I was browsing my local comic book store and noticed a flyer announcing Chris Claremont's newest release, X-Women. Originally released in Europe nearly four years ago by distributor Panini, X-Women (originally titled X-men: Rugazze In Fuga or X-men: Girls in Flight) is finally getting a US release. At face value this makes a lot of sense. Marvel has boldly stood up and took upon itself to celebrate and honor the Women of Marvel, both on the page and off it, in a year long series of various publishing programming from Girl Comics and Women of Marvel, to Her-oes and now X-women. But to release a Claremont-penned book by famous Italian erotic comic book artist Milo Manara seems to be a glaring two-steps back for Marvel's feminist push.
It is no secret that I bear an deep and abounding hatred for legendary Marvel comic writer Chris Claremont. While he contributed some of the most memorable additions to X-men's canon in the past twenty years --including one of the most epic female-centered story lines to date-- something happened between then and now, that has caused Claremont to go over the deep end of the sexism pool.
Maybe it's precocious of me to lambaste the beloved icon of the industry, but in my eyes Chris Claremont and his writing feel completely dated, contrived, and painfully uninspired. His border-line obsession with perpetually mishandled and occasionally Asian, Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke is just creepy at this point, and despite his remarkable efforts at elevating many female characters in X-men like Jean Grey and Storm to their current hierarchical positions, his tendency to treat his female characters as playthings more than people is more than unnerving.
I'll reserve judgement until I can actually see the finished project, but just from the previews... things don't look good:
Really? Was the scene with the breast-jiggle-inducing jetski ride in thong bikinis really necessary? I get that its ok for comic books to be campy, but good lord man... keep it in your pants! Thank god he wasn't paired with legendary porn-tracer Greg Land (who is currently mangling the X-ladies in Uncanny X-men). I'm pretty sure the world would have been sucked into the misogyny singularity created by the meeting of such minds.