Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

As Mentioned in Episode 181 – Badgers Everywhere

Listen to the podcast here!



  • The concerns expressed in Tom Lehrer’s “MLF Lullaby” don’t age wildly well, but it’s still a catchy song.
  • Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play is definitely a thing on Earth-4935, only instead of a Simpsons episode, it’s the Pizza Hut X-Men comic where Cyclops doesn’t think it’s cool to have an adventure in Cyberspace.



  1. Interesting article, but I’m with the commenter who said that Liefeld drew those abstract backgrounds because they were easier than something realistic. Which is not to say that his instincts didn’t lead him to produce something worthy of Sarah’s analysis, just that she’s probably more aware of what’s going on in that art than Rob ever was.

    1. For me, this is where the whole concealing-the-feet thing does present a problem.

      After all, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where one sets the balance between conscious and unconscious in this sort of thing (and, of course, it appears that an awful lot of what we remember as conscious decisions are ex post facto impositions on decisions we already made unconsciously). And Liefeld would not be the first person in artistic (or other) history to come up with something effective because they wanted to save time and effort.

      But the feet — it’s not just a silly trivial thing that everybody points out as Liefeld Cliché No. 1. (And, personally, means that I can’t stop myself from looking for the feet as the first thing that I notice about any Liefeld panel, which makes for a very odd reading experience.) It matters, because it’s communicating that constant sense that Liefeld does have a problem with his limitations, and is trying to hide them.

      One point* at which the article failed to convince me was when it said “What about this art says to you that it wants you to judge it by the standards of realistic anatomy?” To which the answer has to be, “The fact that it repeatedly tries to hide one of its most serious deficiencies in that area. If it didn’t want me to care, it wouldn’t.

      *The other is the refrain of “If it’s bad, why was it so popular?” I don’t completely dismiss the argument from popularity as something to take into account (although definitely not dispositive!). But you can’t discuss popularity in that era as a historical question without talking about the speculator boom.

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