Today is X-Men Day, an unofficial chance to celebrate Marvel’s iconic mutant heroes. Chris Claremont and writer/editor Louise Simonson played a big role in the X-Men‘s resurgence and rise in the ’80s. In the latest installment of Marvel Icons, Claremont and Simonson touched upon the appeal of Jean Grey, the lead character of the next X-Men film, Dark Phoenix. Claremont and artist John Byrne created the original Dark Phoenix Saga comics. It’s still widely considered to be the best X-Men story of all-time. According to Claremont, that tale has had a lasting impact on him as well.
“I always had a sense of where I was going with Dark Phoenix. Jean had the greatest power imaginable…and, how’s she going to deal with that? That’s the thing I learned, I guess, from Stan (Lee). Actions have consequences,” said Claremont.
“In Dark Phoenix, Jean found herself wrapped up in a series of circumstances that she was unprepared for,” continued Claremont. “She makes a moral choice, and, for better or worse, that’s the only way she can find to make amends for what she’s done.”
“Jean was his total favorite,” added Simonson. “I think, partly because they had given her such a hard time through so many issues. And he’d seen how strong she can be.”
Related: X-Men Stars Weigh In On Franchise’s Legacy in Dark Phoenix Featurette
In the Dark Phoenix film, Jean (Sophie Turner) obtains immense powers that change her into a potentially lethal threat. However, the X-Men will still try to save Jean’s life even though it’s not clear if they can.
During the video, Claremont also speaks about his history at Marvel Comics, as well as the first time Stan Lee called him. You can watch the full video below, before X-Men: Dark Phoenix opens on June 7.
What do you think about the latest episode of Marvel Icons? Let us know in the comments below!