If there’s one thing that I wish I could do as a “comics journalist” (although, now that I’m on io9, I wonder if I still earn that title or if I’m “journalist who occasionally writes about comics”) it’s write the definitive Chris Claremont BDSM story. Everyone has heard the rumors and innuendo – and if you haven’t, I’ll point you to Google and wish you good luck – but there’s no denying that there are some interesting and unusual recurring themes throughout Claremont’s writing and especially his original 16-year run on the X-Men that suggest some familiarity with S&M and control and submission and all of that kind of thing. It’s something that he’d doubtless never agree to, but I’ve often wished that someone was able to sit down and just talk to him about it without any sensationalism (Claremont is Fetish Pervert Corrupting All Of Us When We Were Children!) or judgment or whatever, just to… well, get to the bottom of it. No pun intended.
Of course, maybe I’m just saying that because I’m convinced that he did terrible things to my libido when he turned Madelyne into the Goblin Queen during Inferno and I want some kind of payback.
(A side note: One of the reasons Morrison’s NewXMen run felt so faithful to Claremont’s was that it, too, seemed to acknowledge a certain transgressive nature in its treatment of the Scott/Emma relationship, and the idea that, by being “naughty” outside of his marriage to Jean, Scott could be “himself” in a way he couldn’t be with Jean. But it was an interesting – and very Morrisonian – take on Claremont’s “I am evil and it’s so freeing!” idea, because it ended up (a) sticking, and (b) not being part of an evil mind control plan, but a genuine emotional need that ended happily – or, at least, as happily as these things end in superhero comics.)
(Originally published July 16, 2009 at iamgraememcmillan.com before it got retrofitted as a work site. I’d still love to do this, one day. Also amusing: Despite the writing I do for Newsarama and Comics Alliance and Robot 6, I’m now firmly in the “journalist who occasionally writes about comics” mindset; I’m pretty sure that happened at io9.)