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Rachel Recaps X-Men: Evolution
S1E5: Speed and Spyke

Before we jump into this one, let me tell you kids a story.

Once upon a time, there was a gentleman by the name of Dwayne McDuffie. McDuffie was an incredibly important figure in comics: these days, he’s best known as the creator of Static Shock and the co-founder of Milestone Media; for his work across the DCAU; and as a tireless and outspoken advocate for black representation in superhero comics.

In 1989, when McDuffie was an editor at Marvel Comics, he wrote a biting, satirical pitch that has since become industry legend. In his pitch, McDuffie points out that 25% of African-American superheroes appearing in the Marvel Universe over the last year have had skateboard-based superpowers or fighting styles, and proposes a new team to take advantage of this and other equivalently exciting trends, featuring four black guys on skateboards:

McDuffie

Twelve years later, the fifth episode of X-Men: Evolution would introduce the Xavier Institute’s sole black student and the show’s first original character, Evan “Spyke” Daniels:

A black guy on a skateboard.

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As Mentioned in Episode 14 – Look Upon My Man-Thing and D’Spayre

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The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage

Savage Wolverine #21


All Those Signature Moves We Listed Off (We’ll Do a Visual Directory Eventually, We Promise):

FASTBALL SPECIAL VARIATIONS:

  • Fastball Special: Colossus throws Wolveine at something.
  • Phaseball Special*: Someone throws Kitty through robots

OTHER MOVES:

  • The Most Comics-Code-Adherent at What He Does*:  The thing where Wolverine has his claws out during a fight but doesn’t cut anyone.
  • Cue-ball Special*: The thing where Cyclops takes out like six bad guys with ricochets from one optic blast.
  • Slippery Slope*: The thing where Iceman tries to be awesome and ends up beating up his teammates by accident.
  • Blue-Plate Special Special*: The thing where an X-man uses their powers to prepare lunch.
  • The thing where Kitty wrecks everything by accident phasing through it.
  • The thing where everyone switches opponents mid-fight, and that’s what turns the tide.
  • The thing where Nightcrawler is awfully dashing about beating people up.
  • The thing where Storm’s claustrophobia saves the day.
  • The thing where Angel just dodges shit for like an hour instead of participating in the fight.
  • The thing where Xavier fakes his own death.
  • The thing where Cypher and/or Kitty and/or Illyana and/or Wolverine do the “Ain’t I a stinker?” thing from the control booth of the Danger Room.
  • The thing where Cyclops uses his optic blasts to slow or stop inertia or a fall.
  • The thing where Storm has no powers and STILL kicks someone’s ass into next week.
  • The thing where Colossus and Wolverine throw themselves at Magneto every goddamn time despite being made of metal.

*We made these names up. They are not official canon, but we live in hope.

14 – Look Upon My Man-Thing and D’Spayre

In which Canada is complicated, the X-Perts join Twitter, Rachel cares about a Wolverine story, Angel had one job, Kitty Pryde is pretty cool, Cyclops gets a hat, neither of us knows how to pronounce “Aleytys,” Doctor Doom is a terrible date, and the X-Men have an awful lot of signature moves.

X-Plained:

  • Department H
  • Department K
  • Director X
  • The Weapon Plus Program
  • Weapon P.R.I.M.E.
  • Weapons I-XVI
  • The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage
  • The new normal
  • Stevie Hunter
  • The Wendigo
  • Berserker rage
  • Yard work
  • Wolverines
  • Angel’s one move
  • The N’Garai (again)
  • Lee Forrester
  • D’Spayre
  • Magic-Feather villains
  • Man-Thing
  • Doctor Doom
  • Arcade
  • Why it sucks to be Havok
  • The X-Perts’ relative areas of X-pertise
  • Cyclops vs. Storm
  • Signature moves

CORRECTIONS: Lee’s dad’s house is in Florida, not Louisiana; Doctor Doom is not in Europe but in New England, where has taken over Toad’s theme park, because that was definitely a thing.

If you’re looking for our coverage of X-Men 141 and 142—”Days of Future Past”—you can find that in Episode 6, “Days of Future Whatever.”


You can find a visual companion to the episode – and links to recommended reading – on our blog.

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