Behind the Panel: Bob McLeod on creating The New Mutants

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Jan 8, 2018, 11:00 PM EST

Artist Bob McLeod is perhaps best known for co-creating New Mutants with Chris Claremont, which ushered in some major changes in the world of comics. But that's just the tip of the iceberg of his long career.

Sitting down with SYFY WIRE’s Mike Avila in the Behind the Panel video below, McLeod opened up about his first major influences as an artist, including Mad Magazine’s Mort Drucker, Neal Adams (who got McLeod his big break at Marvel in 1973), and John Buscema.

The artist also talked about working for Crazy, Marvel’s satire magazine that ran from 1973 to 1983 (it was actually McLeod's first gig, where he did a satire of 1973's Westworld movie, among other things), as well as the creation of The New Mutants. The comic was a big deal in 1982, since it was the first X-Men spinoff. This bit is truly fascinating, especially if you don’t know much about the creation of The New Mutants


There were also a few other areas where The New Mutants did something different, like including more girls/women on a superhero team: “It’s actually my idea to have more girls on the team than guys,” McLeod said. “Every other superhero team before that had, like, a token female. I enjoyed drawing girls; I said let’s put more girls on the team than guys.”

Another new facet that New Mutants introduced was adding more nationalities. “That was kind of the idea of the book, to make it more multicultural. You know X-Men rolled pretty much white, I guess Storm was on the team maybe at that time. They were just starting to try to get away from all white characters and get some more nationalities and races in the books, so it was very deliberate to try to be more multicultural.”

Being Stan Lee Week, we also had to ask McLeod about the The Man himself. McLeod revealed that they used to have softball games, and that Lee would sometimes come and pitch for the team. 

Additional material by Nathalie Caron.