Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

59 – X is for Xtinction, with Chris Sims and Chad Bowers

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 6/7/2015 in the shop, or contact David for the original.
Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 6/7/2015 in the shop, or contact David for the original.

In which Chris and Chad teach us to stop worrying and love the ‘90s; the line between parody and homage is thin and flexible; everything happens at the mall; no one wants to play volleyball with Cyclops; and we totally fail to resolve the question, “Does a mall babe eat chili fries?”

WARNING: This episode contains minor spoilers for X-Men ’92 #1.


  • The Westchester Wars
  • Battleworld
  • X-Men ’92 #1
  • Digital vs. print pacing
  • A continuity error
  • Narrative restrictions of Battleworld
  • The actual X-Men of 1992 (and the post-Claremont X-Universe)
  • X-Men Adventures
  • X-Men Collector’s Edition
  • Mutatant Genesis
  • X-Cutioner’s Song
  • Early Deadpool
  • Piecing together the Marvel Universe from trading cards
  • The X-Men animated series
  • Concurrent and complimentary adaptation
  • Cassandra Nova ‘92
  • The fine line between homage and parody
  • Definitive story arcs of the 1990s

NEXT WEEK: Rachel Summers and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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  1. First off, you guys are X-tremely mean for the two sections of omitted information. That’s just not fair.

    Secondly, the continuity error is easily explained away. It is Rachel’s thought bubble that states what she’s seeing is real and not an illusion, but it is also shown that the Beyonder is orders of magnitude more powerful than she is. It would be simple for him to convince her senses into believing what she sees is real and not an illusion. No real travel was done, he just used her memories and worst nightmares to create an illusion that fools her.

  2. Great episode. Miles scores the MVP hard on this one – I don’t sit and log an MVP every episode, but between “That’s some Team America s*** right there,” “the whole era sat right between stupidly awesome and awesomely stupid,” and “more is more”, Miles was just on point like no one’s business for this one.

    X-Men #4 was not the first Claremontless issue of X-Men since his run began. That would be Uncanny #280. The last issue of Uncanny Claremont writes is 1/2 of Uncanny #279. He is nowhere to be found in the credits of #280, having given up because doing what editorial mandated be done to Colossus in #270 became too “painful to write”. Fabian Nicieza closes that issue (and dang, re-read it, it’s easy to see where Nicieza comes in) and Claremont has nothing to do with the rest of the Muir Island Saga.

    Could you please cite the multiple times that Juggernaut plows through the X-Mansion defenses while the X-Men hide behind them and Professor X recounts the Juggernaut’s origin story before 1992? I’m not that strong on Silver Age X-Men, but I know that Chris Claremont never told that story, and the Claremont run and the Silver Age is all that there is before that. (Uncanny) #12 has that story, and then… when? I know that’s the re-telling in Evolution. Is that the re-telling in the old cartoon? But those are post ’92. Where are the other ones?

    1. I think the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode “A Fire-Star is Born” fits this description as well, though it’s an ice wall and chasm.

  3. Pretty bummed that Animated Series Morph wasn’t included in X-Men 92 #1, but I guess it’s both a rights issue and would confuse people who have only read the comics. Very fun read though and it sounds like the series is going to be just the right amount of crazy. If this keeps up, I may be cool with Marvel never returning to the traditional 616. There is only Secret Wars.

  4. I am so glad that the “covered with scorpions” line from the animated series came up! Since that episode aired waaaaay back when, my brother and I have had our own alternate take involving puppies. “Covered in puppies! Get ’em off me!”

    Since Secret Wars started I’ve basically been trade waiting (more accurately Marvel Unlimited waiting) all my Marvel books, but X-Men ’92 may have to be the one exception. Thanks for taking time out from the regular continuity to cover this guys!

  5. I watched the cartoon when I was a kid but hadn’t seen it sense. I wanted to watch a few episodes because I remembered loving it and heard about X-men ’92. My wife and I have been laughing so hard at this show for the last few days. Can’t wait to get into this series!

  6. Chris Sims is my favorite guest podcaster, but I don’t know if it’s just because he gets to talk about the funnest topics. That doesn’t change here. This was great.

    1. I mean to say, I find all the guests great, but Chris is my favorite because I, too, was that 90’s kid.

  7. Discovered this podcast a few weeks ago, and have been listening to you guys nonstop. Really love the show and your dynamics. I’m only on number 40 of the podcast but when I saw the discussion of 90s X-Men, I just to skip forward and hear it.

    Unfortunately I seem to be a bit on the other boat when it comes to the 90’s era of X books, and yes after hearing you guys discuss it, I get why it was so ridiculous, the storylines, the muscles, etc. But man I love that era. I think, you guys kind of love it in a “so bad its good” approach, but I love it in a “this is the definition of X books”. I know, I know, sorry no offense intended!

    Obviously after hearing your appreciation of the 80s era stories, I’ve come to learn more about them and appreciate them more, but I just thought I’d throw in my 2 cents into the team that genuinely loved the 90’s X worlds without the slight “parody” love haha.

    Really looking forward to the show entering the 90’s with your critiques and opinions.
    Are you guys going to speak on Generation X in the future?
    Keep up the great work, much appreciated!

    1. I totally get that–I know that a large part of what we love and consider definitive is a result of where we started, and when. (And there’s certainly plenty of great stuff in the ’90s, too.) The X-Men have been a lot of different things over the years; and we try to be pretty upfront about the fact that our definitive eras and arcs are just that–ours.

      One of the things that’s been most fun about doing this podcast–and the discussions that have come out of it–has been the chance to see a lot of material through the eyes of other fans and readers who’ve started in and imprinted on different runs, and I’m especially looking forward to that continuing as we edge towards the eras Miles and I are less attached to. As we’ve both mentioned, we like liking things–and one of the best ways we’ve found to get to do that is to hear about ’em from folks who do. <3

      (For Generation X and all other “will you cover ___?” questions, I will direct you to the FAQ: http://www.rachelandmiles.com/xmen/?page_id=1067#podcastcontent)

  8. Hi guy,

    Had a thought while listening to this episode. I know when you do reach the 90s (which I hope is coming soon) I know a lot of stories will have to be ommited for time, importance, etc.

    This being the case, I also realized that means most of Chuck Austen’s run has a pretty good chance of being skipped for Grant Morrison and Clairmont’s books. I loved Austen’s run (totally ironically) and want to hear your guy’s take on it (Comicdom Wrecks did a similar style write up of every arc).

    So I guess I’m asking can I expect some Austen lovin in the future or are we better off not?

    Ps. What’s youre take on that era’s X-Treme by Clairmont?

    Thanks guys, love the show

  9. Thanks for another great episode! Despite the fact that I didn’t grow up watching X-Men The Animated Series, I’m really excited about the X-Men ’92 comics.

    X-Men Vol. 2 #1 was actually the first X-Men issue I ever owned. I remember feeling disappointed at it. That was when I was trying to get into comics the first time around (about ten years ago), and I didn’t really know where to start reading. Having grown up with X-Men: Evolution and the X-Men films, I found X-Men #1 weird. Maybe it’s one of those things you had to read at the time to appreciate it.

    I still have the issue for sentimental reasons, but I can’t help thinking of it: this is the reason why I almost missed out on X-Men comics.

  10. Yes, a mall babe does eat chilli fries. As someone who experienced the eighties and nineties I can tell you that this expression is meant to be an affirmative.

  11. 😮 Couple of certain somebodys had a bleepin’ cameo in X-Men ’92 #2! LOL: “Rachel, Miles, show our young friend to the lounge…”

  12. when he talked about Gambit’s bedside note that said “It not you, it Gambit. ” I laughed so hard I nearly ran off the road. Keep up the good work.

  13. If I’m not mistaken, the Beyonder is an incomplete Cosmic Cube, which draws on the Beyonders’ dimension, rather than an actual member of the Beyonders race… but that’s based on vague recollections and a skimming of his marvel.wikia.com article.

  14. I know that I’m way behind the curve here, but I just started listening a few days ago and I just wanted to say: Bizarre Liefeldian Appeal is my NuMetal Cats Laughing cover band.

  15. Oh, ’90s Cyclops. How your complete dickery shaped the views of a generation of readers!

    I reread the 1990s era X-books a couple years back. I have to agree with Miles that X-Force was actually better than I remembered it. Completely over-the-top Lifeldian, but good, bonkers fun if you can disassociate it from what it did to New Mutants. It also seemed like it had a point until Lifeld left Marvel.

    David’s X-Factor was also great, but it kept getting derailed by crossovers and editorial mandates.

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