So, let’s talk about X-Men.
With the uneven—but gently received—Dark Phoenix gracefully bowing out of theaters, the New Mutants movie that’s still (theoretically) coming out, Disney cutting the deal that might finally fulfill fervent nerd fantasies of seeing Wolverine and Captain America on screen together, and everyone waiting on tenterhooks to see how Johnathan Hickman’s soft-reboot of the comic line injects the series with that same explosive vision he brought to the Avengers and Fantastic Four, I think it’s a pretty good time to talk about X-Men.
I recently had the pleasure of re-reading Chris Claremont’s original run of X-Men; the entire melodramatic, messy, multi-faceted sixteen years of it in all its soap operatic—and yes, occasionally extremely problematic—glory. While Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are nominally the creators of the X-Men, it was Claremont, working with tools left for him by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, who truly invented the X-Men as we know them today. But what stood out to me while diving back into his work is that as much as this era still inescapably defines the series in popular consciousness, very little of what made it tick has actually found its way into big screen adaptations despite every X-Men movie pre-dating Deadpool and Logan drawing directly from it.
Which means there is still ample fertile ground to draw from when talking adaptation. The surface has barely been scratched! Here’s my list of ‘Ten Things From The Claremont Era of X-Men, Mostly Written by Him, That Would Be Rad If Adapted Directly To Screen Without Really Changing Much At All (NOT The Dark Phoenix Saga)’!