Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

226 – Les Mutants

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

In which Havok actually used to be pretty great; there are at least four attorneys in the Marvel Universe; Genosha continues to be wildly problematic; Hieronymus Bosch was not Comics Code-compliant; Quicksilver goes on vacation; Polaris has no time for your love triangle; Wolfsbane can maul as many magistrates as she wants; and Multiple Man makes a choice.

• Damian Tryp
• An unconventional staffing practice
• Genosha (more) (again)
• The devolution of Alex Summers’ personality
• Several attorneys in the Marvel Universe
X-Factor #88-91
• Random (Marshall Stone III)
• Joe Quesada’s signature ribbons
• Checkbook heroism
• Kids these days
• Genoshan reconstruction
• Several gardens of earthly delights
• Puberty
• A mercifully abandoned plan
• A conspiracy
• A significant tonal shift
• Mutate #24601
• RoboJean
• Genosha’s sanitation system
• Dick Chalker
Magneto Rex
• Humans in Magneto’s Genosha

NEXT EPISODE: Wolverine vs. everything

Thanks to everyone who helped bring Jay’s weird musical dream to life:

*Luz Bianca, Greg Black, Jeremy Borders, Lucas Brown, Kitty Byrne, *Tina Carelton, *Finn Carter, Everett Christensen, Veryan Croggan, Chris Eddleman, *Christina Eddleman, edibleflowers, Sol Foster, Emily Freville, Matt Gardner, Eric Michael Gray, Pete Gresser, Becky Hawkins, Andrew Hill, Jeff Holland, Al Kennedy, Steve Lacey, Kevin Lanigan, Elana Levin, *Alex Lundquist, Dan McMahon, William Mason, Steve Neal, notwhelmedyet (Lynn), Duck Orsino, Shannon Pack, Erin Pence, *Steve Pence, Philthy, Mariana Poole, rainproof, Samantha Riedel, Scott Sharplin, Adam Slevison, Richaundra Thursday, Dave Tomaine, Devin Toohey, and Grace Young.


Special thanks to Juliana Finch, Christian Lipski, and Laser Webber for technical advice; Christina Eddleman for recording the demo track; and Matt Gardner and Peter Gresser for [Easter egg description redacted].

Check out the visual companion to this episode–as well as the full lyrics to “At the End of the Fight”–on our blog!

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  1. This stretch of X-factor even covers the oh so necessary sewer portion of Led Mis? (At one point my goal was to read the book in the original French. But to a modern ear he needed an editor in the worst possible way. “Hugo, your 20+ page ranthistory on the sewers of Paris is fine. It doesn’t belong in the middle of this particular drama.” One of the few books I’d recommend finding abridged.)

        1. I see dabbing might just be some dumb dance move, according to Google. Oops :P!

          (Thought you meant the weed version. google that).

        2. I see dabbing might just be some dumb dance move, according to Google. ANNNNNNNNYYYYYWAYYysss.
          Oops :P!

          (Thought you meant the weed version. google that).

          1. I’d heard about the pot thing, which is what confused me when I first heard about a bunch of teenagers dabbing on YouTube. But now the world makes more sense!

  2. Full and glorious credit to Jay (and all those who lent their time and voices) for the treat at the episode’s end! Dude, I am so impressed with how that turned out. Nicely done.

  3. hi this is for miles! im one of the XPlain Server Kids (think Artie and Leech, but into monsters and gen z memes). dabbing is a move you do when excited, proud, or bragging to someone. you bend one arm over your face so that your elbow is on one side and your hand is on the other side, and then stick the other arm straight out. here is a picture: ih1.redbubble (dot) net/image.424670743.9643/flat,550×550,075,f.u1.jpg.

    my friends are probably also going to comment soon. hi, finn! hi, 666!

  4. Oh Miles, dear sweet Miles, an innocent of dabbing.
    Dabbing was a dance move that became a popular internet fad in 2015, and very VERY quickly became heaped in levels of irony. Among Gen Z especially, dabbing is seen as a bad dance move and meme however it is often done ironically by Gen Zs, sometimes accompanied with a self-deprecating joke or another silly meme. Often videos are created where people dab at beat drops in songs, usually after some stunt, ranging from flipping bottles to jumping into bins. Basically dabbing was cool for like 3 seconds and is now an ironic symbol for Generation Z.
    Remember when you sneeze:

  5. On behalf of humanity: dabbing is a dance move or gesture performed by dropping one’s head into the bent crook of a slanted, upwardly angled arm, while raising the opposite arm out straight in a parallel direction. Demonstrated by Squidward here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7PqyopzNPo

    The specific origins of the dab are debated, but it’s agreed that it came from the Atlana hip-hop scene.

  6. My almost-too-old-to-be-a-Millennial self now (mostly) understands dabbing – thanks, zander, Finn, and Luz! I feel significantly less out of touch.

  7. Whilst appreciating the vital role that Mutate representation should play in the Genoshan reform, could that actually work at this point in their history?

    One of the things that makes a mutate a mutate is a pre-programmed, uncontrollable imperative to obey and please human Genoshans and they haven’t worked out how to break that yet and as you note, Prodigal and his associates seem to be the only ones with a true sense of self and opinions.

    Prior to Prodigal’s return, could the Mutates represent themselves when they have no agency when it comes to negotiating with humans, and can’t articulate their own opinions without it being filtered through a desire to serve others? They can’t argue as they have to obey and do whatever they think will please the humans.

    Even using an advocate on their behalf, as part of an interim solution, is going to have a hard job since the Mutates would want to please that advocate over their own benefit.

    I suspect I’m probably using at least some of the same arguments that might be used against those with mental disabilities and that makes me extremely uncomfortable, but is there a way for those who are literally conditions to not argue their own point of view, to argue their own point of view in a situation like this?

    1. I think that a problem there is that this is being done with something that’s an unsubtle metaphor for South Africa. And this was published in 1993, right at that moment when white South Africans had voted to allow black Africans the vote, but right before the first election when they could vote. In other words, it’s very hard to believe that this is not inspired by current events and intended as a science-fictional allegory for them.

      And as such, it’s really quite ugly. It reads as a metaphorical expression of the idea that black South Africans, having been deprived of political freedoms for so long, weren’t ready for democratic citizenship. Which is a real argument that people made about apartheid South Africa and that there is a long history of people making about other equivalent situations.

      (Including the American South — this gave David’s decision to have Havok haul out the “I’m an American and we don’t stand for this sort of thing!” line a really unpleasant taste for me, which was colored, I have to admit, by the fact that the US’s record on South Africa is, shall we say, spotty.)

      It’s an idea that’s historically particularly associated with the British Empire, from which, for obvious reasons, South African apartheid is inextricable. Not claiming any sort of Irish exemption here, incidentally, although it’s definitely also an argument that people in Britain used to make about Ireland in the 19th and early 20th centuries – I can be very critical of Irish collective memory for being very quick to remember all the ways in which Ireland counts as a postcolonial country and being very quick to forget all the ways in which Irish people were involved with and benefited from the British Empire along with English, Scottish, and Welsh people.

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