Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

151 – Czars of Kung Fu

Art by David Wynne. Contact David to purchase the original!

In which Laura easily is worth a dozen Old Mans Logan; Charlotte Jones is the EveryCop; Genosha remains a fairly versatile allegory; Hydra are totally Nazis; Jubilee gets the best sound effects; Rogue has a bad day; and it’ll take more than a sun to stop Lila Cheney.


  • Graydon Creed
  • Logan oversaturation (more) (again)
  • Uncanny X-Men #264, 268, 269
  • A somewhat convoluted status quo
  • Death by Derrida
  • New York’s sewers (kind of) (maybe)
  • The Misty Knight rule
  • Jackets of the ’90s
  • Cap’s cape
  • Mustache metaphysics
  • The Press Gang (again)
  • VR.5
  • The Doctrine of Hot Pursuit
  • Dazzler, in handy grenade form
  • A prescient scenario
  • Jim Lee signature cocktail dresses
  • A dubious approach to first aid
  • Wolverine’s sexy friends
  • Nazi ducks
  • Seraph
  • Ivan Petrovitch
  • Sexy subversion
  • Rogue vs. Carol Danvers
  • Mutants vs. the Terrigen Mists
  • TaXonomy of ambiguously X-characters

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  1. So, the “Always-Already dead remark” immediately caused my brain to jump to thinking about Fist of the North Star – and now I have this image in my head of instead of postmodern philosopher Jacques Derrida, postmodern post-apocalyptic martial artist (and also occasional philosopher) Kenshiro Derrida – “You are always-already dead”. He’d wander the wastelands, questioning the assumptions of post-apocalyptic society, and making warlords heads explode.

  2. Additional Thoughts:

    About the Cape thing – I’d say that capes are a better way of conveying motion in a stationary medium than how Richard Corben does it in “Den”. (Don’t Google Richard Corben’s Den at work).

    Also, the reason Cap became Nomad was because Nixon was secretly leading the Secret Empire (which I only really bring up because… well, it makes the current state of Steve Rogers as a character even more problematic).

    I wonder if anyone ever drew Forge with a Joshua L. Chamberlain Big Bushy 1880s Moustache?

    Regarding V.R.5: Man, Ghost Hacking was much more complicated prior to direct neural interfaces.

  3. I’m 100% on board for the “Old Man Logan Oversaturation” depression. Laura’s back to just her solo and one team (which is Weapon X, so it barely even counts) with OML at 3 teams (Gold, Astonishing and Weapon X, as you mentioned) and a solo. How long till he’s an Avenger again? Think the Fantastic Four will finally resurface as 4 Logans from various different dimensions? When will the inevitable Logan/Deadpool book eventuate?

    Hyperbole aside, it’s sad that Laura Kinney, Sam Wilson, Jane Foster, Riri Williams (probably) and (to a certain extent) Miles Morales have so quickly been (or are about to be) retired back to support status despite popularity and virtually limitless storytelling potential. But I felt this way when Dick Grayson went back to being Nightwing. The pain never goes away, ya just learn to live with it.

  4. Logan being in every title again pisses me off, especially when Laura gets relegated to just her own book. They killed Logan off because people were sick of him being everywhere, and now he’s back to being everywhere, because Marvel doesn’t learn. Bleh.

    I do wish we’d gotten more stories about Jean and Misty being friends. That would have been a lot of fun. But it was never actually followed up on.

    I do love the Wolverine/Captain America/Black Widow flashback story. It’s so much fun. I really do enjoy it. Related: I want more stories from the time where Black Widow worked for the USSR.

    I also like the Savage Land Rogue issue. Crazy Evil Ms. Marvel is weird, but kinda cool. Also, the Magneto reveal is pretty great.

    On the Terrigen poisoning: It’s been stated, at least in interviews, that the Terrigen mist’s make-up was changed by exposure to the atmosphere.

  5. Hi J and Miles,

    In order to contextualize Genosha and their press gang/magistrates getting off without consequence, remember that this issue comes out the year after Lethal Weapon 2 had an Apartheid-era South African diplomat shoot Mel Gibson and then claim “diplomatic immunity.”

    All I’m saying is that the sources were pretty clear in 1990.

  6. Haven’t finished listening to the episode, but shoutout for the VR5 reference! Glad I’m not the only one who remembers Lori Singer hacking peoples minds with a dial-up modem. I might even have a copy of the soundtrack somewhere…

  7. Laura has a different dynamic than Logan had in the X-Men. I don’t really mind seeing her in only one book. I think that’s where Laura’s story really shines. That being said, I’d love to see Laura as Wolverine as sort of a guest basis on other books. Make her like the original Wolverine where it is a treat to Laura in different titles as a guest star, rather than it is expected of her to show up in the team books. Or do some neat prestige books that highlight her difference from her father, like maybe Nick Fury/Wolverine: Scorpio Descent or Cyclops and Wolverine: Meltdown II. Actually, the idea of Laura talking Scott into going on a road trip in Mexico to take care of “unfinished business” sounds pretty cool.

  8. •Lip-service legacy characters seems to sum up quite a few of the titles these days. ?

    •Logan’s retirement plan reminds me of one of my favorite Wolverine standalones, where Mark Texeira draws him hunting down poachers. Lovely stuff, shame he didn’t get more issues on the title.

    •Jim Lee took the high-cut briefs entirely too far.

    •Officer Murphy was indeed doomed, but he had to die to be reborn as RoboCop.

  9. Broadly defined, the doctrine of hot pursuit actually does work across jurisdictional lines, permitting extra-jurisdictional authorities to continue a pursuit across a territorial border. Think of it as the opposite of how Bo and Luke Duke would escape the Hazard County Sheriff by crossing over the county line. The doctrine also permits unwarranted and otherwise unconstitutional entry onto private property to pursue a fleeing suspect.

    However, the doctrine hinges on a “continuous” pursuit. While the magistrates and the Press Gang’s desire to abduct and repatriate Phillip and Jenny may have been continuous, their pursuit was not. The doctrine of hot pursuit does not cover a situation where the extra-jurisdictional authorities break off pursuit to plan an incursion into the other territory of apprehend the party they are pursuing. The pursuit must be literal and physical – not wanting to apprehend them in the abstract. Hence the requisite hotness. Also, as a practical matter, hot pursuit in a society with communications technology involves contacting the subject territory to coordinate with them.

    The better analogy here is that the magistrates are acting as espionage and intelligence agencies seeking to extradite targets – which is, of course (at least at this point), totally and completely illegal. Of course, resolution of the criminality through a contact with a shadowy government official and letting the foreign agents go is a perfectly comic-accurate resolution of this sort of thing.

    1. Also, considering the Press Gang fired on and killed local law enforcement officials in their official capacity as agents of the government of Genosha (presumably the reason why they pled diplomatic immunity) – that would technically be an act of war against the United States by Genosha, which would also bring the UK, France, Germany, and other NATO members into the conflict as well.

      Presumably Genosha had a mutual defense treaty with the Russian Federation or another nuclear power, or they otherwise has weapons of mass destruction in sufficient capacity to make it unpalatable to declare war on Genosha. Presumably with a reasonable administration there would be some other diplomatic consequences to Genosha – and the Press Gang would be expressly forbidden from entering the United States. Additionally some of the staff of the Genoshan embassy might be expelled.

    2. Yes and no. It’s only allowed across jurisdictions if there’s an agreement to allow them to operate across jurisdictions. Otherwise, it won’t. I think there’s an interstate compact on the subject between US States. But it’s entirely different when it comes to countries. Arizona police can’t chase someone into Mexico.

      That being said, it’s a political issue as much as anything else. Leaving the morals aside and focusing solely on the international relations aspect for a second, the closest I can think of is the Mossad going into Argentina to get Adolf Eichmann. The actual laws of the situation matter less than the ability to carry it out.

    3. I would have thought that you would be limited by the local laws as well. So you wouldn’t be allowed to arbitrarily shoot someone dead if the country you are in has no death penalty. So I would have thought outright murdering a cop would veto any claim to hot pursuit.

  10. My prediction is at some point, Old Man Logan is going to get his healing supercharged or something that makes him young again, and that’s how he’ll re-become Wolverine.

    1. Wonderful way to get a Wolverine who conforms to standard model Wolverine BUT has his entire post-apocalyptic timeline history stacked on top of all of the previous model’s convolutions. Origins, Weapon X, Romulus, X-Men, Daken, everything up to Death of Wolverine, and then everything in OML. And then Secret Wars. Good luck explaining all of that to a newcomer.

      1. Then they just hit the amnesia button again, with his healing factor affecting his brain’s ability to store his overloaded memory,

  11. LoveLoveLOVE the Logan/Cap meeting. Not only did we play the HELL out of that when I was younger (usually adding Indy to the anti-Nazi battles too) but when I met “Cap” at the Marvel Mania restaurant that was briefly at Universal Hollywood I used the “Me, I’m just a guy…” line. Never felt so cool.

  12. Hello from a year in the future! Making my way through the archives and I’m willing to lend some comments on some not-so-X-Men stuff with Black Widow from this episode.

    First off, Black Widow and Daredevil — They had been broken up for about 15 years by this issue. At this specific point in time, she was coming off of a (non-romantic) supporting cast stint in Ann Nocenti’s wonderful Daredevil run, headlining a couple graphic novels and bouncing around as a reserve Avenger (soon to join the team full-time and become Avengers leader during the leather jacket era discussed here). As for the characterization of their relationship in the episode, your description was unfortunately accurate for the later part of it, but it really wasn’t meant to be like that at first. She came onto the title by rescuing Daredevil from distress! It didn’t get to be so bad until Steve Gerber came on; he hated the relationship and tended to humiliate Black Widow in his attempts to write her out of the action. Even then, other writers (like Claremont!) noticed and tried to address this crazy mishandling of Black Widow in later issues of Daredevil and other titles.

    As for the backstory thing! First off, it’s worth noting that Uncanny #268 is actually the very first issue to establish that Black Widow is wayyy older than she looks (pointed out by an incredulous Jubilee in this story). But, Claremont never explains *why* she’s so old this in story. And with him leaving the X-Men soon after, he never got a chance. Writers completely ignored that dangling plot point (despite #268 being such a well-remembered story) for a long while, treating Black Widow as if she was in her 30s.

    It wasn’t until 2007, that two writers by the name of Ed Brubaker and Daniel Way both independently resurrected that old Claremont idea for two different stories that they published around the same time. Way’s story was a (pretty dumb) retread of #268 in his Wolverine: Origins series (hello, Romulus), and Brubaker used Black Widow to help fold his Winter Soldier mythos into the existing Soviet spy structures at Marvel. Still, no one would bother to come up with a reason behind the slowed aging until Black Widow’s origin mini came out in 2009.

    In regards to the “raised as an actual human child” vs. “raised as a creepy child assassin” debacle, that came about as a result of some very clumsy retcons from a miniseries circa 2005. In a story that I’m not really sure was ever meant to be read as part of main continuity, Black Widow is revealed to have implanted memories of a normal childhood where she learned ballet, and instead was raised from childhood as a spy. None of this really gels with past stories, and there isn’t an attempt to connect it back, either. Ivan Petrovitch usually isn’t shown as her handler under this version, though (mostly because the miniseries that introduced this backstory ignored his existence completely).

    The way her origin mini deals with it, is that she was a member of a ~vaguely-Black Widow Program-ish military school~ for a year when she was little, she breaks out with Wolverine’s help (this is a plot point from Wolverine: Origins), and then fights in World War II for a while with Ivan’s battalion (which is when Uncanny X-Men #268 takes place), before eventually becoming a spy. It does require some squinting to make Natasha’s appearance in this story credible, since the timeline was changed to make her a little older by 1941, and she would have been more capable in a fight. Still, the general idea of the story still stands (plus or minus some dumb changes by Daniel Way).

    (Sorry for the wall of text!)

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