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Drawing Crazy Patterns – CLAREMONTISM: “Bang. You Dead!”

In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Here is an archive of all the patterns we’ve spotlighted so far.

This is a special CLAREMONTISM edition of Drawing Crazy Patterns, honoring one of the bits that Chris Claremont frequently features in his work (especially his X-Men work).

Today, we take a look at “Bang. You’re Dead.”


NOTE: I used most of these in an old Top Five list. Still, it belongs in this column, too, so here ya go!

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

But obviously it was during his X-Men comic run that the phrase became famous.

Here, in Uncanny X-Men #213 (by Claremont, Alan Davis and Paul Neary), Sabretooth says it to Rogue…

In Uncanny X-Men #255 (by Claremont, Marc Silvestri and Dan Green), Forge says it to the Reavers…

Gambit used the phrase awesomely in two issues by Claremont (he also used it in a later issue that I think Fabian Nicieza scripted over a Claremont plot, so I don’t think it counts. It’s the one I used as the display for this piece).

First, in Uncanny X-Men #273 (by Claremont, Michael Golden and Scott Williams)…

Man, Golden is an amazing artist.

and then Uncanny X-Men #277 (by Claremont, Jim Lee and Williams)….

Finally, in X-Men #1 (by Claremont, Lee and Williams), Wolverine gets to use the phrase at the end of the extended training sequence that introduced the new combined X-Men team…

If you have a future idea for Drawing Crazy Patterns (whether another Claremontism or not), let me know by e-mailing me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


You know, Jim Lee is just not very good.

Better’n Liefield.

Jim Lee draws very good pictures. His panel layouts and his visual storytelling aren’t what they could be, but aside from that I think he’s one of the better three Image artists (the other two being Erik Larsen and I guess Jim Valentino).

He can’t stick to a deadline though.

And it gets a cute little bilingual inversion with Gambit and the exploding Jean robot: “BANG!”…”Je suis mort.”

“For the record, just to make it official…” I’m glad he included both of those phrases for clarity, just to make it clear what he meant. I wonder why he didn’t follow up with “Bang you dead, I win.” Just in case there was any ambiguity, any question about what he meant.

golden is amazing! i didn t know he did any x-men work awesome, especially that its so close to the introduction of gambit and jubilee i d like to think his interpretation helped define their looks, but i ve got no basis

It is funny to see Gambit calling Wolverine “M’sieu Serval” way back then, since he now works for Serval Industries in All-New X-Factor (after being basically thrown their way by Wolverine in #1, no less). Peter David probably means that as a joke, but who knows.

It is also easy to see how the comics of that time suffered for lack of better printing processes. No wonder Marvel bought Malibu’s. It must have happened between UXM #273 and X-Men #1.

@ Erich, I was thinking the same thing with Gambit! That was funny to think that Claremont stuffed that phrase in twice within three pages.

1) Cyclops… geez.

2) I always thought Sabretooth’s ability to smash Rogue up like that , and elsewhere in the same issue to crumple a barbell into a ball, implied a *much* greater strength level than he ever otherwise demonstrated– like, ridiculously so.

“the X-Men look after their own” seems to be another Claremontism from that era.

Y’know, we could do this with Claremont all day. He’s not so much a writer as he is a cut-and-paste artist who has a bagful of phrases that he just sticks into panels to tell variations of the same story over and over again. Here’s two more Claremont tropes just off the top of my head that he makes every character say – proving yet again that writers like he and Bendis don’t really write the characters, they write a story and shoehorn it into the characters’ dialogue:


“But if we did what they did, we’d be just as bad as they are.”

Wait… So did Gambit KNOW that that was a Jean Grey robot that he was kissing? And did he choose to kiss it anyway?

That’s… kind of weird. I mean, I know the poor guy’s gotta be frustrated with the whole Rogue situation & all, but still.

I think Wolverine implies that Gambit did that to distract them from seeing Wolverine coming.

I hadn’t read Uncanny 273 in English, I didn’t know Gambit dropped a “M’sieu Serval” during this fight.
You’ve got to know that, until the late 90s, Wolverine’s name was translated “Serval” in french editions.
But “Serval” is not the litteral translation of “Wolverine”, a “Serval” is an African Wildcat whereas the Wolverine is from Canada. The explanation is that the right translation for Wolverine in french is… Glouton. The same word that, in French, means “Glutton”. So “Glouton” was definitely not a good translation for a superhero name…
Since 1997, french publishers didn’t bother to translate names anymore and since then, in France, Wolverine is simply named… Wolverine.

interesting for seem bang your dead in clarmont’s hands wound up for a bit the x-men own catch phrase including gambit saying twice when he dealt with wolverine.

@John Trumbull
Mr Cronin may be right, but Gambit kissed Danger in All New X-Factor 4(?), so maybe he has a thing for robots. I could be it started with X-Men 1, too. That could be the next Marvel/DC cross-over, Gambit and the guy from Twilight (Manhunter?) who liked robots.

Jacob yes, that was my reaction to the fight with Rogue.

Better than “Blam. Murdered you.”

True. But then, pretty much anything is.

I’m guessing it’s “You dead” rather than “You’re dead” because of Gambit’s cajun accent?

Banshee displays uncanny mastery of his vocal chords by simultaniously talking and attacking with his scream.

Shouldn’t that phrase be limited to stuff like the Wolverine/Xavier part, where it means “I could’ve killed you if I wanted to”. Seems weird to have Forge say it right after he actually made a big “bang”.

Better than “Blam. Murdered you.”

Though I suppose it’s also a precursor of “Boom. Headshot.”

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