Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

24 – Ororo, Queen of the Galaxy

Stormerella print
Art by David Wynne.

In which Professor X is (canonically!) a jerk, Miles has Sidrian Hunter feelings, Kitty Pryde is Clarissa Darling with a dragon, we introduce a drinking game, the X-Men do Barbarella, Rachel has a ‘shipper moment, Rogue joins the team, Storm gets a haircut, Mastermind is still the worst, and Madelyne Pryor is underrated.


  • Lockheed
  • Uncanny X-Men #168-175
  • Reset issues
  • A one-sided rivalry
  • The lowest-drama X-romance
  • The Cream of Wheat box as a metaphor for infinity
  • Kitty’s Kostume Korner
  • Rachel’s questionably-canon ships
  • The Morlocks
  • Class privilege and the mutant metaphor
  • Callisto
  • Caliban
  • Sunder
  • Plague
  • Masque
  • A dubbing error
  • Gender dimorphism in superhero media
  • Storm’s first major character arc
  • Our single favorite superhero artist
  • Rogue
  • Rogue’s accent
  • A Charles Xavier we can believe in
  • Yukio
  • Punk Storm
  • Madelyne Pryor
  • Closure
  • Cyclops vs. formalwear

Art Challenge: Send us your Kitty Pryde costume redesigns–any era, any codename–to xplainthexmen(at)gmail(dot)com

Next Week: Claremont and Miller’s Wolverine!

You can find a visual companion to the episode – and links to recommended reading – on our blog.

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  1. Now we’re cooking with gas! This is firmly in my X-era, and listening to this episode made me regret selling off my collection of X-Men (about #169 to #220) in 1999 – esp. that issue where Rogue joins the team (she’s in my top 3 X-Men), which I never realized was drawn by Walt Simonson (back then I didn’t pay much attention to artist names), so now I have to see if I can find a copy for a decent price!

  2. It’s funny that a quasi-incestuous relationship that was founded upon multiple layers of deception still qualifies as the lowest drama X-romance.

  3. I had heard that story about the male-voice-for-Callisto thing before, too. I always wondered if a PART of it was the name-ending-in-“o” thing. In Spanish, that’s masculine, right? So MAYBE there’s some sense to the producers of that cartoon being a little more confused than they otherwise might have been?

    On the other hand, if the sexual dimorphism weren’t so extreme to begin with, they might have considered that people don’t have to look like Jean Grey to be female – so there IS that. I just think the linguistic thing, while not an excuse, probably played a part.

  4. This is where I came in. My first issue of X-Men was the last issue of the Brood saga. So Paul Smith will always be how I visualize them, and I loved the pre-retcon Maddie Pryor. I forgave Cyclops a lot easier for killing Prof. X than for leaving Pryor and the baby in X-Factor #1.

  5. I always loved the Morelock stories. Especially when Storm went Cyberpunk. It’s fun to see this particular story come full circle with both Marrow and again in the new Storm ongoing.
    BTW, I also miss the old days when if a character was in one book, they couldn’t be in anyother for that period of time except in a small cameo. Logan I’m looking at you!

  6. OMG, I just realized that Yukio and Storm are having future sex in that illustration! As someone else who ships Storms with all the ladies,* I approve. These David Wynne drawings are beyond amazing, consistently.

    *Okay, it’s possible I ship all the ladies with all the other ladies (in all the franchises). But never mind that now.

  7. Hey guys — as always, much love for what you’re doing. I have a question and it involves Madelyne Pryor.

    So I never considered the Maddie reveal in Inferno — that she’s failed clone of Jean awoken by the Phoenix death — to be a retcon. As I read those stories through the years, I assumed Claremont was yet again playing the long game — that Sinister’s false memory of a plane crash at the instant Phoenix died/Maddie awoke was the plan all along, because Claremont. He’s known for seeding things so far in advance so in my head of course a mysterious plane crash with a Jean lookalike mentioned in the 160s would pay off in the 240s.

    Of course, years later, I discovered the now common knowledge that it was a retcon forced on him. So my question for you is (and I don’t expect an answer to this until you get to Inferno in the podcast but feel free to answer whenever): Do you think this particular Maddie retcon works, or is it flawed? Since I had always assumed it was intentional, to me it works quite neatly (then again, Claremont is a skilled author). I’d like to know how you guys feel.


  8. I know this is from ages ago, but I’m just catching up now, so why not. Although I agree that Caliban’s crush on Kitty is creepy on a few levels, I’m not sure that the fact that she’s 14 is one of them. I think it’s possible/likely that Caliban was meant to be around 14 himself. (I remember reading somewhere that he was originally conceived to be a member of the New Mutants, albeit in a very different form.) It’s also possible he was aged up by later writers, but I don’t really have trouble believing, at this point, that Caliban is a more age-appropriate lover for Kitty than, say, Colossus. Or Pete Wisdom.

    1. That’s a really good point. I always read him as significantly older, but in retrospect, I have no solid sense of why. (Maybe because of the wedding aspect? Although, again, that’s not a super solid reason in retrospect.)

    2. The Kitty/Pete Wisdom once is really only creepy if you factor in Claremont’s later decision about Kitty’s age.

      Ellis, as primary writer for Excalibur (the only title Kitty was appearing in), believed she was older, and wrote her as such, as someone comfortably past the age of consent, probably 19. Pete appears to be somewhere in his mid to late 20’s (Again, that;s a tough one to pin down)

      It was Claremont’s not writing her as the older Kitty she had become in his absence. that makes it problematic looking back, I feel.

  9. One thing you guys didn’t touch on in this episode was the great scene between Kitty and Colossus where she covers his eyes and airwalks with him. Then Storm catches them making out in her attic. Claremont was a man in his 30’s at this point, but I remember being shocked at how well he captured the mind of a teenage girl. Kitty’s so likable. For some reason, I always loved that scene and I think it plays a huge part in why I loved the three page sequence of Colossus’s return in Whedon’s run. These two are totally one of my favorite X-couples and I hope Kitty dumps Quill soon.

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