METOXO the lava man, as teased in X-Men #48–but never revealed!
Beast and Iceman teach METOXO the true meaning of Christmas in the 1994 Marvel Holiday Special.
Angel X-Plains the Phoenix retcon. (X-Factor #1)
In X-Men #37, five reasonably normal-looking teenagers dive out of a plane…
…and then this happens. (X-Men #37)
In which Jean Grey, given the choice between the Silver Age’s two stock career options for female protagonists, opts for option A. (X-Men #48)
Scott Summers’ radio career lasted five whole panels. Here are four of them. We remain annoyed that none of them actually show him recording, because that would be really useful as a podcast graphic. (X-Men #48)
The Coffee-a-Go-Go made its debut in X-Men #7, along with regular Bernard the Poet and acerbic waitress Zelda.
There are a lot of Coffee-a-Go-Go stories, but Bobby’s 18th birthday, from X-Men #32, is probably the best.
Bernard the poet sells out in the name of birthday cheer. (X-Men #32)
Zelda’s original line, from X-Men #7 (she was originally a redhead)…
…and Busiek’s homage in the 1994 Marvel Holiday Special.
Iceman vs. ice skating. (X-Men #29)
We’ll be giving it its own post on Monday, but David Wynne’s art of the original X-Men as Enid Blyton’s Famous Five goes way too well with this episode.
Next Episode: Fast-forwarding to 1994 for the wedding of Scott Summers and Jean Grey.
In which special guest Kurt Busiek is the J. Robert Oppenheimer of X-Men, Rachel and Miles learn to love the Silver Age, Cyclops gets a job, Bernard the Poet falls from grace, we really wish X-Men: The Secret Years was a real book, everyone recites poetry, and we still don’t get around to Marvels.
METOXO, the Lava Man
The true, secret purpose of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men
The Phoenix retcon
Archival pocket dimensions
Enid Blyton’s X-Men
Early-to-mid-20th Century American Jewish Socialism
Why the X-Men are terrible mutant P.R.
Band names of the Silver Age
An X-Men series that might have been.
Why Cyclops should be the Rachel Maddow of Marvel
Quicksilver’s childhood dreams
Bernard the Poet
The Barefoot Beats
Next week: The wedding of Scott Summers and Jean Grey!
You can find a visual companion to the episode – and links to recommended reading – on our blog.
When we get a question–an X-Plaining question, we mean, not, say, an immediate logistical question–we drop it into a massive spreadsheet, from which we then pull questions for the podcast. As of this FAQ, that spreadsheet contains over 300 questions, of which we have so far explicitly answered around 70 (and covered about that many others within the bodies of episodes).
We usually answer 2-3 questions every episode. Here are some of the factors that go into why we do or don’t pick any given questions for any given episode:
Relevance: We try to pick questions that connect–at least tangentially–to what we’re covering in that episode.
Novelty: If we’ve covered a question already–either explicitly, or in the body of an episode–we probably won’t revisit it. We’re working on an index of questions we’ve answered in previous episodes; when it’s up, we’ll update this FAQ to reflect that.
Tone: Are you being a dick? Are you trying to bait us into bad-mouthing creators or other members of our community, or asking something super personal? We are not into that. Is your question a statement of fact or opinion–or a long diatribe–followed by the word “right”? We are also not into that.
Utility: If your question can be answered with a simple Google search, we will probably not answer it on the podcast.
Scope: We are good at doing research and entertainingly justifying our opinions. We prefer not to speculate on other people’s private lives and personal motivations, and we don’t have a secret channel to creators’ intentions or the “real” truth about things that have been written inconsistently in canon. If your question is about one of those things, we will probably not answer it.
Channels: Did you send the question to the podcast contact form, e-mail it to the podcast address put it in our blog comments, ask through the rachelandmiles Tumblr askbox, or tweet to @XplaintheXMen? If not, your question has fallen down the Memory Hole, to be feasted upon by the Memory Eels who dwell therein.
There is one and only one way to make absolutely sure we answer your question: a few of our Patreon subscriber levels include a certain number of bespoke answers, which we will hand write, seal with wax, and mail to you in the dead of night. You can find out more about those here.
Why didn’t you publish / why did you delete my comment?
We are super lucky: most of our listeners–at least the ones who comment here–are rad as hell and make the job of moderating the comments incredibly easy. However, sometimes we come across a comment that we would rather not have on our site. Here are some examples of comments we have removed:
Accidental double-posts. These account for the overwhelming majority of the deletion we have done thus far.
Posts that contain no content or obviously posted mid-typing.
Promotional links that have no bearing on the post you’re commenting on or the conversation you’re entering. Our comments section is not free ad space.
Speculation about creators’ personal lives.
Speculation about our personal lives.
Comments about Rachel’s appearance and/or requests that she smile more, take off her sunglasses, &c. (The same would apply to comments about Miles; we just haven’t gotten any).
Rape jokes or things that are so close to being rape jokes that the line is essentially academic.
What else might get a comment deleted?
Off the top of our heads?
Threats or incitement to violence of any sort directed at real people.
Blatantly sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or otherwise bigoted language.
Outing anyone else’s personal information, including real names.
Use of sock puppets.
NSFW content, or links to NSFW content without warnings.
Blatant spoilers for current or very recent media.
Note, however, that these aren’t hard guidelines, nor a comprehensive list. We reserve the right to remove or edit comments according to our judgment (Incidentally: if we alter the text of a comment, we’ll *always* make a note of that within the comment).
I found an e-mail address for Rachel on her professional website / via an article she wrote. Can I send my podcast question there?
You can, but it’ll go straight to the Memory Eels. Seriously, there are like six ways to send a question to the podcast. Use one of those.
Why haven’t you answered my e-mail yet?
We get a lot of e-mail. If it’s something super time-sensitive, please nudge us.
Stun bombs are to comics as knockout spray is to cartoons. (X-Men #161)
We really only included this to point out the smoke coming from Wolverine’s underwear. (X-Men #162)
And that’s how you do a cold open. (X-Men #162)
Remember this space whale. It’ll be important later. (X-Men #162)
So, that’s a little creepy, and… (X-Men #162)
…AUGH WAIT WHAT THE HELL?! (X-Men #162)
Fang just cannot catch a break. (X-Men #162)
This is one of very, very few times when Wolverine’s healing factor has been written as at all under his control. (X-Men #162)
How cool would it have been if he’d kept this look? Hint: So cool. (X-Men #162)
Fair warning: This visual companion is basically an excuse to post a lot of really awesome Carol Danvers moments. (X-Men #163)
Cyclops successfully completes TWO whole hugs during the Brood Saga! Also: space fashion. (X-Men #163)
So, THAT’S CREEPY. (X-Men #163)
Remember that thing about how this visual companion is mostly an excuse to post pictures of Carol Danvers being awesome? That. (X-Men #164)
ROCKET SHARKS. (X-Men #164)
Including this just for the dozen people who have written us to ask if Storm’s powers work in space (also covered in the Phoenix Saga, incidentally). (X-Men #164)
In which Claremont and/or Cockrum seem to forget that Kitty’s powers fry electrical systems. (X-Men #164)
BINARY, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. (X-Men #164)
Imagine how much of Inferno could have been avoided if the Professor had decided to press this point. (X-Men #164)
AUGH GOD BINARY IS SO AWESOME. (X-Men #164)
Not that Cockrum’s not great, but can we have a moment of silence for how amazingly Neal Adams would’ve drawn this specific panel? (X-Men #164)
If you like the Brood Saga, you should be reading the current Captain Marvel series (and vice versa). This is very much the Carol Danvers of both. (X-Men #164)
That moment when the Brood Saga could’ve become a really heavy-handed reproductive-rights allegory, and we’re all really grateful that it didn’t. (X-Men #164)
Well, fuck. (X-Men #164)
Binary: Too awesome for your stupid airlock. (X-Men #164)
That time Moira MacTaggert manipulated Charles Xavier into starting a second ongoing X-book. (X-Men #165)
Welcome to X-Men, Paul Smith! Hope you survive the experience! (X-Men #165)
Faced with certain and inevitable death, the X-Men decide to go kill some Brood. (X-Men #165)
Rad bromance. (X-Men #165)
CORRECT CHOICE, COLOSSUS. (X-Men #165)
Remember that time Storm became a space whale and quoted Phoenix? (X-Men #165)
Seriously, though: Binary. (X-Men #166)
WELL, THEN. (X-Men #166)
Mostly in here to point out that Kitty’s impending death has not cooled her affection for the Shi’ar fashion machines. (X-Men #166)
Storm X-plains the Acanti, part one. (X-Men #166)
Storm X-plains the Acanti, part two. (X-Men #166)
Our episode outline addresses this panel as follows:
KITTY YOU ARE THE BEST NERD
DOES CYCLOPS WATCH STAR TREK? DISCUSS. SHOW YOUR WORK.
(X-Men: Evolution Cyclops definitely watches Star Trek, for the record.)
In addition to the shocking reveal, this moment leads to one of stupidest and most avoidable minor continuity errors of the issue. (X-Men #166)
Best Brood moment? Best Brood moment. (X-Men #166)
LOCKHEED! (X-Men #166)
And they all lived happily ever after. (X-Men #166)
OH, WAIT. (X-Men #166)
Just in case you haven’t caught on to the fact that this is an extended thematic and structural riff on the Dark Phoenix Saga. (X-Men #167)
Can we talk about the New Mutants’ adorable collective crush on Magnum, P.I.? (X-Men #167)
THAT SUBTITLE. (X-Men #167)
Kitty’s got a new outfit. Take a drink. (X-Men #167)
Okay. This looks bad. (X-Men #167)
Speaking of the Dark Phoenix Saga… (X-Men #167)
Cyclops has a good day (and completes an unprecedented SECOND successful hug in the same story!), but this plot thread is going to lead straight to Madelyne Pryor, so, that’s probably a net loss. (X-Men #167)
That time Empress Lilandra projected into Reed and Sue Storm’s bedroom to scold them in the middle of the night. (X-Men #167)
Professor Xavier returns to life, and Kitty gets yet ANOTHER new outfit. Two drinks. (X-Men #167)
In which Kitty learns what the reader has known all along. (X-Men #167)
Next Week: Back to the Silver Age (and a very important retcon) with Kurt Busiek!
In which Claremont levels up; the Brood are legitimately scary; Colossus is an ethical dude; Nightcrawler and Wolverine share beers in the face of certain death; Storm turns into a space whale; we are Carol Corps for life; New Mutants are really into Magnum, P.I.; Kitty meets a dragon; and Xavier dies (again).
The Brood Saga (X-Men #161-167)
A really terrible awards ceremony
Tim O’Brien’s X-Men
How to tell a good Wolverine story
The single most badass magical-girl transformation sequence of all time
The X-Men’s Kobayashi Maru
Friendship (more) (again)
Whether Cyclops watches Star Trek
The New Mutants
Our secret cold-open formula
Next Week: Kurt Busiek! We would have words with thee!
You can find a visual companion to the episode – and links to recommended reading – on our blog.
She knows how to dodge radioactive mutants and spinning saw blades, but no one has given Illyana the talk about not taking bloodstone amulets from strangers. (X-Men #160)
If there were a drinking game, “Storm spontaneously takes a shower indoors” would be on the list. (X-Men #160)
Oops. (X-Men #160)
Kitty, you adorable nerd. (X-Men #160)
Aw. Man. Why are all the evil alternate Nightcrawlers super creepy and rapey? (X-Men #160)
This asshole. (X-Men #160)
Remember this dude. You will be seeing more of him. (X-Men #160)
EMERGO! (X-Men #160)
Whoa. (X-Men #160)
BUT WHERE COULD SHE HAVE BEEN? If only there were a miniseries that answered that very question! (X-Men #160)
Belasco, man. (X-Men #160)
Oh, hey, those guys. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #1)
For obvious reasons, Magik includes a lot of very direct callbacks to X-Men #160. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #1)
“Body and soul.” Take a drink. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #1)
CAT WHAT ARE YOU WEARING WHY WOULD YOU WEAR THAT (Storm and Illyana: Magik #1)
So, here’s a thing: There’s a lot of creepily suggestive language about Belasco’s plans for Illyana, but none of it is reflected in the actual story. Make of that what you will, but it seems worth mentioning, for both parts. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #1)
Aw, Cat. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #1)
This is going to be important later. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #1)
S’ym is a pretty pitch-perfect kid’s nightmare: a friendly, slightly silly-looking monster who’s actually one of the most sadistic, dangerous guys in the building. He’s gonna be around for a long time, too, and he only gets scarier. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #2)
MONTAGE! (Storm and Illyana: Magik #2)
Belasco is a jerk. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #2)
Aw, Cat. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #2)
Two down, three to go. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #2)
Spoiler: This is not a particularly fun or happy miniseries. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #3)
No, there will be no elves. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #3)
Aw, Cat. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #3)
First try. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #3)
Mutant powers! And a New Mutants cameo! (Storm and Illyana: Magik #3)
Storm’s outfit is pretty ridiculous, but her hair is on point. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #3)
Aw, Cat. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #3)
Well. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)
SO THAT HAPPENED (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)
Remember the part about this not being a happy series? This is not a happy series. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)
Second try. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)
Third, and last, try. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)
The Soulsword, ladies and gentlemen. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)
Meanwhile, in another comic altogether… (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)
Human Belasco is pretty silly looking. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)
And we’re back to where we left off at the end of X-Men #160. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)
FACT: Illyana is freakin’ awesome. (Storm and Illyana: Magik #4)