Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

29 – Mutant in a Box

In which Cyclops is the worst at vacations, Mystique is your favorite MurderMom™, Havok is eternally ABD, Kitty Pryde does science, Callisto doesn’t give a damn about her bad reputation, Xavier has a Troy Barnes moment, Miles may be the only person with fond memories of Secret Wars, and Rachel finally gets to make Spalding Gray references.


  • Fantomex
  • Uncanny X-Men #176-181
  • Reset issues
  • Scott Summers’s second-worst honeymoon
  • Cephalopod disambiguation
  • Project Wideawake (more) (again)
  • Valerie Cooper
  • Foreshadowing
  • Public displays of affection
  • Leech
  • How X-Men age
  • A sewer wizard
  • Doug Ramsey
  • Secret Wars
  • Japan
  • Mystique’s kids
  • Douglock
  • Mystique’s powers
  • The other X-Men Forever

Next Week: The New Mutants gets weird!

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

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  1. I’ve always thought that the whole mutant-hating concept didn’t entirely make sense within the broader Marvel Universe. I liked how the Ultimate U initially handled it, with pretty much all non-mutant super-humans either villains or agents of the government.

    In the X-Continuity in my head, the rest of the Marvel Universe only exists when necessary for the story (this has gotten increasingly difficult in the last decade).

  2. Secret Wars was arguably the worst thing that ever happened in the Marvel Universe. Rachel’s description of banging action figures together pretty much sums it up. To me, it marks the beginning of Marvel’s hyper-controlling editorial process.

    One thing that I recall from it is that it completely derailed the Amazing Spider-Man series. Amazing was so very strong for, seriously the 250 issues. Granted, there was a new writer from 252 onward, but goddamn.

  3. RE: Colossus & JailBait! Kitty

    The average age of first-time mothers, in the 1980’s, in USSR was
    24 years old, at the same time in America it was 22 yrs old.

  4. For what it’s worth, you could do that on Pac-Man: reach a high enough board and the game crashes.

  5. I think it’s a bit unfair to bash Secret Wars without even reading it.

    I get what Rachel’s saying here, and she’s not wrong, and they could have shaved about 6 issues, but there’s some truly weird and bizarre stuff & dialogue going on in Secret Wars. tI’s not without redeeming qualities. Dr. Doom in particular is a lot fun. Galactus. The look on Cap’s face as he repairs his shield with some kind of “wishing technology”. Curt Conners is adorable. Human Torch wooing an alien woman with Michael Jackson lyrics.

    I’m just saying, there’s some fun to be had from a certain point of view. And I know a lot of people are down on “events” in general, but I don’t know, sometimes it *is* fun to get all the figures and bash them together — and it all started here, for better or worse.

    I was just disappointed to hear an X-Scholar say they got half an issue in and quit. I’ve read full on novels I hated just out of the possibility that I might get something from it in the end or it might improve. Oh well.

    1. We actually go through both Secret Wars and Secret Wars II in episode 43! There’s definitely some fun stuff in those series amid the dreck, including the stuff you mentioned. Doctor Doom was, as always, a highlight.

      (Also, for future reference – Rachel’s going by Jay and using they/their pronouns these days. Same person, just different name/pronouns/podcast title/etc!)

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