Archive for September 2015

Cyclops Has a Good Day (and Rachel can’t draw) at Rose City Comic Con!

RACHEL HERE!

As long-time listeners know, I have a Cyclops Has a Good Day con sketchbook, because I am a huge and unapologetic dork (newcomers might have keyed in to that last part). I’m godawful about posting updates, so, here’s what’s new from RCCC and ECCC!

(We’ve already posted our photos from RCCC, the live episode, and the party/listener meetup, over here!)

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Miles and I stole a page from Chris and Chad’s playbook and did terrible X-Men sketches for $1 at our table. Miles forgot to take pictures of his, which is a double shame because he’s way better at this than I am and ALSO because one of his sketches was Adam X the X-Treme riding a giant can of Mountain Dew. BUT HERE ARE MINE.

 

 

Rose City Comic Con was the COOLEST

Listen to the live episode here!


We are so ridiculously lucky: our hometown con is the coolest. It’s only a few years old, but Rose City Comic Con is one of the most fun, accessible, welcoming, and all-around celebratory comics shows we’ve ever been to. This was our first con as Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, and our first ever live episode; and we can’t imagine a better place to start.

Click through the gallery below for photos from the con, the panel, and the party! (We’ll toss the sketches up separately tomorrow!)



Special thanks to a LOT of people without whom the con and show wouldn’t have been possible:

  • Panel Guests: Ann Nocenti, Jeff Parker, and Chris Yost
  • Earth-811 Craft Department: Dave Proctor and Cameron Harris
  • Everyone from Rose City Comic Con; but particularly Mikey Nielson, Ron Brister, and Paula Brister.
  • Our amazing, amazing, amazing party hosts at The Steep & Thorny Way to Heaven: Megan Skye Hale and Myrrh Larsen
  • Team X-Plain: Tina Abate, David Wynne, and Kyle Yount.
  • The Absolute Goddamn Best: Katie Moody and Anna Sheffey.
  • Last but not least: Max Carleton, Dusty Eppers, Jason Betournay, Scott Hazle, Fern, Kestrel, Jasper, and everyone who turned out to help, yell, party, and X-Plain with us at and after RCCC!

 

76 – Live at Rose City Comic Con, with Ann Nocenti, Jeff Parker, & Chris Yost

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 10/4/2015 at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 10/4/2015 at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

 

In which we record our first live episode; Rose City Comic Con is AMAZING; Ann tells us how to torture the X-Men; Jean Grey needs more friends; Chris survives an encounter with an angry vampire; Squirrel Girl sets the high bar for questions; everyone has opinions about Longshot’s hair; Jeff gets meta; Cyclops is the best at fighting Sentinels; and Rachel ALMOST gets through an entire panel without swearing.

 

X-PLAINED:

  • Cable (Nathan Summers)
  • Stryfe (Also Nathan Summers)
  • Rose City Comic Con
  • Christopher Yost
  • Jeff Parker
  • Ann Nocenti
  • The X-Men
  • Superheroes vs. soap operas
  • Continuity vs. evolution
  • Updating the Silver Age
  • What defines an X-book
  • All of our iconic X-eras
  • Close encounters of the fan kind
  • The Continuiteens
  • Marvel Girl and Squirrel Girl team-ups
  • Narrative regrets
  • How we’d end the X-Men
  • X-Men best suited to professional wrestling
  • Our personal mutant metaphors
  • Which of the X-Men is best at fighting Sentinels

NEXT WEEK: Fallen Angels!


There’s no visual companion this week, but you can see photos from the panel, party, and more in our Rose City Comic Con roundup!

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is 100% ad-free and listener supported. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

Buy prints of this week’s illustration at our shop, or contact David Wynne for the original!

 

Rachel & Miles Review the X-Men, Episode 55

Week of September 23, 2015 –

In which X-Tinction Agenda goes out with a fizzle, Years of Future Past goes out with a TIGER, and Secret Wars continues to careen merrily toward its end!

REVIEWED:

  • X-Tinction Agenda #4 (00:33)
  • Years of Future Past #5 (02:39)

Pick of the Week: Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #5 (05:19)


Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is 100% ad-free and listener supported. These video reviews–and everything else here–are made possible by the support of our Patreon subscribers. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

Rachel & Miles Review the X-Men, Episode 54

Week of September 6, 2015 (Somewhat Belatedly):


In which House of M is everything a Secret Wars series should be, and Age of Apocalypse is everything a Secret Wars series shouldn’t be.

REVIEWED:

  • Age of Apocalypse #4 (00:39)
  • *House of M #3 (03:19)

*Pick of the Week (05:35)


Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is 100% ad-free and listener supported. These video reviews–and everything else here–are made possible by the support of our Patreon subscribers. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

As Mentioned in Episode 75 – By Their Deeds You Shall Know Them

Listen to the episode here.


75 – By Their Deeds You Shall Know Them

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 9/20/2015 at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 9/20/2015 at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

 

In which Masque is the worst Morlock; makeouts are a good reason to learn to control your powers; Cyclops and Marvel Girl are terrible role models; Iceman is the heart of X-Factor; Cameron Hodge finally shows his hand; the kids are all right (and probably the only ones who are); and we’ve basically given up on X-Factor ever learning to use doors.

X-PLAINED:

  • The Right
  • The Ani-Mator
  • X-Factor #16-20
  • Training with X-Factor
  • Skids’ backstory
  • Motivational makeouts
  • Miles’s Thor-ner
  • Thor #377-378
  • Why you don’t make deals with frost giants
  • The mystical realm of Pittsburgh
  • Redundant funeral graffiti
  • A totally rad villain speech
  • The evolution of Iceman
  • Dubious flight safety precautions
  • Rictor (Julio Esteban Richter)
  • Some really epic gaslighting
  • A probably-inevitable confrontation
  • Supervillain team-building exercises
  • Park maintenance

NEXT WEEK: Rachel & Miles Live at Rose City Comic Con; with Ann Nocenti, Jeff Parker, and Christopher Yost!


You can find a visual companion to this episode on our blog!

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is 100% ad-free and listener supported. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

Buy prints of this week’s illustration at our shop, or contact David Wynne for the original!

 

Announcing: Rose City Comic Con panel guests!

RCCC_PANEL_HEADER

We are ever so pleased to announce our three guest X-Perts for tomorrow’s live RCCC episode:

Hailing from the pages of X-Men: First Class and Exiles–along with a slew of other superhero and creator-owned comics–Portland’s own Jeff Parker!

Crossing X-media, from animated series and feature films to comics; co-creator of X-23, and most recently, writer of Amazing X-MenChristopher Yost!

And finally: Writer, editor, journalist, and filmmaker; industry legend; long-time X-Men editor; and creator of Longshot–Annie Nocenti.

Saturday.

5 PM.

Panel Room 5.

Hope you survive the… you know.

survivetheexperience_cliche

(For more details on the panel and the rest of the stuff we’ve got going on at and around RCCC this weekend, click over here!)

Marvel Is Probably Not Actually Trying to Destroy Everything You Love

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 11.55.14 AM

POST SECRET-WARS STORY DISCUSSION, AHOY!

Rachel here!

A whole lot of you have been writing in to ask what we think of the recent revelation that the Terrigen Mists are gradually killing off the mutant population of the Marvel Universe. The popular theory of choice seems to be that Marvel has it in for the X-Men: that this is at best a pointless rehash of the M-Day storyline, and at worst a corporate grudge-fueled fictional genocide.

And look: Is Marvel putting more time, energy, and resources into the properties whose entertainment rights they control, and moving those lines front and center in shared-universe stuff? Yeah. But that has been happening roughly forever. In fact, it’s what made the X-Men so prominent in the first place: putting more resources into a line that was at the time tied significantly to the company’s financial success.

This is one of the main liabilities of investing emotionally in a company-owned superhero property: narrative resonance is often going to take a backseat to business. (To an extent, this is one of the main liabilities of investing emotionally in anything that someone else owns or creates: its development will ultimately be informed by priorities other than yours.)

Is Marvel actively sabotaging the X-line? Probably not. Occam’s Razor, y’all: I seriously doubt anyone there has the time–or the imperative–to plan a major arm of a publishing program based on sheer malice. That would be a baffling business move and a phenomenal waste of resources–and it really doesn’t jive with the creative attention that seems to have gone into the post-Secret Wars X-line we’ve seen so far. If Marvel wanted to destroy the X-line, they’d quietly back-burner it, whittle it down to one or two titles–or absorb the headlining characters entirely into other books–and walk away. That’s obviously not happening.

There have been five ongoing X-books announced post-Secret Wars, and we know of at least one other that’s going to be joining them (shhh, don’t tell)–and that’s entirely discounting the many X-affiliated characters who are part of other lineups. You may not like the direction the line is taking–which is fine; again, not every story or arc will appeal to every reader–but the line itself? Probably not going anywhere.

Okay? Okay. So, let’s talk about story.

A lot of the “Marvel is trying to destroy the X-Men” arguments are based on a few preview pages from Extraordinary X-Men, in which it’s revealed that the Terrigen Mists are killing and sterilizing mutants. Which, yes, sucks for mutants, and certainly bodes ill: remember the time Marvel introduced an incurable mutant-targeted virus that devastated the mutant population, destroying the X-line and permanently removing every mutant character from circulation?

Oh, wait.

Adversity is the bread and butter of good stories, especially good superhero stories. Two of the all-time best–and best loved–Daredevil runs are Born Again and The Devil in Cellblock D, and both of them are framed around horrible things happening nonstop to Matt Murdock. This did not happen because Frank Miller and Ed Brubaker hate Daredevil: it happened because adversity makes for good stories. As a writer, the more you love a character or group of characters, the higher the chances that you will throw them to the tigers just to watch them fight their way out. When you love a character, you give them challenges worthy of their narrative potential–and the X-Men, in particular, are a team and a line that historically have shined brightest with their backs to the wall.

The X-Men have been around for more than 50 years. They’re not going anywhere. The quality–and lineup–and the quality of individual titles will ebb and flow, as will their personal resonance for any given reader. (Remember the ‘90s? We do.) You’ll drift away, or you won’t; and you’ll come back, or you won’t; and either way, odds are good that the X-Men will still be around.

As Mentioned in Episode 74 – This Dumb Rumpus

Listen to the podcast here!



LINKS & FURTHER READING

L’Shanah Tovah!