Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

Rachel & Miles Review the X-Men, Episode 74

Week of February 17, 2016:

In which we are not impressed with Extraordinary X-Men (but enjoy its art); and finally weigh in on a recent theatrical release (because you demanded it).


  • Extraordinary X-Men #7 (00:29)
  • Deadpool (film) (04:46)

*Pick of the Week: Blind Onion Pizza (08:45)

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  1. So it seems to me that Jeff Lemire wants to write about an X-men team made up of the newer less experienced X-men (the way Storm and Nightcrawler seemed to be shaken by stuff that they did/saw hundreds of time in the past, the characters revelations on Colossus which come out of nowhere, the un-sureness of needing to be superheros again, and the huge taboo and sense of betray from the whole thing with Cyclopes).

    Now i don’t know if its true but its interesting to look at this series throw this lens. in my opinion it fits and it makes the series more interesting as a result but i’m interested in your opinions on this read…

    1. I can see that as being a possibility. I’m not against it, but I feel like to make it work, you’d need either a) REALLY different circumstances than the characters have dealt with before, or b) different focal characters, like maybe some of the younger ones.

      I know the world is a darker and different place for mutants after whatever Cyclops did, but to me, it doesn’t feel different enough to justify the character personality shift.

  2. My wife and I saw Deadpool next to a family who brought their 8- and 10-year-old kids. And then left them to go sit elsewhere in the theater. What the hell, people!

    My favorite X-Men things about the movie were (a) Colossus finally having a proper personality, even if his “giant steel goober” aspects were dialed up to 11; and holy crap this major motion picture had a proper New Mutants costume.

    (Also, it says something about Deadpool’s demographic appeal that I’m the comics fan in the couple, my wife has never cared enough to even see an X-Men movie on DVD…and going on opening weekend wasn’t my idea.)

  3. At this point I think there HAS to be more to whatever Cyclops did (dun dun DUNNNNN) than whatever version of the story the characters are currently running with. The big reveal is going to fall completely flat otherwise unless poor Scott was written so incredibly horrid that he’s intentionally kicking puppies or something.

  4. I found it interesting that while Deadpool was definitively not an X-Man… he IS a mutant. An artificially-induced mutant, but still, his powers came from his X-gene being activated. Has there ever been anything in comics about people forcibly triggering mutations? (certainly enough has been written about them trying to REVERSE them..)

    1. Sage has the actual power of making latent X-genes active and altering already active mutants.

      She activated Slipstream’s latent teleporation powers (for better or worse) and was, IIRC, responsible for Beast’s catlike mutation phase.

  5. To say EXM was disappointing is an understatement. The Weirdworld stuff was pretty much non-existent. Storm came across really, really wrong here. Why was she so out-of-sorts? And this “What Cyclops Did” mystery just gets more obnoxious every single time it gets referenced. The only good thing (aside from the nice art) was the Illyana stuff, with the hints of big things to come for her. I do not regret dropping this book in favour of using someone else’s digital code.

    I’ll be going to Deadpool on Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.

    1. I’ve now seen Deadpool. I loved it. It was hilarious, of course. But I also liked how the comedy was also used to enhance the tone of a scene. It served to heighten tension in appropriate moments.

      Also, the comedy was just excellent. The jokes were hilarious. Which is not always the case with Deadpool. It was very much the Joe Kelly take on the character, which I’ve always found to be both the funniest and the deepest.

      So, I loved the movie.

  6. I don’t think I enjoyed Deadpool as much as you guys, but there was one thing (other than Colossus) that made it all worthwhile: NTW’s black and gold costume! It’s just a classic, sleek, definitive design.

    It got me wondering, would you call that the classic New Mutants costume, or has it been used elsewhere? I think Kitty wore something very similar in Astonishing X-Men. Anyway I loved it and I hope it inspires a New Mutants movie.

  7. I felt the whole issue had a kinda “exploitative” feel to the way it treated Kurt’s trauma? I’m probably not using the right word, because that’s an entire different genre, but from the cover to the emotional beats of the story everything felt so gratuitous, as if it was asking me for an specific reaction. It’s like Lemire had an idea for an emotional plot, but he just wrote the pitch right in the comic without delivering it. The first time I saw the cover with Nightcrawler crying I felt like laughing, because it feels so much like the comic is asking me to feel sad and sorry for him, which I wanted to, because of course what happened in the issue was terrible to him, but it didn’t work to me. Which is bad, because I really want to like it.

    Am I being too harsh with Lemire? Maybe I’m being too cynic. Did anyone else felt the same?

    1. The whole thing reminded me of hurt/comfort fanfiction (a genre that’s exactly what it sounds like it is), which is weird because it’s a canon story and not something written by a fan as catharsis. That’s pretty much the only reaction I had to the issue, other than thinking Sunfire’s mask made him look like a lava fish.

      1. Now that you mention it, there is definitively a woobie fic feel to it. A lot of elements from this new series have a “been there, done that” feel to it, of which it’s hard to know how much is editorial mandate, and what is Lemire just playing with the narratives and characters he wants to as an x-fan.

  8. I understand that nobody will mind a bastardized version of Ellie Phimester, but what bothers ME about the use of the character (from the trailers at least, going to see it tomorrow night) is that instead of giving her NTW’s powers from the comics they seem to have basically given her Cannonball’s blast field instead of actually using my boy Sam who is not only a huge favorite, but was a support I mg character in DP’s book for a long time. Oh well. Maybe it’ll make sense when I see it…

    1. I agree in that I would have loved to see Sam, but I’m still g;ad we got NTW. It was also nice to have another female in the cast. I just hope we get a somewhat more earnest adaptation that has Sam Guthrie down the line.

      1. OK, seen it, haven’t laughed that hard & long in years. So it’s not REALLY Sam’s powers, but it’s close. And if NTW ends up in that same yellow & black in a New Mutants movie & Cannonball doesn’t… well… I guess there’s really nothin’ I can do about it.

  9. I have to agree with J, Jean’s new outfit looks weird. The lines are really bad AND she looks like she is super young – like 10 years old in it…

    Otherwise thanks for a great show as always

  10. I was sitting next to my fellow comics panellist (We talk at Perth, Australia conventions about comics)
    Exactly two people laughed when Deadpool declared “F*ck Leifeld”, me and my fellow panellist.

    1. If you’re talking about the scene where he walks into the bar, he says “Buck…Liefeld,” as in saying hi to those two characters. Also, the Liefeld he says hi to is actually Rob Liefeld, making a cameo.

  11. As a German, I can’t help but brood over the potrayal of Germany in EXM.
    The anti-mutant hysteria seemed to mirror the treatment of Jews in Germany after Hitler’s ascension, especially with the mass grave panel.
    On the other hand I’m curious if Lemire knows about the current political situation in Germany (and to an extent of the EU), where unfortunately xenophobia is shown more open and right-wing populist parties are rising in the polls. Can mutants be seen as a stand-in for refugees and
    Howsoever having the book set in Germany made me uncomfortable, because I know that people were treated like the mutants in this country I live in. I guess it is a good thing, since very few books make me reflect this much.

  12. I am a complete newbie when it comes to x-men, only getting into to it in the past few weeks (I watched one film and decided this was the franchise for me, for some reason). I enjoyed the first five issues of extraordinary x-men, and I agree that number six seemed to set up so many interesting things. Yet in this issue, stuff just kinda happened in it and the Nightcrawlers mind thing felt rushed… with a badly handled holocaust reference to boot! However, despite being a slog, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

    1. Wow, a full-on newbie. Welcome! Maybe consider reading the Dark Phoenix Saga or the Joss Whedon run in order to get an idea of how great X-men comics can be.

      1. Thanks, I’ve started Joss Whedon’s run and I’ve read the classic ‘God loves, man kills’ but dark phoenix is definitely on my list!

  13. I disagree about the “Noodle Incident”-ness of the Cyclops reveal. It doesn’t seem too drawn out or built up to me. It seems like the mentions of it are natural, and they’ll reveal it when they reveal it. I don’t feel the urgent need to know exactly what happened that everyone else seems to.

    I do agree with J’s opinion on Jean’s outfit though. It’s got a lot of the right elements for a good costume, just sorta clunkily put together.

    And Blind Onion Pizza is a great place to eat in PDX! Nice shoutout!

  14. Are they really gonna do it? Are they really going to pick Pizza as issue of the week? And say it without even a smirk?
    Yes they did. Yes they did. 🙂

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