Bigger perv: Piers Anthony or Chris Claremont?

My first inclination is to name Piers Anthony as the more ridiculous perv. And I’ve read* a lot *of X-Men.

Don’t be ashamed…thats a good mini-series! The X-Men vs Avengers one also.

I had meant to mention Shadowcat as well, whose ass can be seen hanging out in issue 1…but yes, it’s #4 that stuck in my brain. So the question is…would you let your 13 year old daughter go out dressed like that???

Anthony for sure. All of his running series (Xanth, Incarnations of Immortality, Apprentice Adept) somehow gravitated toward sex involving progressively younger and younger participants.

Claremont’s no perv, or at least not that I can tell from his Marvel work. Female super-hero costumes have been body-hugging semi-swimsuits for a good long time before the New Mutants series. I don’t see that he’s done anything more than what the genre demands in that area.

And that’s from his series aimed at children so it’s relatively tame. It’s been a long time so I don’t remember exactly how seeing what color a little girls panties were became a thing in the Xanth series. But it certainly doesn’t come close to the prepubescent incest porn he wrote in the spoiler box I have above.

There’s an earlier one he wrote starring a real-life little girl who was in a coma (she was hit by a drunk driver or something) and in the book, the real-life little girl ended up in Xanth (where there were Elfquest characters…because the kid also liked Elfquest…but let’s let that go). Anyway, in that book, there were a number of scenes where the omniscient narrator was doing the Homer Simpsons “Mmmmmm…doooontus…<drool>” thing about how hot innocent little girls looked in panties every time the kid or the other young girl in the book undressed. The narrator in a non-first person book should not be a perv.

Pier’s Anthony in a walk. I can only assume that he’s not currently a registered sex offender only because he hasn’t actually been caught with the kiddie porn I assume has to be on his computer.

And as for costumes, Claremont (at least in the early '80s) commented quite correctly that he hates most female super hero costumes saying something like “Y’know, if I regularly fought “Toxic Sludge Guy” and “Acid Spitter Man”, I’d cover as much of my body as possible.”

He also was apparently genuinely horrified when Jim Shooter pointed out why the Kitty/Colossus thing was a problem*–it had never occurred to him. And as someone who was reading when it was current, it didn’t occur to me or anyone else I knew. When Shooter said that Colossus shouldn’t be a child molester, Claremont wholeheartedly agreed and worked with Shooter to devise the subplot to split them up (that annoying alien chick from Secret Wars)

*She was 13 or 14, he was 21+. The problem is that Claremont can’t write kids at all so she sounded like a 16 year old most of the time and except for John Byrne, she was almost always drawn like a slightly underdeveloped 16 year old girl.

Jenny Elf, who first appeared in Isle of View. I can’t believe I have brainspace for this still.

Of course, that’s an alternate universe Shadowcat who was an adult. So while the costume is certainly sexualized, it’s not 13-year-old girl sexualized. And as many people have said, pretty much all superheroine costumes are skimpy and/or ridiculously tight. And costumes are more the domain of the artists, anyway. Unless there’s some evidence that Claremont’s scripts said “Be sure to show as much of that pre-pubescent girl’s body as possible,” I don’t think we can blame him for that.

I’ve never read any of Anthony’s stuff, but just going from excerpts people have posted over the years, I’d say he wins easily. I’ve never really thought of Claremont as particularly pervy. Fond of convoluted, hard-to-follow storylines, sure. Highly addicted to overwrought melodrama, absolutely. A tin ear for dialogue, you bet. I have plenty of problems with Claremont as a writer, but a sense that he was a pervert was never among them.

Having been a teenager at the time myself, I always thought the Kitty-Colossus “relationship” was rather sweet. As I recall it, it was mostly portrayed as a crush on Kitty’s part, and Colossus never took advantage of it, even when given the opportunity. And I had the impression that Colossus was supposed to be about 19 then, not “21+.”

Dale Sams mentioned the scene from the Brood storyline where 13-year old Kitty, believing they were both about to die, offered herself to Colossus. Not mentioned is the fact that Colossus gently turned her down, saying that regardless of the circumstances, she was too young and it wouldn’t be right. Based on what I’ve heard of Piers Anthony, it’s hard to imagine one of his adult characters responding like that.

Are you claiming an “Exchange of Debt” with Fenris…?

Brain Bleach

I have to ask (as someone who also never posts to Rhymer threads, either): when did this aspect to Claremont’s writing become apparent/obvious? Is their a “first perv” issue or scene when he crossed a line?

I say this because I started reading X-Men right when Claremont took over, with Cockrum. I bought #95 (Thunderbird’s death), loved it, and went back and got Giant-Size #1 for $5 and issue #94 for a quarter.* I bought them monthly until I got into guitar - around issue #127 or so??

I don’t recall any perviness in that early run. Did I miss something/read past it as a teenager, or did this aspect of his writing manifest later?

*sold 'em when I was 17 or so for an amp. $120 for the run - crappy amp. Never did anything like that again.

Frankly, she sounded like a 40-year-old most of the time. I always kind of imagined her speaking in a smoker’s rasp.

One Piers Anthony scene sticks with me. I think it was from the Battle Circle series. It’s a little fuzzy but there was an Amazon culture that would emasculate their men. Penis removed but not testicles. A character watches from the shadows while one of the women mates with a male. Through some technique she is able to get him to ejaculate by manipulating his whatever is left. Who the hell thinks that way?

That was before he moved on to children.

This, by a long shot. Between the increasingly blatant creepiness and the increasingly lazy “take a bunch of puns the readers sent in and cobble together a half-assed Xanth book” writing style I decided long ago life was too short to read Piers Anthony.

The final straw for me was the “Bio of a Space Tyrant” series, where as the protagonist got older the women got younger. Again, it’s been over three decades but IIRC by the time he’s an old man in the last volume he’s shtupping a fourteen-year-old in rather graphic detail. And that’s not even getting into the incest issues.

Heh. Now I’ll always think of her sounding like Dr Mrs The Monarch from Venture Brothers.

But your honor, it’s research! For my books!
I’m voting Piers. If whoever currently has the brain bleach could just pass it over?

I’m mostly posting for funs sake. I don’t think Claremont is really particularly pervy. Yes, maybe he has a corruption fetish

Adult Shadowcat
Storm vamped by Dracula
Dark Phoenix
Demon girl Magik
Goblin Queen Madeline Pryor

But that’s also a comic staple.

If I hadn’t read the rest of the thread, I would be asking if it were deliberately written to horrify.


Before all of that, he had a brainwashed Colleen Wing show some cleavage while trying to impale Iron Fist. But while I’ve read plenty of Claremont stuff that didn’t go off into eyebrow-raising areas, I can’t readily come up with a plain-vanilla Anthony work.

Early Xanth, probably. He’s always had “the Adult Conspiracy”, but I don’t recall him getting really skeevy with Xanth until Crewel Lye or a little after. In that venue, at least, it was a devolution into the current “I can’t even read this thing” status for me.

His Apprentice Adept series always had an air of prurience around the nudity of the serfs, and there’s some dialogue (usually from Citizens during Stile’s Game matches with them) that’s crude and kind of pervy.