Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

289 – Unsolved Mysteries

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

In which this episode is way more topical than it was when we recorded it; Apocalypse makes a terrible Statue of Liberty; there are no reliable narrators; Robbie Robertson and Carmen Sandiego are your new OTP; Emplate is creepy in any universe; lawful evil is still evil; and partial universe reboots come with some fairly silly problems.


  • Awkward intersections of fiction and reality
  • Pandemic (Dr. Richard Palance)
  • Tales from the Age of Apocalypse: Sinister Bloodlines
  • Tales from the Age of Apocalypse: By the Light
  • Brooding in multiple ways at once.
  • Corsair (Christopher Summers) (Earth-295)
  • Reconciling cross-universe timelines
  • The Shi’ar (Earth-295)
  • Comparative Summers Backstory
  • Robbie Robertson (Earth-295)
  • Northstar and Aurora (Earth-295)
  • Emplate and the Monets (Earth-295)
  • The Bedlam Brothers (Earth-295)
  • Brood problems
  • The most awkward Summers family reunion to date
  • The Absorbing Man (Earth-295)
  • Diablo (Earth-295)
  • Senator Robert Kelly (Earth-295)
  • The fall of the Guthrie family
  • An early era of Magneto’s X-Men
  • A trip to the moon
  • Death (Maximus Boltagon)
  • Whether the Beyonder of Earth-295 knows how to poop
  • Listening to this podcast with kids

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  1. One of the random background details I love about “Sinister Bloodlines”: Robertson is 100% the Blade of Earth 295 and they never fully spell it out.

  2. Dumb question. You guys mentioned you’d be going three weeks on, one week off for the podcast. The would have next week as the first one of those breaks during AoA. However, your ending kind of suggested that an episode is coming out next week. Is that just a misstatement, or is the podcast coming out next week?

    Either way, I want to thank you guys for doing something as cool as this show for us. I’m having an absolutely awful time with this lockdown mental health-wise, and I expect to be losing my lifeline to therapy after this week. You guys providing me a thing to hold onto while the world seems to be falling apart around me (and everyone just tries to act like things are going to be fine) is the kind of thing that I desperately need right now. Sorry if I’m oversharing but I feel I can’t be the only one feeling this way right now.

  3. Another possible butterfly effect source for the Shi’ar: Lilandra! In 616, she becomes aware of Xavier when he channels the collective mental powers of humanity to defeat the Z’nox, or something like that. (I haven’t read the Silver Age, so I’m going off of the Classic X-Men issue about her going off to meet him.) Since he’s dead, that doesn’t happen, and presumably she takes a different course of action after her brother declares her a traitor. (Or dies. That happens a lot in this universe, I guess.)

    1. But doesn’t the stuff with the Z’nox happen after Chris and Katherine meet the Shi’ar in 616, since it was Silver Age X-men and Scott was part of the team?

      (Granted, that does make me wonder if the Shi’ar tried to use that to fend off the Brood as a last ditch effort[1], and something something space-time nonsense meant that time for the Shi’ar and Brood is now all kinds of messed up.)

      [1] KInd of a jerk move, because the darn thing could destroy the universe if used wrong, but the sort of thing a space empire might consider: ‘screw this, if we die who cares if the universe still exists?’ I mean, this is the royal family who produced Mad Emperor D’Ken.

      1. Charles Xavier’s first encounter with Lucifer must have been after the point of divergence, so that’s a place where you could have had Aliens from Outer Space! ripples that could affect the Shi’ar.

        On the other hand, there’s a big downside there, which is that you have to talk about Lucifer, one of the most justly all-but-forgotten parts of X-Men continuity. (OK, Kurt Busiek did get a good story out of all that eventually, but still – it’s *Lucifer*…)

  4. I assumed that “By the Light” occurred shortly after Chronicles #2. Gambit is still on the team, but he doesn’t look like he’s thrilled about it. Also Wolverine isn’t on the team at this point either.

    So, I figure Wolverine and Jean have a crossover with Sabretooth while he’s on his own. They rescue Blink, although if I recall correctly, Wolverine was about to leave her to die. Realising he is terrible at being nice, Sabretooth takes her to Magneto and runs with them while they take care of her. Meanwhile, Gambit has had his big huff but he had to hand in two weeks notice and can’t just leave immediately, so he’s there but would rather not be.

  5. AWWW the Monets are my…not my favorite part, that implies I liked what happened, but like, one of the parts I remember most. I always wanted to know what happened to them…but maybe it’s better that’s never revealed.

    Fabian Cortez was a good guy in Marvel Zombies who actually saved Black Panther, and Sebastian Shaw was a member of Magneto’s underground resistance in the Forever Yesterday universe (another “shit sucks ever harder for mutants in this world” universe, with some very interesting alternate history) so I think there is something to having a common foe. Though in Kelly’s case, you’d really think a world where APOCALYPSE runs things would make him dig his heels in harder. Maybe it’s less that he’s trying to convince the humans and more that he’s trying to convince the MUTANTS so they’ll stop being terrible to humans like him?

    An Inhuman getting to be a Horseman isn’t so far-fetched to me; in 616, Apocalypse had a bunch of Inhumans working for him, they were called The Dark Riders. And yes, his last name is indeed Boltagon! XD Maximus is one of my faves, so I was thrilled he showed up, being awful like always!

    I love all your thinking about the how non-X-Men stuff would get affected!

  6. I’ve been a big proponent of the argument that, if Maximus has the same last name as Black Bolt, his name should be “Max Bolt.”

    By the way, question I meant to ask a couple weeks ago but got inspired by Jay’s recitation of Cyclops’s history. I remember Jay mentioned that he went through all of Cyclops’s history and saw all the inconsistencies throughout and decided to just go with the stuff that worked best for his story. I don’t suppose you guys at any point would like to do some kind of a history of Cyclops that discusses all those details and inconsistencies in one place for inquiring listeners/readers?

  7. Love the new podcast pic!

    “…stole a ship, & ‘starjammed’ around for a while.” 😀 haha ‘starjammed’

    LOL “He runs the fucking slave pens.”Jay

    U know whats intense and bleak? Getting high and reading AOA.

    yyYES! Finally a mention of this game https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diablo_(video_game)

    It still hits when I’m listening that I’m finally listening to a X-Pod covering AOA. I’ve been waiting for this :D.

  8. At a guess, the Statue of Apocalypse must have been built over the pre-existing Statue of Liberty which arrived long before any possibe divergence point.

  9. What you said about Nightcrawler’s hair is fine- as far as it goes, which is really not far enough for me. Let’s talk shedding. Is there a Shi’ar roomba just to clear up after him? Does he shed more in the warmer months? Is anyone allergic to him? Is there a universe where he razors cool patterns into his fur? Let’s just ditto Hank into all of this. Also, if you share a bathroom with him, is it unfair that it’d be really clear when he doesn’t clean out the thing that catches the hair in the shower? Also is ‘standard’ Mystique furry, too? The way they’re drawn looks similar, but if one has even short fur and the other doesn’t, do they look that alike?

  10. Started listening to this and reading X-Men in 2020 (after getting hooked by House of X), finally reached the place you were when I started!

    On the order of these, like Kilgaen above, to me it seems like it makes more sense for By the light to happen soon after Chronicles 2 instead of before it. It’s a bit inconsistent either way I guess, but if you have an excuse for Gambit being there (and he’s only there in a non combat scene, he’s not on the mission) it seems like the story fits. (Similar to how gambit is called by magneto in X-Men alpha maybe? Trying to piece it together in my mind my first though was that gambit being there might have been an error by the authors)
    Logan and Jean have already left, Blink (who could have already been rescued but didn’t appear in XC2 is now fully part of the team) and we also have Morph and the story of how Sunfire joined the team, all bridging the team formation in Chronicles to the one seen in X-Men alpha.

    Anyway, this podcast is great, hopefully 2023 is the year I finally reach you guys

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