Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

47 – The Price of Power (feat. Elisabeth Allie)

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 3/15/2015 in the shop, or contact David for the original.
Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 3/15/2015 in the shop, or contact David for the original.

In which Emergency Backup Co-Host Elisabeth Allie saves the day; the Berserkers are not the breakout hit you’ve been waiting for; Paul Smith continues to be awesome; nothing good ever happens in the Danger Room; Charles Xavier dabbles in cosplay; Nightcrawler has serious hat game; Rachel Summers lacks healthy coping skills; your life would be way more epic if Claremont narrated it; Northstar is a surprisingly good prom date; Loki is a total dick; and Longshot is totally Miles’s favorite.


  • Madelyne Pryor
  • X-Men/Alpha Flight vols. 1&2
  • The Berserkers
  • An unconventional model of family therapy
  • Aggressive foreshadowing
  • NPC dialogue
  • Jazzercise superheroes
  • Superhero color theory
  • Sasquatch
  • Aurora
  • Those Who Sit Above in Shadow
  • Norse fashion of the ‘80s
  • Very specific superpowers
  • Some sweet boots
  • The price of power
  • A deus ex machina squared
  • Kitty and Piotr’s first date
  • Snowbird’s powers
  • Miles’s favorite X-Man

NEXT WEEK: Asgardian Wars!

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Buy prints of this week’s illustration at our shop, or contact David Wynne for the original!


  1. I missed this one when it came out, although I *think* I read a friend’s copy (this friend had Alpha Flight on his pull list for a long time because he considered it his patriotic Canadian duty.) It didn’t make a lasting impression though – so when I heard its breakdown in this episode, it sounded…strange. Not so much the X-Men and Alpha Flight parts, but with the Berserkers (I can’t avoid thinking of Clerks when I heard their name) and Those Who Sit Above In Shadow. I adore the Asgardian Wars that were a consequence of this limited series though, so I suppose it was worth it for that story alone.

  2. The Goblin Queen’s costume is not the worst costume ever. How in the world does Professor X make a color-swapped Lex Luthor outfit look so BAD? Is it the lack of a popped collar?

  3. Two of the last X-related issues of anything I held on two when I sold off most of my collection in 1999. I did eventually sell them, though. Now you got me wondering if I should try to find them again. Dang it.

    Anyway,I wonder if there is anything to Rogue and Northstar’s camaraderie arising from their shared Franco-Diasporic heritage? 🙂

    1. I always thought that might have been a part of it. Another random Rogue fact people forget – she speaks French. Or at least she has from time to time.

  4. Am I the only one who found it kind of hilarious when Madeline resigns herself to the idea that her son will come of age in a world bereft of creativity and artistic skill?

  5. I cannot help but notice that Shaman is a Native (North) American with ties both to his own culture’s mysticism and modern civilization and is someone who must negotiate what it means to have a foot in two different worlds… And then I wonder whether he is a proto-Forge, albeit one in which the metaphor is a bit more pronounced? If so, does this stronger presence of his cultural liminality work better/worse and/or differently than it has been done with Forge?

  6. I kind of skipped from Walt Simonson’s Thor run to Jason Aaron, so I’m excited to learn what is worth reading in between. I’ve got the J. Michael stuff bookmarked on Marvel Unlimited.

  7. So, I really liked the recent Amazing X-Men story about Nightcrawler and Northstar going to town and Northstar learning that not all Catholics are assholes. As someone who was raised Catholic (and still think of myself as Catholic, although I bet the bishop would take issue with my not believing in God), and grew up around tons of Catholics, it was nice to see the representation of Catholics as all Bill Donohue-style bigots debunked. Lots of us are, after all, decent human beings.

    But, the more I think about it, why was Northstar surprised by this? He’s from Montreal, probably the only North American city that’s more Catholic than my hometown. He’s French Canadian, so probably Catholic himself. Surely he ran into devout but decent Catholics before Kurt Wagner?

    It’s strange.

    1. I am from Montreal, was raised catholic, and has real issue with the organization of the church.

      Knowing that someone is a member of the church says something to me about them. A devout member says more. A member devout enough to study and become a priest says a lot.

      People can be good, inside, but joining a group that has a lot of hate/bigotry in it’s accepted doctrine makes me a little judgy.

  8. It occurs to me that when Xavier detects the mind of Pryor’s baby he refers to it as “A mind” not like … “A natal mind” or “A developing mind”. Pryor is not pregnant enough to be showing yet.
    So I’m wondering what the politic of personhood is here. Without passing judgement one way or t’other a topic that comes up often in the abortion debate is ‘when does a fetus become a Person?’.
    In the Marvel universe is abortion legal not ‘until the second trimester’ but ‘until Charles Xavier can register it as having a mind’ ?

  9. I just started re-reading this (because I bought the Asgardian Wars collection so I could re-read that before listening to episode 48) and I’ve got two niggling yet annoying to me questions here:

    “Alphans”? Were Alpha Flight members really called that? I read a bunch of early Alpha Flight when it was new, and recently re-read issue one, and “Alphan” looks/sounds really, really weird to me. Is this just another sign of my approaching senility?

    And then there’s this dialogue:
    Kitty: You’re the new kid on the block.
    Talisman: I am NOT a kid. I’m in college!
    Kitty: Hey, me, too — sort of.

    I thought it was pretty well established that Kitty was high school age at this point? Most likely 15, maybe 16? Checking Talisman’s history, she would be at least 19. Maybe my memory of that age is off (again, it’s been a long time) but it seems like it should be obvious to Talisman that she was older than Kitty, and Kitty was just using an extremely common figure of speech.

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