Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

4 – American History X-Men

In which Rachel finally gets to say “WHAT?!,” we examine three variations on the Silver Age, Twin Peaks is reality TV, we can’t believe you hired Hitler, Angel is not Batman, even the most sympathetic Xavier is still pretty creepy, Cyclops has a good day, Marvel Girl is not going to throw a dinosaur for you, Iceman is the Troy Barnes of the X-Men, and we say a fond farewell to the Silver Age.

X-Plained:

  • The X-Axis
  • X-Men: Children of the Atom
  • Hard-sell noir
  • How to party like it’s sometime between 1986 and 1991, as filtered through 1999
  • The perils of over-referencing
  • Why Marvel is in the Tommy Westphall Universe
  • The worst guidance counselor ever
  • Villain speeches
  • X-Men: First Class (but not that one)
  • Fun, and several places to find it
  • Angst-free X-Men
  • Gender politics of superheroism
  • X-Men: Season One
  • Teenagers
  • The solution to the Silver-Age-Jean Grey problem
  • Why Iceman matters
  • The Silver Age cram book

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

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

3 – Cartoons, Lies, and Video Tape

Featuring Emergency Backup Co-Host Chris Sims!

In which Rachel and Chris X-plain three cartoons and track a disagreement to its source; Gambit is definitely the worst person you know; Broadcasting Standards and Practices is tired of your death ceremonies; Storm doesn’t have an inside voice; and we finally get around to mentioning that one dude with the claws.

X-Plained:

  • Weaponized creepiness
  • The evolution (and Evolution) of X-Toons
  • Why you hate Cyclops (and Rachel doesn’t)
  • Adaptation overload
  • Broadcast standards, practices, and laser rifles
  • How to order pizza like a weather goddess
  • A paramilitary after-school club
  • G-Rated Wolverine
  • Comics based on cartoons based on comics
  • Morph
  • The Batman Standard
  • The Wolverine and the X-Men trifecta of perfection
  • Why the Mojoverse works better on TV
  • Dazzler’s secret second job
  • Basic jacketry

CORRECTION: In this episode, Rachel mentions that Morph’s first comics appearance is in Exiles. It’s not: he’s in Age of Apocalypse. Mea culpa.


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

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

2 – Sentinels in the Mist

In which we introduce the villains of the Silver Age: Magneto makes some valid points, Mastermind is a Nice Guy of OkCupid, the Scarlet Witch predicts Cat Breading, the Trasks should really have known better, and the Comics Code Authority is down with pterosaurs.

X-Plained:

  • Common characteristics of enduring X-villains
  • Mutant identity politics and moral relativism
  • Context-agnostic Juggernaut flashbacks
  • An unorthodox approach to anthropology
  • Cyclops’s greatest diplomatic achievement
  • Silver-Age haberdashery
  • An innovative modification to vampire mythology
  • Cultural assimilation
  • The propaganda-and-sweater-vest machine
  • Hex bolts
  • Supplemental reading

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

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

As Mentioned In Episode 1 – The Strangest Podcast of Them All

Listen to the podcast here!



Recommended for new readers:

1 – The Strangest Podcast of Them All

In which we begin at the beginning: everything clicks with #3, Professor Xavier is a jerk, Magneto is a fearless fashionista, Cyclops gets a name, Jean Grey has a chronic case of the Silver Age, and allegorical diversity is not enough.

X-Plained:

  • Mutant genetics and taxonomy
  • Practical semantics of “X-Men”
  • Charles Xavier’s equally dubious ethics and decorating choices
  • Superhero couture of the Atomic Age
  • Why Cyclops can’t control his powers
  • The miracle of comic-book magnetism
  • A problematic analogy
  • X-books for beginners
  • Snow grenades
  • The word “yaybo”
  • The mystery of the ubiquitous plaid suit

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

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!