A new week and a new comic. This week we are talking about Chris Claremont and Frank Miller‘s collaboration on the 1983 Marvel miniseries Wolvervine.
We recently read the trade paperback of the 4 issue miniseries and took some time out to watch the 2013 The Wolverine movie. There are many moments the movie uses which is directly taken from the miniseries.
At the start of the podcast, we go over a interview that Chris Claremont told Sean Howe about how he trapped Frank Miller and forced him to work on the miniseries with him.
This chance encounter lead to an epic miniseries that all the fans demanded. 1982 was when the Uncanny X-Men were at the height of their popularity. The character that everyone wanted more of was Wolverine. He was the mysterious, animal bad boy with the shadowy past. The miniseries was a way to add more dimensions to him. Everyone expected a hack and slash tale (and they got that) but they also got to know the sensitive side of Logan.
We are talking about the entire Wolverine miniseries and the movie so we will be spoiling all of the plot points. The miniseries is almost 40 years old so some of the original story has been retold in other comics so if you are long time follower of Wolvie, then you know most of this story.
Welcome back to the 2nd half of our discussion on Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s seminal X-Men storyline: The Dark Phoenix Saga.
In this podcast, we pick up were we left off: The X-Men escaping the clutches of the Hellfire Club and heading back to the X-Mansion. During their flight back, Jean Grey loses control of the Phoenix and the Dark Phoenix emerges…
As you can tell from these covers, the X-Men do not have a good time when the Dark Phoenix is around. The Dark Phoenix attempts to kill all the X-Men, then she goes and snuffs out a galaxy and finally the X-Men have to fight for their lives and the fate of Jean Grey…on the moon. There is a lot of story and we try to cover all of it and more in the podcast.
We also take a look behind the scenes to find out what decisions Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter and co-plotters: Chris Claremont and John Byrne made to come to the epic conclusion of the X-Men story.
Towards the end of the podcast, I explain why the Legion of Superheroes (group on the left) look a lot like the Shi’ar Imperial Guard (group on the right).
If you have never read the Dark Phoenix Saga, we highly recommend checking it out. You can read it digitally through Marvel.com or buy a trade paperback like we did. Thanks for listening and we will see you next week.
Since the movies have tried to do a version of the Dark Phoenix Saga twice (X-Men 3 and Dark Phoenix) and have failed both times, Jon and I have decided to talk about the original comic series the story is based upon.
The original Dark Phoenix Saga is officially considered to be issues #129 – 138 (Jan – Oct 1980) of Uncanny X-Men. The creators of this story are:
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
This story originally starts as a subplot with Jean Grey in issue #101 (Oct 1976) when Marvel Girl rescues some astronauts. In saving the lives of these people, Jean Grey unwittingly allows a cosmic entity called the Phoenix Force to enter her body. Over the next few years, the X-Men (specifically Scott Summers and Charles Xavier) will notice changes in Jean Grey’s behavior.
It won’t be until issues #129 – 132 when Jean drastically starts to behave differently and is seduced by Jason Wyngarde (Mastermind) of the Hellfire Club. Jon and I go over the history on how Chris Claremont and John Byrne were inspired by the show The Avengers for the concept of The Hellfire Club and the characters.
Here is how they appeared in the comic…
But did you know that these characters where based on real life actors? It’s true. Here are John Byrne’s inspiration…
We explain the connection of these actors to their comic counter parts and how Byrne came up with their comic character names.
We go over some history and some of the story on why this is one of the greatest comic stories ever told. This is only part 1 of the conversation. We will continue this next week with the conclusion of the Dark Phoenix Saga and why TV and movies always get the adaptation wrong.