Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

92 – Living in Ship

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.
Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

In which X-Factor loves press conferences, Archangel provides many opportunities for terrible puns, Cyclops gets to be happy for a whole five pages, X-Factor learns how doors work, the X-kids are generous (except Boom Boom), Infectia makes monsters to fight the patriarchy, Ship is your cool aunt, and Destiny accidentally predicts Cable.



  • Apocalypse versus Ed Wood
  • X-Factor #27-31
  • Superhero mortality
  • Star-crossed mugger romance
  • Marvel Girl as, and not as, Team Mom
  • The greatest line in all of X-Factor
  • Ship’s anatomical resemblances
  • Combat and relationship discussion multitasking
  • X-Men Evolution Syndrome
  • Iceman as joker-by-necessity
  • Infectia and the Anti-Bodies
  • Rambo Nukes Commando In Nicaragua
  • Wacky sitcom humor
  • Warren Worthington, PI
  • Earth 13122 and LEGO optic blasts
  • Musical careers of the X-Men

NEXT WEEK: Magik versus Forge.

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

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is 100% ad-free and listener supported. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

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


  1. This is the first time I’ve posted an episode entirely on my own. Let me know if anything seems weird! I mean, weirder than usual.

  2. Hey, Obnoxio reference in the cold open. I actually had that Obnoxio/X-Men comic. It was so stupid. It’s a terrible comic. And Eye-Scream – what a weird, random villain.

  3. The episode was great, Miles – very definitely just the amoutn of weird I’ve come to expect from the show. A new high for punning, I think, too. Definitely a big contender for a compiled blue-per reel.
    (I couldn’t help myself)
    Also, I loved that you mentioned Lego Marvel because I was just playing that last night and was wondering the same thing that was asked.
    I haven’t seen the sentinel you mentioned yet, I JUST started the X-Mansion level, and I’m now dying to see it for myself.

    1. Every so often, since I guess the audio didn’t load fully, it just freezes indefinitely until I refresh. This time, it paused right after Miles did the “feeling blue” joke. I just thought it was so bad it left Jay speechless for a long time.

  4. Is it just me, or is X-Factor slowly turning into Fantastic Four.

    Cyclops + Mr. Fantastic = Disassociated Father Figure who always look at the big picture

    Marvel Girl + Invisible Girl = Motherly figure with kick-ass attitude

    Iceman + Human Torch = Youthful guy who is the heart of the team

    Archangel + Thing = Hates Body and is brooding because of what he became

    Beast + Thing = the tough-guy who isn’t all that smart who is in love with human non-superhero (i.e. Trish Tilby = Alicia Masters)

    and then eventually

    Baby Nathan = Franklin Richards = baby of super-potential.

    1. I mean, the original X-Men were supposedly conceived when publisher Martin Goodman told Stan Lee, “Give me another Fantastic Four.” So yeah, that would make sense.

  5. This post Fall of the Mutants era in the X-books is so weird. I remember really digging Inferno, but hearing these issues recapped reminds me of just how very strange the “status quo” in the books was around this time.

  6. I really enjoyed this episode. Which is funny because not a lot of things happened.

    Miles, if Marvel ever let a new X-men animated series come up I’m definitely starting a petition for them to cast you as Apocalypse’s voice.

    Also, I really wish to see now a fanart of santa Apocalypse! Like, really!

  7. I know I’m in the right place when the Pamela Winchell shout out happens femtoseconds after her name popped into my head too! 🙂

  8. X-Factor #28 was my introduction to the team and I instantly became a fan of the book based on that one issue. However, jumping onto the book in this era caused me to not realize a lot stuff about X-Factor right away. For one, it took me a couple of issues to realize that Jean Grey was NOT FIrestar (based on the old Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon, I just assumed that any book that starred Iceman would also star Firestar). Also, it wasn’t until a couple of years later that I learned the original X-Factor were also the original X-Men. Finally, it also took me a few years to realize that Beast had always been a super-intelligent scientific type. Before that I just saw him as the obligatory strong guy.

    I can’t wait until you guys get to Whilce Portacio’s run on X-Factor. That was a game-changer for me.

    1. I love how comics are like this. Wherever you first jump in is your own personal status quo. The very first X-Men I read was Grant Morrison’s run, and then went way way back to classic Claremont stuff. It was…jarring, to say the least.

  9. Oh and lover of the LEGO games though I am, and I SERIOUSLY am (Though I still suck at anything which involves having to steer a character in flight) I was disappointed that the customisable figure options DON’T include a classic X-Men/New Mutant training outfit… it such a simple, striking design I thought it would have to be in there somewhere, but no 🙁

  10. Okay, when it came up about what happens to Iceman’s Christmas tree, it made me wonder what happens to all of his ice slides and stuff? Is that ever addressed? Do they just magically sublimate? And where does the water come from?

    1. They just melt the way any normal ice does AFAIK, which is possibly dangerous for anyone standing underneath a constrcut one when it collapses under it’s own weight (the Christmas tree would have been such a case), but is at least vaguely environmentally friendly, kinda.

      According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe his ice slides and constructs are formed from ambient atmospheric moisture which he can draw to himself without really being aware that that’s what he’s doing. He’s certainly had problems a time or two in arid conditions where there just wasn’t enough water to form his ice.

      Bobby actually having some unconscious control over water, linked to his primary power to absorb heat (Which I say only so I don’t hear my old Physics teacher tut-tutting about how “You can’t ‘generate cold’!”, is I think one of those things certain writers have addressed but which has never really been consistent.

      Though I have always wondered where Bobby PUTS all the heat he abssorbs?

        1. Yeah, I did wonder about explaining that his heat absorbing powers were why he was never a flaming gay, but y’know, good taste and all… 😉

  11. It was in this group of issues that I began to dislike Jean Grey. It was touched upon in the episode, but Jean called Maddie a jerk, and that’s just a straight out terrible thing to do to someone who died. It wouldn’t be for another 30 issues or so until the event when I put this version of Jean Grey in the “unsalvageable” category.

    1. As a die hard Jean fan, this made me smile. I don’t mind people not liking my favorite character, but it does kind of get boring when they always say it’s because “She’s a perfect saint and thus, not interesting.” It’s actually kind of refreshing to see someone say they don’t like Jean because she can be kind of a jerk.

      1. Characters really depend on their writing. My first exposure to Jean was in X-Factor, so my impressions are her (and the rest of the cast) being the soapiest of soap opera characters. Had I read her being Phoenix first, I think I would have an affection for her that would have survived some of the bad writing and bad decisions.

        Had I started reading the X-books in the 90s…well, I probably wouldn’t have continued reading them. As it is, the X-books and I are currently not involved.

  12. Hey guys, I was curious about something and was wondering if you knew something that I might have missed when I originally read these issues of X-Factor.

    I seem to remember that for the first few years after Warren was physically transformed into Archangel, that we never saw him out of costume.

    I know that after he rejoined the X-Men they started to show that the blue and pink was just a suit he wore and not just his own altered skin, and that he still had blonde hair under a cowl.

    But until that reveal, was it implied that the costume was supposed to be part of Warren’s body and that he didn’t have hair anymore and that he was wearing something he couldn’t take off?

    Maybe it’s just a twenty year old memory and I’m remembering it wrong, but I remember see him take off the hood as a member of the X-Men Gold Team and having my eleven year old mind blown.


  13. YES! Jesus and I LOVE the Orgazmo reference. Should know by now you guys have excellent taste.

    “What makes a man, is it the woman in his arms…”

  14. Miles, that blue pun made me crack out loud. Thank you. I had such a crappy morning, I really needed a laugh. Bonus points to J for that solid follow up pun.

  15. Lego Marvel is my favorite videogame! I’m in the process of getting to 100% completion. But I don’t have a favorite like you do, to me it’s all the women, and Loki, and the Super Skrull ’cause he does freaking EVERYTHING (and those guys are gender-fluid, so it counts right?)

  16. Here’s my question.

    There seems to be many similarities between Ship in x-Factor and Friday, the Kymellian smart ship that adopts Power Pack. Particularly with the whole “I love you..”, “we’re family…” etc.

    Is this Louise Simonson recycling ideas? Or was an AI ship bonding with humans a popular trope in the late 80s? I’m kinda thinking, maybe it was – Flight of the Navigator etc.

    Either way, I love it in both X-Factor, Power Pack and later in Cable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *