Chris Claremont

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Chris Claremont (born 1950) is a comic book writer, most famous for his work as the writer of X-Men from 1975-1991, and a few shorter runs later. During his first tenure, Uncanny X-Men developed from one of the least popular Marvel comics to one of its flagship titles, and spawned many spin-offs (such as New Mutants, X-Factor and Excalibur). You can spot a comic he's written instantly from the dialogue, known by some fans as "Claremontese."


Tropes this author is known for:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Ambiguously Gay: Mystique/Destiny, Karma, Northstar
    • Surely it's more "Every woman is bisexual"?
      • And a few of the men. His novelization for the third X-Men movie has Iceman practically melting (no pun intended) over Angel.
      • Northstar's homosexuality was introduced by John Byrne in Alpha Flight and Karma's by other writers during Claremont's absence from the X-books; he did use them in stories of his own, though. As Claremont wrote them, Mystique and Destiny were an unambiguously lesbian couple (his plan to reveal them as Nightcrawler's parents, with Mystique as the biological father was nixed by his editors), it was other writers who introduced heterosexual relationships into Mystique's biography. Since at the time of Claremont's first run homosexuality could not be addressed openly and he does have a predilection to write about close friendships as well as strong female characters who are not defined by their romantic relationships, people who like to see Les Yay and Foe Yay everywhere have a field day with his stories. Thus one critic in the mid-1980s read rather squicky subtexts into the relationships between young teenagers Kitty Pryde and Rogue and their mentors/surrogate mothers Storm and Mystique (overlooking the much more obvious and probably intentional lesbian undertones to the friendship between Storm and Yukio).
  • Author Appeal: Even his fans admit he had a thing for Strong Womenfolk. How much of one remains a matter of dispute/innuendo.
    • Claremont's mother was a British World War II veteran and a bona fide badass; he's also heavily influenced by Robert A. Heinlein. When he looked at mainstream American comic books in the mid-seventies when he started, he saw almost no female characters he liked, and set out to redress the problem. As such, he's arguably one of the most influential superhero writers of all time. Unfortunately, he's pretty much recycling cliches and writing his own fetishes at this point.
    • He also frequently uses themes of very heavy Fetish Fuel such as Mind Control, Bound and Gagged, Go-Go Enslavement, Involuntary Shapeshifting, Naughty Tentacles, deformation, leather, whips, spikes, humans turned debased and animalistic, etc. Emma Frost, a mind-controlling bondage-themed supervillainess in a corset and high heels may have turned most prominent, but other examples include the Shadow King and his hounds (a concept also used in the Days of Futures Past timeline), Mystique, Masque, and Callisto.
  • Author Catchphrase: Multiple.
  • Canon Discontinuity: If he didn't write it, he doesn't care.
    • In his heyday, Claremont was the continuity master, with events in other books always having an impact on whatever it was he was writing. Since he started writing for Marvel again, though, he's never been shy about retconning, rewriting, or undoing several things that happened right after he left the X-books in 1991.
  • Catch Phrase: Invented many well-known catchphrases, most famously Wolverine's "The best at what I do". Less famous for Cyclops's "Only my ruby-quartz visor can contain my optic blasts" and Psylocke's "focused totality of my psychic powers."
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Constantly between battles, and quite often during battles.
  • Executive Meddling: He's had to endure this a lot in recent years.
    • For values of "recent" that can be read "the past thirty", yes. In addition to ideas that were outright rejected by the higher-ups (most famously, his plan for Mystique and Destiny to be Nightcrawler's parents, with the shapeshifting female Mystique being his father), most of his storylines get interrupted by Marvel sending him to a different book, and bringing in a new writer who scraps Claremont's plans. Although it has gotten worse lately.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Famously refers to Destiny as Mystique's "leman" near the end of his most well-known run -- yes, that means "lover."
  • Go-Go Enslavement: See Author Appeal above.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Each and every of his characters that don't come from an English-speaking country will have it. Colossus and Nightcrawler can be pretty much considered the most prominent examples, being long-running front-line X-Men and all.
  • Inner Monologue: Before Jeph Loeb came along, Claremont was the king of this.
  • Kid From the Future: Claremont did this with two different characters. Both have even used the same Code Name. No, surely he wasn't plagiarizing himself.
  • Kill'Em All: As early as the mid-eighties, Claremont has been in love with plots and scenes that involve most if not all of the cast of his book at the time dying or appearing to die. This always gets undone somehow by the end of the issue. So far, this has included the remaking of reality, with only a few survivors retaining their memories of the event in question; Mystique wiping out an entire team of X-Men before we find out she's in Murderworld; quick resurrections by Rachel Summers or Roma; dream sequences (most recently with a sequence in X-Men Forever where Kitty has a dream about Wolverine massacring the X-Men); alternate realities; dark futures; or immediate reincarnations. Like most of his go-to tropes, this is really shocking the first time you see it, but he just keeps doing it.
  • Kudzu Plot: The man loved his subplots. But he never followed through on three quarters of them. Often, he never got the chance to follow through, because he'd be shuffled to a different book partway into his elaborate storyline and the new writer would take it in a different direction. Probably the only time things went more or less as he planned even after he moved to another book was with Excalibur, as after a couple of years of not much happening in it, his co-creator Alan Davis returned to the book (this time as both artist and writer) and implemented their original plan. Since Excalibur was relatively obscure and isolated from the other X-books at the time, and no other creative teams had any real clue what to do with it, the status quo was basically intact when Davis returned and thus his and Claremont's plans were still viable. Every other time one of Claremont's stories has been interrupted by staff changes, that's not been the case.
      • Note that he was originally on X-Men for 15 years in a row! The list of dangling plot threads from then would require its own wiki.
      • Claremont spent most of his original X-Men run with Jim Shooter as the editor in chief, and the two of them had frequent clashes over the directions in which Claremont wanted to take the story. Many abandoned subplots had to be dropped suddenly because Shooter vetoed them, such as Mystique and Destiny's relationship. Continuing this fine pattern of Executive Meddling, Claremont clashed so badly with his editor Bob Harras that he left the book entirely in the early nineties, which is one of the early benchmarks of the Dark Age.
  • Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Sovereign Seven
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: Claremont created Mystique, Rogue, and Deathbird as Ms. Marvel villains. Also Sabretooth was originally a villain of Power Man and Iron Fist. In general, if Claremont takes a shine to a character on one book then leaves the title or it's canceled, the character will pop up in another book he writes.
  • Soaperizing
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Uncontested king. Lampshade Hanging in an early cameo - "Do us all a favor, Chris: shut up and run!"