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.”
If you’re a superhero, you probably shouldn't throw a party. And you especially shouldn’t throw a party where you invite the fascist dictator from an alternate dimension masquerading as the former girlfriend with whom you’ve been cheating on your current girlfriend, who’s teamed up with the reality-warping older brother who hates your guts. We reckon with the consequences of this state of affairs in Excalibur #56, “Things That Go Shriek in the Night,” talking gender, violence, and body horror with returning guest Dr. Samantha Langsdale. Plus: a moment from The Unstoppable Wasp that made Anna cry (in a good way).
Content warning: this episode includes discussion of sexual violence.
The last time Excalibur threw a party, Meggan became a vampire and tried to eat a dog. So expectations are high! But this issue’s up to the challenge, and so’s our guest, comics and pop culture scholar Jeffrey A. Brown, author of many fabulous books including, most recently, Love, Sex, Gender, and Superheroes. We talk plenty about those four topics in this episode, in which multiple blonde ladies smooch Brian, Kurt and Cerise spend seven minutes in heaven, and a bunch of less-fun stuff gives us lots of mixed feelings. It’s a mega-sized ep for a mega-sexy issue!
Content warning: This episode includes discussion of sexual violence.
A legally binding Twitter poll said we had to cover Excalibur: Air Apparent, and we are very law-abiding citizens so here we are, giving you an hour and fifteen of smart talk about a comic that coulda been smarter but hey, at least some of the pictures are nice! Comics scholar Zachary J.A. Rondinelli, creator of the award-winning “Welcome to Slumberland” project, joins us to hash out what works, what doesn’t and why in this visual extravaganza spotlighting seven leading artists of the era—including one who’d be leaving for Image next week. Topics include multimodal forms, transactional reading practices, the many meanings of excess, and what the heck is up with Scott Lobdell’s writing of Rachel.