Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

102 – Baby Race 2000

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 Beast’s DNA is basically held together with spit and baling wire; Boom Boom wins MVP; Angel goes full goth; Cameron Hodge loses his head; Cyclops is basically a Silent Hill protagonist; and the Nebraska Department of Social Services is probably not adequately equipped to deal with Mister Sinister.


  • The Horsemen of Death
  • X-Factor #32-35
  • Xartans
  • Superheroic triage
  • A vague prophecy
  • Fake Avengers
  • Fake-band disambiguation
  • KiLLeR DWaRfS
  • Crippled Puppies
  • Audiophile Apocalypse
  • Shopping
  • Dubiously zealous trademark protection
  • Acronym disambiguation
  • The death of Candy Southern
  • The not-exactly death of Cameron Hodge
  • Nanny
  • Orphan-Maker
  • Baby Race 2000
  • An orphanage that is also a metaphor
  • Unreliable narration
  • The dubious partnership of Mister Sinister and Apocalypse
  • Best iterations of Boom Boom

NEXT EPISODE: Excalibur goes ongoing!


  • Malicious inanimate objects
  • Early signs of Marvel Girl’s returning telepathy
  • First clues of Cyclops’s connection to Sinister
  • First mention of Goblin Queen by name

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  1. Wait, shapeshifters called Xartans? Not to be confused with the master of disguise, Zartan, I presume. From G.I.Joe. Which Marvel was publishing at the same time and which DeFalco had a heavy hand in the creation.

    Please tell me they had the same eye blot face paint.

  2. Can we talk about the short shrift given to Candy Southern in these issues? She was such a strong presence in early ’80s New Defenders — at least the team’s manager, if not de facto leader — I have a hard time believing that she wouldn’t have put up a fight when The Right’s goons came for her.

    Even if she *had* to be refrigeratored for the sake of Warren’s character development, we should have seen her go out in heroic style. Same ultimately problematic conclusion, but at least a more respectful context.

    1. I join this train. Candy was one of my favorite non-mutant characters. Best non-human girlfriend, and a great addition to Warren’s character. She was single-minded, had her own personality. I could easily be drown to read and explore more about her. Still remember that one Avenger issue when she and Warren are just driving along through the country and get attacked by the Ghost Rider. It was such a delight. They were such a cute couple.
      Then she suddenly got the axe. And on the backstage, to say the least!

    2. I agree with this completely and I never even read the New Defenders. She seemed like too interesting a character to essentially disappear and get killed. It was shocking, no doubt, but it felt like it was forced too much to serve the plot (and fuel Warren’s anger) than anything at all natural.

    3. Actually, I think Scott Lobdell might have felt the same way. UXM #306 has a duplicate of Candy show up, infected with the Transmode Virus. Cameron emerges from her, linked to her, and she beats him by tearing herself apart. Lobdell gave her agency in her own death. I do get the impression that he was trying to make her death less problematic by letting her die on her own terms. It’s a weird story, but pretty decent.

    4. X-Factor (the book) needed to shuffle off and get rid of a lot of relationships and supporting characters to assemble the original five X-Men. Candy, Madelyne, even Vera and Cloud and especially Sassafras, Beast’s dog!

  3. I wonder if there are enough characters that play the “queerness lead to villainy” trope to make LGBT dating apps in the Marvel Universe considerably different. If there are enough of them they might even have a an app just for queer villains, an evil queer Tinder.

    Actually I wouldn’t mind a comicbook series that is basically anthology of queer villains dating life, hm.

    Can somebody get Nick Spencer in this.

    (What I’m talking about)

  4. I can’t speak for the trademark law, but clearly Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil should sue everyone.

    1. I’ve been thinking for a while that Jay and Miles need to team up with Law and the Multiverse to handle these kinds of tricky maritime law questions.

  5. I loved Nanny and the Orphan-Maker. They were so gorram weird, and I loved them. I wish they’d return.

    The orphanage issue was really good. Very messed-up, and really chaotic in a fun way, once the battle begins. I do find it funny, though, that Jean’s niece and nephew basically don’t show up again, for years after this. The whole plot ends up abandoned.

  6. WHOWW Whowww, careful with the spoilers pleeeese ‘nthx. not everyones caught up to present day comics yet. im only upto 1998. i had to drop sopmething to rip the earbuds out, when answering the listenner question of why the sinister apoc team up all th time 🙁 anyways, no biggy big, great EP. !:D

    1. 1) We are a podcast whose primary purpose is in-depth critical discussion of previously published comics. That we will sometimes discuss plot details from those comics should reasonably be taken as a given; nor do we think it’s reasonable to expect us to reliably anticipate which of those often decades-old comics each of our 15k listeners may or may not have read.

      2) That said, we do our best to spoiler tag major reveals from current and recent series. That category does not include twenty-plus-year-old material that at this point is thoroughly embedded in canon. (Incidentally: The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix–the series referenced in that answer–was published in 1996.)

      1. Ohh its from 1996? Ohhhh oook my bad, guess i shouldnt have skipped that one 😛 / ill hafto go back and try again to make it through that one. The art was lil…unsettling / threw me off,, didnt finish it. Anyways u gus rock! Loved the claremont EP. Man,, that was a treat. Other pods have had him on b4,, but not for such a nice long in depth time duration like that EP. Although haha we all couldnt get over, how, slow, he, said, every, word, for, someone, so, famous, for, excessive, text,, in the uncanny xcast fb group 😛 😀 keep up the good work guys. Ur easily the hottest up and comer ,/, rookie of the yr award, on the X-Pod scene. Hey, whuts ur guys fav ,/ listen to any of the other xpods? Ive been on the podcast that goes snikt 3 times now ! 🙂

  7. “Icepick”, just sayin’. And this post is going to edge toward Uncomfortable Stuff That I’d Like Help Dealing With.

    (I promise no angsty replies will result from your input.)

    The treatment of the teenaged mutants associated with X-Factor are the redeeming Factor. Rusty and Skids (who initially had potential, but continually got sidelined by editorial focus on $crossover$) could’ve been great, and they shine for a minute here. Artie and Leech are sorrowfully underused characters. Rictor, well … I have no opinion about Rictor other than I wish he got to be more awesome.

    This is the moment I decided to axe my X-Factor subscription.

    First the visuals: I’m not sure what was going on in Walt’s mind at the time, but the pencils here are sloppy. Yes, he does capes wonderfully, and his line work really lends itself to the action of comics. Perhaps he was pressed for time, but comparing the work here to the X-Men/Teen-Titans crossover, he falls short. The only redeeming quality, for me, of the design of Death/Angel/Archangel’s costume was that it made sense when you figured out that Apocalypse was using Celestial tech.

    Second, the cheap plot devices: Infectia was a crappy bad guy. Superpowered-lady-divides-bros was the basis of her “interesting” elements, and really appeared to serve the purpose of repowering Beast.

    Third, Cameron Hodge: Having gotten used to the Claremont Long Game, the sudden (to me at the time) Hodge Decision to Be a Bad Guy seemed forced (even to a 15-year-old person). Regarding the comics trope of the issue …

    I have nothing to say about the trope itself. It remains a problem in comics and writing and society. However, when it comes to superhero comics in particular, (given X-books’ morality of “an’ it harm none”) I suggest that perhaps a subconscious rebellion occurs here on the part of the writers, one that says, “Look here, Ye mighty, and observe the results of oppression.”

    [sigh] Given the obvious wish-fulfillment aspects of superhero comics, I realize this is a weak line of thinking. However, I’ve observed cis-males reacting wildly, even violently to gender segregation, and well, it makes sense in a sanctioned-male way (in the – or reacting to the – 80s) to punish the person who awakened us to (our “other”) sexuality.

  8. Quick “um… actually…”: it’s “baling” wire. As in, wire one would use to bale hay, not wire one would use to bail water from a boat (how to bail using wire is left as an exercise for the reader).

  9. How much time had passed by this point within X-Factor since Rusty was introduced as a member of the U.S. Navy? If it had been longer than 30 days, it seems like being a deserter should have been one of the consequences he was facing after #33.

  10. Before going after the Axis of Evil, perhaps Freedom Force should hop over to DC and talk to the Brotherhood of Evil.

    1. Or better yet the Brotherhood of Dada, just because they were awesome! (They were originally going to call themselves as the new Brotherhood of Evil, but Mister Nobody thought that was outdated)

  11. Angsty, loner Archangel is the best Angel.
    Which is to distinct from 90s Archangel, which was just angsty and boring.

  12. Mid-90’s Excalibur supporting character Rory Campbell/Ahab was Famine for a few minutes in “The Twelve.”

  13. Don’t be rude to Nebraska my home state I take offense even though it’s marvel universe Nebraska and not real Nebraska

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