In which X-Cutioner’s Song may be over, but its repercussions continue; Uncanny X-Men hits a major milestone; superhero comics are and always have been political; Bishop learns to banter; the X-Men gain an unlikely ally; and Magneto remains exceptionally difficult to kill.
Jay & Miles at VVCBF
Uncanny X-Men #298-300
The Acolytes (more) (again)
The Upstarts (more) (again)
Several important lessons
A very fancy room
A very fancy brain
The unpleasant fate of Sharon Friedlander
The all-new, all-different Acolytes
The return of one of our favorite antagonists
A sick burn
The fate of Asteroid M
Graydon Creed (more) (again)
The tentative redemption of Robert Kelly
How to lose a debate with Joe Biden
A large number of prescient political references
Friends of Humanity
How to engage with a fascist in a televised debate
A generic rural mob
A narratively convenient superpower
The gospel of Magneto
A joyous reunion
The helmet that wouldn’t die
The current state of Rogue’s powers
NEXT EPISODE: All Emma All Episode (feat. Seanan McGuire, Leah Williams, and more)!
Check out the visual companion to this episode on our blog!
In which we return to Excalibur, and Excalibur returns to form; “Girls’ School from Heck” is way better than we remembered; Jay has strong feelings about penmanship; we examine the semantics of field hockey; the band gets back together; Dai Thomas has no time for your comic-book bullshit; and you should never, ever install a good/evil switch in your technological abominations.
The first appearances of Colonel Vazhin
Perks of home recording
Jay & Miles at Rose City Comic Con
“Girls’ School from Heck!”
St. Searle’s School for Young Ladies
St. Trinian’s and a large number of references thereto
Regional variations in boarding school hijinks
A poorly staged panel
Kitty Pryde’s penmanship
Margaret Thatcher’s weirdly wholesome fantasies
The kinda-reformation of Mesmero
The end of Chris Claremont’s run on Excalibur
Some complicated contradictions related to the ethics of consumption
The ethics of psychic interrogation (kinda)
An unlikely partnership
Darkmoor Research Center
A somewhat convoluted plot
Whether the Danger Room could function as a bathroom
The physics of Asteroid M
NEXT EPISODE: Weapon X!
You can find the visual companion to this episode on our blog.
In which Miles and Elisabeth X-Plain Pryde of the X-Men; Magneto is somehow even worse at branding than Mystique; the X-Universe is in desperate need of responsible adults; Wolverine hates kids; everybody’s mean to Lockheed; and the Sentinels represent your feelings.
Wolverine’s Australian accent
Pryde of the X-Men
X-Men / Muppet Babies analogues
The Brotherhood of Mutant Terrorists
How not to comfort scared teenagers
The X-Cessible X-Men
The Mutant Power Circuit
A Really Dubious Evil Plot
Several Additional MacGuffins
One of many reasons to be nice to animals
The X-Men Arcade Game
X-Men: Madness in Murderworld
The Uncanny X-Men (game)
Video game mechanics vs. superhero ethics
Pryde of the X-Men vs the ’90s animated series vs. X-Men: Evolution
Alternate animated series hooks
NEXT WEEK: The Brood go to a revival meeting
You can find a visual companion to this episode on our blog!
The first full reveal of the Demon Bear. (New Mutants #18)
Gradually, across the Demon Bear Saga, the strangeness bleeds out from the panels and into the design elements. The corner square of New Mutants #18 was a Bob McLeod team portrait. This is the corner square from New Mutants #19.
The same thing is happening on the credits pages–in this case, the title, but just wait ’til you get to next issue… (New Mutants #19)
Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander are both charming and in serious trouble. (New Mutants #19)
Those sound effects. Those colors. That layout. (New Mutants #19)
The Demon Bear is less a creature than a space: looming, protean, with very little detail save for its eyes, teeth, and claws. (New Mutants #19)
Illyana’s soul armor makes its first appearance. (New Mutants #19)
And then that happened. (New Mutants #19)
The cover of New Mutants #20. We have no idea what’s going on in the corner square.
It’s worth remembering, as you flip through these, that you’re watching the definition and scope of superhero comics change and stretch. We are–literally and figuratively–off the map. (New Mutants #20)
Map detail. (New Mutants #20)
Later in the same issue. (New Mutants #20)
And finally. (New Mutants #20)
Sienkiewicz’s art gets a lot of attention, but Glynis Wein’s colors are absolutely critical to what the Demon Bear Saga accomplishes visually. (New Mutants #20)
Illyana’s soul armor spreads. (New Mutants #20)
Corsi and Friedlander, in their demon forms. (New Mutants #20)
The Demon Bear breaks down. (New Mutants #20)
Whoa. (New Mutants #20)
New Mutants: generally pretty okay with race and culture issues, but when it fails, it fails HARD. (New Mutants #20)
“Also, I recently leveled up and learned Cure Moderate Wounds.” (New Mutants #20)
One of the best covers of all time. (New Mutants #21)
Actually, let’s take a moment to look at that without the design elements, too, because it’s just that gorgeous. (New Mutants #21)
The “don’t let the normal kids see” joke kinda never gets old. (New Mutants #21)
Binary’s hair, tho. (New Mutants #19)
In case you were wondering, this is why Lee Forrester ends up finding Magneto in the middle of an ocean in Uncanny X-Men #187. (New Mutants #21)
TEENAGERS. (New Mutants #21)
Scariest makeover ever. (New Mutants #21)
YAY FOR ROCKY & BULLWINKLE REFERENCES! (New Mutants #21)
Warlock wakes up. (New Mutants #21)
It’s theoretically possible to imagine Warlock designed by an artist other than Bill Sienkiewicz, but why would you ever want to? (New Mutants #21)
Can we take a moment to acknowledge the self-restraint we are demonstrating by not just filling this entire gallery with pictures of Warlock? (New Mutants #21)
Warlock trying to make friends with inanimate objects is the gift that keeps on giving. (New Mutants #21)
Doug Ramsey X-plains proportionate response. (New Mutants #21)
“Can we keep him?” (New Mutants #21)
Next Week: Crossovers!
Special thanks to Andrew Vestal for help assembling the images for this post.
In which we hit the definitive arc of New Mutants; Bill Sienkiewicz blows our minds; Rachel gets choked up over a credits spread; Rahne gets a makeover; Doug Ramsey is justifiably flustered; and Warlock is a friend to household appliances.
NOTE: This episode includes a lot of art talk. While doing so is not strictly necessary to follow the discussion, we recommend listening with the visual companion open.
The transmode virus
New Mutants #18-21
The Demon Bear Saga
Task leaders vs. social leaders
Page layout as a storytelling tool
The Demon Bear and its shadow
One of the best covers of all time
The deeply problematic fate of Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander
What the New Mutants are up to these days
Next Week: Crossovers!
You can find a visual companion to the episode on our blog.