Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

247 – The Butt-Kick Scale

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

In which the Hand probably doesn’t even offer dental; literally everyone is less creepy than the Joker and Harley Quinn; toxic masculinity is Sabretooth’s adamantium; Mark Trail is a wild ride; Wolverine trashes the dress code and gets funky; Larry Hama is your god now; and Sabretooth: Death Hunt scores a solid six on the butt-kick scale.


  • Mark Trail vs. X-Men
  • Sabretooth (Victor Creed)
  • Clones of Sabretooth
  • Birthday traditions
  • Sabretooth: Death Hunt #1-4
  • Ps[i don’t remember; that one guy]
  • Low-context ninjas
  • A somewhat tasteful omission, I guess
  • The glow (and its counterintuitive sound effect)
  • Turbo Sabretooth
  • Tribune (Graydon Creed)
  • Mark Trail
  • Affirmations with Sabretooth
  • “Leni Zauber”
  • Dress codes
  • The butt-kick scale
  • A tearaway tuxedo
  • Dubious grenade handling
  • Parenting with Mystique
  • One thing Wolverine knows
  • The CHK-LIT gun
  • Comics bankers
  • A very qualified recommendation
  • Our preferred versions of Sabretooth’s origin
  • Relative redeemability

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  1. It’s perhaps a little unfortunate that in the midst of the discussion about “Sabretooth.. Hunt!” and “Sabretooth.. Heel!” I suddenly realised how inappropriate “”Mark Trail” would be in that context.

    I certainly don’t think you could show it in a newspaper strip.

    1. Mojo is a monstrous god-like alien with no empathy towards anything which isn’t Mojo, and I’ve never seen him in a romantic relationship with anyone or anything (nor do I think I’d care to)

      The Joker and Harley are a manipulative psychopath and an emotionally abused woman with issues of her own, in many ways all too human a dynamic, but not one that should be treated as a genuine, or cute, romance.

      I KNOW there’s no Mojo out there in the real world, I’ve seen versions of the Joker/Harley relationship and that is infinitely more disturbing.

    2. I think a lot of the problem with the Joker/Harley dynamic is the fans of them that think what is going on is a good model for a relationship when it is, in fact, super problematic. Harley is a mentally ill woman in an abusive relationship with a violent psychopath. There really is no way anyone should consider that romantic

      1. Oh, so it was about they being creepy TOGETHER as a romantic pairing. My bad I left a reply before listening to the podcast. Sorry.

  2. Marvel has a Psimon too, he was a friend of Warlock in the M-Tech title (along with Hope, but not THAT Hope, another Hope. THAT Hope was the _new_ Hope, which sounds like I’m mixing my licenses unforgivably but I digress), and he was the younger brother of Psiren, leader of a group called the Psi-Cops (Which sadly isn’t a pun… you think they’d have gone for “The Psi-entists” or “The Psi-lent Majority” or something)

    I think you might be overlooking that a goodly number of your listeners have no context for, if you’ll forgive me, little known American newspaper strips. In fairness in this case that is definitely OUR loss, as “Mark Trail” appears to be bloody amazing!

    1. I’d never heard of Mark Trail either, but considering they were in fewer than 175 0f the almost 5000 newspapers King Syndicate provides with strips. Apparently there were also 3 radio series devoted to the character, the most recent wrapping up in 2002.

  3. That’s right drink the Larry Hama kool aid.

    I always assumed that Birdie got fridged because she was a Jim Lee creation, and the X-Office was butthurt about Lee leaving. That’s just a theory, and I don’t have evidence to support it.

  4. Another week with no homework, but…

    – This another one where our hosts made this sound more appealing than I thought it would be. I’m really torn about reading these Larry Hama X-products. Because on the one hand, they’re devoted to characters whom I really don’t find very interesting, at least not at this point, (Wolverine, Sabretooth), but on the other, it’s clear that Hama was probably the most solid X-writer at this point. Couldn’t they have put him on a character I like?

    – I’m assuming that Tribune is named after the ancient Roman military rank? Because he doesn’t seem like he’s a spokesperson for the common people, or alternatively, a newspaper. (Maybe our hosts covered this, and I missed it.)

  5. OK, so next week we have the Irish issue of X-Force*, and it provoked me to wonder whether anyone had done the hard work of writing an essay on depictions of Ireland in Marvel comics and putting it online.

    And I didn’t find one, so curses, foiled again. But I did find out about the Siryn story in Marvel Comics Presents #43, and I am *shocked* at the appalling negligence of our hosts in failing to cover that seminal X-Men story when they were dealing with comics published in 1990. I am told that it features the only appearance ever of Ireland’s official government superteam, the “Kinsmen” (???). Importantly, it provides decisive evidence in support of my theory that Scott Lobdell is not actually aware that “Ireland” and “Scotland” are not two words for the same place, since his idea of local color is to call one of the Kinsmen “Highlander.”

    *I do have something positive to say about that X-Force issue. It’s got Black Tom’s amazing 70’s flashback all-black outfit in it, He looks fabulous. If that’s what Castlebar was like in the disco era,** it was much, much cooler than I ever imagined.

    **I think this is improbable, judging from my experience with people from Castlebar, which admittedly is largely confined to one of my English teachers.

  6. I kind of feel that if Graydon Creed continued being the crazy Bond villain that he was in this series, he would have been a much more interesting character. Still a terrible character, but an interesting one.

  7. For better or worse, I doubt Hama used the name Dr. Mabuse simply because it contained the word “abuse”.

    I feel pretty sure Hama would be familiar with the character of Dr. Mabuse, who first appeared in the German novel Dr. Mabuse der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse the Gambler), from which has sprung about a dozen films. The best known are probably the three by Fritz Lang.

    Oh, also, Yosemite Sam is Looney Tunes, not Hanna-Barbera. It’s important to be precise about these things. DC seems to be crossing over with just about anything they can lately.

  8. I’m really surprised to see no x-planation of Leni Zauber’s name being a nod to Deni Loubert.
    From the interwebs: “Deni Loubert was Aardvark-Vanaheim’s publisher for the first 70 issues of Cerebus. Deni and Dave Sim were married between 1978 and 1983. After their divorce, Deni moved to Los Angeles to start her own comics publishing company, Renegade Press, which closed its doors in 1989. She was inducted into the Joe Shuster Hall of Fame in 2010.”

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