Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

274 – The Red Shoe Prophecies (feat. Chris Eddleman)

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

In which Chris Eddleman joins us for a close look at House of X and Powers of X; Doug Ramsey is highly relevant; resurrection is problematic in a universe with a documented afterlife; there is no reasonable in-continuity justification for the lack of trans Marvel characters; and your OT3 is canon.


  • The Phalanx (more) (again) (retconned)
  • House of X
  • Powers of X
  • Krakoa (more) (again) (retconned)
  • Moira MacTaggert (retconned)
  • Bar Sinister
  • Sinister Secrets
  • Portentous red shoes
  • The Man-Machine Ascendancy
  • Chimeras
  • North
  • Cardinal
  • Rasputin
  • Homo Novissima
  • Transhumanism in the Marvel Universe
  • The metaphysics of Krakoan resurrection
  • The Five
  • The true nature of Goldballs’ powers
  • Trans representation and its absence
  • Retroactive foreshadowing

NEXT EPISODE: Still not quite Generation X

CORRECTION: The story Jay referred to as “Everything Burns” is in fact titled “Time Runs Out,” although a good many things do burn over its course.

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  1. My current headcanon on the Krakoan resurrection and the afterlife is that all people resurrected that way are effectively soulless. The process simply doesn’t seem to take souls into account at all just body-mind duality.

    If this turns out to be the right solution (highly unlikely), at least Ilyana won’t feel so alone anymore.

    1. But that should give a great deal of pause to the likes of Kurt and Rahne, who regard the existence of the soul as being of vital importance to their sense of self, and yet they both seemed completley undisturbed.

      Then again I suppose it’s not a new experience for either of them (Rahne being resurrected after the Beyonder killed her, and Kurt coming back from Heaven at the known cost of his soul)

      Though Kurt’s comment to Logan just before they “died” may be one of Kurt’s most beautiful expressions of faith-based sentiment ever, so I’m prepared to cut them some slack. 🙂

      1. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast yet, so this may have been addressed. Also, IANAT (I am not a theologian) — very happy to be corrected on the following.

        Rahne probably wasn’t educated in theological niceties, and she’s pretty young. I can believe that she perhaps does not have a precise conception of what the soul is. But Kurt, I think, probably does, and from what I know about Catholic thinking on the point, I think he would take the fact that he is (I assume) experiencing consciousness as good reason to believe that he still has a soul. (Note: it is not that the soul is the *same* as consciousness, but I believe that the orthodox position is that only beings with souls can be conscious.)

        This should probably have come up in his previous allegedly soul-less period. Perhaps a miniseries: Metaphysical X-Men, Marvel Thomist Team-Up

        1. Rahne was raised by a fire-and-brimstone West-Coast-of-Scotland, EXTREMELY Presbyterian minister, she’d have had what the soul is and how importance it is drummed into her day and night for years. PLus the fact she eventually became a Minister herself in X-Factor (though for a different denomination I think, since I can’t see her embracing Presbyterianism again)

          One thing which bothers me about HOX/POX/New Mutants is how much younger Rahne appears here. She should be an adult woman now.

          As for Kurt, his being a conscious entity did nothing to releive the stress of sacrificing his soul to exit Heaven (so it’s no longer a part of him, something which Catholicism has no equivalent for what happened AFAIK but he was clear that him sacrifcing it meant he had no chance of re-entering the afterlife when he did die (again) and chose to make the most of his life whilst he could, and possibly discuss things with his maker at a more appropriate time.

          1. That’s not my point, exactly. I don’t doubt that Rahne believes that she has a soul. What I doubt is that her upbringing would equip her with a set of precise theological ideas about what a soul is. I’ve known a fairly large number of people with religious backgrounds not unlike Rahne’s, including people raised in ultraconservative Presbyterian offshoots, and what they’ve typically done is a lot of Bible study — not at all the same thing. In any case, Presbyterianism historically emphasizes the resurrection of the body.

            Admittedly, I’ve completely forgotten that she became a minister and that’s another manner – then she would probably have an M.A.,, at least if she went to mainstream Presbyterian seminary. (Which takes years, incidentally, and normally comes after an undergraduate degree – did Rahne ever put in those years of study?)

            Thinking about this whole subject, though, while there is a problem here from Kurt’s perspective, it’s not that he doesn’t have a soul. He almost certainly does. It’s that he’s not actually the same person from a Catholic perspective. Human cloning has had a fair amount of discussion for obvious reasons, and while the Church is strongly against it, it’s not because the beings created would not have souls. God creates everyone’s soul at conception and God would presumably ensoul human clones (just as God ensouls identical twins, who are essentially natural clones).

            So Kurt from a Catholic perspective definitely has a soul – he’s self-aware, has his own will. But it’s as if he were cloned and Xavier used his powers to change his memories to those of the previous Kurt (which Xavier could obviously do to anyone at all, at least in principle). He’s not actually the same person.

            But is it right for Xavier to have blank-slate people created and then impose on them someone else’s memories and experiences? I feel fairly certain that there are some possible objections there.

            1. Just did a bit of checking and it looks like she didn’t become a Minister, and certainly not a Presbyteriam (which I can never see her returning to as a faith).

              She became a deaconess at the Episcopalian church that one of Madrox dupes (Reverend John Maaddox) was the pastor at.

              An Episcopalian deacon is a role that invovles ordination and study, but is a matter of commitment and involvement more than education.

              1. Just in case there are any American Presbyterians reading this and feel offended: the mainline PCUSA is one of the most liberal of US Protestant denominations (famously gay-friendly, for instance). Not at all like what Rahne grew up in. So in fact I could see adult Rahne having stuck with Presbyterianism in a US context.

                But for obvious reasons of the law of conservation of characters, Episcopalianism makes sense.

                1. Live and learn, I was unaware of the more liberal nature of the US variety.

                  Let’s just say in Scotland that there are eight different denominations, based on who schismed from who and when (some of them within the last twenty years);

                  So we have the Church of Scotland (the oldest, and notably liberal) and then, at varying levels of fire and brimstone; the Free Church of Scotland, the United Free Church of Scotland, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), the Associated Presbyterian Church, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the International Presbyterian Church.


  2. Speaking of trans characters… what is your view on Arclight? Do you think she is or was that just Deadpool being his usual mouthy self?

    1. I’m not Jay and Miles, but I think it might make some sense with Arclight. Her background is that she used to serve with ground forces in the Vietnam War. While it’s true that 7,500 women served there, they were nearly all nurses. It’s possible she’s a former nurse who ended up in combat. It’s also possible she’s a trans woman who was still living/presenting as male at that time. I’ve heard it’s not unusual for transgender women to enter into the military, police, or other “hyper masculine” careers like that prior to coming out. Jay and Miles actually discussed that re Bishop once.

  3. The only way I see the big reveal of Moira being who she is and how the 616 continuity for 40+ years operated is that once she and Xavier gathered their allies and made plans, she had Xavier put mental blocks in on her memory, as well as his and Magnetos. Maybe because Moira realized some events need to happen without prior knowledge of events or some such.

    1. That’s kind of what I think. It still means that she and Xavier allowed things like the Phoenix Saga, House of X, Decimation, and even the Phoenix 5 debacle to happen to further their own ends.

      In fact, maybe this is why Xavier sabotaged the initial fight with Jean and again when Cyclops were overcome with the Phoenix?

  4. Okay, I haven’t listened yet SORRY but I saw the lack of trans rep among mutants is discussed—I gotta chime in with this forgotten character! Don’t know if you discuss her or not but you definitely need to know her!


    Note that I don’t post her as a way of contradicting you on the lack of trans rep, the fact that’s she’s rare, obscure, unique, and technically not even confirmed as trans actually speaks to that. I just have to tell everyone she exists whenever I see an opportunity, is all

  5. Bummed they didn’t answer my questions, but I did send several text wall, so I get it.

    As someone who’s really not liking this relaunch its a little disappointing when every professional critic is falling over themselves to gush over it, while complaints are either ignored or dismissed as trolling.

    Take the resurrection thing. They touched on this briefly, but it really sucks all the tension out of every action beat they’ve had since. Like that scene in Maruaders where Iceman got blasted and his powers shut down. If he had just been atomized, the issue could have continued on regardless.

    Ugh, I’m rambling. There’s no good place to criticize this relaunch.

  6. Just a heads up for future questions, may user name is pronounced Jay-Coggins-Ay.

    Anyway, thanks for answering my questions! It really means a lot

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