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Eric Russ
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Posted: 26 May 2020 at 1:50am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Haven't finished it, but good so far -

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 26 May 2020 at 6:02am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Thanks Eric, I'll be listening in stages I think.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 26 May 2020 at 8:54am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

That's a whole lot of Claremont.

Did make me chuckle a little when he was talking about the Black Panther movie and the Wakanda symbol. Very Claremont way of thinking to go down the particular avenue he describes.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 26 May 2020 at 11:35am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I agree Peter. Claremont seems to be a man who thinks, what if ....,
sees connections that aren’t there, & just let’s his mind wander.

Tempered, the best ideas will rise, u tempered, you get some mighty
crap amongst the great. & that’s the job of a good editor (or a good
penciller)
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 26 May 2020 at 5:33pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Got through it. He has more than his fair share of crazy ideas, fortunately which sit on some sensible foundations. Hearing him talk about Magneto made me think, "yeah, this makes no sense", but he's a writer who genuinely could have gone on to write the X-Men for 25 years given the chance. They might have ended up in a weird place, but he would at least have kept coming up with new ideas.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 26 May 2020 at 7:09pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Interesting that he corroborated the Frank Miller Wolverine story.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 27 May 2020 at 8:38am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I’m about 2/3 thru it. This has, so far, been one of the best Claremont
interviews I’ve heard. I don’t know that it’s more in-depth or what but he
seems a lot more open in this one for some reason. In other interviews
I’ve seen, he seems to almost not want to be there but that doesn’t
show in this one.

He doesn’t really say anything contradictory to what JB has told us thru
the years, so that was unexpected? (Probably not the right word).
He does mention that he and JB have a fundamental difference of
opinion regarding Phoenix. I wish he would’ve elaborated a bit more on
it because I really couldn’t get what he was talking about in his example
as far as what that difference was. He just said something like “John
wrote it one way which contradicted what was in X-MEN so Shooter
asked me to re-write it”. He never actually gets into what their
differences are in regards to the character is.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 27 May 2020 at 12:29pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I assume the difference is...

version1: Phoenix is bad, Jean's humanity tempered it as long as she could till the badness took over.

version2: Phoenix is cosmic glory, but cannot reside within a human host without the humanity eventually tainting its glorious god-mother splendour. Be still my heart. 


Edited by Peter Martin on 27 May 2020 at 12:30pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 May 2020 at 1:09pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The phases of Phoenix:

Jean is bombarded by cosmic rays, like the FF (tac tac tac) and her powers are greatly boosted.

Chris keeps writing her bigger and bigger, until I start grumbling that she’s dominating the book.

Steven Grant suggests a solution: make her a villain. I don’t really like the idea (I’ve been in love since the first issue), but it seems like the only way of setting the book back on an even keel. Significantly, Chris has already laid the groundwork without realizing it. I suggest Mastermind as the mechanism for corrupting Jean.

IMPORTANT: At this point Phoenix is still a manifestation of Jean Grey’s boosted powers. She is Jean thru and thru.

We set about the Great Corruption, stealing heavily from the TV AVENGERS episode “A Touch of Brimstone”. Dark Phoenix goes full blast, and to emphasize that we’re not kidding around, she wipes out the D’Bari.

Shooter comes in on “Monday morning”, and his latest whim of iron is that all the stories should be about CONSEQUENCES. He realizes he can’t unleash this on the big guns like Doctor Doom or Magneto or Galactus, so he turns his Eye of Sauron on Phoenix. Despite having been told what was coming, he claims he “didn’t understand”, and that Phoenix must be “taken to a prison asteroid to be horribly tortured for all eternity.”

My response is “F**k that, I’d rather kill her.”

The result is A MUCH BETTER STORY.

Chris will never accept this. He cannot let go of Phoenix. Every chance he gets he hints that Phoenix was a beautiful, benign force that was corrupted by Jean’s human spirit. I maintain it’s the other way around.

Chris flogs the dead horse to the point that people in the Office begin referring to Phoenix as Marvel’s least dead dead character.

kurt busiek suggests Phoenix was a COPY of Jean, and the real Jean is in an energy cocoon at the bottom of Jamaica Bay (where the StarCore shuttle crashed). I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!

When Marvel is getting ready to launch X-FACTOR, starring the original X-Men, I suggest we use the idea to bring Jean into the book. Roger Stern and I, presided over by Shooter, plot a crossover between the AVENGERS and the FANTASTIC FOUR to engineer Jean’s return. All is done, all is set, all is approved and ready to go to the printers.

Then I make a fatal mistake. I accept DC’s invitation to “reboot” Superman. Mike Hobson, Shooter’s boss, sends me a letter of congratulations, saying “Anything that’s good for DC will ultimately be good for Marvel.” (At this point I intended to work for both companies.)

Shooter declares the previously approved FF half of the story flawed and in need of a major overhaul. I see what he’s doing and refuse to play along. “He needs to punish me,” I say to editor Mike Carlin. Jackson Guice is called in to redraw. For an extra twist of the knife, Chris is called in to do the rewrite.

A while later, I leave Marvel.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 27 May 2020 at 1:35pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

 JB wrote:
...We set about the Great Corruption, stealing heavily from the TV AVENGERS episode “A Touch of Brimstone”...


I've known about this for years, having read your interviews from years ago where you also acknowledged that episode. All these years, though, I never saw the episode and just realized I might be able to find it, or parts of it, on YouTube. Both, as the case may be... I can rent the entire episode directly from the site, or check out highlight clips.

Here is a clip (which contains SPOILERS):

A Touch of Brimstone clips

Very cool to see the inspiration for the Black Queen and The Hellfire Club. Was the real and historical Hellfire Club also an inspiration beyond the name?

Oh, and Diana Rigg was not hard on the eyes, either.

Edited by Matt Hawes on 27 May 2020 at 1:37pm
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 27 May 2020 at 1:42pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

 JB wrote:
...Chris will never accept this. He cannot let go of Phoenix. Every chance he gets he hints that Phoenix was a beautiful, benign force that was corrupted by Jean’s human spirit. I maintain it’s the other way around...


I wonder... does Claremont see Phoenix as such because he views her as HIS creation, while Jean Grey was Stan and Jack's character? Even in the interview that started this thread, he seems to have approached the "new" X-Men as a relatively clean slate for him to do with as he wished. I get the feeling from interviews with him, and interviews with you, JB, that you were the one primarily connecting the newer team to its past.
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Olav Bakken
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Posted: 27 May 2020 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

So the original problem was that she ended up being overpowered? I remember a scene where Beast or someone else is testing her powers inside a tube in a lab, finding them much stronger than expected and thinks (quote from memory); "if what I guess about her powers is correct…", but I can't remember if we learn what those assumptions are.

And then Shooter said she needed to be punished for a crime he already knew was coming? So if had put his foot down, she would not have killed the B'Dari, and there would have been no need to choose between eternal punishment or being killed.

The first Phoenix had her own body, looking like Jean Grey, but I think in all the later versions the Phoenix has been a force similar to Captain Universe, which as we know possess someone's body and works through them.

They stopped publishing X-Men in my country for some years after issue 142 (143 was never published), and when the comic was once again available, it had changed a lot (issue 168).

(You mentioned the title sold better later on, but wasn't that about the same time that Marvel focused on direct sales through comic book stores, with Dazzler being one of the firsts titles?)

Edited by Olav Bakken on 27 May 2020 at 1:48pm
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