Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

133 – Feisty Little Fellow from the Stars (Judgment War, Part 2)


In which the plot thickens; Jay and Miles fix Avatar; Ship is a good bro; you are in space right now; the Beginagains go full This Island Earth; Cyclops weaponizes love; voting is really important; and you’re listening to ten straight hours of soft jazz and subversion on ZZ-105


  • The other Dazzler (Bertram Worthington)
  • Our newest t-shirt
  • X-Factor #48-50
  • A metaphor within a metaphor, in space
  • The first half of Judgment War (briefly) (again)
  • A prisoner exchange
  • Hairstyles of the possessed and famous
  • Proper use of Cable
  • A case for retcons
  • Iceman vs. Archangel
  • A feisty little fellow from the stars
  • The secret origin of Ship
  • The Celestials
  • The core of Iceman’s personality
  • Several kisses
  • Beast and the Rejects
  • Some terrible hats
  • An unfair fight
  • A nefarious plot
  • Contagious heroism
  • Arishem
  • The power of love
  • Why we use the word “queer”
  • Several theoretical and unlikely crossovers

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  1. I agree that Jay’s radio voice was terrifyingly accurate and may in fact haunt my dreams.

    I also have to share some housecanon: I read this story when it came it but didn’t hang on to the comics. With the mental anguish of 90’s Marvel, my memory of this issue was distorted and I remembered it as “and Cyclops fired an optic blast that turned Arishem’s thumb upward, and the Celestials were forced to spare the planet on a double jeopardy technicality.”

    This is how I explained it to my better half, so even now that we know that no, that’s not how it went, it kind of is for us. Dammit, that’s how Excalibur would have done it, right?

    By the way, as yet another non-straight person, I appreciate the time taken to discuss the terminology you use. I especially appreciate that you gave it as much time as seemed necessary without digressing endlessly on it.

  2. This is a weird arc, but it is pretty fun. Scott shooting the Celestials with love is one of those utterly ridiculous ideas that you can’t help but love.

  3. For some reason, I remembered this arc running to 52 or 53. Like, in the years between when I last read it and now, I remembered thinking it was super weird that it wasn’t timed to end with #50. I really need to re-read it, but it’s not available digitally at all. (C’est la vie).

    And thank you for recommending Teen Titan Wasteland/Titan Up the Defense. I’d never heard of it, and now I’m hooked.

  4. This episode is a bit bittersweet for me. Ive been binge listening from episode 1 since mid August but as of this one Im officially caught up. Now I actually have to wait like everyone else. Great show!

    Just one comment to Miles. You mention that it was odd that Professor X didnt react to Jean being alive when he sensed X-factor near by. Thats bc he already knew she was. He learned in New Mutants #50 when he probed the NM’s minds. To be fair, he didnt have much reaction there either but he’s known for a while in continuity.

    1. New Mutants 50 was pre-Inferno, so I don’t think the New Mutants or X-Men knew that Jean was alive at that point.

      Of course, the New Mutants would probably be like “Jean who?”

      1. Correction; it was NM 51, but it happened. X-Factor were public figures. The NM saw them on tv and Xavier got the mental image of them through his mind probe. The NM wouldnt have known Jean (they did know of her), but Xavier most certainly did. One might assume that he could have thought that was just Maddie but thats not what the text said. He referred to the 5 as his original students. With this issue in mind, his non-reaction in X-factor 50 makes complete sense bc he had known about Jean for months by that point

        1. I sit corrected; shame on me for relying on my aging brain rather than consulting primary sources. Thanks for the correction.

          I think I was conflating X-Factor finding out that the X-Men were alive post-Fall of the Mutants during Inferno with Wolverine catching Jean’s scent during Mutant Massacre. Mea culpa!

  5. I’m a big fan of the new shirt! Ordered it right away. The art looks great and the pun is just too good. And I’m happy I can finally display my love for Rachel/Kitty where most people are looking at anyways;)

  6. So, ‘Um…actually…’ this isn’t the first time Jean and Scott used love-beam to drive off destroyers from space. They did this in issue 65 of the original series, under Professor X’s direction, the same issue he did his first reveal of ‘Surprise! I’m not dead!’ It’s almost a minor continuity fail for me that they don’t reference it.

  7. First time commenting on this podcast. I love what you guys do and sing your praises too all geeks within ear/screenshot, particularly because it combines two things I love very deeply: the X-verse and discussions on social issues, particularly those concerning sexual, racial, and/or economic minorities.

    I took a lot of issue with Jay’s comments on the use of the term “Queer” in this episode. I used to use this term widely, as it’s an academic term and seems to be the most inclusive. But, when one of my attempts to explain how great Queer is as a word reduced a pair of lesbian grandmothers I was interviewing to tears, I changed my tune. Using that word was like physically striking them. And they aren’t the only people that feel that way. I’ve met many people over the years that had the same reaction to the word Queer. I can accept that we’re trying to reclaim that word and it’s not a new thing, but using a term that actively causes people pain is really shitty, in my opinion.

    No one is taking away anyone’s right to use that word, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that using that word comes at the price of other people’s feelings. It may feel more right or accurate to use Queer, but in using that word, it prioritizes the user’s personal feelings over those of people actively affected by that word. In essence it’s a situation of I’m going to make myself feel comfortable at the expense of actively making others feel shitty. In private, that’s one thing, but in a public forum I think the choice to ignore that active suffering inflicted on one’s listeners in favor of one’s personal preferences is unfortunate to say the least. Especially in what is otherwise such a fantastic safe space for those that are different (come on Xavier school realness!).

    Also, as a term, Queer is quite ambiguous, in my opinion, with tinges of internalized hompohobia. I don’t want to restrict how anyone self identifies (just take responsibility for how their word choices may or may not affect their community), but why are terms such as bisexual or pansexual not good enough as descriptors? I’ve met a number of people that have an aversion to identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or pansexual, largely due to the stigma attached to those terms, which in turn adds to invisibility for those already marginalized groups and furthers the stigma.

    Finally, the justification for using the term Queer because the term “Gay” can be used pejoratively strikes me as a false equivalency of epic proportions (but not anywhere near as epic as The Brood Saga). Gay meant happy originally. Now it means homosexual. Queer meant odd originally, then was used as a slur. Now it’s trying to be reclaimed. But it was still used as a slur. Yes identities can be weaponized, and I really like what was said about that, but the whole point of the discussion, in my opinion, is that Queer was/is a slur. That’s why it causes people harm. There are a number of other slurs I can think of that have similar issues where some folks reclaim it and others still feel the pain that comes from the word’s previous intention.

    Thank you very much for putting out such a wonderful podcast. I can’t express enough how much I love your work, and I hope you continue doing so for years. And thanks for reading if you indeed read this far.

  8. I’ve been really caught about using queer as a term. When I first came out, I came out in a space where I had no (out) queer friends, family or role models. Not even other out kids in school. I didn’t know anything about anything, ESPECIALLY not the terminology.

    I was super blessed to have had accidentally found myself in a coincidentally queer math study group the first week of uni and these kids were KNOWLEDGED. I was taught what being trans means from actual trans people and learned that queer was the go-to word to use as an umbrella term. I was super lucky as a kid that couldn’t even get the word ‘lesbian’ out of her mouth.

    I’ve been using that word ever since and it’s the specific identity of many of my friends and my spouse. It’s impossible to avoid.

    I’ve been struggling a lot recently with the word ‘queer’ because it does really hurt some people. I want to really thank Jay for finding the words to comfort me that I’m doing right by the people in my life who need that word and for educating me further on a really sticky topic.

    Thank you, Jay!

  9. I’m disappointed you guys didn’t get into Apocalypse’s rant about how the Acts of Vengeance affair was an annoyance and everyone was acting bizarre and out of character. I loved how Simonson handled tree whole thing.

  10. Thinking about this more, I’m starting to wonder whether Apocalypse’s whole motivation is simply that he’s lonely. He’s more than 2000 years old, so all of his old friends are long dead. He uses his crazy space technology to create four friends to hang out with, and his goal is to make the rest of humanity as awesome as he is…perhaps so he doesn’t lose anyone he loves again? That would also explain the hard exterior he puts on. Its just a show. He won’t let anyone get close because he doesn’t want to experience the pain of loss all over again.

    Poor guy.

    1. And now I’m envisaging a montage of Apocalypse trying to make new friends.

      – In an ill fitting suit and sweating prodfusely at a speed dating night.

      – Joining a line dancing class (or salsa, he might do both) with the rictus grin of a deeply uncomfortable dancer who is determined to show his potential new friends that he is enjoying himself

      Trying to join a bowling team by standing close to an existing team and hoping they invite him to join in.

      Standing at a bar (in a hideously dated powder-blue safari suit with flared trouasers (and an ascot) because 1968 was the last time he went shopping for clothes), a red rose in his hands, waiting for his lonelyhearts date to show up, and obviously already on his third bowl of peanuts…

      1. The problem, of course, is that he’s got unresolved anger issues and ends up being a dick and pushing everyone away. Pathetic mortals, you know not the true bowling prowess of En Sabah Nur! Throwing three straight frames of gutter balls was part of my carefully plot. Now prepare for the masterstroke of APOCALYPSE!!!” He then stretches his arms to smash the pins, then proceeds to murder his teammates.

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