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'Calling them X-Men is so 1960s': Chris Claremont weighs in on the X-Men name change debate (and his idea for a replacement)

Is the X-Men name outdated? Chris Claremont weighs in on the issue, and the challenges of changing the group’s name.

X-Men
Image credit: Jim Lee/Thomas Mason (Marvel Comics)

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Should the X-Men change their name? Ove the past few years, there has been some discourse around the name of Marvel’s iconic mutant team. The name has been around since the team’s first appearance in X-Men #1 (1963), but the world has changed since the 60s. Why does the team have a male-centric name when some of their most iconic members are female?

Chris Claremont, a writer famous for his 16-year X-Men run, has some thoughts on the discussion. During a discussion at the Uncanny Experience event, Claremont mused about the topic. “Calling them X-Men is so 1960s,” Claremont said, after referring to the team as the X-Group.

Claremont circled back to the topic during a question-and-answer session later in the discussion. When he was asked about changing the name, the writer revealed that it had been on his mind for years. “I tried that,” Claremont said. “I spent about 10 years referring to them as the X. The X being the unknown. It was pointed out to me that X-Men is trademarked, which apparently is a whole different kettle of fish. You can’t argue with legal people. When I came to work for Marvel, it was one or two guys, Apparently the Mouse House has much more than that. There are some fights you can’t win.”

The debate has grown in recent years, with Marvel Studios producer Victoria Alonso calling the name outdated, and rumors circulating that the Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot would rebrand the team as the Mutants. The discussion even hit the pages of the comics, with Firestar and Iceman debating the topic in X-Men #19 (2023).

Will Disney ever allow Marvel to change the X-Men name? Only a psychic like Jean Grey knows for sure.

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