Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

328 – Single Blue Male

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

In which Sam Guthrie will take all your money; Gambit has exceptionally poor judgment; having friends who are couples means getting to be the big spoon AND the little spoon; Hank McCoy is the agrarian Rube Goldberg; and there are a lot of ways to appreciate a comic.

X-PLAINED:

  • Several colors of Beast
  • X-Men #48-49
  • X-Men Unlimited #10
  • The Floating Super Hero Poker Game
  • Large hands
  • Various refugees from the Age of Apocalypse
  • Surge(TM)
  • Pam Greenwood (Fatale)
  • Many gratuitous murders
  • Iconic runs we’re not into
  • Generations of teen X-Men

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19 comments

  1. Its been a long time since I read Deadly Genesis, but would not that secret team of mutants count as an extra generation of teen mutants? I think most of them at least were teens when they started with xavier and moira

  2. Maybe the Chamber thing was a complete red herring, and Onslaught is the name of Jono’s favourite metal band and Gateway was sending him to their tour-opening concert in Berlin, or something. (Either that or he was sending Jono to ToysRUs to get him the Transformer he needed to complete his Gen 1 Combaticon set)

    I think I first found the Thing’s poker games reading “Marvel Two-In-One” back in the Mark Gruenwald/George Perez days. Glad to hear they kept going.

    Oh Jay, Miles.. you adorably naive goofballs… thinking you could slip a “Totally without redeeming social importance” reference past me! 😉

    Oddly, I’d just been thinking Hank was just the sort of person the song “Need to Know” (from Menken and Spencer’s 1992 “Weird Romance”) would suit to a tee. It even discusses reasons for turning blue! 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txe3TtMhObs

    And ah yes, the adolescent/young adult logjam which is caused in comic once you introduced your fourth generation of “fresh young heroes” but you flatly refuse to allow the older characters to age out.

    I remember disliking Sam as starstruck newbie, this was a guy who had to queue up to use the bathroom after Kurt had showered and Logan had… done whatever it is he does in there in the mornings. Who had had to deal with Rogue when someone else had finshed the coffee pot without putting a fresh one on, for YEARS before this. He would absolutely NOT be starstruck by the X-Men.

    Never mind co-running and then running his own team. He is one of the premiere leaders of the next generation of mutants, not the fifth wheell on the tired oldies team.

    The fact he was able to, at least briefly, leverage that character assassination into a classic poker shakedown is a relief, but I don’t recall them treating him much better AFTER that either, alas.

    1. In a bizarre bit of synchronicity, I did props for a high-school production of Weird Romance roughly a million years ago.

      1. Oh neat! I’ve never seen a production, but I picked up the soudntrack years back because it was Menken composing and Ellen Greene performing and loved it.

  3. I have a confession: I’m not really a fan of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men. I appreciate what he brought to the table and respect the directions he took but, to me, it just didn’t feel like X-Men.

    As for Marvel Time, I much prefer that over that weird Linearverse thing DC is doing these days. I’d much rather time inconsistencies were ignored than suggest the original X-Men are 70+ years old and just age differently.

    I think Beast was more surprised that his 616 counterpart had gone blue and furry rather than the fact of his existence. After all, in Marvel Time, Hank 616 has only been furry for a year or two.

    1. Just to mention in passing that Grant Morrison came out as nonbinary last year, and uses they/them pronouns.

      The Linearverse thing is definitely weird, though it seems it’s only a single universe in the multiverse, so isn’t defining EVERYONES timeline. It’s a cute conceit for a throwaway apperance every now and again, but I don’t think it could hold up to a long term story set in it.

      The sliding timescale has a couple of problems of it’s own, especially when at least two major characters are definitively tied to specific events, like Magneto HAS to be a Holocaust survivor, and Captain America has to be tied to World War II. Magneto has been de-aged before, back in 1977, but considering that was now over 40 years ago now, his still being middles aged remains… not something that withstands much scrutiny, and can only be papered over for so long, I’d have thought.

      Likewise Cap was still thawed out “ten years ago” and has been for the past 58 years or so, even if that now means he’d have been thawed out during the Obama Presidency!

      1. My personal favorite timeline thing* is when Bendis brought back the O5, and they were supposed simultaneously to be from the early ‘60s and from about 10-15ish years ago.

        I’m not saying it would have been *better* if their cultural references were all early 2000s, going on about Michelle Branch and 24 and whatnot…

        *I lie. It’s Matt Murdock’s legal career, compressed into a few years.. But I’ve talked about that here before.

          1. That is awesome!

            It reminds me of how in the Simpsons now every flashback to the past is years after the show started.

      2. I was unaware of Morrison’s coming out. Thank you, I will be sure to use the gender neutral pronouns from now on.

        I’m okay with Cap being “thawed out” ten years ago. Magneto is a whole other story. It seems like Marvel has two options: retcon in a scenario where Magneto was frozen for a while or make him an X-Ternal. Neither solution would go over well with fandom at large but you eventually have to explain a spry 110 year old Holocaust survivor.

        1. I think that a solution for Magneto that I personally would like would be:

          A) Tacitly forget about the whole having been turned into a a baby thing. Don’t deny it, just never reference it. Let’s be honest, it’s not a classic, is it?

          B) This is to make room for him having been rejuvenated at some point *before* UXM #1, as follows.

          i). Essentially, steal the career as a Nazi hunter from X-Men: First Class. A Magneto who was a child in the 1940s can have been doing that continuously up through quite close to the present day. And there are a lot of possibilities for flashback stories about that. I’d even regard it as something that you could still do with Logan’s past, and God knows I am a firm believer that Logan is a character who has, generally speaking, exhausted his usefulness.

          ii). Then, Magneto’s rejuvenation is tied to the point at which he reorients towards awareness of his mutant identity and the need to prevent normal humans from a threat to mutants. (This probably involves some tacit retconning of his original friendship with Xavier so that it comes after this reorientation. I’m OK with that.). He seeks out rejuvenation by some exciting comic-book means as a way to pursue his new course in life. Whatever means it is that rejuvenates Magneto, puts him in suspended animation for an indefinite period of time — now, in 2021, a short period of time, but one that can expand as needed as we get further and further away from the Holocaust.

          C) Magneto wakes up, with the body of a twenty-year old, meets Charles, etc., all pretty much as currently understood.

          Advantages: for me, the big one is that this makes the rejuvenation something that Magneto consciously sought out, not something that just happened to him, and sought out for reasons that are directly related to what makes Magneto interesting — he did it to advance his new cause, at the moment when that became his new cause. You can link the rejuvenation to the decision to take a new name, for instance.

          1. That’s a fairly elegant solution that doesn’t require a lot of squinting to make it work.

            It seems present Marvel doesn’t really reference stories from previous volumes anymore. It’s been years since Magneto was tied to WWII. It will be interesting to see how they address this in any MCU films going forward, if they use the character at all.

            As for Logan, I was okay with him being dead and gone. I would have preferred Laura was the only character in that role going forward. Especially since Logan hasn’t been in any stories post-ressurection that have provided anything interesting.

            1. Logan, like Barry Allen, was a much better character when he was dead.

              It’s not as extreme a case for me as it is with Barry Allen, where for me it’s very clear-cut that resurrecting him was a disastrously bad idea. Barry was the blandest, most generic, and, well, DC-Silver Age-y of DC’s Silver Age creations, which makes him perfect to be the symbolic dead predecessor who finally makes the Flash interesting as a concept by defining Wally West as *the* legacy hero. (No, giving Barry Allen the whole tragic mother-murdered backstory does not fix the problem, and certainly does not compensate for what you’ve lost.)

              Whereas, Logan was once genuinely interesting in his own right in a way that Barry Allen never was. But, realistically, an awful lot of the good stories about a living Logan have been told by now (also an awful lot of the bad ones). Arguably Logan worked best in that transitional period in the ‘80s when it was established that he was more complex than his early complete-$%#! version, but it hadn’t been quite nailed down *how* he was more complex than that.

              Plus, his monumental status as “The Most Popular X-Men Character” (whether he really is or not) gives Logan a certain suitability to be the predecessor for a legacy character.

              1. It’s amusing that when I got into comics (a lot longer ago than I care to admit) that Wally West was The Flash. I was unaware until well into the 90s that Barry Allen had ever even existed. By the time they brought him back he was, to me, the new Flash.

                I think nostalgia, more than anything, is holding the comic medium back. I’m not sure that having comics take place in real time, like Savage Dragon, is the way to go, but I do think that time should be moving. X-Men would be far more interesting if there was a new group of mutants where the X-Men of the 60s were more in history books. What does the mutant rights movement look like 50 years past it’s inception?

  4. Another class of teen mutants to list, would be the Deadly Genesis Xavier/Moiras secret giant size team that he wiped from the normal character’s memory.

  5. Bit off topic, but since it’s Trans Visibility Day there was an article published on CBR that discussed trans characters in comics. This reminded me of a character that appeared in Peter Milligan’s run on Elektra back in in 1997 where a male character was transformed into a female and, rather than being changed back to male, decided to embrace being female. Even going so far as to getting a boyfriend. Forgive my ignorance, hence why I am asking, but is this considered to be a trans character or a case of tone deaf subversion?

  6. Surge did make a comeback in ~ 2015, best bet to find it would be in coke freestlye machines. I’ve also occasionally seen it at some gas stations.

  7. Re Marvel Time – I seem to recall reading a thing years ago (or possibly even listening to it here?) about working out the timeline based on Kitty Pryde, because she had specific landmark birthdays at specific points. I think the conclusion was that one year in Marvel time was approximately 3-4 years in real time, and this kind of worked when applied to other characters as well. It made total sense to me, and I always think of it that way now.

  8. I do remember and was very frustrated as to why Sam Guthrie had become the rookie character when he was a war hero in X force. OK here’s a theory with X force Sam was dealing with things on a ground level and he was fighting basically the government and MLF, once he got to the X-Men he saw these were a lot bigger because now he’s in the middle of all of this changeThat’s going on and also you have to remember during this time he had become a side character for wolverine. Sam should be leading his own X-Men team by now and also his wife is completely beneath him.
    Also, you guys are Chyna forgetting about bishop being crazy towards the waitress Pam but you’re forgetting that he’s from the future and I only that he’s a cop he knows how to spot Shapeshifters come on man let’s not forget these things I mean we’re supposed to be X-Men fans.

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