Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

418 – Reignfirefighters

In which S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are scarier in suits; Reignfire is the new Erik the Red; “background assets” would be a very funny euphemism; it’s always either time travel or clones; and you should probably not get a corporate logo tattooed on the side of your head.


  • Crimes of Dark Beast
  • X-Force #77-80
  • The Mutant Liberation Front
  • Reignfire (repeatedly)
  • Video Renaissance
  • Almost Reno, NM
  • The inversion of several common tropes
  • Small towns
  • Different kinds of mutants
  • X-Force Fun Facts
  • Skids (Sally Blevins)
  • Several continuity errors
  • Some kidnappings
  • Sexiness without prurience
  • Background assets
  • Dr. Joshua (again)
  • (Henry Wallinger)
  • Psychic shenanigans
  • Las Vegas
  • Word-balloon disambiguation
  • X-Force’s new HQ
  • Historical X-Men we’d like to see

NEXT EPISODE: Generation X and the Seven Dwarves

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  1. I think I’ve said this before, but Reignfire is one of the characters I just really like. He’s emblematic of everything messy I enjoy about the 90s, with how he was intended with one origin and written as such with that in mind, then a new writer decided “nah he’s this instead actually” And honestly? I feel bad for him. Like his eventual canon origin story was a pretty raw deal, and while that’s hardly unique amidst mutants or comic book characters in general, I kinda wonder if he even really has a great sense of morality? I doubt he got that taught to him in a lab. I mean I guess he could get a moral compass from Bobby but he’s clearly got a different personality from him. And I tend to have a soft spot for characters who have severe identity issues in terms of like. . .how Maddie has some of Jean’s memories, or Meggan doesn’t know for sure what her own personalities and desires are because she reflects those of others.

    Oh my god I also love the “villains just lie” thing. Especially when it’s a lie that is outrageous in our universe but would be SO BELIEVIABLE in the comics world. Like years later, 2015 I think, Sebastian Shaw loses his memory, and he winds up working for a man named Jin Billion to take out the guy’s enemies, because Jin told Shaw that Shaw (who he called Mr. White Man, which I love) got his powers via experimentation, and that he was just one in a long line of victims, and showed him horrible pictures of people, including women and children, who had been dissected by the same people who experimented on him, so the amnesiac Shaw, being a much better person than his default self, was going to kill these people so they couldn’t do that to anyone else. And I love how that’s SO BELIEVIABLE in the context of the Marvel universe, like that basically IS the backstory of several characters. I also love that Jin literally describes it as “fanfic”

    Ok, I am absolutely gonna look up Deaf culture on Martha’s Vineyard because that sounds FASCINATING.

    Glowworm and Bulk ;-;

    Black Locus with blonde afro-puffs is my fave version

    Ok, thank you for clarifying how Bobby got fire-related powers too, I must have skipped that episode.

    OOOH I REMEMBER HENRY he really stuck out to me because prior to him I wondered why we never saw any mutants with intellectual disabilities. I mean, technically I knew it was because the writers didn’t think about it or didn’t want to make a character like that, but in-universe they statistically must exist.

    AAAAH MY SHOUTOUT! Thank you, this is ABSOLUTELY GLORIOUS. I’ve honestly been having a pretty bad depression month (I honestly have been too bummed to be even interested in things I normally am, hence being absent from the comments section awhile) and this was a GREAT PERK UP, I’m so happy with it! Thank you! God, I love your Sexy Shinobi Shaw XD

  2. Ok so I looked it up and in addition to being really cool . . .I learned that the island is NOT called “Martha’s Vineyard” because Martha Stewart owns it, which is what I thought til now.

  3. Once more I must suffer your slanderous slings! Again I must endure your not-so-subtle barbs thrust at me! (See what I did there?)

    Had I not already become a world renowned expert on all things sex by my own accord I must tell you that my mother’s explanation was well ingrained into my memory. She informed me that when a man and a woman are lying in bed together and she’s counting the cracks in the ceiling, that is the sex! Of course, there are so many other variations on that I happen to know it it works just as well for all couplings and thruplings and other various -ings! Why, I can’t tell you how many times I have laid in bed with a partner and felt so much accomplishment in how bored they looked. I would go so far as to say that I am the King (sometimes Queen) at inflicting the most insufferable boredom in my bed.

    Does this satisfy you that I am indeed the Master of the Sex?

  4. I was flipping through one of the X-Force Epic Collections and came across one of those pin-ups that got done early on that made it look like Rusty and Skids were going to be coming back to New Mutants before it became X-Force. Magik was also in one of these, and all of them were wearing costumes that shared the same designs as the Boom Boom designed costumes. It makes me a little sad to think of what might have been. Maybe not with Rusty, so much, be definitely Skids who I always had a soft spot for. It could have made for some interesting stories to have a member wasn’t on keen on the “protecting a world tat hates and fears them.”

    It’s been awhile since I’ve even looked at these issues but I remember the cover to #77 (City of Lost Children) as being very Norman Rockwell/New Yorker inspired. I’ve always thought Adam Pollina was an underrated artist and I wish he could have become a bigger name. On the other hand, I am grateful that we got his X-Force run in what is, arguably, the second best run of the series.

    And it’s a little bittersweet to know we’re quickly approaching the second major shake-up of the X-Line after the Mutant Genesis era. But that’s still 20 issues away so there’s still some good stuff to be examined, along with early Jimmy Cheung art.

  5. Also! Really looking forward to Bianca and her little buddies next week, she’s one of my faves! And the return of Gaia if I recall right!

  6. If you read the letters pages for these issues you’ll see a number of letters from Brazilian fans calling out Bobby’s use of Spanish and one person even giving a list of Portuguese phrases to use.
    Polina’s an artist I’ve really grown to enjoy reading this run and the letters also mention the Norman Rockwell inspiration for some of his work.

  7. Poor Skids indeed! 🙁 Nice to see her even acknowledged at this point.

    Anyone else want to imagine that, somewhere on Krakoa, there’s a “We’re done with this shit” habitat, with the inhabitants being people like Skids, Rusty, Alchemy and Larry Bodine. The walls are very solid, the camoflague is impressive and the doors open very reluctantly.

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