Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

268 – Disquettes

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

In which Excalibur addresses a number of dangling plot threads, Britanic finally gets (somewhat) interesting, Kitty really wants Douglock to be Doug, Professor Xavier and Moira MacTaggert are the best exes, and the future has peculiar priorities.


  • The life and death of Jamie Braddock
  • Excalibur #81
  • Douglock (more) (again)
  • Inker ambiguity
  • Britanic and Meggan’s Christmas costumes
  • The Excalibur Lighthouse’s sudden and inexplicable resurrection
  • Mo’ time travel, mo’ problems
  • 20,097 rocks on a shoreline
  • Douglock: overly literal, dryly funny, or just plain thirsty?
  • The Emotional Beat of Damocles
  • The problems with crunch time
  • Princess Diana: Excalibur vs. X-Statix
  • Language and time
  • Excalibur Annual #2
  • Appropriately bombastic narration
  • Fashions of the future
  • Psychic psychotherapy
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Mr. Poo
  • Braddock moppets
  • Oversimplification vs. ambiguity
  • Spooling chambers (more)
  • Excalibur as an X-leftovers book
  • Air travel: leg-room vs. sorcerous doom
  • Hannibal King: vampire detective and/or penciler
  • Shadowcat and the pain of hope
  • A Doug’s-eye view of New Mutants
  • Emma Frost and aging
  • Dazzler and roller derby

NEXT EPISODE: Jay and Seanan McGuire talk villains!

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  1. It might be this issue that led Warren Ellis to pair off Kitty and Pete Wisdom. She looks the same age as Moira in issue 81. And the Douglok sex-talk could also lead him to believe she was over 15.

    Talking of the annual, I remember Kim Yale being announced as the new Excalibur writer. I loved her work and was really looking forward to seeing what she would do. She was particularly good at mixing humour and emotional truth with hard-hitting action stories. It would’ve been a good run. Sadly it was not to be as she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to drop her writing to focus on treatment. She died in 1997. Cancer is a real shit-bag.

    In honour of her memory may I suggest that everyone reading this does a quick self-check of their breast tissue. If you don’t know how it’s simple to Google. My workplace has recently been involved in the Coppafeel campaign to encourage everyone to check themselves regularly regardless of age or gender. The earlier you discover cancer the better your prognosis.

    Sorry for bringing everyone down on a Monday morning.

    1. In fairness, Kitty is sitting in a pub, without a visible adult, drinking, and even with the lower legal age for that in the UK, I think everyone other than Chris Claremont was working on the principle that Kitty was an adult now.

  2. “Britannic” is a proper word in and of itself. It is a fancier, more legalistic, Latin-derived term for “British” or, formerly, for “relating to the British Empire”.

    So our current Queen is referred to as “Her Britannic Majesty” to indicate she legally wields tje sovereign power of the United Kingdom in matters of diplomacy, the law of nations, and international relations.

    It’s also why “Encyclopaedia Brittanica” has it’s name, since it was a British publication from 1768 until 1901, and a US one after that, but they never changed the name because of brand recognition.

    I do like the idea that Doug’s sex-talk is him messing with Kitty, though I am more inclined to think they’re playing up his absolute literalism and it’s the writer copying Data on ST:TNG when he describes himself, with naively heavy-handed innuendo, as “Fully functional” just before having off-screen sex with Tasha Yar.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Kitty casually deciding to go to a pub in Aberdeen when she’s based off the West Coast is just bizarre. She might head for Oban or Fort William, or even Glasgow if she needed a metropolis, but Aberdeen is on the other side of the country.

    1. Further exciting information about ‘’Britannic”!

      Aside from in the phrase “Her Britannic Majesty,” The word is probably best known as the name of the Britannic, one of the Titanic’s two sister ships. The Britannic also sank, but for the somewhat less interesting reason that she hit a mine in World War One.

      Being really big and sinking disastrously are appropriate things to associate with this character. But the fact that the comic doesn’t know how to spell Britannic correctly suggests to me that this is probably a name that Harras/Lobdell thought they were making up, ‘90s-style. Although I suppose the counterargument to that is that then it would have been Brytanik or possibly Bloodtain.

      1. I don’t think you can call Amanda, “Kurt’s sorta-foster-sister”, she absolutely IS his foster sister, from the time he was a baby onwards.

        Which is why, cute thought they would be under any other circumstances, I find their romance to be just, completely uncomfortable.

        I just can’t put a good spin on an outright “siblings to lovers” relationship.

        I’m torn on the Britannic Psylocke relationship too. The point of Britannic, if I used the term “point” as generously as I can, seemed to be the disconnect between who he had been and who he was. Scott and Jean slipping back into their old lives so quickly after over a decade away subjectively si small potatoes compared to Britannic.

        (He keeps making me think of Professor Paradox from the old “Ben 10” cartoon where he describes being lost in the timestream, who summarises his origin as;

        “I was hurled into the event horizon. I must have spent one hundred-thousand years there. I didn’t age or need to sleep or eat – just exist … At first I went mad of course, but after a few millennia I got bored with that, too, and went sane – very sane.”)

        So Britannic has been away and experienced the passage of eternity. Coming back with even a memory of his original name seems optimistic, never mind connecting with his siblings about childhood memories.

  3. I think the redacted Kitty/Douglock scene is in Excalibur 104-105. If my guess on what it is is correct. These were the first post-Ellis issues and it is indeed very dark.

    It get’s wonky after that first X-Statix arc but the Milligan/ Alllred X-Force I consider a masterpiece. I can’t believe it was published.

    1. Agreed on the overall comic quality of the title at this point, but I have the opposite reaction: I look forward to the Excalibur episodes b/c I didn’t know ANY of this stuff happened. I was a big fan of Rachel/Phoenix back then but wasn’t watching closely enough — and then poof, she was just gone. Never knew why.

      Granted, I’m not happy about the explanation now that I’ve heard it. But at least I can count myself informed.

  4. Really enjoyed the episode, but can I make a request? The vocal effects you guys use can be fun, but the one you guys use for Douglock’s voice was really hard to understand. Maybe it’s just me or my car’s speakers, but I could barely make out the lines Jay was reading. Is there any way you can tone this effect down for future episodes?

    1. Was coming here to say exactly this. I love you guys, I really do, but the vocal effects, like Doom or Apocalypse or Sinister, but ESPECIALLY the robot effects, make the episode difficult to listen to. Like the above poster, I listen on my commute, and both this episode and the last Excalibur episode with the dialogue between Zero and Douglock were indecipherable to my ear. I have absolutely no idea what the dialogue was. (Side note, IRL I do radio production for a radio station, so this is something I am already extremely cognizant of).

      Honestly, if you guys just read the direct quotes with just the reverb effect, it would be fine, but the added effects take me out of it.

      Again, I love you guys, I’ll listen for as long as you do the podcast, I’ll donate to the Patreon, but the vocal effects just are hard to listen to. Sorry.

    2. Thanks for the feedback, all!

      While we’re going to keep using effects for some characters, we’ll tone the Phalanx / Technarch / other robot folks filters way down going forward. Hopefully that’ll help a lot!

  5. Love you all and the show forever but never can get the hate for
    Selene (or more so the Savage Land, X-Men punching pterodactyls and such? c’mon!)
    I bought this Excb. annual solely for the, yes inexplicable, Selene story because she is AWESOME (and terrible in a great fashion)! I have from a very young age been a huge fan of Elvira, then Vampirella (sp?), Vampira, and Morticia Addams (née Frump)so, as I assume Selene is heavily influenced by this vamp prototype gravited towards her; she absolutely must be influenced by these icons of Gothic horror feminism.

    As you are both huge VtM fans from back in the day much like myself, I still cannot wrap my head around your dislike of this character. She is an homage to the classic horror vamps of days past, and could totally be like a Tzimisce Methuselah… and probably fought CONAN in days of yore!

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