Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

157 – Melted to Slag

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

In which the X-Tinction Agenda reaches its Return of the Jedi; Wolverine is a weaponized nuisance; HR would like a word with Gambit; Havok gets framed; Cameron Hodge is the great unifier; Genosha is revolting; you don’t get to make a threatening speech about someone else’s powers; Jean Grey is tired of your bullshit; and Jay and Miles may or may not dive into the Siege Perilous!


  • The Law of Conservation of Plot Elements
  • Uncanny X-Men #272
  • New Mutants #97
  • X-Factor #62
  • The Story So Far
  • Glasses fashions in comics
  • The difference between Batman and the Punisher
  • How to tell that something has gone terribly wrong
  • Acceptable pants
  • Some really sketchy judicial process
  • A ruse
  • Several retcons concerning Wolverine
  • Consequence-free impaling
  • Chekhov’s genetic engineering
  • Louise Simonson’s final issue of New Mutants
  • The relative durability of mutants
  • A number of prescient threats
  • This one time Jay and Miles got paid to throw a bunch of printers down a flight of stairs
  • Summers Brothers team-ups
  • A very cathartic fight
  • Thoughts on books as physical artifacts and collecting comics
  • Places to jump into long X-series on Marvel Unlimited
  • Our plans for the hiatus


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  1. It’s very inconsiderate of you to take a break right before the era where I started regularly reading X-Men. It’s deliberate, isn’t it? If not, is it all right to feel persecuted anyway?

    Joking aside, I’ll miss you while you’re gone, and hope your particular ventures go smoothly.

    And a question: when you read new X-books these days, do you find yourself thinking about how to X-Plain them, or do you shrug and figure it’s a task you can safely put off for 30 years?

  2. Have fun and relaxe on your break!

    I’ll be counting the days to August. I I’ll mark it on my calendar.

  3. There wasn’t a rivalry as such between Wolverine and Angel, but Angel repeatedly refused to rejoin the team during the 70s because he considered Wolverine to be a dangerous psychopath. Which becomes ironic later, but is an entirely sensible stance.

    1. More than that : when Angel briefly rejoins the team post Dark Phoenix Saga (participating in both DoFP and the Arcade-Doom team-up), it’s his disapproval of Wolverine’s presence that makes him take his leave soon after (cf. Uncanny #148).

      So while Claremont never did a lot with the Warren/Logan tension (presumably because he didn’t care much for the guy who dodges shit outside of Byrne’s O5 nostalgia), the groundwork was there all along.

      1. I enjoy thinking Wolverine would find Warren grating as he is so out about being born to wealth and privilege and the oh so street Logan is not.

  4. Slightly unrelated question, but will either of you be at Rose City Comic Con this year? I want to try to catch a live show live.

  5. what was the name of Miles’s Thor Podcast again and can I subscribe to it now or is it not set up yet?
    I’ll miss you guys until August

  6. Is this the last time that we see Rahne actually switch to full wolf form.. as opposed to werewolf form?

    I don’t recall her going full wolf again for well… not sure, but I don’t think she did in her first X-Factor run or her Excalibur appearances.

    1. I didn’t actually know her power was shapeshifting until Te X-perts started this podcast.

      My personal history with Wolfsbane is kind of a mess because I never read any New Mutants. I’m not sure if my father’s collection even had any. I only encountered her when she started popping up in other books after this point and I had zero idea what her powers were, or what was up with the triangular hair. I wasn’t even sure that the triangle hair lady was Wolfsbane until Jay and Miles started up. I think it’s kind of a shame that she went from wolf-shifter to Bride Of Frankenstein with claws. Werewolves are so classic, and I’m still not really sure what her deal is now.

      1. I tend to associate the “triangle hair” more with Feral, who was a character in X-Force. I do see a few examples of it being used with Wolfsbane, which is unfortunate. Unfortunate, as I believe Jay mentioned in a previous episode there will be an instance where the two both appear and they are colored too similarly to tell apart.

        1. Soooooo. . . I might’ve been a victim of that coloring issue. Neither New Mutants nor X-Force were part of my ballywick growing up. They were mostly crossover people and random single issues. I never got into an X-Force until I was stuck in airports for a weekend and had a borrowed set of Remender’s Uncanny X-Force. I didn’t think it would be my thing, but it was a far more thoughtful analysis of MURDERTIME!!! than I expected it to be. Now I own Remender’s run and think I might be able to handle The Original Liefeld now better than in the past.

          Anyone have good X-Force suggestions for someone who avoided it because he wasn’t a Liefeld kid?

          1. I really enjoy the Adam Pollina penciled issues written by John Francis Moore. X-Force volume 1 63-81. It’s Sunspot, Dani, and Boom Boom from New mutants with Banshee’s daughter Siryn and Thunderbird’s younger brother Warpath. They kick Cable to the curb and have an epic road trip. There’s great character work there, and fun burning man hijinx.

  7. The retcon frustration mentioned makes me wonder if this is what Bishop feels like once some time travel incident has reshaped history and he still has the old memories merging with the new ones and cant understand people now suddenly having new histories they didn’t have before

  8. I did the auditory equivalent of a double-take when Miles brought up the X-Men’s arm control nerves. At least the spikes missed their squeedlyspooches.

    1. I did a lot of screaming of “AWW/OHH” (aka grossed out, not-okay reaction) when they were describing stuff that Asshole Office Worker Cameron Hodge does.

    2. “squeedlyspooches” sounds like something from a (probably banned in 13 countries) episode of Fraggle Rock!

      1. It’s an Invader Zim thing (as is the arm control nerve, which all humans DEFINITELY have).

  9. It figures the first time I comment is just before you guys go on hiatus. I’ve been listening since, like, episode two and it’s been amazing hearing how the show evolved and changed. The amount of hard work and time you’ve put into this is astounding. Miles’s enthusiasm is infectious and Jays unique perspectives on the stories are fascinating and enlightening. I eagerly awaited each episode as a capstone to my bizarrely scheduled work weeks. I guess this is just a long winded way of saying thank you. Thank you for everything you do.

  10. It never occurred to me before something Jay said in this episode, but all that happens in this crossover to the New Mutants actually makes their evolution into X-Force soon after make more sense to me.

    When you’re a teenager and you and your friends are kidnapped, brainwashed, put on trial, and/or killed… proactively going after and defeating your enemies seems a reasonable cause of action.

  11. Thank you all so much for having been with us these past 157 episodes. Getting to talk about X-Men with Jay and connect with all of you through this blog, social media, email, conventions, and everything else has been incredible. We’ve said it before, but I truly believe we have one of the greatest communities out there.

    I can’t wait to see you all again in August – we’re going to do our damnedest to come back better than ever!

  12. It’s interesting that – as much as Hodge seems to be fueled by hate – none of his hate seems to be “You cut off my head!” (at least in these recaps…I gotta actually read this story).

    I actually undertook the Age of Apocalypse reread shortly after getting Marvel Unlimited last year…right as I was starting chemo (because there’s A LOT of time in waiting rooms, chairs, etc.). I guess my thinking was that no matter how bad things looked, it could always be worse – I could have Cyclops’s AoA hair.

    Jay and Miles, thanks so much for the first 157 eps, enjoy your much-deserved breaks (well, Jay at least; Miles, enjoy your new podcast), and we’ll be here waiting for you in August! You guys are the best.

    1. “I actually undertook the Age of Apocalypse reread shortly after getting Marvel Unlimited last year…right as I was starting chemo (because there’s A LOT of time in waiting rooms, chairs, etc.). I guess my thinking was that no matter how bad things looked, it could always be worse – I could have Cyclops’s AoA hair.”

      That comment made me LOL! Talk about looking on the bright side. And hopefully things go well for you.

      1. Thanks – yeah, finished in November and most of the long-term side effects are either gone or much more muted than they were earlier this year. Now it’s just playing the waiting game and hoping my cancer is more of the Uncle Ben variety than the Cameron Hodge one.

  13. The first I saw of Cameron Hodge was during the Phalanx storyline. Didn’t have the benefit of knowing his previous history with the X-men. As creepy as he was in THAT form, I think this version beats him out for creepiness.

    1. Me too. One of the special treats of this podcast has been learning about his backstory. Phalanx was when I started reading.

  14. Hey! Round glasses were definitely a thing, but not everybody could pull them off (raises hand). I remember the early 90s being a very 60s inspired flower child era and John Lennon had a new-found popularity. I always thought those glasses were inspired by his look. Those glasses were everywhere… man where they EVERYWHERE, I think even at 7-11. Every boy band had at least one member with a pair… everyone from PM Dawn to Color Me Badd to Queen Latifah. Don’t know about accountants tho… they wanna be cool though too, right? Enjoy the break guys, you’ve earned it!

    1. comic wise, I distinctly remember Superboy sporting round sunglasses when he first showed up with the bowl cut and ear ring.
      because NINTIES

    2. I, too, remember several places/people round glasses were featured, even if they were largely sunglasses. The character Dwayne Wayne on the American television show “A Different World” (aired 1987 – 1993) is the first example to come to mind.

  15. Have a good rest, you two. You’re going to need it for the debut of Deadpool, and “Sabotage” not long after. …actually, can you skip “Sabotage?” I know I wish it didn’t exist.

  16. Ah, the ’90s Namor series. What an odd book it was. But man, the issues where Jae Lee was doing the art? Holy shit.

    Hodge getting power in Genosha: Obviously, he’s going to have an absolutely fantastic resume, and he’d be very well-prepared for the interview.

    HOPELESS SAVAGES REFERENCE! YAY! I love that series. Vols. 2 and 4, especially. The art on those helped. Bryan Lee O’Malley on Vol. 2? Meredith McClaren on Vol. 4? Doesn’t get much better than that, and those two seemed to bring out the best in Jen Van Meter’s writing, making it that much more emotionally powerful. So good.

    The final Scott/Alex vs. Hodge battle is pretty epic, and Hodge’s rant is amazing. That might actually be my favourite part of the whole event. It’s kind of a shame that none of his returns were as impressive. He’s never managed to be as great a threat, or as cool a villain. Might be just about time for him to have a good return. Maybe a slow-burn thing that builds to his dramatic return.

    I do love this event. It’s a really good event.

    I feel this needs to be said: Welcome to hiatus, X-Plain the X-Men – hope you survive the experience! (And I hope you enjoy it.)

    1. 90s Namor is fine, but 1960s Namor is my favourite. He’s an actual young adult then and his manner is appropriately optimistic and impulsive, as opposed to the cynical, disappointed very old man he is now. He also has the best wardrobe, suits, shorts, peach pullovers, a red bomber jacket and trunks ensemble. Mostly this period is drawn by his creator, Bill Everett, at the height of his powers.

  17. Does anyone know who Lucas Hamilton is?

    Everyone else on that page is clearly someone, and Hamilton gets a real speech too. He’s got to be a reference to something doesn’t he?

    1. I’m not having any luck with finding the name on marvel.wikia.com. The Uncanny X-Men volume 1 #272 synopsis has the other supporting characters (including colorist and editor, but not on this issue, Suzanne Gaffney) but that character is not mentioned. Searching, I found Louis Hamilton (Stonewall, aka deceased murder-grampa who tried to hunt Storm for sport), Lewis Hamilton (Stentor, who attacked Venom once), and Cockroach Hamilton (Power Man villain).

  18. Just because it also came out this week, wanted to say your cameo on Hello From the Magic Tavern absolutely made my day. I was grinning like an idiot the second I recognized your voices.

    Have a great summer, we’ll see you (er, hear you?) when you get back!

  19. Hodge always had the big round glasses. Also: I got a pair of small round glasses around 1993… and still have them! I feel very John Lennon when I wear them.

  20. Thank you for howevermanyyearsit’sbeen of great podcasts, and good luck with your summer projects!

  21. I will miss you guys these next few months. I wish you both the best during your hiatus and entering into the new chapters of your lives. I’m also so excited about the X-Men’s next chapter in their most recent runs…Jean Grey, Iceman, Gen X, Blue, Gold!!! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts when you return.

  22. Woohoo. Through the sheer power of coincidence, I just managed to catch up on your podcast after having taken a listening hiatus at the perfect time. Looking forward to your forthcoming return!

  23. In regards to this final X-tinction Agenda episode, people were talking about the Wolverine/Angel rivalry back in may, so this is a little late to respond. But regardless…

    The Wolverine/Angel rivalry was retconned into the story prior to X-tinction Agenda, as a backup tale in Classic X-men #1.

    A link here shows some of the key pages on Comics Chronology:


    The “putting some major moves on Ms. Jean Grey” comment Cameron Hodge makes before he sets them at each other in X-Tinction Agenda is in reference to this Classic X-men backup story. I can’t remember if Miles and Jay have mentioned this or not, but at some point in the late 80s Claremont starts letting details of these Classic X-men backup stories find their way into his Uncanny X-men story continuity. There’s a very poignant one where Wolverine dares Nightcrawler to go out on the town without using his image inducer which I think has been referenced other places. The friendship between Jean Grey and Storm is established in these backup stories, and I think Colossus’ relationship with Nereel is fleshed out in a backup story. Most of the early ones were wonderfully drawn by John Bolton. There’s some atmospheric stories that retroactively establish Wolverine being found in the wilderness by the Hudsons, and also ones that establish his rivalry with Sabertooth. Really, a lot of key X-men character development in the 80s goes back to these backup features.

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