Thursday, November 18, 2010


One of the 1960s FANTASTIC FOUR stories dealt with Reed Richards meeting a challenge to his role as the group's leader. Each of the other three members thought he (or she) could do a better job than Reed. The story soon demonstrates that the three of them really don't have the stuff of leaders. But at least the Invisible Girl wasn't seen as being any *more* foolish than the Thing or the Torch for having aspiring to leadership.

Fast-forward roughly thirty years. Now we have two alpha-type characters vying for the leadership of another super-group, the X-Men, but writer Chris Claremont and artist Rick Leonardi have Storm and Cyclops settle the matter of leadership by fighting it out with one another. And as it happens, it's the female character who's at the disadvantage-- not a common situation in Claremont stories-- because Storm has lost her super-powers and can only battle Cyclops with basic fighting-skills. However, whatever Claremont's precise reasons for having the Storm character go powerless, in this particular story her victory, at least in the eyes of her fans, may be sweeter for the ordeal. (Or at least that's how I think Claremont would phrase the matter.)

I've heard some fans claim that Claremont didn't really like being saddled with the Cyclops character and that he took every opportunity to downgrade him. He preferred the newer characters of the X-MEN group, since most of them had barely been written by another scripter before Claremont took them over.

That may or may not be why a depowered Storm gets to kick the ass of Cyclops. But still, it's a good fight, and a pretty good story in the X-MEN canon.

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