Some truths are dark and many lies are white in the not-aptly-named Excalibur #65, “White Lies, Dark Truths.” We talk about that plus KISSING with scholar, educator, and psychotherapist Dr. Valentino Zullo! Do Cerise and Kurt really love each other? How can we tell? What does love mean, anyway? We're not sure, but Alan Davis sure draws it pretty <3 We also discuss the climax of Brian’s character journey and what it means—for him, and for the future of a book that Davis is going to be leaving soon... But put that out of your mind because Rachel’s back in red and there’s hugs to be had.
Fresh off winning a freakin’ award, your very genetically stable team of comics scientists is back! Talking superheroes and science and why mutants are like vaccines in Excalibur #64, “Ascension,” with multi-talented researcher, writer, game designer, and educator Alison Humphrey! Plus a perfect Nightcrawler panel, Anna’s favourite Rachel sequence, the glory of nine-panel grids, and (gasp) discussion of the mutant metaphor? But this time, with SCIENCE.
Don’t let the cool Kylun cover fool you—Excalibur #63, “Denial,” is in denial about being about Kylun because it’s clearly a Nightcrawler comic, in which Kurt Wagner superfan Alan Davis delivers a super-scientific sermon about all the super-scientific ways Kurt is super-scientifically awesome. Here to celebrate this momentous achievement is our first guest from a country where Kurt's called Diablo—writer and fellow fuzzy elf superfan Maxime Fontaine! When we’re not talking glorious fanservice, we’re debating the meaning of fanservice (we’re still scholars, y'know!) and lamenting poor jokes at Cerise’s expense. Is there no end to our amazing gifts??
We're in (and on!) Cloud Nine talking Warpies, Warpies, and more Warpies in Excalibur #62, “Of Birth, Death and the Confused, Painful Bit In Between,” with educator, scholar, and expert in posthuman science fiction, Dr. Clare Wall! We explore whether superheroes are posthuman (or transhuman, or metahuman) and talk through different types of monstrosity plus whether Alan Davis' monsters are too cute to be scary. We also talk about Beetroot—poor, beloved Beetroot, and the melodramatic context and implications of his tragic tale.
Gosh Golly Wow Returns! And so does Rachel Summers! Sort of! All that and the pod’s most anticipated guest of all-time, writer and founder of the Phoenix Force Fan Club, (as featured in Excalibur #51), Jason Grey! We talk (natch) lots of Rachel and Phoenix, and work through lots of complicated feelings about Galactus’ pro-life politics. Plus! Meggan and Brian get engaged, Kurt gives some advice we didn’t love, and Kitty and Feron have a meet-cute...? We don’t cover quite as many permutations of time and space as this cosmos-spanning comic, but close!
We’re trying to emphasize the positive this week... while still doing plenty of griping about part 2 of a crummy colonial sojourn in Wakanda known as Excalibur #60, "Braddock of the Jungle." We’re joined in our journey through tribulations and tropes by Dr. Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, author of the critically acclaimed book Black Women in Sequence: Re-Inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime! We talk histories of Tarzan and the challenges of studying representation, and even though she’s not in this comic—we had to talk a little about Storm.
We sure hated this week’s comic, but we sure love this week’s episode, talking hip hop, comics, Black Panther, and Afrofuturism with scholar Dr. Michael B. Dando! We do a little griping about the team’s colonial jaunt to Wakanda in Excalibur #59, “Enter... the Panther!” But we also talk about better stuff you can do with comics, Vibranium, race, power, poetry, and supers who save the world with flowers. Plus, we find a sliver of joy in Kurt’s makeup mastery.
We are most definitely not calling all trolls to this week’s nuanced discussion of the different but equally complex personal and professional successes and failures of Kurt Wagner and Scott Summers in and around Excalibur #58, “Troll Call,” in the gracious company of X-Twitter fixture, social justice researcher, and all-around expert in the inner lives of mutants, Conor Mulvaney (@ConorReadsXMen)! Will Kurt prove to Jubilee and Gambit he’s not a troll? (And why should he have to, anyway?) Did Tom Jones learn enough auditing a single university biology class to be able to turn gold back into not-gold? Will Anna admit she might be more like Cyclops than Nightcrawler??? Tune in to find out!
Not a dream, not a hoax, not a fuzzy image of Cable on a video screen asking who the heck's calling at 3 am. The real X-Men are here, in the same room (er, sewer) with Excalibur, and also—trolls! (By which we mean Phumm, Phop, Phay, Phlopp, Phlegm, Phough, Gambit, and Jubliee.) Anna, Mav, and Andrew plus special guest writer/podcaster/X-pert Austin Gorton wade through hugs, hurt feelings, and humongous Joe Mad art in Excalibur #57, “For Whom the Bell Trolls!” In which Cyclops is mean, Nightcrawler is sad, and the Sword Strokes lettercol keeps igniting romance.
You know that we do it together. In our case, that means podcasting about Excalibur with super-smart friends, and in Nightcrawler and Wolverine’s case, it means spending a relaxing weekend in Bavaria, taking in a few shows, fighting/helping monsters, and sharing a romantic horseback ride under a pinkish moon. Well, maybe relaxing isn’t the right word... but we stand by the romance 😉 Comics and medieval studies scholar Dr. Christopher M. Roman, author of the forthcoming book Queering Wolverine, takes us on a trip through queer readings of Logan and Logan/Kurt in and around Marvel Comics Presents #101-108, “Male Bonding.”