Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

As Mentioned in Episode 29 – Mutant in a Box

Listen to the podcast here!


  1. So… can we take a moment to discuss that epic cowboy hat Wolverine is rocking in that panel above?

    As to the photo of Scott and Madelyne Prior in bed, it looks like the start of a super uncomfortable immigrant visa interview. I do visa interviews as part of my job, and we’ve definitely gotten photos like that (or worse) as part of the application to prove that the relationship is real. The question is always, “Wait… so who took this photo?” Awkward.

    1. Damn, I just got a fiance visa earlier this year (moving from Canada to the USA) and we were content just to give pics of us sightseeing and visiting family. I didn’t even know boudoir shots were an option! Would that have helped or hindered my application?

      1. Congrats! And seriously, thank you for not including boudoir shots. No one needs to see that. As to whether they help or hinder the application, by and large, I’d say they’re neutral, usually because no one is remotely interested in looking at some skeevy bedroom photo, taken by G-d knows who (the mother-in-law? The step-kid? A random passer-by? None of these are good options!), to try and decide whether they look like a “real” couple, so they just get set aside. But they do help make an otherwise normal interview exponentially more uncomfortable and weird, so there’s that!

          1. Any time I can tie visa adjudication work to comic books, it’s a good day. Although I’ll refrain from discussing the lengthy conversations I’ve had with fellow consular geek/comic book geek types about just how it is all of these mutants from Ireland and Germany and Japan and wherever are managing to get visas to come and live in the States indefinitely, anyway. Because you just know that the Senator Kelly crew have introduced various regulations that bar mutants from getting immigrant visas, and even if they hadn’t, at least some of these guys would have police records that would probably constitute visa ineligibilities….

            Okay, I’ll stop now.

            Unrelated to the wonderful world of visas, I was relistening to the podcast yesterday, and I wanted to second your comments on the fetishization of Japan in the X-Men comics. It even occurs in the most recent Wolverine movie, to some extent (though I don’t think it’s quite as blatant as it is in the comics, thankfully). I think about it every time I read one of the issues that takes place in Japan, or see that panel from the Wolverine/Kitty Pryde series where Wolverine is in hakama and, like, full-on, traditional Japanese garb just going to an ice cream place in Tokyo. Dude, no. Ain’t no one in Tokyo dressing like that on a daily basis, even back in the ’80s. It really does get cringe-inducing, I think moreso for me after I had lived there for a couple of years.

            1. Yep! I asked about Rachel & Miles take on the Orientalism in the first Wolverine limited series on Twitter, but I am sure it was lost in the inundation of questions they must get and/or the topic is one that could probably eat up too much of a podcast by itself.

    1. I ordered it based on Rachel’s recommendation, and it was really good. It was the most gripping nonfiction book I’ve read in a while.

      1. Ok, Im asking for a link to the book. I thought I had saved it after the last time I asked but I didnt. I also went through the comments section of darn near ever old episode and couldn’t find it.

        help out an old guy wouldja? Im ordering it ASAP this time!

    2. It’s a good read. It basically outlines how it’s a miracle Marvel ever survived this long, and it also makes a lot of the people involved sound like giant dickbags.

  2. I haven’t read “Secret Wars” in a long time and my memory of it might be colored by time, but I don’t recall it being THAT bad. It existed for entirely cynical reasons and the basis for the plot is fairly stupid, but wasn’t “Onslaught” or “Civil War.” The Hulk picks up a mountain, for pete’s sake. Ultron nearly chokes out the Human Torch. Doom becomes a god. Doom murders nearly every A-list hero Marvel had at the time. We see Doom’s unscarred face!

    1. Secret Wars was super fun! It wasn’t high art, but it was a solidly entertaining comic series.

      If absolutely nothing else, it’s one of the best Dr. Doom stories. What happens when God kidnaps you and tells you you are trapped in a toy commercial? You KILL GOD and TAKE his POWER! Doom serves no advertiser!

  3. I’d like to jump on the defense team of Secret Wars. It had a great story and characterization of Doom. It got Spider-Man the black suit which got him Venom and Carnage and a whole lot more. It got She-Hulk to Byrne on the FF, and elevated her status. Molecule Man went from a joke to a demi-god. The Wrecking Crew became the go-to villains when somebody needed some basic, straight forward villain muscle. X-Men specific, Wolverine and Captain America initially got along as you’d expect and then grew to understand each other enough that years later when Wolverine ran out of X books, he could join the Avengers. Most important it really advanced Magneto’s character who we hadn’t seen since X-Men 150. When the X-Men joined him it both showed him in a new light and emphasized the difference in the X-Men as mutants versus the heroes and villains created by gamma rays, cosmic rays, magic hammers and science stuff.

    Of course, the X-Men don’t look so good since they, but for a morally questionable psi attack from Prof. X, got easily beat single-handed by Spider-Man in about two pages.


    1. Heh, okay – you’ve all convinced me; I’ll give it another shot! (Especially since it looks like it’s going to become exceptionally relevant to current-day continuity next summer…)

    2. Yeah, I don’t think we’ll see the days of Wolverine being backhanded by Spider-Man again. Unless it’s played for comedy, like when Spidey tossed Wolverine out of Avengers Tower through “unbreakable glass” because Wolverine was being a jerk over the media rumoring that MJ was having an affair with Tony Stark.

  4. I’m somewhere in the middle about Secret Wars myself. Hearing more about the toy end of things really does sour it a lot in my memory, but the story itself always felt like this mystical event that just… happened, and things sprouted out of it that just left

    Like DC’s own Crisis on Infinite Earths (which is another 12-part book series that happened between pages-ish and had lasting effects on the company), Secret Wars really has not aged well at all. Jim Shooter’s “I must have everyone shout their own name in the first three books as they say their motivation or emotions” writing style really does not compare to writing like Chris Claremont’s on X-Men – or almost anyone else on the major books at Marvel at the time. Instead, it feels like he’s writing down to the reader, explaining everything to everyone without presenting it in a way that respects the reader.

    And then there’s the fact that the book randomly has our heroes mistrusting the X-Men, despite several successful team-ups with at least some of them. Admittedly, they’re hated and feared… but Wolverine never struck me as someone who would ever not trust someone like Cap.

    Ah, well. At least Claremont handled Cyclops randomly being returned to his honeymoon with a delightful scene of him literally being dropped back into the book. I’m sad that didn’t get a drop in on the As Mentioned post.

  5. Hi! You forgot to mention the “lesson” (or Ass-kicking trap) that Wolverine gave to Colossus for breaking up with Kitty. Also, I almost dure that is mentioned that Colossus fell in love with Zsaji as a Side effect of her healing powers. P.S. This Is An amazing podcast!

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