Happy MLK Day, everyone! Marvel put out three X-books last week, and we're gonna recap them as usual. Like Dr. King, I too have a dream– a dream that Marvel will one day give Chris Claremont an ongoing series. That dream has yet to come true, but they did put out a Chris Claremont Anniversary Special last week. There are also two other X-Books, Marauders #17 and a god damn King in Black crossover in SWORD #2. In three articles, they shall all be recapped. Read on.
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities. Still, thanks to a corporate merger, a line-wide relaunch, and Jonathan Hickman's giant ego, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics for lovers of soap opera drama.
CHRIS CLAREMONT ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Brett Booth, Bill Sienkiewicz, More (CA) Salvador Larroca
Celebrate Chris Claremont's enormous impact on your favorite Marvel comics of the past five decades with an all-new story! Dani Moonstar is drafted for a mission across time and space for an incredible psychic showdown against the Shadow King-joining forces with characters created and defined by the pen of Chris Claremont!
In Shops: Jan 13, 2021
Chris Claremont Anniversary Special Recap
If there's one thing Marvel loves, it's celebrating the accomplishments of Chris Claremont. If there's one thing Marvel hates, it's giving Claremont an ongoing series to work on. But if you like specials and one-shots and short stories in anthologies, Marvel has got all your Chris Claremont needs covered. It's better than nothing, I guess.
In the 80s, during the classic New Mutants run, the issue opens with Hela summoning Danielle Moonstar. Hela has a Valkyrie mission for Dani, and if Dani doesn't go along with it, her flying horse, Brightwind, is going to the glue factory. At the Baxter Building in New York City, several alternate-universe versions of the Fantastic Four (the regular one, the one from Claremont's late 90s FF run, and the one from his New Exiles run) are battling each other on the roof when Dani arrives. Two Reed Richards and a Namor appear to be under some kind of mind control and are attacking the others. The two alternate-universe Sue Storms beat the two Reed Richards.
New Exiles Namor is about to murder regular Sue when he has a change of heart… only to reveal they're all being controlled by the Shadow King. Dani slices Shadow King with her sword. The alternate universe Fantastic Fours disappear. Only Franklin Richards notices Dani was there. Sue Storm tells Reed Richards she's pregnant.
Next, Dani heads to San Francisco, where what appears to be a pre-X-Men Rogue is fighting Binary. Rogue nearly sucks out Carol's personality again when Carol transforms into the modern-day Captain Marvel for a moment. It turns out this Rogue is also under the control of the Shadow King. Dani slices him in half again…
…but it turns out this is all a simulation being run by the Starjammers so that Binary can conquer her greatest fear. They all have tea, and then Dani flies off, this time arriving in New Orleans where Gambit is fighting early nineties child Storm. Gambit, as you can probably guess, is the Shadow King. This time, he's ready for Dani. To make matters worse, Hela shows up and forces Dani to do this fight without clothes on. She takes a time out to find a Dazzler t-shirt in a nearby store and then, teaming up with 'Ro, defeats Shadow King Gambit.
Gambit is back to normal, and he and Kid Storm invite Dani to come back and warn the X-Men, but Dani has other business. She goes to confront Hela and tell her she's done with this nonsense, but Hela tells her it's her sacred duty to oppose beings like the Shadow King as the Champion of Life. Dani accepts this and flies off on Brightwind, shouting, "For life, we win!"
Well, that was a lot. I'm probably gonna have to read that several more times to catch all the references, but it definitely served its purpose in revisiting some favorite Claremont concepts with twists. It's still not the same thing as an ongoing series and one-shots will never be able to fill that gap, but I'll keep buying them. Hence, Marvel keeps giving Claremont more work and hope that, eventually, Marvel can set aside its ageist tendencies and give Claremont an ongoing book.
And in celebration of Chris Claremont returning to my weekly comics haul once again, it's time to bring back the most esteemed tubed meat themed award in all of comics: The Wolverine's Wiener X-Pick of the Week award. Congratulations to Chris Claremont and all the artists who participated in this one. You earned this.
Read more X-ual Healing here: