Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

138 – What Would Dazzler Do?

Art by David Wynne

In which we continue to follow the post-Siege Perilous X-Men; Dazzler finally makes her big-screen debut; Callisto gets a day job; Colossus gets a ponytail; still more X-Men fake their deaths; Jean Grey gets tentacles; Professor Wolverine is a jerk; and Jay overthinks Community.


  • The new-new Howling Commandos
  • Hit-Monkey
  • Uncanny X-Men #259-263
  • Dazzler: The Movie (again)
  • Freddie Stanacheck
  • Eric Beale
  • What Dazzler would do
  • Peter Nicholas
  • Jenny Ransome and Phillip Moreau (again)
  • Twin Peaks references, canonical and otherwise
  • Genoshan foreign policy
  • The value of allegory
  • Some regrettable X-costumes
  • That time Jean Grey got tentacles
  • Molly the cat
  • Dubious medical ethics
  • Hardcase and the Harriers
  • An unlikely pizza party
  • A theoretical Community/X-Men costume party

NEXT EPISODE: Spotlight on the Starjammers!

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  1. The “hey we kept the secret that the X-men are alive” always bugged me. Banshee being pissed off is really the only time someone seems to call them out for it. Excalibur seemingly found it out off camera somewhere, and then for some reason the X-men never actually called their European based friends about it, even after publicly revealing themselves. Kurt, Kitty and Rachel had to call them. That has always pissed me off.

    On an unrelated note, the discussion of the wrecked mansion reminded me. The first volume of Damage Control (issue 3 I think) deals with the mansion trying to rebuild itself (by stealing construction materials from around Westchester), and features some questionable ethics on the part of Xavier. If you haven’t read it, it’s worthwhile (and available on Marvel Unlimited, which is where I recently reread it).

    Just love the idea that the X-men installed semi-sentient construction equipment into the mansion because it kept getting destroyed.

  2. I like the Starjammers, I liked this episode, but I really just want you guys to cover proto-X-Force already. I haven’t read any of those issues (they aren’t on Unlimited) and I feel like you’re going to spend the episode yelling at it and being delightful. I’ve been waiting for the 90’s for a while now, mostly because I’ve been thinking (and hoping) that you cover them like one of my favorite episodes, number 18 – You’ve Got A Dracula Problem. That episode had a lot of great things that work really well with the 90’s in general. In that episode, we got occasionally good stuff that you made sound appealing, the two of you yelling at distasteful art, the two of you making fun of ridiculousness, and Jay’s amazing Gambit voice.

  3. Here’s what gets me about the producers saying Dazzler’s “yesterday’s news”: That makes no sense. She was a rising star whose career collapsed, and who then died in a hugely publicized event. It’s a big deal! Putting out her movie would be printing money! Seriously, it would be a big deal!

    I do enjoy this weird Dazzler story. I like Dazzler in general. I wish her solo series had been better, because she’s great, and a Dazzler solo series could be truly amazing. I want her to get a new book.

    The Colossus thread is interesting. And his semi-romance with Callisto was actually kinda neat.

    The X-Monsters are really cool. I love them. And then Jean’s tentacles. Ah, Jean’s tentacles. That was weird. But enjoyably so. I also like when Forge gets to be a badass ex-soldier calling on those old skills again.

    Ah, Hardcase and the Harriers. They really didn’t do anything. Jubilee’s awesome, though. Her declaring Logan her sidekick is very much a Jubilee thing.

    1. Dazzler: The Movie might have been released. In issue 3 of Rainbow Rowell & Kris Anka’s “Runaways,” Karolina Dean has a poster of Dazzler: The Movie in her dorm room. The context of the scene makes me think it was placed there to be a positive influence. Karolina’s parents were both actors (and aliens), but considering her history I’m inclined to think Karolina would have needed to acquire this poster with her own resources, not with ties her parents had to Hollywood. This newest Runaways series takes place after the latest Secret Wars (Victor Mancha died before it began), so perhaps the reference can be due to Earth-616 being put back together differently.

  4. Does Piotr have his usual speech pattern post-SP? I’m picturing him saying “Da, I must be a New Yorker, tovarisch!” like he’s in an 80’s fish-out-of-water comedy.

    Has it ever been established if Callisto as we first saw her is what she really looks like, or if she had her features altered by Masque like other Morlocks did? Either way, it’s refreshing to see that reflected as her true form, rather than having the model looks treated as something she should aspire to.

    It amuses me that Forge perfectly reflected the plot hole from the TNG episode “Unnatural Selection”, where DNA and the transporter are used to cure Pulaski of an aging disease. Not the sort of tribute Claremont usually put in the book.

    I vote for the coked-out producer voice to come back sometime, BTW–that cracked me up.

    1. I have a vague memory of Callisto being mentioned as being conventionaly beautiful in her past, but then lost her eye and choosing to be made over into her current form by Madque

  5. I love how in the tags “Alison Blaire” and “allegory” are next to each other. We already proved she couldn’t handle the Scarlet Letter…

  6. I love that Community question! And the answer!

    I have had – on and off – thoughts about X-Men TV show “sales pitches” and in my head Community is almost a perfect rendition of 90’s Peter David X-Factor. Annie as Wolfsbane. Troy as Madrox. Ahbed as Strong Guy (they have a very similar, quiet sense of humour). Bridget as Polaris. Jeff as Havok. Pearce as Quicksilver. Shirley as Valerie Cooper.

    Agree or disagree, it works for me, and made me realise that not ALL Race/Gender bending for casting can work. A female, latino, bisexual “Strong Guy” would work as well as the straight white guy one, but Madrox should probably not be cast Asian. Having identical duplicates is a little bit too close – for my mind – to reaffirming the “they all look the same” stereotype. But obviously, being a straight, white, middle class Australian guy in his 30’s means I could be somewhat oblivious and removed from the issues affecting such a choice.

    But yeah, basically, I’d love to see more X-Men TV shows run the gamut and have comedies as well as dramas and thrillers.

    1. Just realised that Dean Craig could still be Mystique since she’s on the team later on.

      And I wrote bloody “Bridget” instead of “Britta” cos I’m an idiot.

  7. Have you guys ever read Storm: The Arena from X-Treme X-Men? In that story Masque is a woman, Callisto has tentacle arms and the Storm/Yukio relationship is pretty much text. I never understood why (I had missed a lot of continuity in the middle) but I think we can all agree that Claremont has a very unusual set of preferences.

    1. I’d read The Arena but not the issues covered here, so I was all like “Wait there was /precedent/ for Storm swooning into Callisto’s tentacle arms?!”

    2. Well, Masque wasn’t really a woman, he was wearing a Marilyn Monroe bodysuit for some reason. But man, that arc was so trash. It was Claremont leaning WAY too hard on fetishism.

      1. For some reason I had always assumed Masque was female when introduced, so it was them being confirmed as male which surprised me, especially when they were immune to their own power so wouldn’t be able to change themself, but it WAS a Claremont comic so I just kinda rolled with it.

  8. Yesyes. Hahaha i really enjoy picturing psilock and jubalee getting those pizzas togetger . Not liking eachutger etc lol

  9. One thing I remember the two of you thinking about discussing was a comparison between the artwork we saw Piotr burn in the Outback and the work he did as Peter, and I thought that might be here.

  10. The title of the Dazzler story “Star 90” is from the movie Star 80, a true story about a Playboy model killed by her boyfriend. I remember reading that this story was suggested by Marc Silvestri. I always enjoyed these single character stories. By the way, is Battle axe of the Harriers also Axe, the Mr. T lookalike from early in the New Mutant’s run? I think the Harriers had potential, if they hadn’t been dropped like a hot potato. A couple of them showed up in Wolverine again nearly a decade later.

    1. Cool it, buckaroo. We said this week; it’ll be this week.

      …although, honestly, I’m kinda rethinking that. Nothing makes me want to take the night off like someone taking the time to register *just* to be shitty and passive-aggressive. HIGH FIVE!

      1. I love you Jay, but I don’t know what The fuck you are referencing. I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering “What the fuck?” is going on with the visual companions. If it’s a thing, then make it a thing! I can easily stop supporting you on Patreon. Miles still hasn’t done a sexy voice for me. Also when in my previous comment did I say just?

  11. Anyone else think that the Storm lookalike mutant might have been Mohawk from the Archangel flashback issue during the Judgment War story arc, X-Factor 47? Poor kid got majorly messed with by Masque because she looks like Storm…

  12. Thanks for the comment about the writers just completely forgetting about the electronic surveillance thing. I’ve been struggling every episode to recall when the team stopped being undetectable, figured it was some detail I’d forgotten over the years.

    It was never actually assessed?

  13. Finally got to this in my read. What’s weird here is wondering what would have happened to Dazzler or Havok or Colossus if Claremont could have had his way. Like, I kinda take for granted that Dazzler was just getting written out, but this check in after 10ish issues suddenly has me think that maybe Claremont had a better longgame for her. Or, conversely, Colossus was meant to have some arcs like Dazzler and then going on the backburner.

    I know we got X-Men Forever, but man, I would be so curious to glimpse into 90s Claremont’s mind and see what he had planned had not the Jim Lee takeover happened. (Tantalized currently by discovering that the Psylocke Ninja thing was only supposed to be a temporary thing)

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