Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

298 – Unlikely Avengers

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

In which the moments of X-Universe are better than the whole; the code name “Dirigible” carries some inherent risks; Tony Stark is often more interesting without Iron Man; Clint Barton is no James Rhodes; there is somehow a Matt Murdock who makes even worse choices than the one from Earth-616; nobody should ever trust Mikhail Rasputin; and the baby’s name really doesn’t matter.


  • J. Jonah Jameson’s stance on mutants
  • A way to get cool stuff AND support Trans Lifeline
  • X-Universe #1-2
  • Gwen Stacy (Earth-295)
  • Some really obnoxious white savior tropes
  • The Marauders (Earth-295)
  • How to waste Arcade
  • Spider-nostalgia
  • Owl noises
  • Tony Stark (Earth-295)
  • Clint Barton and/or James Rhodes (Earth-295)
  • Dr. Donald Blake (Earth-616)
  • Dr. Donald Blake (Earth-295)
  • Blark
  • Mikhail Rasputin (Earth-295)
  • Ship, but not Ship
  • Ben Grimm (Earth-295)
  • Sue Storm (Earth-295)
  • Bruce Banner (Earth-295)
  • A great many overplayed references
  • Matt Murdock (Earth-295)
  • Manuel de la Rocha (Earth-295)
  • Victor Von Doom (Earth-295)
  • Marte and Rafe McGuffin
  • The Upscale Program
  • A very hazardous plan
  • The Stryfe Force
  • The dreams of Donald Blake
  • A red herring named Frankie
  • Augmented humans in a mutant-centric world
  • How Wolverine communicates with animals
  • How Professor X lost his hair

NEXT EPISODE: What-ifs and might-have-beens!

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  1. To be honest, I thought that Sue Storm, specifically, becoming carer/adoptive mother for a baby named Frankie felt like just as heavy handed a hint as the other 616 character references, this one towards Franklin Richards. Since events in 616 meant she couldn’t have had a child with Reed, this was just the universe doing the best it could to make do.

  2. To be honest, until Jay and Miles clarified, I thought they meant “Tumbled” like a Tumblr user had made Darkseid look more attractive.

  3. I really felt like Doom got the short stick in the AoA. I thought it would have been more interesting if he had been closer to his 616 counterpart and set up as a third super power. Granted, there wasn’t really enough room in the story to really explore that.

  4. I’d like to humbly request that y’all work on your Spanish pronunciation. While “Pacheco” (pah-CHEH-ko, as opposed to puh-CHAY-ko) is hardly the most egregious example, the absolute mangling of “Castaneda” and “Rodriguez” in previous episodes is truly something to behold.

    I’m not expecting you to roll your r’s perfectly or anything, but the previous two examples were hardly even in the ballpark. As a Mexican American with a difficult-to-pronounce surname, I get it. *I* can barely say my own name. But it can get really frustrating the way non-Latin people of all races and ethnicities are just like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯… even when it comes to easy stuff like “Sanchez” (SAHN-chez, like “nacho.” There is no soft “a” in Spanish, never ever ever). This will become especially relevant as Joe Quesada becomes more prominent in your coverage. Pronounce a “Qu” like a “K” every time. Every. Single. Time.


    That being said, love you guys to death. AoA is about the best y’all have ever been, and I feel like the entire show, from the very beginning was all leading up to that very first moment when the theme music fades into static.

    1. Castaneda is possibly my fault. I spelled it Castañeda by mistake when he came up earlier (I think I was probably thinking of the Perry-Castañeda Library).

      1. They’re the same name, pronounced the same (cah-stah-NYEH-dah). Carlos just doesn’t spell his with the tilde, which is not uncommon in the US.

        Also, nice shout out to the PCL. As if I could love you guys even more.

    2. Totally a valid request. We joke about how bad we are at pronunciation, but you’re right that we should be better, at the very least with creator names we’re going to be mentioning repeatedly. Thank you for bringing this up, and we’ll do our best!

  5. He looks closer to Mongul than Darkseid to me. Though, considering that Mongul exists to that writers can punch Darkseid without devaluing Darkseid as a villain, the mistake is an easy one.

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