Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

As Mentioned in Episode 15 – The Ballad of Harvey and Janet

Listen to the podcast here!


  1. I read the storm/white queen body swap in a black & white reprint and it was hard to follow for me. I feel bad for anyone whose first exposure to this stuff is not in color.

    1. Yeah, I have some of those big Essentials volumes and it can be very hard to tell what’s going on without the color. I’m starting to get the feeling that I’m weirdly non-visual for someone who loves comics so much! Also it gives me a lot of respect for the original colorists who were able to figure out wtf was going on.

    2. I wound up with the Warhawk and Arcade issues from the early parts of the Claremont/Byrne run in a tiny paperback issue back in gradeschool. Really, really cool stuff… but it was in stupid tiny print (like, literally, the size of a paperback book) and black & white with all the color removed.

      Not fun, especially when compared to the joyous overload of color that is Murderland.

  2. Okay, a few thing:

    1. That costume of Kitty’s really is magnificent. You’re right, that’s totally what a 13-year-old who desperately wants to be a superhero would choose for a costume.

    B) That panel of Wolverine with wet hair? Yeah, he’s going to kill at least 3 people just out of irritation at having to take another hour out of his day to re-style his pointy bits.

    3 – That cover of Emma Frost and Storm…fighting?…in midair. Yeah. Um, well, is it just me or do they look like they’re TOTES STARTING TO SCISSOR OMG WTF YOU GUYS! Right there in the air in front of everyone! Jeez, who do they think they are, Angel and Husk? Also, I read this article on Autostraddle yesterday excerpting hilarious love scenes from 50s lesbian pulp novels and I totally have the urge to write one of those for this cover now.

    1. The Emma/Storm thing…yeah. My theory is that this shows Claremont getting more and finer control of how the art comes out now that Byrne’s gone, and quickly demonstrating why that kind of unity is sometimes a mixed blessing.

  3. I have to be honest- that John-Carter-meets-Cthulhu outfit might be my favorite Cyclops look ever. I kind of wish that when he got his visor back he would have been like, “This is my costume now.” It’s what Hawkeye would’ve done.

    And I’m with you guys on Lee Forrester. She’s the best. Although in general, I’m Team Emma. But we’ll get to that I’m sure.

    1. At the very least, it’d make for a great visual dynamic. Especially in the Jim Lee era, where the octopus could have pouches that have pouches that hide pouches.
      Not to mention, the boots are already in Cyclops’ style.

      And maybe the Octopus could be put over his head when he comes as an Action Figure for an 8-way Optic Blast spray.

      1. Seriously! That’d be way better than the usual “throw in a random plastic-projectile gun with each action figure” thing. BECAUSE OCTOPUS.

  4. Hi Rachel and Miles! Started listening to the cast and by far my favorite thing are the cold opens. I like that you guys are up and up on the modern stories too – I’ve listened to a few other podcasts discussing the old stuff and they’re not always still reading. Sorry if this has been asked, still listening. Why do you think the X-Men tend to be so much more drawn to alternate/parallel timelines compared to other Marvel characters? And that unlike other books where characters or teams remain largely the same at the core, there tends to be a lot more diversity of characters, powers, and roles in these various timelines?

  5. Hi Rachel and Miles!

    First, loving the podcast. You two make every Sunday better.

    Second, a question: why do modern Marvel comics change artists so often? I especially noticed it on Aaron and Bachalo’s run of Wolverine and the X-Men and found it really distracting to the story. Is there a good reason?

    Thanks again for doing cool stuff!

  6. Hey, Rachel and Miles. I’m still working through the archives, which inspired me to break out my trade of the Dark Phoenix Saga (Emma Frost wasn’t really holding her own; the Phoenix was taking her measure. On the other hand, she somehow knocked over a building with telepathy, so maybe she is that powerful) so thanks for that.

    Question: How different are the X-Men, and entire Marvel universe, if Wolverine had died and Thunderbird survived? Would a surly Navajo have grown as popular as a surly Canadian? Would Thunderbird on the Res been as cool as Patch in Madripoor?

    1. I think a better question is, could Thunderbird have been inserted into similar storylines? How awesome would it be to have him in Madripoor, or would he have worked in the Dark Phoenix Saga as well?

      Although, even if he carried knives, I don’t think he’d have been quite as 90s awesome as Wolverine.

  7. This podcast is amazing, I listen every week. Reasons why so good. 1. you go through x-history via stories (some podcast’s do 1 issue at a time, will take them years to cover what you guys have covered)2. consistency, 1 a week keep them coming. All the best im the future!
    p.s. im listening in england so you are international and have fans over here too 🙂

  8. I was impressed as a kid that Magneto simulcasted his ultimatum to Saudi Arabia and Kenya too, even though they weren’t nuclear weapons states. Or maybe he didn’t, and (as was a popular pastime in that era) they were just watching him on stolen premium cable.

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