Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

As Mentioned in Episode 48 – Guitar Solos of the Gods

Listen to the episode here!


  • The Mighty Thor #362 is one of the best issues of one of the best runs in Marvel history.
  • For craft wonks, we recommend the hell out of the Thor Artist’s Edition, if you can get your hands on a copy.
  • Actually, you know what? Just go read the whole Simonson run, right now. It’s collected and available in a bunch of forms. You won’t regret it. we promise.
  • Once you’re done reading Thor, go watch Leverage, because it is wonderful.


  1. I haven’t listened to the episode yet so I don’t even know the context you brought up Gjallerbru in but just seeing the cover gets my fanboy HOLY CRAP THAT ISSUE IS SO GOOD rant going.


      (Have you seen the Artist’s Edition, where you can see how he does the fadeaway on that one page with overlays and it made me cry TWICE–once because, Gjallerbru; and once because ART PROCESS?)

      1. Oh my (Norse) god, that sounds AMAZING. I would love to get my hands on that book someday. The storytelling on those four pages is just…jeez. Language-defying. The retcons that have sprung up around Skurge to keep that moment preserved are so wacky but also SO DESERVED. The fact that there’s an issue’s worth of good stuff surrounding it (even a trademark Simonson/Workman KARAKATHOOM!) honestly feels unfair.

        Also, it’s kind of hilarious that this stone-cold classic of an issue ends with “Next month: SECRET WARS II continues!” Holy crap, did Simonson dodge a bullet with the timing there.)

  2. Let me join the chorus Thor #362. I was recently asked to name the four most influential comics on my life: that was one of them (and so was X-Men #137).

    This is a book that makes hard men weep, in a good way.

  3. Two things:

    1. You two have been so relentless about the Simonson Thor run that I went out and bought the first trade last week… and devoured it… and IT’SSOGOODWHEREHASITBEENALLMYLIFE?!?!?!? So thanks! 😉

    2. Are there any plans for the upcoming 50th “anniversary issue?” Special guests? Double-size spectacular? FOIL VARIANTS?!?!?

  4. The fact that everybody has their correct heights in those introduction panels makes me SO HAPPY. Tiny Rahne! Itty bitty Wolverine! Height differences!

  5. While I love how Karma’s obese shape is realistic, her rapid weight loss and return to default bodytype is not even close! I was over 500lbs and with gastric bypass, strict monitoring, and exercise it has taken me over 2 years to lose 250lbs. Also that kind of weight loss will leave you with enough excess skin to make another person. For her to wander in a dessert for a few months, lose the weight and not even mention how having any loose skin is just not right. Which is unfortunate because the rest of the arch is really interesting and I wish it would be revisited by another character.

    1. Betti – part of it (the lion’s share of it) is where she does it. Xian is in the world of legends when she drops that weight, where that reclamation of agency and months walking out of the desert are literally mystically restorative.

      Thank you, Rachel and Miles, for pointing out the reclamation of agency. I’ve always looked and thought “it makes no sense, but in a Norse myth, this is exactly how it would happen”, but it never sat fully right with me until you guys articulated that missing piece.

  6. My only exposure to this story was the “What If” you mentioned. Second one I bought and my favourite (first one was Xavier being the Juggernaut). Thank you for the wider context.

  7. Has this story been collected anywhere or is the only place to get it in back issue bins?

    Great work guys! It’s awesome as always!

    1. There’s a hardcover called The Asgardian Wars that collects this and the X-Men/Alpha Flight series that Elisabeth and I covered!

      1. The Asgardian Wars collection was $7 on Comixology earlier this week when I bought it — easier than finding the original issues in my basement. 🙂

    2. Its also in one of the Essential X-Men volumes. Number 6 I believe, if you don’t mind reading it in black and white.

  8. BTW, a little Google searching shows that Cyclops got Arkon’s teleportation bolts back in X-Men King Size Annual Vol 1 #5. (I guess, I’m pretty sure I’ve never read that issue.)

    1. …And you covered that in the podcast. What I get for looking at the art before I listen to all the show.

  9. Another entertaining episode guys. Regarding your cold open discussing Thor’s hammer, I was under the impression,that his powers were derived from Mjolnir. The inscription on the hammer states that whoever lifts the hammer is worthy of the power of Thor. He seems to have gone off the deep end since he lost the hammer. Without it he’s just some super strong dude imo

    1. He definitely had some thunder god powers without the hammer in the past – Jason Aaron (the same writer who’s responsible for the new Thor) wrote a story a couple of years back about the young Thor, before he held Mjolnir, where he still had control of lightning.

      I think it’s a Sauron situation, where he used to have these powers in and of himself, but then they were infused into a talisman so when he holds the [hammer/ring] he’s even stronger than he ever was alone, but without it he’s far weaker than he used to be.

  10. Now, now. now. X-Men annual #3 IS notable for one thing. That insane, impractical, and amazing outfit they put Storm in.

  11. Lots of fun in your discussion once more. It was great to see the artwork larger in your ‘As mentioned in..’ These books would make an awesome Artist’s Edition (Hey, IDW…).
    I know this isn’t the ‘Rachel and Myle Explain Asgard’ podcast, but I thought I’d get in early for that one- it will come, right? Anyway, thinking about Loki it seemed to me the logical explanation of Odin’s adoption of Laufeyson is to place an Asgardianised king on the throne of Jotunheim. Filial bonds would link the kingdoms and make Asgard more secure. Is this canon anywhere? Being used and deceived in this fashion also sets up a sympathetic motivation for the arch-manipulator/liar.
    Also, have any mutants ever tried to ‘pass’ in the Marvel Universe- ‘Mutant, me? No, I was bitten by a radioactive zebra, given mystic strength by Totallynotmadeupguy, etc? Also, have the Sentinels ever been reset to catch people with other genes? Ukele players for instance?

  12. When I was reading all the X-Men I could in the late 2000s, I had the X-Men 1963-2005 CD-ROM and what was available in trade paperback. One of those was Asgardian Wars, which was extremely memorable. I would probably get more out of these stories now, being more familiar with Thor, the New Mutants, and the Marvel universe generally through the Unlimited service.

    That image of Warlock as the Enterprise was so awesome, and I want to see him do that stuff all the time! Also, Simonson’s Thor is as good as everyone says it is.

  13. As a new listener, I am bingingbold episodes, and just listened to this one. This was also a favorite story of mine, and I would always and not by reading the What If issue. I was surprised you did not talk about that issue. It is not cannon, but it is a fascinating cap to this alternate reality they were offered.

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