Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men


Much like Layla Miller, we know stuff. Unlike Layla Miller, neither of us has ever done it with Multiple Man.
Much like Layla Miller, we know stuff. Unlike Layla Miller, neither of us has ever done it with Multiple Man.

Miles is going on vacation soon, so this weekend, in addition to the regular episode, we’ll be pre-recording an ALL-QUESTION SPECTACULAR. Normally, we limit the questions we answer on the show to the X-Men, but this time (and this time only), anything’s game–from the comics, to the podcast, to the X-Perts ourselves. Stick your queries in the comments here or our Tumblr box, or tweet ’em to @RaeBeta with the hashtag #xplainthexmen!


  1. Could you give a quick timeline of how much the mutants-as-persecuted-minority theme existed in various eras? How much was it a theme before the introduction of the Sentinels? How much before Magneto’s Holocaust backstory? How much before “God Loves, Man Kills”?

  2. Let’s play pretend…

    Marvel has announced an X-Men limited series to run 8 issues. And they’re letting YOU decide the details. Who’s your creative team (no, you may not pick yourself), your lineup of X-Men, and your villain?

  3. Is wolverine mask specifically design to fit over his majestic hair without squashing it, or did he just design the mask as a tribute to his hair?

  4. The Chuck Austen run on X-MEN has gone down in history as one of the worst, most widely criticized runs of the past fifty years. Now that the dust has settled, what is your opinion about Austen’s work? Is it so terrible that it should be avoided completely? Or is it required reading for devoted fans of our favorite uncanny mutants?

  5. Rapid-fire Q&A:

    Morrison or Whedon?
    Stacy-X or Adam the X-Treme?
    Wolverine in black & yellow, or Wolverine in brown?
    Magneto as a hero or Magneto as a villain?
    Age of Apocalypse or House of M?
    Rob Liefeld or Jim Lee?
    Marrow or Maggot?
    Blue Team or Gold Team?
    Giant-Size X-Men #1 or Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1?
    Scott and Jean or Scott and Emma?
    Scott and Jean or Wolverine and Jean?
    McAvoy or Stewart?
    Jean Grey School or New Xavier School?
    Hairless Beast, Ape Beast, Cat Beast, or Current Beast?
    Days of Future Past or Dark Phoenix?
    X-Men in Australia or X-Men in San Francisco?
    Cerebro or Cerebra?
    McKellan or Fassbender?
    Angel or Archangel?
    Joseph or Xorn?
    and, finally…
    Vacation in the Savage Land or vacation in Madripoor?

  6. In your reading of things, what are the most important ways that the industry censorship of the Comics Code Authority influenced the X-Men?

  7. What’s the graduation process at the Xavier Institute (and all of its incarnations)? For example, what’s going on with Hellion, Anole, Mercury, and the rest of the early-aughts crew? Are they still students? Armor seemed to graduate to the X-Men in Whedon’s Astonishing run, and now she seems to be a student again??

    I’m sure it depends on writers’ whims, but some history/insight would be awesome!

  8. Here’s a few:

    You are given a chance by Marvel to select a single X-Man (or woman) to receive a solo ongoing book. The catch is that you can only tell them the X-person you wish to see in the solo book, and provide a general plot outline that will then be penned by Chris Claremont and drawn by John Byrne. Who do you choose, what would the plot be, and why?

    What are your personal favorite storylines from throughout the years?

    Rachel, what is your headcanon as to why Wolverine is on so many Marvel teams? I seem to recall this was mentioned once, but that a lack of time prevented you from going into it.

    What are your top 5 most bizarre moments in X-Men history, without context? A good example could be from last episode (“Hey, remember the time Magneto got turned into a baby?”).

    What are your favorite “Wolverine is just in this book for a panel or two, but is totally all over the cover” moments?

    If you were asked to turn an X-Men comic, or team, or storyline, into a Movie, what would you choose?
    And what about for a Netflix Miniseries, much like what Marvel’s doing with Daredevil?

  9. To someone interested in reading old and new X-Men comics, what are your recommendations?

    Specifically, do you recommend particular series or just jumping from one story arc to the next?

    Also, maybe an X-Men series ranking?

  10. If you could erase/rewrite one major X-Men event, what would it be and why? (can be something small like finding out Nightcrawler’s father was a demon, or large like House of M)

  11. What’s your take on Ultimate X-Men? You didn’t mention it during your episode that covered alternate takes on the Golden Age years. Not that it’s Golden Age at all, really, but it does feature the origins/early days of the team. Is it too Millary for you or could you get past the sometimes unnecessarily grim-darkness and enjoy it still?

    1. I’m also curious if you guys have takes on specific runs, I hear Millar’s run is poor, but Bendis, Vaughn, and Kirkman, all had different takes. Those I read and enjoyed but those might be nostalgia goggles. Also the Spencer and Wood runs, and your opinions on the path the Ultimate Universe took in general

  12. Just reading ‘the Dark Phoenix Saga’ for the first time thanks to the show. I’m at issue #132 and Candy Southern shows up. I’m not going to Bing her, but what’s her deal?

  13. Hey!
    1 ) Why do you think some X-Men have an easier time transitioning from the X-Men to other superhero teams? Angel, Iceman, and Beast, in the 70s and 80s have been Defenders, Champions of LA, and Avengers. Dazzler was considered a solo hero who was in a few “Who Will Be the Newest Avenger?” covers that Marvel would do speculating the newest Avenger, with the likes of Rom Spaceknight and Dr. Strange. Those few seem to fit in okay on other teams, but characters like Cyclops or Marrow or Bishop, don’t seem like they fit anywhere else but the X-Men. Maybe it’s a trend that the X-Men are their own thing, which I know they’re trying to reverse with Uncanny Avengers. Do you guys like the interpretation of the X-Men as a mutants only-uniform wearing-street team or as legit superheroes with individual costumes and being part of the larger MU? A balance?
    2 ) What other Marvel properties are you guys fans of? Do you guys read DC? Image? How many monthlies do you guys collect, or do you wait for trades?
    3 ) What other geek fandoms are you guys a part of/partake in? It sounded like you guys were/are into RPGs, and Game of Thrones. Are you guys into Star Wars or Star Trek or Harry Potter? Video games?
    4 ) Who are your least favorite X-Men? Which story lines do you wish were excised from X-Men history and/or personally upset you?
    5 ) The original X-Men seem to have plenty or retellings and books giving you a feel of that era, and the 90s-modern era have their own comics that work as pick ups to get anyone into them. But the Claremont era, the 70s-80s Bronze Age stuff…do they have good retellings or introductory stories? Some of the Bronze Age art or dialogue is fun for an X-Men aficionado but might scare off a prospective fan. I believe there might’ve been an Uncanny X-Men First Class? Is that any good?
    6 ) Will you guys be covering the Exiles?

  14. I remember reading in an X-book a while back that Professor X recruited Tessa (Sage) around the same time he recruited the original five x-men. In this particular X-book, Tessa was reflecting on why Xavier didn’t include her in the X-Men, but rather used her as a spy and kept her identity a secret. Did Xavier do this with other mutants? Was this retconned?

  15. Trying this one again, still would like to know:
    At what point does Claremont’s run start to go bad a.k.a. when exactly should one stop reading it and skip to Morrison?

  16. Beast’s fake coming-out plot line: awesome, or bullshit? Because I’m on the fence and don’t have the perspective to parse it out as thoroughly as I feel it deserves.

    Plus side: raises awareness, interesting conversations with Emma, gets rid of Trish, who I dislike. Puts Beast’s sexuality front and center, and I’ve always shipped him, so I’m pleased.

    Down side: it seems super flippant and borderline disrespectful. And sort of out of character. Beast has always been really private about his love life, hasn’t he?

  17. As Marvel has used up All-New, Amazing, Astonishing, Classic, New, Ultimate, Uncanny, X-Treme (sigh), and Young, what are your suggestions for new X-titles?

    1. Steal the internet’s new favorite buzzword, “Mind-Blowing.”

      “It starts out slow but when you see what these X-Men do, it will change your life.”

  18. so essentially that list is just everyone ever involved with the x-men in a list. also kitty pride number 1? yeah right. Mimic? really???????? where the hell is frenzy?

  19. Hey, maybe I missed this, but after Beast goes and grabs the original X-men and brings them to the future, there’s presumably a timeline/universe where there just isn’t an original team, right? What’s happening there? Seems like it would be an amazing opportunity to explore a world without the originals!

  20. How do you guys review back issues for podcasts? Do you own the entire series? Do you run a comic book store? Are you independently wealthy? (I realize those last 2 are diametrically opposed.) Reprints? Digital subscriptions? Just curious.

    I love the podcast. I was a 22 year reader, but got tired of the retcons after the first movie. Your podcast makes me want to start catching up again. Cheers!

    1. Bit of everything, except the “independently wealthy” part. We’ve amassed a pretty substantial collection over the years (made possible by, among other things, significant pro discounts at our LCS), including a lot of collections of out-of-print issues; subscribe to Marvel Unlimited; and supplement occasionally via libraries, friends’ collections, &c.

  21. Three part question.

    A.) When are you gonna get to the X-Babies?
    B.) Why isn’t this podcast called “Miles and Rachel tell you how awesome the X-Babies are every week”
    C.) Have you started talking about the X-Babies yet?

  22. Hi Rachel and Miles. Thanks for explaining a lot to me about the X-Men, but there’s a real chin scratcher I’d appreciate you answer next time you delve into fan questions.

    What is up with Magneto’s age? I understand he’s meant to be about the same age as Professor X, and given that they’ve tied his origin to Nazi concentration camps it does mean he should be dying of old age fairly soon. But the current run of X-Men show him to be roughly 40 with a shaved head.

    During the big reveal where it turned out that Magneto was leaking information to SHIELD I didn’t recognise him and had no idea who he was meant to be.

    I realise that comics fly a bit hard and fast with the age of superheros, but usually there’s an attempt to explain it. So have I missed something?

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