web stats

CSBG Archive

Month of Avengers/X-Men Top Fives – Top Five “Bang! You Dead”s

All month-long we’ll be featuring top five lists about either the Avengers or the X-Men. Here is an archive of all the past top five lists!

In this installment, we’ll look at the top five instances of “Bang! You Dead!” in Chris Claremont X-Men comics.



Louise Simonson actually titled New Mutants #86 with it! Not Claremont, but still, she named the whole story with the phrase (or close enough)!

Now on to Claremont stuff!

Chris Claremont actually used the basic phrase all the way back in 1975 in Marvel Premiere #27, starring Satana…

Not an X-Men comic, so it doesn’t count, but still, pretty funny.

Uncanny X-Men #279

This one misses the list in part because Claremont likely only plotted the issue with Fabian Nicieza mostly writing the issue (Nicieza also wrote X-Men #32 by himself. That issue is the one whose image I got the display from).

Wolverine, Gamit and Jubilee are on Muir Isle and have all been sort of taken over by the Shadow King’s influence. So they go off walking when Gambit has reason to remember an incident from six issues earlier…

5. Uncanny X-Men #213

This is hurt by the fact that it really doesn’t make much sense for Sabretooth to be able to kick Rogue’s ass like this…

4. X-Men #1

This was the end of the long opening sequence where we meet the newly recombined X-Men squad in their new outfits while doing a training sequence where the majority of the X-Men try to break into the Mansion to “capture” Professor X.

Claremont left the series (after seventeen years writing the X-Men) two issues later.

3. Uncanny X-Men #277

In this issue, the X-Men are split up, with a number of them (including Wolverine) being captured and replaced by Power Skrulls, Skrulls that can mimic the abilities of the people that they mimic (through the usage of a special device that the victim is hooked up to). Gambit and Wolverine have a rematch of a fight that they had four issues earlier, only this time it is a Skrull Wolverine…

2. Uncanny X-Men #255

I loved how Freedom Force (who are sent to Muir Isle to help defend the island by an attack by the Reavers) were given so much character development in this story. Pyro and Mystique seemed like legitimate friends. And then an awesome moment…

Silvestri and Claremont really set up this moment well. Granted, it is not precisely “Bang. You Dead” but close enough!

1. Uncanny X-Men #273

This issue was drawn by a number of different artists, including this fight between Wolverine and Gambit by Claremont and the legendary Michael Golden that had such an impact on Claremont that he referenced in twice. Remember, at the time, a big part of Wolverine’s portrayal in the title was how his skills were slowly but surely slipping…

What a stunning piece of orchestration by Golden.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!


Is that a pair of feet Liefeld drew on the Vulture? Wow, it must be some really early work.

Ah, sarcasm…

Rogue getting trashed around so easily seems kind of fitting, since that’s how she treated Captain America in her debut appearance.

I miss Pyro.

And Forge going hardcore on the Reavers? Pure Awesomeness.

Thank God this is one Claremontian catchphrase that didn’t last very much past his departure.

Brian, maybe you should do the top five Claremont-isms. Here’s one, “No quarter asked, no quarter given”.

Number two, with Forge, was the one that I instantly thought of. Totally cool moment of awesomeness.

I actually kind of like that Liefeld page! Vulture’s hips and ass in the middle panel are very comic book feminine for a scrawny old guy, but other than that I think it’s a fine superher comic book page! Who knew?

Never noticed it before

No “Bang Charley, you’re dead” from X-Men 1? With the claws popped all so close… And the way Wolverine justifies it combine to make one of my favourite Wolverine moments.

Now I want a top 5 uses of “I love you / And I, you.”

Did Claremont and Simon Furman ever co-write anything? That would be the most catchphrase-filled book ever. “Reap the psychic totality of my whirlwind!”

That sequence made me realized how similar Gambit and Longshot are. They both have acrobatic fighting styles, they both carry small weapons to throw at enemies, and their names are synonyms.

There are kind of a lot of Xmen with synonymous names now that I think about it: Gambit/Longshot, Northstar/Polaris, Quicksilver/Mercury. Anyone else?

Top 5 Claremont catchphrases would be great.

I think it can actually be separated into two top 5 lists. One can be phrases that get repeated by different people and narration captions (“no quarter asked, none given,” “your choice, your funeral.” “bang, you dead,”) and phrases that are repeated over and over but by only one person, making it their shtick (Rogue lamenting her powers, Psylocke’s focused totality, Wolverine’s best at what he does, Stevie Hunter lamenting her knee, Cannonball pointing out he’s nigh-invulnerable when blastin’, Kitty Pryde and the N-word).

Top 5 Claremontisms coming up

5. “Body and soul!”
4. “Famous last words”
3. “No quarter asked, and none given”
2. “nigh invulnerable”
1. “The focused totality of my telepathic powers!”

“Devils take the man.”

“Pray tell.”

“Mein Gott!!!”

“I got better.”

“Blasted Weather-Witch!”

“I’m the best there is at what I do. And what I do ain’t pretty.”

and who could forget…

“Ah’m well nigh invulnerable. When ah’m blastin’.”

nice for always loved the first sparing of wolveirne and gambit where gambit says bang your dead. also loved how forge just nails the reavers out of no where.

Man, they really pushed for Gambit to be a star right out of the gate by having him thrash Wolverine on a consistent basis. Even if it was a Skull Wolverine or a still weakened from being crucified Wolverine.

the Muir Island issue was one of the best ever. Also the coolest thing Forge ever did.

Andy Kubert early works looks pretty rough here, especially when followed by Davis, Lee, Silvestri and Golden.

kind of gratuitous to have Sabretooth peak under Rogue’s shirt in that last panel.

great list – more lists involving Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run please!

And Claremont’s darkness was almost always “Stygian”

weirdest thing Claremont every did with dialog was at the suffix “-oid” to every slang word. by far the most bizarre example was when everyone just spontaneously started calling the brood aliens “Sleazoids” as the same time. i dont think ONE person would ever call a giant killer alien bug a sleazoid, let alone ALL THE PEOPLE.

also rabbiting for running away, but that was kind of endearing.

and then sometimes people would say something that is not funny or even remotely a joke and then someone else would reply “HEY WE’VE GOT NO TIME TO MAKE JOKES”. that got really annoying.

If you put “focused totality” into Google, it’ll autosuggest completing it with “of my psychic powers”.

I don’t think I’ve ever been hit so hard.


How can anyone so big move so fast?

That… HURT!

“HIt ‘em hard and fast!”

Yeah, thanks. I was planning on hitting them soft and slow, but your way is much better.

Welcome to the rabbit hole of Claremontian catchphrases, Brian Cronin. Hope you survive the experience!

I hope — I PRAY — that it won’t come to that!

X-Men #1:
“BANG, Chuck… You’re Dead”

It IS number 1, how did you miss that?

So the actual phrase “Bang, you dead!” (not “you’re”) was uttered three times by Gambit and once by Sabretooth. Does that mean it’s more of a Gambit catch-phrase than an X-Men catch-phrase?

I’m going to speak in Claremont-isms to my friends and family for the rest of the day.

I hope they won’t kill me.

@noob rocknie: This is the second time in a couple of weeks I’ve read about this Claremont-ism. Do you have any examples? I’m sure I’ve read some, but I can’t think of any. As style goes, it does sound very Claremont (apparently he usually felt awkward trying to execute humorous bits in the stories.

I never realized “Bang! You dead” was such a common catchphrase. I guess I stopped paying attention around the middle of the Silvestri run. I agree with others, it’s not one of his better ones.

These other examples are hilarious, though. I’m partial, in an annoyed way, to “no quarter asked, none given” and “And I, you, with all my heart”. Oh yes, and “You’re mine, body and soul”.

Plus there was always that “what matters is making the attempt” angle Claremont always used. Not so much a catchphrase as a recurring bit of sermonizing.

How about Top 5 Avengers catchphrases? “My fists hit like Thor’s hammer!” “Oh my stars and garters”, etc.

I love Claremont’s early stuff, including his dialogue, but man did it get bad later on. The post-Silvestri stuff excerpted above all makes me cringe. I want to reread the whole X-Men run and see if I can figure out when it all went off the rails and his writing tics and stockphrases started overwhelming the rest of his writing. I think the tipping point would probably be the end of Paul Smith’s run or the beginning of JR JR’s. It drove me crazy back then, but now I just find it endearing.

And the above poster is right, they really were pushing Gambit hard back then.

Number five is so tiresome that I wonder if I am missing context. Gambit, Jubilee and Wolverine seem to be doing nothing but engaging in a pointless pissing competition. I hope they were meant to come across as arrogant, spoiled rotten d*cks all.

Luis – it was the 90s, so “arrogant, spoiled rotten dicks” was synonymous with cool. The same goes for Didio/Harras DC, where “arrogant, spoiled rotten dicks” is synonymous with iconic, but that is basically just the 90s regurgitated anyway.

Oh wait, I just realized Luis was talking about #5 on the countdown where they’re on Muir Isle and not the fifth excerpt in the order they are in the Danger Room. In the Muir Isle example they are being corrupted by the Shadow King’s telepathy and gradually getting more dickish. It’s actually explained in the plot.

My favorite Claremontism is when someone would explain to us, using forty or fifty words, that they had “no time to dodge.”

What about “Now it’s my turn”

It’s actually explained in the plot.

And in the above piece! :)

X-Men #1:
“BANG, Chuck… You’re Dead”

It IS number 1, how did you miss that?

Good call. I’ll admit, I just looked in Uncanny issues. I’ll add it to the list!

Can I just take a minute to state that Gambit and Wolverine look terrible in those blue and yellow standard issue uniforms?

@dhole One of the most repeated catchphrases in the Avengers has got to be some variation on “I was trained in hand-to-hand combat…by Captain America himself!”

I would love to dig into my collection of back issues and figure this out for myself, but in case anyone out there already knows the answer to this…When did Claremont’s catchphrase obsession begin? What was his first catchphrase (following the criteria that a phrase only becomes a catchphrase when it’s used more than once)?

I think that Claremont’s first catch phrase might wall have been as early as X-Men #95, the second issue he scripted, when Cyclops, commenting on Thunderbird’s death, states “It comes with the uniform.” I know that one is not as common as some other Claremontisms, but I’m sure he’s used it at least a few other times.

I think that Claremont’s first catch phrase might wall have been as early as X-Men #95, the second issue he scripted, when Cyclops, commenting on Thunderbird’s death, states “It comes with the uniform.” I know that one is not as common as some other Claremontisms, but I’m sure he’s used it at least a few other times.

To me, it doesn’t become a catchphrase until it’s used the SECOND time. Until then, it’s just another phrase, no?

There’s that scene that makes Rogue look like a chump that we were talking about in that other thread.

“Careful Bobby, you’re strong, not invulnerable”

“Only my ruby-quartz visor can contain my optic blasts”

Strangely enough, though I’ve read at least 2 of those issues, the one that popped into my head when I saw the list title was Gambit’s self-referential French version up there.

“Je suis mort– I am now dead.” For whatever reason, that phrase has stuck in my head for twenty years now.

I’d like to see a list of top 4 storm declaratives.

I never get tired of seeing Vulture talk about “just deserts.” They aren’t exceptional deserts. They are just deserts.

“Taking a powder”.

Having accidentally said it once when my wife was around (just something that happened), she looked at me like I had lost my mind. Then she asked for context. Worst conversation ever.

@dhole – you mean the non-joke comments that get played up as jokes thing? i can’t think of any off the top of my head but it’ll be like someone complaining about their uniform or saying like, i didnt realize you were an expert at blah blah blah and then someone boring like storm will say “this is neither the time nor place for jokes”. and its like wtf no one was joking storm.

also cyclops would also be telling people to quit the snappy patter. the x-men were chockablock with snappy patter.

as for when claremontism go from endearing to tiresome, everyone’s mileage will vary. somewhere toward the end of the Ann Nocenti as editor years he started to REALLY spin his wheels. then Harras/Lee tried to impose a return to the Cockrum/Byrne years and he kind of checked out. but to me its all good. even when they’re objectivity no great comics its still cool to consider it in context to the crazy long 17 year body of work.

You know the thing about Claremont’s writing that always–

–drives me nuts? it’s this weird habit he has where he starts a thought in one word balloon–

–and finishes it in another. It always gave his dialogue a really weird rhythm the way that sentences–

–would always be broken up.

More evidence that Gambit is just putting us on: the French word for “Wolverine” is “Glouton,” not “Serval”.

some stupid japanese name

September 26, 2013 at 8:47 am

3rd panel, first page of the uncanny x-men 277 post. At first glance, Storm looked like her right breast implant burst.
Then I saw that her body is supposed to be facing wolvie, not us,

Every adventure was referred to as a caper.


When did Claremont’s catchphrase obsession begin? What was his first catchphrase (following the criteria that a phrase only becomes a catchphrase when it’s used more than once)?

I suppose it depends on your definition of catch phrase: does Nightcrawler exclaiming “Mein Gott” or Colossus “Boshze Moi” count? If so, that started up (multiple instances) early in his run, during the Cockrum issues.

Certain tics, phrasing or sentence structure also recur early in his run, but if we’re talking straight up catchphrases, like “focused totality” or “bang you’re dead”, I don’t think they came along til later.

The old “best there is at what I do”, etc. phrase, for example is first uttered by Wolverine in X-Men #162 and again in the first issue of his limited series, which were on sale roughly at the same time in 1982.

I’m doing an issue-by-issue read through of the X-Men stuff on my blog, and I’m up to issue #208. The Claremontisms are definitely there (its one of the things I look for), but they aren’t overpowering, at least in terms of blatant catch phrases, quite yet.

In terms of Claremontisms that haven’t been mentioned, there’s the triad version of “I hope — I pray”: “I thought – hoped – prayed”. Also, moving with “speed that belied his size”.

And reading through New Mutants issue by issue, I’m really bummed by how little the “I’m nigh-invulnerable when ah’m blastin’” phrase actually used. Cannonball is often described as being “nigh-invulnerable” while using his powers, especially in the early issues, but it’s usually in a narrative caption and not his dialogue.

This is the closest he came in the early issues…



It was the use of ‘a body’ that bugged me.
“You shouldn’t sneak up on a body like that”
And EVERYONE said it! I could accept it more if it was just used by some of the characters living together in the mansion. You’re bound to pick stuff up when you share that much time with people. But new characters said it. Unrelated characters said it. Who talks like that in real life? No one!
It’s an odd one.

I recently read the first fifty something issues of the New Mutants in order for the first time and stuff like that and the weird –
– sentence breaks, as pointed out by –
– a previous poster.
It just makes it hard to read in one go when you can’t help noticing these quirks.
There’s a huge difference in reading a run like that and reading a monthly. Claremont definitely worked better monthly.

Ha! Yes, how could I forget “a body could…”

His phonetic spelling of characters’ accents was always tough to read. The “Ah’m” for “I’m” was doable but when he’d write for Banshee or Moira or Rahne, I would get lost. “Ach! I Dinnae ken what ya mean Chris Claremont!”

Don’t forget Wunderbar and Unglaublich. And it’s “I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn’t Nice!”

Without the context of everyone on Muir Island being affected by the Shadow King, Gambit backslapping a young girl is quite a douch move. Still, I’m not sure that is out of character for Gambit. It’s cool that Claremont introduced a new character, then set him against the fan favorite character Wolverine at his storyline’s lowest point. I still hate Gambit, and if Claremont lasted, I’m sure it would have turned out the Longshot was his clone created by Mojo, or some other nonsense (it was hinted).

The GREATIST top 5 would have to be “The Top 5 dangling plot threads by Claremont that were not resolved by him”

Without the context of everyone on Muir Island being affected by the Shadow King, Gambit backslapping a young girl is quite a douch move

I would normally agree, but not if its Jubilee. Her annoying faux-Valley Girl speech patterns made such douche moves suddenly excusable: “PITstain POTpourri! Wol-VER-ine!” Every time she spoke on paper I myself wanted to reach into the page and smack her. I can’t stand Gambit either, but this is by far one of his better moments.

If there’s one thing this article proves, it’s that Gambit is a fake French. Most of his French speaking is TERRIBLE.
He sounds like even more of an idiot than Batroc.

“Homme” should be “Mon homme”, nobody would say only “Homme”

And it’s “Le tournoi est fini, chérie”… what the hell is a “La tournement”?

You’re gonna tell me NOBODY at Marvel spoke any French at all that could be consulted about this?

Serval can probably be excused because that’s what they actually call Wolverine in France, even though Glouton as someone said, or more accurately Carcajou is the real translation.

And speaking about this, does Wolverine speak French? He speaks German and Japanese and probably a few other languages, but I don’t recall him ever speaking French, which is kinda weird considering he’s Canadian.

I have a French compilation of X-Men comics that I got in the early 90s (i.e., before everyone knew who Wolverine was whether they read comics or not) and it does, in fact, refer to Wolverine as “Serval.” I always assumed it was because the translators didn’t expect French readers to know what a Wolverine is (or did not, themselves, know what a Wolverine is) so they just went with something vaguely analogous (well, they’re both fairly obscure carnivorous mammals … I think they’re about the same size too).

That’s probably why Gambit calls Wolverine that: Claremont saw a French comic book and assumed it was a translation, not just what they decided to call him in France. Sort of like assuming “Power Rangers” is a literal English translation of “Super Sentai.”

It’s actually fairly interesting to look through non-English comics and see what the characters are called. If memory serves, the same book translated Phoenix into “Fenix” but left Nightcrawler unchanged, and translated Captain Britain as “Capitaine Britain” instead of “Capitaine Bretagne,” which I expected.

Who can forget that “The more things change, the more they stay the same”,
or “One thing about the X-Men, is that you can generally tell where they’ve been”.

I found Claremont’s use of “Chum”, which seemed to increase as the years went by, to be particularly irritating.

I like it that X-Men #1 has a very different take on Bang! You’re Dead, and two pages later it has it again in its primary version.


September 25, 2013 at 7:13 am

And Claremont’s darkness was almost always “Stygian”

And the fog was always “pea-soup” thick!!

One of my favorites is “Oh ye of little faith!”
Obviously, not originally written by him but the use of that phrase is glaring, by heroes and villains.

I’m not sure how X-Men #1 didn’t make it to one, with two defacto uses of it in the same issue. I laughed when I saw the end of sequence had it AFTER the BANG sound effect and “I am now dead.” That couldn’t be an accident, could it?

I think the fact that Sabertooth sucker punches Rogue and has knocked her around before she can even get her bearings makes it ok. Is Sabertooth super strong enough to really hurt her? I don’t know, comics are pretty bad at what constitutes invulnerability. And what level characters are at. If Wolverine can regularly fight the Hulk and not end up as paste, Sabertooth can certainly take on Rogue. It’s no worse than Spider-Man knocking out Firelord with his fists.

I was just re-watching some JLU and noticed Deadshot says it to himself in Rosenbaum’s Kevin-Spacey-Not-Really-Caring voice as he’s about to shoot Batman in the back.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives