Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

390 – Corners and Conspiracies

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

In which Danielle Moonstar quiet quits; a bunch of people regular quit; we are pleasantly surprised by the survival of a minor character; tough guys wear hearts; and X-Force once again takes its place as the best comic of the line.


  • Vanisher’s brain tumor, again
  • X-Force #67-70
  • The Wakeman Oncological Research Center
  • Commander Ekaterina Gryaznova
  • The Mutant Liberation Front
  • Wildside
  • Dragoness
  • Forearm
  • Tempo
  • Locus
  • Moonstar (Mirage) (Danielle Moonstar)
  • Quiet quitting (and why it’s a bullshit concept)
  • Locus’s skin
  • Prime Sentinels
  • Ozymandias (again)
  • Llamas
  • A journey to another dimension
  • Spencer Beaumont
  • G. W. Bridge’s pajamas
  • In-between dimensions
  • Yet another homage to Uncanny X-Men #138
  • Cerebra
  • Earth-2099 vs. Earth-928
  • Our favorite non-canon ships

NEXT EPISODE: Cable, home alone

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  1. Once again, Google seems not to be catching your new episode. I see that last week’s episode did show up later, but I thought I’d make you aware that it wasn’t catching the feed again. Thanks!

  2. It was a smart move for Moore to write out the “adult” characters. They are past the point of needing supervision and it really allows the younger characters to grow in new directions

    I was sad to see Domino go though. By this point she had become my favorite X-Men character. And still pretty much is.

    I also have fond memories of Operation: Zero Tolerance and I remember it feeling like a pretty big deal as it was coming out. I would even argue that the event, as a whole, was stronger than Onslaught.

    Ya those tunnels always struck me as an odd element to add in.
    Like, …’tunnels’?!Under the mansion?Whosuhwhatnow?, I thought to myself when I first read about them.
    My memory is….that they were first introduced around/in Mutant Massacre. The Morlocks had built the tunnel-connection under the X-Mansion, for reasons.
    Morlocks inhabit the sewer in New York specifically. So guess that doesn’t make much sense geography-wise.

  4. “Untreated syphilis” sounds pretty on-brand for Vanisher tbh.

    I looked up “quiet quitting” before tuning in and was BAFFLED. I thought it was going to be, like, just no longer coming in to work without announcing you’re quitting or giving notice, but this is just…doing your job??? I do not understand! Yeah, bullshit concept. I absolutely will do some extra things for my own job because I work at a day center for adults with intellectual disabilities, like I bought them Indian sweets last week to teach them about Diwali and tomorrow I’m bringing in cream puffs to teach them about Marie Antoinette, and I’m not reimbursed for these things nor am I required to teach them about these things at all, but it’s worth it to me. . .and it benefits a vulnerable, oft-neglected population, not a massive corporation. If I was working almost any other job, no way I would bother with this shit. What a bizarre concept.

    I’ve heard “Alpha” means extremely powerful mutants who do still technically have an upper limit on their abilities. Like, Sebastian Shaw does ultimately have a limit on the energy he can absorb. But I also find that mutant classification systems tend to just mean anything the writer wants at the moment, same for who classifies as what.

    Wildside being an illusionist is always weird to be, he genuinely seems more like he should be some kind of animalistic type. I always get Forearm mixed up with one of the Savage Land Mutates who has the same power, iirc.

    Dragoness’s wings were revealed to be prosthetic. My theory is she originally had organic ones, but something happened, probably at the hands of humans, and she lost them, which is why she got the prosthetics, and why one of her alternate-universe counterparts has organic ones. But yeah her design is kinda inconsistent, though hardly the most. I just figure she dyes her hair.

    Oh man I also love rumors about why this or that was the reason for a character change! I didn’t know that about Locus, I thought they literally just forgot about which race she was. And yeah, I was a “curl up and read” kid too, Jay.

    The concept of the Prime Sentinels being sleeper agents is so terrifying, not just on the “oh they can kill our heroes” front but terrifying FOR the Prime Sentinels, that’s some horrific violating shit.

    Impressively terrible is how most villains should be! Noble sympathetic complex ones absolutely have an essential place, but for the ones where that’s not needed, they should still be an impressive threat.




    Storm and all the ladies is the correct answer. And yeah, still absurdly non-canon.

    Maia and Sugar listened to this episode with me, not sure what they thought though! They mostly spent the time digging up a potted plant without my realizing and knocking over multiple bottles of medications, because how DARE I pay attention to this podcast instead of them!

  5. Honestly a little disappointed to find out Cerebra is a new character. I have no idea how much of a fanbase there is for the 2099 X-Men, but I thought it was really cool for them to get one of their characters in the main timeline.

    1. Brother Brimstone is from the original X-Men 2099 series and I think there might even be another, smaller character from that world but I might be mistaken.

  6. Scattered thoughts:-

    – One weird moment in these comics is when Roberto calls someone “wench.”

    I was all ready to prod our hosts, normally so sensitive in these matters, for not calling the comic out for using an offensive word shot through with misogyny and classism. But then I remembered that it’s not 1680, and that nowadays, “wench” is not so much derogatory as really weird and outdated. Did Roberto learn English from Restoration comedy?

    – Since I was tough on John Francis Moore for making Siryn express simplistic black-and-white anti-British views about the Northern Irish conflict that correspond to how naive Irish-Americans mistakenly imagined people in the Republic thought about it, I’ll note that he gives Siryn quite different views about it here: this time we are in “When will you stop and realize, we’ve hated for much too long?” territory.* I wonder if someone in editorial pointed out to him that Siryn’s backstory is that her mother was killed by the IRA, which she mentions? At any rate, Moore is now showing some awareness that the Northern Ireland conflict had an aspect of being an internal conflict between groups within Northern Ireland.

    Siryn actually just says “terrorist bombing,” so in Moore’s version it could have been loyalist paramilitaries who were responsible. But IIRC Claremont had already established that it was the IRA who planted the bomb, and Moore probably just has her say “terrorist” to make the analogy to the MLF explicit.

    There are problems there — what the MLF are doing in this comic is pretty weak stuff compared to the IRA, and this points up the shallowness of the story’s takes on the issues that it raises. But that’s a general problem for the X-line — on the one hand, the political resonances are central to the appeal, so the comics have to evoke real-world parallels; on the other hand, they’re superhero comics, so everything is a bit hollow and cartoonish. I think this becomes a particular problem when you are addressing the difficult issues involved in political violence, because superhero comics depend on presenting violence in profoundly unrealistic ways.

    *I’m sort of annoyed that nothing by Sticky Little Fingers made RTÉ’s Ultimate Irish Playlist.

    1. Hmm. Got interested and decided to do a bit of digging. Not remotely close to exhaustive digging — there is only so much of the Cassidy backstory that I can take at any one time.

      But in fact I *think* this may have been the first time that it was said that Maeve died in a “terrorist bombing” (implied here to be in Belfast), and I *think* it’s never been established that the IRA were responsible. (Online sources cite the much later Uncanny X-Men: First Class #3, but that issue appears not to name any specific group.)

      So, have to wait and see where John Francis Moore goes with this. Happy to be corrected by someone who’s gone through the scattered references to how Maeve died more thoroughly than I have.

  7. “Wench” has been common enough in American pop culture to possibly be a part ‘Berto’s vocabulary. The first use of the word I can recall was in that terrible adaptation of The Neverending Story (which I loved as a child). I also believe it was used a time or two back when The New Mutants had one of their Asgard adventures. More specifically in New Mutants Special Edition #1. It’s been awhile since I read that particular issue so I may be mis-remembering.

    I’m guessing its use here is as a euphemism for the more modern, and less socially accepted, derogatory term for women.

  8. Oh, it’s been in Asgardian stuff, definitely, probably going back to Lee and Kirby. But that’s part of the cod-Shakespearean dialect, meant to sound archaic. Similarly, not too surprising to find it in fantasy, or in technicolor medieval epics, etc..

    But do Americans ever use it in normal modern contexts? I’m not a native speaker of American English, but I had moved here by the time that the comic came out, and I think I would have noticed if male Americans were calling women “wenches” all the time in the ‘90s in between complimenting each other on their goatees. 🙂

    I think that it’s very true that it’s meant as a euphemism for some more contemporary slur. But I think it’s a pretty silly euphemism, and very strange writing on John Francis Moore’s part.

    1. I obviously can’t speak for the majority of people but it’s a word I and others have used in my circle. It was a playful use and I can’t recall any of using the word outside of our group. But I doubt we were the only ones and it was about the time these issues came out.

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