Marc Guggenheim may be well known for his work on The CW's Arrowverse of DC superhero shows, particularly Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, but his work also extends into Marvel Comics, specifically with his series X-Men Gold.
But taking on a classic team such as the X-Men can be daunting. One of the most popular franchises in comics, the characters and stories of the X-Men have some major comic book legends in their histories, namely Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and the legendary contributions of Chris Claremont that make it hard for any writer to live up to. But as Guggenheim told ComicBook.com, there simply is no living up to Claremont's work.
"I'll be honest. I don't think there is any living up to what Chris Claremont did," Guggenheim said. "You know, his first run on Uncanny from 96 to add to those X-Men number three, it's not untoppable. Everything, quite frankly, I think, pales in comparison to it."
Claremont had a 16-year run writing Uncanny X-Men, longer than any other writer. During his time on the title, Claremont not only introduced literary themes to comic book narratives and turned Uncanny X-Men into one of Marvel's most popular series, but he also co-created numerous now-iconic characters, such as Rogue, Emma Frost, and Mystique. Some of the stories he worked on, including "The Dark Phoenix Saga" and "Days of Future Past" continue to impact the stories of the X-Men and while that is a lot to live up to, Guggenheim said he is focused just writing the best stories he can.
"You know, that said, my goal, honestly is just to write the best X-Men book I can. I tried very hard not to think about what's come before or, you know, I think that would probably be a little debilitating. Rather with Gold, my approach has always been to try to mix a bit of nostalgia with a bit of new. And sort of take more inspiration from Chris's work than sort of hold it out as this impossible idea. And I always leave it to the fans to decide whether or not I've been successful."
X-Men Gold comes out twice monthly from Marvel Comics. Issue #20 will be available this Wednesday, January 17.