In which writer G. Willow Wilson joins us to talk about her new run on X-Men; the Future is really confusing; we consider the many iterations of Rachel Grey; Storm probably has strong feelings about climate change; and writing for a shared universe takes some seriously fancy footwork.
Shogo (a little)
The future vs. the Future
X-Men vols. 1-4
The logistics of stepping into a book mid-series
Pigeonholing and “girl” books
The proper pronunciation of Kamala
Rachel Grey (again)
Writing in a shared universe
The gender politics of telepathy
Writing and dialogue across media
Marginalization, intersectionality, and the mutant metaphor
Next Week: Pink robots from the future!
You can find a visual companion to this episode on our blog!
You can get prints of David Wynne’s “Back to the Future Past” art here, or contact David for the original!
We searched for the source for this for like an hour, with no luck. Wherever it comes from, we would very much like to send it back. (Update: It’s from X-Factor #69, with art by Whilce Portacio. Thank you, Breadcrumb!)
Rogue, no! He’s not worth it! He’s not even a Super Doctor Astronaut! (Uncanny X-Men #182)
Rogue’s schtick was–very briefly–throwing silver dollars. It did not last. (Uncanny X-Men #182)
Ooh, moral awakening! (Uncanny X-Men #182)
Aw, Kitty. Also, ace tandem use of speech and thought balloons. (Uncanny X-Men #183)
Remember when artists used to draw Wolverine at the proper height? (Uncanny X-Men #183)
SUNDAY PUNCH. Juggernaut, you delightful scamp. (Uncanny X-Men #183)
Wolverine is full of valuable life lessons, a remarkable number of which involve massive real-estate damage. (Uncanny X-Men #183)
Forge’s sweet, sweet pad. (Uncanny X-Men #184)
LOOK AT THIS DELIGHTFUL GENTLEMAN AND HIS DELIGHTFUL SHORTS (Uncanny X-Men #184)
Fun fact: Wolverine and the X-Men Forge is an unsettlingly accurate Miles doppelgänger.
He’s a nice dude. Too bad he’s SUPER DOOMED. (Uncanny X-Men #184)
Pro tip: the better Storm’s haircut, the better the general state of the timeline. (Uncanny X-Men #184)
Rachel Summers: THE SADDEST TIME TRAVELER. (Uncanny X-Men #185)
In which there is a whole, whole lot going on; we continue to have no use for Michael Rossi; Wolverine should be an advice columnist; Forge makes bold fashion choices; the health of a timeline is directly tied to the awesomeness of Storm’s hair; and the X-Men get their first dark-future refugee.
Uncanny X-Men #182-188
Just how much story can be shoehorned into seven issues
A dubious Silent Hill metaphor
The people in Rogue’s head
Several profoundly uncomfortable conversations
Parallel narrative in comics
Being friends with Wolverine
Rachel Summers (again)
“Lifedeath: A Love Story”
Storm, powers, and identity
X-Men: The End
Next Week: THE DEMON BEAR SAGA!
You can find a visual companion to the episode – as well as links to recommended reading and the winners of the stealth / plainclothes cosplay contest – on our blog.
I talked some about our panel of the week in this week’s video reviews, but I think it’s a panel whose effectiveness is much better illustrated via static images, so I’m posting this here as a supplement.
This is a panel that grabbed me immediately. It’s the kind of beat I look for in comics–the stillness where you often find the most powerful and subtly significant moments in a story.
Here’s the panel, in isolation. It doesn’t look like much on its own, right?
Here’s the full spread it’s part of. Pay attention to how people are standing: this moment is all about body language.
Can you see it yet? If you’re still having trouble, here’s a hint: Follow the hands–Cyclops’s, in particular.
See what I mean? Is your heart breaking a little right now? It should be.
I would love to see the script for this spread–whether that moment was written, or if Bachalo improvised it; and how it was described relative to how it was drawn. As is, it’s one of the most powerful emotional beats of the story–if you know what to look for.
The fallacy that comics are easy and simple to read is dependent, I think, on the idea that reading is a skill specific to written language. In fact, the language of comics–that integration of visual and verbal, the ways static images can convey and evoke movement and passage of time and a thousand other minute nuances–is incredibly, exquisitely complex and rich. They’re not just illustrated stories. They’re their own discrete medium.
And it’s when creators–and readers–understand those things that comics can really, really get good.