X-Men Legends #12

“Start Again: A Prelude to Excalibur”

Writer: Chris Claremont

Pencils: Scot Eaton

Colours: Rachelle Rosenberg

Inks: Lorenzo Ruggeiro

Letters: Joe Caramanga

Editor: Mark Basso

Original publication date: March 2022

What’s this? Anna, Mav, and Andrew talking about a current comic book? Released this very past Wednesday?? It took Chris Claremont writing a tie-in to our darling, officially known as X-Men Legends #12: “Start Again: A Prelude to Excalibur” to drag us into the present. Except it’s not really the present; it’s still the past, specifically, the space between “Fall of the Mutants” and the arrival of the Technet at Muir Island in “The Sword is Drawn.” We do some griping but also wax nostalgic about expectations and Claremont and what it means to love fictional characters who always keep changing with an obligation to remain the same.  

On loving fictional characters:

“The irony is: the humanity that makes Chris Claremont hurt by the X-Men existing beyond him, or makes fans criticize him for loving too much, is the same humanity that made ‘Lifedeath: A Love Story,’ or ‘The Demon Bear Saga,’ or ‘The Sword is Drawn,’ such great stories in the first place.” -Mav

On continuity intertexts:

“This is a genre Claremont kind of invented: the idea of going back in your continuity and creating interstitial stories that add nuance and complexity for an audience that has now matured from them. It did that really well in ‘Classic X-Men.’” -Andrew

On callbacks:

“The thing I didn’t like about Kurt so calmly explaining heroism is Kitty is that it interferes with the scene where Kitty yells at Kurt in ‘The Sword is Drawn.’ There, Kitty yelling at a grown man and telling him to grow the heck up, was disruptive. This is less so.” -Anna

On retconning:

”The last two times Claremont has revisited Excalibur, he’s pushed the Destiny and Mystique are Nightcrawler’s parents agenda. And I will always applaud him for that. Keep fighting the good fight, Chris. I don’t care if it’s awkward.” -Anna

On special moments:

“I loved the first teleport with Kitty and Kurt. She has her arms wrapped so tightly around his body, and he has his face tucked in her hair—they look so desperate in that image, with palpable trust. That one’s going to stick with me for a long time.” -Anna

On team efforts:

“One of the big things I’ve taken away from my study of Chris Claremont is that Claremont wasn’t just Claremont. Claremont was Louise Simonson and Ann Nocenti, plus every artist, penciler, and colourist, and a wonderful niche circumstance that lasted for a very long time.” -Andrew

On successful nostalgia:

“I like the final panel of Kitty, Kurt, and Lockheed in silhouette, with the sunrise that could be the sunset, and the Phoenix force burning above them—that’s a heavily nostalgic image that did succeed in hitting me right in the feels.” -Anna

Wanna keep the conversation going? Dr. Stephanie Burt joined Anna to review X-Men Legends #12 for ComicsXF.

And as usual: 

You can find Anna on Twitter (@peppard_anna) and on her podcast with Andrew and Michael Hancock, Three Panel Contrast (@3PanelContrast). 

You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun).

You can find Mav on Twitter (@chrismaverick) and on his podcast, VoxPopcast (@VoxPopcast). 

Enjoy!

-GGW Team