Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

Jay & Miles Review the X-Men, Episode 106

Week of 11/23/2016:

In which X-Men ’92 goes apocalyptic; All-New X-Men gets its first annual; and Death of X has simultaneously the most and least satisfying conclusion we can imagine.


  • X-Men ’92 #9 (00:26)
  • All-New X-Men Annual #1 (04:02)
  • *Death of X #4 (08:28)

*Pick of the Week (18:59)

Filmed at Books With Pictures in Portland, OR.

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  1. Re: the noodle incident, my theory was that in the months in between the funeral and the comics picking back up, a lot more stuff happened with people using Cyclops name as justification; like the cyclops inspired gang from All-New X-Men and Quentin Quire’s gang from Morrison’s run. Cyclops is getting the blame because it’s all being done in his name, so over time everyone has become bitter about what “he” originally did, souring opinions of him until we end up where everything started in Extraordinary X-Men #01

  2. ANXM Annual was really good. The Idie date was cute and sweet and I liked it. Also, the note Idie left on a guy’s body was priceless. Best panel of the comic. The Dani story was really cool, I like the idea of her Death Sight giving her anxiety. That was a really neat idea. But I think the art was way too clean and conventional for the story. It’s nice art, but it’s too normal. I would have liked to have seen what an artist like Marco Rudy would have done with it, to give it a sense of anxiety. I think that would have been really cool to see.

    Death of X was . . . OK. I have some problems with the mini. I still think killing Madrox was harsh, some of the characters who went after the X-Men with Magneto were bad choices, and the real big problem is that it doesn’t actually justify the hate everyone in-universe has for Scott. What was so wrong about what he did? There’s no reason for humanity to hate him, sure as hell no reason for other mutants to hate him, and there’s barely even a reason for the Inhumans to hate him, as there’s still another Terrigen cloud going around.

    However, “Scott” gets some a fantastic speech, and the final page, of Emma, is spectacular. Kuder just absolutely killed that page, making Emma look deeply unsettling in a great way. To me, those last two panels were the best of the whole series. I also think the twist with Scott was done really well. Really good foreshadowing, and a really great execution.

    Also, as El Anderson pointed out on Twitter, it’s so sad that Emma had Scott say, “Lost the only person I ever cared for.” That Emma knows Scott never cared for her the way he did for Jean is just heart-breaking. Poor Emma.

    1. Poor Emma, indeed. Also, I wondered if “Lost the only person I ever cared for” was actually Emma speaking in her own voice through Scott. Which is rough!

      I’m thinking a lot about original Phoenix Saga parallels, where Jean killed herself but all that was cosmically known was Dark Phoenix’s rampage, whereas here, Emma gave Scott a viking’s end, a hero’s end, even if people thought he was a villain (agreed, they really messed up the “thing” he did) for what SHE did, and even though he died sadly, from the disease, but with her.

      I miss him already … and Emma is amazing. Given editorial constraints, this series was very well done.

  3. I think we’re all going to be dissatisfied with the noodle incident. Jay made a great point, for the series to work Cyclops has to go out a hero. Yet in order to do that it wipes away a lot of the options for him to do something “evil.”

    I still think it could have been pulled off. It would have required Cyclops saving the world from a terrible threat, but with unintended consequences which is all the general public sees.

    This though bugs me. In Extraordinary X-men, the other X-men were violently angry with Sunspot…for carrying a guy and dropping him into a cloud? I complained already about the Hitler comparisons in Champions. The Cyclops copycats in All New at least make a little sense, since they would have seen Cyclops’ telepathic speech and maybe would have gotten their “philosophy” from Cyclops’ stated positions during the post-AvX era.

    If cleaning up the Terrigen cloud had resulted in some big explosion or something, then maybe it would have justified things. But turning a poisonous cloud into a harmless one…just doesn’t work.

  4. I wonder what Hope and Nate were doing to not show up on Scott’s funeral.
    I think this was one of my favorite weeks of X-books in a while despite the mourning, so I’m hopeful for the new titles to come.
    And Magik School Bus made me laugh more than it should’ve.

  5. I took the “Lost the only person I ever cared for” statement to be “Cyclops”, i.e. Emma, herself talking about Scott, since he was already dead at that point.

  6. Spoilers RE: The Noodle Incident.

    Death of X as a contained entity is great. Scott and Emma are the stars of the show and are handled beautifully. Cyke gets a fitting end, and Emma ends it looking like she’s both in complete control and becoming unhinged. I look forward to seeing where this goes for her (as well as an explanation of where she’s been the past many months).

    My only main quibble would be that I wish it wasn’t quite so obvious that Emma was behind it the whole time. Also I’m curious what this will mean for Havoc since he knows the truth.

    In the aftermath. I can see why the Inhumans would hate Scott. I might even get the Hitler comparisons since even though he didn’t kill anyone he did cut the future generating potential of the Inhumans in half.

    But I just don’t get why the X-Men on the whole are that pissed with him. They weren’t even that angry with him over Charles’ death. Plus there’s the whole “Storm was willing to have Old Man Logan kill Sunfire if he proved dangerous but Magik gets a free pass for some reason” thing.

  7. I didn’t like Death of X, but I think it’s mostly because they sold it saying “Find out what Cyclops did that made everyone hate him!” and it just didn’t work for that. Emma was fantastic in this comic tho.

    Also, like I said in Twitter, those glasses! They’re so cool!

  8. The noodle incident was so flat, and so difficult to reconcile with what we saw from Lemire and Hopeless previously (paticularly regarding the responses from Magik, Storm and teen Cyclops) that it almost feels like the noodle had to be something else. Like perhaps the global TP projection in issue 2 that ascribed sinister motives to the Inhumans, said the cloud was potentially lethal to baseline humans as well and ignited the public panic we saw in Madrid was the actual noddle incident? Call me crazy but rendering a genocide cloud inert and pep-talking a college kid into heroic sacrifice don’t really strike as Hitler worthy feats. Either something changed or the whole X-Office was flying blind going into this, it just doesn’t work.

    X-92 winding down is sad but I’m a bit ambivalent about it. I know you guys adore Alti Firmansyah but I really feel like the series lost something without Scott Koblish. He delivered a sharp wit and comedy that I think the series needed and without it everything sort of feels like a parody of a parody. The Secret Wars mini was such a smart surprise but the ongoing just never really clicked with me and I think most of that comes down to the change in visual storytelling.

    I also have to say I’m disappointed some mention wasn’t made to the heavy HEAVY flirtation and subtext between Dani and Yana in the annual. The pet names, the continual embrances, in one panel it even looked like they were going in for a kiss. As a long time Claremont devotee this was so up my alley and I just kept waiting to see you guys also seize on it but alas. Jay’s R’Chel Grey glasses almost made up for it. Almost.

    1. We already know the Terrigen cloud is lethal to many baseline humans, those with enough Inhuman DNA for the cloud to effect, but not enough to successfully complete Terrigenisis. So Scott was just telling it like it is.

      1. Regardless of what we know, can’t we all agree that the X-Men did not know that? The assertion, when made, was a completely baseless assertion designed solely to stir up fear and hatred against Inhumans to help the mutants in any subsequent conflict.

        1. Not sure I’d agree, the potentially deadly effects of the cloud on humans were known long before the discovery of M-Pox.

          Though this is now a bit garbled as it seems to depend upon who is doing the writing of Inhuman-centric events and/or history. It used to be lethal to humans, and then it wasn’t, then it was, and then Maximus might have done something to the bomb’s Terrigen mist so it wasn’t… or exposure to Earth’s atmosphere or… I dunno, whether there’s a “Y” in the month or something.

  9. They had the twist set up and the twist is designed to give Scott an out. But then he doesn’t really do anything. The only explanation is that the writers had something bigger and caved. I agree completely that it’s how the story has to work as a eulogy to Scott, but it makes it underwhelming. My expectation was, at a minimum, that they turned the cloud into something flammable and Sunfire ignited it. Unexpectedly, it went through Madrid and caught the city on fire. If they did that, it would fit the narrative (something that made people afraid of what mutants can do inovlving deaths). It would also have nicely paralleled what Black Bolt did (an action designed to save their people that caused unexpected deaths).

    As it stands, the thing he “did” has to be referring to the psychic broadcast from earlier. It’s the only thing that could come close to what the clues are. As a Scott fan, I’m glad he didn’t do something truly horrific but, as far as this issue goes, it’s hard not to view it as a bit of a failure.

    On the theory of Inhumans having a better propaganda, I think that makes some sense. There’s a line in the big speech about how you have your story, I have mine, it only matters which one is believed. The intent seems to be that Scott thought his version would be believed, but it may end up foreshadowing the opposite.

  10. I think Marvel is going to be backing off of some its stronger anti-Cyclops and anti-mutant stuff, hoping to ignore them into non-continuity. Whether it is because they overplayed or because they changed their minds, I don’t think they saw value in doing anything worse.

    The other possibility is that something else happened. What could it be, though, and when?

  11. nice reviews, and that annual sounds lovely: i love both idie and dani, dani especially!
    can we back up a second? can anyone explain why the terrigen mist kills mutants? the inhumans and the x-men have know each other a long time, with mutants like quicksilver living among the inhumans, and that was never a thing. i guess my biggest problem with this whole thing is that i still don’t believe the premise, it feels contrived to create outrage, and i hope it will someday be retconned away… like, marvel just showed us what happened on one post-secret wars world, while actually, in another, thsi was not the main plot point of the last two years. everyone is saying cyclops got a good send off, but i don’t think he should have died. nor madrox. alchemy, well…

    1. I think the reason Terrigen now poisons mutants is “because shut up.” Less jokingly: Terrigen’s exposure to Earth’s atmosphere has caused it to undergo some chemical changes.

    2. This was weaponised Terrigen that Black Bolt created to use in a bomb, it having previously unknown toxic effects on mutants isn’t too outlandish perhaps.

      1. Oh weaponized terrigen, of course. Ok, then now explain to me why Black Bolt isnt a total villain who everyone hates and fears? And why Cyclops isn’t universally adored as a martyr saint hero? Im all for relativism but this is really making my moral compass confused.

  12. I couldn’t even figure out what the Noodle Incident was supposed to be in Death of X. I thought it might’ve been that Cyclops effectively got Alchemy killed? Because that’s really all he did that was wrong or harmful.

    And that was weird to me, because it seems like this would’ve been the perfect excuse to have Cyclops do something REALLY terrible without forever altering the character: Cyclops isn’t Cyclops, Cyclops is Emma. And we already know Emma’s capable of terrible things. Why NOT kill a few people?

  13. I look forward to when they finally reveal what made MaleThor unworthy of Mjolnir and it turns out to be something completely irrelevent and anticlimactic, as Death of X would seem to show that Marvel come up with cool story ideas and then are unable to create convincing explanations afterwards.

  14. You think there’s a Jim and Mitch Inform About Inhumans podcast and all the fans over there are talking about how right Black Bolt is all the time and how awful Cyclops was for destroying their cloud?

      1. Probably? I mean, I haven’t met any, but Marvel wouldn’t keep publishing their comics if SOMEBODY wasn’t reading them, right?

        1. Honestly, I’d probably listen the hell out of “Jim and Mitch Inform About Inhumans.” Inhuman plots keep popping up in comics I love (ie Ms Marvel, X-men, Captain Marvel) but I have no interest in adding still more titles to my pull list. Jim and Mitch would really be helpful in understanding what’s going on over in that corner of 616.2

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