X-Men: Days of Future Past is a good film, but it’s also a testament to Hollywood ego that one man’s name seems to be absent from the credits.  Now I saw the movie, enjoyed it, but I also looked for his name.  I might’ve missed it.  I just checked the IMDB and it wasn’t there.  If it was there, it’s definitely not where it should be: ahead of everyone else’s.  The name I’m referring to is:


When it comes to the X-men in their current incarnation, Claremont is the guy that made it happen.  He took, what was essentially a failing, canceled comic book, revamped it and made it the number one seller at Marvel Comics.  Almost every idea on the screen is his, including the iconic name for the story.

Yes, there were some changes and some of those changes actually made the story better, at least within the context of the movie continuity.  (I can’t give it away without a spoiler, but it does fix a few things for the next film.)  The impact of the metaphor about racism was definitely scaled back.  (In Claremont’s version, Kitty Pryde compares the “Mutie” slur with that of a well known racial slur.)  And Kitty Pryde’s role is greatly reduced, but these changes can be forgiven.

It’s hard to forgive not thanking the man whose ideas grace almost every second of screen time.  Without Claremont, Wolverine would be another lame, spandex cartoon character with an accent.

Now, Claremont was a work-for-hire guy.  He didn’t create most of the X-men.  What he did create was their dynamic.  The Logan/Scott/Jean love triangle, the various dramas the X-men are well-known for and this story, generally considered the peak of the X-men.  It spawned the Dark Phoenix, another popular spin off.  I mean, this guy wrote the comic for almost 20 years.  Even the ideas that came after Claremont were based on what he established, so that includes Bishop and Blink.  (Lee and Kirby started the whole thing and even though the comic failed, they should get a thank you too.)

Back in his hey-day, Claremont’s comics were pure gold.  Everyone bought them at the comic book store and comic book store owners would always order about five extra.  After a month, they mark up the price and place them in the back issue bins.  They often sold because the fan base was constantly expanding.  Sure, Marvel had marketing and money, but Claremont’s story sold.  The word of mouth on X-men was 100% positive for a long time.  And the pay offs in the story often took years, which made them more epic.

Now that they’re making millions upon millions in a movie, I’d like to think Claremont go a piece, but my guess would be that he didn’t.  That’s fine, I suppose, he signed his contract and made his money back in the 80’s.  As far as I know, he’s not panhandling.  But still, without him, none of this would be happening.  I seriously question whether the entire Marvel company would be where it is today without him.

So what do I rate this movie?  I’m not going to rate it.  It’s the sort of movie you’ll like if you’re a fan and think is okay if you’re not.  The bottom line is, the comic was better.  That’s not to say the people involved aren’t talented, they are.  Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman—  Everyone gives a great performance.  Comic book reference abound and they are solid.  The appearance of Peter Maximoff is the highlight of the movie.  I can’t fault fans for liking it.  I liked it, even though I secretly wished it had been a terrible train wreck.  (That’s probably coming with the next movie, as the after credits shows you the next villain.)

I guess I’d get some kind of smug satisfaction if the filmmakers hadn’t followed the comic, but instead inserted their own half-baked ideas and screwed it up.  Then at least you’d know that they didn’t even really read or care about the comic books.  But no, clearly the guys that made this movie read the comics and while they deserve credit for integrating them in a smooth way, they really ought to acknowledge those who first did the work.  And in case you’re thinking that’s too hard, keep in mind that most of the people whose name you see on the screen at the top tier are millionaires or close to millionaires.  And with a budget of $200 million that already raked in $350 worldwide, is it really that big of a deal to shell out a few hundred thousand to the comic book guys to put their names on the credits?

I don’t think it’s such an effort for a group of millionaires.

So see it or don’t.  I’m just going to log in my tiny little protest by not rating the movie, bros.  And let me thank Chris Claremont for a great story based on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s creations.  He deserves it.