Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

183 – Mutant Death Factor

David is on vacation this week! We hope you enjoy this substitute illustration of two gentlemen enjoying each other’s company.

In which Miles is almost caught up on The Gifted (but still hasn’t seen The Prisoner and should be very ashamed of himself); Omega Red is a cool action figure but a boring character; Professor Xavier definitely knows what you did last night; Fenris remains delightfully trashy; Weapon X had an improbably high survival rate; Sabretooth cleans up pretty well; we need to work some new rules for dividing up character voices; the Mojoverse has terrible employee benefits; and mongoose blood will definitely not give you superpowers.


  • Refugees from the Age of Apocalypse
  • Creative use of teleportation
  • X-Modifiers
  • Jay & Miles at Emerald City Comic Con
  • X-Men vol. 2 #4-7
  • The sitcom model of creative logistics
  • One way to bring someone back to life
  • Mutant Death Factor
  • Omega Red (Arkady Gregorivich)
  • Wolverine’s school pictures
  • Gambit’s ponytail and the logistics thereof
  • Sex at the X-Mansion
  • Fenris fashion
  • Ritualistic facepalming
  • Moira MacTaggert’s nightmares
  • Formalwear and motorcycle safety
  • An elegantly choreographed cockblock
  • Retracting tentacle logistics
  • Carbonadium synthesizers
  • Dr. Pepper Twizzlers
  • Ponytails as moral compasses
  • Sabretooth’s excellent taste in formalwear
  • Ornithology
  • Those big, weird tube handcuff things
  • Cyclops and Wolverine’s eventual friendship
  • The return of Longshot
  • What would happen if you gave a human a transfusion of mongoose blood
  • Some X-Cellent fanfiction
  • X-details we’d change

NEXT EPISODE: X-Factor Meets the Hulk!

Special thanks to consulting X-Pert and Actual Scientist Dr. Lauriel Earley!

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  1. A shark? That’s just so random. But it’s more creative than just teleporting someone a K up and dropping them. I like it.

    Jay, that was a great sound of skepticism about Miles watching the Prisoner. You ever think about trying voice acting?

    You know, the only way to stop a bad guy with a ponytail is a good guy with a ponytail.

    Here’s something that’s bothered me for years. Power dampeners exist in the Marvel Universe. They’re generally in collar form. Pretty demeaning, right? But Forge’s power is to be able to create anything. Reed Richards and Tony Stark are big inventors too. Why has no one come up with a dampener that can be worn and removed like a wristwatch? The only reason I can think of is rule of drama. It makes everything too easy for Cyclops and Rogue.

    1. The Shark thing was because they were in an underwater base, and the shark was handy. Plus, I’m pretty sure that iteration of Blob ate that Nightcrawler’s wife. So, having Blob get eaten is kind of a poetic justice thing.

  2. Possibly Betsy is able to swim in the outfit as shown because she’;s using her latent telekinesis to hold it in place?

  3. Oh, and I have to say that it really saddens me when Americans mention things like paid Sick Leave, Maternity Pay and socialised healthcare with wistful tones… It doesn’t taken a Doctor Doom to do these things, honest.

  4. Why are you so sure that Peter Corbeau is a pseudonym?

    I can attest that some of your listeners share their names with obscure comic book characters.

    –Alan “Not the Golden Age Green Lantern” Scott

  5. As far as I know, Miles, you and me are the only members of Longshot’s fandom. And I have to say that I consider this prelude in X-Men #5-6 and the consequent arc in #10-11 as THE WORST RUN EVER WRITTEN ABOUT HIM (actually, I use to refer to #10-11 as “How NOT to make a comic-book” –cause art left a lot to be desired, too).

    I’ve never read a Longshot so OOC. So ridiculously full of his self-importance, of his critical task. As grim-and-gritty as any other 90’s character. It’s sickening. Everything he does or says is against his persona.

    Not to mention his “romance” with Ali. There was never a romance between these two. They were two persons who have fun in bed together, a pairing which was interesting precisely because there wasn’t love there –she wanted sex and company, and he just went with the flow.

    Check the old issues by Claremont, who is usually a very romantic writer. There was never a mention to a crush, just a physical, easy relationship. Longshot would NEVER say something so intimate and cheesy as “m’love”, neither would give those pompous speechs.

    Seriously, it drives me up the wall. What do YOU think, Miles?

    1. My brother cosplayed him @ SDCCI ’09 and met Art Adam’s. In costume. (My brother, not Art Adams) Being the only Longshot fan I know, it was the highlight of the year for him. So no, you are not alone.

      1. There is a lady who cosplays at London Conventions, and one year she went as a genuinely ASTOUNDING Asgardian Storm; the costume, the hair, blue contacts, the whole thing, and she bloody well OWNED that hall.

        Art Adams was a guest and his reaction is she strode down Artists Alley is better imagined than described, but “awestruck” barely begins to cover it. 🙂

        1. Then Ggodo, Kelvin’s brother, Miles and me make 4 for old good Longshot. Yay! He’s so nice that he would deserve much more, but I guess he cannot get it because…he’s TOO nice to this world.

          I met Art Adams at a Con only once, and he stopped drawing precisely when it was my turn on the line (damn!). I got my worn-out “Longshot” #1 signed, though, and I gave Art my own drawing of Longshot with a Arize’s butterfly. It was improvised while I was on the line, so not quite polished, but I hope he liked it…

          1. Right there with you, I came THIS close to getting a Douglock sketch, but he’d been delayed arriving on the first day, and on the second day agreed to do 10 sketches, managed 12 and guess who was #13??

            The next year he came he’d been booked solid on the VIP opening night before the hall even opened, so though I was only the second person in the queue, there wasn’t a hope of getting one. 🙁

  6. I nearly choked on my coffee when I heard you mentioned my fanfic on the podcast! 😮 Thank you so much! Incidentally, I’ve been super tempted recently to write a sequel, and this is definitely not helping me resist that urge. XD

    1. Dooo it!

      I paused the podcast to read through the whole thing in one go–and I’m so glad I did that was incredibly written.

  7. The question this week reminded me of an idea I came up with for Plastic Man. I’d read Ta-Nehisi Coates’Between the World and Me’, and I thought it would be fairly interesting if Plas were black, since it would mean that a character who’s life had been defined by people trying to destroy his body is suddenly thrust into a situation where he is immortal

  8. I got very confused for a moment during the backer thanks as I unfortunately don’t currently have the spare cash to be backing right now to have my name appear.

    So whoever you are fellow Alex Holt, I applaud both your name and your taste in podcasts.

  9. It’s been really cool seeing all the characters they’re bringing in on The Gifted, but the parents are so annoying that it’s really a struggle to watch.

    1. I really enjoyed the show to the end of the season, but I can see how the parents could be irritating. The focus shifts away from them a little more as the season goes on but I was there almost 100% for Lorna.

  10. Guys, I don’t want to go off-topic or anything, but Cable, Domino, and the Six Pack are coming to the big screen. They seem to have Grizzly in his Liefieldian headgear. Is this not incontrovertible proof that the world is at least slightly better than crap?

    1. is that grizzly? everyone i know has been talking about the character better known for wearing that kind of headgear, shatterstar

      1. I know. The internet has ruled that this must be Shatterstar because he’s more well known. And that is more than good reason for them to use him. But the original actual members of the Six Pack are really obscure and disposable, and that fits the idea of a Deadpool movie for me. This way, they’d be able to keep the better known characters for their actual serious movies. If that was still the first movie which hadn’t yet given them a gajillion dollars in profit, I think that’s what they’d go with. For a sequel though, you’re almost certainly right. But I want to hope.

    1. It’s like The Twelve, or the third Summers brother. Miles watching the Prisoner is coming! It’s going to be a big deal! You must listen to this episode to hear tantalising hints about just when Miles will reveal that he’s read it!

      Then we’ll all forget, and maybe in 20 years it will turn out Miles watched it, but it was actually the old Australian prison-based soap opera called Prisoner all along, and we’ll all feel worse.

      1. I love the idea of Miles watching Prisoner Cell Block H and Jay watching The Prisoner and discussing it at cross purposes. I’m picturing Jay side-eyeing references to “Vinegar Tits”.

        1. It is the actual truth that when I was young, I heard about this great “Prisoner” show that was generally regarded as something that one had to watch, and thought that people were talking about Prisoner Cell Block H, which I had seen in TV listings.

          Fortunately, someone explained my mistake to me before I spent long hours of my life watching PCBH waiting for all the stuff that people were talking about to show up.

  11. I’ve never read any books with Birdy on them, or even, I think, watched anyone use Sabertooth in X-Men vs. Street Fighter, and I still recalled her cameo in that game when y’all mentioned it–based, quite possibly, entirely on second-hand accounts. This is not a thing I ever expected to recall, but I am so glad I did.

    (It’s the move where Sabertooth goes “Birdie!”, Birdie goes “Yes, Boss?” and shoots the other player with a gun, right?)

  12. Personally – and this is largely headcanon territory – the best Omega Red ever got was in the Ultimate books. I know I know, Boo! Hiss! Ultimate sucks! And yeah, it largely did. But for one issue – I think written by Bendis – a young boy wakes up to find his house deserted. He goes to school, only to find that his burgeoning mutant power has, and is, killing his friends, family, and everyone in the town. Fury sends Wolverine in – as Logan’s healing factor counteracts the kid’s power – and off panel appears to dispatch the teenager.

    This kid is never named Omega Red. He’s not Russian. And he’s not a super soldier in any way. But that IS his power, right? The death pheromone/MUTANT DEATH FACTOR! He even faces off against Wolverine!

    In an issue of Ultimate Spider-Man Bendis has a Russian villain with FLESH tentacles coming from his wrists he calls Omega Red, which blurs things a little, sadly… But my point still stands!

    That kid’s story actually gets some pathos, some tension, some character out of a power that would, indeed, be terrifying and brutal to actually have. Possibly worse than almost any other power I can think – absorbing the life essence of people around you unconsciously, without contact and needing to do it to continue to live.

    He’ll always be MY Omega Red. (Although I love Omega Red SO MUCH so actually, 616 Arkady is MY Omega Red… He just looks SO COOL)

    1. I must admit that I don’t quite see the appeal of the Omega Red design or anything else. He seems the epitome to me of the forgettable ‘90s character whose creators are convinced is the iconic villain to end all iconic villains, but who’s too obviously put together from Badass and Kewl elements to come across as a *character* at all. Unlike Adam-X the X-treme, who kind of goes out the other side and becomes fascinating in a horrifying sort of way, Omega Red is just *boring*.

      To me, that is. I can totally buy that if you were the right age and read this at the time, OR might well push the nostalgia buttons. I would like to see someone write him as a super-stereotypical soulful Russian intellectual — have him go on as he fights about some impenetrable theory in which his Mutant Death Factor represents his profound inability to resolve his inner tension over the eternal recurrence of Slavophilia or whatever.

      1. Quick additional thought: Omega Red also has my usual problem with a lot of these ‘90s creations, which is that they seem so terribly ‘80s. He’s so very obviously the massive Soviet villain from a Reagan-era movie. Probably meant to be played by Dolph Lundgren.

        And, I mean, this was the beginning of 1992, right? The Soviet Union no longer even *existed.* Other comparable genres had figured this out: action movies had other antagonists by this point.

  13. Also, wasn’t Remy’s name first revealed not by Victor, but by Bishop when he first came back? You know, the whole The Witness thing…?

  14. I’m in the process of re-watching The Prisoner. I was eight when I first saw it and there was a period in my life when I was uncertain if I was remembering a dream. So far it seems mostly to a paranoid atmosphere, plenty of oddness and a less than likeable central character. The most recent episode I watched was ‘Checkmate’ which was much more to my taste as it linked these things to a pretty coherent plot. Most of my episode to episode pleasure lies in enjoying some of the performances. Mary Morris (no relation) was a particular delight in her turn as No 2.

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