Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

123 – Mojo Mayhem

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 Jay and Miles return to Rose City Comic Con; “Having a Wild Weekend” is the mash-up t-shirt of Excalibur stories; swears are for everyone; Arcade is not a subtle villain; we love Art Adams a lot; Minor-Domo is the Harvey and/or Janet of the Mojoverse; Kitty gets another new costume; and the X-Babies carjack their creators.


  • The Agent
  • Jay and Miles at Rose City Comic Con 2016
  • What Excalibur has instead of annuals
  • Competing theories of Eriks Larsen
  • “Having a Wild Weekend” (Marvel Comics Presents #31-38)
  • The Community reference that keeps on giving
  • How to fight on the Internet without being a dick
  • A large number of thinly veiled TV references
  • The X-Babies
  • Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem
  • Ricochet Rita (again)
  • Psychonauts
  • Exploding children (more) (again)
  • The House of Ideas
  • The New Universe
  • Major Domo
  • Minor Domo
  • Jay’s dream vacation
  • Cats Laughing (more) (again)
  • Cosplay you should totally do
  • Why you should always read the EULA
  • The classic X-Men spirit
  • Some of our favorite cameos
  • The return of Judith Rassendyll
  • One fairly specific way to ruin a wedding
  • Where to find Havok in comics
  • X-Men we’d like to see as wizards

NEXT EPISODE: Death in the Outback

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  1. New Universe stuff was brought back even more recently than the Warren Ellis newuniversal book. The Hickman et al. run of Avengers and New Avengers borrowed a lot of elements from the New Universe – Starbrand, Nightmask, and the White Event.

    1. I never read the New Universe, but I read as much wiki pages as I could, and also got a taste of it during Exiles. So when reading Hickman’s Avengers, that was a major jaw-dropper.

      Also, the Starbrand and Nightmask ongoing is pretty great.


          that would explain why it hasn’t shown up in my pull list for a while, lol.

  2. I love the Marvel Comics Presents Wolverine stories by John Buscema more than the early issues of the Wolverine solo series. Those Klaus Janso inks really work for me.

    The Colossus stories by Ann Nocenti and Rick Leonardi from MCP are pretty fun too.

  3. I’ll stand up for a couple of the New Universe titles until my dying day…

    “DP7” was a solid, well characterised title about a bunch of people who gain random powers and the impact it has on their lives in a world without superheroes and unstable molecules (so a character with acidic sweat burns though his clothes within a couple of days, and the speedster tends to smell a bit… rank any time he uses his powers).

    We had kids with powers, senior citizens with powers, marriages destroyed over powers. It could be a mite heavy handed at times, but overall, was one of Mark Gruenwald’s best titles.

    “Psi-Force” also has a lot going for it, especially after it moved away from it’s fairly generic start)

    I did wonder if the shooting up of the House of Ideas was a sort of guarded barb at Jim Shooter.

    And once again I know this podcast is my jam when Jay suggest’s Cypher as a potential magic user (though given his accidentally bringing them to Hell instead of Hel that one time he DID cast a spell, I suspect he might be a rather wary about it)

    Magik – It will require you to master a dead language Douglas.
    Cypher – I can do that. That is my area of expertise.
    Magik – I don’t mean like Latin. I mean a language spoken and understood by the-not-living-anymore.
    Cypher – Distressingly, that ALSO falls under my area of expertise.

  4. In terms of other characters that have used magic, I’d add to the list Cable, as he was the wizard in Wolverine: Rahne of Terra. He also used Warlock as a staff, which was cool.

    Another fun magic user would’ve been if they continued exploring Taki’s computer power in terms of magic. I like the idea of his spell-checking computer.

    I dug Havok in War of Kings. I’m not too familiar with Havok (haven’t read much Peter David X-Factor or any Mutant X), so I’m not sure how consistent that portrayal was, but I loved it, and thought he was cool.

    One quick question: Miles said in this episode that Excalibur was a nicer, premium type of book that didn’t have ads. Indeed, my copy of Mojo Mayhem and The Sword is Drawn didn’t have ads, but other copies of Excalibur 1-11 that I’ve read had ads in those (fun ads from 1988, which are great). We’re there maybe different printings?

  5. I do like the Wild Weekend story. It’s a fun, goofy story. I don’t like Larsen’s art, but the story itself is fun. I always enjoy Arcade stories.

    X-Babies! They’re so fun. And Mojo Mayhem is so much fun. I agree that kids are awful in real life, but I enjoy kids in comics, because I don’t have to deal with them. But yeah, great story. And Minor-Domo! I love Minor-Domo! One of my favourites.

    New Universe wasn’t great. It did have some decent comics. Mark Hazzard was great, but it was Peter David writing, so obviously. But yeah, for the most part, it was pretty lacking.

  6. Also, special congrats are due to Kyle I think, as I assume that Miles’ Tweetie voice (which led to me getting some very odd looks in the supermarket I was in when I burst out laughing) was his doing! 🙂

    1. One final comment, congratulations on finding “Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds”, which is one kickass rock opera and everyone should listen to. The way he portrays the Martian’s “Uuuuulllaaaaaa” calls still disturbs the hell out of me to this day for reasons I can’t quite quantify.

  7. So Mojo Mayhem is probably my most re-read Excalibur comic. It’s basically fun across the board.

    One question that it’s always raised for me though is: exactly how long does the diplomatic negotiations between Nazi world and 616 take? The only time period this can possibly fit is during those negotiations (as the team gets immediately sucked off onto the caper during the prisoner exchange).

    The timing of the book bothered me for years…I was never 100% certain I had it adequately situated in my Excalibur comic box, and I was way too big a geek to decide it didn’t matter that this one comic was out of order.

    If that is when this is happening, you can sort of see Cap’s point that Excalibur could be called on at any moment. He’s still being a bit of a jerk, but at least he’s not focused on a purely hypothetical threat, he’s worried about the Lightning Squad.

  8. Unrelated: listening to this at work and was going to do an “um actually” about how you didn’t mention the sequence where they see Claremont and Byrne typing out a bunch of ridiculous crossover arcs in the “House of Ideas” then I suddenly realized that’s from an entirely different Excalibur comic poking fun at Marvel’s addiction to Events. 😀

    1. There was also John Byrne’s appearance as Master Archivist from the very last issue of The Cross Time Caper. He’s wearing a Superman suit with a “B” logo on the chest. The B is designed with two fish in the middle – this is a nod to Byrne’s depiction of Superman’s logo as two fish swimming in opposite directions:
      BTW, David Wynne’s artwork this week is awesome, he just keeps getying better and better every week!

  9. My understanding of Marvel magic is that, even though some characters have an affinity for it, anyone can do it given time and commitment. Which kinda makes you wonder why most of the world doesn’t just do it.

    Putting that aside I’m surprised Professor X hasn’t mind raped a magic user under the guise of the greater good or some nonsense and become a wizard. Also there was a great What If? style story back in the New X-Men(the teen one) where Prodigy is shown to have gained the skills of Doctor Strange and presumably became a powerful wizard. It turned out that Emma Frost and Dani Moonstar were just trying to scare him off of doing that though so I suppose he never went thru with it before he lost his powers, but he would have made a great wizard especially post M-Day where he was perceived as being a liability.

    Whenever I’m asked who I think is the X-Men’s best/most frightening villains I always include Mojo. Doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a bad guy because he’s so silly, which is part of the point. BTW no one asks…

    1. I think the problem with using magic is, as it often is, the cost involved to the spellcaster. Most MU magic seems to involve either invoking some powerful supernatural entity so that you can borrow it’s power (in exchange for faith and/or rituals), which can drain your own strength, like Dr Strange invoking the Vishanti, or Cyttorak, or using some of your own life force or ‘soul’ to create the effect you want using (Magik’s original soulsword), or a talisman of some sort which has that energy within it.

      I don’t think just reading the words of a spell aloud will do (unless it’s boobytraped) you need to cast the spell with your heart and soul (if you’ll pardon a semi-Claremontism), though I would not want to test that by, say, giving Doug a copy of the Darkhold just to see what would happen.

      1. Seems to be true. In the Gillen/McKelvie Young Avengers, Prodigy shouted a magic word to distract a villain, but there was no actual power behind it. So he knows the word and the hand gesture, but he still can’t use magic.

      2. You’re right, if you want the full range of magic, at some point you are gonna have to ask some extra-dimensional being or sacrifice something of yourself or someone else.

  10. Great episode. Mojo Mayhem is really distilled fun and listening prompted a long overdue reread on my part, so thanks for that.

    A quick question for the future but will you be folding the X-Men: True Friends miniseries into the next Excalibur Gaiden episode? I know it was originally planned as the 3rd Excalibur SE before Claremont and Leonardi got sidetracked into other projects, and it slots into continuity around then too. Just curious as it’s another favorite of mine, deep with Claremontisms and continuity-wonking, and a story that’s pretty overlooked.

  11. Has anyone else noticed that the “Angry Claremontian Narrator” has evolved into the “Self-Righteous Claremontian Narrator”?

  12. Finally read this comic and it was SO good! In general, all of Excalibur has been a delightful find (well, find with ALL the assistance) in this X-Men deep dive for me.

    I agree with J&M over the Kitty underwear issue. I think I even read it as “What is the thing that could most possibly go wrong if you’re in charge of a bunch of rowdy kids who are always trying to undermine your authority?….They see you in your underwear!”. Like, really Wolvie’s line in particularly had it definitely in the camp of “story/character relevant” rather than “sexualizing a teen girl.”

    Is Shattershot going to be when we finally learn that Rita becomes Spiral? I feel like that really will be a punch in the chest.

  13. The Excalibur Epic Collection Vol. 1 has since answered your continuity question about these stories. On the slim off-chance that you don’t already own this:

    – Mojo Mayhem occurs between pp 17-18 of Excalibur #11
    – the MCP story occurs between Excalibur #34-35 (i.e. shortly after the Cross-Time Caper – which reminds me, I really must buy Vol. 2 to find out how that story ended, since I couldn’t afford to keep up with the issues at the time)

    I hadn’t read Mojo Mayhem before and it was utterly delightful.

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