Chris Claremont Wanted to Turn Kitty Pryde Black as the Shadow Panther

Comic book writer Chris Claremont was late for his C2E2 panel yesterday. The most significant voices on the X-Men comic books at Marvel Comics over the decades, and responsible for much of the success of that franchise, through the seventies, eighties and nineties,, these days he has been writing occasional solo past-continuity X-Men comic books for Marvel, under a favourable contract that restricts him from writing for other American comic book publishers. Yes, it's a bit weird, but so was the panel at Chicago. Plenty of moments to choose from. Take your pick from all manner of folks who were there.

Chris Claremont Spotlight
Fri, Aug 5, 2022 • 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM
Location: S402
The Godfather of the X-Men is coming to C2E2! Creator of famous X-Men heroes and villains alike including Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, Gambit, Rogue, Mystique and so many more, Claremont's contributions …
Guests: Chris Claremont

Chris Claremont Wanted Kitty Pryde Black as the Shadow Panther
Chris Claremont © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

It might have been Chris Claremont doing his Louisiana accent for Gambit and saying that he has been to New Orleans, honestly. Similarly, he has been doing research for the upcoming X-Treme X-Men at the local Chicago University, as the comic book will be set there.

Or stating that he has no idea why Rogue dates Gambit (I am not sure if anyone told him they got married) because Gambit was originally going to seduce Kitty Pryde, seen as the next leader of the X-Men, leading to her destruction. Or maybe insisting on calling John Byrne "The Canadian"

Or could it have been his plan for the X-Men Forever comic to revisit that plot and have Kitty Pryde become the Shadow Panther, transformed by cosmic forces into the actual daughter of T'Challa, the Black Panther and Ororo, Storm of the X-Men, courtesy of the Panther God. And that it would be revenge from the Gods against Storm for her defying them. Claremont often wrote Storm and Pryde as a mother/daughter relationship, but this would have gone very literally and, yes that means Kitty Pryde would have been black as well.

He said that he could have gotten away with this as he was another white guy playing fast and loose with racial identity because he was English and that the Brits have been doing this kind of thing for a thousand years. Tongue in cheek, it might not be the strongest argument from any angle, but you could just start with the fact that Chris Claremont left London for the USA when he was three,

But he stated that this kind of thing was just an attempt to create the most outrageous, out there plots, to get people to keep reading and keep coming back to see what happened next, and that Gambit's task would be to restore Kitty Pryde to her original form, to continue his mission. But Kitty Pryde would have to make that decision herself.

He talked a lot more about trying to have more fun with comics and the Marvel movies. and while he showed disdain for the Krakoan state of mutant affairs, he has been reading the books and would like to write some stories around the back alleys of the current Krakoan set-up, and has pitched Krakoam X-Men – but Marvel isn't currently interested in him doing that. And the editors weren't born when he was fired off the X-Men the second time. But they will just keep paying him an exclusive contract to occasionally excavate the past…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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