Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

Jay & Miles Review the X-Men, Episode 115

Week of 3/8/2017 (Thanks for your patience! It’s been… quite a month.)

In which we have a whole, whole lot of feelings about Emma Frost; Old Man Logan goes back to the beginning; our hearts now and forever belong to All-New Wolverine; and we finally remember to do another mailbag segment!


  • Inhumans vs. X-Men #6 (00:54; spoilers begin at 03:10)
  • Old Man Logan #19 (09:43)
  • *All-New Wolverine #18 (12:56)

*Pick of the Week (18:46)

Filmed at Books With Pictures in Portland, OR.

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  1. So on IvX: completely agree on Medusa and Emma. Their respective climaxes don’t really hold up. They both seem to come out of nowhere. Also Beast discovered the terrigen saturation while working for the Inhumans, and there was plenty of implication that the Inhumans were spying on him while he did. So did they just ignore that one critical piece of evidence?

    Fan Theory: So all of this still doesn’t explain the Cyclops-Hitler reaction. But I was thinking about it a bit. If we assume Emma’s been going quietly insane ever since Muir Island (which maybe also ties into the Emma is right stuff). What if Emma’s telepathy and a different side of her personality/insanity have been the driving force for the Cyclops-Hitler comparisons.

    Emma wants revenge, and she’s convinced herself that Scott would want it to. However deep down she knows that simply isn’t true. So her subconscious is using her telepathy to make the world believe that Scott is evil (essentially an Onslaught type situation, where a powerful psychic’s subconcious acts independently of the psychic).

    Now you could then read that either as a) her subconscious is trying to warn her away from her current path, by pointing out that her plan would lead her to being judged the same way or b) It’s giving her more and more reasons for her to want to destroy the Inhumans, and would help reinforce her position amongst the rest of the mutants (since presumably they’d all be blaming Inhuman propaganda for the anti-Cyclops tone, and probably see it as part of an anti-mutant campaign by the Inhumans).

    Still doesn’t fix Medusa going from “Sorry about you mutants…bit of a bummer” to “Not even a single mutant life is worth sacrificing for terregenesis.” Though we could maybe argue that that was being influenced by evil-Emma as well as a way to put the two groups on a collision course.

    The fact that it was her subconscious doing it would also make it a little easier to redeem her (the same way we let Xavier get away with at least three attacks from distinct evil subconscious entities). Maybe also explains her costume (I have done great evil…so I must punish myself with poor fashion choices).

    1. I like your explanation. Have a no-prize.

      I bought Medusa’s actions though. She was working with Beast and her extraction team to try and find a solution that would both save mutants and preserve the cloud. She probably knew in the back of her mind that push may come to shove and she’d have to destroy. When she discovered that the moment had arrived and all mutants would die if she didn’t act, she made the right choice. You can certainly argue that it’s the choice she should have made as soon as one mutant was negatively affected, but I can see her logic.

      1. I think the logic of Medusa’s actions would hold up more if they’d approached the situation from the reverse. If the research and timing issues between Death of X and IvX 0 had been about “we need to work together to figure out a way to contain the cloud,” instead of “you’ll need to figure out a way to cure mutants because the cloud is non-negotiable.”

        Then you could have the religous elements of Inhuman life arguing, “no the cloud must be free” vs the rulers not wanting to be evil.

        The conflict with the X-men could still happen organically (ie the same inciting incident leads the x-men to attack) with the Inhuman factions fighting to defend the cloud while the X-men try and destroy it because contaiment doesn’t work.

        Then when Medusa makes her choice it’s a lot more organic. It’s not a matter of “Oh geez, we’re wrong” it’s more a “we gave it a try, but this is the only way to stop it from killing tens of thousands of people.”

        I don’t know why I’m nitpicking this exactly. It was a pretty enjoyable series. Just felt the ending was really abrupt.

        1. I think that was basically what they were going for, but you’re right that they didn’t quite stick the landing.

    2. I think with the reveal of Cyclops actual death and Emma’s psychic projection Cyclops, she will play some part in explaining the public reaction to Cyclops (the mutant reaction will never make sense) so your theory might be the correct one

      I think the problem is it really feels like writers were just told “you wont believe the terrible thing Cyclops did so you better hype it up as much as possible” without ever telling them what it actually was and now that we know what happened it just doesn’t work at all

    3. Where’s the implications that the Inhumans were spying on Beast? What’s shown in the pages of IvX and the All New X-Men crossover issue about Bobby seem to imply the opposite – that he was very effectively hiding information from them.

      In IvX 1, Beast explicitly states he hasn’t told any of the Inhumans what he’s learned, and he is shown in IvX 0 to hide it from Iso.

      Iso knew Beast felt it was possible that the Cloud was dispersing, but she didn’t know of the evidence that it was occurring until in IvX 4 when Mosaic gets the info from Magneto and Cyclops.

      Medusa had no way of knowing until IvX 6. She was operating under the assumption that the Terrigen was contained in the Cloud and Crystal’s team could keep moving Mutants out of the way while Beast searched for a solution. I agree the line about terrigenesis not being worth even a single mutant life rang hollow with the rest of the way things were handled, but at no point did any of the Inhumans show any real disdain for Mutant life.

      1. Fair point. I misread the Issue 0 sequence on the spying, but it still sort of fits my general issue (just went back to read it). Beast tells Medusa, there’s no way to “cure” the terrigen poisoning in Mutants. Medusa then tells him “didn’t you tell me science can do anything?” but follows up immediately by calling the Royals and saying “We have to be prepared to win the inevitable war against the X-men.”

        The only reason for an inevitable war with the X-men is that the cloud is going to keep killing everyone.

  2. RE: IvX

    Emma has always been a character I was more tangentially interested in than straight fan of, so I don’t feel betrayed that she’s gone full super villain again like many readers are.

    But her proclaiming “Scott would want this” as she’s deliberately murdering scores of Inhumans is so weird, the only way it makes sense to me is if she’s just become completely unhinged. Even Scott’s biggest haters know he would never have approved of this.

    But it does leave Emma (and Havok!) in an interesting place at the end. Mutants are going to survive for now, so what does she do next? And if she is going to be the X-Men’s big bad for the time being which team will she be tangling with? I suspect it will be the new Astonishing X-Men.

    1. Two questions, one external, one internal.

      Externally, who, at Marvel editorial, sat down and thought “You know, what we REALLY need is a novel idea, how about a major story arc which will set things up so one of our most high-profile, powerful female characters will become a full blown supervillain because she just can’t handle her emotions when dealing with loss!” ? I mean really, WHO?

      Internally, did we ever find out WHY Beast didn’t tell the Inhumans about the fact their rogue bioweapon was now killing mutants?

      1. RE: Beast

        The Inhumans were aware that the Terrigen Mists were poisonous to mutants and were working with Beast to find a solution, but they didn’t find out the mists were saturating the atmosphere to the point mutants couldn’t survive anywhere until the end of IvX. Beast told the X-Men first who imprisoned him, so he couldn’t tell the Inhumans.

        1. Thank you for the answer. It still begs the question of why he didn’t tell the Inhumans, since he was on their team, working on their equipment, in their city when he found out. I can see him wanting to tell the X-Men as soon as possible, but NOT telling the Inhumans too, when they’re right in front of him, seems like an odd choice.

          1. Hank’s explanation is that he felt like it was only right to tell the X-Men first and he planned to tell the Inhumans right afterwards. The X-Men locked him up so he couldn’t because that would have spoiled their attack. Whether you buy the logic of that is up to you of course, but there is an in-story explanation.

  3. I had some trouble with the art in this issue, specifically the part where (looking back at it) the atmosphere is on the brink of saturation. There’s a cloud in Iceland and then there’s an image of the world encircled by the mists. It’s not really explained in the dialogue anywhere.

    If you think about it, wouldn’t the fact that the mists have now covered most of the world resulted in severe injuries to at least some of the mutants around the world who aren’t in Iceland? And maybe even some deaths? Considering we only really saw a handful of mutants in Iceland that’s a lot of mutants who were engulfed by the mists.

    I may be reading it wrong though.

    And, as a major Havok fan I approve of his new style. I thought they might have fixed up the face burn but I can live with that. I hope he manages to get on to one of the teams – even if it is an the expense of his dissertation.

  4. Miles is happy to see Illyana brought into as many books as possible; I’m just happy to see her with bangs again. It’s iconic!

    1. Not only that, but it should make it easier to tell her and Emma apart. I sometimes get them confused when a title switches to a new artist. Although I suppose that won’t be an ongoing concern regardless since Emma is now a supervillain in Dita Von Teese/Road Warrior mashup cosplay.

  5. My headcanon: Madelyn Pryor showed up in the All-New X-Men issues directly proceding the Inhumans versus X-Men tie-ins and it wasn’t a coincidence. Emma Frost’s costume is all the proof I need that the Goblyn Queen wanted to screw with both Cyclops Prime’s widow and All-New Cyclops at the same time, and is the real force behind this. Medusa’s narration should have named Emma as the Whyte Queen; Ys for every villain in Sluggy Freelance tradition.

  6. IvX was such an awful event. It was one of the worst events I’ve ever read. Because IT IS COMPLETELY POINTLESS. Medusa being willing to decide to destroy the cloud turns the X-Men into the villains of the story. It means they were being paranoid, reactionary dicks, while the Inhumans were completely and totally innocent of any wrong-doing in this entire event.

    This could have been a great story. It genuinely could have been great. But it would have required more subtlety and complexity than this brought. But there’s no subtlety at any point in this entire story. It’s just half-assed and heavy-handed.

    Here’s how it should’ve gone down: Beast tells Storm about the time limit. Storm goes to talk to Medusa. Medusa still wants to preserve the cloud and find an alternate solution. The two sides go to are. And then Medusa spends the story being torn between not wanting mutants to die, and not wanting such a massive shift to Inhuman culture by destroying the cloud. She’d have some Inhumans thinking they should let the mutants destroy the cloud, and she’d have some saying the cloud has to be preserved.

    On the X-Men side, you could’ve had some arguing that they should leave the planet. They do still have some relationship with the Shi’ar, they could re-settle somewhere else. The Inhumans moved to the moon under similar circumstances, after all, which is a parallel that could’ve been drawn in the story, but which never was.

    IvX sucked so frigging hard. One of the worst events ever.

    As for All-New Wolverine: The end of her fight with Kimura is really intense.

    On the panel of the week: Miles, were you thinking of when Dani went into Illyana’s bedroom?

    1. Why didn’t Medusa question all the mutants fleeing or in Cyclops case heading towards the Terrigen cloud and trying to destroy it

      Did she think Mutants just really hated clouds?

      1. Everyone knew that the cloud was poisonous to mutants, including Medusa. What she didn’t know is that the terrigen was beginning to completely saturate the atmosphere. She figured as long as mutants got out of the cloud’s way they’d be fine.

        1. Which, given that some mutants wouldn’t know they were mutants (and so wouldn’t know to flee), or might only be latent mutants (kids, babies etc), beggars belief as a workable idea.

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