David is still on vacation. Please enjoy this reasonable gentleman and his fancy accoutrements!
In which the 616 was inside Age of X all along; everyone is very sassy; an attempt at political commentary falls very flat; Wolfsbane kills a straw man; everything is better with Larry Stroman; the Rule of Cool is not transitive; X-Factor Quicksilver is the best Quicksilver; and some allegories are subtler than others.
How to hide a universe
“War and Pieces”
The Incredible Hulk #390-392
Open-ended vs. trade pacing
Rick Jones, professional tag-along
The Eisenhower Doctrine
The Reagan Doctrine
The ethics of cannibalism
Fictional pigeon aficionados
As story that isn’t about abortion but is definitely about abortion
X-Factor vs. due process
A very hazardous game of tug-of-war
An unnecessary but well-intended rescue attempt
The death of Vic Chalker
The second generation of mutants
NEXT EPISODE: Tom Taylor talks X-Men Red and All-New Wolverine!
Check out the visual companion to this episode on our blog!
In which X-Factor gets a revamp; Larry Stroman is the best part of 1991; Havok used to have principles; Multiple Man is his own worst enemy; Jay’s Doonesbury knowledge finally becomes relevant; Strong Guy breaks the Washington Monument; and Val Cooper may or may not have married Mister Sinister.
The Madrox who got away
The X-Factor that might have been
A small selection of a gratuitously large volume of pop-culture references
An evil individual
One of the many deaths of Multiple Man
Larry Stroman extras
Professor Vic Chalker
A Sinister scheme
The iteration of X-Factor most likely to end up naked on television
Your real-life Jamie Madrox reference
A canonical Doonesbury reference
One way to get out of writing a term paper
The proper plural of Madrox
The Nasty Boys
Death by irony
The evolution of Magik’s Soul Sword
Why female superheroes rarely date civilian men
Check out the visual companion to this episode on our blog!
In which Franklin Richards is the center of a disproportionate number of X-Men specials; Quicksilver without powers is comedy gold; Luna is the best little girl on the moon (but it’s kind of a low bar); Jay accidentally cares about the Inhumans; Jean Grey may or may not be the Wesley Willis of X-Factor; Cameron Hodge’s exit interview is weirdly professional; Boom Boom is the best reluctant hero; and Archangel makes his debut.
Oh, THERE’S the Apocalypse we know and love! (X-Factor #6)
Even your villains are fed up with your angst, X-Factor. (X-Factor #6)
Ladies and gentlemen: the world’s oldest and most powerful mutant. (X-Factor #6)
Phoenix flare or pareidolia? YOU BE THE JUDGE! (X-Factor #6)
The Saddest Mutants (TM). (X-Factor #7)
“Look! A distraction!” Cyclops, we love you, but sometimes you really are the worst. (X-Factor #7)
These guys. (X-Factor #7)
SERIOUSLY WHY ARE YOU NOT ALREADY COSPLAYING SKIDS GO COSPLAY SKIDS (X-Factor #7)
Valid. (X-Factor #7)
This is almost embarrassing to read. (X-Factor #7)
X-Factor: fighting themselves metaphorically AND literally! Side note: This scene is funny until you realize X-Factor is turning Bulk and Glow Worm’s last desperate attempt to make a difference before their inevitable death into a farce. (X-Factor #7)
What. (X-Factor #8)
Aw, man. Right in the feels. (X-Factor #8)
Jean Was Right. (X-Factor #8)
VERA. (X-Factor #8)
Freedom Force briefings are so weird. (X-Factor #8)
“An invitation to a crossover? Hot dog!” (X-Factor #8)
I don’t know why I find Spiral just taking off mid-fight for a different comic so funny, but GOD, I do. (X-Factor #8)
“Come with me if you want to be FABULOUS!” (X-Factor #8)
NEXT WEEK: The Mutant Massacre begins!
LINKS & FURTHER READING:
We’ve linked before to Chris Claremont’s X-Men, but we’re doing it again, because it’s fascinating and you should all go watch it.
If you are fond of loving snark and deep dives into Marvel continuity, you should really already be reading Max Carleton’s Waiting for the Trade. (If you’re not fond of those things, why are you here?)
In which Louise Simonson saves X-Factor; Apocalypse gets off to a rough start; Cyclops is bad at people; Apocalypse should be the Kingpin of X-Men; Jean Grey is sick of your bullshit; you should totally cosplay Skids; and Mystique fundamentally misunderstands branding.
Before we jump into this one, let me tell you kids a story.
Once upon a time, there was a gentleman by the name of Dwayne McDuffie. McDuffie was an incredibly important figure in comics: these days, he’s best known as the creator of Static Shock and the co-founder of Milestone Media; for his work across the DCAU; and as a tireless and outspoken advocate for black representation in superhero comics.
In 1989, when McDuffie was an editor at Marvel Comics, he wrote a biting, satirical pitch that has since become industry legend. In his pitch, McDuffie points out that 25% of African-American superheroes appearing in the Marvel Universe over the last year have had skateboard-based superpowers or fighting styles, and proposes a new team to take advantage of this and other equivalently exciting trends, featuring four black guys on skateboards:
Twelve years later, the fifth episode of X-Men: Evolution would introduce the Xavier Institute’s sole black student and the show’s first original character, Evan “Spyke” Daniels:
METOXO the lava man, as teased in X-Men #48–but never revealed!
Beast and Iceman teach METOXO the true meaning of Christmas in the 1994 Marvel Holiday Special.
Angel X-Plains the Phoenix retcon. (X-Factor #1)
In X-Men #37, five reasonably normal-looking teenagers dive out of a plane…
…and then this happens. (X-Men #37)
In which Jean Grey, given the choice between the Silver Age’s two stock career options for female protagonists, opts for option A. (X-Men #48)
Scott Summers’ radio career lasted five whole panels. Here are four of them. We remain annoyed that none of them actually show him recording, because that would be really useful as a podcast graphic. (X-Men #48)
The Coffee-a-Go-Go made its debut in X-Men #7, along with regular Bernard the Poet and acerbic waitress Zelda.
There are a lot of Coffee-a-Go-Go stories, but Bobby’s 18th birthday, from X-Men #32, is probably the best.
Bernard the poet sells out in the name of birthday cheer. (X-Men #32)
Zelda’s original line, from X-Men #7 (she was originally a redhead)…
…and Busiek’s homage in the 1994 Marvel Holiday Special.
Iceman vs. ice skating. (X-Men #29)
We’ll be giving it its own post on Monday, but David Wynne’s art of the original X-Men as Enid Blyton’s Famous Five goes way too well with this episode.
Next Episode: Fast-forwarding to 1994 for the wedding of Scott Summers and Jean Grey.