Oct 13, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 596: X-Men #3, December 1991


I had not realized that this issue represented the end of Chris Claremont's epic run on the X-titles. I've been quite critical of Claremont's writing style over the last while, but one cannot deny his influence on the genre. Before him, the soap-y nature of superheroes was rough and raw - he refined it to a delicate art, the influence of which is found in just about every superhero comic that follows. There's something almost Shakespearean to the level of dialogue, spoken and thought, in a Claremont X-comic. Like every moment, every thought or word, is expressing something fundamental. And, in a very real sense, they are - the words are, in part, what make up the narrative, and without them there would be none.

Now, this said, I still think that, occasionally, and especially if you're going to be writing an almost 20-year long story, there have to be moments of slipping out of that upper level linguistic realm - imagine being a character in a Shakespearean play for 20 years! And I think this is the thing that irks me a lot about Claremont's X-Men work (because his Excalibur is nothing like this) - everything is in a constant state of urgency. It really must be exhausting to be an X-Man.

Anyway, I actually have no idea who takes over next issue, so that'll be interesting. Onward.

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