Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

324 – Snack Attack

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

In which Cordelia Frost is a terrible friend; Mondo is better than the story arcs that surround him; and we’d really love to see a series about Sean Cassidy’s super groovy past.


  • The one who got away
  • Generation X Annual 1995
  • Generation X #10-11
  • A failed seduction attempt
  • Mondo and a plant-based facsimile thereof
  • An emergency
  • The very personal and private journal of Monet St. Croix
  • A party
  • Omega Red (again)
  • Sean Cassidy’s Interpol days
  • An unlikely informant
  • A somewhat surreal monitoring system
  • The Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men Wiki


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  1. Miles, you have put THAT song into my head and so I must beat you, bash you, squish you, smash you, chew you up for brunch.

  2. Generation X sounds like they needed someone like Mondo around the place, so the bait and switch to what might best be described as “Mondo – Vegan option” is just bizarre.

    Xorn I will forgive a lot more easily than Jospeh or Mondo, as he was intended to be a traitor from the outset and the reasons we thought he wasn’t was because of a deliberate used of “the unreliable narrator” (I’m ignoring anything they did with Xorn after Morrison left for obvious reasons). Jospeh and Mondo sound more like writers just changing their minds halfway through, and that might work for George Lucas, but not this.

    Omega Red emits toxins from himself which kill other people… so he basically his power is x-gene enhanced BO? If that were my power I’d probably want to give it another name too, even if that has to be “mutant death factor”.

    Hang on, he emits death spores he’s not immune to? How did he even survive that power manifesting?

    I know it’s not your fault because of the audio format, but whenever you describe Sean Cassidy fighting Omega Red my aged gay mind hears “Shaun Cassidy” and I momentarily see the 70’s teen-heart-throb and former fluffy haired Hardy Boy* locked in mortal combat with Russia most lethal mutant, and that’s a mental image that lingers whether one likes it or not!

    (* who would go on to write and produce some wonderfully dark TV drama like “American Gothic” and “Invasion”)

    Cor blimey, strike a light guvnor, that there is some good’n’proper Englishing with Chamber. Wow, that’s defintiely dialogue… that someone wrote.. and was presumably paid for.

    I will make a partial allowance for his use of “gel”, which is more because of the English language not having a way of indicating whether something uses a hard or a soft g (especially irksome when we have “j” just a few consonsants further on) and “gel” with a hard “g” is technically acceptable as an alternative to “girl” in some London accents, but I don’t think it’s something someone Chamber’s age would use.

    Shinobi Shaw as Richard from Galavant is 100% correct. And now I’m picturing Sebastian Shaw singing “Maybe You Won’t Die Alone” in the background whilst watching his sons latest car crash of a seduction attempt and wincing every four seconds

    “Gaze at the person across from you now
    Feel the sweet spark of connection
    If you don’t screw up this moment somehow
    Maybe you won’t die alone

    Don’t be too needy or bring up your ex
    Don’t say the words: “Herpes Simplex”
    Don’t ever mention you’ve never had sex
    Trust me, I promise, she knows”

    (It takes a lot to make me feel sorry for Sebastian Shaw, but watching Shinobi go down in flames like that that might just do it)

    1. To add a bit, “gel” is a conventional phonetic spelling that’s been established for some time. As Icon_UK says, the g is hard— probably the most famous place where one can hear what “gel” is trying to represent in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, although Maggie Smith is doing a Scottish variant in which one can just hear the “r” sometimes.

      But it does seem like something that Chamber would only say if he were Colonel Starsmore (Retd.), an elderly man with a moustache and a blue blazer, somewhere into his fifth gin-and-tonic of the afternoon while reading the Daily Telegraph in the Conservative and Reform Club, in 1954.

      The dialogue does do something that would be a great bit of characterization for poor Jonothon, if only this comic were from the 1890s. He starts off saying “ruddy,” which is a euphemism for “bloody” (considered shocking in the Victorian era, as every reader of Dracula will remember), but in the stress of the moment later lets slip the horrific and offensive “bloody.” Alas, this comic is not set one hundred years earlier, even if it does revolve around an Evil Foreigner.

      (“Ruddy” would be a bit archaic by this point, obviously, and “bloody” a bit weak and unlikely in someone Jonothon’s age. To be fair, his dialogue would be hard to write accurately without a reasonably liberal use of [expletive deleted].)

      While we’re on the subject of dialogue, the Lobdell/Loeb Hiberno-Scottish Dialogue War reaches a new height when Sean consistently uses “nae” in his conversation with Moira and Moira *doesn’t*. “Break out the champagne, boys and girls — sorry, ‘gels’ — we have achieved Full Stereotyped Dialogue Inversion.”

      It occurred to me, while listening to the podcast, that the real glue of Sean and Moira’s relationship was probably class prejudice. They’re both landed aristocrats — of course they glommed onto one another at Xavier’s.

      1. I was particularly thinking of the hard-G “gel” as being part of a traditional Cockney accent (just listen to Eastenders) which Jonothon does tend to affect, but yes, old school and for older people about younger women who they know well enough to be fairly sure they wouldn’t get punched in the face for being a patronising git (also with a hard G).

        I suspect Col Starsmore (Retd.) would make for a wonderful fanfic series, as the club bore who yaks on endlessly (and using hidesouly outdated terms) about his times with Xaviers Fifth Lancers, on safari in the Savage Land and other re-imaginings.

        I must confess to using “ruddy” sometimes, partly because the archaic quality appeals and partly because, being Scottish, I can really roll that “R” sound 🙂 )

        According to legend, in 1887, WS Gilbert was challenged (on the grounds of good taste) for naming his new cod-Gothic comic-opera “Ruddy
        gore” because it was too close to “Bloody gore” which led to the rather marvellous retort

        “That would be like saying ‘I admire your ruddy countenance’ — which I do— means the same thing as ‘I like your bloody cheek’ — which I don’t.”

        Though they did rename the opera “Ruddigore” before it’s premiere, just to be on the safe side.

        1. I was particularly thinking of the hard-G “gel” as being part of a traditional Cockney accent

          That’s an interesting point. Hmm. That’s in Pygmalion, so that’s been around at least since the early 20th century.

          Gets interested and looks it up in the OED

          Oldest example (as “gell”) in the OED is in George Eliot, where it represents a Midlands pronunciation.

          Since one of our hosts is interested in musicals, he may find it interesting that Gershwin uses “gel” in one of the songs in Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 (Fancy! Fancy!: “Demmit, gel, I have a mistress.”) No information as to whether that represents an upper-class American hypercorrecting to avoid “gal,” or it’s meant as a parody of an upper-class English person. (Not familiar with the song, but “mistress” suggests that we are not meant to take the pronunciation as [i]declassé[/i].)

          The OED doesn’t overall.go beyond, “Representing a regional (southern English), affected, or English upper-class pronunciation” in specificity, unfortunately.

          1. I never thought about “gel” as part of a Cockney accent. Though I know it’s part of the posher English accents, and I know a satirist once wrote Prince Philip as pronouncing it “gel” instead of “girl”.

            Excatly as Voord 99 said: “Colonel Starsmore (Retd.), an elderly man with a moustache and a blue blazer, somewhere into his fifth gin-and-tonic of the afternoon while reading the Daily Telegraph in the Conservative and Reform Club, in 1954.”. And the sort of Karen who’d be upper-class to be his wife!

      2. Oh my gosh. That’s the reason Chamber is so depressed all the time. He’d just grown a truly colonel-level moustache and then his mutant powers manifested and he lost it forever.

      3. Is Banshee aristocracy though? Cassidy Keep being in Mayo would imply otherwise, as Irish royalty was pretty much done a few centuries prior and the province in question wasn’t particularly valuable so it’s where a lot of the disenfranchised were sent/left with by Cromwell et al. (With the infamous quote “To Hell or to Connaught.”

        But… there’s a way around it! Co. Mayo was the home and territory of Grace O’Malley, the Irish Pirate Queen. If Sean is descended from her, that not only fits your note, it also ties into his own career and legacy as an art thief as well… 😉

        1. It’s possible to be landed aristocracy without being royalty in Ireland, just as it is in England.* Sean is consistently described as the hereditary lord of Cassidy Keep. He doesn’t seem to have a title, so apparently he’s gentry. There absolutely were landed aristocrats who owned most of Co. Mayo in the 19th century, incidentally, people like the Marquis of Sligo. This was true pretty much throughout a lot rural Ireland — the land was owned by people whose chief qualification was picking the right father, and the people who actually farmed were largel

          Not that many of the landed aristocracy in Ireland trace their ancestry back to Irish royalty, and it’s certainly not the main thing that would make any of them aristocrats. In fact, they’re typically Anglo-Irish and often trace their ancestry to English people who came to Ireland in the 17th century. Plus, they’re extensively intermarried with the English, Scottish, and Welsh aristocracy. They’re also generally Protestant.

          None of that informed what Claremont did when he invented Cassidy Keep in the slightest, and I doubt Claremont knew anything about the history of the aristocracy in Ireland (spoilers: a lot of them weren’t great people, being brutal rentiers and absentee landlords). Sean is a character who doesn’t make a whole lot of what you would call “sense.” (My pet theory about Cassidy Keep is that it’s actually a Victorian folly.)

          *In fact, the reverse is also true: you could be Irish royalty without being a landed aristocrat. There was still a king on the Blasket Islands within living memory (just – actually, everyone who could remember that might now be dead, but I think it was within living memory when I was a child). But he was essentially just another fisherman who happened also to be the king.

  3. I’m not gonna lie, I was one of those who were suitably impressed by Omega Red’s “Death Factor” and had never given much thought to the fact that it makes no sense. I’m very much in the corner of “If it sounds cool, go with it!”

    At this time, I didn’t know Emma Frost was from Boston and only faked her English accent. As a matter of fact, I didn’t know that she was supposed to have an English accent but I read her that way anyway. I also always read Chamber as having a cockney accent. Mostly because my knowledge of British accents at the time were either cartoonish characters like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins or Doctor Who. I also read M as having an English accent even though that makes no sense but I was 19 when these came out and not very worldly.

    I really wish Marvel would have done (or will now) do a Banshee series, limited or otherwise. He’s a character that really deserves to have his back story explored more. Maybe a road trip series with Forge would be really cool as they bond and deal with the occasional problem along the way?

  4. Another scattered thought:-

    – I must admit, the characterization of Mondo seems more than a bit iffy to me from a “reinscribing superficially positive but deeply patronizing imperialist stereotypes” point of view. Isn’t he a noble savage (peace-loving unspoiled-primitive naive/wise variety), done absolutely straight? He could have come straight from a 19th-century boy’s adventure novel.

    As a creation, he does not seem informed by any sense that Samoa is a real place that exists in the present day like other real places, and that maybe you shouldn’t make up %^&# about Samoans such as that they don’t know about modern technology. I mean, if Lobdell had made up a completely fictional name for a fictional Pacific island and said that was where his simple primitive with his unsophisticated trusting soul was from — well, that would still not be at all great. But calling Mondo “Samoan” raises the problem to another level.

    Well, it’s not as if Americans have any contact with Samoans or anything to do with them, is it?

    1. I am super fond of Mondo in terms of really liking his kindness and chill but I did get a simile vibe as you. I didn’t think “modern noble savage” but more “Americans vague idea of a relaxed islander type” with no actual thought out into his Samoan culture or heritage—I mean even his name is “Mondo” for crying loud. Either way though I agree. Lovely person, but as a character def needs updates on that front.

      1. That’s a really good point – and one I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t even consider. The island on which we saw him and Cordelia was so generic (and seemingly empty) that despite the frequent mentions of him being Samoan, I kept forgetting that Mondo is supposed to come from a real place with a real culture. Again I say: dammit, Lobdell!

    2. Yeah, I had a similar thought. Though one thing re: Hawaiian shirts (aka Aloha shirts) is that they can be considered business or formal attire (they arose partially out of a desire to have something that could be formal but wearable in tropical weather, though usually in formal situations they’re more muted). So Mondo wearing that to the event is actually a rare case of potentially cultural accuracy (though it may have been a “look at how relaxed he is!” and only unintentionally had a ring of truth). Granted, not sure how it translates to American Samoa vs. Hawaii (as they’re distinct cultures, but also there has been some natural cross pollination, especially as both have similar experiences as imperialized island nations, etc.).

  5. OMG!!! I finally caught up to the podcast. It only took me 3 years of listening on and off. Thank you guys so much for the years of hilarious banter. I mainly got into X-Men because of the 90’s cartoon and I instantly fell in love with Nightcrawler. Who would be your favorite furry blue mutant?

  6. FWIW, I got tripped up by “gel” (which should be gehl) when I was 7 and reading Narnia. The titular magician in the Magician’s Nephew uses it in regards to Jadis.

  7. From this episode:

    “Cordelia may or may not be a mutant. It’s really unclear. We know she’s immune to Emma’s powers. And we know that Emma told her she should come to the school to learn more about herself. Which implies that she’s a mutant. But we never see any hint of her powers.”

    Is she immune to telepathy in general, or just Emma’s? If the former, surely “immune to telepathy” is actually an extremely significant mutant power! For example, on Muir Island during the Shadow King saga, someone psychically immune could realise what was happening and escape to warn the other X-teams.

    I realise that without other powers, the Psychic Immune would be in trouble after the evil telepath realised “She’s not affected! I’ll have to kill her”. But someone with those powers acting as a (seemingly) civilian support to a superhero team, with preparations made to escape and contact other heroes if their minds were taken over… that’s the sort of character you would want to have around.

    And some pretty non-trivial training would be needed, not only for her “day job”, but also just to stay alive when an evil telepath has ordered all of your teammates to kill you.

    Perhaps she could learn to fake being affected, and operate undercover.

    Consider Moira’s powers, and Destiny’s inability to see her directly, as an example of something similar. Although I’ve always wondered if that was someone else disguised as Irene in that scene…

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