Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men


(Updating gradually)


Who’s Jay? What happened to Rachel?

Same person. Rachel goes by Jay these days.




I’ve never read any X-Men. Where should I start?

  • For a self-contained story covering a lot of the silver age: X-Men: Season One
  • For the long-game path to the present: Giant-Size X-Men #1
  • For a fairly thorough walk-up to the modern era: Morrison/Quitely’s run on New X-Men, followed by Whedon/Cassady’s on Astonishing X-Men, followed by Messiah Complex. Continue in order from there.


I want to jump into current X-books. Where should I start for a vague understanding of what’s currently going on?

Episode 104.

Where can I find a good reference guide to crossovers and reading order for multiple X-series?

We like UncannyXMen.net! For the Silver Age, check out the X-Axis archives.

What current X-books do you recommend?

  • If you want to keep abreast of current line-wide events and only plan to subscribe to one or two titles: Uncanny X-Men and All-New X-Men.
  • If you like character-driven stories, space adventures, and solo books that stand alone: Cyclops.
  • If you like globally-oriented character-driven stories and solo books branching directly from team books: Storm.
  • If you like cross-genre team stories with strong authorial voice: X-Force.
  • If you like teenagers and time travel: Wolverine and the X-Men.
  • If you like war stories: Savage Wolverine.
  • If you like pictures of Gambit half-naked and covered in kittens: X-Factor.
  • If you miss old-school Claremont: Nightcrawler.

For an ongoing guide to what’s on the shelves, you can catch our weekly video reviews of current titles here.



Why haven’t you covered my favorite story / character / miniseries yet?

We are working our way through hundreds of characters and thousands of comics. Be patient. We’ll get there.

Are you going to cover [specific story arc / X-related series like Excalibur, New Mutants, Fallen Angels, X-Factor, &c.]?

Probably. See above.

When are you going to get Brian Bendis / Matt Fraction / Chris Claremont / other X-writer or artist on the show?

We talked to Claremont in Episode 100! As for the others –

When they return our e-mails. *rimshot*

Nah, seriously, we do have a long wish-list of guests–and some very cool ones confirmed for future episodes–but we try to make sure they’ve got a reason to be there, either because they’ve got a relevant book coming out, or because they’ve got a particular connection to territory we’re covering in a specific episode.

I am a writer, artist, editor, or other creative professional with experience on X-Men stuff, and I would like to be on your podcast!

Awesome! Please drop us a line!

Will you be guests / guest hosts on my podcast / YouTube channel / blog?

Maybe? We are pretty busy, but drop us a line, and we can talk.

Can I be a guest or Emergency Backup Co-Host on Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men?

Probably not unless you are an X-book writer, artist, or editor; a very good friend of ours with a lot of podcasting experience and X-know-how; or both.

Will you publish my article or guest post?

We are not currently accepting unsolicited pitches or submissions.

Will you post my fan art?

If it’s podcast pertinent, totally (we don’t usually post general X-Men fan art, though). E-mail it to xplainthexmen(at)gmail.com.



I have a question for the X-Perts! Where should I put it?

You can send your question via any of the following means:

  • Post it in the comments anywhere on this website.
  • Use the website contact form.
  • E-mail it to us at xplainthexmen (at) gmail (dot) com.
  • Drop it in our Tumblr askbox.
  • Tweet it at @xplainthexmen, or hashtag it #xplainthexmen on Twitter.


Why haven’t you answered my question yet?

When we get a question–an X-Plaining question, we mean, not, say, an immediate logistical question–we drop it into a massive spreadsheet, from which we then pull questions for the podcast. As of this FAQ, that spreadsheet contains over 300 questions, of which we have so far explicitly answered around 70 (and covered about that many others within the bodies of episodes).

We usually answer 2-3 questions every episode. Here are some of the factors that go into why we do or don’t pick any given questions for any given episode:

  • Relevance: We try to pick questions that connect–at least tangentially–to what we’re covering in that episode.
  • Novelty: If we’ve covered a question already–either explicitly, or in the body of an episode–we probably won’t revisit it. We’re working on an index of questions we’ve answered in previous episodes; when it’s up, we’ll update this FAQ to reflect that.
  • Tone: Are you being a dick? Are you trying to bait us into bad-mouthing creators or other members of our community, or asking something super personal? We are not into that. Is your question a statement of fact or opinion–or a long diatribe–followed by the word “right”? We are also not into that.
  • Utility: If your question can be answered with a simple Google search, we will probably not answer it on the podcast.
  • Scope: We are good at doing research and entertainingly justifying our opinions. We prefer not to speculate on other people’s private lives and personal motivations, and we don’t have a secret channel to creators’ intentions or the “real” truth about things that have been written inconsistently in canon. If your question is about one of those things, we will probably not answer it.
  • Channels: Did you send the question to the podcast contact form, e-mail it to the podcast address put it in our blog comments, ask through the xplainthexmen Tumblr askbox, or tweet to @XplaintheXMen? If not, your question has fallen down the Memory Hole, to be feasted upon by the Memory Eels who dwell therein.

There is one and only one way to make absolutely sure we answer your question: a few of our Patreon subscriber levels include a certain number of bespoke answers, which we will hand write, seal with wax, and mail to you in the dead of night. You can find out more about those here.

Why didn’t you publish / why did you delete my comment?

We are super lucky: most of our listeners–at least the ones who comment here–are rad as hell and make the job of moderating the comments incredibly easy. However, sometimes we come across a comment that we would rather not have on our site. Here are some examples of comments we have removed:

  • Accidental double-posts. These account for the overwhelming majority of the deletion we have done thus far.
  • Posts that contain no content or obviously posted mid-typing.
  • Promotional links that have no bearing on the post you’re commenting on or the conversation you’re entering. Our comments section is not free ad space.
  • Speculation about creators’ personal lives.
  • Speculation about our personal lives.
  • Comments about Jay’s appearance and/or requests that they smile more, take off their sunglasses, &c. (The same would apply to comments about Miles; we just haven’t gotten any).
  • Rape jokes or things that are so close to being rape jokes that the line is essentially academic.


What else might get a comment deleted?

Off the top of our heads?

  • Threats or incitement to violence of any sort directed at real people.
  • Blatantly sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or otherwise bigoted language.
  • Blatant derailing.
  • Outing anyone else’s personal information, including real names.
  • Use of sock puppets.
  • NSFW content, or links to NSFW content without warnings.
  • Blatant spoilers for current or very recent media.
  • Gratuitous meanness.

Note, however, that these aren’t hard guidelines, nor a comprehensive list. We reserve the right to remove or edit comments according to our judgment (Incidentally: if we alter the text of a comment, we’ll *always* make a note of that within the comment).

I found an e-mail address for Jay on their professional website / via an article they wrote. Can I send my podcast question there?

You can, but it’ll go straight to the Memory Eels. Seriously, there are like six ways to send a question to the podcast. Use one of those.

Why haven’t you answered my e-mail yet?

We get a lot of e-mail. If it’s something super time-sensitive, please nudge us.


    1. Warlock is clearly Abed is clearly Warlock. Both have loose grips on our reality, and both are still on the show.

  1. Where is podcast number 1 for x-plain the x-men? Is there a simple list of episodes so I don’t have to search the archives?

  2. First… love that both Dragon Age Inquisition made a cameo as well as Vampire: The Masquerade on the latest podcast. Reading the original X-Factor run while also reading the White Wolf game guide at the same time was an obsession back in the early 90’s. My reason for commenting… on the definitive team line up, I realized I go with my first introduction to the team on Spiderman and his Amazing Friends – when the gang goes to visit the X-Men and Firestar’s ex tries to kill them… Storm, Cyclops. Nightcrawler, Colossus, Sprite, Thunderbird (!?) and Wolverine. That one off led to me to looking deeper into them when I was a kid, and it, along with Australian line up, has been my go to in my head.

  3. Hi

    Not a question as of such but i’m a long time listener, and just wanted to share this. You might be aware of a band called Enter Shikari, they have a new ish song called The Sights and the some lyrics on the main chorus of this says “Now I’ll boldly go, Into the great unknown, unless I’m Jacques Cousteau” it goes onto mention the name of Marcus Cicero, and guess what those names rhyme with and can be replaced by… Super Doctor Astronaut Peter Corbeau!!!! anyway i’ll leave that with you.


  4. Where on your website do I find reviews of movies, shows, comics etc.? Have you guys reviewed the gifted and what do you think?

  5. This might be a silly question so sorry if it’s been answered (couldn’t find it anywhere)

    Is there a list of the books covered by Jay and Miles in order that they’ve been covered? Like, a Jay and Miles reading order.

    1. The “X-PLAINED” section of each episode’s post mentions the issues, but there’s not a single unified place, no. That is a pretty good idea, though. Hmm…

  6. Only started listening, and just on 25 about first Wolverine series. Have either of you seen the 2011 Wolverine anime? You mention the relation with the movie version, and I am curious on your opinion of that shows. Maybe you mention a later show?

  7. What is a sock puppet? It says if you use them you could get your comment removed. Just curious, never heard the term before. Unless it’s meant to be a joke as in don’t use sock puppets (somehow) in the comment section. Also, what is your favorite Puppet related villain and/or superhero?

  8. Can you guys make some brief comments in one episode about the tv series “The Gifted”? If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do. Its an X-men-related tv series.

  9. Hi,

    I was rereading through this, and I noticed that the sections discussing where to start reading modern X-Men comics and your recommendations for modern X-Men hadn’t been updated in a while.

    I was wondering if you were planning on updating that for the Dawn of X era.

  10. Hello! I am look for the beginning of the inferno episodes where do I start listening to it. I have been a fan for a couple years but the current x men reads are great and I am trying to reread inferno. Which episodes do i need to go back too

    1. You’ll want to start with episode #106 for our Inferno coverage! (For the build-up to Inferno, you’ll want to start… I guess with episode #53?)

      1. Thank you! 🙂 Happy holidays and Im so excited to start this journey again! You guys are the reason I started reading new mutants and Im so happy I did. Magik is one of my favorites now and Storm tie-in with her made me love the character more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *