Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

9 – Leprechaun Surprise Party

In which Rachel refuses to back down from a challenge, we reject a point of canon, Leprechauns know Wolverine’s secrets, Erik the Red is (still) awful, Professor X is (still) a dick, the X-Men are your D&D party, the Shi’ar do a Star Trek riff, Phoenix is kind of a big deal, the circus comes to town, and Magneto gets creepy.


  • Cassandra Nova
  • More early Claremont
  • Sound effects
  • Cassidy Keep
  • Seneschals
  • Shillelaghs
  • Image inducers
  • Black Tom Cassidy
  • Supervillain bromance
  • Bronze-age pacing
  • Leprechauns
  • Hovercraft rental
  • Muir Island
  • The Shi’ar Imperial Guard
  • The M’Kraan Cyrstal
  • Phoenix 101
  • Secret volcano lairs
  • Magneto’s mercifully short-lived age-play fixation
  • The (dis)continuity of mutant powers

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

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Next week: Wolverine punches a pterosaur, Cyclops grows a mustache, and everyone gets possessed!



  1. Another great show this week. Because I guess they’re all going to be great and maybe at some point it’s going to be redundant even saying it.

    I’ve been wondering about how densely written 70s/80s comics are, and my working theory at the moment is that it’s a combination of a little bit of style, and a lot of “Marvel method”… that is, writing was more verbose back then anyway, but that at Marvel writers had to parse for readers pages of art that weren’t really tidily restrained by being clearly scripted out in advance, or that weren’t always working toward the narrative that the writer wanted to get across.

    (I’ve really noticed this when looking at old Gene Colan Starlord pages, and Kirby stuff – the artists go on pretty wild, amazing flights of fancy, and the text tries its hardest to keep it on track, often over-zealously.)

    What hadn’t occurred to me before this ep is where Chris Claremont fits into this… one of the more verbose writers, and continuously so even after other writers are becoming more spare in their words.

    Do you know how production of the X-Men was broken up, over Claremont’s tenure? His famous long-game would seem not to be that compatible with the Marvel Method, especially when working with such definitive and prominent artists as Byrne and Cockrum (who seemed to have a lot of agency when they were on the book).

    It’s hard to imagine Claremont leaving as much of the narrative in the hands of the artists as pure Marvel Method requires, so I’d be fascinated to know how they worked it all out.

    1. That’s a really good question. I have no idea, but if our own long-game works out and we get big enough to get Claremont on the show, we can ask him then!

      1. Hey, you don’t have to be that big to get some form of Claremont interaction! When I was a nobody undergraduate, I sent him a private message on some comic book forum he posted on asking to interview him for a paper I wanted to write for class. And he did it! My teacher was super impressed.

        That was a kick ass paper, too, if I say so myself. That was the paper I submitted as my writing sample when applying to grad schools. I got in and they gave me the fellowship for that year so I didn’t have to teach.

  2. Surprised you guys didn’t take the opportunity to reference the X-Babies when talking about Claremont’s baby fetish. . . something I am eager for you guys to cover when you get to the Mojoverse.

  3. First off, I have been listening to your series over the past two weeks and I LOVE it. I am really happy that you guys are taking the time to explain (x-plain) all the little stuff I missed over the years. I am a big X-Men fan and it’s great to get all the backstory and relevant info in a quick, entertaining and funny way. I hope this podcast goes on for a good long time. 🙂

    I grew up with the X-Men cartoon and I never knew all the history that went into the Phoenix Saga. There was a lot of changes made to the cartoon from the original comic run it appears.

    My question is: Do you think the cartoon version of events for the Phoenix Saga was better (or made more sense) than the comic run, or was it too condensed? Also, do you think the cartoon version of the Phoenix Saga paid appropriate homage to the comics?

    I can’t wait until you guys hit the Age of Apocalypse and Onslaught eras. Thank you for all of your hard work and the fun you put into the podcast.

    <3 -Dan

  4. Rachel and Miles,

    After this last episode especially I had to tell you what a wonderful job I think you’re doing with this podcast. This one really took me back. Uncanny #102 was the first issue of the X-Men I ever saw and one of the first comic books I ever read. Most of it went over my head (I was 8) but Nightcrawler was strange and cool, I wanted Storm to stop crying and feel better and Colossus was awesome. Also, leprechauns! Later I picked up the then new issue, #128. Proteus was weird, Phoenix was cool and Colossus saved the day (but felt really bad about it). Peter was always my favorite over the years. He doesn’t get enough love (or good writing) and you can tell Greg Rucka from me that its not his fault he was psychically roofied by Jim Shooter in Secret Wars :P. I kept up through Uncanny #231. By then the increasing number of X-titles struck even the high school me as cynical and took the fun out of it (X-Factor sucked, New Mutants went from awesome with Claremont to awful without him and I think I quit reading before Excalibur even started).

    Fast forward many years to the present. I got Sean Howe’s history of Marvel Comics for Christmas, read Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men based on a friend’s recommendation (So Good!) and the X-love started coming back. I started to get optimistic about the new movie maybe not sucking and decided to start reading Claremont’s whole run, including the stuff after I stopped (I just finished “Inferno,” Holy Crap did Madelyne Pryor get a raw deal. I found you guys following a link from Slate’s Days of Future Past Review (Kitty’s “notes”) and I’ve spent the last couple of weeks listening to all the episodes and enjoying the hell out of them. Based on your recommendations I ordered “Marvels,” which was great, and I have “X-Men Season One” on the way. Episode 7 was so good I may even go inside a comic book shop for the first time this century and try to find “Cyclops.”

    This has gotten too long but I felt compelled to thank you for the enjoyment I’m getting from your hard work. You guys clearly have an “uncanny” knowledge of all things X-Men related, an “astonishing” wit and a real love for the material, even the ridiculous retcons and the WTF moments. So, thank you for making my dive back into the X-Men feel like a communal experience.

  5. Rachel,

    If you’re into Cyclops telling Xavier to go fuck himself, re-check out X-Men Legacy 215-216. Basically two full issues of Xavier schadenfreude.

  6. No Prize X-planation for Storm’s lack of claustrophobia in the space station and attack of claustrophobia in the castle: in a word, LIGHT. The space station is depicted with metal walls/floors/ceilings that reflect light, and there’s a lot of light in the panels. Banshee’s castle is big, but it’s more dimly lit, and the stone walls don’t reflect as much light. (Bear in mind that the experience of being buried in rubble is dark as well as close.) Storm’s mind does the rest; in places where she can’t see the walls and ceilings, she thinks the surfaces are closer to her than they really are.

  7. There’s actually a reference to Storm’s claustrophobia in the space shuttle. She mentions that “it feels marvelous to get this helmet off” and then thinks to herself “another second trapped inside this cursed suit and I’d have started screaming”.

  8. I know I’m late to the party here, but I just found this podcast and fell in love. I want to give big props here to Rachel and Miles, specifically Miles, for expanding my vocabulary in this episode. Grandiloquent indeed!

  9. I think the Leprechauns come back years later when Banshee takes Generation X to his home. I haven’t read them in years, but I remember Lobdell wrote it more like this is a fairy tale dimension they are transported to, but I guess they could just not be mentioning the whole other dimension thingy in the first appearance maybe? Banshee doesn’t ever mention the little people so that seems as plausible as anything. (I know they talk to Nightcrawler and Wolverine, but do the other X-men ever find out about them?) I think those were issues Bachalo was taking a leave to do the second ‘Death’ miniseries, which is a shame since I would love to see his version of the Leprechauns!

    <3 Chris Bachalo and <3 your lovely podcast!

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