Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

113 – Play It Again, Patch

CONTENT NOTE: Episode 113 contains fairly extensive discussions of fictional violence, including gun violence. If you don’t want to listen to that right now, that is absolutely okay. If you want to listen to it later, it’ll still be here. And if you never want to listen to it, that is absolutely okay, too.

We were on the fence about whether to post this episode today. We ultimately decided to go ahead, for two reasons:

There’s value in routine in the face of tragedy.

There are times when continuing to exist visibly and publicly is itself an act of defiance.

Love and solidarity to everyone who’s grieving right now, and especially to our Florida friends and family, and to fellow members of the queer community.

-Jay & Miles



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 Wolverine gets an ongoing series; the constitution of Madripoor is probably just a list of pulp noir genre conventions; Tyger Tiger is a kinder, gentler crimelord; Jessica Drew gets possessed a lot; the Silver Samurai and Lindsay McCabe are our dream team; Joe Fixit is a font of endless delight; and someone should probably sit Wolverine down and explain how disguises work.


  • The Murasama
  • The other Murasama
  • Life after Inferno
  • Madripoor
  • Wolverine #1-10
  • The Princess Bar
  • O’Donnell
  • The hierarchy of Casablanca references
  • Roche
  • Razorfist
  • The Inquisitor
  • Sapphire Styx
  • Tyger Tiger
  • What makes a good solo series
  • Lindsay McCabe
  • Wolverine’s signature drink
  • Possession pants
  • Silver Samurai (again)
  • Patch
  • Bloodsport & Roughouse
  • Archie Corrigan and his plane
  • Landau, Luckman, & Lake
  • Chief Tai
  • General Nguyen Ngoc Coy
  • Prince Baran and His Remarkable Pants
  • Joe Fixit
  • The worst possible way to celebrate someone’s birthday

NEXT EPISODE: Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown!

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

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  1. Thank you for posting this today of all days. It really helps me. The podcast I listen to, the normal in a chaotic world, really helps me keep the thoughts and fears at bay.

  2. I think your comments on Patch’s disguise and the murdering thing help highlight why I found this era of the X-men so disgruntling. I don’t know if it was editorial or Claremont losing it or my secret theory that at least 50% of the plotting was done by the artists or what, but it just feels like a bunch of crap thrown against the wall with no regard to if it made any sense together.

    Was “Patch” even part of the original concept of those first issues, or was it just added in after the pencils were done to give lip service to covering up the glaring continuity hole? Why is the only serious effort to keep the fact the X-men are alive a secret solely directed their former teammates? (I mean seriously, the Silver Samurai gets to know but Nightcrawler doesn’t?!)

    (Rant aborted so that I don’t spend all day at it…)

  3. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I’ve been getting “Database error” multiple times the past few weeks when trying to load your site. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m going to assume it’s because you guys have outgrown your servers, so CONGRATULATIONS!

    Also, I have always wanted a Wolverine/Robin Williams crossover: Patch meets Patch Adams! One is the best there is at what he does, the other is Wolverine in a lame disguise. Together they will make the children of Madripoor laugh again!

  4. I was kind of going to do a whole lyrics thing for…Tiger Tyger, is it? Is this the same person as Tyger Tyger from the X-23 series who’s crimelording it up under Daken and has finally chosen to just stick with one spelling?
    Anyway, there really IS a lotta overlap with The Lady Is A Tramp and The Lady Is a Tiger.
    Plus it’s really hard to find a good rhyme for tiger.
    Plus I was afraid I was going to get another “Don’t you think you’ve done enough, son?” Cyclops image.
    I do really like that point about Wolverine drawing a weird line being the most violent of the X-Men advocating that the X-Men can’t be all that violent. It really feeds into his stance on Schism, which is one I was fascinated by.

  5. I wonder if part of the reason why Bloodscream’s vampire-ness is so wierd and ambiguous is that Marvel wasn’t supposed to have vampires at the time. Earlier in the 80s, Doctor Strange fought Dracula and cast a spell that killed all the vampires in the Marvel Universe. All of them. No More Vampires. In the late 80s people started wanting to use vampires again–IIRC, Peter David wanted to have some in the next Wolverine arc, the Gehenna Stone Affair too and had to use a different kind of pseudo-vampire. Before long vampires were officially brought back in Doctor Strange, and Dracula himself was un-killed a bit later.

  6. The “order a non-macho drink to start a fight trick” is a plot-point used by Di Caprio’s character in The Departed, so maybe Leo and Logan have hung out together?

    1. I think it goes back further, sometimes for dramatic effect, usually for comedy. There’s a 1946 Bob Hope/Bing Crosby movie, “The Road to Utopia” where they walk into a tough saloon and Hope orders “A glass of milk”. Crosby quickly nudges him and gestures towards the shocked looking toughs and so Hope quickly adds “… AND IN A DIRTY GLASS!”

      In fairness he wasn’t actually trying to start a fight (anything but in fact) but it’s what those sort of scenes always make me think of. 🙂

      1. I also kinda remember the recurring bit from Final Justice (the Joe Don Baker movie that was featured on MST3K) where JDB’s character keeps going into bars, ordering milk, getting into fights, and then ending up in lockup.

  7. For whatever it might be worth, Tyger Tiger under Claremont is a fairly direct one-for-one swap of Peter O’Donnell’s “Modesty Blaise.”

    Modesty had the same background as a crime figure and the same vague scruples; she’d kill or run off anybody in her territories who dealt with drugs or slavery, but was still highly involved with industrial espionage, thefts, smuggling, and other assorted, relatively victimless crimes.

    If you’re a fan of this kind of noir story, Titan Books has a number of high-quality collections of the “Modesty Blaise” strips, and they’re well worth your time.

  8. The events of Saturday night were definitely pretty rough.

    Ah, Madripoor. It was always fun. Some of the more recent stories set there have been a bit disappointing. Though that Avengers World arc features a giant Shang-Chi doing kung-fu on a dragon with a city on its head. So, you know . . . yes. Obviously, yes.

    That MCP arc is OK, but I didn’t find it all that great. It’s cool that Tyger Tiger was brought in, because she’s a cool character. And I do think Razorfist probably works better as a Wolverine antagonist than he did as a Shang-Chi antagonist, but he’s still a goofy villain. And the story itself is just kinda bland.

    The ongoing was better. If for no other reason than Jessica Drew and Lindsay McCabe. Those two are so great. Lindsay, in particular. She’s a delight. She is such a great character. She’s really fun. She’s cheerful and enthusiastic and friendly. And then she’s just got all these skills that she’s picked up from her show business career. She’s so good! And she plays off Jess so well, too. Lindsay’s so nice that even the Silver Samurai can’t help but love her!

    The fact that no one in Madripoor can stand a Long Island Iced Tea does kinda make the Madripoorians look pretty weak.

    It would be cool to see a deeper exploration of Silver Samurai’s power. I would love it if he was shown just grabbing, say, a steel bar and charged it with energy.

    The second arc is a great story. Roughouse is really great. I’m less fond of Bloodsport, but he does have his charm. But most important, Karma! I’m a huge fan of Karma, so I loved seeing her here.

    One thing I do find weird, though, is that we see Jessica Drew climb a wall. And she’s got strength. She wasn’t supposed to have powers at this time, but she definitely shows some of her power.

    With the armour, my guess was just that this arc took place before Psylocke is shown with the armour in UXM.

    Mr. Fixit! That period of PAD’s Hulk run was awesome, and this arc was so damn fun.

    The Sabretooth story was good. It is, I think, one of the best Sabretooth stories. And I think it works because Sabretooth, as a character, sucks. So him being depicted more as a force of nature works much better.

  9. Miles, could you expand on this side note you dropped at 37″ about Norse Dark Elves somehow being the basis for modern vampires? I’ve been reading up on Norse mythology for almost forty years now and vampires for thirty, and that’s the first I’ve heard of it.

    On an unrelated note, have you checked out Thor: Myth to Marvel by Martin Arnold?

    1. Our DM Harrison did a bunch of research when he was preparing a Norse mythology-based D&D setting, which is where I first heard of a potential link. I think I overstated the Svartalfar/vampire connection in the episode (the joys of unscripted recording!) – I don’t know of a direct causal relationship, but there are a few neat parallels. (Note that since dark elves and dwarves are conflated in Norse mythology, this applies roughly equally to both.) From Wikipedia:

      -They are either born from Ymir’s blood or are the maggots that fed on his flesh.
      -They are described as “black as pitch” and looking like corpses.
      -Nightmares and other sleep disorders are attributed to them

      So nothing direct, but if I were looking for a vampire equivalent in Norse mythology, I’d start in Svartalfheim. Were dark elves an indirect inspiration for vampire mythology? Maybe, maybe not – but it’s a cool idea.

      (And I haven’t read that, but if I can find time in between podcast reading, I’d like to!)

      1. When there are parallels, many scholars see the causal relationships between Norse Mythological creatures and figures from elsewhere as going backwards- ie- the southern European scholars are influencing their recordings of the Norsemen’s stories through their own understandings and lenses.

        This kind of brings everything about Norse mythology into question. Was Odin chaining himself to a tree an echo of the Jesus story? Is the story about Ymir’s overthrow by his god children really a superimposed tale of Cronos and Zeus? Were light elves really so close to Christian angels? Was the creation myth about giant basically sweating out all of the other gods from his armpits a parody or pagan beliefs made up by the Christian scholars that recorded it?

  10. Wolverine mini-series is one thing I couldn’t invest myself into. Even listening to the episode I didn’t care for the plot nor the characters and I was kinda idly waiting for something to happen. I guess its premise is weak and Wolverine being in the spotlight all the time had done it for me.
    I don’t think I read Wolverine & Havok mini-series. The name of Wolverine in it does make me irk. Is this the age were we begin to see Wolverine everywhere and all the time? Man, that’s a thing in XMen I don’t find myself missing…

    The point about Sabertooth is interesting though. I completely agree about what you said. It’s like the symbolic fued between Wolverine and Sabertooth has always been a thing in the past. While watching the XMen 90s cartoon it was always seem like a big deal. And it kept being that way in other media too. But each time it was seem like Sabertooth is losing it’s edge. The Wolverine deification, the obssesive need to show him as “possibly the most dangerous mutant ever” (that’s a qoute) – Always as a badass, which really only made him redundant – had inevitabley raised the need to change the relationship between Wolvie and Sabers strength ratio. So instead of objectively being the better one, Sabertooth had diminished into just being a pain in Wolverine’s ass, that he wouldn’t cut off because of his moral restraint and limitations (That can be seen clrearly in one plotline in the 90s, were Wolverine actually cut loose and simply killed Sabertooth). That makes Sabertooth more of a nuisance, and a pathetic rival to Wolverine. I think that’s the version we can see today in the movies and even in Xmen evolution and W&tXM. Hell, maybe it’s in XMen TAS too and I just don’t remember well.
    Anyway, I think it’s a shame, cause Sabertooth being the way you described it in the episode as the way it was intended to be seems awesome in so many levels, and it can truley save some of my own Wolverine fed-off as it would make him a much more vulnerable and much more interesting…

  11. First, I want to say, considering recent events, this podcast provided some needed levity, so thanks for putting this episode out. Said levity was enhanced with an incredibly specific image that came in my mind when Miles described Fantomex in an animal carrier.

    Said image is a group of X-Men, standing next to an absurdly large animal carrier (which holds Fantomex), with big earnest, awkward grins on their faces, as if they’re trying to carry out a truly terrible plan (which they are), on their faces, as a security guard looks on with a dour “Uh-HUH” look on his face. The animal carrier is labeled “Dogmatix”, and there’s a word balloon coming out of it saying “Le Yip!” My brain is imagining this being drawn by Phil Foglio, if only because he’s really good at drawing big earnest awkward grins.

    Hopefully that image will bring as much amusement for you all as it has for me.

    Anyway, continuing the trend of “Count_Zero contextualizes X-Men through Anime.” Madripoor reminds me a lot of a similar city from a later manga and anime series – specifically Roanapur from Black Lagoon by Rei Hiroe. Roanapur doesn’t have as many overtly superpowered beings (though various characters have shown up displaying abilities that are arguably superhuman – Roberta, Shenhua, The Vampire Twins, Sawyer The Cleaner, and Faviola in particular) – but it is a similar hive of scum and villainy in a similar part of the world.

  12. The “CONTENT NOTE” is one of the many reason of love you both and love this podcast. I have been an X-Men fan since I was 5 years old and their diversity and their struggle has always spoken to me in a big way. Having the X-Men X-plained by people that have the advantage, the burden, and the responsibility of seeing the world through a queer lens means the world to me. What happened in Orlando has hit me incredibly hard a it has many others within the LGBTQ community. I am so glad to have people like you both in the world doing what you are doing. Thank you so much for everything!

  13. So i’ve been thinking about the Amalgam universe recently, so I have this question: Which DC characters would you amalgamte the X-Men with, and what would be their Amalgam names?

    Since there are a lot of X-Men let’s keep this simple and limit it to the Original five, Xavier, Magneto, and Wolverine. Though If you wanna do more, that’s no problem

  14. Hehehe, just wait and see how Peter David addresses “Patch” in the next few issues…

    Anyway, wow, Newhart! There were these three recurring characters on that show whose running gag was that (a) two of them had the same name and (b) they always introduced themselves the same way. You can check out their debut on the show here (at 2 minutes and 30 seconds if the timestamp doesn’t work):

    Sabretooth being Wolverine’s dad was something retconned a good deal before Wolverine: Origins, actually. Larry Hama did the deed back when he was writing the Wolverine ongoing, in a story that also introduced… Elsie Dee and Albert! Comics Should Be Good covered that here (and really get into it in page 2)

  15. Someone correct me if I am am wrong…and I fully admit I might be… but I believe part of the reason the Hulk doesn’t recognize Patch as Wolverine in these issues is I think this is the first time he has seen him without his mask.

    Still no excuse for Jessica. BUT Wolverine wasn’t in Uncanny 206 … because of Uncanny 205… so it’s possible Lindsay hadn’t seen him without a mask (and thus off the hook) here as well. Again, someone let me know if I’m mistaken.

  16. I’ve often wondered if this period of Wolverine (and the X-Men as well) was Claremont’s way of ensuring that no one else can use his characters in guest appearances. They’re all presumed dead, and they’ve been shuffled off to a different continent, which makes them pretty much off-limits. Given the popularity of the characters at the time, other writers must have been super-keen to write them. Wolverine especially. Clever of Claremont to deny them, whether or not it was on purpose.

  17. I like to imagine Gateway would get increasingly irritated with Wolverine’s constant jaunts back and forth between Madripoor and Australia. “Damn it, Logan, it’s three in monrning!”

  18. The subplot with Karma’s siblings was really drawn out, as I recall. It got lost in the shuffle a few times, especially once the 90’s hit. Didn’t it not get resolved until that Beast mini-series in like 1997?

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