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Rachel & Miles X-Plain The X-Men: Ororo, Queen of the Galaxy

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Welcome back to Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, a weekly podcast in which X-Perts Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes explore the ins, outs, and retcons of fifty years of Marvel’s greatest superhero soap opera!

This week: Professor X is (canonically!) a jerk, Miles has Sidrian Hunter feelings, Kitty Pryde is Clarissa Darling with a dragon, we introduce a drinking game, the X-Men do Barbarella, Rachel has a ‘shipper moment, Rogue joins the team, Storm gets a haircut, Mastermind is still the worst, and Madelyne Pryor is underrated.

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The X-Men Episode Guide 5×06: Bloodlines

X-Men 5x06: Bloodlines

The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.

This week, Jubilee actually compares the events of her life to a soap opera, just in case you didn't get that before now.

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The X-Men Episode Guide 4×13: ‘Love In Vain’

The X-Men Episode Guide 4x13: 'Love In Vain'

The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.

This week, Rogue attempts to lose her v-card and in what is definitely the weirdest episode of the series so far.

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James Stokoe Talks ‘Avengers 100th Anniversary Special’ And The Next 50 Years Of Comics [Interview + Exclusive Art]

Avengers 100th Anniversary Special, Marvel Comics

As you may have noticed from all our recent Batman '89 content, comic books are pretty big on celebrating anniversaries. There's only one problem: You sort of need to wait for those anniversaries to actually happen, and we as readers have never been all that great with the concept of patience. I mean, does anyone really want to wait around until the 2060s to celebrate the centennial of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Marvel Age of Comics?

Marvel Comics certainly doesn't, which is why they're gearing up for a series of 100th Anniversary Specials, set to be released next month -- 50 years before those anniversaries actually happen. For the Avengers, Marvel's tapped Orc Stain and Wonton Soup cartoonist James Stokoe to reveal the future of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Today, we've got an exclusive look at Stokoe's characteristically frenzied, hyper-detailed pages from the upcoming one-shot special, which includes such compellingly weird concepts as an Avengers team made up of Beta Ray Bill, Rogue and Doctor Strange; a sentient Stark Tower; an America lost to the Negative Zone; and the Mole Man -- because the Mole Man has always been weird enough. We spoke to Stokoe about why he chose the heroes and villains to populate the Avengers of 2061, and what he sees for comics as a business in the next 50 years.

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The X-Men Episode Guide 3×19: ‘Nightcrawler’

X-Men Episode Guide 3x19: Nightcrawler

The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series. This week, Nightcrawler shows up and Wolverine finds Jesus. Not even kidding.

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Death Panels: Does Mortality Matter in Superhero Comics?

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Last week's Uncanny Avengers, by Rick Remender and Steve McNiven, killed off a whole bunch of characters. The last issue of Avengers Arena, by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker, came out the same day with that book's final death tally. It was a good day for funeral directors in the Marvel universe.

The deaths in these two titles ran the gamut from newly minted minor characters seemingly created just so they could die to major Marvel heroes with substantial fanbases and decades of history. Does that distinction matter in a genre that takes such a light view of death?

Spoilers for Uncanny Avengers and Avengers Arena follow.

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The X-Men Episode Guide 2×09: A Rogue’s Tale

X-Men Cartoon Screenshot

The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series. This week: "A Rogue's Tale," in which Rogue's origin explains everything but her dubious hair choices.

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Three X-Men Try To Stop A Killer In A Backwoods Town In ‘Marvel Knights X-Men’ #1 [Art]

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Earlier this year, Marvel announced it was dusting off its Marvel Knights imprint -- which had been dormant since 2010 -- with three new comics under its banner. The initial launch of Marvel Knights was unquestionably one of the most significant moments in the publisher's recent history. The imprint's focus on creator driven stories, largely unencumbered by continuity, saw both critical and commercial success, and its effects are still felt today throughout the industry. You could argue that titles like Hawkeye --  which features a "B List" character operating in stories largely unaffected by the rest of the Marvel Universe -- are direct descendants of the initial Marvel Knights launch, which featured Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada's Daredevil and Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's Punisher, among others.

Now comes this next wave of Marvel Knights titles, with three miniseries helmed by writers more known for their creator owned work. Each title has an interesting creative team, but the one that stood out most to me is Brahm Revel and Cris Peter on Marvel Knight's X-Men.

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Modern Heroics Done Right In Brian Wood And Olivier Coipel’s ‘X-Men’ #1 [Review]

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X-Men. It's a bland title for a comic. No astonishment here; no bid for universal novelty; no claim to the ubiquitous label "uncanny". The new series, headlined by writer Brian Wood and penciller Olivier Coipel, is

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Mutant Women of Earth: How Chris Claremont Reinvented the Female Superhero

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This April Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel launch a new X-Men title with a roster of Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rachel Grey, Rogue and Storm. That the team is all-female is unusual for a series that isn't defined along gender-lines. What makes the roster extraordinary is that it's an all-star line-up. These are first draft X-Men, and the book could easily have added more top picks -- Dazzler, Emma Frost, Jean Grey, Magik, Mystique -- and still been all-female.

It's hard to think of any other superhero team with such a strong bench of women, and it's especially hard to think of another team where so many female characters rose to prominence within the team itself. What these characters have in common is no mystery; they were all written by Chris Claremont, the man whose name is synonymous with "strong female characters."

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