Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

321 – Revolving Doors

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

In which Sabretooth does not get effectively rehabilitated; nobody has the moral high ground; Val Cooper is the worst possible person to call in any emergency; Bishop needs a better support system; Jay knows several things about onions; and not everything has to be a mammal.

X-PLAINED:

  • Sabretooth (more) (again)
  • X-Force #48
  • Uncanny X-Men #328
  • Sabretooth Special #1
  • Bunny slippers
  • An intervention
  • Stages of grief
  • What not to do with Sabretooth
  • An evil squirrel
  • Onions
  • The three genders
  • Mutant Massacre callbacks
  • Caption disambiguation problems
  • The overabundance of boobs on fictional non-mammalian species

NEXT EPISODE: INTO THE CLONE ZONE!


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

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is 100% ad-free and listener supported. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

Buy rad swag at our TeePublic shop!

14 comments

  1. Jay, you are completely off in this issue. I think you need to see what they were trying to do. X force was trying to make sure that one of their own doesn’t get hurt. Boomer knows what’s going on and knows who sabertooth is but she was projecting her own stuff onto him and it ultimately backfired on her so X-Force is right.
    Miles, the Pollina run is actually really good. It’s just a lot of so-called experts like to overlook that because it didn’t interest them.
    Also Jay, magneto was working with the hellfire club when he was headmaster of the school so how was he a better teacher than Xavier?
    I think you guys are a little biased in your views of Xavier At this stage he was a good man before all the character assassination. Also he’s not going down any dark paths he’s trying to make sure that his people are OK. Also, you like to use hindsight instead of being in the moment with the stories. I know that you guys really like the Claremont stuff but your biases towards Scott Lobdell Is getting kind of tiresome. I know that he’s done bad things in the past couple years but during this time he was knocking it out of the park. Also with Kitty, She’s not a lesbian you guys are just projecting your horniness onto her. Plus she was sexually harassing a 19-year-old man(Colossus) and everybody(Wolverine & Nightcralwer) turn the other cheek even threatened him when he broke up with her.

  2. OK, I’ve been listening to you guys for going on six years in August. I feel like you guys need to hear this because this is probably one of my favorite areas of X-Men that doesn’t get a lot of praise because it’s not like the books weren’t good. It’s not like the X-Men didn’t have a bunch of stuff going forward at the time. I hope you guys remember that at the time marvel was going bankrupt in the X-Men and Spiderman were the only ones really keeping the lights on. Jay, you are completely off in this issue. I think you need to see what they were trying to do. X force was trying to make sure that one of their own doesn’t get hurt. Boomer knows what’s going on and knows who sabertooth is but she was projecting her own stuff onto him and it ultimately backfired on her so X-Force is right.
    Miles, the Pollina run is actually really good. It’s just a lot of so-called experts like to overlook that because it didn’t interest them.
    Also Jay, magneto was working with the hellfire club when he was headmaster of the school so how was he a better teacher than Xavier?
    I think you guys are a little biased in your views of Xavier At this stage he was a good man before all the character assassination. Also he’s not going down any dark paths he’s trying to make sure that his people are OK. Also, you like to use hindsight instead of being in the moment with the stories. I know that you guys really like the Claremont stuff but your biases towards Scott Lobdell Is getting kind of tiresome. I know that he’s done bad things in the past couple years but during this time he was knocking it out of the park. Also, you guys were so off on “X-Men burn out”. You didn’t need to read every book. With Kitty, She’s not a lesbian you guys are just projecting your horniness onto her. Plus she was sexually harassing a 19-year-old man(Colossus) and everybody(Wolverine & Nightcralwer) turn the other cheek even threatened him when he broke up with her.

  3. I think it’s kind of funny how the only reason why it’s even noticeable that the X-books aren’t properly aligned with their continuity is because of the (presumably) editorially-mandated move to bring X-Force into the Xavier Mansion. If they were still in their Murderworld base under NYC it wouldn’t even matter.

    Then again, if they were still in their own base then this whole story wouldn’t have happened at all, and that’s a huge reason why I can’t get into it at all. The last few issues of Nicieza’s run promised the possibilities of the team members living their own lives in New York, and in issue #43 we got a taste of how Boomer’s impulse to help people would come through in that environment… and instead now she’s stuck in the Xavier Mansion feeding Sabretooth bowls of milk.

    Adam Pollina’s art… it does get better later, much better, but for now I honestly think it’s horrendous. Warpath in particular doesn’t look like Warpath early on.

    1. The intervention scene would also have made much more sense if the gang had still been living in New York — though Sabretooth would have to be replaced with some other villain that Boom-Boom insists on helping.

      As is, it makes no sense. If everybody is worried about Boom-Boom spending her time hanging out with a jailed prisoner, just talk to the jailer (i.e., Xavier) and get him to add an extra door so nobody can visit the inmate. Or, instead of kicking her from the team, just revoke her key-card (or whatever the team uses for internal security) to limit her access.

      Also, I’m not buying the story’s effort to link Boom-Boom’s attitude toward Sabretooth to her father. If she had seen reflections of her father in Creed, she wouldn’t have been dehumanizing him with the bowls of milk and whatnot.

      Finally, the Magneto comparison is terrible. Magneto was given charge of the school after he accepted judgment and trial for his actions, inconclusive as it was. (Not an argument for capital punishment, but Bishop seems to be the clearest thinker of this bunch; at least he’s making the argument that laws should be enforced.)

  4. I would like you to consider that there is no actual “true genetic Shi’ar”. You are Shi’ar if you are a citizen of the Shi’ar Empire. As an advanced civilization, it’s very possible they’ve transcended our concept of species, if they ever even had one. Shi’ar are born in whatever way they wish. Some from eggs, some are live births, others manufactured, etc. Genetic lineage is a quaint interpretation of what they’re about. And it doesn’t matter so long as they are loyal citizens of the Empire. It’s not like they’re Kree, after all.

    And I’m being flippant, but it really does somewhat tie in with what we’ve seen of their empire. There are several species, and even with what we think of as Shi’ar (Lilandra, Deathbird, Deathcry, Cerise, Araki, Korvus) there is a lot of variation. And I get the feeling that a lot of that variation is purposefully designed to perform specific jobs. Something they do with other species within the empire. So, maybe that’s the actual intended answer?

  5. I don’t know if it’s ironic timing or if the universe has some sense of dark humor but hearing you talk about the stages of grief. My stepfather, who helped make me the geek I am just died this past Wednesday. He was only 56 and I’m still in shock.

    Thank you for the podcast though. I wasn’t terribly invested in Sabretooth as a character but I remembered liking these issues as they came out. The one shot especially felt big and climactic at the time. I hated the follow up on X-Factor. It felt like they were trying to recreate him in his AoA image and it just fell flat for me.

      1. I’m also very sorry to hear about your loss. I hope that you are bearing up as well as can be expected under such difficult circumstances.

        1. Thank you both. I keep moving and keeping my head up. He’s the reason I started collecting comics. It wasn’t X-Men, he had a small collection of Marvel’s John Carter, Howard the Duck, Tomb of Dracula and Heavy Metal, all of which I read many times. I actually helped him finish his John Carter collection just last Summer. He wasn’t an X-Men fan but we bonded over collecting the Walking Dead and watching the show. It’ll be hard watching the final season without him, especially as the quality of the show has declined but I’ll do it anyway.

  6. This storyline scared the crap out of me when it was first published. I wasn’t allowed to watch horror movies at that time, so what happened was a complete surprise to me. It also set very unrealistic expectations for future Sabretooth appearances.

    Have to be a picky nerd for a minute – Sabretooth got super steroids/power upgrade or whatever during his mini, so he could beat Betsy, where he couldn’t before.

  7. X of Swords made me quit the current X-books. I couldn’t afford to buy the whole thing and figured I’d miss too much plot to carry on reading the books I was getting.

  8. A bit late to commenting but, scattered thoughts:-

    – Full disclosure, I really, really did not care for Jeph Loeb’s two issues, and I was desperately hoping that the Sabertooth Special would not be on Marvel Unlimited. And then it was, and it was by Fabian Nicieza, and it was actually rather good — and that’s me saying that who basically thinks Sabertooth is a character with severe limits on the amount of worthwhile storytelling that you can do with him.

    – But, no, the Loeb issues here have, for me at least, serious problems. It’s like Loeb is trying to make me think nice thoughts about Scott Lobdell. It’s really annoying, because there are all these bits and pieces of what could be good character drama here, but Loeb is so unsubtle about how he goes about hammering them in.

    And just odd — has Jeph Loeb never heard of the concept of having reasonable concerns? Why exactly do her friends express their worries about Boom Boom’s relationship to Sabertooth by staging an intervention? Wouldn’t it be more normal for Sam (you know, her boyfriend) in a private moment, to say that he’s worried about her safety without leaping straight to escalating this into a big confrontation? If the idea here is — and the comics are very unclear about this — that the Unpredictable X-Force know from Jean what Jean has found out and that is why they are doing this, right now, wouldn’t you lead with that information?

    – There’s also some horrendous back-to-the-sixties stuff here about the X-Men’s core mission being to deal with irredeemable “evil mutants.”

    – I know I’ve said this before, but Jeph Loeb is even more ridiculously prone than Scott Lobdell to write Irish dialogue as Scottish. Another bonus point to Loeb for having both “yer” (reasonable) and “yuir” both come out of Siryn’s mouth. What exactly *does* Loeb think Teresa sounds like when she says “your”?

    Actually, now that it is clear that this went on in X-books for several years, I am genuinely curious about what is going on here. By this point, I had moved to America, so I know for a fact that Americans in the nineties did not expect Irish people to sound like this. (There is Ulster Scots, and like everything else to do with Northern Ireland, it’s politically controversial, but it’s quite restricted in its geographical range.) If you look at things like the Lucky Charms leprechaun or that Irish midshipman who tormented Kirk at Starfleet Academy, Americans did have an inaccurate stereotype, but it’s a *different* stereotype from this— that sort of fake Irish accent has recognizable roots in stage-Irish. I am genuinely puzzled as to where Irish X-dialogue is coming from in period,

    -Not Loeb’s fault, but the cover to 328 makes me cringe. There is the awfulness of Psylocke’s pose, which goes without saying.

    (You know who needs an intervention? Artists drawing Psylocke. “Look, man, you know how it is. You tell yourself, you can handle it. You’ll say to yourself, ‘I’ll emphasize athleticism and power. She’ll be a badass ninja, that’s what I’ll draw. Vaguely racist, not horrifically sexist.’ And then you’ll be drawing, and you’ll tell yourself that you’ll allow yourself to draw just one little sexed-up panel. But you can’t, man, if you’re honest with yourself you know you can’t. You can never draw just one.”)

    But there’s also the desperate fanfavoritecharacterism of “It HAD to happen… Psylocke vs. Sabertooth. ‘Nuff said!” No, it didn’t have to happen. Witness, that you have to reach back to a story from several years earlier to make that seem like it’s some kind of natural fulfillment of where both characters have been.

    -And then, as I said, the Sabertooth Special is actually rather good, full of terrifying little moments like when Sabertooth gets into the elevator and you don’t know if the young couple in there are going to be alive when Sabertooth gets out. Nicieza does a great job of exploiting the suspense available by putting someone like Sabertooth in somewhere as dense and full of people as New York City. You know Sabertooth isn’t going to kill any more of the X-Men (you don’t really believe that Psylocke is really dead, either), but there is a real chance that Sabertooth will kill one of the many random people around him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.