Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is goddam delightful. It is fundamentally a podcast about the X-men. However, there is so much supporting material in the form of companion blog posts and videos that it has become something more of an institution.
The show is exactly what it says on the tin, but somehow so much more. Two people, named Jay and Miles, explain the X-Men. They started at the beginning, and have, at time of writing, made it up to around 1990. That on its own is surprisingly interesting. Seeing the impenetrably complex and interwoven narratives of the X universe unraveled is unexpectedly captivating.
The real charm of the show, however, is the joy and passion of the hosts. Jay and Miles are obvious fans that love the X-men in all their myriad forms. They also have an incredible rapport that shines through in their banter and interactions. More than anything, they are having fun, and it’s hard not to get swept up in their enthusiasm.
Largely because of their chemistry and affection for the work, they are able to address not only the better parts of Marvel’s mutants, but can pick apart the problems as well. They critique the work without resorting to criticism. They joke about the absurdities that litter the pages while still staying fun and positive about the comics as a whole.
They are also frighteningly intelligent and well-versed in the world of comics. The added commentary around the history, business, and culture of comics adds reliable context and an unexpected level of depth to their discussion.
It is not really a podcast for actual, hardcore fans of the X-men. Where it really shines is introducing the X-line of comics to a layman, or someone who has only read a few comics, or maybe seen the movies. You don’t need to know the material to start, they’ll X-plain it to you.
In short, it’s fun, it’s funny, it’s a podcast that I never knew I needed and now can’t stop listening to.
To celebrate the awesomeness of Jay and Miles X-plaining the X-Men to me, I created a Jay and Miles costume.
There is a famous X-Men cover:
Which Jay and Miles used as inspiration for their podcast banner art:
Which I then recreated with a friend (thanks Dan!), that Jim filmed and photographed.
I have now sent the masks to Jay and Miles as a show of my appreciation for their tireless work.
To make the Cyclops visor, I cheated. It’s a 3d print of a model available on thingiverse. All I really did was paint it up.
The Marvel Girl Mask required a lot more work. It’s sheet brass that I shaped by hand by hitting it an awful lot with a dozen different hammers. It’s very shiny and I’m quite proud of it.