Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

395 – Boxer Briefs of Humanity

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

In which Jay has exciting news, Rick Leonardo draws an impressively creepy mad scientist’s lair, the clouds are purple and so is the prose, Powers of X gets a subtle prequel 21 years early, Cable’s own tolerance has finally reached zero, and we summarize Bastion’s backstory way, way faster than Bastion does.


  • Machine Man (X-51) (Aaron Stack)
  • Operation Zero Tolerance (more) (again)
  • Jay’s upcoming parental leave
  • Bastion (Sebastion Gilberti)
  • M-Tech
  • Powerman 5000
  • Cable & Machine Man Annual 1998
  • Hobgits and their sound effects
  • Street Fighter: the Roleplaying Game
  • Batroc ze Lepair
  • Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • X-51 / X-23 overlaps
  • Classic Summers Family Bullshit
  • Psionic soapboxes
  • What makes Bastion a compelling villain
  • The necessity of companions
  • Master Mold 3.0 & Nimrod 2.0
  • Machine Man & Bastion Annual 1998
  • Terrible font choices
  • Cable vs. floors
  • The carbon footprint of robotic fascism
  • Marvel Comics Presents #17-24 (just a little)
  • Incredible Hulk Annual #7 (just a tad)
  • The Siege Perilous
  • The future of Machine Man
  • The hypothetical 2022 version of Bastion
  • Historical events in which we’d love to see long-lived mutants take part

NEXT WEEK: We take a break for the holidays!

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  1. Ok I learned something today, I genuinely had no idea that the Y2K bug was actually a very real thing that could have happened if not for the intervention of engineers and programmers, that’s really interesting!

    1. It was, but it also wasn’t. See, computers don’t know or care if it’s 1900 or 2000, they just increment. The vast majority of digital infrastructure is more inconvenienced than hamstringed by the error. Ironically, we recently had a repeat of the Y2K error because of lot of programmers “solved” Y2K by putting code in that made the first 20 years of after 1999 start with 20, and still only count the trailing 2 digits. Others actually went back and programmed in a 4 digit year value, if not more, which actually solved the problem for a much longer time frame.

      Then there’s the problem of fixing Epoch time, though that doesn’t come due for 15 years now.

  2. Mystique in the 70s, standing over a homophobic politician’s smoking corpse: “Listen, if I wasn’t supposed to use a raygun, you REALLY shouldn’t be calling it a ‘Zap’”

  3. Congratulations, Jay, and good luck. I envy you in that newborns are a fun time. But I also don’t envy you because newborns are a challenging time.

    Of note, Marvel’s 2001: A Space Odyssey wasn’t supposed to be an ongoing series. Apparently, Marvel misunderstood the terms of the license which only allowed for the movie itself to be adapted. It sure did make for some strange comics. It also makes me wonder about the Marvel Universe that might have been. Imagine 2001, Blade Runner and Logan’s Run all co-existing.

    I read the M-Tech storyline in 1999 and had no idea it’s first seeds were planted in these pair of annuals I had completely skipped. I’ve also never read the three series that spun out of it but I do plan on at least checking out Warlock.

    I’ve noticed sound effects can change from reader to reader. This isn’t the first time that your interpretations of sound effects differed from my own. I’ve also noticed it in the way you read lines as well. It sometimes makes me wonder if I’m reading them wrong. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s just interesting.

  4. So I got these socks the other day. They’re just mass-market machine knit socks, nothing special. They have a knit/perl pattern that’s designed to look like cabled stitches, but isn’t.

    I call them my Stryfe socks.

  5. I never knew about the 2001/Celestials angle, though I did always think that X-Factor’s ship looked pretty monolith-y.

    Machine Man is certainly a wacky character, but I’ve always had a soft spot for him. I picked up the Tom DeFalco limited series back in the 80s (probably b/c of the Barry Windsor-Smith covers) and adored it. It was probably some of the first cyberpunk fiction I ever read and I still like its imagery more in some ways than the darker, nighttime tones of Blade Runner and Neuromancer that came to dominate the genre.

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