Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

13 – Last Stand on the Moon

In which Jean commits genocide, the Shi’ar are total dicks (again), we have feelings about X-Men #137, Claremont and Byrne do what they do best, shit gets real on the moon, Kitty joins the team, and the Dark Phoenix Saga concludes.



  • Inhumans
  • The Kree
  • The Terrigen Mist
  • Teamwork
  • The Dark Phoenix
  • Cameos with cosmic implications
  • The Phoenix event horizon
  • Establishing scale
  • Psychic battles
  • The winged never-nudes of the Marvel Universe
  • Danger-room exposition
  • The Shi’ar’s really dubious justice system
  • Why X-Men #137 is the definitive issue of X-Men
  • Pacing
  • The power of friendship
  • Quiet moments
  • The blue area of the moon
  • The best last stand
  • Moon vandalism
  • The Phoenix Retcon

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

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  1. I should SO do that, lastplaneout!

    By the way, for anyone who’s looking to get a hold of these issues (particularly 137), every once in a while, on Comixology/the Marvel Comics App/Marvel’s Digital Comics store, they offer up X-Men #137 for free. That’s how I got a hold of it digitally (the first time). Then they sold the whole Dark Phoenix collection (collecting 129-137) for $3.99, and I HAD to jump on that. They’re not that cheap now, but I think the individual issue is $1.99, and the collection is $16.99 through either of those sellers, if anyone’s interested in buying digitally.

  2. I just need to commend you both on this great episode. The joy and reverence you hold for this arc really came through, I think I heard some voices crack when you were reading aloud some of issue 137. Great job.

    I also, I cannot emphasize enough how much I adore your openings.

    1. Thank you!

      In my defense, I am ridiculously allergic to the entire state of Oregon right now, which means my voice cracks a lot. But you are not wrong. 😉

  3. I have a question about the openings, some variation of which I was SURE was going to be asked in the all-question-spectacular. Is Miles always the one with the “WHAT?!?” because Rachel actually knows more/has read more X-Men comics? Or is it just a dynamic you decided on for your “characters” on the show? Even if it was just an artistic choice, and not based in fact, I’m curious: who’s read more X-Men? And, just in case the answer to this question is different, who knows more about Marvel’s Merry Mutants?

  4. Dear Rachel and Miles,

    I went back and read #137 after your podcast, and one of Claremont’s captions caught my eye–sad in a different way: “It’s been nearly eight years since Apollo 17, the last lunar mission. Many believe man will not walk on the moon again before the turn of the century. Even then, that would be a shame and a terrible waste.”

  5. This was a wonderful episode!

    I so much hate the Phoenix/Jean retcone that it really was my main reasons hating on the X-Factor first series (that and some other reasons…)
    It also gave birth to some of the other most questionable moments in the Claremont run and later Xmen – mainly everything revolving around Madlyne Pryor and later: all the convoluted reincarnations of Phoenix and the rest of the Summers strange family.

    But enough of the grumbling.
    This episode, when you talked about the ending of the saga not being the ending that was planned, it really made me realize just how fragile the whole proccess of creation is, just how lucky we are and just how lucky the creators are that a masterpiece is being born. Just think of it: If Jim shooter wouldn’t step up to Claremont and Bryne, the story that we would get would be so much different, so less effective. If Jean wouldn’t die it would definitely become from an incredible story – to just a good, much less memorable one. It would become one of many Xmen stories who were later to come, with a generally good storytelling and kinda regular approach: The conclusion is that everyone saved, they go home, back to the status quo: The story makes a complete circle and going back to it’s begging, were the reader doesn’t feel any change in him or herself… I feel like most of the infamous 90’s were the direct outcome of this approach: serving the status quo and the demand of the fans instead of the sake of telling a good story.

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