Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

104 – The Noodle Incident (feat. Brett White and Dennis Hopeless)

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 Brett White joins us for a look at the current state of the X-line; Dennis Hopeless helps shed some light on a persistent mystery; Brett has a lot of feelings about the Dark Riders; All-New Wolverine is our everything; All-New X-Men is the new New Mutants; X-Men ’92 is the prize at the bottom of the continuity cereal box; we speculate on potential fatalities in the upcoming Death of X; and everything is probably going to be more or less okay.


  • Why everyone is mad at Cyclops
  • The Noodle Incident
  • How we variously define X-titles
  • The current state of the X-line
  • The 8-Month Gap
  • Secret Wars
  • Earth 616.1
  • Extraordinary X-Men (Current series)
  • Uncanny X-Men (Current series)
  • All-New Wolverine
  • Old Man Logan (Current series)
  • All-New X-Men (Current series)
  • X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever
  • X-Men ’92 (Current series)
  • The Dark Riders
  • Being personally invested in characters you don’t own
  • Favorite formats
  • The mystic end of the X-Men cinematic universe
  • Mysteries and mysteries

NEXT WEEK: Continuity Has Its Eyes on You: Live from ECCC with Kris Anka, Al Ewing, Scott Koblish, and G. Willow Wilson!

EDITED: NOODLE INCIDENT SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. We’ll be announcing the winners sometime between 4/18 and 4/22. Thank you to everyone who participated!!!

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



  1. Happy Anniversary!

    (Technically, it’s tomorrow, but I’m thinking of it today, so I’m writing it now.)

    On April 11, 2014, you posted your first episode. It’s now 730 days later, so the leap year ruined it, but it’s been two awesome years. Thank you, and we all love you two!!!

  2. Brett was a great guest! I was particularly glad that he was someone who has an ear to the ground on X-Men cancellation conspiracy theories, but also acknowledges how incredibly unlikely they all are.

    One thing that was briefly touched on but otherwise glossed over: Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers established that, at some point between Uncanny X-Men 600 and Secret Wars (the often-forgetten 8-month jump to “Time Runs Out”), there was a place called Nation X in which at minimum Scott and Hank lived, and in which they housed a Phoenix Egg (which Scott used to become Phoenixy again during Secret Wars). But there has been no mention of it anywhere yet. I’d like to hope that it was part of the re-created Earth-616.1, and that it was part of the Noodle Incident, but so far it hasn’t been referenced.

    I just like Nation X because I jumped into Ultimate Comics X-Men when that arc started. It was fun, but ended too soon thereafter.

    I also wanted to touch on what was said about old stories that we love, and how quitting comics doesn’t mean we lose those. I’m a huge fan of the old Star Wars Expanded Universe. I still have a massive collection of novels and comics that spans the vast majority of stories, though I stopped being a completionist a little bit before the whole line was declared “Legends” and would be ignored by the new movies.

    I remember at least three occasions in which new material was contradicting older material (the cartoon “The Clone Wars”; the 2013 “Star Wars” comic by Brian Wood which overwrote some old 70s comics; and the destruction of the whole Expanded Universe line before the new movies). Each time, a lot of fans flipped out, saying that the new stuff meant that the stories they loved from before didn’t count anymore. I repeatedly went on forums, asserting that quality was more important than continuity, and that those old stories still exist (I think I usually phrased that last bit sarcastically, inferring from their claims that Lucasfilm went to their houses to confiscate their old books). One of my comments was even quoted by a Dark Horse editor on their Facebook page (something about preferring a book that is amazing but contradicts a newstrip comic from 1981 over something that fits perfectly in the canon but sucks).

    Sorry for the long post, but I had thoughts I wanted to voice lol. Looking forward to your live podcast being posted next week!

    1. I always think of the Doors. Does anyone remember that the Dark Riders started out as “The Riders of the Storm”? A much cooler name, IMO.

  3. Is The Vampire Jubilee even in any of the current comics? Even as a secondary character? (maybe i just blinked and missed hearing her mentioned)(audio blinked)

    1. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t popped up after Secret Wars. Yet. A lot of characters haven’t.

      Before SW Jubilee was often in the adjectiveless X-Men.

  4. Tremendous description of Secret Wars by Jay!

    Also, does the description of Cyclops becoming the Phoenix “more organically and less creepily and dysfunctionally than happened in Avenger v. X-Men” include his whole humping the Phoenix Egg while using “Sexy Cyclops” pillow-talk (which naturally, comes off as more creepy than sexy).

    Not saying you’re wrong, just wanted to know if that was weighed in the balance… 😉

  5. Was Dennis Hopeless’s bleeped-out description of the Noodle Incident actually real? Like, I know most of it was inaudible, but I heard “Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Magneto,” which is a list of three of my favorite X-Men characters, so I’m really hoping it was.

    The comics sites I go on usually use volume-based notation, i.e., “Uncanny X-Men volume 4 issue #1” would be the first issue of Magneto’s Uncanny X-Men.

    1. I’d wager a modest amount of money that it was not real. If it was real, then J&M now know what the Noodle Incident was, and they now have to avoid saying anything in the podcast or on social media that might accidentally reveal it. I’d be surprised if Marvel is OK with that information being in the hands of anyone who’s not a current Marvel employee or creator.

      1. I worked it out, it’s “Cyclops fuck fuck fuck fuckity Magneto fuck fuck fuck fuck Goldballs fuck fuck fuck.”

  6. I’m actually with Brett on the ’90s villain teams being pretty great. I genuinely miss the Nasty Boys.

    I’m with Jay on EXM being frustrating. It should be so much more enjoyable than it is, but it’s so difficult to get into it.

    UXM is well-written, but Land sucks. Lashley’s art really made a huge difference.

    All-New Wolverine is so good! I’ve never liked Wolverine; I always thought he was a jerk, and not in a funny way – but I’m actually buying ANW in floppies. Because it’s so damned good. Great action, and some really fun stuff.

    Old Man Logan has gorgeous art. The story’s really good, too, but damn, Sorrentino/Maiolo. (Also, I would be so totally OK with Kate Bishop sticking around this book. Sorrentino draws her so incredibly well.)

    ANXM is without question the best of the team X-titles. Hopeless is killing it on the writing, and Mark Bagley is one of the best artists in comics.

    And I’m totally in agreement with “more everything.” Maybe they could try an Iceman solo? Either Iceman. Maybe an Iceman duo title?

    1. I’m about 6 months behind (I’ve had to seriously rebudget, so all my comics reading is through the Marvel Unlimited app for now), so I haven’t had a chance to see any of the post Secret Wars books/creative teams. I am not surprised Land isn’t a fit for the title. There was a recent interview with Cullen Bunn where it felt pretty obvious he was adhering to the “if you can’t say anything nice, say nothing” about their collaboration (on a related note, I am genuinely shocked Land continues to get such high profile gigs. Wasn’t it firmly established that he is the Chuck Austen of art?).

      1. Land does have fans. The thing is, because Land gets high-profile gigs, I think there’s a perception that he brings in readers. And I think it’s pretty much impossible for anyone not working at Marvel to know exactly what impact he has on a title’s sales.

        I suspect it helps that he’s very punctual, and by all accounts, a genuinely nice guy. Professionalism, punctuality and niceness are things that help anywhere, comics included.

  7. I’m glad someone else suggested Adam X will be the featured character in Death of X. That was totally my first thought (even though we all know it won’t happen).

    1. They would never kill off Adam-X the X-Treme. They know people would be revolting in the streets.

      Adam-X the X-Treme will never die. He’s too X-Treme to die. He might be able to die-x. Everything he does has an ‘x’ in it, as soon as he does it. That’s part of his X-Tremeness.

  8. I’m undecided as to What Cyclops Did, so depending whether I’m in a silly mood, a serious mood, or a meta mood, I have separate answers.

    On the silly front, let’s start with the fact that Marvel seems hell bent on painting Cyclops as a corrupted hero turned terrorist, no matter what, no matter how contrived. So the comic strip that Waiting For The T came up with seems as good as any: at a press conference Cyclops accidentally kicked a puppy into the puppy-powered long range ice cream melter and wi-fi disabler that someone else had set up behind him, and everyone blames him because the inhabitants of the Marvel Universe are vindicate and irrational ingrates.

    The serious possibility: post Secret Wars Cyclops had the Phoenix force, and tried to share it among mutants world-wide, reasoning that thus empowered they would be resistant to the poisoning by the terrigen mist cloud. For public relations reasons he did this on live TV during the confrontation with the Inhumans, but something went wrong, and the many mutants, inhumans and humans that were filled with the Phoenix force were empowered in a Bad Way, and were incinerated and killed.

    For the meta reason, I will make a comparison to the way that comic book characters Don’t Stay Dead. Working on the much discussed principle that comic creators tend to retcon the state of affairs to the way they remember from their own childhoods, I half expect that eventually the editorial mandate that Cyclops be a terrorist will lapse, in kind of the same way that the Legacy virus was summarily disposed of when it was no longer wanted as a plot element. It might be that any transgressions by Cyclops will be ignored (or, ala Iron Man, after a single emotional adventure with his friends/fellow franchise characters All Will Be Forgiven). But I think a better handwave would be that it was faked, either by Apocalypse or Mr Sinister. One or the other captured Cyclops, created a fake in order to ruin Cyclop’s reputation and then sent it to make a high profile public attack with maximum collateral damage. Then, once everyone hated Cyclops and thought it was a good thing he was dead (because the Marvel Universe is populated by vindicate and irrational ingrates) no-one would come to look for him, let alone to rescue him. And gosh, that excuse could be backdated to any arbitrary point within the last few years of the Dark Cyclops characterisation.

    I’ll stop blathering in a cynical manner now.

    1. “vindicate”
      You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means. Try “vindictive,” if your intended meaning is what I think it is.
      I like your ideas though. (Or rather, I cynically appreciate the third idea but hope it will not actually be what happens.)

  9. Excellent episode as always. My personal Noodle Incident Theory:

    Under the advisement of Layla Miller, Cyclops is forced to interact with Damien Tryp who is revealed as an Inhuman, not mutant, who has been trying to bring about the Inhuman rise through various time travel escapades. Layla’s role is essentially to ensure that Emma Frost gets (and stays pregnant) with Ruby Summers who will lead the eventual Summers Rebellion. How it all blows up is any one’s guess, but Cyclops has to wind up as a cyborg working for Dr. Doom at some point right?

  10. I would kill for the MLF to make a return and be a viable threat. So many great characters being squandered there. Really wish someone would bring back the Soul Skinner. Could do so much with him.

    Also what did Cyclops do? Pissed that Cyclops was unable to make mutants a protected people The Isolationist fough and beat him then teleported him far into space.

    1. The MLF were great. I loved Tempo. And Thumbelina! Thumbelina was amazing! She was a fat woman whose weight wasn’t a joke or a character flaw or a sign of her being gross, but was just a part of who she was. A couple characters made fun of her weight, but they were clearly presented as being jerks, and the narrative never treated her weight as anything she should be ashamed of.

      Something like that is unheard of at Marvel, and has been for 25 years. You have no idea how desperately I want Thumbelina to show up again, still overweight, and still cool. I want her to be treated the same way she was under Liefeld. And that is perhaps the only time anyone will ever point to Liefeld as the ideal for treating a character. (Though, of course, Nicieza deserves plenty of credit, too, as he wrote the dialogue that avoided fat-shaming. Which shouldn’t be surprising, given how socially-conscious his Nomad run was, among other work he’s done.)

  11. NOODLE-INCIDENT THEORY: Cyclops invaded New Attilan. While Medusa was giving a menacing speech condemning his trespassing she trips on her hair and falls flat. Cyclops, shocked at the fall, begins to laugh a hearty laugh of pure joy. His body rejects the joy and explodes killing him and destroying part of Manhattan.

  12. Noodle incident: the perils of red-tinted glasses means that Cyclops accidentally wore orange slacks with a purple top one day. The resulting fashion disaster was so bad that nobody’s forgiven him since. Even Kitty Pryde, noted X-Men fashion disaster herself, could be heard saying “there’s bad and then there’s just BAD.”

  13. AHAHAHAHA! Dennis Hopeless’ disclosure had so many beeps I sincerely momentarily forgot what I was listening to and thought there was a severe weather alert!

  14. While we’re talking about about random 90s X-Men villain teams, I want to mention the team of Mojoverse villains that turned up in one X-Men annual and never again, and I was obsessed with as a teen.

  15. I wasn’t aware of the new X-Men ’92 series until I listened to this episode. I picked up a copy of issue #2 from my local comic shop. The print quality was quite bad on about nine pages of that copy, but I otherwise enjoyed it. Also, Gambit’s collar and breastplate colors were reversed in one panel each on two separate pages and I cannot decide if that was an intentional nod to ’90s quality.

  16. These misunderstanding cold opens are by far my favorite. Even tho I’m sure, as long as you’ve known each other, you are far better at actual communication, cold opens like this make me imagine dinner time at the Stokes-Edidin house as a Laurel & Hardy-esque comedy of errors.

    “Hey, Jay, what do you want?”
    “Peace on earth, goodwill toward man.”
    “No, no, I mean tonight.”
    “I’ll just settle for the goodwill then.”
    “No, while I’m in the kitchen.”
    “Well, there’s already plenty of goodwill in our kitchen. How about a new gas range?”
    No, I mean what do you want for dinner?”
    Oh, I already grabbed a bite on the way home.”

    1. Pretty much, although you’re probably overestimating my benevolence:

      “Hey, Jay, what do you want?”
      [Crow T. Robot voice] “I want to decide who lives and who dies!”

      …and so forth.

      1. Eh, after 100+ pocasts where the word “goodwill” has never crossed you lips, I kinda figured. Just thought I’d give ya the benefit of the doubt tho… 😉

        And speaking of Crow, I would watch the hell out of you 2 heckling the X-movies MST3k style.

  17. In that episode you talk about the current universe no longer being 616 and not having a name yet. But in the recent issue of “Spider-Women Alpha”, when Cindy Moon from Earth-65 arrives to the current marvel earth, she’s welcomed to Earth-616.

  18. I can only assume that what Mr. Hopeless said in the cold open was extremely dirty. And given the normal content on this podcast, the bar for getting bleeped must be extraordinarily high. Yikes!

  19. IIRC, Siena Blaze and a handful of other characters crossed over with Malibu Comics in a series called “Exiles,” that also included Reaper and the Juggernaut. Juggernaut promptly returned, of course, but I don’t know whether Reaper and Siena Blaze were ever seen again.

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