Over the course of 17 years on Marvel’s “Uncanny X-Men,” and throughout more than 40 years in the comic book industry, Claremont has crafted several classic storylines – including 1981’s iconic “Days of Future Past” tale. Without listing several milestones, Claremont is, simply put, a big reason why the X-Men have thrived in comics for five decades.
Yet the guy whose story is the basis for one of the most anticipated movies of 2014 didn’t hang out in an ivory tower, or ivory booth as it were, at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. When not signing, attendees could catch him roaming around the convention floor. And that’s where we spoke. While taking a break, a very friendly and humble Claremont stopped to chat about his lasting mark on comics, his involvement with the movies featuring his beloved characters and about the X-family’s big 50th anniversary.
MTV Geek: How has your Wizard World con been?
Chris Claremont: I’ve been doing the Chicago show for so many years and I’ve got a lot of great fans here. Before there was Wizard, I loved the old Chicago Comic Con guys, and now coming back is always a pleasure.
Geek: When I saw you earlier a guy had a whole case of comics for you to sign. Does it bother you at all if he turns right around and sells those?
Claremont: I know why they’re doing it, but I’ve got to tell you, I’m flattered. I think it’s kind of cool. And if someone can make a couple of dollars because they think what I’m doing is important, then god bless them.
Geek: The X-Men are celebrating their 50th birthday, so what do you think is your legacy within that history?
Claremont: Stan Lee created it, I had a hand in it, others have had a hand in it. I’ll tell you, it’s been a privilege and an honor to work on these characters. I’m happy I could contribute a little bit to the whole mythos.
Geek: You wrote the 1982 “Wolverine” comic which is the basis for the new “The Wolverine” movie. Did you see the movie and what did you think?
Claremont: I loved it. It was a lot of fun. I mean, it may not have been the Wolverine I thought of, but it’s still Wolverine. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad to see these characters having their day in the sun on a bigger stage than in the comics.
Geek: What do you think about comic characters receiving more of a mature or darker treatment in movies?
Claremont: Well, you know, when you look at the comic rack now, the heroes have a grimace. They hall have a snarl. I think there’s a little bit more to the medium and characters than just that dark attitude adjustment. I kind of played a little bit of a role in that, but at the same time, we had some intense stories but not over the top. Things evolve, things change. That’s the way it should be.
Geek: What are your early impressions of the “Days of Future Past” movie?
Claremont: Of all the arcs that I wrote, that’s probably the most popular with fans. I’ve been asked to kind of, maybe be around for a little consultation. I won’t have a lot of input at all, but it’s nice that they asked. I’m looking forward to seeing it on screen. It was fun to write, and fun to see what John Byrne and Terry Austin did, and now we get to see what it’s like on the big screen. So it will be fun.
Geek: You had a cameo in “X-Men: The Last Stand,” but do you want to go the Stan Lee route and do more of them in movies?
Claremont: I wish they would ask. I would love it. It would be cool.