men Universe, but some of the most beloved stories as well.
Claremont was born November 25, 1950 in London, England and moved to the United States at a very young age. While most of the children his age found themselves watching and listening to everything sports, Claremont found a fascination with books like Dan Dare, even preferring them to titles like Batman and Superman.
Initially, Claremont had no interest in joining the ranks of the comic book writers as he thought the medium to be a dying breed. Instead, he enrolled at Bard College and studied Political Theory.
His comic career began in 1969 where he was hired as an editorial assistant at Marvel Comics. During this time he would receive his first plot assist credit for X-Men #59 (August, 1969). Seeing his potential, Roy Thomas assigned Claremont his very first script in Daredevil and the Black Widow.
In 1974 Claremont would be challenged with breathing new life into the failing Iron Fist title. For this title, he was teamed with John Byrne for the second time and as history teach us, this team would become legendary.
Recognizing his talent, then Marvel editor-in-chief, Len Wein gave Claremont the underperforming X-Men so as to not upset any of the other writers.
His run began in issue #94 (May, 1975) and immediately he began to look at how he could change it. He began to examine each of the characters motives, personalities and other “things” that would make them seem more relatable. From the onset of his run, the X-Men started to take off. The readers were able to relate to each of the characters through their problems, etc…
In 1977, Claremont flipped the ‘X’ world upside down when it took original X-Men, Jean Grey, transformed her into the Phoenix and ultimately the Dark Phoenix.
The Dark Phoenix Saga became Claremont’s signature work and has often been cited as one of the greatest stories every told in comics. This story created a sort of sensation that the comic world had not seen before and it quickly became the go-to comic for readers and non-readers alike. To this day, even those who don’t know about comics, have often heard of the Dark Phoenix Saga.
Aside from his well-documented 1970’s run on X-Men, Claremont was also credited with writing Marvel Team-Up, Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel during this time.
‘X’ titles and Claremont will forever be linked. He helped launch numerous other ‘X’ titles, some of which include The New Mutants and Excalibur.
As time passed, Claremont showed no signs of slowing down. The 1980’s brought fabled crossover storylines “Mutant Massacre” and “X-Tinction Agenda”.
In 1991, Claremont, and Jim Lee launched a second X-Men title. This initial issue would go on to become, and still hold the record for, the highest selling individual comic book of all time.
After the launch of this title, Claremont left Marvel to pursue other comic-related avenues. His work took him to Dark Horse, Image, and DC.
Claremont has been credited with creating extremely complex storylines that take their inspiration from real life events.
Like most other, “high end” writers and artists, Claremont has won numerous awards throughout his career. Some of these includes:
- Comic Buyers Guide Fan Award for Favorite Writer
- Eagle Award for Best Comicbook Writer
- Eagle Award for Favourite Comicbook
- Eagle Award for Favourite Group or Team