Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

As Mentioned in Episode 13 – Last Stand on the Moon

Listen to the podcast here!

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    1. As a kid, I presumed it did but that they couldn’t show the whole word. I remember it was a thrill when Wolverine got to say “bastards” for the first time in God Loves, Man Kills.

  1. A great episode, again, guys. Like Miles, when I picture the X-Men, it’s the Byrne/Austin version I see (and I think Austin’s influence is highly underrated…compare Byrne’s work elsewhere to see the difference).

    I’m glad you point out that the best way to read this is in the context of the time it was written. I remember what a bombshell it was. This was 1980, after all: characters dying in comics was NOT A THING. Not like this, anyways. Jean’s sacrifice and the emotional impact of the story was a gut punch that readers didn’t expect.

    THIS is the Scott Summers I think of: the leader, finding his way, growing beyond Professor X into his own man, but who suffers great tragedy. Not the neo-Fascist Extinction Squad dude running around the MU today. I don’t even know that guy.

    1. I think that present-day Militant Scott is one of the many in-story tragedies that spins out the Dark Phoenix Saga. How can a guy who has dealt with the deaths Jean/Madelyne/Jean and a never 100% healthy relationship with Emma come out unscathed? I’ve always thought that the “I don’t even know him anymore” sentiment was precisely the point.

      Of course, whether that makes for consistently good reading is another issue entirely.

  2. Fantastic episode guys!! Do you know where I could find a TPB of Dark Phoenix Saga that is printed on newsprint? I hate when old comics are printed on glossy paper. Thank You! -M-

    1. The Essential volumes are on newsprint, but they’re also black-and-white. I’d start by checking with your LCS.

  3. Fantastic episode. I knew I was in for a good one when the two chosen images for Jean and Scott being all… er… Jean-and-Scott-y made me tear up without context beyond those pages.

    Having read issue 137 immediately after your guys’ episode (rather than come to it organically in my re-read) might have removed some of the emotional impact, but it is still an incredibly powerful book.

    You guys really did give this one the treatment it deserved – and man. Poor Cyclops. I wonder if his current time as a “Mutant Renegade” is some sort of psychotic break after one too many failures in life.

    Or a mid-life crisis.

    1. I think it’s the result of a pretty reasonable and organic evolution. But yeah, his life super sucks.

  4. A subtle, SF touch by Claremont affirming the alien locale of the system Dark Phoenix destroys: “They see the light first…ten minutes after leaving the murdered star.” Had it been Earth, it would have been eight minutes.

  5. It’s completely a side issue, but the picture of Ben Grimm having got out of the bath made me realise how much ‘Good Ben’ art there is. Bath tubs, robes, etc. Thanks!

  6. Just started listening to the podcast, someone on poptards listed you as a good listen so catching up. First of all before I get in trouble, I love issue #137 have since I bought it at the corner 7-11 store back in 1980. HOWEVER, despite Rachel’s great love of him, the issue shows Cyclops is the poor leader of the X-Men that Chuck thinks he is. He is teleported to an area he has never been to with 7 people he has trained with alot facing an equal number of Imperial Guard (8) and virtually the first thing he does is split them into two groups, and not even along a clever line. The X-Men fighting as a team are virtually unbeatable, splitting them up was Scott’s idea and really a stupid idea. I mean even if he were going to split them up 4 of the original 5 as a group and the 4 new X-Men would have made more sense. Beast doesnt bring alot to the group of Collosus, Storm and Wolverine, however he could have helped out Cyclops, Marvel Girl and Angel quite a bit.

  7. I just started listening to X-Plain the X-Men about a week ago in the year 2023 and I love your banter and byplay along with Miles’s “WHAT!!!?!!?”s at the start of each installment.

    One thing in looking back at the Dark Phoenix story line is that the writing not only had a much broader narrative structure and flow than other comics of the period, but the art for the run with Bynre’s arrival was vastly superior to other comics during the period because the visual team was remarkably consistent for the run of the saga. John Byrne and Terry Austin, on every issue from #108 to 138 with Glynis Wein and Tom Orzachowski being the predominant colorist and letterer from about #120 forward. Compare that with the Avengers (for example) during the same period where Byrne was also the penciller. The consistency in Uncanny X-Men –along with the very draftsmanlike work of both Austin and Orz– showed comics as a medium in a fashion that made its storytelling appear more mature and more appealing to a wider audience even with all of the bombast Chris Claremont’s writing presented.

    I hope this missive finds you both well almost a decade after you began the podcast. I look forward to listening to all of the installments!

    A lifelong member of the Merry Marvel Mutant Marching Society, I remain,

    RJ Johnson

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