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In which Jubilee makes her fabulous debut, the X-Ladies visit Hotbods, the X-Dudes accidentally (and drunkenly) save the world, Longshot is Sexy Johnny Karate, the only thing worse than one anti-mutant super-robot is two, and we say goodbye to a quarter of the team.
- Hellfire Club leadership
- Uncanny X-Men #244-247
- Team-relative Inferno after-effects
- Jubilation Lee
- Teddy girls
- The surprisingly not-dead M Squad
- Chaos (but not KAOS)
- Dazzler, heart and/or steamroller of the X-Men
- Miles’s alternate career as alien archivist
- DC’s Invasion
- Logan’s Guide to Kissing Etiquette
- Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown continuity disambiguation
- Sexy dead girls
- Perils of the Siege Perilous
- Sharon Kelly
- Rogue, Carol Danvers, and relative (im)maturity
- The MTV Generation
- Wolverine’s hair
- X-(misc.) Forever
- Storm’s threads
NEXT EPISODE: The New Mutants drop out.
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No illustration this week, but David Wynne‘s art will be back next episode!
So many mosquitoes in Australia. And mosquitoes kill more people than any other animal so, yeah. Not many mosquitoes in the desert of course, and Australian ones aren’t bigger or scarier than anywhere else. They are bloodthirsty though. Because that’s what mosquitoes do.
Up until maybe the late 80s, Australians were well known for being laconic and cheeky. And our acceptance of foreigners is very complicated, but again we once had that reputation, and we are a particularly multicultural nation. These days Australians are more anal and mean than laconic and cheeky, but we still think we’re all Crocodile Dundee. So when the comic came out, it fit the image.
There was also, around that time, in parallel with the “shrimp on the barbie” campaign in other countries, a campaign in Australia to get us to be nicer to tourists. (Fellow Aussies: the one with the tv ads where kangaroos jump out of Melbourne trams.) I remember reading it through that filter, and it making perfect sense to me. Bloody tourists.
X-Men 245: “When aliens invaded and nobody cared” has to be my single favorite X-Men comic ever. I’m pretty sure it’s the issue I’ve cited the most in any X-Men discussions.
I always wanted so much more like this, and yet it’s plain that its novelty is part of what made it so great.
But it hits on an absolute truth of Marvel Earth: at some point, after all the alien invasions, a lot of people just wouldn’t bat an eye at the next one.
Jubilee! Woot! I love Jubilee. I did grow up on the cartoon, where, admittedly, she could get a little annoying. But comics Jubilee is just The Best. She is wonderful. She’s so much fun, but she’s also got a lot of heart. And while I do like Kitty more on the whole, I do think Jubilee was actually the better partner to Wolverine. I would say she was the best partner to Wolverine. And she’s just really, really great.
“Fireworks! They’re dangerous!” A good reminder for this Fourth of July. It should also be remembered that Jubilee’s power isn’t weak, her power is actually too strong, to the point where it makes her uncomfortable. She holds back a lot. But she can blow up a building. And has!
I kinda like the “Betsy gets interrupted” running gag, and I wish it had continued.
Girls’ Night Out was so much fun. Those clothes are pretty glorious. And the whole issue is ridiculous and fun.
Men! is really great, to. Well, the writing is. Liefeld’s art . . . ugh. How the hell did he ever actually get work? Even on this issue, it’s not very good. But as he went on, he became downright awful, and I just do not understand how he got work, and how people enjoyed his work.
But the writing is great. The Jean Bomb. I love that gag. It’s so great.
On characters in multiple titles: I kinda like the current way Marvel does it. For the most part, characters get one solo and one team. (Aside from Captain Marvel, who gets two teams. And Iron Man, who gets two solos.) Easy to keep track of. It’s better than the old way of letting Wolverine show up in 10 books a month.
I actually really liked Nimrod. He was cool. I kinda wish we’d gotten to see more of him back in the ’80s. He could’ve gotten a mini.
Rumor has it that Claremont was planning on having Nimrod be a way bigger deal – he was supposedly going to be behind the Mutant Massacre instead of the Marauders. I suppose we probably would have gotten even less of the humanization we see in this arc had that been the case, though.
I wish Nimrod had shown more of the misguided-Paladin persona when he came back in Yost and Kyle’s New X-Men – maybe part of why we don’t is that that’s Nimrod earlier in his timeline, before he developed that nuance.
Didn’t Nimrod go on to become Bastion in X-Men and then to on to become… I want to say a software-like entity called “Template” in the M-Tech Warlock series?
I’m just pulling this from memory, without looking anything up: but I think Bastion was revealed to be the Nimrod-Master Mold hybrid after it came out of the Siege Perilous. It went through the same process the X-men did and got a new body and identity.
Too bad there’s no David Wynne art for this episode, since it would have been cool to see Jubilee in Wynne’s style, but I’m sure we’ll get the chance.
Sweet hearing Miles (and Jay to a lesser degree) at the beginning talk about the 2004+ New X-men series. I’d read it a while back, and remember really liking it, but it was always overshadowed (at least in SEO terms) by the more popular New X-men series, and I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who liked it, given that there’s so little that anyone mentions about it.
As for #245, I’m actually really surprised it was Liefeld, because I actually like the art (for the most part). I, too, am a fairly big Liefeld detractor, but I think when he does House Style, his normal style is just there enough to be more cartoony without being distracting.
The talk on Nimrod brings (somewhat obliquely) up a big part of why I like him as a character. One of the big problems I have with Superhero comics (largely outside of X-men) is that a lot of the time, they implicitly stand for the status quo, in the way that they often are implicitly authoritarian forces who stand for law and order (or, in the usual spin they put it in “crime fighting”) without any weight given to solving the root causes of said crime (the old ‘Bruce Wayne could funnel all the money he spends on being Batman into solving the poverty crisis of Gotham that forces people to turn to petty crime, but instead he just beats them up and leaves them with further medical bills that they can’t pay off without turning back to crime’ criticism). However Nimrod very much represents those “heroic” traits turned to 11. He’s not the Punisher, whose sole goal is punishing those he deems guilty, as this issue shows, due to his decision to use the money for the betterment of the community. I don’t know how much of this is Claremont’s intention (though given his bibliography I’d like to believe it is), but to me Nimrod has always kind of felt like a representation and deconstruction of Superheroism (at least of the CCA days) and how it can harm those for whom the perpetuation of the status quo is a negative force. Which is really interesting to me, considering that the birth of Superheroes in comics came in many cases from Jewish creators in a time where Antisemitism was rampant and at many times overt, and that Superheroes were in many respects created to stand up for the vulnerable even at the expense of the status quo in some cases.
Yeah, fighting for the status quo is an unfortunate side effect of an ongoing serial ostensibly set in the real world.
I just read House of M, where everything was better for just about everyone, but they desperately needed to revert reality because … uh …
If you read the very early Superman stuff by Siegel and Shuster, he was very much not about upholding a status quo. A lot of those stories read to me like “what is Jerry Siegel angry about in the newspapers this month?”
I wasn’t as clear as I might have liked, because I was already going a bit long, but I tried to make note of just that. As I mentioned, it was the Comics Code Authority that brought a lot of that status quo stuff to comics, since the stories that could be told were in many aspects limited to what supported the status quo (Officials and Figures of Authority must be portrayed in a positive light, ect). Prior to the CCA, creators like Siegel, Shuster, and the other pioneers weren’t as concerned with status quo as justice, in fighting the ills of the world as they saw them, even ones relatively sociatally entrenched
As with any national stereotype, some of the Australian attitude has been played up and magnified by foreigners. Has Claremont even ever visited Australia? But there’s an element of truth. Australia is dangerous to the unprepared, and the first white settlers were seriously unprepared. We try to be laid back, and we certainly enjoy a drink. Sometimes more than one. But we don’t drink Fosters. And we call them prawns, not shrimp.
You should certainly visit, if you want.
Also, Jabba’s majordomo is called Bib Fortuna. Those things on his head are called lekku.
Well, Crocodile Dundee had come out in 1986, so he’d have been familiar with the sort of good-natured, ready to deal with anything, Aussie stereotype from that.
Do lekku go like Pippi Longstockings’ hair when the dude’s aroused?
Claremont’s been to Australia, unless I shook hands with a very good impersonator. He was tucked away in the back corner of the con next to the wrestling ring, while “third extra from the left in a Harry Potter movie” got star billing. It’s a cruel world sometimes.
The stereotypes presented in #245 definitely has some resonance. Australians like to present a blaze front to the world. “She’ll be right” can be a common response to problems that come up and Australians have a reputation for being casual in their dealings with others.
There are a number of elements both in this issue and a lot of the Australia arc that I’ve read that make me wonder if Claremont ever visited Australia. He definitely researched it, little touches like Maddie volunteering for the Flying Doctors, but a lot feels like it comes from media presentations of Australia that were running through popular culture at the time. But even if he did visit he may have used language and depictions that would resonate more with the core US audience, such as shrimp rather than prawn (you can’t underestimate how glaring that one is).
Oh, and talking about bigger versions of things have you ever looked at Australian Megafauna. They are extinct and the exact cause is uncertain but likely to have been the arrival of humans to the continent. But there were some big beasties out there.
Now all our creatures are usually smaller than other continents, but smaller in the same way that Woverine is smaller. They just packed all the mass down and got a bad temper. Either that or they became fluffy and cute and almost wiped out due to introduced species.
Mosquitoes are everywhere. How lethal they are depends on region, in the tropical areas their bite can be deadly.
Possible responses to threat in the late-80s / early-90s Marvel Universe:
1) become cute and fluffy and die, or
2) become like Wolverine.
…that actually sounds about right.
Well, the “shrimp on the barbie” phrase lays at the feet of Australian tourism industry ads with Paul Hogan that aired in the US in the 80s. Hogan was the the face of Australian to US audiences back then. (Who else came close? Olivia Newton-John? Yahoo Serious? Jacko?) So “slip another shrimp on the barbie” was common enough of a cultural reference to use in an X-Men comic.
Does anyone remember the Southern Squadron? It was an Australian superhero team. They released a few B&W issues in the US in the late 80s, including an issue where they fight a pastiche of the X-Men.
Midnight Oil, AC/DC… Mad Max2: The Road Warrior…
It really bothers me how the rest of the X-Men dealt with the whole Carol-Rogue situation. They show sympathy towards the Carol-persona, who is claiming a body that isn’t really hers, and basically tell Rogue to shut up and get over it. She doesn’t get any support whatsoever and the others act like the Carol-persona is their best friend in the world, even though most of them have never even met the actual Carol Danvers.
I think in one of these issues Rogue even mentions that they have never forgiven her for stealing Carol’s powers and memories. Like you said, she’s been on the team for over a hundred issues and the moment she’s gone they don’t even think about her anymore. Poor Rogue deserves better than that.
Agreed. It always felt like that story was cut off halfway by Rogue going through the Siege Perilous – and maybe that was deliberate on Claremont’s part, to show that tragedy doesn’t wait for conflict resolution, but I always wished we’d gotten a bit more follow-up, especially from Storm and Psylocke. Makes me wonder whether part of why her bond with Magneto has been so enduring is that he actually took her conflict with inner-Carol seriously when she showed up in the Savage Land a couple of years later.
It’s particularly jarring when you remember that it’s not even Carol Danvers, it’s just a pseudo-schizophrenic bit of Rogue’s own mind using a copy of the real woman’s personality and memories. “Hey lady who’s real name we never bothered to learn, we like your disease better than you.”
Completely agreed. It always freaked me out that everyone is all, “Ehn. Just a hair cut and a re-arranging of your bedroom. Calm down.” I mean, I can’t imagine going to sleep and waking up with a different hair cut and an entirely differently decorated room. I’d completely lose it. I mean, I know Carol is a person too but Rogue’s friends don’t seem to care how this is impacting her at /all/ on top of what happened to her in Genosha….
What happened to the M-Squad between their two Uncanny X-Men appearances is revealed in the “Inferno Aftermath” story in X-Factor Annual #4. Please check it out! It’s essential! 😉
I’d totally forgotten about that (although I do remember the weird Blues Brothers semi-cameo)! We’ll be covering the 1989 annuals soon (stupid Atlantis Attacks), so we’ll definitely be talking about the M Squad stuff.
Yea, the Blues Brothers previously appeared in Captain America weirdly enough…
For the weirdly over-complicated continuity of where the X-Men, New Mutants & X-Factor appear in Atlantis Attacks compared to their ongoing storylines, click on my Website link and scroll past the Inferno stuff. Most other sites like the Marvel Chronology Project simply ignore the references in The New Mutants #88 and place it before the Asgard storyline. Same with X-Factor and their outer space storyline.
I’m not sure about “essential” but having read it for the first time last week–it’s included in the second “Inferno” trade, which I got, as well as the first, thanks to this podcast, so thanks Jay and Miles–it struck me as odd how the public explanation regarding “Inferno” became essentially “hypno ray”. Not that it’s any less plausible than what actually happened, but still. The story’s rather great, in any case.
On another note, also in that “Inferno” trade is X-Factor #40, which features not only Rob Liefield art–predating his fill-in stint in Uncanny by a month, I think–but also an appearance by Nanny and the Orphanmaker. In fact, it strikes me as odd to hear about the pair’s return in Uncanny, since the two appearances seem unrelated in way that feels weird for this era of the X-Men.
I did wink emoticon after I said essential… Lol!
Hey, Jay and Miles, loved the new episode as always, but I wanted to point out one of my favorite “Claremont references sci-fi/indy comics” moments that you missed.
You see, the bar that the X-Men go to in “Men” is in fact not a bar in Sydney. The bar is clearly named Munden’s (with an inverted S, granted, but Munden’s nonetheless). Mundene’s is the name of the bar that is owned by John Gaunt, better known as Grimjack, the titular character from one of the seminal 80’s independent sci-fi titles, a hard drinking, grizzled bounty hunter who is a former cop and soldier who now does his best to help those who can pay him and who fit with his dubious moral code; he and Logan would get along great. In the back of most issues of Grimjack, there was a Munden’s Bar back-up story where different creators from around comes would write a story, sometimes featuring Grimjack’s supporting cast, but often featuring their own creator owned characters popping into Munden’s briefly; the most famous is an Eastman and Laird story where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pop up to visit the bar.
These crossover can happen because Munden’s and Grimjack exist in a city called Cynosure, which is a nexus of realities, and has different dimensions phasing in and out of sync with the city at irregular and unexpected intervals, so I posit that Cynosure syncs up with Syndey every now and then, and Logan frequents the bar whenever it is on Earth-616, meaning the X-Men are taking part in a long line of comic book crossovers with Grimjack.
And if there was any doubt that this is not just a coincidence, and is there ever a coincidence when Claremont is referencing, Logan calls the bar “Ostrander,” a reference of Grimjack writer and co-creator John Ostrander, best known for his DC work like Suicide Squad and The Spectre, but has a healthy Marvel and X-Men pedigree, with runs on Cable, X-Man, and three Bishop mini-series.
So, yeah, that’s a reference that absolutely delighted me and I though I would share.
Very cool! We try to catch and call out references, but Claremont had so many – it’s like watching MST3K; for every reference you catch, you’re probably missing two more.
I really dug Ostrander on Star Wars: Legacy – still my favorite spinoff.
On a thematic note, I think it’s interesting that the two characters which are thrown through the Siege Perilous are the two characters who essentially are suffering from multiple personality disorder – Rogue/Carol and Nimod/MasterMold. I suspect that this is quite deliberate on Claremont’s part – as is the fact that the ‘lead’ character in this arc and the villain are similar – and I think he’s trying to draw a deliberate parallel, although I’m not entirely sure what point he’s making.
Going further (possibly ludicrously), it’s notable that everyone else who goes through the Siege Perilous in the upcoming issues ends up with a different personality, whilst Rogue is still Carol; ironically, the only one who needs sorting out is left intact as is, and everyone else gets the problem superimposed upon them. Rogue/Carol is a mere shadow of Psylocke/Revanche (yes, not Claremont, but he sets it up), but it’s essentially the same thing reversed.
That said, it could just be entirely written in order that Claremont can say ‘Look, I created Nimrod, who actually has a character; someone else created the MasterMold and it doesn’t’. But I do think the Rogue/Carol vs Nimrod/MasterMold dichotomy is specifically designed to be relevant to the story in quite a nicely subtle way.
I think Jubilee’s first prefiguration is Cyndi, the Legion pyrokinetic personality.
Has it been mentioned on the show that the M-Squad are all named after sci-fi writers of the late 80s? Specifically ones that worked with Claremont on the Wild Cards anthology series. One of them is George Martin, he of Game of Thrones fame.
And the awesome Melinda Snodgrass!
Thanks for bringing up early 2000s New Mutants. I haven’t had the chance to read all of Weir and DeFillipis’ New Mutants run, but I enjoyed the issues I had of New X-Men: Academy X. Also, the name on the dance studio Sofia and Jay went to didn’t mean anything to me before I began listening to your podcast.
And Rob Liefeld appears. Would you like a copy of the trade paperback for the X-Force & Spider-Man “Sabotage” crossover?
Pssst- this post wound up in “Uncategorized” instead of “Podcast”, so it’s not showing up when you click on the podcasts category on the side.
Thanks for the catch! I’ll fix that.
I just had the utterly random thought: Was the fashion show bit the moment where a young Kevin Wada found his destiny?
Probably not, but I’m going to pretend it was. That he was reading X-Men and saw that scene and said, “Wait, these powerful heroes are posing for a fashion show? Superheroes and fashion can be combined like this? Why didn’t anyone tell me this was an option! This changes EVERYTHING!”
And then he drew Peter Parker in a Miami Vice outfit, and it was good.
Don’t anyone dare try to take this away from me.
Just a comment on the last question about Storms costume color. The color of her iconic costume has been debated a lot, but the earliest depictions actually have a darker, more silver coloring, because that was the popular assumption. It wasn’t until later, after the cartoon debuted, that the costume was mistaken for white, and subsequently began appearing that way in comics. The color even sparked a debate between comic readers (who mostly argued that it was silver or chrome) and cartoon fans (who always argued that it was white), to the point where Jim Lee actually finally answered the question of the color, and said both were wrong. The costume is actually black. Its just really shiny.