70 – Forget It, Jake; It’s X-Factor

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 8/23/2015 in the shop (also pencils skirts, ‘cause, why the hell not?) or contact David for the original.

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available until 8/23/2015 in the shop (also pencils skirts, ‘cause, why the hell not?) or contact David for the original.

In which everything is terrible; miscommunication triangles are way more awkward than love triangles; Boom Boom is universally delightful; Miles has feelings about ‘80s fashion; Apocalypse is judging your band posters; X-Factor still hasn’t gotten the hang of doors; Cyclops’s life continues to be an anxiety dream; the Twelve are better in foreshadowing than practice; and Angel dies as he lived: half-naked, at an airport.


  • The evolution of Angel
  • Cold opens
  • rachelandmiles.com
  • X-Factor so far
  • X-Factor #12-15
  • A miscommunication triangle
  • Boom Boom (Tabitha Smith)
  • Rachel’s Marc Silvestri causality loop
  • Boom Boom vs. Jubilee
  • Cameron disambiguation
  • Famine
  • Master Mold (more) (again)
  • The Twelve
  • Tanya Trask
  • Caliban

NEXT WEEK: Technoorganic blues!

You can find a visual companion to this episode on our blog!

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


  1. claudio says:

    Nice Chinatown reference- how much does it cost to read comics these days? Have stopped since 2000, but love to listen to your summaries, opinions, and jokes.

  2. LAndrew says:

    Bless you for skipping over light-wings Warren in THE TWELVE.

    I had no idea what to make of that, and it’s clear from reading it that neither did the writers.

  3. LAndrew says:

    “Evil Business-First Dick” is the kind of thing Patrick Bateman wasn’t hardcore enough to put on his business cards.

    3 more things:

    1) I want Apocalypse recruiting the Mane Six from My Little Pony. Pinkie Pie would certainly be an interesting Horseman.

    2) The Twelve was a bit like the Halley’s Comet for X-Men comics–every ten years or so, it drifts through the X-Books, all remote and unknowable and inscrutable, raises a bunch of questions and leaves. And then, alas, when the time comes to answer it all a decade later. . .oof. Not good.

    3) Question for the X-Planitors: If you think of the first year of X-Factor as a regression to more carefee youthful days on the part of the characters, would you consider the next two years of the book a look at the consequences of trying to re-live your school days and ignoring your more adult responsibilities and the long-term damage that can do and all the directions it can ripple outward in?

    Because to me, this period of X-Factor seems to have the running theme of “you tried to act like it was 25 years ago, and look at the mess that results.”

  4. David says:

    Re: the second-most-used title in history, is the first “Secrets and Lies”?

  5. Seth says:

    So the comment about Jubilee and Boom Boom meeting had me wondering when they would have met.

    If I’m not mistaken, I think the first real extensive meeting is during X-tinction Agenda. But they do end up fighting with each other non-stop over which of the two of them is better. Plus also playing die hard all over Genosha.

  6. McArdle says:

    I’m really glad that Skids eating toast made the episode. I know it isn’t really all that important in the X-Men scheme of things, but that scene made a big impression on me for whatever reason. I suppose the relatively prosaic annoyance of having your toast shoot up in the air add you try to eat it hit home for me as an example of the downsides of superpowers better than the overblown agonizing of Cyclops, ruing yet again his inability to take off his glasses.

    • Icon_UK says:

      I loved Skids but did always wonder how she did things like drink (If you have to forcibly SHOCE food into your forcefield to eat, how can you manage to get water through.

      (I also tried not to think about how the…. ummm… other end of the eating and drinking experience would work for the poor girl)

  7. Suzanne says:

    Question: How many times has Angel’s house in the Southwest been moved? In the Dark Phoenix Saga it was in New Mexico, here it’s in Arizona, I think it was in Colorado at one point. Does he have several houses or is it just a retcon like Beast’s blue/grey fur?

  8. gary says:

    These issues of X-Factor is like the mutant equivalent of Requiem for a Dream.

  9. David says:

    You know, it’s just a shame that Angel got blown up from inside the plane instead of by missiles or something; I’m sure he was really just missing the feeling of flying around for no logical reason, dodging projectiles with no apparent purpose or origin.

  10. Armaan says:

    Is there any relation mentioned at all between Master Mold’s Steven Lang creator and Scott Lang the Ant-Man? I mean, ordinarily I’d just take it for granted that they just happened to share a last name, but this is comics, and everyone is sort of somehow or ends up being related to someone else, if only tangentially!

  11. lastplaneout says:

    The Apocalypse/Doctor Doom sitcom would have to called “Doommates”, right? And Toad and Unus the Untouchable would have to be the Lenny and Squiggy characters.

  12. Icon_UK says:

    I think that some of your perceptions of these stories come from being able to read them en masse, for those of us who had to wait a whole month between gobbets of angst and depression it was a rather more disheartening experience.

    Three issues may be a half an hour of discussion for you, but it was an entire quarter of a year to us, and sweet lord that was a hell of a slog at times; “Another issue of overlong unfunny-farce level of bad timing and bad communications, peppered with downbeat moments. Yay?”

    I also have to say I was never able to find much time for Boom-Boom, mostly because she was, as you note, fundamentally obnoxious and self-centred, but again perhaps not helped by the time between issues, those were the bits that stuck in the memory, and she was never taken to task for her actions, or had to deal with the consequences. I already had to deal with enough obnoxious, self-centred people who didn’t have to deal with the consequences of their actions*, I wasn’t particularly interested in reading about them in my escapist reading.

    *And I probably WAS such a case a times too of course.

  13. ray says:

    Man, I just figured something! Shouldn’t Mr. Sinister and Rachel Summers team up? I mean, they both have the same goal: To fix Scott with Jean. This could be a great team-up!

    • Icon_UK says:

      Rachel is actually in more danger from Sinister than Scott would be, since she is _exactly_ what Mr Sinsiter has been after for all these years; a naturally conceived and matured offspring of Scott and Jean, and one with Phoenix hosting experience to boot!

      • Keran says:

        Huh. That would make a lot of sense. Is there a Sinister/Rachel story somewhere?

        …in the official canon, I mean. I don’t doubt the Internet has something to offer…

      • LAndrew says:

        Kinda stunned no one’s ever ran with that story.

        • Icon_UK says:

          Excalibur sort of did IIRC, with Sinister getting (or nearly getting?) a skin scraping from Rachel just as she disappeared into the timestream as part of the incomprehensible switcharound with Brian in “the crossover with the hologram cover whose name escapes me”… I want to say “Fatal Attractions” but I might be wrong. Don’t think anything ever came of it.

          • LAndrew says:

            That’s about when Brian was. . .Britanic, is that right? I think that was just after I’d stopped reading EXCALIBUR

      • ray says:

        Oh, right… It is weird then that he hadn’t don’t anything all these years she’s been around. Though he had time to genderswap.

  14. Kelvin says:

    Can September’s T-shirt of the Month be Rachel & Doug Ramsey saying in unison “Sterling Archer can go fuck himself!”? Please?!?

    Also, having held the top score in my local arcade on Road Blasters for a long damn time, you better freakin’ believe I had the Last Starfighter dream all the damn time. But alas, nobody ever asked me to catch anything on my car roof…

    • Icon_UK says:

      In fairness, Cypher was queried as “the gayest X-Man?” but that was by Pam, not Archer. Sterling is the one who comments that he’s not so sure about that as Gambit “looks like he knows his way around a pair of….”

  15. Maki P says:

    Okay, this cold open. Not only is a follow up to one of your earlier cold opens (and the one where you guys switch places), it’s about things that I read; the podcast and I are finally catching up!

    Now Warren. Warren sounds exactly like a dancer who looses his legs or an artist who looses his hands; I think he just needed to go an amputee support group

    • Icon_UK says:

      You mean the sort of thing we should have seen post M-Day with the poor schoolkids who had lost their powers? Great idea, but no, it was all “Let’s vilify them for daring to have lost their powers and then put them on a bus out of tow… BOOOM!…. umm.. well that was nfortunate, but problem solved”

      I think the only therapist we’ve actually seen near the X-gang (not counting Emma who tends to do it if she has an ulterior motive) were Doc Sampson in X-Factor and Gus Grimm, who Dani called in.

      • Keran says:

        Sort of on the subject but not quite, there was that misdirect after M-Day in ‘Generation M’, when Angel was pretending he lost his wings as a result. I liked the idea of him defiantly presenting his wing stumps to the world – so much, in fact, that I was disappointed when it was revealed as a ruse.

  16. Porthos Fitz-Shi'ar Empress says:

    X-Factor #12 was the first issue of the series I purchased/read as a kid, and remained out of context to me for years until the Essential X-Factor was released. The scene with Apocalypse just kinda hanging out in Famine’s bedroom always stood out, and I am glad I’m not the only one who found it hilariously bat-shit strange. With that as my only early reference for Apocalypse, reading AoA soon after made the whole thing amusingly farcical. Thank you both for the discussion of that lil treasure, it had me laughing so hard I could hardly breathe for several minutes.

    Also, while re-reading the X-books of this era with your podcast as a perfect excuse/encouragement to do so, it is interesting to see how Famine and War bicker, then later in the ’90s appear to be amorous. Then, even later, in a totally not creepy way, we find out Apocalypse is the sire of Famine’s offspring. Who is 616-Holocaust, uh, I guess? So, wait, how old was she when ole Lips was just chillin’ and looking at Autumn’s ’80s bedroom posters?

  17. Bina says:

    Aww, yes. I’m so glad Tabitha’s wardrobe got highlighted. I enjoyed the excitement over Skids, who does have cute clothes, but Boom Boom is my style icon. She’s my Magum, PI, who leads me to make the most questionable decisions.

  18. Slarti says:

    Apocalypse lurking in Autumn’s bedroom reminds me of all the times Darkseid’s done this. (Seriously, Google Image Search for “Darkseid sitting on couches”. It is absolutely a real thing throughout DC history.)

  19. Wilhelmina Danvers says:

    Clearly Dig Dug is preparing you for if you ever end up in Murderworld by accident, or if you get kidnapped by the Murder Grandpas.

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