Tag Archive for questions

As Mentioned in Episode 133 – Feisty Little Fellow from the Stars

Listen to the episode here.


133 – Feisty Little Fellow from the Stars (Judgment War, Part 2)

x133

In which the plot thickens; Jay and Miles fix Avatar; Ship is a good bro; you are in space right now; the Beginagains go full This Island Earth; Cyclops weaponizes love; voting is really important; and you’re listening to ten straight hours of soft jazz and subversion on ZZ-105

X-PLAINED:

  • The other Dazzler (Bertram Worthington)
  • Our newest t-shirt
  • X-Factor #48-50
  • A metaphor within a metaphor, in space
  • The first half of Judgment War (briefly) (again)
  • A prisoner exchange
  • Hairstyles of the possessed and famous
  • Proper use of Cable
  • A case for retcons
  • Iceman vs. Archangel
  • A feisty little fellow from the stars
  • The secret origin of Ship
  • The Celestials
  • The core of Iceman’s personality
  • Several kisses
  • Beast and the Rejects
  • Some terrible hats
  • An unfair fight
  • A nefarious plot
  • Contagious heroism
  • Arishem
  • The power of love
  • Why we use the word “queer”
  • Several theoretical and unlikely crossovers

NEXT EPISODE: Live at Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival, with musical guest Scott Koblish!


You can find a visual companion to this episode on our blog!

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is 100% ad-free and listener supported. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

Buy prints of this week’s illustration at our shop, or contact David Wynne for the original!

As Mentioned in Episode 128 – A Stupid Way to Die (Judgment War, Part 1)

Listen to the podcast here.


128 – A Stupid Way to Die (Judgment War, Part 1)

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

Art by David Wynne. Prints and cards available at the shop, or contact David to purchase the original.

In which X-Factor goes to space; Miles gets judgmental about spelling; Paul Smith returns to an X-title; Celestials are a pain; Judgment War is the Star-Trekkiest story that doesn’t actually involve Star Trek; monster ladies are super important; if you can be a green dude, you should be a green dude; and Cyclops gears up to fight some gods.

X-PLAINED:

  • One way to kill a Celestial
  • Judg(e)ment War
  • Drunk Mark Trail
  • X-Factor #43-46
  • Walls you should maybe not bust through even if you’re X-Factor
  • A completely inappropriate show pitch
  • Celestials
  • The true secret purpose of Ship
  • The Chosen
  • The Rejects
  • Dualers
  • Perfect Seera
  • Rask
  • Zarka
  • Monster ladies in cultural context
  • Lev
  • A stupid way to die
  • Jammers
  • Plot-relevant amnesia
  • The Most Perfect
  • ZZ-105
  • Baby theft (more)(again)
  • Ryest
  • The Beginagains
  • Whether and when there’ll be another all-question episode
  • The current status of the Jean Grey school

NEXT EPISODE: The Cross-Time Caper begins!


You can find a visual companion to this episode on our blog!

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is 100% ad-free and listener supported. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

Buy prints of this week’s illustration at our shop, or contact David Wynne for the original!

Graeme X-Plains It All

Rachel here!

TRUE FACT: Graeme McMillan is a veritable saint.

When Graeme and Elle volunteered to guest-host Episode 69, we put out a call for questions, figuring they’d pick one or two to answer on the podcast; which they did.

What we did not figure on was what happened a day later: Graeme e-mailed us a document with answers to every single one of the questions you sent in, from continuity conundrums to comics recommendations–13 in total, exhaustively researched and fully formatted.

ZOMG

GRAEME. SERIOUSLY. HOW ARE YOU EVEN REAL?

Click through below for the full Q&A.

Read more

Elle & Graeme Guestsplain!

Packing

Rachel here! Miles and I are moving house this week! While we’re swimming frantically through a sea of boxes, the podcast will continue unabated, thanks to the guest X-pertise of two friends of ours: Elle Collins of Into It and Graeme McMillan of Wait, What?. Elle and Graeme will be recording episode 69 this weekend, talking about Beast’s solo post-Silver-Age adventures!

Since Miles and I will mostly be unplugged for the next few days, we’re following a slightly different policy than usual in our call for questions. If you have a burning Beast question–or any other question–for Elle and Graeme, please either:

We’re really excited for this one–in addition to being some of our favorite people in the Multiverse, Elle and Graeme each brings an encyclopedic collection of comics know-how and critical perspective, and they collectively cover some of the most significant gaps in Miles and my X-perience (see: the subject of this episode!).

A Coda to Episode 34

In Episode 34, we answered a question from a listener looking for textual evidence that Nightcrawler isn’t homophobic (we pointed them to Amazing X-Men #13, in which Nightcrawler and Northstar explicitly address that question). But Rachel also responded to the question from a somewhat different angle–and at considerably more length–on Tumblr; and we want to reproduce that answer here, as well, because it covers some ground we feel pretty strongly about:

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 12.08.58 PM

Dear Anonymous,

Miles and I addressed the textual evidence—which lands firmly on your side, by the way—in Episode 34, but I’d also like to take a moment to talk to your friend directly:

Dear Anonymous’s Friend,

You seem like someone who works hard to consider the cultural context and ethical implications of the media you consume. That’s really cool, and it’s something I try very hard to both practice—as a podcaster, as a critic, and as a consumer—and to encourage in our audience.

Here’s the thing, though, AF—this is not black-and-white, it never has been, and it never will be. It’s not a rigid objective rubric. It’s a deeply personaljudgment call. And when you attack your friend because they like a fictional character you find personally problematic, you are being an asshole.

AF, it is absolutely okay for your friend to find enjoyment, value, and points of personal identification in things that don’t perfectly mesh with their identity or personal beliefs. To tell anyone that they’re not allowed to have those things because fictional entities in which they find meaning don’t measure up on a rigid real-world rubric is—as far as I’m concerned—incredibly uncool.

I also want to address another point that your concerns about Nightcrawler bring up—about members of marginalized groups searching for points of identification in mass media. I don’t know anything about you, but your friend mentioned that they’re queer, and I know from experience that when you’re reading from a position anywhere on the margins—say, as a sexual minority—one of the first skills you learn is to identify with fictional characters who aren’t like you and sometimes even profoundly conflict with your personal identity and values. You learn to do this because when you are coming from that position, if you strike from the list every character who doesn’t precisely reflect your values and identity, you are denying yourself the overwhelming majority of the options available.

And having those footholds, those points of affection and identification and fandom—that matters. It matters so much. Cyclops and I don’t have a ton in common superficially—in canon, he’s portrayed as a straight male-presenting person who grew up in an orphanage and shoots force beams out of his eyes; and I’m a queer female-presenting person who grew up with two (very cool) parents and no superpowers whatsoever. Cyclops is also often a total jerk a lot of the time; and especially in the Silver Age, he says and does somecompletely fucked up shit, including some things that are unambiguously sexist or racist.

But you know what? He’s still my favorite character, because there are things really fundamental to who I am and how I experience the world that I find reflected in Cyclops and almost nowhere else in fiction. Because having him available to me as a metaphor helps me parse shit that I otherwise do not have the tools to handle. Because I am never, ever going to find a paper mirror that reflects all of the complicated, faceted aspects of my identity and experiences—and guess what? no human being is—so I find and cobble together points of identification where I can.

Ultimately, though, that’s secondary to my main point. You do not get to decide what other people are allowed to like. Independent of action, liking things—or disliking them—is not itself an ethically charged act. What you are doing here does not serve a greater good. It does not speak to ethical consumption of fiction, or ethical anything. It’s just petty and cruel.

Look, AF, it’s okay if Nightcrawler’s Catholicism is a deal-breaker for you, personally. That is just fine. You are absolutely not obliged to like everything your friend likes, and you shouldn’t have to answer to their preferences or personal rubrics for the fiction they consume any more than they should have to answer to yours. But part of being a friend is recognizing that you are not the same person. Of the fictional characters and real people in this scenario, there’s only one trying to impose rigid dogma aggressively enough to do harm—and it’s not Nightcrawler.

(Also, your understanding of both Nightcrawler’s historical portrayal in X-Menand the relationship between Catholic dogma and the politics and personal views of individual Catholics is just spectacularly off-base.)

Sincerely,
Rachel

As Mentioned in Episode 27 – NYCC 2014 Special

Listen to the episode here!



Links and Further Reading:

27 – NYCC 2014 Special with Kris Anka and Russell Dauterman

Adam X the X-Treme, updated by David Wynne!

Adam X the X-Treme, updated by David Wynne!

In which we sit down with two of our favorite X-artists for an hour of continuity, character design, and a lot of wine; Corsair is the coolest; Emma Frost is a secret viewpoint character; Bishop is the anti-Booster Gold; Adam X the X-Treme gets a new hat; and none of us know how to pronounce “Bachalo.”

X-Plained:

  • The secret X-origins of Kris Anka and Russell Dauterman
  • Definitive books and artists
  • Favorite characters and series
  • Mephistoid spacesuit logistics
  • Emma Frost as a reader stand-in
  • The secret origin of Psylocke’s pants
  • Uncanny X-Men
  • The best flashback montage ever
  • Underappreciated / underdeveloped characters
  • All the Rogues
  • Plot twists
  • Bishop
  • Dream teams
  • Sexy dudes with sexy abs
  • How to update Adam X the X-Treme

Next Week: What’s New, Shadowcat?


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

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Support us on Patreon!

FAQ, Part Three: Questions and Comments

 

W - Whedon; A - Cassady

W – Whedon; A – Cassady

We get questions.

We get a lot of questions.

But there are some questions we get more than others.

This is the third of a multi-part series. As we post questions and answers on the blog, we’ll also add them to the FAQ page!


 

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 rachelandmiles 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.

THAT SAID:
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 Rachel’s appearance and/or requests that she smile more, take off her 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 Rachel on her professional website / via an article she 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.