Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

248 – Destructo Woman

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

In which Tom Cassidy and Cain Marko may be the most stable couple in the Marvel Universe; Rory Campbell is no Super Doctor Astronaut Peter Corbeau; Siena Blaze remains a big jerk; the Cassidy family has some issues; and we are dismayed by an inexplicable dearth of leprechauns.


  • Birthday presents
  • What Excalibur has been up to
  • Excalibur #72-74
  • X-Force #31
  • How to be mysterious
  • The Proteus Room
  • The continually terrible choices of Moira MacTaggert
  • Porridge ghosts
  • An unnatural disaster
  • Chekhov’s solid rock
  • Rory Campbell
  • Destructo Woman
  • Limitations of CD-ROMs
  • Siryn (Theresa Cassidy)
  • The Cassidy family
  • How not to treat a gunshot wound
  • Kelvin Donaghann and his fancy hair
  • An intervention
  • The future of the New Mutants feature film
  • Underwear

NEXT EPISODE: Family Reunion!

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  1. Moira MacTaggert’s VR black bug room sounds terrifying, and I still, to my delight, can’t hear Miles say “mysterious” without thinking of his grandmother.

  2. I’m so sorry you need to read that awful X-Men Unlimited issue for next episode. So many unnecessary continuity implants all to avoid keeping Mystique a queer icon. It was the book that most soured me on the X-books and remains a low point in the history of comics.

    1. Just read it for the first time ever, and, my God, I see your point.

      I have a new best example of that peculiar kind of contempt for the reader that Scott Lobdell invented. On the one hand, this is for a reader who’s supposed to remember and care about tying up a point from a single panel from over a decade earlier. On the other hand, the reader doesn’t care enough about Mystique’s personality and motives — you know, character — to be bothered by the fact that Lobdell has so completely erased them and replaced them with other ones that are, well, terrible.

      I mean, let’s be generous and say that one just had to tie up that plot point about Nightcrawler and Mystique. Let’s be generous and say that Lobdell would not have been allowed to do Claremont’s original idea (which I think is a lot more dubious in 1994 than in 1981, but let’s allow it for the sake of argument), or perhaps did not know about it. You could still have done so much better than this.

      There are basically, three good things I can say about this. 1) “Mutaphobic” is a good coinage — if we’re going to use David’s cringeworthy “humorous” and “satirical” invented expression “genetically challenged,” it’s nice to have this plausible and useful term. 2) There’s something rather amusing about Mystique turning into Abraham Lincoln to torment the general. It’s just so bizarre, and seems like it belongs in a different (better) comic. 3) I quite like the conceit of calling a character Gunther Verygermanlastname and then going with a non-German Claremontian phonetic accent.

      Also, looking online, people seem to give this comic a hard time for a spectacular waterfall on the lower Mississippi, and fair enough. But let’s not ignore a torch-wielding mob of villagers in Germany in what, by the chronology, should be the mid-to-late ‘60s. It was one thing – not a great thing – when Wein and Cockrum did this in 1975. That was a comic that was aimed at a much younger audience than this one, in a context in which Tomb of Dracula was a big hit. In 1994, this is a lot more stupid as a way to envisage what Germany is like.

      1. Torch wielding mobs are the default social gathering for any non-metropolitan in the MU. See also Rahne Sinclair being chased by a similar mob in her first appearance.

  3. I suspect that the title “Ooohhh Siena” is a rather outdated pun on the Ultravox 1980 classic “Vienna” and the first line of the chorus “Oh, Vienna”. It was probably funny to SOMEONE.

    It’s surprisngly easy to envisage a Mr Sinister themed cat… “Mr Sinispurr” perhaps?

    I have no idea how the team’s real-world powers would even work in VR, because they’re only wearing headsets. Does Kurt just say “Bamf!” aloud? Or Rachel put her hands to her head an furrow her brow and the VR knows what the intent was? Sigh… as you say though, Shi’Ar technobabble.

    Remember that on Earth 616 (though later apparently retconned as Earth-91274) it was possible to store the ENTIRE personality of Optimus Prime (as well as his entire memory, which ran to MILLIONS of years) on a 5 1/4 floppy 1.2 Mb disc.

    So, at those compression rates, a CD could theoretically hold the enitre Internet, and the universe would only need a single DVD to store the entire knowledge of every sentient species!

  4. Only the X-Force issue was on Unlimited, but scattered thoughts about that:-

    -The interesting thing about this issue for me was how it is *just* a few years shy of being something that one could mock mercilessly. Because this was written and drawn at a time when the Internet was still very much only a thing on college campuses, and not even for all students there. So at this point — but not as little as three years later — you couldn’t say “Come on! Couldn’t you have taken five minutes to look this up?” Some of this, there was no easy way to know at short notice in 1993.

    But I think you can still make fun of it where they’re overtly BSing and not giving a [expletive deleted]. There’s at least one instance of that, when the two “Interpol agents” arrive to arrest Tom in Theresa’s flashback.

    OK, this is pop-culture INTERPOL Marvel didn’t invent the idea of having INTERPOL have “agents” like this (I’d be genuinely curious as to who did) and it’s an established trope that in fiction, INTERPOL is effectively UNCLE. And it’s absolutely not Fabian Nicieza’s doing, seeing as Claremont had already used it as part of Sean Cassidy’s daft backstory.

    But the thing is, I think Tony Daniel does know that INTERPOL is basically just something that helps police forces from different countries to work together. Because the two INTERPOL agents are clearly meant to be Daniel’s idea of what police in Ireland might look like. I don’t mind that he didn’t have resources to draw on for reference. But it might have been better not to have shown them at all. Because it looks as if his thought-process was “Ireland is basically Britain, right? So they must have those helmets, presumably, like all British policemen do…”.

    Not knowing is one thing, making up lazy [expletive deleted] because you can’t be bothered finding a creative way to get around having to show something on panel is another. Like, they could have been plain-clothes detectives, for instance – it’s not like you have to be all that creative.

    What’s weird is that then we get guards with actual caps in the present at the end (also wrong, but less so).

    At least Fabian Nicieza knows that the Gardaí are unarmed.

    – OK, James “cleaned up” a drunk woman who is now wearing a dressing gown and not much else, if anything. Umm, this seems like something a little invasive must have happened at some point.

    – “Like some bloody minister.” I’ll admit that the Cassidys would make more sense as members of the landed aristocracy if they were Protestant. But you know, they aren’t.

    – As I commented before, the saving grace of this issue is Black Tom’s absolutely stunning ‘70s outfit. I was very disappointed that panel did not make our hosts’ As Mentioned post. It’s not perfect, though: Tony Daniel’s sense of fashion deserts him when drawing the two women with Tom, who are not wearing ‘70s clothing at all, let alone anything approaching Tom’s megasuperstylishness, and instead are wearing those generic ‘90s comics sexy skintight minidresses that you see all over comics in this era. I suppose that the one on the right has at least picked out a dress with a pattern.

  5. It says something about me that I did the math. An uncompressed DNA sequence (assuming each base pair takes 2 bits (AGCT can be represented as 00, 01, 10 or 11) is about 715 MB, which is only slightly above the average CD-ROM. So with compression, you might be able to get it on a CD; or else only 2 CDs.

    Of course, I’m not a biologist, but I recall reading that there’s been work on all the factors that are heritable, but outside the genetic code (things like histone proteins that keep the DNA spooled up, or methyl groups, both of which affect how often a gene is turned on), so just taking a transcription of Proteus’s DNA (or the DNA of one of Proteus’s cells, or whatever…) might not contain the whole story.

  6. If Optimus Prime’s entire consciousness can fit on a 5” floppy disk then I have no problem believing you can fit a genome on a CD.

  7. Whenever Rachel does anything badass (which is most anything) I get big Pat Benatar feels. Like on my X-men character themed work playlist “Shadows of the Night” is the Rachel song.

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