Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

435 – Giant-Size Special #12 (feat. Kieron Gillen)


Illustration by David Wynne

In which we have had an eventful year; Longshot is a classic folk hero; writer Kieron Gillen makes a triumphant and mildly terrifying return to the show; and you remain the best listeners of any podcast, ever.


  • Our tenth birthday party!
  • 2023
  • Longshot vol. 2 #1
  • Longshot as a folkloric archetype
  • Longshot (more) (again)
  • Dismal Nitch, Washington
  • The Thingee
  • Baum, Kansas
  • Corn
  • Betty
  • Barrie, Kansas
  • The Albony Avenue Sanitarium and several of its residents
  • Innocence, broadly
  • The Wuggly Ump, by Edward Gorey
  • Love
  • Immortal X-Men
  • Nathaniel Essex and several significant clones thereof
  • Defining Mister Sinister
  • Making Charles Xavier sympathetic
  • Reset phrases
  • Eternals
  • The 10th Annual Super Doctor Astronaut Peter Corbeau Awards for Excellence at X-Cellence
  • Many people to whom we are grateful

NEXT EPISODE: X-Men: Liberators

NOTE: If you want to avoid Immortal X-Men spoilers in our interview with Kieron Gillen, you can skip to 01:38:50 for the Corbeau Awards!

Special thanks to:

  • Matt Hunter
  • Dylan Higgins
  • Al Kennedy
  • Max Carleton
  • Kieron Gillen
  • Tea Fougner
  • Anna Stokes
  • All of our patrons
  • All of you listening, always <3

“Sinister Is Cloning This Town” performed by Steve and Erin Pence

Check out the visual companion to this episode on our blog!

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  1. Longshot’s approach to innocence in this story reminds me of the line from Everything Everwhere All At Once:

    “When I choose to see the good side of things, I’m not being naive. It is strategic and necessary. It’s how I’ve learned to survive through everything.”

    1. What an illuminating line!

      That’s exactly Longshot’s way. He seems to act randomly, but it’s his clean purpose, his good will, what carries him to a favorable end.

      I think that most of writers simply don’t know what to do with him, aside of jokes or awful ‘Gladiator’ tales. DeMatteis, however, understood what Longshot has been since the beginning: a sacred fool, an archetypical luminous errant figure, like the magic vagabond from the fairy tales or Jesus in his public life.

      According to the line you quoted, I believe that an interesting story to tell about Longshot would be reuniting him with Doc Strange one more time, and explore how his luck power works by matching mystic meditation techniques and quantum mechanics.

  2. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet. But I needed to say now, “Don’t you mean your X birthday?”

  3. Gosh, ten years! Where has the time gone? Congratulations on the achievement, and the endurance!

    I have very vague memories of that Longshot special, which is probably still in a longbox somewhere around here, so thank you for the reminder of just how weird it was.

    Your comment about Longshot’s pouches got me spinning down a rabbit hole of my own creation about who was Patient Zero of the pouched costume fad, using my own slightly piecemeal memories of various costumes. But I think I have a winner, and the answer may surprise you! 🙂


    I might be very alone here, but I had sort of been hoping that Immortal X-Men might have been, as Kieron mentioned as being his starting point, more low stakes, and more involved in the actual society and structure of the new mutant nation of Krakoa.

    The Quiet Council was flawed from the outset, and it’s insistence that it HAD to continue as the only voice of decision-making and authority was clearly unwise from nearly as early on. Given it’s make up, meant that the most dramatic of the drama kids were running the country, and the rest of the population were just ignored. There are so many potentially fascinating aspects of Krakoan life that were either never mentioned, or mentioned in passing when a new writer tended to take over a title, and now look like they’re not going to be addressed, which seems a shame.

    That being said, will be interested to see how the upcoming titles play out.

    So Happy New Year to all!

    1. Ha, your list is amazing! I’d never heard of its winner… and now I can’t stop thinking of how he’d even reach some of those pouches.

      Speaking for myself, I’m kind of glad we got both sides of things in Immortal X-Men, political and magical. But you’re totally right: we could’ve had years more of the political and social sides of things and still had fascinating story concepts ready and waiting. One of the many reasons I’ll miss the Krakoan Era.

      Happy New Year to you too, Icon_UK! Thank you for being such a thoughtful and active part of this weird corner of the world!

  4. I’m not done listening to this episode yet so maybe it comes up later, but don’t you mean you’re celebrating your “X” Birthday?

    1. Sorry for double posting. My initial post didn’t show up until after this one was posted. I feel foolish now.

  5. Hey there! Currently listening to this episode, and you guys mentioned that there would be a timestamp to skip over the interview if you didn’t want spoilers… I’ve been known to occasionally skim over things in plain sight but am I missing it?

    1. Whoops; I think we missed that! If you skip to 01:38:50, that should take you to the very start of the Corbeau Awards. I’ll update the post; thanks for the catch!

  6. Hi!
    Long long long time no see! Congratulations in your 10th birthday! 🙂
    I just drop by and BANG! A Longshot-centered podcast! Hooray!
    I’ve downloaded it to listen to it later, but I watched the pictures first. I didn’t stop on gorgeous David Wynne’s illustration so much, because it seemed so natural to me. Then I suddenly noticed… Ey! It was ME who made that comparison to this Tarot card many years ago!
    Funny indeed you came to a same conclusion!

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