Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

331 – Surprised by Brood

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

In which we take a break from the lead-up to Onslaught; Hannah Conover is the queen of dangling plot threads (and also of the Brood); Wolverine is the strangest angel; William Conover is the chillest minister in the Marvel Universe; and Excalibur writer Tini Howard gives us the inside scoop on Gambit’s trench coat.


  • Mutant Brood
  • The Brood vs. Brood X cicadas
  • X-Men vs. Brood: Day of Wrath #1-2
  • Theological origins of John Ostrander
  • Hair
  • An unspoken motif in pin-up art
  • Reverend William Conover (more)(again)
  • Hannah Conover (more)(again)
  • The Brood (more)(again)
  • The Brood Empress
  • The Firstborn
  • Atypical Queen-Broodling power dynamics
  • Brood of the future
  • A strange angel
  • What Gambit’s trench coat is made of

NEXT WEEK: Hawk Talk

NEXT EPISODE: The end of the Externals!

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  1. So Gambit shops at RM Williams? In Oz, that’s where you go for clothes if you think you’re a cowboy or outback sort. Especially if you never leave suburbia.

    Not that I’m one to judge. I often stop by Kathmandu or Mountain Designs, which is where you buy clothes if you think you’re an outdoorsy person. Hiking shoes, tents, good quality cargo pants, you get the idea. And I never leave suburbia.

  2. One of the running themes in Ostrander’s 80s work is choice and personal responsibility. That plays out here very strongly. He would use Conover again in his Punisher run following that book’s Onslaught tie-in. Carl Denti, the X-Cutioner, would also appear in that storyline.

    I find myself curious how Jay would react to and engage with John Ostrander’s Hawkworld which had more than a little of political philosophy in its pages.

  3. If I’m remembering correctly, in Cable #21 or 22 Cable is wearing a long leather jacket he removes as he prepares to fight in an airport, commenting that he doesn’t know how Gambit can fight in one. Obviously, Trini Howard is writing the character now and oil cloth is what he is wearing but in the time frame being covered here I believe it was leather. Though having worn a long leather coat for many years (because of both The Crow and Gambit) I can state that it would not be very practical to wear in an acrobatic fight. But then, Gambit wears metal boots so I guess he really likes to challenge himself.

  4. Bishop’s comment about a different kind of Brood in his future has me thinking about a bit during Broo’s introduction. If I remember correctly, Beast mentions contemplating that Broo could be involved in the creation of a new breed of more peaceful Brood. Could be interesting to see that tied back to the plotline in this mini series

    1. I hope Broo and Warlock get together every noe and again, to discuss being the only members of their species who AREN’T murderous invaders.

    2. A more peaceful Brood is an interesting concept. Especially morally and ethically since it would still require hosts. That could actually make for an interesting story with Beast at its center. He’s already morally compromised to a degree and it would be educational to see him approach that line.

  5. Scattered thoughts:-

    – No-Name the Brood from Planet Hulk maybe deserved a mention in the cold open. She’s not perfect — who from Planet Hulk is? — but she’s certainly not the classic Brood either.

    – I must admit, I reacted quite differently from our hosts to the “human” side of the devotion of Hannah’s Broodlings. For me, “You saved our lives, and we would do *anything* for you” — that’s creepy as hell, creepier than if they were just Brood, because it has some purchase on reality.

    It was one of the cleverer things that Ostrander came up with, for me, because it immediately explained why observers would rationalize what was going on as “normal” (but still unhealthy, dangerous, and cult-like) human devotion — and suggests that.the Brood can be read as metaphors for that sort of real-world phenomenon.

    The cult-like aspects do a lot for me to complicate the one-sidedly positive depiction of religion in this by suggesting a more nuanced picture. Mind you, Ostrander didn’t go quite where he might have gone, because the language which X-characters and caption boxes talk about Xavier in this period more than verges on the cultish, and I’d be up for seeing *that* explored.

    -In this period, I believe Ostrander was not yet an agnostic. He had ceased to be a practicing Catholic, but still thought of himself as a believer — it was the institutional Church to which he objected, not the ideas themselves. He’s said that this is why he could never go back and write the Spectre again (which I believe he was still doing around this time), because it was a product of that particular transitional time in his life.

  6. You mentioned that Hannah Conover’s body might be in one of two places: the X-Mansion (soon-to-be-raided by Bastion) or Muir Island (soon-to-be-exploded). I propose a third option.

    Hank is the one suggesting moving her body to Muir Isle. At this time, we have Dark Beast posing as Beast and soon-to-be working under Onslaught. Perhaps Dark Beast transferred Hannah to one of his own secret labs, for genetic studies and manipulations of course because what evil McCoy wouldn’t find alien embryonic transformation fascinating, and any questions about where the body went or even that it exists could have been erased by Xavier’s beefy magneto shoulder devil?

    Hannah Conover exists in the relative safety and secrecy of one of Dark Beast’s many secret bases. Relative to Bastion and explosion, of course. Poor Hannah.

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