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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #78

This is the seventy-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous seventy-seven. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Mr. Sinister was originally envisioned as the product of the mutant mind of a child.

STATUS: True

With a name like Mr. Sinister, it can be a bit difficult to take the character seriously, and interestingly enough, his name was originally meant to be a hint as to the origin of this X-Men villain.

Mister_Sinister_001.jpg

When Chris Claremont first introduced Mr. Sinister, the idea was that the character we knew as Mr. Sinister was actually a product of the mutant mind of a child. A child who could never age. Essentially, a twisted version of the relationship between Billy Batson and Captain Marvel.

Claremont first mainly laid these plans out in the pages of Classic X-Men, where he featured stories of Scott Summers’ upbringing as an orphan in an orphanage. There there was a boy who was fascinated with Scott, and whatever the boy wanted to have happen, suddenly Mr. Sinister would show up and do what the boy wanted to have happen.

The reveal would be that the boy WAS Mr. Sinister – which is why the name is so dorky – as this villain would be the product of the mind of a child.

The only problem is, this child would never grow up, leaving Mr. Sinister to become more and more his public persona.

Ultimately, though, after Claremont was no longer writing X-Men, later writers completely changed this plot point. The stories from the orphanage are now meant to be Mr. Sinister in disguise as a young boy.

Weird, eh?

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Gambit was originally intended to be a villain.

STATUS: True

Reader JD Moore wanted to know about this one, so here it is!

Gambit made his mysterious debut in Uncanny X-Men #266, and right off the bat, he was surrounded by mystery.

2605_4_0266.jpg

Ultimately, though, he became one of the most popular X-Men.

That, though, was not always writer Chris Claremont’s intent.

According to Claremont (on ComixFan a few years ago),

Gambit was created to be, among many other things, an adversary for the X-Men, working to subvert and destroy them from within. The connection with Sinister was part of his genesis from the get-go– *however* that connection related solely to *my* conception of Sinister and the plans I had for him and the team, post “X-Men” #3 (1991.)

This, of course, is separate from the “traitor” storyline in the X-Titles, as that storyline originated after Claremont was already off the book.

Pretty interesting, no? Imagine how things would be like if Claremont got his wish and Gambit was a villain!!!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Jack Kirby co-created Thundarr the Barbarian.

STATUS: False

Reader JD Moore is a busy fellow, as he also asked me about this one awhile back, too. He asked about the rumors Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby creating Thundarr the Barbarian.

Thundarr the Barbarian was about, surprisingly, a barbarian named Thundarr who lived in a post-apocalyptic future, along with his compatriots Princess Ariel and Ookla the Mok.

thundarr1.jpg

The concept of the post-apocalyptic future evokes Kirby’s Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, that Kirby did for DC Comics during the 70s.

kamandi01-01.JPG

When you add in the fact that Kirby worked on the program as a designer, it would not take much to make the leap that it was Kirby who, in fact, designed the characters.

That, however, is not the case.

As it were, the creation of Thundarr the Barbarian DID include Steve Gerber, who was heavily involved in writing for animated television programs during the 80s, but the characters were designed by artist Alex Toth, not Jack Kirby.

Kirby came into the project, which was produced by Ruby-Spears Productions, after Alex Toth had designed the characters. The producers needed more work done, and Toth was unvailable, so Kirby was suggested. They agreed, and soon Kirby was the main designer on the popular program!!

Neat, huh?

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free to drop off any urban legends you’d like to see featured!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

63 Comments

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 23, 2006 at 2:12 am

When I was a young tacker getting into the x-men (at age 11), I always thought Gambit was the third Summers brother – the clue being that he had Red Eyes like Cyclops.
How that would work when Havok doesn’t have red eyes, I don’t know, however Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell always wrote Cyclops and Gambit like they were buddies, who got along despite their vast differences, and so I was convinced.

That Mister Sinister bit sounds pretty cool. I always thought the character was lame but considering he was supposed to be lame makes him about 60 times better.

And, of course, Ookla the Mok is a name that has continued to resonate in comic-book culture.

Seems to me that Chris Claremont has no idea what works and what doesn’t.

“Right off the bat, he was surrounded by mystery.” Like why he has no fashion sense, why he was so creepily keen on teenaged Storm, why he inexplicably became so very popular when he’s quite possibly the worst character Claremont ever created …

“…quite possibly the worst character Claremont ever created.”

Allow me to direct you to the Neo, the Twisted Sisters, every one of the new characters from the third volume of Excalibur, and the Shockwave Riders, my friend.

“Seems to me that Chris Claremont has no idea what works and what doesn’t.”

That doesn’t read how I wanted it to. Obviously Claremont has done some amazing work and could one day be put on the Mount Rushmore of comics writers. What I meant is that Claremont did not have the foresight to see how popular Gambit and Sinister would become, and thus would probably have made them background charcters if he continues on the books. Perhaps that may have been better for us hardcore comic fans, but I bet Marvel is sure happy they got so much mileage out of a supposed Dark Captain Marvel and the X-Men’s version of Terra.

Mr. Sinister rocks! I love the idea of someone attempting to make clones to mess with the X-Men; why didn’t anyone think of this before? Too bad his story got way too convoluted for anyone to follow. His name is great, too.

Was this story perhaps influenced by Alan Moore’s Twilight proposal, which turned on the revelation that Billy Batson had become psychologically twisted by constantly transforming into an adult man? (Later copied somewhat by Kingdom Come, of course.)

“I love the idea of someone attempting to make clones to mess with the X-Men; why didn’t anyone think of this before?”

Actually, the idea of a villain creating clones of the heroes is an old and pretty tired one. It’s been done countless times.

“Imagine how things would be like if Claremont got his wish and Gambit was a villain!!!”

His incredible suckness is pretty evil.

We should’ve taken his banana hammock as proof that he was actually a villain.

What surprises me is Claremont saying he had a plan for his characters. Say what you will about his writing, the one knock I always had against him was that while he was good at concepts and story ideas, he never seemed to know what to do with them afterwards. Plot threads would go unresolved for years, characters would be forgotten about, etc. I kind of like the idea he had for Mr. Sinister, but I think Gambit’s post-Claremont story was more interesting…

And as an aside, cool urban legend for Thundarr. I always loved that show and have been dying for it to get released on DVD by somebody (if She-Ra and Jem can make it, why not Thundarr?!).

“Actually, the idea of a villain creating clones of the heroes is an old and pretty tired one. It’s been done countless times.”

Sure, but it could work with the X-Men, whose raison d’etre is genetics.

Well, if Claremont had plans for Mr Sinister, it would have been nice to see them in the FIVE years (70 issues) between his introduction and Claremont’s departure…

Sinister is one of the most underrated villians in comics. To say he’s dorky? I don’t buy that assertion at all. He’s actually the villian that always wins in the end and that’s why he’s in demand to have a big storyline right now.

Mr. Sinister never sounded like a great name, I guess that’s why they changed it to just ‘sinister’. Still the connection between Gambit and Sinister was still there. I thought Uncanny 350 made Gambit’s secret too awful. But, hey that’s fictional life for you.

What about Gambit’s power to influence people with words? That was part of his first storyline (where he helped Little Ororo against Nanny and the Orphan Maker.) They’ve forgotten about it but it was clearly a superpower, as it affected the telepathic Nanny.

Sinister always felt to me like someone they threw together because they needed a new Master Villain (for the Mutant Massacre) but couldn’t come up with one on time. Just not as interesting as Apocalypse or Magneto. Claremont’s origin is more interesting than what they came up with later. He’s basically just an evil High Evolutionary.

Thank you for the scoop on Mr. Sinister! I could never reconcile what later writers did with the Classic X-Men back-ups.

Mr. Sinister seemed to appear in stories by other writers when they needed a generic mysterious bad-guy. Knowing what Claremont had in mind makes the original appearances (Mutant Massacre, Inferno) much creepier. And boy, seeing the Mutant Massacre as the actions of an insane child makes a lot more sense to me than a scientist from Victorian England who wants to study mutation . . . .

Love the urban legends. Please keep them coming. Any progress on the idea that Charlton published a Ditko story that originated as a Captain Action story?

Any chance of a “Thundarr” revival? It was a very interesting program, and would be interesting to re-visit as a comic or animated feature. Maybe a dvd release if nothing else?

Thundarr had what may be my favorite hidden adult (as in something only adults would get, not as in racy or vulgar) reference I’ve seen in a cartoon: in the episode where Thundarr and friends battle werewolves, the leader of the lycanthropes is named Zevon.

Mr. Sinister, as I’ve always said, looks like a goth drag queen.

Ha! That’s classic, Jeremy! I did not know that – I guess Gerber is into Zevon (I would like to think he would have such good taste :)).

I was always confused as to why Sinister looked like a weird version of Colossus… And I didn’t realise until a few years after Inferno about the demon S’ym and his similarity to Cerebus (Sim)! Anyone know how that came about?

The thing is… Gambit wasn’t all that bad up until people started bitching about him. I know that line doesn’t make sense, bare with me on this.

Gambit functioned as a pretty cool supporting character, and IMO reached his hight in poularity when he was included on the Xmen Animated Series.

He could kick ass, throw playing cards with percision (come on, you didn’t chuck some playing cards around your house trying to get them to fly in a straight line?) and the only real annoyance was the writer’s grasp on his accent. He took out Wolverine, countless others, he was a slick fighter. They also introduced the whole Theives/Assassins guild in the X-Men series, and it was all fairly mysterious backstory that he knew he couldn’t escape from, yet didn’t want to incoporate his new family of XMen in to. Blah blah blah, family sticks together, Gambit learns to not be betrayed, etc.

Then, his star grew, and people either loved him or hated him, so the writers started adding more character for you demanding peeps and they created his whole series. The New Son (Sun), and the stupid mist woman inside him, etc. Really, really, really dumb things to clear up his character.

They kind of saved him (read=returned him to his roots) with XMen 25 and the resulting reveal of what Gambit did during the Mutant Masscare… and then decided to leave him in Antartica or whatever. THen Spat and Grovel, etc… and it trails off from there. The whole franchise kind of rebooted, they brought him back in X-Treme Xmen and it stopped being about Gambit and his mystery and more about Gambit and Rogue’s soap opera will they?/won’t they…

I got sick of the XMen at that point. Oh look, Claremont returned to writing at that point too.

Oh, and for the record, the cover sucks, but that wasn’t what he wore DURING that issue. So, first impressions are definately wrong.

And I have no idea what happened to his empathy power, it was great. Stupid Marvel.

Oh, and I forgot all the big reveal about Gambit time travelling into the past, Sinster saving him from his powers, and gentic this and that. Time Travel involved in Gambit’s past? Way to put a nail not only in to his coffin, but right in his friggin’ forehead.

Rahne’s Catholic.

Who was it who pointed out that if you learn a character’s particular Christian denomination in comics or TV, it will invariable by Roman Catholicism? Comics really only portray five real-world religions, anyway: RCC, generic/unspecified Protestant, Conservative Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, and generically Middle-Eastern Islam.

Everything else is either made up, or in no way resembles the real deal (i.e., comic-book Satanism and GNosticism barely resemble the real deals unless Ellis or Moore are writing the book.)

I love how someone just drops in that there’s a ‘big demand for a major storyline with Mr. Sinister right now’ as if that statement applies as true anywhere outside of his apartment.

> Rahne’s Catholic.

No, no she’s not. She’s presbyterian.

Gabe Carey In The House!

Chris Claremont is the worst comics writer ever. It’s just unreadable. It’s like a closet full of farts.

I’m confused – the comment about Rahne seems to have no antecedent. Was something deleted?

> I didn’t realise until a few years after Inferno
> about the demon S’ym and his similarity to Cerebus
> (Sim)! Anyone know how that came about?

Short answer? Cerebus was big in the late ’80s, and someone on the books was a fan. Long answer? It would make a good Urban Legend…

Actually, I believe Sim and Claremont were fairly friendly in the late 70s and early 80s. Sim did parodies of Prof. X and Wolverine in Cerebus and it was arranged for Cerebus to appear in the X-Men in some form.

No, no she’s not. She’s presbyterian.

Oh good lord – I am totally out of it! I have argued this point so many times that I’ve forgotten which side I’m on! :)

You are absolutely correct – Rahne is Presbyterian.

I’m confused – the comment about Rahne seems to have no antecedent. Was something deleted?

Certainly looks that way – but I don’t recall doing so.

Wow, that’s some quick turnaround on a request!
Dude, that was like frickin’ Wednesday.
Thanks Brian!

I’m a little upset that Steve Gerber’s contributions to comics are rarely recognized. His work on Man-Thing, Defenders and Guardians of the Galaxy were ahead of their time, surprisingly adult and subversive for the rather bland mid-seventies.

Thundarr is past due a revival. I’m surprised Adult Swim hasn’t put a cartoon out yet for that one.

“When I was a young tacker getting into the x-men (at age 11), I always thought Gambit was the third Summers brother – the clue being that he had Red Eyes like Cyclops.
How that would work when Havok doesn’t have red eyes, I don’t know, however Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell always wrote Cyclops and Gambit like they were buddies, who got along despite their vast differences, and so I was convinced. ”

In fact, didn’t Claremont make Gambit the 3rd Summers brother in X-Men the End?
Though that series was so bad I wouldn’t want to go back and re-read it to double check.

Here we go, from wikipedia. SPOILERS below.

In the miniseries X-Men: The End: Heroes and Martyrs, Gambit was revealed to be the clone of Mister Sinister, created from Sinister’s own pre-mutated DNA. Sinister wished to destroy his master, Apocalypse, and to do so he needed a body that had not been subject to Apocalypse’s altering. He then engineered mutant powers for the clone, using the DNA of Cyclops. This technically makes him the third Summers brother in that alternate reality. However, Apocalypse learned of Sinister’s plan and had the child stolen and left it in the care of the Thieves Guild.

“Thundarr is past due a revival. I’m surprised Adult Swim hasn’t put a cartoon out yet for that one.”

Thundarr is occasionally shown on the Cartoon Network “classic cartoon” spinoff channel Boomerang, which is available from most satellite providers and some cable companies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boomerang_(TV_channel)

About Thundarr and crew:

I’ve always wondered whether Ookla’s name was intended as a ’70s Southern California pun. He was the big, loud, ugly, hairy, bad-tempered presence in the group. Pronounce UCLA as one word, and see what you think.

I didn’t know that Steve Gerber was involved with Thundarr… makes my suspicious mind even more convinced.

Any chance of finding out from Gerber himself?

“Mr. Sinister, as I’ve always said, looks like a goth drag queen.”

Interesting that you bring that up. About a year or so ago, someone wrote up a comparison between Sinister and Frank N. Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The gist of it was:

1) Both are into leather, with pale faces and darkened lips.

2) Both are obsessed with a pair of young lovers and subsequently ruin their lives in really twisted ways.

3) Both are mad scientists driven to create the “perfect man/mutant”

“And, of course, Ookla the Mok is a name that has continued to resonate in comic-book culture.”

Interesting… Ookla the Mok is also the name of a very popular reggae band here in Hawaii.

-r-

Gambit is what caused me to drop the X-Men titles the first time. There was a cross-over with Ghost Rider (I think) regarding Gambit, which I had no desire to buy, and the next issue of X-Men just blithely started into a new storyline with nary a panel of resolution to bring anyone up to speed who had skipped the other half of the last story.

I was so fed up, I dropped all the X-titles. (And just in time to avoid all the crap than came in the next few years of the 90s — X-Cutioner’s Song, Marrow, Legacy Virus, amazing amounts of horrific art. I suspect I would have had an even worse taste in my mouth if I had lived through those days.

You can really see Kirby’s design influence on Thundarr in some of the villains. There were a couple I remember that had some of the specific traits that you find in a Kirby work.

“I’ve always wondered whether Ookla’s name was intended as a ’70s Southern California pun. He was the big, loud, ugly, hairy, bad-tempered presence in the group. Pronounce UCLA as one word, and see what you think.”

Scott Shaw! told me this just the other night. He said that Jack Kirby came up with the name, and that it was in fact meant to be a pronunciation of “UCLA”. Since he was told this by Jack Kirby himself, and it sounds like the kind of thing Kirby used to come up with all the time, I don’t see any reason to doubt it.

Yeah, I always thought the whole “It is UCLA pronounced as if it was a word” was just a given.

Damn, if that wasn’t something people knew, I should have somehow made THAT a legend! ;)

“Yeah, I always thought the whole “It is UCLA pronounced as if it was a word” was just a given.

“Damn, if that wasn’t something people knew, I should have somehow made THAT a legend!”

Sorry to blow a column idea, Brian.

I (obviously) hadn’t known, but I had spent two-and-a-half years exiled* in L.A. while She Who Must Be Obeyed was going to grad school at UCLA and I just started referring to the place as “ookla” as my own semi-private joke.

(* And before any Angelenos who might be reading this jump on me for that “exiled” crack: I don’t/can’t drive. If traveling greater L.A. on public trransit doesn’t count as exile to a Northeast Corridor boy, I don’t know what does!)

Anybody remember Barry Allen fighting “Master Villain”? Very similar concept. A kid named Barney Sands has drawn this cool supervillain, complete with a list of ridiculous powers (like a “2D punch” that turns things two-dimensional). Enter a wandering alien consciousness that’s spent years hanging out in the minds of people and animals on Earth and is thoroughly bored with them. It decides the perfect solution will be to bring Barney’s character to life and inhabit that for a while. So Master Villain enters the real world and goes a few rounds with the Flash — who finds it particularly weird that this villain (being the product of Barney’s imagination) talks like a kid.

What happens, if you’re curious, is that Barney confesses to Flash that he drew Master Villain, and shows him a superhero he’s drawn to take MV down. Of course, he has no idea how to bring the new guy to life — so in a classic Cary Bates maneuver, Barry dresses up as the superhero and fakes his powers with super-speed. I forget why this is more effective than just fighting him as the Flash, but it works. The alien consciousness leaves Earth and Master Villain disappears.

The funniest thing about all this is that a previous poster in this thread used the phrase “Master Villain,” capitalization and all, but it had nothing to do with the Flash story.

- Z

Concerning the pronunciation of UCLA, CutterMike gave it as “ookla,” but in one of his stand–up concert films, the late Richard Pryor, an alumnus, called it “you–kla.” For whatever that’s worth.

I don’t understand how it’s not a bigger deal that Mr. Sinister looks like Colossus in a cape. Ever since I first saw him on a cover I was waiting to finally be introduced to him and have this mystery solved, only to find out I’m the only one in either the real or Marvel universes who cares/noticed.

Despite the Kirby influence, who can deny the fact that Thundarr hugely rips off star wars?
Ookla is obviously chewbacca,
Thundarr has a light sword
The chick is also a princess
sorcery and science are the tools of power, much as technology and the force

Okay, I realize this post is over a year since it was originally published, and almost a year since the last post, but I am a huge Thundarr and greatly apprecate someone clearing up what exacly Kirby contributed, also, I would like to add the obligatory, WHERE THE HELL IS THE DVD?!?!?!

Thank you Brian!

Jon

ParanoidObsessive

November 10, 2008 at 10:35 pm

>>> He could kick ass, throw playing cards with percision (come on, you didn’t chuck some playing cards around your house trying to get them to fly in a straight line?) and the only real annoyance was the writer’s grasp on his accent. He took out Wolverine, countless others, he was a slick fighter. They also introduced the whole Theives/Assassins guild in the X-Men series, and it was all fairly mysterious backstory that he knew he couldn’t escape from, yet didn’t want to incoporate his new family of XMen in to. Blah blah blah, family sticks together, Gambit learns to not be betrayed, etc.

Ironically, you’ve just managed to describe why I NEVER liked him much as a character.

I was 13 at the time, and even then I realized that they were basically trying to make another Wolverine sort of character, fueled by Wolverine’s immense popularity. Mysterious past? Check. Gritty badassery? Check. More “lethality” than other X-Men? Check. The ability to win half his fights without even using his actual mutant power? Check.

His initial introduction was almost interesting, but even within a few months, the pseudo-rivalry they set up with Wolverine was starting to turn me off the character, because it came across like a blatant “Oooh, see how tough/badass he is? He can even beat up Wolverine!” Then he goes on to more or less successfully seduce Rogue (which was horrible storytelling, when you consider the previous 10 years worth of her character development), apparently become best friends with Storm on the basis of the help he gave her – he came across like a blatant Mary Sue fanfic character that could do no wrong.

The irony is, had they kept the whole “empath” aspect of his powers and the “infiltrator” aspect of his character, I’d probably have found him to be incredibly cool – many of his faults can be explained away as his power manipulating those around him, while his intent in doing so was to destroy the X-Men from the inside out. As is? I don’t think they even remotely gave him a story I gave a damn about.

I rewatched Thundarr on Boomerang as soon as I got the channel. Holds up well.

Kirby’s touches are noticeable everywhere from old posters for Jaws VII and Revenge of the Jedi to Gemini (looks a lot like Darkseid).

“Chris Claremont is the worst comics writer ever. It’s just unreadable. It’s like a closet full of farts.”

Gabe Carey speaks the truth!

“Anybody remember Barry Allen fighting “Master Villain”? Very similar concept. A kid named Barney Sands has drawn this cool supervillain, complete with a list of ridiculous powers (like a “2D punch” that turns things two-dimensional). Enter a wandering alien consciousness that’s spent years hanging out in the minds of people and animals on Earth and is thoroughly bored with them. It decides the perfect solution will be to bring Barney’s character to life and inhabit that for a while. So Master Villain enters the real world and goes a few rounds with the Flash — who finds it particularly weird that this villain (being the product of Barney’s imagination) talks like a kid.

What happens, if you’re curious, is that Barney confesses to Flash that he drew Master Villain, and shows him a superhero he’s drawn to take MV down. Of course, he has no idea how to bring the new guy to life — so in a classic Cary Bates maneuver, Barry dresses up as the superhero and fakes his powers with super-speed. I forget why this is more effective than just fighting him as the Flash, but it works. The alien consciousness leaves Earth and Master Villain disappears.

The funniest thing about all this is that a previous poster in this thread used the phrase “Master Villain,” capitalization and all, but it had nothing to do with the Flash story.”

Damn, I remember that story! You’ve just opened a room full of memories for me, Zeke. Cary Bates was gloriously insane.

Gambit was interesting up until the Ghost Rider crossover. The Guilds storyline did nothing to add to his character, it just dragged him down.

Interestingly enough, when Claremont first had him join the team, others commented about how suspicious they were of him (I remember Banshee once thinking that Gambit was learning so much about the other X-men, but not really revealing anything about himself).

As for him being a badass…well, he cheated the time he beat Wolverine, which I always thought was interesting.

I believe that Gambit was originally supposed to be another projection/persona/? of the kid from the orphanage. Sinister was the kid’s idea of a supervillain, and Gambit was his idea of a superhero, and that was why both of them were so over the top.
I’m not sure where I heard that, though- does it ring any bells?

I remember liking the Guilds storyline, at least for light entertainment.

That proposed Sinister back story sounds great, wish it had turned out that way!

Thundarr does look like classic Toth, though the Sealab designs might be the cleanest of all.

http://www.comics.org/issue/1070842/cover/4/

What up w/this? Is Gambit possibly a product of cryptomnesia involving an obscure DC villain from years earlier?

No, Gambit was just supposed to be what Claremont says here – an infiltrator who charms (using a power of his that later writers ignored) his way onto the team and into winning the team over, and then tries to destroy them – an agent of Mr Sinister. And Sinister’s intended origin, and nature, is as stated here – he’s a projection of a child’s idea of what a frightening creature would be. That’s why he looks like that and is named that.

Claremont’s intentions redeem both characters (at least their Claremont-era appearances – nothing can redeem what they became in the hands of lesser writers).

Personally, I’m glad Claremont didn’t get to do the things he intended to do if he stayed on the X-books because almost all the ideas I’ve heard sound terrible. The Sinister origin might not have been bad but Peter Milligan’s origin from Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix and the explanation for his fixation on Cyclops were much better than Claremont’s idea so I’m glad they went with that.

Claremont is a shadow of his former self. Everything he writes these days is either some wild and incredibly stupid tangent (like all that Balliwood crap in Gen Next) or else endless retreads on his old stories (the Phoenix saga in particular) that each chip away at and taint those great old stories. I can’t even look at some of my favorite old X-Men stories without thinking of the garbage that was X-Men Forever…and X-Men: The End was almost as bad.

When they introduced the idea of Gambit as a product of the Guild’s breeding program I wondered if that explained his charm power (useful for a thief) while the exploding cards were just a genuine mutation. But as pointed out overhead, nobody ever remembered the ability to influence people.

Claremont IS a shadow of his former self. However, that has nothing to do with the topic under discussion, which involves plans he made when he was still himself (contrary to some people’s opinions, he was still doing fine work at the end of his initial run).

As for not being able to read old X-Men comics because Claremont as an old man returning to the game after years away during which others destroyed the game and gave him no good universe to return to even if he HAD been still at the top of his game – that’s pretty stupid.

But then I’m posting on a thread where two people say the greatest superhero writer of all time is the worst of all time, and several others think obviously very cool ideas are terrible. IE, I’m talking to adult comic book fans, who are the dumbest people in the world.

@Paul

Adult comic book fans have the ability to look back at Claremont’s run without rose-tinted glasses. No, he’s not the worst of all time, after everything he contributed to Marvel and comics in general that’s both untrue and unfair, but some of the stuff he wrote and had planned was pretty awful, too, and it was clear that his run went on about five years or so too long.

Plus he doesn’t deserve any praise for X-Men Forever. From the very first story arc it was about going back to X-Men 1-3, and then throwing it all out for crappy new costumes, rehashed plotlines, and a dead Wolverine. Yes, later writers destroyed his universe, but that doesn’t mean we needed him to write a series where he could show us how the universe was REALLY supposed to be ruined.

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