Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

391 – Mansion of Theseus

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

In which the X-Mansion has unusually large vents; Cable’s hair should not be floppy; Nate Grey meets his maternal grandparents; and we would really like to know more about the Siege of the Vapor Ants.


  • Cable #45-47
  • X-Man #30
  • What various Nathans have been up to
  • Operation Zero Tolerance (again)
  • The Siege of the Vapor Ants
  • Three grenades
  • Beefy vents for beefy men
  • Danger
  • Shi’arese
  • Cable vs. Bastion
  • So much beer
  • Three rad ladies
  • Several Greys
  • Roust
  • Every appearance of Joey and Gaylin Bailey
  • Several faked deaths
  • Possible impact of the MCU on the X-comics’ status quo
  • Character ages

NEXT WEEK: Hawk Talk

NEXT EPISODE: Generation X

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  1. Don’t know why Google is being a jerk, but for a third week in a row, Google Podcasts is not picking up your show when it’s posted.

    1. I’ve been trying to get this working right, but no luck so far. I hate to say it, but at least for now, you may want to use a different podcast app – Google Podcasts seems to be the only one with this problem.

      1. I’ve noticed that the podcast does show up… just a few days late. I’ll continue to come here on Mondays and listen on the website until/unless this resolves itself. Plus, then I remember to look at David Wynne’s artwork!

  2. I know you’ve avoided Cable coverage…but please please please cover the James Robinson /Joe Casey/Jose Landron Cable run that comes out of this.

    (still hope we get a quick x-men 2099 run through as well).

  3. The way Jay does Caliban’s voice here gives me FEEELS ;-;

    . . . .I was unready for Nathan/Xavier subtext. I mean, I guess it’s better than Xavier/Jean?

    I haven’t read these issues but I am LOVING the picture y’all are painting with Cable smashing the floors like a deranged moleman!

    I like how you guys pick up on things like how Bastion counting on his fingers is a very human gesture, I tend to miss things like that.

    I absolutely headcanon now that all big beefy Liefield dudes have big beefy bladders.

    Oh man, X-Man #30? Nuts, I must have the missed the episodes where Selene introduced Maddie to the Hellfire Club and Shaw! Or did you guys not cover those? In any case, while I admittedly am just not into the Nathans, I love Maddie deeply and Shaw is one of my fave villains, and I really liked their short-lived romance. I like how he NEVER compares her to Jean (nor ever seemed to be into Jean at all, just her) and, despite what you’d expect, actually never tries to exploit her powers or otherwise use her. Maybe it’s because they just weren’t together long enough, but they seemed like a perfectly fine couple while they lasted.

    Which, brings me to why I also like that they DIDN’T LAST. Maddie left Shaw, not because he did anything bad to her, but because he was going to do something that could potentially hurt a lot of other people, and she drew the line at that. I loved this because it shows that Maddie is still MADDIE, she’s not the Goblyn Queen, and while she may have been embittered by her experiences and resent the X-Men and Jean especially, she’s not ready to just let loads of people die because Shaw wants money he doesn’t even need. So she’s in probably the best relationship she’s had yet with this rich guy who takes care of her and doesn’t exploit her or compare her to Jean even though he has every reason to do so, he even throws a commitment party for her by her request iirc, which I can see being a very huge deal for Maddie. . .she could stay with him, look way from all the shit he does, because hey, he treats HER right. But she doesn’t! She leaves him to go help/warn Cable! She’s still a person who will do the right thing, even if she’s much darker/greyer now, and will also do stuff like killing Threnody (whom I also love ;-;) I just think that speaks so well of her.

    I miss this period for Maddie. She was, again, a grey area character in the 90s, but she wasn’t evil and she had a life of her own apart from Scott/Jean/the X-Men. Aaaan then she becomes an evil succubus cliche in the 2000s and I hate that and I just wish more had been done with 90s Maddie. Also, I applaud her for getting herself a rich sugar daddy for awhile, she deserves that. I also like how it’s such an unexpected thing for Shaw, and I also miss that, I like the idea this dude can have a normal/positive romantic relationship even while being a HUGE EVIL DICK, he’s more interesting that way because of the contrast. I don’t like the retcons of him as a domestic abuser, since already being an abusive father and overall Evil Dude is like. . .it’s enough, you know? He’s just a 2D cutout with no interesting human aspects after a certain point in the comics timeline and I dislike that, but I digress. Point is I read all the X-Man issues that I did for 90s Maddie. Which I realize was not the POINT of this episode or issue, sorry! Just always have a lot of Maddie feels.

    And omggg I remember these three ladies, they were fave bit characters of mine! Honestly, between them, Maddie, and Threnody, I couldn’t care less about Nate (nothing against him, just not interested) but damn I love his all-female fan club! I could never figure that Roust kid out though.

    Joey and Gailyn are yet more characters I wish there had been more done with. Maybe they’ll come back on Krakoa?


    I’m afraid I’m much more pessimistic about the idea of the MCU impacting the X-comics than y’al, but I do hope you’re right and it will be minimal. And yeah I don’t think Krakoa is gonna last much longer, myself. At least not if the upcoming “Fall of X” title is meant as an indication.

  4. Unrelated to the episode, but semi-related to X-Men: I’m listening to Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie on CD.

    The title comes because it’s a magical realism story in which all children born in India between 12 a.m. and 1 a.m. on the night of 15 August 1947, when India gained independence from the British Raj, develop special powers. Shapeshifting, teleportation through mirrors, multiplying fish, you name it. Those born closer to midnight have stronger powers, and the narrator, Saleem Sinai, a rich little boy who was born right exactly at the stroke of midnight with the new India itself.

    Accordingly, he has the greatest power: Telepathy. He not only becomes able to read the minds of those around him when he’s nine, he ends up able mentally unite all of the children in his mind, making them aware of each other and himself, and they’re all able to talk to each other through his powers if he lets them. Saleem thinks they should all unite for some greater purpose and tries to get them to discuss what it should be, but is disappointed in his fellow ten year olds for being, well, ten year olds.

    Saleem also suffers a permanent bald patch at an early age; a racist and abusive teacher pulled out a clump of his hair and it never grew back, and he gets made fun of after at school for being a baldie.

    Naturally, I couldn’t help drawing some parallels to Charles Xavier in all this. Saleem even has a rival counterpart with a rougher background, a boy named Shiva who was born at the same moment he was, and though the exact nature of his power is never defined, he is a a violent child who was brought up in the slums, motherless and then parentless, and has an amazing ability to fight, as befits being named for the Hindu god of destruction. I wouldn’t call him a Magneto figure though, as he has no noble goals of any sort and is in fact merely a cruel, selfish, survivalist child thus far in the story due to his harsh life, though perhaps that will change as the story goes on.

    But yeah, thought that was interesting. I don’t think Rushdie copied the X-Men or anything silly like that, it was just kinda some neat ways things lined up like that. So thought I’d share!v

    Speaking of that, something I’ve thought for years would be cool is a What-If series about if the X-Men was centered in a country other than the US, especially a non-Western one. You’d need to get the right people on it or it could be disastrously inaccurate/offensive, but I think it’s a neat idea.

    1. I’ve often wondered why Marvel hasn’t done a mutant centric team that wasn’t X-Men related. Not just abroad but also within the confines of the U.S. They have a plethora of mutant characters and I can’t imagine all of them would align philosophically with either Xavier or Magneto. It’s also really strange that any mutant who wants to fight against mutant oppression, no matter their country of origin, would immigrate to the U.S. to do it. I think it would be cool to see mutants fighting in other places that would be thematically even more relevant. Of course, it would have to be handled delicately in those situations. Preferably by someone with intimate knowledge of those areas and situations.


    Daily Source Code (2004) Adam Curry*
    The Ricky Gervais Show (2005)
    Comic Geek Speak (2005)
    Never Not Funny with Jimmy Pardo (2006)
    The Uncanny X-Cast (2006)
    Adam Carolla Show (2009)
    Smodcast (2007) Kevin Smith
    Comedy And Everything Else… (2008) Todd Glass & Jimmy Dore
    The Joe Rogan Experience (2009)
    WTF with Marc Maron (2009)
    The Nerdist (2010) Chris Hardwick

    * = Podcasting technically already existed at that time, but Adam was the first to bring together RSS, scripting, and actual audio content (in a format much like a radioshow).



      Daily Source Code (2004) Adam Curry*
      The Ricky Gervais Show (2005)
      Comic Geek Speak (2005)
      Never Not Funny with Jimmy Pardo (2006)
      The Uncanny X-Cast (2006)
      Adam Carolla Show (2009)
      Smodcast (2007) Kevin Smith
      Comedy And Everything Else… (2008) Todd Glass & Jimmy Dore
      Comedy Bang Bang (2009may) Scott Aukerman
      The Joe Rogan Experience (2009)
      WTF with Marc Maron (2009)
      The Nerdist (2010) Chris Hardwick

      * = Podcasting technically already existed at that time, but Adam was the first to bring together RSS, scripting, and actual audio content (in a format much like a radioshow).

  6. So, having now seen the visual companion, the Vapor Ants were not only ants, but crustaceans as well?

    Is there no end to their madness?

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