DJ BenHaMeen and Tatiana King-Jones were kind enough to interview us on their awesome podcast, The FanBros Show! We talked about how we got into X-Men, our favorite characters and creators, mutants as a civil rights allegory, and, of course, Days of Future Past and the movie franchise in general.
Proof that Miles does, in fact, have a Corsair costume.
I’m not sure there’s any scene from X-Men that’s been redrawn as frequently as this one. (Guardians of the Galaxy #12)
Corsair’s first appearance in X-Men #104
Look at these glorious weirdos. LOOK AT THEM. (X-Men #107)
Make good choices, Jean. (X-Men #107)
The best scene in X-Men, ever. (X-Men #114)
Sometimes Scott Summers is not the brightest crayon in the box. (X-Men #114)
Cyclops is the worst at hugs. (Uncanny X-Men #391)
Dude has a point. (Uncanny X-Men #391)
Reports of Corsair’s death have been somewhat exaggerated. (All-New X-Men #23)
Scott has questions. (Guardians of the Galaxy #12)
Aw, kiddo. (Guardians of the Galaxy #12)
Remember when you were sixteen, and everything was super serious, and your not-quite girlfriend got kidnapped by space birds and put on trial for the crimes that her past-future adult self committed by possessed by a cosmic force? (Guardians of the Galaxy #13)
Remember when you were sixteen, and everything was super serious, and also your dad was a space pirate? (Cyclops #1)
Key party in Shi’ar space!. (Cyclops #1)
Hepzibah and Corsair are one of the great unsung romances of the Marvel universe. (Cyclops #1)
Grown-up Cyclops finds out about the new Cyclops ongoing series. (All-New X-Men #26)
In which death is a revolving door, we really liked Days of Future Past, space pirates are the best pirates, Vulcan is (still) the worst, Miles has a Corsair costume, Lilandra has lovely plumage, no one knows how to pronounce “M’Kraan,” we studiously avoid discussing the Phoenix force, Saurids speak Hebrew, Raza Longknife’s name is a bit on the nose, Rachel is the worst at hugs, Greg has a ‘ship, and we all kind of identify with Cyclops.
The Starjammers (and how to pronounce their names)
The Neremani Dynasty
The secret origins of the Starjammers
Why Hepzibah talks like that
The Rule of Cool
Cyclops’s dubious deductive skills
The All-New, All-the-Same X-Men
Cyclops vs. Scott
Rachel’s convention sketchbook
Greg’s Kitty Pryde feelings
An exceptionally vivid threat
Key parties in space
The greatest romance of the Marvel Universe
You can find a visual companion to the episode – and links to recommended reading – on our blog.
We also want to take a moment to note that making a good movie does not give Bryan Singer a pass for allegedly raping children. Whether that affects your decision to see Days of Future Past is your call—we’re not advising one way or the other—but either way, we hope you’ll join us in making a donation to RAINN.
This week, writer Greg Rucka will be joining us to talk about the Starjammers and his new Cyclops ongoing series! If you have questions for us or for Greg, stick ’em in the comments below or our Tumblr askbox, or tweet ’em to @RaeBeta with the hashtag #xplainthexmen!
In which we more or less prepare you for the upcoming feature film; Rachel Summers is a black hole of continuity; Kitty Pryde breaks the Danger Room; Earth 200500 is clearly the best earth; even the X-Men have no idea what’s going on; First Class Emma Frost is so boring that we forget she exists; wolverines are definitely not wolves; and you can have Rachel’s Community references when you pry them from her cold, dead hands.
“Days of Future Past”
Gravestone engraving standards of 2013
The Mostly-New, Mostly-Different Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Another unfortunate hat
Causality in the Marvel Multiverse
Earths 811, 1191, 295, 311, and 200500
Hall monitors with laser rifles
How to fix a broken timeline
The X-Men cinematic universe, and points of divergence from the comics
The one thing X-Men: The Last Stand does right
The Xavier Index of Cinematic Continuity
The difference between Canis lupus and Gulo gulo
A Days of Future Past cinematic cram course
Blink, Bishop, and dark-future mash-ups
The enduring appeal of Earth-811
The significantly less enduring appeal of Earth-242
The Nazi Excalibur of Earth-597
You can find a visual companion to the episode – and links to recommended reading – on our blog.
On Episode 5 – The Retcon that Walks Like a Man, we met Gabriel Summers, and did a very quick drive-by introduction to the Summers family and their really depressing space adventures. Because this shit is complicated, Rachel,* the resident Summers Family Continuity expert, has put together a brief visual guide to Gabriel’s backstory. Click through for the origin of the third and worst Summers Brother:
Meet Scott and Alex Summers! They’re brothers. Their parents have just pushed them out of a burning airplane. Scott and Alex are going to crash in a minute and then have awful childhoods, but all you really need to know for now is that they’re going to become X-Men when they grow up.
Meet Mister Sinister! He’s a creepy, creepy man who knows even more about the Summers family than Rachel does (and that’s a lot). In 1993, Mister Sinister let slip that Scott and Alex might have a third brother, and for over a decade, pretty much every orphan in the Marvel Universe had “probably a Summers brother” stuck on to the end of their official bio.
But in 2005, X-Men: Deadly Genesis came around. Deadly Genesis was a straight-up retcon of 1975’s Giant-Size X-Men #1. It also—finally—resolved the question of the third Summers brother.
Meet Christopher and Katherine Summers! They’re Scott and Alex’s parents. They’ve just thrown Scott and Alex out of a burning airplane, then gotten abducted by aliens. This part of the story has been X-canon since the ’70s—but what Deadly Genesis reveals is that Katherine is pregnant. Christopher gets sent off to the slave pens, and Katherine ends up a Comics Code-compliant-analogue-to-concubine of the evil space emperor. Christopher breaks out and tries to free her, but he’s caught, and Katherine—and apparently her now-nearly-to-term fetus—are killed. (Christopher later becomes a space pirate named Corsair, which is awesome but irrelevant to this particular story.)
Meet Fetus Summers, who turns out to be viable after all! He gets rapid-aged by means of Fancy Space Science, named Gabriel, and sent to be a slave of the Shi’ar’s representative on Earth. Later, his powers manifest and he kills the only person who was ever nice to him, then escapes into the sewers with nothing but his favorite book of Roman myths and a case of dramatically expedient amnesia.
Gabriel gets picked up by Dr. Moira MacTaggert—Professor X’s ex—and becomes one of her group of teen mutants in training, under the code name Kid Vulcan. X consults—and, in the process, pieces together Gabriel’s history but doesn’t tell anyone, in keeping with a long tradition of lying to Scott about the existence of his living relatives. Professor X is a dick.
To confirm his theory, X brings Scott out to train with Gabriel for a day—but still doesn’t tell either of them that they might be brothers. (Gabriel’s powers, incidentally, have to do with energy manipulation and redirection, which his how he can do that with Scott’s eye beams.)
When the X-Men are all captured on Krakoa (the Island That Walks Like a Man!), X convinces Moira’s kids to go rescue them. Immediately before they leave, he tells Gabriel that Scott and Alex are his brothers. The new kids rescue Scott, and Gabriel tells him that they’re brothers. Scott’s super beat up and his powers are broken, so the new kids leave him and go to rescue the rest of the captive X-Men—but instead, they all get killed.
Scott returns to the X-mansion, understandably distraught. X decides the most expedient course of action is to totally wipe Gabriel out of Scott’s memory. Did I mention that Professor X is a dick? Professor X is a dick. When the new X-Men return to Krakoa to rescue the original team, he continues to mess with their perceptions to support this version of events.
What X doesn’t know is that Gabriel and his teammate Darwin are actually still alive, so when the X-Men launch Krakoa into orbit, Gabriel and Darwin go with it. They get stuck in stasis for years, in space. OOPS.
Later, Gabriel wakes up pissed, comes back to earth, kills Banshee, kidnaps Scott and Scott’s alternate-timeline-future-daughter (I know, I know. Just run with it.), and forces Professor X to show them what actually happened. Darwin—still in stasis inside Gabriel—is extracted and revived, Gabriel flies off to fight an evil space empire, and absolutely no one lives happily ever after. X-Men!
Giant-Size X-Men #1. Prepare for forty years of riffs on this cover.
The best-dressed mob in Germany.
And THAT’S how you punch a tractor.
“Oh, y’know. Fight crime, see the world, get your memory rewritten every few weeks, maybe go on a really fucked up date with Dracula…”
When Xavier finds him, Thunderbird is literally wrestling a buffalo to death.
Sunfire’s first appearance, in X-Men #64.
Most of the New & Different X-Men get a full page or two to join the team. Banshee? Two panels. He’s just that chill.
“Think you can just walk away, Wolverine? We’ll come after you with our deadliest weapon yet: Alpha Flight crossovers!”
Wow. You… certainly made some choices there, Professor.
Sunfire is absolutely delightful.
At this point, I’m pretty sure he’s just messing with them for fun.
This is the second of three times Sunfire calls Nightcrawler “Misfit” on one page–which is actually a pretty welcome break from the X-Men referring to each other exclusively by ethnic epithets. Len Wein, DON’T DO THAT.
This is pretty much the platonic ideal of an X-Men fight scene: teamwork, cool powers, and narration busting Kool-Aid-Man-style through the fourth wall.
Fun fact: Polaris will later go on to get an advanced degree in geophysics.
“You know… stuff?”
We see what you did, there.
Moira MacTaggert has opinions about retcons.
Introducing: The Worst Summers Brother
“Hey, kids, want to be superheroes?”
It’s worth noting that Moira’s team’s emergency psychic training regimen includes a Hostess Fruit Pie ad callback.
They are so doomed.
It’s almost like you live with a telepath who messes with people’s memories all the time.
Wait, what? But that’s not how it…
…oh. That explains some things.
Damn, X. That’s cold.
Professor X: Master of the retcon, worst surrogate parent ever.