It's more than 40 years since he started his legendary run with Marvel's mutants, but Chris Claremont has seemingly never grown tired of talking about the X-Men, and we've never grown tired of asking him about it.
Claremont, like so many other major comics creators, is at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend to talk about his work and meet fans, and we managed to get him to take a seat on the SYFY WIRE Live Stage to discuss his most famous creations and stories.
Before getting into details about individual creative decisions, though, Claremont chatted a bit about his early days developing what would become an epic X-Men run. So, what was it like working on that book in the Marvel offices in those days?
"Fun, basically," Claremont said.
"The unique thing about the X-Men, but also Marvel at that time, was we were a small, punk-ass company with no pretensions and nothing to lose, and we were just having a good time," he continued. "So, while we took the craft seriously, we tried not to take ourselves seriously, and we just wanted to see what we could do and how we could do it, and in the process what we could get away with, but without thinking in terms of 'What does the audience want?' We didn't care. We figured the audience would want good stories, great art, wonderful characters, people you could fall in love with that we would immediately put through hell."
Speaking of characters who were put through the hell, there's Jean Grey, who infamously became possessed by the cosmic force known as Phoenix, which gave her incredible power but ultimately brought about her death. ("It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it," Claremont said of that particular creative decision.)
For more on how the death of Jean came about, including how the rest of the X-Men team reacted at the time, check out our interview, and keep following SYFY WIRE'S official live stream all weekend for more from ECCC.
Additional material by Matthew Jackson.