Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

297 – Blood Is Compulsory

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

In which Nate Grey is a drama kid; Forge-295 is the hero we need; Mister Sinister is a graduate of the Danielle “Moonstar” Moonstar school of secret identities; and we really, really, really wish that the theater troupe had gotten the ongoing series.


  • Just how powerful Nate Grey is
  • X-Man’s somewhat baffling ongoing appeal
  • X-Man #1-4
  • A theater company
  • The Best Forge (Earth-295)
  • Toad (Earth-295)
  • Sauron (Earth-295)
  • Brute (Earth-295)
  • An extended Tom Stoppard allusion
  • “Essex”
  • Domino (Earth-295)
  • Theater in and as resistance
  • An ineffectual ruse
  • A lot of death
  • Caliban (Earth-295)
  • A family reunion
  • The story we really wanted out of this series
  • The X-Man ongoing series
  • Chronically missing New Mutants
  • X-arcs we’d like to see animated


Check out the visual companion to this episode on our blog.

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  1. I confess X-Man as a title and character eluded me completely, so it being about a theatre troupe is a surprise, and I look forward to the visual companion so I can see what they actually look like (That’s not a harangue for a visual companion I hasten to add, merely an observation)

    Is it possible that Soaron has his name because he was a fan of the bad guy flier in 1987’s “Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future” TV series? 🙂 (Not everything is a direct LOTR reference, sometimes it’s a second hand LOTR reference! 🙂 )

    I suspect Sonique would be classed as “the Blue Hedgehog Pokemon”, but found only in France.

    1. Now you have me thinking about what a real, 19th-century style, harangue for a visual companion would be like.

      ”What is there, my friends, that we have not seen in recent years? What have we not endured?

      We have seen a poor widowed mother beg in the streets for a crust of bread to divide among her nineteen starving children, only to have that crust snatched from her hands.

      This we have seen, and this we have endured.

      We have seen a weak and infirm old man compelled to perform the most grueling and injurious labour and toil to the point where life had almost departed from his body.

      This we have seen, and this we have endured.

      We have seen all of us — yes, my friends I say all of us — abase and degrade ourselves utterly before tyrannical arrogance and cruelty of a kind unknown to the annals of previous history ancient and modern.

      But that Jay and Miles should deny us an As Mentioned post? This, my friends, THIS we will not endure!”

  2. Oh, the Asgard Saga would be a great animated intro to the X-verse for those who only know the MCU, as it’s about the Asgardians (who they know) meddling with mutants (who they don’t) rather than vice versa.

    It would also ensure that Xavier and Magneto’s endless, plot-hijacking, bromance wouldn’t be appearing in yet ANOTHER media as they’re not in that story.

    Whilst I agree Doug is lacking a visual hook, it’s sometimes easiest to imagine that he’s in any shot with Warlock, just safely tucked somewhere inside him. Oh, and anyone who draws Doug and Sam as looking alike should not be drawing comics IMHO. Sam has the spiky hair, the sticky-out ears and the lanky build, Doug is the short one with the fancy hairswoop.

    (Oh, and I’m afraid I didn’t understand the.. Sitacine(sp?) bit in Miles’ Mr Sinister VO, is it a reference to a game or something?)

    1. Cytosine is one of the four genetic chemical bases along with guanine, adenine, and thymine. So with baseball and bass singers, well…

      (I considered going into genetics during my first semester of college before instead deciding to work on a psychology BA to store in a drawer. Those bases are about all I remember!)

  3. I have a New Mutants print from Todd Nauck that I bought from him at a convention many years ago. The first thing I said was, “Rahne is missing!” He explained that he was trying to pitch a New Mutants series and at the time Rahne was in X-Factor so he didn’t include her.

    1. Peter David seemed to have an extraordinary level of control over the use of the characters in his X-Factor runs.

  4. X-Man was a character that I was somewhat frustrated by. While logically I understand he’s different in several ways from Cable, he still felt like a bit of a retread. Not enough to keep me from buying most of his pre-Warren Ellis run, but I think I always had a bit of resentment that we got him instead of Blink or Morph or someone else with a bit more personality and who didn’t have a counterpart in the normal timeline.

    As far as animated X-storylines we would like to see, my first thought was one of the storylines from Jason Aaron’s “Wolverine and the X-Men” series. Not sure which one, maybe the Hellfire Club story because I think the only way you’re going to get a group of sociopathic kids be the main antagonist is if you animate it, but really I just want an excuse for an animated Broo.

  5. To the discussion of theatre in/as resistance, let me add the “documentary theatre” work of Anna Deavere Smith. Two of her one-actor shows are currently streamable online: HBO has “Notes from the Field” about the prison pipeline; and PBS has, for free, “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” about the 1992 L.A. “riots.”

    Similarly, the scripts of Dominique Morrisseau’s Detroit trilogy (Detroit ’67; Paradise Blue; Skeleton Crew) are not difficult to find, though I’m not sure if full productions are available.

  6. You’re not kidding about the theater troupe! This series specifically gave me a series of post-apocalyptic dream over the following years searching the content on horseback for my family with a girl from high school and a guy from college, performing from town to town as we went. Apparently my subconscious wanted that more than any other aspect of any other comic I’d ever read.

  7. Oh yaa, Walta’s art is so different and unique. No one else’s art is like his. I loved him on ‘Astonishing’, and ‘Magneto’. Creepy-cool unsettling, very emotive.

  8. I really enjoyed this episode of the podcast, probably because of the Love of the traveling theater troupe. I remember reading this (and all of the Age of ▪︎-|A|-▪︎)and I thought this was a fun arc, and tbh didn’t have the rushed feeling of some of the other titles, Miles was spot on, this had a beginning, middle and end.
    I was surprised when it kept going, and I think I followed the series (out of curiosity) for a bit, and only picked it back up when he became (spoilers) Peter Parkers buddy.
    Hope everyone is doing well out there, stay safe

  9. I liked this series well enough that I was happy to hear it would keep going after the AoA. It’s too bad it never lived up to it’s potential. I bought the entire run as it came out and I’m hard pressed to remember anything about the series other than the occasional cross-over.
    Even Warren Ellis’s revamp of the title failed to make it pop.
    Steve Skroce’s art was always nice to look at though.

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