On this month’s episode of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, we had the great pleasure of talking to legendary comic book writer Chris Claremont! In his nearly 20-year run writing X-Men comics, Claremont wrote many classic stories that made The Uncanny X-Men a bestseller and spawned major movies (like the new Dark Phoenix, out just last week).

Chris Claremont is also responsible for an X-Men character with a special Deerfield connection.  Our village is the hometown of Kitty Pryde (aka Shadowcat) who was first introduced by Claremont in The Uncanny X-Men #129 as a 13½-year-old Jewish girl living in a split-level on Central Ave., whose strange headaches presage her mutant ability to phase through matter. It’s not long before Professor Xavier, Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus come through town to recruit her for the X-Men. That’s right, True Believers: Deerfield, IL is in the Marvel Universe!

Listen to find out why Chris chose Deerfield as Kitty’s hometown. We also discuss the themes of persecution and otherness that define the X-Men, the origin of Wolverine’s classic “snikt!” sound, the legacy of Stan Lee, and what it’s like to create hundreds of beloved characters that, ultimately, you don’t own.

You can check out many Chris Claremont titles (from the X-Men and many other series) here at the library. Any superfans out there can email [email protected] to get the full hour-plus, unedited interview for all the nerdy details, alternate storylines, and funny stories we couldn’t fit into this episode.

We hope you enjoy our 28th episode! Each month we release an episode featuring a conversation with a notable guest, including community leaders, authors, artists, and others with interesting Deerfield (or Chicagoland) connections. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page.

Featured photo created by Luigi Novi under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license, shown here next to a panel from an X-Men comic.