Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

188 – Live from ECCC, feat. Bret Blevins, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Ramon Villalobos

In which Jay makes a sartorial switch; Hope Summers is less confusing than you might expect; we are very happy to present our first all-artist convention special; Ramon kills his idols; Rachelle deciphers the past; Bret (re)defines New Mutants; a long-time mystery is resolved; colorists deserve more respect; the Xavier School probably has an actual curriculum; and a lot of X-Men have really cool hair.


  • The adventures of Hope Summers
  • Several Phoenix hosts
  • The time Quentin Quire became a Shi’ar god
  • Jay’s mom
  • Our panelists’ definitive X-Men
  • E for Extinction
  • Killing your idols
  • Coloring as archaeology
  • Visually defining the X-Men
  • New Mutants that might have been
  • Favorite costumes
  • The actual color of Storm’s ’90s costume
  • Editorial direction vs. editorial mandate
  • Practical considerations in costume design
  • Actual education at the Xavier School
  • Wolverine’s assorted children
  • The best hair in the X-Men

NEXT EPISODE: Cannonball dies (briefly)!

No visual companion to this one, but check out the first part of our ECCC gallery over on our blog!

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  1. Some (very rough) death statistics of Xavier School Students.

    To note, this is based entirely on the marvel.wikia.com list of students and their information. Given more time/money, I’d totally read through every single X-men comic to get a more accurate count.

    115 are either still alive students survived to leave the school, even if they didn’t graduate or died afterwards. 31 students died while attending the school – this is mostly the New Mutants and those who died on the bus explosion.

    13 students were listed as unknown as to whether they died on the bus or not. Approximately 80 students can be assumed to have attended the school pre-M-day based on the number of students given. It is unknown how many of them died prior to leaving the school.

    Assuming none of the unknowns died, the death toll is 13%. Assuming they all did, it’s 52%. so, your chances of surviving the experience may be a fifty-fifty shot.

    1. That’s a great resource – thanks! I have a feeling we’ll be coming back to that page for future episodes.

      1. I can’t keep it completely up to date, especially since I don’t read that many modern comics. But none of the Wikis were giving me EXACTLY what I wanted, so I had to do it myself.
        It’s good to be precise about these things. 😉

  2. Wolverine also had like 13 kids from several random woman. And he was manipulated into to killing them all by the Red Right Hand (I think?). It was in the Wolverine series that renumbered to issue #300.

  3. A fascinating idea that Boom-Boom wouldn’t know how to read. It might have been awesome, but I fear it might well have played out as “Tonight, in a very special episode of The New Mutants….”

  4. To get into Count_Zero Contextualizing Comics through anime and manga, the discussion of villain coding through costume coloring caught my attention – particularly with the discussion of green and yellow as a “villain color”. Well, recently there’s been a big boom of straight-up superhero anime and manga – not just in the sense of older series like Kikaider, Devilman, and Guyver (hero with power assumes a different identity to protect those close to them) – but series which use and comment on the tropes of Superheroes – such as One Punch Man and My Hero Academia (often with these shows depicting superheroes the context of Japanese society, like with OPM’s Heroes Association and their ranking system).

    Anyway, with the coloring – while manga is in black and white, they often have color splash pages (and covers), and the costumes are always depicted in color for any anime or tokusatsu adaptations. And, with the two shows I mentioned, a lot of the hero characters in those shows feature green or yellow prominently in their color schemes. In particular – in Hero-Aca, Tsuyu (aka “Froppy”) has a green costume (which goes with her frog themed power set), but also the show’s protagonist, Deku, has a costume that is also predomenantly green. Similarly, All Might, the show’s equivalent to Superman features yellow and gold on his outfit.

    On the other hand, villains in MHA more prominently use black, red, and violet in their color scheme, with some occasional green highlights. This leads to Bakugo’s outfit looks more overtly villainous, but he’s also an edgelord (He picked “King Explosion Murder” as his super name) so that kinda makes sense.

    I’m not able to look up a pictures of characters from One Punch Man at the moment for reference, but I do remember that Saitama’s hero outfit is almost entirely yellow, and another of the characters has green hair.

    1. Given the amount of subtext in the X-teams, I think we might need to agree which definition of “beard” we are referring to here. 😉

      Seriously though; Magus. It’s not even a close contest. 🙂

  5. I can’t believe Bret’s version of Lila Cheney wasn’t mentioned in the best X-Men hair. I’m sure it would have required enormous amounts of hairspray. Talking of which he was also the first person to draw the Malice version of Polaris but she probably styled her hair with magnetism. Miss Locke’s power-bob also deserves a mention for remaining pristine at all times. And I loved the way JRJR drew Storm’s hair in his second run adding in random braids and beads it’s one of the few times her hair has looked to have the volume of Afro-hair. And I have to give honourable mentions to China Doll and Synapse from Technet.

    1. Given the amount of electromagnetic energy that she has around herself, it’s perhaps surprising that the defualt state of Polaris’ hair isn’t “standing out like a dandelion clock” * as in one of those static-electricty demonstrations they do in schools with a Van De Graff generator.

      * Ditto Magneto now I think about it.

  6. What’s the point? Magus’s techno-organic beard would win.

    Best moustache would be a competition. I can’t decide between the Ages of Apocalypse Collosus with his mutton chops/ moustache hybrid or old-school Corsair.

  7. I was so glad to hear Jay give a shout-out to the score of X-Men 3. That movie does not deserve a soundtrack so great.

    1. Sadly, I couldn’t really hear the soundtrack over the sound of my sobbing “Why? Why> Why?” every few minutes.

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