Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

As Mentioned In Episode 23 – Meet the New Mutants

Listen to the episode here!


  1. Dear Rachel and Miles,
    I found your podcast around issue 4 and have loved it. Thank you for doing an episode on the New Mutants. I started reading comics in 1987 with three issues, Uncanny X-Men #199, X-Factor #7, and New Mutants #1. I loved New Mutants because at the time I was 14 and could identify with these characters the most. Also Magneto will always be a hero to me because he was the headmaster for most of the New Mutants run and that was my introduction to his character. Its good to know that someone else loved these characters as much as I do (I have the complete series 1-100, all annuals & graphic novel), at least until Leifeld ruined it. I know you don’t have the time but it would be nice for New Mutants to have their own episodes (Rachel and Miles Explaines the New Mutants), just a daydream. Keep up the good works and start a new brand…get other people to do other titles that inspire them, i.e., Somebody Explaines The Avengers, or Daredevil, or Fantastic Four…you could start a channel and organize a history of comics through the people who love them.
    Thanks fer your time,
    Kenneth D Garrett

  2. It is time… to call up Jim Shooter and say, “Seriously, this is the Marvel Graphic Novel Series! Can’t somebody find a reference for which uniform Cyclops wore when, and the proper colors of the Beast’s clothes?”

  3. Much of the charm in Claremont New Mutants is how lame their super powers are. It really drives home that “teenage mutant school” idea when our heroes try to save the day and it backfires, or the villain just shrugs off mind control, nightmares, etc. like it’s D&D and they failed their roll. It feels very believable that there would be two X-teams in the same house that never fought the same battles, because there just aren’t many situations where you need Rahne Sinclair instead of Wolverine.

    One thing that bugged me about the Hellions which you didn’t mention was how transparently they are copies of the New Mutants themselves. A flying dude, a mind control dude, a strong dude, a magic spells girl, an animal girl – they are practically begging to get tragically killed off when a new writer comes along.

  4. Something you said gave me a new appreciation for Cannonball. Up until probably early X-Force (issue #19, to be precise), I never really bought Sam as a leader. In fact whenever during the original run of New Mutants referred to him as Dani’s co-leader, I mentally inserted some comically large air quotes. In retrospect, there really wasn’t anything wrong with him, but let’s just say I can compose a pretty exhaustive Powerpoint presentation on why Dani is all kinds of amazing, so she pretty much overshadowed him up until her departure. Of course, I’ve reassessed by stance on him since then but I never really appreciated him as Dani’s co-leader until Rachel described him as “Dani’s equal opposite.” Suddenly a lot of synapses just fired off and unison and I understood. Details aside, their character arcs are the flip sides of the same coin. Whereas Dani was the rebellious lone wolf who had to learn to put others before herself, Sam was the polite, dutiful one who needed to learn to know when to take a stand and challenge authority in the best interest of his teammates.

  5. I’ve been binge-listening your amazing podcast for the last 5 days and finally got to this episode. I know I’m a year late, but I notice that one of your commentary about Xi’an’s past is that it is “over the top” dramatic. Unfortunately, Xi’an’s story is a very very accurate description of the tragic experience of many Vietnamese refugees. Everything from trying to escape from the country to the rape by Thai pirates to ending up with a church sponsor in the US. In fact, that’s actually the narrative my family experience in immigrating to the US– minus the whole mutant power manifesting and psychically absorbing my brother. Diversity in comics is problematic on many levels and you do a great job pointing out these flaws. This is one of the occasions where I was pleasantly surprised that Claremont was thoughtful about her origin story.

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