Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

Jay & Miles Review the X-Men, Episode 76

Week of March 2, 2016:

In which we change title mid-series; Greg Land’s art continues to be divisive; Hawkeye brightens Old Man Logan; and Black Widow is better than *everything.*


  • Uncanny X-Men #4 (00:47)
  • Old Man Logan #3 (03:29)

Pick of the Week: Black Widow #1 (06:41)

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  1. Hurrah for name changes!

    UXM was pretty OK. The Shen Xorn scene was the best part. It helps that, as an X-Men fan, I do naturally enjoy needlessly-convoluted continuity, and Shen Xorn is the epitome of that. But Bunn just does a really good job with the character. Peaceful, philosophical, and then a straight-up badass out of nowhere. It was fun. Land is less awful than usual, but I still hate his work.

    OML was great. Kate Bishop is The Best. The. Best. Lemire clearly has a lot of fun with her. The art is also gorgeous. Sorrentino and Maiolo do amazing work.

    And Black Widow is pretty awesome. Really good debut. Samnee kills it, giving a great flow to the action. From what I’ve read, Samnee is the primary plotter on the series, so I imagine we’ll see a lot of action sequences, and probably lots of intrigue sequences. So it should be fun.

  2. I like your shirt, Jay.

    Black Widow was nice, I’ve been looking forward to it, but I wasn’t totally happy with the entire issue being one action scene. I feel as though that’s just too decompressed to be satisfying.

    OMG Kate Bishop… I may have to start reading OML now.

    Wonder if Land will be permanently off of UXM. I don’t want to start getting into that series and then find that he comes back for the next story arc.

    1. I would guess he’ll be back. Alternating artists is a common way of doing things.

      As an aside, much as I dislike Land as a line artist, I think he actually would probably be a great inker-finisher. Find a line artist who’s not great with details, and have Land fill that stuff in. He’s very good at that, most of the time.

  3. Woo title change! Here’s hoping for a gratuitous new #1 episode and 40 variant covers.

    I agree with XMenXPert that the Shen Xorn scene was the best part of Uncanny. It’ll really fun to have him around until his eventual reveal as a completely different character.

    The art in Old Man Logan is splendid and worth the cover price by itself. I’m a little concerned that the series is going to turn into a Logan team-up book, but his interaction with Kate Bishop worked a lot better than with Totally Awesome Hulk last issue.

    Black Widow was a joy to read. “Exhilarating” is the only word that can describe it. I can’t wait to see what they do with issue 2.

  4. 1. Trademark the word “Prevenge”. Charge a $1 donation to the podcast’s Patreon every time someone uses the word.
    2. Miles gives away $1 every time he uses the word Bullen.
    3. ???
    4. Profit

  5. I didn’t think about it until halfway through the issue, but Sorrentino drawing Hawkeye gives a great callback to his work for the Green Arrow comic, as well. And I would kill for a Green Arrow/Hawkeye crossover with this artist, but I suppose this is as close as I’m ever going to get.

  6. They Might Be Giants did a song called “Prevenge” a few years back, no doubt in retaliation for this podcast…

    The panel of the week and the spread it’s part of are very cool, but if you step back and think about it, why don’t they just walk? All this jumping and climbing over rooftops has got to be tiring, not to mention dangerous. I’d call it ‘gratuitous parcour’ but really, isn’t it all?

  7. Speaking of Xorn, I have a question for the X-perts that has been bugging me for years.

    Within the context of Grant Morrison’s run (cuz I know Xorn was totally retconned to not be Margneto later), was it ever explained how Magneto, posing as Xorn, was able to use super black hole powers, or how he had healing powers, and all of the other stuff he could do? Are we just chalking this up to the wonders of magnetism once again? Thanks!!

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think we ever SEE these “super black hole powers.” The healing was explained by infected people with and then removing nano-sentinels from people’s bloodstreams. That’s how everyone got sick in the mansion during that one arc. I’m going off of memory here, but I’m pretty sure it’s all explained in the Morrison run.

    2. Nanosentinels for creating and then removing disease is the only part I remember hearing said out loud. Star stuff is at least related to magnetism by way of physics…?

      I’m pretty sure there was a panel showing the star inside the metal skull mask early on.

  8. Hey you two! I love these weekly review videos, and I wanted to put forward an idea to expand them a bit:

    Most weeks there’s at least one new X-Men issue, but also some weeks (certainly not most) there are releases of new collections. New Trade Paperbacks or Hardcovers (oversized or normal); Omnibuses, Epic Collections, Masterworks, or Complete/Uktimate Collections, to name a few. The latest Gambit Complete Collection just came out, and the Rise of Apocalypse TPB and origin of X-Factor TPB will be out in the coming months.

    Have you thought about covering these too, at least in passing?

    I’m not proposing you buy every new HC or TPB as they come out (that would get expensive) but maybe there’s room to mention “Also out this week was the Trade Paperback ‘X-Factor: Genesis and Apocalypse’. It collects X, Y, and Z. In brief, it’s about (description). It is really good; I recommend it (or not, maybe). We actually cover this in episode # of the podcast, so listen for more info.”


    1. I’ve said this before, but the limits we place on scope aren’t generally random or accidental–we think this stuff through pretty carefully.

      When we started, we put our objectives in order; and first and foremost was to be long-term reliable and sustainable; and to be beholden to no one but ourselves and our listeners. Those things came–and continue to come–first. And one of the harder lessons we’ve learned over the last two years is to be really cautious in evaluating the financial and temporal cost of new commitments; which in this case (and a number of others) unfortunately means drawing the line before something that I agree would be really cool to do.

      We get questions and suggestions like this one a lot, and for the most part, they’re good ones; so I think it might be useful to kind of talk through the logistics of stuff like this, and what it often means when we say no. (FWIW: I’m not trying to lecture you personally–I’m responding with this here because the example you’ve given me breaks down really well in logistical terms, which makes it a really good tool for explaining this.)

      For instance: As you wrote, a lot of collections come out on a pretty ongoing basis; they’re expensive; and reading and reviewing them in any degree of reasonable depth would add a lot of time to what’s already a pretty tight schedule that, for one of us, also intersects with a full-time day job. It would also require us to have immediate access to those books on release, and I’m not sure how we’d manage that without buying, as Marvel doesn’t do review copies, we won’t have time to wait on inter-library loan (and assuming that a bigger/newer/cooler collection of previously published and collected material will appear on day one on the shelf rarely works out well), and most comics shops frown on people curling up in the corner for four hours to read books they don’t intend to buy.

      Could we make up the difference with Patreon and merch? Probably not, at least in the short-term. We make very little on merch–it’s not a breakeven, but it’s pretty close (that’s basically a tradeoff of PtO, which is worth it to us: we really don’t have the resources to handle our own printing and shipping on an ongoing basis). Patreon is awesome–and the support of subscribers there already lets us do a lot we wouldn’t be able to otherwise–but that’s also basically our operating budget: it doesn’t run on much of a profit margin, and growth tends to be incremental rather than exponential. Which, generally, is okay–we’re not looking to get rich off this, and it’s worth it to us to keep the podcast free of outside advertising–but it does mean that up to three figures of added weekly expenses, plus time commitment that breaks down to the same in terms of work hours we’d lose on other stuff, isn’t something we can add on a whim.

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