Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

As Mentioned in Episode 17 – The Island of Dr. Corbeau

Listen to the episode here!

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  1. Michael Golden’s art from Avengers Annual #10 looks so much more 90’s than early 80’s in style that I always find it a little jarring. His Micronauts issues are the same way.

    The thing about Rogue is that I think to survive as a character she had to become a tragic hero, because as an unrepentant villain she’s just too creepy. She steals identities in the most literal sense, and that is basically terrifying.

    Relatedly, the treatment of Carol Danvers back then is really emblematic of cape comics’ longstanding trouble dealing with powerful female characters (see also, Jean Grey and Scarlet Witch). I’m glad she’s back on top these days, although I don’t understand why she recently had to lose her memory AGAIN.

    Kitty Pryde experimenting with costumes is THE BEST THING.

    Storm’s zebra dress is also pretty great. And that cowboy is clearly impressed as well.

    1. Man, I’d thought you were joking about the Michael Golden art being jarring.

      And then I looked into the images from the issue.

      It’s like someone from the 90s Comics Industry came back in time and trained someone in the 80s how to draw comics. It’s this bizarro blending of styles that somehow dates it to both eras without actually being specific.

      Also, it makes Rogue look really old.

      …also, how the hell did she go from having white highlights on the side to white bangs? Unless she purposely styles her hair that way, I don’t think hair works like that.

      1. More heroes need a Captain Marvel/Shazam cape. It’s just so stylish.

        Heck, if Elvis loved it enough to have a variant, it should work for others.

  2. Yanno, I gotta love how Kitty’s dressing up as Darth Vader there for no reason. I like to think Nightcrawler’s just had a moment of Fourth Wall breaking clarity and is afraid they’re going to be sued. Barring the fact that Marvel had comic rights to Star Wars at the time, of course.

    I honestly remember coming across Rogue’s first appearance, a reprint of Avengers Annual 10, back in a one-shot mini-novel called “X-Men Firsts,” where we also got things like Gambit’s first appearance (a confusing, muddled conclusion to a confusing tale), and Mr. Sinister’s first confusing appearance… and being rather confused.
    Not by the fact that I came in mid-story (it starts with Captain Marvel being drained by Rogue, IIRC), or even by the fact that I was dealing with the 80s X-Men. It was the Ms. Marvel and Limbo Brainwashing Creeper backstory splurge that was included.

    Even when I was a stupid teenager, I found myself going “…what the fuck.”

    And I’m pretty sure I’d be saying the same thing if I’d been a kid when that comic was released. I mean, that’s not even a good concept as a way to celebrate 200 issues. Because, of course, Ms. Marvel becoming unwillingly pregnant and being dragged off to creepyland with her OWN CHILD and lover (who in true Phillip J Fry style, are one and the same) is the best possible way to show fans that you appreciate them for helping you reach another milestone issue.

    I’m pretty sure Carol treats it like Spidey treats his clone years, though: “Don’t ask.”

    As a final note, I’m pretty sure that Cyclops’ secondary mutation is really a weaponized social awkwardness. Corsair really isn’t helping things in these issues, but Scott is pretty horrible with interpersonal relationships a lot of the time.
    It’s another reason I love the guy – but man. It’s no wonder almost all of his major romantic interests have been psychic.

    1. Seriously – what was up with Avengers #200? Who thought that plot line was a good idea? “Congratulations on reaching 200 issues, Avengers! Have a super-creepy rape storyline to celebrate!”

      1. Someday, I’m going to write a comprehensive history of comics, and the title is going to be This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

        1. I fully expect Tony Stark to have an entire section dedicated to him, if you were to cover the characters themselves.

          If it’s just on the entire format of comics, then I almost expect the 90s themselves to somehow be a good third of the book. Not that we didn’t get good things out of the 90s, but… damn.

    2. I had the same compilation I think. For the longest time it was the only story I had to connect Ms. Marvel to. When they brought her character back I was really hesitant to try it because I just assumed it would be really angsty.

  3. Oh, God. MARCUS. I’m with Miles. I don’t know how that ever got approved. Well, scratch that. I’ve read “Marvel: The Untold Story”; I know darned well how it got approved. A heady mix of misogyny, cluelessness and probably more than a little cocaine.


  4. Another enjoyable Pod cast, you guys are great! I want to encouraging you to keep going as this is great entertainment. I hope you are having at least half as much fun making these as we are listening to them.
    Its great to be able to listen to you two have a discussion about these x-men comics as I know no one who reads them.

  5. You didn’t mention it on the podcast, but I don’t think the Brood are named yet. I think they are just called “Sleazoids.” Which is both horribly generic and hilarious.

  6. Enjoyed this episode a lot, because it really got me thinking about something I’ve been noticing while listening for a while now, and that is Chris Claremont and women characters.

    After the debut of the new team in Giant-Size, I very much noticed that the majority – if not all – new X-Men being added after that for a long while were women, and that a large chunk of supporting cast members were women as well. Powerful, intelligent women, who’re scientists, tough heroes and villains, leaders, possessing of world-shaking powers, and very often the focal points of many of the stories, big arcs and small. Storm, a lady of color, became the team leader! Heck, look at all the time devoted to just Kitty alone! And I never knew about Claremont’s mic drop in regards to that Ms. Marvel scandal, which is rad as hell.

    It’s obviously still fairly flawed writing in places, because I mean, it’s comic books from the late ’70s/early ’80s, but I definitely get a sense of Claremont being pretty damn earnestly feminist. And it’s kind of sad how much this all stands out and is amazing because of how bad things still are over thirty years later.

    1. Agreed. That’s part of why we dedicated so much time to this story, even though it’s not -technically- an X-Men story. This is a hugely important part of comics history, but even more than that in terms of the topics we cover, it really showcases Claremont’s importance as a force for social change within the industry, both through X-Men and non-X-Men books.

    1. That’s a truly excellent article, Osvaldo! I hadn’t really looked at Carol Danvers in that light before, but it completely lines up with what happened between Avengers #200 and Avengers Annual #10.

      Other listeners – you should totally check it out!

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