Mutant Women of Earth: How Chris Claremont Reinvented the Female Superhero
I did not write this, and I will forever kick myself for not writing it. But I also could not have done a better job, or a job as good as this. This is a phenomenal read and expertly explains why the X-Men are so special, and why Chris Claremont is so important. Seriously, people like to hate on the guy (a couple decades of weird work will do that), but his importance to the comic book medium and the superhero genre is undeniable. Undeniable. The man was a trailblazer, a genius and the biggest proponent for gender equality that comics had seen in his heyday…all under the radar.
I mean, I pretty much hinge my entire feminist identity on the X-Men and how, through reading these classic comics and watching those cartoons as a kid (as well as having my mother for a mother and my sister for a sister), the notion that gender inequality even existed never crossed my mind. In Claremont’s X-Men, characters were characters, and Storm was the leader because she was the leader. Rogue became one of my favorite characters, more than Wolverine (the one targeted to young boys to idolize), because she was a bad-ass of epic proportions. Buffy the Vampire Slayer exists because Claremont and John Byrne created Kitty Pryde. So much of this stuff goes back to Claremont and that ground-breaking work he did.
When I go to comic conventions, I do that creepy thing where I just stare at Claremont, like I did when I first saw David Letterman or Harrison Ford. I have talked to him before, and it was delightful, but the guy’s a legend. And sometimes it’s hard for me to realize that he’s a real person, sitting behind a table signing comics.
I could write about this forever, but I really have to fix lunch.