Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

155 – X-Tinction Event

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

In which the X-Tinction Agenda begins in earnest; Jim Lee rocks our world; Cable doesn’t need any Mickey-Mouse schedules; Jean Grey is not paid by the word; Havok makes a heel turn; Boom Boom’s pretext of self-interest fools no one; Cameron Hodge is STILL the worst; and Jay and Miles make an announcement.


  • Warlock across the multiverse
  • Uncanny X-Men #270, New Mutants #95, X-Factor #60
  • X-Tinction Agenda
  • The first modern crossover
  • The creative state of the X-line
  • Limitations of Marvel Unlimited
  • Dramatis Personae
  • Mickey-Mouse schedules
  • The X-Men, who do not die the old-fashioned way
  • One-way nude teleportation
  • Magistrate Summers
  • The return of Cameron Hodge’s angry severed head
  • Wipeout (again)
  • Mutates
  • The death of Warlock
  • The esoteric paraphernalia of war
  • Silver Age misogyny
  • What we’d do differently if we introduced the X-Men in 2017
  • Our upcoming hiatus

NEXT EPISODE: It gets worse.

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    1. That’s exactly where my head went, and yes, it was amazing.

      Wait a minute, now that Jay’s in NYC, is there a way for them to do some kind of monologue-off with Cecil Baldwin? Are there events for that? Slam poetry but for existential dread?

    2. I read your commenty before I listened to the podcast, and wondered what you might mean.

      I need wonder no longer, spot on!

  1. I was thinking that might be a reference to something I wasn’t familiar with, but if it was entirely original and spontaneous, that’s very cool.

    And take all the time you need. While I like my Monday afternoon X-Men, I can re-listen to old episodes if needed. Looks like I’ll have some Monday afternoon Thor to keep me busy anyway. Hopefully the move goes as smoothly as possible. 🙂

  2. I feel like Cameron Hodge would have been a great villain to have gotten the Live Action treatment. Obviously the endless Charles and Eric and Logan rehashes need something else to spice them up, but even just on a surface level, Hodge’s weirdly cinematic look(s) would be incredible on the big screen. The reveal of his giant scorpion body would be amazing. Plus he’s a friend who becomes evil and returns to do them harm… He ticks all the boxes and it’s a shame Hodge doesn’t get more love from the X-fans than he does. He doesn’t return again and again like Apocalypse, Sinister or Magneto, but that almost makes him better, since when he shows up it’s a big a deal.

    Enjoy the hiatus, guys. Well, Jay anyway. Miles, you so crazy! I’ll definitely be on board for Thor! Will be great to go through that run in the lead up to Ragnarok in November!

    1. And I meant to say, Improv Dredd is what Judge Dredd does on his Saturday nights off. Right? Get it? Dread? Dredd?

      (As the kids say) I’ll see myself out.

    2. Cameron Hodge, Executive Asshole Supervillain would be a great movie villain.

      Cameron Hodge, Post-Demonic Deal, Cardboard-Cutout Wearing, Cyber-Techno-Scorpion would probably require a little TOO much exposition.

      Unless it was played for laughs, when CHP-DDC-CWCTS shows up and Angel goes “Cameron? Cameron Hodge? My old college room-mate and comptroller? What the hell happened to you??” and CHP-DDC-CWCTS just replies “I’ll tell you later” and then never does, but that might undercut the drama.

        1. We have a hint of that in “Powerless”, where Alan Tudyk’s Van Wayne is 100% privilegd, asshole idiot boss.

          But I think I like your idea better;

          “It’s a business PLAN, but an evil SCHEME… I should never mix those two up at meetings”

          “I don’t understand why that didn’t work. My PowerPoint presentation was flawless”

  3. Yeah, Warlock’s death was such a non-event compared to what it should have been (I know there’s a post-script, but even so… 🙁 )

    Back in the day I did ponder what Warlock on X-Force would have been like, and could see him missing the point and creating NERF guns the size of a pickup truck, and sucker-tipped crossbow launchers, possibly alongside a returned Doug who, in deference to Cable’s teaching style, has now adopted a Rambo-inspired costume, and the new codename “Bad Language” (tagline “It’s just his mutation that’s passive”) whilst still being his original nerdy-self at heart.

    As for “We never stay dead” bit, Storm you unfeeling monster, aside from Changeling, AND Doug, what about John Proudstar, you know THE GUY FROM YOU FIRST EVER X-TEAM? And who I think now, aside from Ben Parker, holds the record for longest consistent deadness in the MU

    1. While I agree with you on it being insensitive for Ororo to completely forget about John Proudstar, I think it is far worse that she still hasn’t tried to find Kurt and Kitty and neither has Jean. They’re just inured to how often they have been “dead.” Speaking generally, the X-Men come back from a lot of deaths, but particularly those two.

      1. Well if they did that, they’d have to explain how their Plan Omega to fake their own death was supposed to benefit people like the New Mutants, who were now left at the school, with all the old X-Men enemies running around and now being able to focus on THEM without interference by the more trained X-Men. Ditto Kurt and Kitty over on Muir Isle at the time, who were lucky they founded Excalibur to keep themselves busy.

        Which is right up there with X-Factor having to explain to the New Mutants and EVERYONE why pretending to be mutant hunters was such a bad idea because it did nothing to help mutant relations, but DID help trigger the suicide of one vulnerable young mutant they knew of, and who knows how many others.

        When the X-Men and Excalibur DO get in touch with each other there’s a nice moment of acknowledgement, but it’s too small a lampshade, too late.

  4. I’ve been trying to figure out where Jim Lee is getting that tech from. With the emergence of the 1990s, there was this focus on “militant fashion.” The X-Force kids had that look. So did Jim Lee’s renditions of the X-Men in this title. I mean, they’re on Akira-style bikes with Light Sabers fighting mutants in Turtlenecks. It feels like some sort of Battletech mixed with GI Joe and Star Wars. There’s something specific here that Jim Lee is patterning his stuff after. At least it feels specific. I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

    1. Last time I read this the tech designs reminded me of Masamune Shirow. I recall Liefeld saying (in his inkstuds interview) that he and the other early Image guys were all reading the Appleseed reprints.

      1. THANK YOU! Appleseed! That’s the name.. My brain kept defaulting to “Patlabor” but that didn’t look right when I googled it.

  5. I’ll miss the X-Perts during your hiatus, but I’m also kinda glad it’s happening, just because I can’t imagine keeping up a weekly schedule with everything that’s been going on for the two of you lately. Keeping it up seamlessly after a cross-country move would be WAY above and beyond. Good on you for taking the necessary time for mental health, putting down new roots, and of course setting up a nationwide network of cloned cyborgs with tank treads for legs (I assume).

    Plus, if there’s any good place for a break in the show, it’s the conclusion of X-Tinction Agenda. End of an era!

  6. I don’t know *why* they got rid of Warlock. I mean, with his techno-shapeshifting, can you imagine how many pouches he could turn into? He’d be the ultimate X-Force member.

    Not to mention how many teeth he could give himself.

      1. 100 pouch-sized Warlocks would be adorable! What kind of monster would want to fight 100 wacky, pop-culture saturated, technorganic puppies?

  7. Best of luck during the hiatus and thanks again for all that you do. I cannot tell you what a relief it was to hear you express concerns about Bogdanove’s art during this run! I’ve always associated him with these issues and never much cared for him as a result.

    1. Also – i hadn’t realized how much the “esoteric paraphernalia of war” line and everything about the geopolitical dispute between Genosha and the USA was so markedly informed by Operation Desert Shield, which was going full strength at the time these issues came out…

    2. I agree – the main problem I had with this crossover is I really enjoyed the Claremont/Lee issues and not much else. Jon Bogdanove has done some great work, but this ain’t it. Incidentally, I expected this incarnation of Hodge to be a major new X-Villain after this crossover. He popped up again with the Phalanx but wouldn’t be seen in this configuration for almost 20 years. I guess maybe Jim Lee’s design was just too damn hard to draw?

      1. From the quote Miles read, Cameron Hodge certainly talked himself up as being a big deal. He claimed to be their “…oldest and most obsessive foe.” Sorry, Hodge, but you’re not nearly that Sinister.

        1. I always love the Trope of the supervillain who thinks they’re the arch enemy but the feeling isn’t mutual (e.g. Monarch in Season 1 of Venture Brothers)

          1. X-Factor Annual #8 is that exact thing taken all the way to the extreme end with “villains we didn’t even know we had”.

            Looking forward to the Peter David X-Factor run(s). Not tooooo far away now for the first one! Madrox! Havok! Polaris! Guido! That’s MY Fantastic Four RIGHT THERE.

            Also much kudos for the Venture Bros reference. LOVE that show.

            1. Looking forward to hearing about David’s X-Factor too (and wrote to Marvel Unlimited to see if we can get more X-Factor on the app).

  8. Oh, and as regards Cable’s “Mickey Mouse schedule” bit, that goes as far back as the 1970’s, which using “Mickey Mouse” as an adjective implied that something was trivial and unimportant.

    Do you young people not use the term these days?

  9. On the subject of Cameron Hodge’s glasses, I don’t think they’re intended to serve as a facade of civility or normality. After all, that’s the purpose the cardboard cutout serves. If they ware part of that, he would have the glasses repaired or replaced when they cracked. I think they’re a visual representation of his warped point of view.

  10. So….. Welcome to Nightvale crossover when?

    Xplain the Nightvale?
    Welcome to Xmen?
    Welcome to Die?

    Regarding Cameron’s glasses, I don’t think they’re an affectation of “I am normal, fellow hu-mon” rather they’re an affectation of “I am tOTAlly sANe, aND tRuSTwoRtHy!”

    Now that you’re moving to New York, Jay, are you going to start calling yourself Jay Jonah Edditon and ranting about that menace, Spiderman?

    1. I really hope Jay doesn’t have to deal with the usual troubling times for a printed medium, but also Inferno.

    2. The obvious name would be “Welcome to Night Vale… Hope you Survive the Xperience”

      As for Hodge’s glasses, that’s because he didn’t read the small print in his contract with Nastirh and made a rookie mistake.

      He said he wanted immortality… he _didn’t_ say he wanted his vision corrected.

  11. I think that the New Mutants issues are on unlimited, meaning that two thirds of the story are on there. I might be wrong.

  12. I do really like this event. It’s great stuff, lots of fun, lots of drama. Warlock’s death not being a bigger deal is really disappointing, I’ll agree. He was such a major character, and then his death was passed over so quickly. But Hodge is fantastic. So great. So creepy and unsettling.

    Maybe Havok joined the Magistrates because they promised to help him finish his dissertation? But then the X-Men had to mess it up for him, as usual.

    Hope you enjoy the time off!

  13. Upon a second listen, I realized there were some other things I wanted to comment on.

    I believe the medical community is moving away from the term, “sexually transmitted disease” and towards, “sexually transmitted infection.” You wouldn’t guess it by looking at the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the World Health Organization has apparently been pushing for this since the late 90s since someone could be infected but never develop symptoms. I don’t think Logan figured into that debate.

    How did journalists discover Warlock died? Also, wouldn’t those same journalists be at all interested in the fact that Warlock was from an alien species not previously known to them? Since this is the Marvel universe we’re talking about, wouldn’t potential extraterrestrial retribution overshadow the international story? Since only the New Mutants, Charles, Xavier, Ship and (maybe) Magneto know anything about the Technarchy, how did Cameron Hodge find out anything about the origin and capabilities of the transmode virus?

    1. Journalists found out because Genosha actively wanted it publicised that they had been invaded by mutants so they could paint themselves as victims!

      Given the range of physical appearances that MU mutants can have, most of them wouldn’t assume warlock was alien, just another weirdo mutant.

      How Cameron Hodge knew anything about them is possibly thanks to his dealings with Nastirh and the techno-organic infected demons of Limbo.

  14. As someone whose Disney Parks fandom rivals his X-Men fandom, I am super into thinking more about Genosha in World Showcase. It led me to wonder about questions such as:

    “What would the food options be? Does Genosha have a culinary specialty?”

    “Would there be a custom drink that’s unique to the country, or would it be like the ‘Moroccorita’ where they had to invent a drink?”

    “Would Mickey and Minnie be in Mutate-outfits like they are dressed as gondoliers in Italy or Mountees in Canada?”

    “If nothing else, does Genosha get a booth for Food and Wine Festival?” (Most of my disney questions circle back to food)

    And yes, I saw someone already posted this on twitter, but RIP Maelstrom…(though Frozen Ever After is enjoyable

    1. Their section in “It’s a Small World After All” would definitely have colour co-ordinated dolls of mutates singing (If they have have little child skeletons singing for Mexico’s Día de Muertos, I wouldn’t put anything past them)

    2. I think the drink would depend greatly on when it was added to the park. Shortly after Genosha’s introduction in the comics, the drink wouldn’t have a name, only a number. The drink would have a name again after the United Nations gave Genosha to Magneto, and it would be removed from the menu entirely after the Sentinel attack.

  15. Yes! I completely agree about Marvel Unlimited! It can’t stand it when they seem to randomly miss parts of a storyline or crossover. Someone must realize they are missing especially when they take the time to organize a section for storylines! Argh.

    I will miss the show during the hiatus but it definitely makes sense to take a break. I am excited to hear Miles and Elizabeth’s Thor podcast though. I’ve been meaning to read those issues for ages!

  16. Also, Warlock being on X-Force and completely misunderstanding everything would have made it a much more entertaining book than I remember it being. I guess we’ll always have the head canon.

  17. Nearly done reading Walt Simonson’s run on Thor for the first time (because of Miles and Sims) and I’m now super excited for the podcast about it.

  18. This is a fantastic episode in terms of banter. I found my self (embarrassingly) laughing on the bus.

  19. I have to imagine Cyclops shouting “Stop hitting yourself!” as he pounds Alex’s head against the concrete.

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