Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

51 – The X-Istentialists, Featuring Kris Anka, Marguerite Bennett, Kieron Gillen, and Peter Nguyen

Art by David Wynne. We're not selling prints of this one, but you can still hit David up for the original!
Art by David Wynne. We’re not selling prints of this one, but you can still hit David up for the original!

In which Rachel and Miles go to Emerald City Comicon; six people try to share one microphone with varying success; you will never love anything as much as Kris loves Broo; Marguerite may or may not be a time-traveling supervillain; Peter is Laser Guy; Kieron joins an X-team; Hell is other X-Men; everyone lies egregiously; and it all comes back to Namor’s abs.

Special thanks to Jean, who let us borrow her mic and pop filter at the very last second when we realized we’d left ours in Portland! <3


  • Namor’s last name
  • Several Secret Wars titles
  • Wiz Kid
  • Favorite characters
  • Lady Deathstrike’s new look
  • Seanan McGuire’s cats
  • Machetes of Future Past
  • Emily Aster
  • Asteroid P
  • Secret origins
  • Points of entry
  • Headcanon
  • The Wolverine and the X-Men Season 2 that might have been
  • The pros and cons of an isolated X-universe
  • The X-Istentialists
  • Hela’s Angels
  • Namor’s abs
  • What defines the X-Men
  • Mr. Sinister
  • Our X-movie wish lists
  • Wes Anderson’s X-Men (both of them)

NEXT WEEK: Previously on Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

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We’re not selling prints of this week’s illustration, but you can still contact David Wynne to inquire after the original!



  1. Namor’s last name would explain why he spent an alarming amount of time in Alpha Flight back in the day.

  2. I enjoyed that podcast, was quite a romp around! I also particularly like Hell is Other X-men as a title. Or concept 😉

    One thing I particularly liked was when the writers were asked their favourite characters, or the roundabout discussion on if/when Sage can be a viable character (I always liked her and Bishop as a pair). Next time you gather a group of writers and artists I think I’d quite like to hear a few characters pulled apart in focus and in depth; though I appreciate that with so many people in yen room it had to be rather free flow!

    Also I agree with the comment about letting the characters grow up and move on, with X-men being a bigger core concept than any single individual. Let Moonstar and Cannonball finally lead a blue and gold team of younger mutants each, with Professor Kitty as the overall lead! Think of the fun dynamics we could have with that…

    It also occurred to me how much X-men of the past couple of years feels like the Scott and Wolverine show… How much did we see, say, Rogue and Psylocke respond to schism? To each other’s positions? I miss the inner team dynamics so much. You only get that in the smaller side team books these days.

    1. Agreed on pretty much all counts!

      Roundtables at cons are kind of wild cards for a number of reasons. Some of it is the number of people; more is that the lineup isn’t very predictable (the cold open is actually pretty accurate–most of the time, we cast a pretty wide net, and then whoever shows up shows up, along with whoever they bring), which affects the amount of planning and advance coordination we can do. In this particular case, that was compounded by the fact that Marvel’s upcoming lineup is under pretty tight wraps, and not everyone knew when their upcoming projects would be announced–as-is, we had to edit out mentions of a book that was supposed to be announced this past week and wasn’t. Plus, it’s a pretty good bet that we’ll all be exhausted–if we’re talking about after-hours at a con, everyone there has been on the floor for about ten hours by the time we sit down to record.

      We’re hoping to get around a lot of this in the future by pitching the con episodes as *panels*–basically, doing live episodes, audience and all–and maybe having hotel-room roundtables as bonus content instead of central episodes. But that’s something we’re still working on coordinating…

  3. I fell in love with the podcasts its just so delightful.
    I just spend the last week and a half listening to all 51 episodes…which means its kinda sucks for me that the next one is a recap (although im looking forward for it anyway):P

    So yeah after 51 ep’s all i can say is happy anniversary thank you for all the explaining (espasialy magik)and good luck next year hope you survive the experience 😉

  4. I would say that old, bald, wheelchair-bound Bernard the Poet would be the Prof. X of the X-istentialists, (after losing the use of his legs in the tragic Caramel Latte incident of ’98) but since nobody in the Marvel U ages ever, well, there goes that idea.

    Also, what is your Con schedule for the next year or 2? SLC? Denver? ComicKaze? I might otherwise be swayed to go if meeting you guys and getting a “Pobably a Summers brother” shirt autographed is in the PRO column…

    1. RCCC and ECCC, always; we’re still working on hammering the rest out. We’d LOVE to do HeroesCon, but so far, time and money haven’t worked out.

      In general, the best way to get us to a non-PNW convention is to get them to invite us as guests. Otherwise, we’re basically budgeting out-of-pocket, and since we don’t have a ton of merch to sell (working on it, but), that makes out-of-town cons a huge money sink.

      1. Hmm, have them invite you you say? Consider my personaly quest begun! My considerable skills at annoyance and harassment will be put to good use.

        What? Momma always did say stick to what you know you’re good at…

  5. I was recently turned onto your podcast about a week ago, I am 10 episodes in and love it!

    My 2015 goal is to read is to read 1,000 comics. As of today, April 7th, I am at 485 (Thanks Marvel Unlimited). Of those 485, 456 of them are X books (or have some connection to an X story Arc.) I started with Messiah CompleX and have read most X books from that story.

    My favorite, hands down, has been the Uncanny X-Force run with the team of Wolverine, Archangel, Psylocke, Fantomex, and Deadpool. The Archangel Saga might be my favorite Arc of all time.

    Also, when I first started doing this I did not care for Cyclops at all. I always thought he was a whiney baby… but after reading so many issues with him in it, he might be turning into my favorite Marvel character.

    I don’t really have a question or anything, but I wanted to pass on my x-citing accomplishment and let you both know that I enjoy your podcast a lot.

  6. I gotta ask – does Kieron really sound that much like the guy from Agents of SHIELD? I kept expecting Mockingbird to break in and snark about something he said.

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