Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men


This would usually be a skip week, but the world is still being a jerk, so we made you a bonus, entirely unedited, and almost entirely off-topic episode. This time, Jay and Miles talked about bugs (and Tea Fougner taught us about bees)!

As mentioned in the episode: bee cute furry face


  1. Okay, before I go any further, an earthworm is neither an insect, nor a bug, it’s an annelid, and lobsters are crustaceans… and also possibly cyborgs, if we count Don and Bill, as we absolutely should.

    “Bug” is a very American term I think. In the UK we call them insects or, if we wanted to include centipedes and millipedes, we’d likely call them “Creepy crawlies” generically.

    Other noted insect themed heroes and villains would include:

    Spider-Man’s foe, the Beetle (Which one of the Spider-Man cartoons revealed to be from Liverpool, because music based puns that will go over the target audience’s head never get old)

    “New X-Men” gave us Angel Salvatore of course.

    The Red Bee has his naming convention successors in the Green Hornet and the Blue Beetle. (I also want to say there’s been a Golden Wasp?), but none of them have had a single trained bee named Michael, so they are automatically inferior.

    The Avengers have had Ant-Man/Yellowjacket and Wasp.

    Batman has the light-gimmick based Firefly, the pyromaniac Firebug, oh and nobody should (or likely could) forget the delightfully silly Golden Age “Killer Moth”, who started out as a sort of anti-Batman (who villains could call for help via “the Moth-Signal” and he’d arrive by Moth-mobile). He also has as simply indescribable outfit I’ll leave you to google for yourselves.

    He later developed into the go-to example of villains who were walking disappointments even to themselves, and then in the 90’s sold his soul to the devil to become the butterfly based monster “Charaxes” (Imagine Mothra meets Brundelfly)

    And Fem-Force gave us a Dragonfly, though I’m sure there are a LOT of others.

    The “Miraculous Ladybug” cartoon has five derived from three Miraculous* charms: Ladybug herself, Misterbug (Which happened when a boy used the Ladybug transformation charm), Hawkmoth, Queen Bee and Vesperia (Vesperia was given the Bee Miraculous after Queen Bee proved unworthy).

    (* Miraculous is not used in a religious sense, it’s just the name given to the type of transformation charm, and made the title easier to copyright)

    Over the years Transformers has given us a slew of Insecticons: Kickback, Shrapnel, Bombshell, Chop-Shop, Venom, Barrage and, of course, the mighty WASPINATOR and Inferno!!

    As for insects themselves, I usually have a take-them-or-leave-them appproach with the exception of daddy-long-legs. (In the UK that’s the common name for crane-flies, I know it means something else in the US) They freak me out and I would cheerfully use a flamethrower on these THINGS which seem like a waste of the power of flight.

    Of course, I suspect that would change significantly if the UK had significantly larger insects and arthropods as any nature program which include millipedes longer than my arm is promptly going to get turned to another channel.

    1. Oh and I remember hearing the dragonfly sewing your mouth shut story too, but only from it being in Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, as the Dust Witch uses it as a spell on Will and Jim, in the memorably disturbing sequence;

      ”Darning-needle dragonfly, sew up these mouths so they not speak!”

      Touch, sew, touch, sew her thumbnail stabbed, punched, drew, stabbed, punched, drew along their lower, upper lips until they were, thread-pouch shut with invisible thread.

      And then goes on to do the same to their ears and eyes.

      Even by Bradbury standards, it’s TERRIFYING!

  2. OMG Swarm! That character freaked me right the hell out when I watched Spiderman and His Amazing Friends back in grade school. I seem to remember in that episode that Swarm had an alien origin. But print origin is definitely terrestrial. And hey, Wikipedia tells me Swarm even shows up in comics during all the Onslaught shenanigans. How timely!

  3. All these bee complixities.

    … complexibees.

    (Thank you very VERY much for all the bee talks. Bees are WONDERFUL and LOVELY and GLORIOUS.)

  4. There IS a scientific definition for what qualifies as a “bug” (It’s a subset of insects).
    BUT its like the botanical definition of berry (which includes tomato, but not strawberry). It’s wrong.

    A bug is a small creepy thing that “bugs” you . That’s all insects, arachnids, worms, snails. I would accept Miles’s qualification of shrimp as bugs (throw in crawfish, too). Other mollusks, I would not qualify as bugs. Bivalves are delicious and keep their creepiness inside their shells and cephalopods are cute and intelligent.

    But despite what a certain Calvin might tell you, “BATS AREN’T BUGS”.

    1. One has bed bugs, and one becomes much more sensitized to the technical scientific definition of a true bug. One becomes so happy to detect the crushed remnants of elytra in something squashed that you find. “Thank God, it was just a beetle.”

      One of the worst experiences of my life. Left me permanently reluctant to stay in hotels unless I have to. On the bright side, made me much more aware of the many, many small arthropods that share our homes with us. I never used to notice just how many carpet beetle larvae there were around me at this time of year, for instance.

  5. I’m surprised we didn’t get mention of Sectaurs. A 1985 animated series that featured bug people having adventures. There was a toy line and the second issue of Marvel’s 8 issue series was the first comic book I remember buying. Which is probably why I am the only person I know who remembers it. Granted, not well, but I remember it was a thing. I’m pretty sure the toy line didn’t live much longer than the television series and it probably wasn’t very good to begin with. But it was a thing.

    1. Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion!

      I remember that best for the spider-steed glove puppets that came with some of the figures! (Which I assume were also great for terrifying any arachnophobes in your family)

      Out of curiosity, I found some episodes of the cartoon on youtube a while back. It’s perhaps unfair to say it has not aged well, as it looks to be pretty low grade stuff compared to the other shows of it’s day too. Which is a shame.

      I know some company did a limited release of modern day quality versons of some of the figures, which looked stylish, but didn’t have the spider-steed glove-puppets, and honestly, why would you even bother without those?

      1. I completely forgot about the glove puppets! I think I only ever had one of the figures, though I do see some loose ones in antique toy stores from time to time. I was also unaware that there had been any attempt at reviving the property.

        I found an episode on YouTube once, but I didn’t even attempt to watch it. The thumbnail was enough to remind me why I wasn’t heavily into it as a child (and boy, does that age me)!

  6. Between my brother and I, we had all four of the hand puppet bugs. The other bugs had various gimmicks, too (climbing a string, squirting water, shooting darts).

    It was a fun toy line.
    I didn’t even know there was a TV series at the time.

    I got that a lot, at best being vaguely aware of a toy line’s TV show, without knowing when it was on, so never seeing it.

  7. When I think of “bugs” as a category, my first thought is always the Calvin & Hobbes storyline where Calvin has to do a report for school on bats and is certain that they’re a kind of bug.

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