VIVA KUSASAN!!! Morrison On Magneto: I made him into a stupid old drug-addicted idiot. CC had done a lot of good work over the years to redeem the character. And I went in and sh*t on all of it.
Funny you should write this now OP. I was just re-reading some of the old Claremont days X-Men (starting with Inferno) and you are right, you never really got the felling the X-men were secluded from the world in general in how he wrote. If it weren't random crowd comments where someone would say something about something else in the MU, there was always something either in exposition or cameo that still had the X-men feel like the outcast in the larger world not isolationist in a world they couldn't be bothered with. Frankly I'd take the original Avengers vs X-men with the trail of Magneto over what's currently going on anyday.
That's the thing though it's him doing whatever the hell he wanted with the X-Men not something that would really matter or count. IT literally was a writer doodling in prose. You say X-Men Forever I say X-treme X-Men's first 3 stories. Fun stories with great characterizations (Characters that behaved and acted like characters) and I'm sorry, I sorta miss the internal monologue from characters in comics. For one, it made you actually feel like you were lieterally 'reading' a comic 'book' instead of just looking a pictures. It also helped with exposition but from the character's point of view of events that were going on, all the while gaining more insight into the character his/herself.
That's what I miss more than anything about Claremont's writing, the character moments. I Feel I knew more about who each X-Men were as individuals when he wrote than I do now. I couldn't tell you half the motives of what constitutes the current X-Men teams (Save for plan titled X-MEN in the current story, though the only character who's insight I truly understand is Storm's )
But anyway, the thing I loved the most about Claramont's writing was his crowd sense. Man, the funny things he'd have people say, yet it gave you such a..almost first person perspective of being at an event when the X-Men were fighting someone. One of my favorite later scenes he did was when in the Outback, Dazzler (man his Dazzler was great) and Rogue (you know, the real southern belle) Got in a a spat because Rogue stole Dazzler's outfit and roller skates and was getting some time in with Longshot and their fight caused Rogue to be blasted into a private drawing session with (still British) Psylocke and Colossus.
I think he's like the last person to remember Colossus was an artist (because if that wasn't the cause we wouldn't have Colossus creating whales with crab legs....)