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CSBG Archive

Drawing Crazy Patterns – CLAREMONTISM: “Body and Soul”


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 the classic Claremont mind control phrase “Body and Soul.”

It appears that Claremont first used the phrase while scripting the 1976 Daredevil Annual over a Marv Wolfman plot (art by George Tuska and Frank Chiaramonte). Black Panther is being controlled, causing Daredevil to note…


I believe the first use of the phrase in the X-Men was in X-Men #128 (art by John Byrne and Terry Austin), when Moira MacTaggert’s son, the demented and powerful mutant, Proteus, said it to her (while possessing his father’s body – so gross)…


During the first issue of the Magik mini-series (by Claremont and John Buscema), Belasco speaks about controlling Illyana Rasputin…


In Uncanny X-Men #229 (by Claremont, Marc Silvestri and Dan Green), the new Reaver known as Pretty Boy tries to control Dazzler and turn her into a Reaver, as well…


In Uncanny X-Men #256 (by Claremont, Jim Lee and Scott Williams), Psylocke is dealing with her new asian body as her mind is being assaulted by the Hand and the Mandarin…


Feel free to write in the comments section if you want to suggest other examples of the phrase being used!

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


I’m fairly certain Mastermind refers to having control of Jean Grey using this phrase during DPS. That she belongs to the Hellfire Club, body and soul, or something to that effect.

Mind, body and soul. He thought big.
Of course, this is just a facet of Claremont’s general fondness for mind control as a plot point

Claremont used it on the last page of WildCATS 11 too.

Yeah, this whole “body and soul” thing is kinda quasi-rapey.

It’s funny, I’m definitely one to roll my eyes at a lot of Claremont’s stylistic tics, but this one didn’t even stand out to me because I never thought of it as an uncommon phrase.

One thing like this that I’ve noticed lately is that Keith Giffen has taken to using “Not TOO disturbing…” in dialogue all the time, just in the last decade or so. It’s not a phrase he ever used to use, and it’s not an expression I’ve ever heard or seen anywhere else, so I wonder why he became so besotted with it.

If you wanted to mention every single time in his writing career Claremont used the phrase “body and soul,” well, you would have a very long list :)

By the way… Mind-Master?!? My first thought was that I read it wrong, and that Wolfman & Claremont had used long time X-Men foe Mastermind in a Daredevil story. But, nope, it really was Mind-Master. So I checked to see if this individual had an entry on the website “The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe,” which profiles a whole bunch of minor & obscure Marvel characters. And, yep, he was on there…


Looking at that costume I realize why Mind-Master was never, ever used again. Of course, having posted a link to this, if any writers or editors at Marvel come across this they will no doubt decide to dig up this guy from obscurity, probably to use the next time the Hood needs to assemble a motley crew of second-tier costumed criminals for his latest inane scheme to take over the criminal underworld.

Mind-Master really comes across as a sort of mandated costumed villain, since pretty much the entire story otherwise is about a conflict over an experimental power station, the politics and interests surrounding it, and its potential ecological side effects. And then at the end all of a sudden the gangster character in the story gets temporary super-powers just long enough for there to be a Mighty Marvel Fight Scene for a couple of pages.

That Daredevil Annual — #4, as numbered — is interesting for another reason; after it came out, Marvel didn’t do another for so many years that they forgot the numbering, so there are actually *two* DD Annual #4s! No doubt this is why Our Dread Lord and Master refers to it as the “1976 Annual” above.

“You won’t like the alternative” sounds familiar also.

I’m surprised you haven’t compiled a list yet of Claremont’s regular uses of “your funeral.” Might be one to consider if you haven’t already.

If the description on the OHOTMU Appendix site is correct, when the gangster dude was caught in an explosion it not only gave him mental powers but also sewed a costume for him. Erm, oooooooookayyyyyyyyyy……

Ethan Shuster

May 25, 2014 at 8:37 am

The poster may be joking, but yes, it kinda does seem “rapey,” especially considering all but one of these examples is being used by a man against a woman.

I was totally not joking.

How about “By all that’s holy?” There’s gotta be a bout a million of those.

Rapey?! Because the only rape that occurs, ever, is between a man and woman, rite? smdh

Anyway, some other great Claremontisms include “What the Devil!” and “My turn!”.

It’s in Uncanny #190, too, in which Conan villain Kulan Gath, who has turned Manhattan all Hyborian and stuff, combines the New Mutants’ negative emotions and combines them with “my own powers to reshape you body and soul!”

“Rapey?! Because the only rape that occurs, ever, is between a man and woman, rite?”

Not the only, but certainly the most common by far.

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