Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

343 – The Water Cooler of Violence

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

In which X-Force carries on the New Mutants’ tradition of property damage; a lot of people have infiltrated Helicarriers; G.W. Bridge makes it weird; Gamesmaster returns to no particular end; and we go back in time to cover the origins of Chris Bradley.


  • The deaths of several Worthingtons
  • X-Force #55-56
  • X-Men Unlimited #8
  • A legacy of explosions
  • Uncanny X-Men #333 (briefly) (again)
  • A heist
  • Several of the many characters who had successfully infiltrated Helicarriers as of 1996
  • Dum Dum Dugan
  • Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine
  • The glory days off LASER tag
  • Church fights
  • Subtext
  • The Weisman Institute for the Criminally Insane (more) (again)
  • How to pronounce “Risque”
  • Chris Bradley
  • Hans Jensen
  • Nostalgia goggles and their absence
  • Civilian awareness of cosmic Marvel
  • Asgard, Oklahoma
  • Annalee

NEXT WEEK: Hawk Talk

NEXT EPISODE: Where No Mutant Has Gone Before

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  1. NEXT EPISODE: Where No Mutant Has Gone Before
    Wait are we covering the Star Trek crossovers? I had the next generation crossover novel as a kid!….. It does not hold up. Good luck to you both

  2. Somehow, I missed that Chris Bradley made his debut in X-Men Unlimited #8. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure who the character was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I never made the connection. Largely, I’m guessing, because it had been years since I read the issue and the name didn’t stick in my head.

    I remember when Lazer Tag sets came out in the late 80s. I got one for Christmas one year and was disappointed that no one else that I knew did. My brother would get one just a couple of months later and I finally got to play a bit. I found that those guns tended to be somewhat defective. The sound never worked on mine and my brother’s was hit and miss on whether it could be detected by the target sensors.

    I had forgotten just how interconnected everything was at this time. I mean, I loved it then and I still love it now but I can appreciate why some people hated it. If you’re not buying them all (like I was) then you were going to be extremely confused.

  3. The narration talking up the Helicarrier is so odd because it’s such a transparent lie. It may be impressive in-universe, but all readers know the thing exists only to be a piñata for heroes & villains. It’d make more sense if Tabitha or Rictor was saying “we’ll never get in there!” but for the narrator to do it is pointless. (It does suggest a new persona for your end-of-show Patreon messages, however: The 90s-era Extreme Narrator, who spouts obviously false boasts about backers.)

    Perhaps they had to strip Cyclops to his skivvies because it was easier than emptying all those pouches?

    I’m a little unclear on the timeframe for X-Men Unlimited #8 but if it’s after Moira was diagnosed with the Legacy Virus, then sending an kid with a contagious, potentially fatal disease back into a high school where everyone else could be infected seems awfully — well, plausible, I guess. (I do see that he eventually moved to Florida, so extra points there.)

    1. Fortunately (?) the Legacy Virus doesn’t conform to any known pattern of transmission vectors beyond, as our hosts have suggested in the past, “narrative convenience”.

      1. I think it was unfortunate that neither Moira or Xavier realized that the key to immunity was commercial importance.

  4. Yes, the not-Legion cover is distracting, and I agree the story itself is weirdly fanfic-y.

    I remember the Dominic Monaghan character in Wolverine: Origins and thinking how poorly it served him (Along with everyoner else, admittedly).

    I’d have liked to see the weirdly neurotic, weedy-looking guy who just wanted to be left alone, actually being the one member of the team that Sabretooth is genuinely worried about facing, because electrokinesis is not something that being able to punch things hard or have a healing factor would help against the effects of.

    If Chris decided to, paraphrasing Meggan, “ask the electricity” to leave Creed’s brain and nervous system then Sabretooth would be instantly dead, with no healing possible, because there’s no actually injury to heal, just a suddenly inert lump of meat. THAT could have been fun.

  5. So, fun fact: my first episode was the episode you talk about entering the 90s with Jim Lee and Asian Psylocke (137 – also remember it since it’s my favorite X-Men issue). Needless to say, you’ve been in the 90s for more than half the podcast and are getting PRETTY close to being post-Claremont for more than half. By this point, the best (and most pretentious/esoteric) comparison would be Tristam Shandy.

    Anyway, I guess restraining Cyclops in his underwear just follows a proud, long X-Men tradition of that (Colossus, Wolverine, and Storm int he Dark Phoenix Saga, Angel in the first Morlocks story, etc.). And dear god, the amount of times Cyclops is restrained in his boxers/boxer briefs this era REALLY explains a lot for me….

    I definitely thought of Miles’s interpretation of that Unlimited Story too. And also was wondering if the burn victim thing was in some way commenting on straight people who got HIV via blood transfusion (not to say that was the only way that got it)….though I feel the dominant narrative from those actual people was more solidarity and HIV/AIDS advocacy (whereas others would use their stories to advance homophobic narratives of “look at these horrible queer people also tainting normals with their lifestyle”)…though I could be wrong.

  6. Ahem, I believe the phrase is ‘Um, actually…’ The Shield Helicarrier was infiltrated in it’s very first appearance in Strange Tales #135, since Hydra had planted a bomb on it. Yes, I am old…

  7. I know I’m late to the party, but regarding Risque’s name and its pronunciation:

    I think her name is meant to be the French word for “Risk”, which is indeed pronounced more or less like “Risk” and spelled “Risque”, not to be confused with ” Risqué ” [ri-skay], the French word for “Risky” from which the English word “Risque” derives (in fact, a lot of English dictionaries retain the accent on the “e”).

    I remember, when I was a kid, thinking that she might have roots in the French Antilles or French Polynesia because of this, so I was surprised just now to learn she’s of Cuban and Seminole descent. Does anyone know if that was established from the start?

    Maybe she’s just a big Francophile? Yeah, that’s my no-prize explanation for it.

  8. You mentioned the comic that Jay wrote about Cyclops, which reminds me … I couldn’t get it when it was new because my local (UK) comic shop’s supplier had had a fire, then the pandemic happened. Can you quote me the exact title so I can try again?

    (I’ve only just reached this episode because I’ve been watching the Paralympics. Fortunately my RSS reader lets me save links before they expire. I might catch up by the end of this year!)

    1. Marvel lists it as X-Men: Marvels Snapshots (2020) #1, but I’ve also seen it listed with X-Men at the end of the title instead of the beginning!

      1. Thanks, Miles. When I can get to the shop (I think they’re still on short hours) I’ll give them that info and see if they can find it for me.

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