Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

2 – Sentinels in the Mist

In which we introduce the villains of the Silver Age: Magneto makes some valid points, Mastermind is a Nice Guy of OkCupid, the Scarlet Witch predicts Cat Breading, the Trasks should really have known better, and the Comics Code Authority is down with pterosaurs.


  • Common characteristics of enduring X-villains
  • Mutant identity politics and moral relativism
  • Context-agnostic Juggernaut flashbacks
  • An unorthodox approach to anthropology
  • Cyclops’s greatest diplomatic achievement
  • Silver-Age haberdashery
  • An innovative modification to vampire mythology
  • Cultural assimilation
  • The propaganda-and-sweater-vest machine
  • Hex bolts
  • Supplemental reading

You can find a visual companion to the episode – and links to recommended reading – on our blog.

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  1. This podcast makes me so happy. I never, ever get tired of X-Men talk, especially when it’s witty and funny like this. I like to think I know a lot about the X-Men (and I do, honestly) but I’m not too proud to admit I have gaps in my knowledge, so it’s nice to have a podcast around that will help plug those holes.

  2. Wait, you’re gonna have Chris Sims on the next episode? Is it just going to be thirty minutes of arguments about Cyclops?

    1. We’re calling a temporary truce in service to the greater good. After all, those ‘toons aren’t going to X-plain themselves.

  3. Do you guys ever feel like modern writers wish Toad had been made more toad-like and green with warts or more slimy looking? They’ll commonly make Mortimer’s skin have a greenish hue and give him bug eyed goggles. In the Ultimate Universe and Wolverine and the X-Men he looks more amphibian. Like they almost wish they could go all the way with it in the mainstream. Seems like in Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men though that they’ve committed to it finally.

  4. OMG, Magneto being able to everything with magnetism – what I loved/hated while I was still an X-fan was how it changed so much, and then things like he could control a body through the iron in the blood (!!!) were quickly dropped. “Is adamantium affected by magnetism?” is just the tip of the iceberg!

    (I know, this ‘cast was ages ago, but I’ve just found it, and I’m really enjoying reliving my X-days!)

  5. Oh, and…. (I’m so sorry, I’m binge-listening to your ‘casts so am all super-X-crazy right now) am I right in thinking that *magnetism* is what enabled Magneto and Rogue to touch without her powers working? And how on earth was baby…. Charles? born in the Age of Apocalypse storyline, was his sperm protected by magnetism? I can’t even believe I’m asking this! I blame you two for making me re-live all the WTF magnetism?? moments!

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