Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

215 – Mon de Orb Uno

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

In which we finally emerge from the other side of X-Cutioner’s Song; rich people are different from us; Brian Braddock is probably not comfortable with menstruation; Dai Thomas cleans up pretty well; someone FINALLY remembers Sat-Yr-9; Psylocke knows how to defend herself from a man armed with a banana; the (non-Internet) trolls return; and we are fairly sure that Gambit does not actually speak French.


  • Winzeldorf
  • Excalibur (so far)
  • Excalibur #55-58
  • Lip massage
  • The death of Alysande Stuart
  • A banana fight
  • Alchemy (again)
  • Many trolls
  • A fairly joyous reunion
  • The Brussels Sewer Museum
  • A fake heel turn
  • Our hopes and worries for the New Mutants movie
  • Comics covers

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  1. I may be misremembering, but I think the folks who framed Alysande end up being one of the next two groups who absorb and destroy WHO. Black Air or RCX?(or something like that).

    1. You are correct. It is the RCX. Alistaire will learn this as that plotline ramps up beginning in Excalibur 61.
      In 55,Alysande notes that “Someone has gone through a lot of trouble to frame me.” Nick confirms as much when he gives Alistaire the digital fingerprint after the funeral. Then, on the final page of 61, Alistaire phones Kitty and says “I tracked down the electronic fingerprint Colonel Fury gave us– I know who framed Alysande… but they’re after me. In Liverpool– I’ve infiltrated the headquarters of the R.C.X.” The mystery is conclusively solved.

  2. Yes, the death of Alysande was definitely a sour note in an otherwise enjoyable story. It felt pointless and unpleasant, which I suppose was the intent, but it spoiled the mood.

    The Cerise/Kurt kiss remains one of my favourite moments from this run, even just for Kurt’s tail reacting to the… experience at the end, the poor thing’s practically in knots!

    I did feel the aorta-Art-Adams vibe from Joe Madureira here, but I feel it was a good choice for the subject matter.

    And I’m a sucker for a mutant who just wants to get on with their life, so I always liked Alchemy (in the two stories we saw him in… I try to pretend Death of X or whatever that thing was called never happened, and that he’s still living somewhere in London, being a good son and student, because talk about being dug up from limbo to be thrown under the plot bus….

    1. I don’t know what you and our hosts are talking about. Alysande didn’t die. It was this other character called “Alysdane.“ The comics were completely clear about this. The character’s name was given several times, and it was Alysdane.

      Now, why Alan Davis chose to create a character so similar to Alysande Stuart and kill her off in the story in which he introduced her, I don’t know. But I’m sure there’s some clever point to it.

      In any case, though, I’m going with what the comic says, and there is no reason to think that Brigadier Alysande Stuart is other than alive. Someone should do something with the character. Maybe she’s Major-General Alysande Stuat now.

  3. What are the chances that you guys can get Alan Davis as a guest on the podcast? He’s my absolute favorite and left such a lasting mark on the X-Books. Thanks xo.

  4. A couple of scattered thoughts:-

    – The first story offers a little more grist for my ongoing sense that Davis is recalibrating Brian Braddock away from Claremont’s portrayal while still maintaining the continuity with it in a charmingly old-school sort of way.. In particular, the “We are so punchy because we’re really Otherworld warriors” bit. N.B. it’s about both Brian and Betsy (i.e. it’s not even that Brian as a single individual is an [expletive deleted] because of this – it’s presented as a sort of mythic inheritance that they both share).

    – That also helps quite a bit with the whole “bodyswap into an Asian body = complete personality rewrite as a much more stabby person” Psylocke problem, because it explicitly relocates it as having nothing to do with the bodyswap, but being located in Betsy Braddock’s family history and, in fact, in “British” legend. This is in fact not so much the best post-bodyswap portrayal of Betsy so far, as the only one that has been any good at all.

    – I really liked how David completely subverted Claremont’s “Some people follow the rules. Others make them” dialogue for Courtney Ross (now remembered as being “Courtney Ross”). I think it’s pretty clear that in its original context that’s meant to be Just So Cool in that Claremontesque people-speak-in-taglines sort of way. Not here.

    – But my God, is this overall the bloodbath for Chris Claremont concepts: Alysande, Sat-Yr-9 as Courtney Ross, Nigel Frobisher… I assume that this massive exercise in deck-clearing was there to create space for something, but, since Davis left the book pretty soon, I suppose that I won’t get to find out what.

    – On the other hand, Davis is clearly also trying to keep the book an X-book. Or half an X-book: there seems to be as strategy of tying into X-stuff approximately every other storyline. Not *entirely* sure that there wasn’t a concern for sales there, though…

  5. I’ve always felt the authenticity of Gambit’s accent can probably be directly linked to how much French his current writer studied in high school.

    1. “Mon de orb uno” goes so far that I find it really hard to accept that Scott Lobdell thought that it was French at all. Certainly, nothing could persuade me that anyone who had even a little French in school would ever come up with that.

      If it had been produced nowadays, I would suspect rogue autocorrect. As it is, I am completely baffled. Does anyone have any idea how someone would come up with that? Seriously, I think there has to have been some joke here about Gambit making up nonsense, one that just didn’t land. Or was there some sort of very serious lettering mistake?

      1. Perhaps it was a result of a conversation between writers and editorial down a bad telephone line and through the static they thought someone said Gambit had more of a Jamaican stereotype accent than a Cajun one and just thought “Well… okay”?

        And that he sometimes lapses into bad Italian just to confuse people?

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