Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

365 – A Whole Year of This Nonsense

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

In which you can now listen to a unique episode of Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men every day for a year; Shi’ar tech support leaves something to be desired; Super Doctor Astronaut Peter Corbeau does not appear in a story; it’s Deathbird, not Dueprocessbird; Zenn-La gets destroyed a lot; and we shall never speak of this incident again.

X-PLAINED:

  • Where babies come from
  • The Shi’ar (again)
  • Cable/X-Force Annual 1996
  • X-Men Unlimited #13
  • Organs
  • Shi’ar ship names
  • Pulse
  • Unconventional use of the Danger Room
  • Butt-first framing
  • Interplanetary extradition
  • The word “contemplative”
  • Binary (again)
  • More Shi’ar ship names
  • Zenn-La
  • Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd)
  • The Inciters
  • A giant metal space skull
  • Junction, NY
  • A metaphor for America
  • Marie Cavendish
  • Mutants with synthetics-based powers
  • Literary intersections

NEXT EPISODE: Beast!


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15 comments

    1. That IS a cool point about the Danger Room.
      Hitting an invisible ceiling hah, ya that’s cool. Never read that issue.

  1. As always when John Francis Moore comes up I really hope we get a quick run thorough of X-Men 2099 someday. A really great series with really good Ron Lim art.

  2. I think it might be better to remember George Perez’s writing career for his time being the artist, writer and overall architect of Wonder Woman’s relaunch post Crisis on Infinite Earths, establishing much stronger ties to Greek mythology (the Amazons were now reincarnations of women who had murdered by men, given new bodies by the combined power of the major Greek goddesses), removing the serving military office secret identity and, unlike the most recent relaunch, NOT having Zeus be her father (Because clearly THAT’S what her character had been missing all these decades – daddy issues!)

  3. So, umm… I feel a bit ungracious about saying this, especially since this was the episode where one of our hosts probably annoyed some of his fellow-Americans by calling the US imperialist. But as they will be able to tell if they read this, they pushed a particular button…

    It’s fine for Siryn to feel a certain Irish bristling at imperialism. But the specifics of what John Francis Moore makes her say are horrible. They fall into, bluntly, a common American* stereotype of Irishness that is irritating, verging on offensive, and the main thing that makes it not offensive is that it’s pitifully ignorant. It’s meant to be sympathetic, but there is nothing sympathetic about representing Irish people as being stupid enough to have simplistic black-and-white views of the Northern Irish conflict, in which “Northern Ireland has suffered long enough” under British “jackboots.”

    Some facts: while people in the South, where Theresa supposedly is from, have pretty consistently aspired to a united Ireland**, throughout the Troubles the majority were strongly opposed to IRA violence and broadly supportive of the British security forces, with whom the government of the Republic co-operated. Not to say that people weren’t and aren’t critical of the British. When, for instance, the British shot innocent people or locked up the wrong people for years (and covered it up) — that sort of thing does cause anger . But very few people could ever have thought that it made Warrington OK.

    And frankly, even among actual IRA supporters, this would be pretty extreme language. I have a close friend from a very republican family: grew up reading An Phoblacht, the works. And he has never remotely framed Northern Ireland in this childish a way. He’s aware, amazingly enough, that Unionists *exist.*

    Northern Ireland is complicated. To say something that Americans will probably find to be an annoying stereotype, Americans like to see situations in terms of good-guy heroes and bad-guy villains. Well, Northern Ireland is not a good place to look for heroes *or* villains.

    And saying “the British occupation of Northern Ireland,” as our hosts did, is not great framing. “Occupation” suggests something like the Israeli occupation of Palestine, something that is a clear-cut case (whatever one’s views) of a state using force to seize territory belonging to another state and holding that territory against the will of the overwhelming majority of its population. “Occupation” suggests that this invasion and occupation is something that happened in recent memory and could easily be reversed, if only the British were not, you know, simplistic villains.

    I do appreciate that this probably seems excessively harsh. Some of my feelings on the subject are because things are very tense in Northern Ireland at the moment, because of Brexit (see, I do blame the British for some things!). But it’s obviously rather unlikely that Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men will have much effect on the likelihood of people throwing petrol bombs in West Belfast.

    A lot more of it is because this is something that has happened to me a lot since I moved to America, an assumption that I must hate British people and see them as evil foreign occupiers and nothing more than that. (I hope that IconUK feels that I have done a good enough job in these comment boxes of concealing my boiling national hatred of him and all his tyrant kind.) Americans seem remarkably incapable of noticing that Ireland and Britain are right beside each other and that as a result it would be very odd if Irish people did not go back and forth to Britain all the time, make British friends, marry British people, have British relatives. The history of Ireland and Britain is long and difficult, with many injustices and horrible things in it. But the idea that as a result, by virtue of having grown up in Ireland, I must feel a simplistic prejudice against and loathing for all British people — as I said, it would be offensive, if it weren’t so obviously rooted in ignorance.

    And Northern Ireland is a particular hot-button for me. Peace in Northern Ireland is the single issue that’s most emotionally important to me. And peace in Northern Ireland requires compromise, and the kind of narrow-minded simplistic BS that John Francis Moore is using Siryn to peddle does nothing to promote that.

    *In particular, naive Irish-Americans who romanticize things from which they are distant and about which they know very little.. John Francis Moore’s name suggests that he may fall into that category.

    **Although it’s far from certain that in a border poll, the South would vote for a united Ireland. Some of it is an enlightened concern about repeating the mistake that the British and Northern Irish Unionists made in 1921, coercing a minority, this time Protestants, into a state to which they do not want to belong as a matter of deeply-felt identity. Some of it is because southern Irish taxpayers will not all be in a hurry to pay the tab that Westminster is currently picking up — the Northern Irish are an expensive people. But one quite possible outcome is that a majority in the North will vote to join the South, and the South will say, “Umm, are you sure you aren’t happier in the United Kingdom? Think of the NHS. It’s a marvel, isn’t it? Let me tell you, health care down here isn’t a patch on what you get where you are…”

    1. Yes, I’ve been meaning to have a word with you about the whole “barely concealed loathing” thing. 🙂

    2. I’m a bit behind listening to this episode, but I knew when I reached the part about Ireland that Voord would have commented. I was quite touched by the generosity of what he wrote and have nothing of matter to add.
      Instead I’ll tell a story. In the early 1990s, while living on Saltspring Island off Vancouver, I was introduced to a very handsome French Canadian. Hearing I was reared just outside of Belfast, he decided that telling me his thoughts on the political situation in Ireland involving Britain was a fine place to start the conversation. After a few minutes, I realised there was something particularly odd about what he was saying. I asked him if he was aware that Ireland was two different political entities. He was not. I briefly explained Partition and was naively thinking once I’d done that we’d go on to talk of other things- his ignorance on this subject having been comprehensively revealed. Nope. ‘Taking that into account…’ He was the most appalling bore.
      I’ve loads of stories like this and I suspect Voord has as well. As a result, when I meet people who come from places where conflict is going on, I don’t ask questions like ‘What’s the answer, then?’ or ‘What’s it’s all about?’ It could be that they were hoping to have a little fun at the party and not talk about traumatic matters to satisfy idle curiosity.
      For anyone whose interest is a bit more active, there are a series of lectures from Queens University Belfast on the Partition available as podcasts. They’re up on itunes. There’s one that’s 32 minutes long, but the average is 20 minutes, so not a huge committment. Search for QUB Talks 100. I particularly recommend the one by Diarmaid Ferriter as giving a flavour of the complexity Voord refers to.

  4. I was so disappointed when I picked up that X-Men Unlimited and found out George Perez was only writing it. The art was bad enough but it was a huge let down that it wasn’t Perez. The man is a legend and I have much respect for him.

    This episode got me thinking that there is a gold mine of Intergalactic political drama to be had if Marvel ever wanted to do a Game of Thrones in Space series. Either in comics or on Disney+.

    I am surprised the characters just don’t automatically smack their own heads when Deathbird shows up, no matter the context. Either she’s overt about wanting to kill everybody or she’s trying to manipulate events to have others do it. Though I did enjoy her time with Bishop. Particularly around Team X 2000 and the surrounding comics.

  5. My main thought on the US/Shi’ar imperialism thing (I feel like Voord 99 knows far more about UK/Ireland than I ever will, so I’ll just table any of Siryn’s comments) is I could EASILY see the US being angry at the Shi’Ar in a very “narcissism of small differences” way. See: when people get upset that schools and hospitals get bombed in the current war (and – to be clear – that IS upsetting), but don’t really question when our drone strikes do the same. Or – to go back to earlier US Imperialism – how Americans apparently rallied to save Cuba from Spanish rule because countries should be independent, only to proceed to introduce the Platt Amendment and also commit genocide in the Philippines when the people there though they deserved independence.

    In other words, I feel like it would be on-brand for the US to “liberate” Hala from the Shi’ar, only to subjugate it again.

  6. Regarding the question about any mutants have powers related to man-made substances- don’t forget Soft Serve! She’s having something of a renaissance since getting to Krakoa!

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