Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

175 – Lady Windermere’s Fan Club

Art by David Wynne. Wanna buy the original? Drop him a line!

In which Gambit is transatlantically terrible; Rick Leonardi is the poor man’s Alan Davis (but in a good way); we try and fail to care about British royals; Miles should probably read some Oscar Wilde already; Jay has a lot of feelings about The Rocketeer; Shadowcat gets a genuinely stylish costume; and we would read the hell out of a series about Destiny, Mystique, and Wolverine’s WWII adventures.


  • Why Gambit isn’t welcome in the United Kingdom
  • X-Men: True Friends #1-3
  • The poor man’s Alan Davis
  • Trad night
  • Laird Alasdhair Kinross and his nonthreatening but convenient heterosexuality
  • Inexplicably absent familial relationships
  • Queen Lilibet the Second
  • Lady Regina Windermere
  • Several notable British fascists of the 1930s
  • A snazzy airplane
  • Several nefarious plots
  • Formal pajamas
  • The mystery of the Hypercolor™ kilt
  • A large number of strong feelings about The Rocketeer
  • Kitty Pryde’s best costumes
  • Weaponized cosmic queerness (again)
  • Power, agency, and the Dark Phoenix Saga
  • How characters end up with their specific mutations.

NEXT EPISODE: Wolverine, again.

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  1. If you don’t mind, how did y’all read this? I haven’t been able to find a legal digital copy, or locate it physically…

  2. Dai is NOT a Scottish name, it’s Welsh, it’s pretty much the epitome of Welsh names, and suggesting it’s Scottish is the sort of thing that would start fights in most pubs in both Wales AND Scotland… should you ever wish to do so.

    Attempts at Scottish phonetic accents are usually entertaining for Scots to read as long as we don’t think it genuinely reflects what we DO sound like. It’s just a shame we don’t have any Doric accented superheroes, because that would be hilarious to see in American comics.

    How long did it take you both to come up with all those different names for Laird Pantless McSwoopyhair?

    I’m an ambivalent monarchist on a good day (At best they’re sort of like a rather expensive, real time, soap-opera) and monarchy is not ideal I grant you, even an effective figurehead style like the UK’s, but I’m not sure the US is exactly in any position to cast aspersions about Heads of State and their families right about now.

    Jay, have you read Grant Morrison’s “Sebastian O”? A sort of steampunk “Oscar Wilde, Assassin for the Crown” series which sounds like it might be something you might enjoy.

    1. Oh and if you’re in Scotland you would not be having a “Trad Night”, you’d be attending a ceilidh (pronounced Kaylee) 🙂

    2. To its credit, the story does identify the dancing/drinking night Kitty’s at as a ceilidh – one of the many details that got streamlined away in our attempt to cram the story into an hour and still have ample time for ramblin’.

      1. I was wondering about that. I (thought I) knew exactly what you guys meant when you said “trad night”, but I don’t know that I’ve ever really heard it called that. In Ireland I believe it would normally be called a session if it was primarily for music and a ceili (pronounced just like ceilidh above) if it was primarily for dancing.

        Miles, as someone deeply into the (North American) Irish version of that scene, I think calling the instruments “old timey” is pretty fair. The simple system flutes you normally see played in that context have been “obsolete” for 150 years, and many of the other instruments, like mandolin, 4-string banjo, and button accordion were more widely popular instruments a century ago.

        BTW, the Vögelein: Old Ghosts comic by Jane Irwin features a four page Irish session scene — don’t recall where it is supposed to be set (North America, I think) but it draws heavily from the Ann Arbor session scene circa 2002.

        1. In my experience, a céili doesn’t have to involve dancing as the main focus. I’ve certainly been to something in a Gaeltacht area that people called a céili at which there was no dancing (at least, that I can remember – I was a teenager).

          Not that I’m an expert. I’m from Dublin, but it was never my thing. I routinely meet Americans who are much more into traditional Irish music than I or any of my friends ever were.

          1. To show how little I know, I always assumed that céili was etymologically connected to ceol (“music”), but I just looked it up and it has nothing to do with it.

    3. In-line with Icon_UK’s warning, I would also like to share a warning regarding bringing up Alpha Flight around Canadians (though it didn’t occur in this episode). Not the version which Captain Marvel has headed lately in which Puck and Sasquatch are piloting star fighters, but the original incarnation is regarded as a collection of stereotypes and, in my experience, is not well received.

      Also, Icon_UK, you might take a look at this wiki page to find the inspiration for Kinross’ many names, if you were not already aware of it.

      1. Does the fact that the original incarnations were created by John Byrne (British-born but basically Canadian) make Canadians more angry, because it introduces an element of national betrayal?

        But, yes, they are terribly “Let’s think of something stereotypically Canadian and make it a superpower!” Somewhat surprising that they don’t contain a Captain Tim Horton’s.

        1. Most of my knowledge of Canadian media is the Red Green TV show and the Avalon webcomic. Tim Horton’s was nowhere to be seen in the former and nearly as prevalent in the latter as Rush and Flock of Seagulls. Also, one of the characters was named Ceilidh.

          1. After an archive dive, I have to correct myself. It was Great Big Sea which was the other prevalent band in Avalon, not Flock of Seagulls.

            1. Canadian culture often lurks unseen, like an ambush predator. I had no idea until recently that The Littlest Hobo was Canadian, not American.

              (Which I suppose, now that I know that it’s Canadian, is probably a TV show unknown to Americans. But it’s on-topic! The Littlest Hobo is a superhero show. The dog has superpowers. Not only is he or she – can’t remember – superintelligent, but they had an episode in which they revealed that it was meant to be the same dog in the color version as in the old B&W show. So the dog has greatly enhanced longevity, possibly immortality.)

              1. My brain made that revelation about the dog sound like Si Spurrier’s run on The Shadow. I now suspect eldritch powers are involved.

                I, for one, didn’t know for a long time “You Can’t Do That on Television” was Canadian. Also relevant, as this was the show Jay recalled would send their old cast members to sell pencils on the street. I suppose it would not have been the streets of New York where they filmed those segments.

  3. Congrats on your reaching your Space Mutiny episode successfully. You accomplished this about 5 years faster than the original MST3K. This may be partially because you stand on the shoulders of giants, or maybe only on Tom’s twee sloping ones. Regardless, you made me squirt iced coffee from my nose. Respect.

  4. Oh and yet another Scottish history point, the House of Windsor was only established in 1917 and Scotland and England had separate monarchies up until the early 18th centuries so I’m not sure that many ancient spirits would recognise little Lillibet as some sort of particularly legitimate heir to the throne of Scotland, unless they were unusually willing to factor in the shifting political alliances of over a millenia, which I suppose they might.

    Oh, and whilst I’m not aware of the Sword of Scone being a thing, the Stone of Scone defintiely is (and it’s pronounced “skoon” rather than “skon” or “skone”) Traditionally the King or Queen of Great Britain MUST be crowned whilst sitting on it if they are to be consdiered to be the true monarch of Scotland, so it’s incorporated into the throne used for coronations in Westmister Abbey, though there was a memorable little hiccup in 1950 when it was stolen by some Scottish Nationalists. It’s entire history is fascinating.

    1. Hm. I was unaware of the Sword of Scone/Stone of Scone backstory, but I suppose that makes it slightly better that Kitty was magic sword fighting and didn’t manifest Illyana’s soulsword. Still, it seems like an oversight to me, it’s not supposed to cut people so it seems like a great match for a story with the Shadow King.

  5. I find it immensely amusing that this episode ended up being topical in an entirely unintentional fashion (the forthcoming Royal Nuptuals with Prince Harry also marrying an American divorcee – no word on whether she’s also Nazi sympathizer.)

    Speaking of which – film buffs may be familiar with the whole Wallace Simpson thing if you had seen the Academy Award winning film “The King’s Speech”.

    As far as Kitty’s dubious science when it comes to phasing through people goes, my headcanon is that Kitty knows that The Vision uses this as a tactic when fighting opponents, and has been trying to figure out a way that she could do it too.

    Other than that, I’m pretty sure that Clairemont is confusing the “Stone of Scone” (the stone upon which the rulers of Scotland sat on when crowned) and the “Sword in the Stone” – the Sword that was drawn from the Stone by Arthur to make them* King of the Britons. That sword is properly known as “Caliburn” – and was broken by Arthur in their fight with the Black Knight (who may or may not have been Lancelot – depending on the version of the legend – or whether you’re watching the movie), and it was either reforged or replaced (again, depending on the version of the legend) with Excalibur.

    Or alternatively it was only just Excalibur the whole time – which is the version Hollywood uses because they don’t trust the audience to be able to keep track of two different swords.

    * I’ve started using gender-neutral pronouns for King Arthur basically because I’ve found that mentally I like the idea introduced from Fate/Stay Night that Arthur Pendragon was actually [i]Arturia[/i] Pendragon – a woman disguised as a man – the whole time. I can’t exactly explain why at the moment though, and that’d be a big off-topic tangent anyway.

  6. So I’m Jewish, moderately fluent and I’ve never heard the phrase ‘Gutter Hebrew’ before, while a brief google search fails to reveal anything on the matter. If you don’t mind me asking, what is it? Thanks! (I’m also fairly young so it might be a generational divide thing)

  7. Having not seen Rick Leonardi attempt to draw animals, either at the time this story was first proposed or closer to its actual publication, I would like to offer the argument that perhaps Leonardi just doesn’t draw animals very well and abstained. That seems like a perfectly valid reason to not draw Corgis.

    Regarding The Rocketeer movie, I found myself watching it during this summer while Hurricane Irma was happening and the President of the USA was doing things like making trips to rouse white nationalists in Poland and saying, “on both sides” at home. The Rocketeer will get you through quite a bit, but it also serves as a reminder that the USA successfully outlawed Tommy guns for a really good reason. It might not help so much if you’re trying to escape from gun violence.

  8. Just wanted to share my love for The Rocketeer, and remind everyone: “On their last ‘goodwill tour’ they buried half of Europe”

    On a less serious note, Swoopy McNopants and the Linguistic Adventures of Claremontian Scots would be a book I would read. Have him fight Nazis, then settle down and try to raise a super genius daughter who keeps doing SCIENCE! on genes.
    I just want more phoenetic accents, I played some Cajun music for my wife to let her hear how Gambit is supposed to sound.

  9. So I finally listened to this and when it got to “Shadow King kills all the Nazis” I may have mentally inserted a Hub synopsis “Hurray!”

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