60 – Rachel Summers and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 6/14/2015 in the shop, or contact David for the original.

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 6/14/2015 in the shop, or contact David for the original.

In which Rachel Summers went to sleep with Wolverine’s claws in her dreams and now there’s claws in her lungs and when she got out of bed this morning she tripped on her traumatic backstory and by mistake she dropped the Phoenix Force in the sink while the water was running and she could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

X-PLAINED:

  • Freedom Force
  • Supervillains’ day jobs
  • Uncanny X-Men #206-209
  • The X-Men’s first brief tenure in San Francisco
  • Terrible house guests
  • Lindsay McCabe
  • David Ishima
  • Bree Morrell
  • A metaphorical ghost story
  • Lycanthropy, but dumber
  • The crossing of several ethical lines
  • Death by narrative stasis (and also impaling)
  • Craft night at the Hellfire Club
  • Death by costume satin (and also heart failure)
  • One way to write someone out of a book
  • Our favorite Summers kids
  • X-Music

Special thanks to Elle Collins

NEXT WEEK: The New Mutants break your heart.


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46 comments

  1. snyderman says:

    Favorite summers kid eh? I’m gonna say a tie between Rachel and Ruby Summers. Cool to see the later returning in Future Imperfect. I’m not a big Hope fan I’m afraid.

  2. Scott Bennie says:

    207 was my exit point. The Logan I knew would have known what kind of a creature that Selene was, told Rachel to stand aside, and done the job himself.

    I really hadn’t been enthralled with the book since Smith left, with the exception of the Windsor-Smith issues. This scene was the last straw. I saw it as Claremont bending the characters solely to protect a character I couldn’t stand (Selene), and I said enough is enough and stopped buying.

    I looked in on the book during the Mutant Massacre, wasn’t impressed. Came back for Scott and Jean’s wedding issue, which I loved, but decided to end my relationship with the X-titles on an up note.

    • Miles says:

      That’s totally fair – honestly, this arc was a hard one for me too and I initially had to find reasons to like it. I think I was helped on this re-read by knowing that both Rachel and the X-Men would be going in directions I really enjoyed in not too long – Excalibur and the Australia era, respectively. That, and one of my goals in doing this podcast has been to try my best to focus on the positive for every story I could. But yeah – weird, weird plot decision on Claremont’s part.

      • TheSam says:

        Rachel no longer being on the team meant that the X-men were without a telepath (for maybe the first time ever?). Do you think this was Claremont trying to come up with a solution for why X-Factor and the X-men did not know about each other? If Rachel was on the team when they were in proximity to X-Factor in the Mutant Massacre, Jean being back and X-Factor’s real deal would no longer be secrets.

        Also, since Louise Simonson’s taking over X-Factor is coming up, would you consider devoting some time to your thoughts on the comics industry’s practice of wiping out/subverting a previous creative team’s work? I do think Louise Simonson took the book in a better direction, but the practice has not always resulted in better stories.

      • justin says:

        I’m very interested to hear you guys talk through the Australia period. I read through Uncanny recently, and was struck by how unrepentantly bleak that era can get, especially at the end with Inferno and the Reavers. In some ways, I think it’s even darker than the Phoenix/Mutant Massacre stuff you’re currently discussing.

    • Sol says:

      I’m in complete agreement, though it took me longer to give up the book. (And I came back for Grant Morrison’s run.)

      For me (and minding that I haven’t really read these issues in 30+ years) the entire run from #201 through through the end of the Mutant Massacre just seems like Claremont was wildly flailing around. I don’t know how much of this was his fault and how much was crazy editorial demands like writing out Cyclops, the ludicrous X-Factor split (“They’re our oldest friends! We won’t talk to them!’), writing in the Beyonder and the Mutant Massacre crossovers, etc. (I also sometimes suspect that Claremont needed to be working with a strong co-plotting artist to bring out his best, and maybe for all I love his art, JRJ wasn’t providing that help.)

      • Sol says:

        Though I guess the fact that this period saw them write all my favorite characters out of the book didn’t help any… 😉

    • pawpaw5771 says:

      209 was my first exit point from the X-books before picking them up again around the Muir Island Saga some 70 issues and 5 years later. At the time, I remember being really put off by this arc – I enjoyed the fight with Nimrod and the Hellfire Club, and I liked it took an unlikely alliance to survive Nimrod. And while Leland was a goof, I thought he went out like a champ. But I recall being really annoyed at Rachel being written out (I was really excited to see what she would do in X-Men, and had no idea Excalibur was coming down the road), especially involving Spiral in Rachel’s exit. Having never read the Longshot series or having any context of Spiral outside of her appearances in the last few months, I just found her to be a really dumb and uninspired villain.

      Random music note. This has nothing to do with the characters, but I will always associate the second Digital Underground album ‘Sons of the P’ with Excalibur, as I was listening to it when I was re-bagging and re-boarding a lot of Excalibur issues circa 1992 or so.

  3. Gary P. says:

    “Four-letter words” are curse words.

    • Miles says:

      We know – we just like being overly-literal sometimes. 🙂

      • Gary P. says:

        Very good. Thank you. I figured it was a put on, until you recommended “Freedom is a Force-Letter Word”, to retain the inaccuracy but at least draw it in a bit, at which point I thought “perhaps they don’t actually know.”

      • Rachel says:

        Also, the term derives from the fact that the most common profanity consists mostly of four-letter words. I refuse to be beholden to an idiom that has decayed into functional meaninglessness.

  4. TheSam says:

    It’s been a long time since I read these issues, but I don’t remember if there was a reason that Emma Frost wasn’t with the rest of the Inner Circle (she might have been busy with dealing with the New Mutants and their post-Secret Wars II issues). I’d like to take it as headcanon that she saw the rest of the Inner Circle’s outfits and used her telepathy to wipe their minds of her presence.

  5. lastplaneout says:

    I think I’ve probably spent more time thinking about the music question over the years than is really necessary. In my headcanon:

    1. Kitty Pryde is absolutely obsessed with this music video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW3gKKiTvjs

    2. Quentin Quire listens to an obscure (and maybe terrible) EDM subgenre, but is also obsessed with Crass. I think my dream costume for Quire is a standard X-Men costume, but with all of the Xs replaced with Crass logos.

    3. As was mentioned in an episode of Into It, there is no way that Hank isn’t an insufferable Frank Zappa/prog-rock fan.

    4. Poly Styrene from X-Ray Spex was somehow X-Men affiliated. The Germfree Adolescents album is too obsessed with misfits, outsider identity, and science experiments gone wrong for it to be any other way.

    • justin says:

      Alright, more of the “who likes what music” game:

      I agree 100% about Hank.

      Bobby is super into pop-punk. Green Day, Offspring, Bad Religion, maybe some Weezer. I have no idea how Bobby got by in the 70s.

      Kurt loves standards and musicals. For more modern stuff, I think he likes top 40 pop ballads. Adele, some Rhianna, some Beyonce. “She has a beautiful voice, ja?”

      Ororo mostly listens to The Beatles and classical music/opera. She doesn’t listen to anything she doesn’t consider exceptional. Everyone else secretly thinks she’s kind of snobby about music.

      Piotr likes acoustic singer songwriter music (Jose Gonzales, Mountain Goats), but especially old-school country like Hank Williams.

      Meggan loves Britney Spears, Macklemore and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Everyone finds her taste in music deeply confusing.

      Rockslide is into speed metal. Anole pretends to like speed metal around Rockslide, but actually is more into Radiohead.

      • Theo says:

        My headcanon for Hellion is that he religiously listens to Kendrick Lamarr.

        I 100% agree about Nightcrawler. Kurt totally has ‘Pirates of Penzance’ Soundtrack on his iPod!

        Ororo I would think has a little bit of everything; considering her wardrobe choices and how complex a character she is.

  6. thumb says:

    So, the Hellfire Club was LARPing? Incredible. Werewolf guy was only roleplaying lycanthropy.

  7. LAndrew says:

    Yeah, this is where Claremont starts to lose me. I was always bewildered at how Freedom Force ended up being a landfill for various characters (Spiral, Spider-Woman, Super Sabre, Stonewall, and Crimson Command) as post #200 goes on.

    And I read these issues over and over

    On the other hand, there are some good bits in here–I like the fight with Nimrod (JRJR gives it a darker, grittier feel that really suits the desperation of the story)but it feels like it’s happening earlier than it should, if that makes sense–it needed more build-up than it got.

    And I remembered reading that bit with Rachel being written out over and over trying to figure out what happened.

    There’s such a strange vibe around these issues–I don’t know whether it’s just trying to work on the hop after a bunch of plotlines got aborted, but it’s just a bit . . .directionless, I reckon?

  8. Gary P. says:

    I think the accusation of a lack of direction in this era is fair. There’s not a lot of distinct storylines; more one-shots and two-shots, bouncing around amongst the characters for individual stories.

    RE: The Hellfire Club costumes: I think that John Romita, Jr. has a poor sense of costume design, and the Club suffers here for it.

    Still, I think the fight with the X-Men, the Hellfire Club, and Nimrod is a beautifully choreographed piece of work, with suitable desperation and MAN, that final body slam by Colossus on Nimrod is wonderful. These are the sorts of things JRJr does excel at.

    And, it works for me to no end that a wishy-washy, whiny scrub like Harry Leland goes out like a boss, taking down no one less than Nimrod. Literally holding off death until he’d finished his work. Good stuff.

  9. Elliott Kay says:

    This whole era (up through the three years of tentpole crossovers) has always been definitive X-Men for me. I *loved* the knock-down drag-out fight with Nimrod, and seeing Rachel leave for so long really kinda killed me. I loved her so much. This particular arc, though, is where pre/barely-teenage me lost all appreciation for Wolverine.

    The thing that always gets me about Logan is this: I feel like authors lean on his tremendous standing as a fan favorite to justify him doing stupid and/or inconsistent shit. Yes, Rachel was off the rails and all, but Selene is so unequivocally awful that she’s just gotta GO. Faced with that choice, and rather than, I don’t know, punching Rachel with his adamantium-laced knuckles and lifetime(s) of fighting skills to knock her out, he tries to kill her. And then his argument was basically “Because I’m Wolverine!”

    And that’s what writers do with him. He does some grandstanding thing that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and then he just stands there like he’s all zen and such, and YOU’D understand why he was right, too, if you were just Wolverine enough…and fans eat it up, because they wanna be so cool like that.

    Wolverine never earned that credibility with me. When Commander Shepard pulls “Because I’m Shepard!” in Mass Effect and everyone just buckles for her, it’s at least a little lampshaded and we can laugh it off. I’ve never once appreciated it with Wolverine.

    • Elliott Kay says:

      (Also, I’m glad you mentioned Storm taking out the muggers in San Francisco, because that was one of my favorite Storm moments.)

    • LAndrew says:

      I know that that period of time is not well spoken of (and we’re years away from it on the podcast) but I love the moment when Marrow steps right the hell on a “Because I’m Wolverine, dammit!” moment.

      Such a richly-earned moment.

  10. Gary P. says:

    I have always taken the reaction Wolverine has to Rachel flipping out and trying to kill Selene as being done because Rachel is Phoenix, and when Phoenix gets power mad and starts making her own rules, that leads to a bad ending on a huge scale.

    As to the “but she’s killing SELENE” portion of that argument; Selene goes mad with power and ends individual lives, one, maybe two at a time. She screws up an area the size of a small city (Nova Roma). She’s evil, no doubt. A Phoenix loses it, and that’s genocide. Planetary to universal repercussions.

    I’ve often seen this as Wolverine making up for what he couldn’t do to stop Phoenix when it was Jean. He had the chance, and he flinched, and all was almost lost – and, indeed, would have been if Jean hadn’t committed suicide. He doesn’t have the same connection to Rachel. He could kill her, make up for blinking at his moment of truth back in Uncanny #136. Toss in the fact that this is back when Wolverine was mortal (as opposed the the powering up he would get in the years after Claremont left the book), coming off of being SERIOUSLY messed up by Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers. There’s every chance he couldn’t take Rachel down in his current condition, and he says as much in #208. With a Phoenix, how many chances does he get? Top that off with having his head pumped full of delusions of killing Rachel every night by an Omega-level telepath, culminating with her killing, not Selene, but HIM… It all leads to that final panel of his stabbing her.

    Additionally, and almost entirely unrelated, Uncanny #207 has an amazing cover. Deservedly iconic.

    • JG says:

      This poster gets it.

    • Ununnilium says:

      Damn, these are all really good points, justifying Wolverine’s actions well. I wish they had been emphasized in the comic itself, tho.

    • Elliott Kay says:

      You make a good argument. I might have been likely to accept it if Claremont had made that argument in the text 20-ish years ago when he first wrote this, but I’m just not seeing it.

      Also, again, 20+ years of Wolverine being inconsistent for the sake of shock value.

      But kudos to you for coming up with a much better explanation. Stuff like this is why fanfic is often more satisfying than mainstream published “official” material. 🙂

  11. Ani says:

    Thanks for another great podcast.

    On the music question, I tend to associate songs with certain stories very much based on fan videos I find online. There are certain songs I associate with certain scenes/passages and also with certain fan interpretations. For instance, “Demons” (by Imagine Dragons) is a song I associate with pretty much any sad/depressing scenarios and with characters who’ve had a troubled past with lots of bad memories.

    @Elliot Kay

    The thing that always gets me about Logan is this: I feel like authors lean on his tremendous standing as a fan favorite to justify him doing stupid and/or inconsistent shit.

    Despite not having read the specific issues discussed in this particular podcast (and therefore not really able to express a definite opinion about them), this is a feeling about Wolverine I’ve also gotten based on other stories that I have read. He gets to both have his character development and become a better person, but then he also gets to just do whatever he wants if it’s convenient and they need something shocking/something for him to fight with a teammate about. Love his character in certain ways, but based on selective stories (usually the ones with him trying to be better and be a teacher).

  12. Seth says:

    I didn’t pick up the X-men until the 90’s, and just had a trade of dark phoenix as well as some 60’s era reprints originally. So this era through Inferno was actually some of the last X-men stuff I ever got to.

    But after settling on Rachel as one of my favorite characters during her years on Excalibur, this moment did serve as quite a shock when I finally got to borrow a friends Uncanny run. I remember being extremely angry despite knowing the good stuff that came out of it.

    I think part of the problem is that she really does get written out, and nobody really brings her up again until The Sword is Drawn. “Hi, I’m an teenager with the power of a cosmic entity and I disappeared completely under mysterious circumstances…you guys really don’t want to look for me?”

    The next closest situation like this for me comes from Claremont’s 2000 run with the “Neo” story. Kitty falls out of orbit, the rest of the team gets distracted with events, writing teams change, and no one ever bothers to figure out what happened to her. It’s just a narrative device that ends up making the characters look like a-holes. 🙂

  13. justin says:

    Weirdly, my strongest memory of the Nimrod fight (which is really great) is actually when the kids in New X-Men (vol 2, #22 specifically) recreate it in the Danger Room, complete with the hilarious Hellfire Club costumes. Rockslide is Harry Leland.

    The truest sign of an iconic X-Men moment/cover is the inevitable homage a decade+ later.

  14. Sigrid says:

    I really like your theory, Rachel. That Wolverine was being somewhat manipulated — his natural traits played on in such a way that Rachel Summers-Grey could commit suicide-by-Wolverine. Because no Summers, no Grey, would *ever* lay down and die. No Summers-Grey would *ever* — in Ray’s understanding of her family, of her childhood, and the X-Men — kill themself. Never give up, never surrender, to quote GalaxyQuest!

    But she so desperately wanted to be done. To get out, get off this ride. She didn’t want to be stuck, timeslipped, the impossible girl who can never save anyone. It had to be with her, in her mind, all the time — I can only change this future. I can’t change my past.

    At the end of the day, if the earth is still here, Superman wins. At the end of the day, Batman’s parents are still dead and he loses. Isn’t that the joke?

    When I was a teenager, I was *blindingly furious* with Wolverine for not seeing the soul-destroying pain Ray was in. I was a teenager. My favorite move was Heathers, or maybe Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. I knew too many friends who were in pain and didn’t seem to be SEEN properly by responsible adults. All I could see in Uncanny 207 was an adult I had *trusted*, Logan, who had saved Katie Power, Logan who taught Kitty to not smoke cigars, LOGAN, betraying that trust and straight-up-murdering Ray when she was begging for help.

    It’s possible I have held this grudge to the age of forty-two. Ahem.

    But I like your theory. That maybe Ray just … needed a way out. A way to stop being trapped in these behavior loops of futilely trying to rewrite the past. And that she took what was good and well-intentioned in Logan and pushed it just a smidge past reasonable.

    But I’m glad that teenage me didn’t think of it that way. I’m glad that teenage me was ragingly angry with Logan for letting Ray down. Anger motivates in more open-ended directions than trapped despair.

  15. kag says:

    Lila Cheney, based more on her visual design than any description of her music, will always be Joan Jett to me.

    Alison Blaire is the DISCO Dazzler. I’m thinking Donna Summer, but nowhere near as talented. (Sorry Alison, but no x-author has ever convinced me that you were more than a gimmick act.)

  16. hassibah says:

    If I was going to make a real life analogy to Dazzler that’s active these days it’d probably be someone like Robyn or Kylie Minogue. Since people said Lila Cheney is Joan Jett I just can’t unsee it or picture anyone else.
    I definitely have my headcanon about what characters listen to but I tend to subconsciously play songs in my head that apply to specific scenes and storylines a lot more.

    What happened to Rachel here totally devastated me and I remember liking the story when I read it but listening I just realized I have a really shit understanding of what actually happened. I need to listen to this again it was exhausting. I never recovered from Mutant Massacre but I like this era despite its flaws and despite how upset it made me just because I liked the line-up so much. I did keep reading after it was broken up for good though mainly for Storm.

  17. David says:

    “Freedom is a Four-Letter Word!” is the first Claremont story I remember reading, via an issue of X-Men Classic (which I later discovered was the final issue, so man, I had some excellent timing). The Freedom Force bit was confusing as hell and with no grounding in the Scott/Madeline story I hadn’t a clue who “Jane Doe” was until this very moment — thanks for that! — but Storm’s fight with the muggers is still my definitive memory of the character.

    (Also, along with her weird comments about eternal youth, Spiral comments that she “was born dancing through minds, as through life” when Rogue tries to take her out of the fight by draining her, which I still can’t figure out if it’s a hint to the Ricochet Rita reveal or not.)

  18. Quentin Quire says:

    I always got the impression that, due to all the messed up stuff she’s seen in the DoFP, Rachel Summers has a pretty bad case of PTSD.
    For those of us who’ve got PTSD it can seem like a cycle and “Didn’t we already deal with this?” is a question that comes up…
    A lot of times something will remind you of your trauma and push your panic button, it can be a big thing or the smallest of things but soon your mind is flooded with the images of your trauma.
    Recovering from an episode can seem like recovering from PTSD sometimes, the sufferer (possibly helped by others) can work out the logic behind it and convince themselves they are safe and fight the demons and say they are Better Now.

    …Yet … “Better Now” doesn’t mean better tomorrow…the cycle begins anew with the next trigger … it’s a loop.

    I’d say Rachel having to live through this stuff again and again is not bad writing but great writing for a person with PTSD.

    • Niki R says:

      This feels so personal and difficult to write, but I don’t have to put my whole name so I feel like I should speak up as someone else who has PTSD. But yeah, I always found these story lines with Rachel Summers in X-Men to be super emotionally and personally relevant. Sometimes difficult to read because I felt so emotionally connected to her, but also kind of cathartic too. This ark of hers is the character I relate to the most in any comic I’ve ever read. And that is due mostly to how realistic it felt to me going through that kind of severe trauma. I first read these when I first moved out of my parents when I got the Essential X-Men versions, so that might make some difference. But I felt Claremont’s writing was maybe stronger here than in any other period. It was at least more relevant to that part of my life. I actually want to try to get my partner to read them as a way to understand what I am going through.

  19. Aurel12 says:

    I must say I was really happy that Pyro made it into an opening. He was always my favorite of the minor x-men characters. It’s a shame that his death seems to have stuck so far.

    His work as a romance writer was one of those interesting background traits that he seemed to collect. It worked to make him a more fleshed out character compared to people like Blob and Toad who were more cartoonishly evil. Freedom Force was always interesting to me for no other reason than the character actually seemed to enjoy being together for the most part compared to a lot of villain team where everyone seems to be trying to find an excuse to betray one another.

  20. Harry says:

    As well as PTSD, as suggested above, Rachel may have had some (mild?) OCD tendencies. These don’t always manifest as repetitive behaviours as such, but can lend themselves to recurrent thought cycles, often brought on when stressed or tired. Depression can also lead to recurrent thought cycles. Though PTSD perhaps fits best thematically in that her problems can all be pinned on the Days of Future Past timeline then.

  21. Cyke68 says:

    I must say, I kind of love the trend of everyone calling Wolverine out on his shit here. It’s a long-running sentiment I first observed in my earliest day of fandom (RACMX represent). PLENTY of of folks were quick to (justifiably) condemn Scott for walking out on his family. But it seems like that same readership had a pretty short memory when it came to the occasion Wolverine tried to freaking execute a teammate, then had the audacity to take the moral high ground. The few who would point to this scene and wear it as a badge of honor in the Fuck Wolverine Club felt like my people for a very long time.

    It really does speak to Elliot Kay’s excellent point about Logan’s popularity/marketability being leveraged to handwave increasingly contrived actions. When Wolverine does something terrible, it’s either rationalized or chalked up to bad, out-of-character writing. When Scott (or whoever else) does something terrible (as he did, relatively contemporaneous to this issue), it’s because he’s an awful person, setting aside all nuance to the contrary.

    One might say I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder w/r to these readings.

    Nonetheless, it’s a double standard I’ve always found bothersome. I hate it when more conventionally popular characters get a pass (see also: Batman), so it feels like vindication whenever I hear fellow dissenting voices. This really was a bridge too far, and I can empathize with anyone who bailed on the character/series after the fact.

    THAT SAID, I come at the scene a little differently now as an adult. Whereas I originally saw it as going for some bullshit honor-bound grand-standing in service of the greater good on Logan’s part, I eventually fell in with the camp that views it as Logan trying to make up for his earlier “failure” with Jean. It really paints him in a LESS sympathetic light. It means he’s not acting out of adherence to some morally-dubious (not to mention hypocritical) code of ethics, but actually visiting HIS baggage on a vulnerable teenage girl. Coupled with the ugly power dynamic (Logan, and the X-Men by extension, is arguably a role model and parental figure more than merely an authority), it makes his actions thoroughly reprehensible. This can really be taken as the flawed anti-hero crossing the moral event horizon.

    And yet… I *love* Rachel’s suicide-by-cop interpretation! It’s one I hadn’t considered before and is both contextually and thematically consistent. Claremont isn’t exactly a shining practitioner of the show-don’t-tell principle, but I’m still kicking myself for not seeing it.

    Gah, how to reconcile competing headcanon?

    When in doubt, go for the jugular. Rachel’s take is doubly tragic, so it’s the one I’m adopting. You have a badly traumatized girl desperately taking what she sees as her only out (put much more eloquently by Sigrid), whilst Logan is robbed of his own agency in the process – continuing that particular trope and anxiety inherent to the character. One could also read this as an inversion (rather than “correction”) of the Dark Phoenix resolution. It is profoundly sad, symbolically resonant, AND stays true to the characters. That satisfies a lot of X-Men staples, so consider me sold.

    Incidentally: wasn’t there a one-shot or limited series promised that would chronicle Rachel’s dealings with the Body Shoppe? I vaguely recall even seeing some unfinished pages (by Rick Leonardi?) from this aborted project. It presumably would’ve made Rachel’s reintroduction in Excalibur a lot less jarring.

    • Rachel says:

      I don’t think they’re actually contradictory headcanons: If you’re going with the suicide-by-Wolverine theory, it’s fair to assume that Rachel keyed in on Logan, and that he was relatively easy to manipulate, because she was pushing him in a direction toward which he was already inclined for the reasons you described above. Honestly, I think that’s my favorite take–mutual culpability.

      One of the things I love most about X-Men is that it’s about characters who screw up a LOT and do legitimately pretty awful things that are portrayed as legitimately awful. They’re operatically, intensely flawed, which is part of what makes them both interesting and sympathetic.

      • Cyke68 says:

        Oh, absolutely. The suicide-by-Wolverine theory neatly encompasses Logan’s lingering guilt and subconscious inclination to go all stabby in a Phoenix’s general direction. Discounting this possibility altogether, though, leaves a scene that’s very hard to square with any depiction of Wolverine’s character up to that point. It was my assumed interpretation for years, so I thank you for positing that Rachel played a larger role in deciding her fate than a superficial reading might suggest.

        Was this Claremont’s intent? Who knows. I always make far too much of his writing as a meta commentary for the behind-the-scenes editorial and political pressures he was working under at the time. I seem to recall a “Wolverine doesn’t kill” edict coming down around this period, so part of me wants to paint his screwy characterization of Logan here as a “Take that” type of rebuttal. Food for thought, but canonical explanations are definitely preferable.

  22. Jeff says:

    So I’m a few episodes behind in my comments, but before I comment on episode 63, I wanted to address something here that’s been bugging me for a few weeks, and that’s when you guys reviewed the Nimrod battle, you completely overlooked that fact that Nightcrawler gets SEVERELY injured here — he tries to teleport away a portion of Nimrod’s arm, but Nimrod knows this trick and nearly vaporizes Kurt. In fact, they don’t know where’s he’s teleported to after this issues and don’t fin him for a few days. This becomes a really important plot point during the Mutant Massacre.

    I wanted to make sure I commented on this in the proper episode for reasons that will become clear when I comment on episode 63 and eventually when you discuss the Massacre.

    • Miles says:

      Don’t know how that part didn’t make it out of the notes – you’re right; it’s absolutely a major plot point. We’ll definitely be recapping it in the relevant Mutant Massacre episode!

  23. Rachel and Cable are definitely my two favorite members of the Summers family tree. The scene in Asgard where she discovers Madeline is pregnant with Cable is one of most definative X-Men moments for me. I also kind of enjoyed the dynamic between Hope and Stryfe when we finally see the two of them spend some time together. Stryfe essentially tried to turn Hope into himself or someone more like himself anyway.

    In regards to music inspired by, in the name of, or accredited to Lila Cheney and the Dazzler. My 2nd band ever was named Lila Cheney. All our songs were about dead or fictional musicians. By virtue of it being my 2nd band ever, the music is pretty bad. My Lila Cheney lives on better as an idea than as actual music. My current band, Marvin The Robot has a song set in/about Mojo World called Longshot Vs Dazzler. I think I shared a link on Twitter when I first discovered this podcast. I will reshare here for anyone reading through these comments. https://marvintherobot.bandcamp.com/track/longshot-vs-dazzler

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