As Mentioned on Episode 18 – You’ve Got a Dracula Problem

Listen to the episode here!



AND NOW, THE CONTEST WINNERS!

Last week, we asked you to pitch your best ideas for X-Men games to win a download code for the <em>Days of Future Past</em> mobile game. (Thanks again, Glitchsoft!)

Before we announce the winners, let us take a moment to rave: You are brilliant, and we are legitimately pretty pissed off that we can’t play most of these games, because they look awesome. We wish we could give you all prizes.

Based on a complicated imaginary algorithm involving on originality, narrative/gameplay fit and integration, playability, and personal whim, we are pleased to announce that the grand-prize winners are as follow:

Newtype53:

1) The Silver-Age X-Men (taking heavily from Season One and First Class), going right up to the Bronze age with the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix Saga. Why?

2) It’s a Japanese-style “dating sim” game, with a heavy focus on character relations. Any mutant combat will cover RPG elements in an old 8-bit Final Fantasy format, with a 5-man team selectable for the squad.

3) Marvel Girl. However, each of the other original 5 X-Men have their own storyline that unlock after beating Jean’s, with Jean’s storyline being the canon one that follows up through her canonical death as the Dark Phoenix (or does it? Multiple endings with potential happy endings, anyone?). Do you choose to follow the canon and romance Cyclops? What about his brooding brother who just wants a damned normal life? Or the magnificent Angel? The brooding Wolverine? The angry Thunderbird? Do you still love Hank when he’s literally blue? Or are you more into Iceman? The potential is endless! Romance Professor X (ewwwwwww) for the bonus unlockable option to play through a storyline as Professor X, manipulating the hell out of your students to your own ends!

As a bonus, any Mutant met can be drawn into the X-Men through specific dialogue choices, though none of the recruited X-Men can be romanced. However, this may alienate other members of the team, and can even cause them to leave the X-Men!

Craig S:

1) X-Treme X-Men

2) Turn-based RPG

3) James Howlett, Kurt Waggoner, Emmeline Frost, Xavier’s Head, Dazzler

Chrono-trigger style game where you travel from timeline to timeline hunting down evil Charles Xaviers, generally in the order you choose. You’d start with a basic team, and collect new members as you go to their individual timelines.

We’ll be e-mailing you those download codes later today!

We also want to take a moment to acknowledge two other really superlative entries. You do not get download codes, so, as a compensation prize, here is another picture of that panel of Cyclops telling Dracula to follow his heart:

FollowYourHeart

SO ANYWAY.

BEST JUST-FOR-FUN:

Elle:

1. Kitty Pryde and Wolverine (the ’84-85 miniseries)
2. Ninja Gaiden-esque sidescrolling platformer with melodramatic cutscenes. Ninjas ninjas ninjas.
3. Alternate levels as Kitty getting into trouble in Japan and Wolverine trying to find her. In the last level you can choose which of them to play as you fight the other one, but then the winner has to take on final boss Ogun.

BEST NOT-SURE-THIS-ACTUALLY-COUNTS-AS-A-GAME-BUT-WE-ARE-BOTH-IMPRESSED-AND-SLIGHTLY-FRIGHTENED-BY-YOUR-INGENUITY:

McArdle:

1. Name: Siege Perilous: The Game
2. Platform: pervasive throughout your life. You download an app on your phone and it replaces your twitter, your facebook, your instagram, your contacts, and everything else with the media and social life of a better version of yourself. The game is to learn to live as that person. There is no going back.
3. Playable character: you, but maybe a ninja version of you.

26 comments

  1. Elle says:

    Yay, I won the Just-For-Fun award! It turns out I am good at fun after all!

  2. Elle says:

    So… I hate to be the one to bring it up, but “hella sexualizing a teenager” is kind of one of the oldest tropes in X-Men comics. It goes back at least as far as the costume-machine-generated outfit Kitty wears for one panel in #156 that leads Nightcrawler to warn her that it might get her arrested but “Peter will love it.” And how old is Illyana on that MAGIK #4 cover? (That’s rhetorical; I know how old she is, but just saying it feels creepy.)

    It ebbs and flows with time (and gets worse in the 90’s, like everything else), but there is a creepy background radiation of adolescent sexualization that runs through the X-Men like… I don’t know. Something gross running through something you otherwise love. Like a ripple of liver pate in your Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

    I want to say it’s not as bad in the current comics. Maybe I’m glossing over some stuff in my head. But at least it’s been a couple of decades since the last Marvel Swimsuit Special.

    • Elle says:

      Aw crap, maybe I spoke too soon about being good at fun!

    • Rachel says:

      Oh, it’s absolutely a persistent problem–in X-Men, and in comics in general (actually, we go into that a LOT next episode). It’s just on the high end of the scale in this.

      • WizarDru says:

        Soooo….30 years later and that cover to Magik that was appealing to 15-year old me is now creepy to modern-age me.

        YIKES.

      • Sam Williams says:

        Partially because I haven’t been reading X-Men comics as long as you guys and partially because of the way she’s drawn, I assumed Jubilee was in her 20’s at this point. The stuff she was doing when she was depowered definitely seemed like adult things to do and not teenage runaway X-23 (or Runaways I suppose) stuff. What was the reference they made to her being a teenager, Rachel? I read those issues, but I don’t remember it. Maybe she’s supposed to be 18 or 19? That still makes sexualizing her unnecessary, but not quite as icky.

    • LL says:

      X-Men has always acknowledged the sexuality of the younger characters. Examples that come to mind: Kitty pressuring Peter to have sex after she realizes they’ve been infected by the Brood (UXM #165). Dani Moonstar appears to have an orgasm caused by evil Xavier mind control (X-Men and the Micronauts #4). And (creepy) Xavier has a history of designing costumes for teenage girls/young women. Peter Milligan made this explicit during his X-Statix run, when Charles creates a suit that allows a young mutant to have unhampered sex. Around the same time we had Emma Frost teaching the Stepford Cuckoos how to implant ‘erotic images’ into their opponents minds. On the other had, Grant Morrison also gave us the rather realistic relationship between Beak and Angel Salvadore, complete with unplanned pregnancy and he showed how a geek like Quentin Quire was out of his league against the Cuckoos.
      But then you get the inconsistency inherent in modern X-Stories. During AvX, Hope Summers looks like a 12 year old or a well developed 18 yr old depending on who is drawing her. Pixie went from being adorably petite to a sexpot, thanks to Matt Fraction and Greg Land. For every David Lopez or Olivier Coipel, we get even more Greg Lands or Dodsons. They are good pin-up artists, but I don’t think of them as superior sequential artists.

  3. CapnMarrrrk says:

    Hey there! You have a bad link at the top: Listen to the episode here!http://www.rachelandmiles.com/xmen/%20http://www.rachelandmiles.com/xmen/?p=999

    should be: http://www.rachelandmiles.com/xmen/?p=999

    laters!

    Marrrrk

  4. lastplaneout says:

    Oh, jeez. I love Inferno so much. Or really any storyline in which Chris Claremont gets to indulge his obsession with weird occult stuff. Specifically, I love that one of the key plot elements involves mutant babies being kidnapped and arranged into a giant pentagram in Times Square. I have no idea how that got comics code approval in the midst of tons of public anxiety about Satanic death cults.

  5. John G. says:

    Rachel’s Gambit accent sounds like Pepe the King Prawn from The Muppets and I LOVE it.

  6. NewtypeS3 says:

    Another fantastic episode from you guys. I wasn’t expecting a full retrospective on Dracula v X-Men (because I’m sure legal battles against Dracula have also been done in the MU, too. Anyone up for a She-Hulk legal battle with Matt Murdock defending Dracula?), and it was a delight. I’m certainly going to have to check out Curse of the Mutants, just for 80s Action Movie Cyclops and more X-Club antics.

    I also have to say: Holy Water Iceman is the best concept ever. I’m sad we didn’t get a Blade/Iceman teamup comic out of it, much less “Bobby Drake: Vampire Hunter.” Maybe the X-Men could fight a vampire infestation in Amazing X-Men once World War Wendigo is over.

    So, I know at least Rachel has read Mutant X… what did you guys think of it overall? I stumbled across it back when I was in my “back-issue diving” days in the early-2000s with a ton of extra cash. One regret from that time was buying most of the Spider-Man Clone Saga in single issues… but Mutant X was a delight. Especially with demented things like Militarized Canada and Havok being married to Madelyn Pryor… and the Beyonder being a card-carrying Supervillain.

    (Also, holy crap! I won! How the hell did that happen? Thanks so much, then game is actually surprisingly awesome.)

  7. Sam says:

    Excellent X-Men vs. Dracula retrospective!

    But just in case anyone is unfamiliar with it, I must draw everyone’s attention to an additional, absolutely essential offshoot of this story – What If #24, “What If… Wolverine was Lord of the Vampires?”

    This being the the story of an alternate universe where Dracula turns Storm into a vampire, Storm turns the rest of the X-Men, and we now all live in a world where all the superheroes are either dea or vampires, and Wolverine is their vampire king. Oh, and the Punisher becomes the Sorceror Supreme.

    But that’s not all! They followed up with, “What if Wolverine was Lord of te Vampires During Inferno?” and a boba fide What If crossover called Timequake where vampire Wolverine teams up with some other What If returning characters to fight Immortus!

    It is as glorious as it sounds.

    • Miles says:

      Oh, man… That makes me want to do an entire episode on What If X-Men stories. Onto the increasingly-long-list-of-stuff-we-want-to-do it goes!

      (But seriously – the Punisher as Sorcerer Supreme?!?)

      • NewtypeS3 says:

        I would love that hypothetical episode if it was done. Some of those What Ifs are just so demented.

        Like the two-part What If where the Phoenix wasn’t killed, but instead slowly went more and more insane. That might have been made from some of the original ideas from the Phoenix Saga, as well (and it was done twice – Volume 1’s Issue 27, and Volume II’s issues 32/33).

        Other fun ones:
        -Wolverine killed the Hulk (and it’s companion, Hulk killed Wolverine)
        -Professor X became the Juggernaut
        -X-Men Stayed in Asgard
        -Wolverine fights Conan
        -X-Men Wedding Album (Scott/Jean married early, never got together, Jean married Wolverine)
        -Logan doesn’t become Weapon X, stabs the poor sod who became Weapon X a lot in a rainy brawl of awesome.
        -What If Rogue stole Thor’s powers, not Ms. Marvel’s?
        -“What if Spider-Man vs Wolverine” was also awesome, featuring Black Ops Spidey.

        And as a spin-off of that “Wolverine becoming lord of Vampires” storyline, they made a sequel where Wolverine was lord of the Vampires during Inferno.

        Really, a lot of the X-Men What Ifs were dementedly awesome. However, they really went downhill in quality as the 90s gave way to the 2000s.

      • Jennifer Wolff says:

        Do it!
        What if Dazzler became a herold of Galactus?
        What if the X-men stayed on Asgard?
        What if Wolverine led Alpha Flight?
        What if the AOA hadn’t ended?
        What if Magneto had raised his children?
        What if Mystique had raised Nightcrawler? (A personal favorite of mine for its peak within Raven and Irene’s relationship.)
        What if Wolverine was a wimp?
        What if he and Sabertooth were best friends?
        What if Gambit was a card hustler?

  8. LL says:

    As funny as you make this terrible X-Men v. Vampires story sound, I have no intention of paying to read it. It seems like someone at Marvel decided to capitalize on the sparkly vampire trend. Maybe I can find a library copy, but I doubt I want to put even that much effort into it! But at least I now know why Jubes is a vampire.
    I am loving your take on the X-Men that I grew up collecting. I actually have 2 copies of Uncanny X-Men Annual #6 (cat peed on the first one)!
    And continuing this thread about sexualizing the X-teens. Kitty comes on really strong during the second Dracula story line. The fact that Peter recognizes this out of character behavior shows that Claremont is careful and always responsible for his X-Men. You can’t say that for newer writers and artists who just want to create a fantasy for randy teenagers. Just looking at the pages you posted from the X-Men/Vampire thing bothers me. imo the worst thing that ever happened to the X-Men is Dodson, Land, Fraction and Frank Cho.

    • Jennifer Wolff says:

      It really says something when you can’t bring yourself to throw away a comic, even if you’ve replaced it, even after its been sprinkled with cat urine.

  9. I know I keep linking to my own blog in the comments here, but I swear I only do it when it’s relevant!

    Anyway, I JUST write a post about “Thinking Through Gender, Disproportionate Aging & Sexual Consent in Superhero Comics,” wherein I discuss Illyana and Kitty among others. Check it here: http://themiddlespaces.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/firerickremender-thinking-through-gender-disproportionate-aging-sexual-consent-in-superhero-comics/

  10. Christian says:

    Would it be possible for you to put up something like an Open Current X-Men Discussion Thread on new comics day? I am desperately looking for a place to discuss adjectiveless X-Men, particularly now that the first Guggenheim issue has come out.(It’s got elements startlingly relevant to the era you’re now discussing!)

  11. J. Werner says:

    So… I’m loving your podcast pretty hard. Thank you for being ridiculously knowledgable on EVERYTHING X-related, I love, love, love it.
    That is all.

  12. […] Rachel and Miles talking about Dracula and the X-men. […]

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