Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

195 – Johnny Got His Robot Arm

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

In which Jay may have Stockholm syndrome; Nick Fury is objectively sillier than G. W. Bridge; we get a brief artistic reprieve; Cable’s legal expertise does not extend to trademarks; our favorite Ship returns; Miles’s grandmother calls it like it is; Sauron is bad at taxonomy; and Garrison Kane is basically a very violent Inspector Gadget.


  • Brother Mutant
  • X-Force #8-10
  • X-Force (again)
  • A protracted flashback
  • The Wild and/or Six Pack
  • A heist
  • A trap
  • Yet more Ed Wood references
  • A future
  • The Professor (Ship)
  • Gratuitous face shadows
  • A mystery
  • Cable casting
  • Several misplaced word balloons
  • The logistics of tentacle arms
  • The High Lords (Externals)
  • Michael Bay’s Johnny Got His Gun
  • General Clark and his diving suit
  • Good Magneto stories
  • How to get your dad into X-Men

NEXT EPISODE: Excalibur vs. the Anti-Phoenix!

Check out the visual companion to this episode on our blog!

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is 100% ad-free and listener supported. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

We’re in the process of migrating our official shop to TeePublic! Click over to check it out! (You can still find the designs we haven’t moved yet at Redbubble.)



  1. I remember reading a fanfic way back when, where the externals were just mutant versions of Highlander immortals. It might have ended with Shatterstar training Cannonball on how to sword fight.

    1. Highlander is what I always assumed they were going for. IIRC they even go as far as noting that Sam will be sterile because he’s an External, just like the Immortals in Highlander are sterile.

      1. Aha! You’ve given me another exhibit for my vague sense that maybe what Liefeld thought the X-books needed to bring them into the ‘90s was the shock of the new, but that he went a little wrong by defining the shock of the new as “the 1980s.”

        Along with Terminator!Cable, of course.

  2. I think Stryfe’s weird diatribe is where I first got the idea that maybe Stryfe was the original baby Nate who grew up to be evil, and Cable a clone that turned good. Which would have been brilliant, but I suppose low-hanging fruit is nice too.

    As for Cannonball’s immortality, what if his blastin’ is burning up his own body, which instantly reforms. So he can heal any injury by blastin’ that bit. I did like that comic where Beast says that Sam is immortal but nobody can tell if he’s joking or not.

    1. They build up the idea that Stryfe was the original for a pretty long time in the comics, too. I don’t remember if it was a deliberate red herring, or if the plan for a while was actually to run with it…

      1. The plan for a while was indeed to run with it! Originally Rob Liefeld wanted Stryfe to be Cable’s future self, but apparently Harras, Lee and Portacio wanted Cable to be Nathan Summers. Liefeld reluctantly went with it, but decided that he wanted Stryfe to be the original Nate, while Cable would be the clone. Once Liefeld, Lee and Portacio left for Image, though, it eventually got changed so Cable would be the original and that the clone would be Stryfe.

        Gotta thank Brian Cronin for all that useful info:

        1. Ah thanks guys, good to know it wasn’t just me. Fighting his own future self would be a bit too much like Kang, but still more interesting than “everythuing you thought you knew is what we’ll run with”.

  3. In anther time and place, the High Lords were the X-Universe equivalent of the movie “Super Troopers.”

  4. In terms of the idea that Dani fought Death to save Sam, I have to ask; has Dani EVER won a fight with Death? Did she even try following Pat’s death way back in the New Mutants, when she realised Death was not an active force, but a cosmic inevitability?

    1. Dani beat death in an issue of Power Pack when she was fighting for the life of Margaret Power. It was by Louise Simonson and Bob McLeod and had a sweet Mignola cover.

      1. Ah, thank you for that. (It doesn’t surprise me that it was a Simonson story, as she seemed to have a rather different impression of Dani’s abilities than Claremont)

  5. We need a buddy comedy involving generic merc Grizzly and the bear-suited goofball villain-turned-Ant Man sidekick Grizzly.

        1. Maybe it’s too obvious for anyone else to say, but a Grizzly is just a Big Bear who’s exercising his second amendment rights…

  6. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast yet.

    But, seeing as I gave Liefeld a hard time when our hosts covered the last batch of X-Force issues for not being prepared to have the characters go where the comic keeps saying they’re going and specifically called out that he didn’t kill off Sauron… Yeah, I have to take that back now that I’ve read these

    I may not like the ultrasupermachoposing-ness of it all, but at least X-Force is showing the courage of its convictions. Killing off Sauron goes a long way to redeem bringing back the Brotherhood by suggesting that it was to make the point that these aren’t your parents’ X-characters.

    In fact, killing both Sauron and Masque in very quick succession comes across as a nicely balanced rejection of both the Silver Age and the Claremont/Simonson X-past, a way of saying, “I don’t care whether it hurts you in your sense of nostalgia, we’re going to have something different now.”

    Stop doing this, Rob Liefeld! Stop making me wonder if you’re actually doing interesting things with your readers’ expectations! Stop it now!

  7. . . .And that’s not the answer Stryfe was supposed to get, because the textbook he got it from wanted him to do it in Base-8, which is just like Base-10, if you lost two fingers to your bladed hat.

  8. This may qualify as the weirdest thing I can confirm, but I went to a co-worker’s 50th Birthday Party that was held at a funeral home that also doubled as a place that did parties and Proms.

      1. Yeah, it pretty much boiled down to “we don’t want to let a good space go to waste.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *