98 – Between Alien Visitations and Drunken Sulks

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

 

In which we continue our coverage of pre-Excalibur Captain Britain; S.T.R.I.K.E. is D.U.C.K. is W.H.O.; the R.C.X. is one lapse in judgment away from on-the-job cosplay; Meggan levels up; your name will never be as cool as Doctor Crocodile’s; Technet writes their own cold opens; and we announce the upcoming debut of Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men!

 

X-PLAINED:

  • A large number of acronyms
  • Irony
  • Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men
  • Mighty World of Marvel #14-16
  • Captain Britain #1-14
  • The aftermath of the Jaspers Warp
  • Inspector Dai Thomas
  • How to work out a superhero’s secret identity
  • The Crazy Gang (more) (again)
  • Slaymaster
  • Captain Britain’s costume
  • Sidney Crumb
  • Gatecrasher’s Technet (more) (again)
  • Earth-794
  • Kaptain Briton
  • Sat-Yr-Nin
  • The R.C.X.
  • Agents Gabriel & Michael
  • The Warpies
  • The Cherubim
  • Meggan (more) (again)
  • Doctor Crocodile
  • Jamie Braddock
  • Betsy Braddock’s short and calamitous tenure as Captain Britain
  • Women in Refrigerators
  • Our thoughts on the X-movies
  • Mutant heredity

NEXT EPISODE: Genosha Is for Lovers


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

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21 comments

  1. XMenXPert says:

    I do love Dai Thomas. He’s so great. So grumpy and sarcastic but still a genuinely great guy.

    On Meggan being powerful: Meggan led a revolution in Hell. All the Hell-Lords agreed to kick her out just to protect themselves. Meggan is AWESOME.

    On Psylocke’s fridging: Yeeeaaah, this was . . . not a good era for her. On the plus side, it sets her up to be abducted by Mojo, which leads to a mutual attraction with Doug Ramsey! (Which reminds me: What the hell was with that? Why did Claremont think it was a good idea to hint at the 20-something Betsy having feelings for Doug, who couldn’t be any older than 16 at the time? It’s just weird!)

    • ray says:

      Meggan IS awesome. If they’d let me choose a team of my favorite female characters it would probably be her, Siryn and AoA Blink!

      Now I’m thinking of that team in a X-book…

    • TheAmazingEmu says:

      This was my first introduction to Captain Britain as well. I read it back when you first covered Psylocke’s introduction, so I wanted some coverage of Betsy Braddock (to see how she got blinded). My first issue would have been the first one with the Warpies. I have to agree, without context, it’s really trippy. Even in context, it’s only slightly less trippy.

      I love “Tea and Sympathy,” it’s just a very comforting story after the unsettling stuff that just happened. Although it’s clear whoever wrote the Marvel wikia article (here: http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Mighty_World_of_Marvel_Vol_2_15) didn’t get the point: “Captain Britain has tea with the Scott family. That’s it.”

  2. ray says:

    Oh, yeah! Genosha is next!
    Probably my favorite x-men plotline on the late 80’s era, and also my favorite x-men metaphorical mutant-as-a-minority-group theme right after God Loves Man Kills.

  3. TheSam says:

    Maybe it’s the way it’s presented during the episode, but did the issues explain why Betsy could kill Kaptain Briton, but was beaten decisively by Slaymaster? Did the Captain Britain uniform/powers mess up her telepathy?

    • Icon_UK says:

      No, she was able to use both her psi powers and her Captain Britain powers without either being impeded.

      I think it was as much a situational thing as anything. The horror that she witnessed in Byron’s mind triggered a sort of psionic storm which was the most powerful thing she’d ever manifested up until then. She was furious with him on a level she was unused to and wouldn’t be able to whip up easily.

      The Slaymaster thing had her being, perhaps, a little overconfident in her new abilities and him being as ruthless, efficient and brutal fighter as could be.

      That and the whole fridging thing; she lost because the plot required her to lose to give Brian motivation. That whole plot never sat well with me then, still doesn’t now.

      Likewise, it just kept making me thinking, why the hell doesn’t Betsy use the costume that gives her flight, strength and enhanced abilities ALL THE DAMN TIME??

      Her X-Men pink “Princess Underestimate-Me-And-You-Will-Suffer-Horribly” outfit was great and all, but for someone who has been as injured as she had been to NOT use the magic power-granting armour made no sense to me (Though I think they later tried to explains it away with the “Captain Briain powers don’t work outside Britain… which also made no sense given Brian’s past adventures in the US).

      Her shifting to the armour and cape look in Australia, especially after her a certain brave, and equally non-physically powered, little omnilinguist had been shot dead made a certain amount of sense, but she had a much better outfit just begging to be used.

      • XMenXPert says:

        Maybe she didn’t want to use it because of the traumatic memories attached? Or maybe after she retired she had no idea what happened to the costume. Maybe it got reclaimed off-panel by the Captain Britain Corps.

      • Gary P. says:

        “the ‘Captain Briain powers don’t work outside Britain…'”

        No, the Captain Britain powers only work outside of Britain with the Captain Britain paraphenelia. Excalibur #13, one of the alternate universe magicians explains it to Captain Britain when they give him Captain Marshall’s uniform:
        Magician: “Moreover, it will far more efficiently absorb and store– and for a longer period of time– the native magicks of these British isles that are the source of your great power.”
        Nightcrawler: “Then– that must explain your weakening in New York, after Inferno [when your old Captain Britain uniform was wrecked by Magik’s Soulsword]…]”
        Magician: “The natural magick of the world itself is sufficient to sustain your life. However, your special abilities require England’s unique energies. The same also holds true for Lady Meggan [who loses fine control when she is away from the British Isles].”

        Not only capable of operating in Britain. Only capable of operating without the suit/sceptre/etc. in Britain. And Wolverine can only regenerate from a single drop of blood, adamantium skeleton and all, when that blood hits a nigh-omnipotent wishing crystal.

  4. Rolzup says:

    I get the impression that the RCX’s aesthetic is meant to evoke that of Jason King, who was the star of his eponymous series…which was a spinoff of a show called “Department S”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_King_(TV_series)

    It’s the same Jason King who was a direct inspiration for Mister Six from the Invisibles, as well as the visual inspiration for Jason Wyngarde/Mastermind.

    (Jason King was played, of course, by the actor Peter Wyngarde.)

    It is an amazing look, and there is single most 70’s thing that I can imagine.

  5. Icon_UK says:

    You mention that the Cherubim are super doomed, but they’re really not. The only actual casualties are the five little members of the Whirlwind, aka the Quintet.

    The other Cherubim survived, escaped the RCX and go on some adventures of their own, courtesy of a backup strip in the Captain Britain title. Them breaking into a toyshop because they are fascinated by the idea of having things to play with is rather cute. Their misadventures also include meeting some bad/misguided Warpies who work for the creepy “Uncle Lex”.

    They were seen, I think, briefly in the Davis run which was intended to bring an end to the Warpies saga.

  6. Andrew says:

    Congrats on the upcoming brand change! Quick question: will I need to change the podcast in my iTunes/podcast app feed?

    I’m glad you guys did these Captain Britain episodes! While not needed to enjoy Excalibur, it’s nice to have the background, especially when getting this material in North America is a challenge. I remember trying to be a Star Wars comic completionist, and for a while it was so hard to get a bunch of UK-exclusive comics (things never collected in TPB, and appeared in one issue of Empire Strikes Back Weekly). Thankfully in 2014 Dark Horse’s wonderful Omnibus line collected all the UK stuff, and I was happy 🙂

  7. Kyle says:

    Just started listening to the episode, but I had to pause it to come let you guys know that this is my favourite cold open so far. Great stuff.

  8. ray says:

    I feel like I’m having a headache after listening to this episode… Like a very long cold open.

  9. Jay says:

    Great episode, as usual. Exceptional cold open! Also, congrats on the brand change!

    Your Q&A about the X-movies inspired me to share my X-movie rant, which is primarily that the X-movies are not really X-men films, and they become less so with each movie. If you bother with reading my rant I thank you. 🙂

    I do enjoy the movies, and the first two made a huge impression at a time when super-hero movies hadn’t really grown up yet. But you actually get very little X-men in them, and in many ways they revisit the same themes to the point that they’ve stalled out. I’m referring only to the X-men movies, not the Wolverine ones, which are their own special little snowflakes (emphasis on the word ‘special’).

    The first one was focused on Wolverine, Rogue (who is really nothing like comic book Rogue), Prof. X, and Magneto. The other X-men get a bit of time, but are really side characters. This is fine, it is the first movie. It needs to focus.

    The second is, IMO, the best one. Lots of different X-men get screen time, Nightcrawler is great, Magneto’s betrayal is the best twist in the whole series.

    The third…ouch. Hard to forgive its mishandling of the Phoenix saga. Here’s where one of the problems of the whole series comes up: Magneto is the villain…again.

    First Class is in my opinion the best movie of them all, but the least like an actual X-men movie. None of the “X-men” in it actually feel like their comic counterparts, and this is a B-grade line-up at best with the exception of Beast. This is really the Prof X/Magneto movie…but we’ve kind of had three of those already. It’s like having the Joker in every Batman film.

    Days of Future Past is also very good, but the X-men are at best cameos in their own film. We get lots of Magneto, Prof. X, Mystique, a great Quicksilver scene, some Beast, lots of Wolverine…again. And we end with a big confrontation between Prof. X and Magneto…again. How many times can we play out their conflict? How about dipping into the excellent well of other X-men villains and conflicts? I know Apoc is coming, but I don’t think that’s going to change things

    But first lets talk about Mystique. She gets major screen time in each film, and this only gets more true with each film. Why are we getting more time with a minor villain than we get with any of the A-list X-men?

    New film looks great, but looking at the trailers we have lots of Prof. X and Magneto. Mystique looks to be ‘leading’ the X-men? Really? I think Apocalypse will act as a different way to do the same Prof./Magneto conflict. We’ll get lots of Mystique, as usual, and I think Psylocke will be the new ‘pet project’, like Quicksilver was in the last one, but everybody else will basically get cameos in their own film.

    My question is when do we get an X-men film where X-men are the actual stars? Prof. X is the patriarch, not a team member. Mystique and Magneto are villains that really shouldn’t appear in each film. Wolverine is great, but he works best in small doses (I’m glad that he might not be in this new one). Quicksilver was really cool in the last film, but since when do we think of Quicksilver as a high profile X-man? If you’re going to pick a lesser character there are ‘so’ many to choose from that are more X-men then Quicksilver. How about spending some time with these people: Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Rogue and Kitty. Not cameo or side character time, but as the focus. If you want a side character to obsess about how about Gambit or Magik? There was time travel in the last one, how about Bishop?

    I know the movies only have two hours and you can’t give major time to all 6 to 10 characters in that time. I just want the characters they choose to spend time on to be X-men who aren’t named Wolverine. I’d love if Magneto and Mystique would go away. Prof. X should fake his death for a few installments as well. Then we could start getting some real X-men films.

    Rant over. Love the show obviously. 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  10. Kat Lehto says:

    I just laughed so hard I got tears on the ‘irony’ comment. Well played.

  11. Christian G says:

    New pub quiz category: People who have written both John Constantine and Brian Braddock.

  12. David H. Adler says:

    A couple of comments on the CB episodes, as I’ve been traveling and fell a bit behind.

    I believe you asked if there had been a Dalek oriented western in Doctor Who. Sadly, a couple of westerns, and one with a cyborg, but no actual Daleks. This should change.

    I kind of wish you’d covered Dai Thomas’ appearances in the red jammies era, if only to the extent that he’s a unremitting jerk to CB. I think that fact makes his finally coming to him for help a bit more interesting. But, yeah, you had a lot to cover.

    I know you don’t do Deadpool, but the fact that the Crazy Gang shows up in the first issue of Deadpool & The Mercs For Money seems relevant at this juncture.

    Also, I got my Patreon shoutout from Sexy Thug. Yay!! 🙂

    Anyway, if any of that seemed incoherent, it’s because I should probably be sleeping…

    As always, great, great podcast.

  13. jpw says:

    Oh God, reading comics in the pre-internet age was so hard. I was a kid in the late 1980s, early 1990s. No clue what was going on and worse, as you said, was that my friends pretty much just made shit up.

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