Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

307 – Ugly Mootants Only

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

In which Cable has clearly inherited his father’s inability to go on a date that doesn’t end disastrously; Husk is a lightweight; we are very taken with a turtle; you really don’t want to run into the other Hemingway in an elevator, either; Jubilee can speak in logos; and Wolverine gives some fatherly advice.


  • One way to get your powers back
  • Cable #15
  • Generation X #5-6
  • X-Men: Marvels Snapshots #1 (Coming September 16)
  • Cable, in general
  • A date
  • “Sheer” fabrics
  • What we’d bring to desert islands
  • Sarah (Marrow)
  • The Ceremony of Light
  • Several generations of mutant teenagers
  • Generation X and its members (more) (again)
  • Chamber’s socks
  • Gateway’s taste in television
  • Husk’s extremely low alcohol tolerance
  • Some cool lettering
  • Banshee is to Chris Bachalo as Nightcrawler is to Alan Davis
  • Fridge wolves
  • NYC celebrity encounters
  • The ongoing legacy of X-kids with gross powers
  • Teenagers
  • Hemingway, but not that Hemingway
  • The return of Artie and Leech
  • Bones
  • How we would incorporate the X-Men into the MCU

NEXT EPISODE: Snapshots!

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  1. WRT the MCU doing an X-Men movie, I think the first movie at least has to be setting them outside the established school setting. Fox have poisoned that well so much with so many terrible movies that they need to try something different, and maybe without all the big names.

  2. I’ve always though the X-Men centric Fall of the Mutants would be a good idea for a movie. The X-Men take their last stand against Nimrod/The Fury (just for the sake of simplifying). It all happens in Dallas. We get the heartfelt good-byes of all the X-Men. And they sacrifice themselves…only to find themselves in the MCU. It turns out the true reason why Nimrod did all that stuff wasn’t to kill all mutants but rather shunt them off to another reality. So the X-Men are in this new reality of the MCU, with mutants arriving there every day…replacing their MCU counterparts. It becomes a creepy “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” thing.

  3. I did wonder about Leech only affected Emma, when both Hemingway and Marrow (and dear Lord but that’s is an awkward looking costume she’s in, essentially looking like a leather thong) are standing BETWEEN Leech amd Emma in that DPS. Even moreseo in the scenes where Marrow is in Emma’s face and thus having to be within Leech’s influence.

    (Minor point, the kids talk about M being immovable because she’s invulnerable… those are two very different powers, no?)

    Marrow growing random bones I sort of like as a horrific idea; that her brone growing is sort of like a cancer, growing bones wildly out of control.

    As for the mutants in the MCU, the simlpest approach to me seems to be to have them always been secretly present in the modern age, but their possible planned “coming out” was curtailed by the rise of the Inhumans, and the public reaction to them was enough to make put them ALL off the idea and maybe they’ll wait until things calm down a bit. Magneto and Raven consolidate a power base, Charles teaches his students.

    I’d also want to make it not the O5 debut, as that’s been done to death. Maybe their time never came, and even the All New All Different X-Men.

    Purely pulling ideas out of the aether (or my ass, depending on what you think of them) we could have an interesting rivalry between the New Mutants, those who can “pass” more often than not, and Generation X, who mostly can’t and their different goals and requirements.

  4. Generation X was always at it’s best when Lobdell and Bacahlo were working on it together. There are some entertaining stories later in the series but nothing great. And for the life of me, I can’t remember a single issue of Larry Hama’s run on the title.

    Also, Miles, I don’t know if you’re in the evacuation area but I hope you and your fiance are doing okay.

  5. I think you could easily roll out an MCU Mutants movie just based on the fact that post-Snap plainly everyone’s dealing with PTSD on a scale hitherto undreamt of, and that’s on top of the fact that it probably looks like, to the street level MCU-tizen that most of their heroes have either become murderers or buggered off, and probably aren’t in any fit statementally to handle any more mass events with aplomb.

    (thought I’d love it if the next arc was some riff on the Thunderbolts, but that’s just me)

    1. I think the only reason a Thunderbolts wouldn’t work (much as I would also love it) is they haven’t introduced enough villains to pull the con with. Most of their villains have been so cosmic as to make duplicity pointless, so until we have a Masters of Evil, can a Thunderbolts twist have any impact at all?

      1. Yes, I have to agree. I adore Thunderbolts — for me that first 12 issues is the best single thing to come out of Marvel in the ‘90s. But it really turns on the notion of there being long-established recurring villains of a certain type.

        Also, while Daniel Brühl is compelling in the role, in a “he’s really too good an actor for this, isn’t he?” sort of way, MCU Zemo is colorless as a character, and is certainly not up there with MU Zemo. And for me, the “real” Zemo is essential to the story of those first 12 episodes.

      2. Well, if you were to do it, given the high fatality rate of bad guys, you’d pretty much have to have them jacking cast-off tech a la the Vulture.

        The appeal for me I suppose is that given how cataclysmic post-Endgame MCU was it reminded me of the Marvel Universe post Onslaught and how Thunderbolts adroitly made lemonade out of the lemons Heroes Reborn handed out.

  6. Maybe Marrow’s powers were actualy suppressed and she just pulled that bone out to look confident infront of Emma, before sneaking away and letting her wound heal.
    What’s interesting is that the wound actualy implies that Marrow has a healing factor. Something often ignored or forgotten by writers later, but a logical secondary power for her to have.

    Which brings me to Jay’s comment about them somehow always forming joints.
    Considering how she has over the years displayed quite a bit of controll over how her bones grow and in which shapes, it’s possible they are affected by her subconscious.
    So they form joints because a part of her mind thinks that’s how bones should look like. The also make good grips for her knives.

    Miles’ reaction towards Marrow’s “We felt like it.” comment, makes me think that one of the major missed opportunities with her joining the X-men was, that it doesn’t feel like she was ever forced or convinced to actually confront her past crimes and acts of violence in a meaningfull way and developing from there.
    Leaving her without a proper sense of redemption and new direction.

    While her backstory does offer an explanation on why she did it and is so messed up in general. Being a victim of circumstances, upbringing and her own mistakes (as seen in that issue of Cable), turning her into a violent, agressive and damaged person. It doesn’t absolve her of her crimes.

    Instead the writers seemed to increasingly downplay that part in favor of focusing on her beauty and self awareness issues. Especialy in the second half of her stint on the X-men, after that weird make-over. Which did her no good when Claremont just dropped her from the book later.

    The end result is a character who doesn’t seem quite suited for a pure villain roles, but also does not have enough redeeming qualities for an anti-hero.

    As for the X-men in the MCU. I could imagine them starting out in their own universe with their own internal history to be explored in more movies. Before a crisis crossover has them and the heros of the regular universe joining force, resulting in their universes fusing togeter and some flashbacks showing the X-men at various points in the history of the previous movies. Cheap. But effective given that the movie goers are likely not as oversatured with such scenarios.

  7. I’m a Brit listener and Chamber is usually written as a fairly convincing Londoner. Better than a lot of other accents in comics at least.

  8. Marrow never felt right as an X-man, that set of post OZT recruits were a weird bunch, with Maggot and Marrow, the only one I liked was Celia as the idea of the reluctant hero is one that had not really been done, especially the idea that she could help more as a doctor; (shame the her big shot at name recognition is with how the character is used in New Mutants) but Marrow just had her whole character changed to fit on the team, in a not organic way.

    As for the MCU and the X-men, I would not over think it, treat the snap like the jaspers warp, Bruce or Tony magiced them up when they made their wishes. I would then start with X-factor the 3rd team (investigations) good powersets for film, and only 1 of them has been a lead in a film (wolfsbane). I would have investigate anti mutant hate crimes by Cameron hodge who will be come the franchise through villain ending up as a robot spider by film 3.

    1. Vague memories from 20-ish years ago, but as I recall it, Marrow was added to the team by editorial mandate and Lobdell – who already had one foot out the door at that point- had to pull off some narrative gymnastics to justify it. I do not have a source on this, but I’m pretty sure I remember reading that he didn’t like the idea of adding a terrorist to the team, but someone upstairs saw the potential to have a new Wolverine in her.

  9. Chamber does sound British, but also like he’s playing it up way too much. It’s a knowledgeable exaggeration.

    For a movie, they could just do a cold open with Dawn of X. Not HoXPoX, but directly into it. Maybe a later movie dives back into the many lives of Moira McTaggert.

  10. Jay, I’ve been listening to this podcast for years, *because* I’m interested in what you both have to say about the X-Men.

    Why would I not, finances permitting, jump at the chance to read your take on your favorite character?

    In fact, I do plan to buy the issue asap!

      1. Picked up my copy today and it is indeed great. It’s built on a really clever conceit that I (obviously) won’t spoil. But it’s one of those things where one reads it and thinks, on the one hand, that it works so perfectly on two different levels that it should be obvious, and on the other, that you’ve never had that connection drawn for you and certainly would never have thought of it.

        Also really looking forward now to listening to the interview tomorrow. There’s some stuff in here that it will be interesting to hear Mr. Edidin unpack a little.

        1. Yeah, that one part that put his whole character in perspective forever. The feeling of “Oh, that makes perfect sense!”


  11. I copied that panel of Paige on the pool table several times in high school. And Emma bound in gauze. What seems to have stuck with me is the swoosh and swirl and curlicues of Paige’s hair. I have sketchbooks full of that stuff.

  12. Seems reasonable that Gateway would choose to not be cosy with an English aristocrat and Emma always seemed to me to want to adopt that manner as well. Interesting that both project superiority, which runs counter to the intimacy their abilities could allow. Chamber being both young and having a visible physical impairment- which literally leaves him open- is more easy to connect with.

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