Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

413 – Convergence (feat. Douglas Wolk)

In which X-Force goes to Burning Man Exploding Colossal Man; Douglas Wolk may or may not have superpowers; Karma gets girlfriends; we are already tired of Reignfire; Meltdown and Sunspot initiate a love triangle; and Jay is writing some more X-Men.


  • Road trips
  • X-Force #75-76
  • New Mutants vol. 4 #30
  • A gatefold and a half
  • Burning Man
  • Exploding Colossal Man
  • Karma’s name
  • Echidna Faire
  • Text
  • Selene (more) (again)
  • Crowd scenes
  • Various character relationships
  • Callbacks
  • Mud
  • A magic box and a fancy stick
  • Eitri the Dwarf
  • A grand conjunction
  • A big, silly fight
  • Peak late ‘90s queer culture
  • Echidna Faire
  • Bowling
  • Etienne Rousseau
  • Updating Bastion’s facial hair
  • Wolverine’s mentees

NEXT EPISODE: The beginning of the end of X-Factor

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  1. First, congratulations, Jay! I’m always interested to see your X-Writing.

    Second, I worked for a local Burning Man franchise for a while. While I never went to the festival itself, I generally enjoyed their workshop. I learned that Australia has two franchises, one on each coast. Also, there’s one in Britain. I can’t help picturing the end of the original Wicker Man.

    Third, as I remember my late 2020 facial hair, it was long, thick, and unkempt. I had no reason to maintain it, so I didn’t. I miss that beard.

  2. Yay, Douglas Wolk! I just finished his book, “All the Marvels” and it is definitely worth the read for those of you on the fence.

  3. For what it’s worth, a “gatefold cover” is when the front cover flips out to create a larger image. X-Force #75 has what is considered a “wraparound” gatefold cover. A “double gatefold cover” is what we saw on Uncanny X-Men #325 or X-Men #45. And someone who points this all out is called a “pedant.”

    I mostly grew up in predominantly white CIS communities so a lot of subtext went completely over my head for most of my life. And, if I’m being honest, a lot of it still does. But, I definitely caught it with Karma in this issue, much as I did with Rictor and Shatterstar which tells me that the “subtext” here is about as subtle as a Rob Liefeld comic. It’s also probably why these characters were shipped off the books when it was glaringly obvious that they were queer characters. Which is says a lot about nervous Marvel was about approaching these things in the ’90s. Though I could be misreading that.

    The John Francis Moore X-Force is probably my absolute favorite. Even more than the Fabian Nicieza run. I was just att he right age for this run to really identify with these characters, even if I’ve never been to a single Burning Man. Excuse me, I meant Exploding Colossal Man.

    1. I forgot to mention:

      Congratulations, Jay, on getting another X-Men. I know you can’t talk about it yet but a part of me is wishing for the unlikely possibility that it’s an Ororo/Yukio story or Kitty/Illyana. Whatever it turns out to be, I eagerly look forward to it.

  4. I’ve generally been glad to read John Francis Moore’s comics. His Doom 2099 run was probably my favorite comic as a kid. I got really pissed at the direction the next writer took the book in, and held a grudge against him ever since.

    With the Karma/Shatterstar story, “invert” makes me think of the recent A League of Our Own, where that term was used extensively. On that show, it threads the needle of being old-fashioned, while not being commonly used as a term of hatred today. There are probably a lot of somewhat period-accurate terms that I know I would rather not read. But that show took place in the 40s, not the sliding timescale 90s…

    1. IIRC, Moore was already writing X-Force when Roberto said “wench.” It might just be a thing about his writing that he was deliberately using archaic slurs, as a way to make it clear that offensive language was being used while still avoiding contemporary slurs.

  5. Re: Siryn suddenly being terribly demure and uptight and scandalized-Victorian-matron-y.

    This is a fairly common stereotype of what people from the British Isles are like in American eyes. Especially back then: nowadays, Americans tend to be more aware that they are more religious on average than Britain and Ireland, and with that comes an awareness that, on average, Americans are likely to be more puritanical.

    This is far from the worst offender in the X-books: see how Claremont depicted Betsy Braddock as similarly shocked at these free-spirited Americans. when he brought her into UXM, despite the fact that her established character history had her as having been a model and a secret agent (not to mention a telepath who knew a lot about what other people were really like).

    As for Siryn, well — it was an inaccurate stereotype at the time when these comics came out. But as little as fifteen years earlier, it would have been fair enough (that is, if one allows for all the other ways in which the Cassidys make no @#$#ing sense as products of real Ireland). Ireland had changed very rapidly in the previous decade or so, and it’s not totally unreasonable that John Francis Moore hadn’t kept up.

  6. Congratulations Jay, looking forward to finding out which character(s) you’re working with.

    I was just thinking as this epsiode started “I have no context for Burning Man, so I hope there’s some sort of explanation”, and boy howdy the one that Douglas supplied exceeded my wildest expectations! (I suspect I’d personally enjoy the experience about as much as having a dermal layer removed in one piece without anaesthetic, but for those who do, more power to you)

  7. When Douglas quoted that FF panel I thought ‘ Is that when the Mad Thinker is disguised as Dr Santini in order to turn Ben evil in one of Reeds experiments?’ I then thought ‘This is my mind.’

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