In which we continue our delve into the eldritch end of the X-Universe, Illyana Rasputin has a rough childhood even by X-Men standards, Kitty Pryde is a Niven fan, Limbo is way metal, Vincent Price is our Belasco, and Rachel and Miles have feelings about female friendships in Claremont’s X-Men.
Hell dimensions, including but not limited to
The Dark Zone
The other Limbo
Yet a third Limbo
Magic vs. Magik
Uncanny X-Men #160
Storm and Illyana: Magik #1-4
Yet another set of alternate X-Men
You can find a visual companion to the episode – and links to recommended reading – on our blog.
Why haven’t you covered my favorite story / character / miniseries yet?
We are working our way through hundreds of characters and thousands of comics. Be patient. We’ll get there.
Are you going to cover [specific story arc / X-related series like Excalibur, New Mutants, Fallen Angels, X-Factor, &c.]?
Probably. See above.
When are you going to get Brian Bendis / Matt Fraction / Chris Claremont / other X-writer or artist on the show?
When they return our e-mails. *rimshot*
Nah, seriously, we do have a long wish-list of guests–and some very cool ones confirmed for future episodes–but we try to make sure they’ve got a reason to be there, either because they’ve got a relevant book coming out, or because they’ve got a particular connection to territory we’re covering in a specific episode.
I am a writer, artist, editor, or other creative professional with experience on X-Men stuff, and I would like to be on your podcast!
The world legitimately needs more Storm-and-Gambit-being-sneaky stories. They’re good bros, those two. (Storm and Gambit #1)
Someday, we’ll do a roundup of every variation of this line that has appeared in an X-book, but not today. (Storm and Gambit #1)
DAMN SKIPPY. (Storm and Gambit #1)
Remember how Dr. Nemesis is delightful? Dr. Nemesis is delightful (X-Men: Smoke and Blood #1)
They do this gag like five times over the course of the issue, and it never stops being funny. (X-Men: Smoke and Blood #1)
Madison Jeffries and Kavita Rao: also delightful (but not as delightful as Dr. Nemesis). (No one is as delightful as Dr. Nemesis.) (X-Men: Smoke and Blood #1)
See? (X-Men: Smoke and Blood #1)
Jury’s still out on this one. (X-Men: Smoke and Blood #1)
PITCH: A limited series where Dazzler and Northstar team up with the disco vampires. CALL US, MARVEL. (X-Men vs. Vampires #1)
Next week: Rachel and Miles go to Hell (sort of)!
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:
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!
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:
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.
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.
In which Dr. Nemesis is delightful, Bill Sienkiewicz foreshadows himself, Dracula hits on absolutelyeveryone, Blade Godwins a crossover event, Jubilee get a jet ski, the X-Men do Castlevania 2, Rachel and Miles pick a vacation destination, and Cyclops wants you to follow your heart.
A very good page of a very good comic
Appropriate use of holy symbols
Tomb of Dracula
Curse of the Mutants
Why we can’t have nice things
Some really sweet weaponry
The Dracula Reassembly Machine
Phone sex with Gambit
The point of being Lord of the Vampires
Authorial voice in comics
Why there probably won’t be a Starjammers movie
Next Episode: Rachel and Miles go to Hell (kind of)!
You can find a visual companion to the episode – and links to recommended reading – on our blog.
Our producer, Bobby Roberts, is fucking awesome. Long ago, when we first moved to Portland, he was half of the only local DJ team we have ever not only voluntarily listened to but actively sought out. These days, Bobby is the warm, beating heart of local geek culture, and somehow manages to be both the coolest and the nicest person we know.
You know that Bobby is awesome, because you’ve been complimenting his work for months now. He’s the man behind the curtain: the guy who takes the podcast from a couple jerks rambling about funnybooks to a pretty tight, professional-sounding show.
Since week one, you’ve been asking us for more info about the production-and-editing end of things, so this week, Rachel sat down with Bobby to learn his dark eldritch secrets. Read on for production tips, mic talk, favorite X-Men, and more; then go binge-listen to Welcome to That Whole Thing, which is, frankly, way better than what we do here.
Last week, our kickass Patreon subscribers unlocked monthly illustrations as a milestone goal, and we are tremendously pleased to present the first of those, in which David Wynne brings us the Starjammers as they were always meant to be seen: a musical extravaganza!
Patreon subscribers get a high-res desktop background version of the image. If you want one you can hold, frame, lick, &c., David will have the original for sale here, and prints and cards will be available for the rest of August in our Redbubble shop.
(And if you want the desktop, you can subscribe to the Patreon here!)
As we mentioned a few episodes back, Glitchsoft was kind enough to send us a download code so we could try out their Days of Future Past mobile game, which we’ve been enjoying immensely. It’s not exactly Days of Future Past, but–as far as we’re concerned–it’s something better: X-MenEaster Eggs the Game. It plays fast and loose with continuity, but with an obvious eye to the source material–and the same things that differentiate it from canon make it a really fun platformer in ways that evoke–albeit single-player–the classic-for-a-reason beat ’em up. Rachel, who didn’t grow up playing platformers and so never developed Ninja Gaiden reflexes, was particularly impressed with the learning curve: it’s genuinely challenging, but never frustrating to the point of impossibility.
There’s also a lot of unlockable content–characters, costumes, abilities, and bonus materials–and the first three add a lot of replay value, because you can do different things in different levels with different characters. Note also that we said unlockable, not purchaseable: there are no in-app purchases in Days of Future Past, which, as far as we’re concerned, is a huge point in its favor. It probably won’t win any awards, but it’s an awfully enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
We’re posting about this here not just to recommend Days of Future Past–which we do–but because, in addition to a copy for us to review, Glitchsoft sent us two additional download codes to give away to listeners.
Here’s the skinny:
If you want to win a copy of Days of Future Past, comment on this post BY 10 PM PST ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, with three things:
An X-Men story you think would make a good video game;
What genre of game it would be (platformer, RPG, puzzle, &c.); and
Rachel and Miles are in no way affiliated with Glitchsoft, Marvel, Disney, the Xavier Institute, the Jean Grey School, the Shi’ar Empire, the Hellfire Club, the Massachusetts Academy, or anyone but our own bad selves (and, limitedly, Comics Alliance, which is in no way involved in this contest).
This contest is entirely subjective! Feel free to pander to our tastes, but bear in mind that we’ll probably be more favorably inclined to things we haven’t thought of ourselves.
Decisions cannot be appealed. This is a benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy.
We’ll be evaluating based solely on the three categories we mentioned above; no bonus points for art or additional materials.
You can provide context and explanations if you want, but please keep ’em under 50 words; we’re not going to read through ten-page pitch documents. (Also, bear in mind that you’re competing for a $2.99 game–maybe try to keep the amount of work you put in proportional to that.)
Winners will be announced on August 10. The codes expire on AUGUST 19. Use ’em or lose ’em.
Sorry, Android users: Days of Future Past is currently iOS only. We obviously have no way of regulating this, but gunning for a game just so someone else can’t play it is a total dick move. Please don’t do that.
If you want to play along but don’t want a download code, please put **JUST FOR FUN** at the top of your comment.