By Connor Goldsmith
Episode 052: Candy Southern (feat. Sara Century)
In the PHALANX-SIZE Episode 52 of CEREBRO, Connor and Sara Century make a case for Candy Southern! One of the X-Men franchise's most tragic characters, Candy was introduced in 1967 as a love interest for Warren Worthington III. She was a reliable supporting character for decades, eventually becoming a hero in her own right as the leader of the Defenders before her brutal murder at the hands of Cameron Hodge. The CEREBRO character file on Candy Southern begins at 1:31:03. (Content Advisory: Candy's story includes torture, self-harm, and suicide after a fashion. This episode also features frank overall discussion of misogynist violence in superhero comics.)
October 7, 2021
Episode 051: Nathan Christopher Summers (feat. Vishal Gullapalli)
As the Inferno burns, CEREBRO returns! In Episode 51, the SEASON TWO PREMIERE, Connor and critic Vishal Gullapalli fight for the future with Nathan Christopher Summers, the commanding Cable! Created by Rob Liefeld and Louise Simonson and introduced as a proactive new leader for the New Mutants (later X-Force), Cable was later revealed via retcon to be Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor's time-displaced son, raised in a dystopian future. A marquee character of the 90s, he has become a breakout star of the X-Men franchise. The CEREBRO character file on Cable begins at 49:20. (Content Advisory: Nathan's story includes child abuse, suicide, torture, brainwashing, genocide, and the loss of a child.)
September 29, 2021
Episode 050: Charles Xavier (feat. Spencer Ackerman)
In Episode 50 of CEREBRO, the SEASON 1 FINALE, Connor and returning guest Spencer Ackerman survey the schemes of Charles Xavier, the persuasive Professor X! Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the X-Men's wise teacher and mentor slowly became a much darker and more foreboding character, a father figure gone wrong. The CEREBRO character file on Professor X begins at 50:12. (Content Advisory: Charles's story includes ableism, child abuse, stillbirth, genocide including the Holocaust, brainwashing, and an inappropriate romantic relationship between a doctor and a patient.)
September 8, 2021
Episode 049: Remy LeBeau (feat. Chris Robinson)
In Episode 49 of CEREBRO, Connor and former Marvel editor Chris Robinson play the hand they're dealt with the gregarious Gambit! Introduced as Chris Claremont's last addition to the X-Men in his sixteen-year run, Remy would become an iconic part of the X-Men franchise as a breakout star of the 90s, the focus of several solo titles. In recent years his star has somewhat dimmed, with most of his stories revolving around his relationship with longtime love interest Rogue. The CEREBRO character file on Gambit begins at 23:13. (Content Advisory: Remy's story includes genocide, brainwashing, and the Black Womb storyline, which involves miscarriages and infanticide.)
September 1, 2021
Episode 048: Paige Guthrie (feat. Karen Charm)
In Episode 48 of CEREBRO, Connor and critic and cartoonist Karen Charm get more than skin deep with Paige Guthrie, the heroic Husk! Younger sister to classic character Cannonball, Paige was a protagonist of the 90s book Generation X. Later stories would write the character into some odd positions, and she's struggled to find a stable place in the franchise since. The CEREBRO character file on Husk begins at 59:42. (Content Advisory: Paige's story includes classism and ableism. This episode also discusses self-harm, gender dysphoria, disordered eating, and fatphobia.)
August 27, 2021
Episode 047: Jamie Madrox (feat. Elana Levin)
In Episode 47 of CEREBRO, Connor and critic Elana Levin fall to pieces with Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man! A longtime X-Men supporting character, Madrox rose to prominence in the 21st century as the protagonist of the long-running X-Factor, written by Peter David. After a number of astoundingly complicated stories, he is now part of Krakoa's X-Corp. The CEREBRO character file on Multiple Man begins at 1:14:11. (Content Advisory: Jamie's story includes suicide, genocide, the loss of a child, and, uh... grooming? I'm honestly not sure what to call the Layla Miller thing, but she's a kid when they meet and then she grows up via time travel. It's a lot. It's bad vibes. You've been warned! This episode also discusses an incident of antiziganist racism.)
August 23, 2021
Episode 046: Everett Thomas (feat. Kendra James)
In Episode 46 of CEREBRO, Connor and writer Kendra James rise from the grave with Everett Thomas, the supportive Synch! Marked for leadership early in the run of the 90s title Generation X, likable power-copier Everett was tragically killed in the final arc of the book. 18 years later, he was resurrected in the Age of Krakoa by writer Jonathan Hickman, and now stars in Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz's relaunch of the X-Men flagship title. The CEREBRO character file on Synch begins at 1:01:20. (Content Advisory: Everett's story includes brainwashing. This episode also discusses racism, racial profiling, and police violence against Black men.)
August 12, 2021
Episode 045: Sam Guthrie (feat. Zoe Tunnell)
In Episode 45 of CEREBRO, Connor and writer Zoe Tunnell are nigh-invulnerable when they're castin' with Sam Guthrie, the caring Cannonball! An original New Mutant, Kentucky coal country kid Sam went on to lead X-Force before graduating to the big leagues. After some time as an official member of the X-Men, he eventually joined the Avengers under writer Jonathan Hickman. The CEREBRO character file on Cannonball begins at 49:29. (Content Advisory: Sam's story includes sexual violence.)
August 5, 2021
Episode 044: Roberto da Costa (feat. Alex Segura)
In Episode 44 of CEREBRO, Connor and writer Alex Segura soak up the sun with Roberto da Costa, the sensational Sunspot! An original New Mutant, biracial Brazilian babe Beto inherited his father's fortune and continued into X-Force in the 90s. After a stint as Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club, he eventually joined the Avengers under writer Jonathan Hickman. The CEREBRO character file on Sunspot begins at 53:42. (Content Advisory: Beto's story includes racism and brainwashing.)
July 29, 2021
Episode 043: Roxy Washington (feat. Stephanie Williams)
In Episode 43 of CEREBRO, Connor and writer Steph Williams hype up Roxy Washington, the brilliant Bling! While she's a somewhat minor character, lesbian teen Roxy has a unique role in her generation. Plus: Steph's newly-announced DC Comics book NUBIA AND THE AMAZONS! Plus her thoughts on Monica Rambeau, Storm, and whatever else occurred to us to chat about. The CEREBRO character file on Bling! begins at 56:26. (Content Advisory: Roxy's story includes homophobic violence. This episode discusses racism and homophobia. When we talk about The Trial of Magneto, I mention the recent murder of a Romani man named Stanislav Tomáš by Czech police. To help the Tomáš family, you can visit their official fundraiser: https://www.betterplace.me/gerechtigkeit-fuer-stanislav-tomas63)
July 16, 2021
Episode 042: Gaveedra Seven (feat. Luke Ruddick)
In Episode 42 of CEREBRO, Connor and his friend Luke Ruddick (Danger Rooms and Dragons) swing a bevy of blades with Gaveedra Seven, the sensational Shatterstar! A breakout star of the 90s run of X-Force, interdimensional alien/mutant gladiator 'Star is an escaped slave devoted to the liberation of his people. He has become one of Marvel's most prominent bisexual characters. The CEREBRO character file on Shatterstar begins at 1:06:16. (Content Advisory: Gaveedra Seven's story includes slavery, brainwashing, self-harm and homophobia. This episode discusses childhood abuse and negative stereotypes of bisexual people.)
July 10, 2021
Episode 041: Julio Richter (feat. Louis Lopez)
In Episode 41 of CEREBRO, Connor and his friend Louis dig the good vibrations of the seismic stunner Rictor! Introduced in the classic run of X-Factor by Louise and Walt Simonson, Julio Richter became a 90s breakout in X-Force before starring in Peter David's X-Factor Investigations. After a lengthy period as one of the biggest characters to suffer from the Decimation, he was eventually repowered. He now stars in Excalibur by Tini Howard and Marcus To, where he has become the face of mutant magic. The CEREBRO character file on Rictor begins at 1:07:06. (Content Advisory: Julio's story includes suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, torture, and brainwashing.)
June 29, 2021
Episode 040: Jean-Paul Beaubier (feat. Steve Foxe)
In Episode 40 of CEREBRO, Connor and writer and editor Steve Foxe (Spider-Ham, Cheater Code, Razorblades, The Department of Truth) fly into the fairy kingdom of Alfheim with Jean-Paul Beaubier, the nimble Northstar! The first confirmed gay superhero at Marvel Comics, Jean-Paul originated as a member of Alpha Flight, but became an X-Men mainstay under writer Chuck Austen. His 2012 same-sex wedding made headlines, but in the time since, this shining star has struggled to find his light. He is the co-lead of X-Factor volume 4 by Leah Williams and David Baldeón. The CEREBRO character file on Northstar begins at 1:42:46. (Content Advisory: Jean-Paul's story includes homophobia, ableism against his sister, a suicide attempt by another character, mind control, and brainwashing. His backstory is tied to the violent Quebecois separatist movement of the 1970s.)
June 18, 2021
Episode 039: Xi'an Coy Manh (feat. Sara Century)
In Episode 39 of CEREBRO, Connor and writer and critic Sara Century (Bitches on Comics) are possessed by the power of Xi'an Coy Manh, the courageous Karma! The first confirmed lesbian character in the X-Men franchise, Xi'an was the original leader of the New Mutants, but has never received as much care and attention on the page as her classmates. She is a protagonist of the new run of New Mutants by Vita Ayala and Rod Reis. The CEREBRO character file on Karma begins at 1:56:11. (Content Advisory: Xi'an's story includes rape, disordered eating, fatphobia, ableism, homophobia, suicidal ideation and attempted suicide, brainwashing, human trafficking, slavery, and limb amputation. Her origin is closely tied to the real world Vietnamese boat refugee crisis.)
June 7, 2021
Episode 038: Joanna Cargill (feat. Mike Carey)
In Episode 38 of CEREBRO, Connor and celebrated writer Mike Carey (X-Men Legacy, Lucifer, The Unwritten, The Girl With All The Gifts) praise the power of Joanna Cargill, a.k.a. Frenzy! A longtime enemy of the X-Men, Cargill decided to change her ways during Carey's beloved time writing the franchise, and is now a fan favorite antihero. PLUS: Tempo! The Children of the Vault! Lady Mastermind! The CEREBRO character file on Frenzy begins at 1:16:08. (Content Advisory: Joanna's story includes child abuse, eugenics, ableism, brainwashing, and genocide.)
May 27, 2021
Episode 037: Sarah (feat. Steve Orlando)
In Episode 37 of CEREBRO, Connor and Marvel writer Steve Orlando get bad to the bone with the Morlock Sarah, better known as Marrow! A breakout character of the late 90s, the rebellious and grisly Marrow's rising star quickly flamed out, but she's endured as a fan favorite. The CEREBRO character file on Marrow begins at 26:58. (Content Advisory: Sarah's story includes genocide, child abuse, sexual violence, torture, a non-consensual pregnancy termination, brainwashing, and general body horror.)
May 21, 2021
Episode 036: Monet St. Croix (feat. Tini Howard and Kendra James)
In the PLANET-SIZE Episode 36 of CEREBRO, Connor and Marvel's Tini Howard praise the perfection of Monet St. Croix! The unlikely breakout of the Generation X class, marvelous mean girl Monet transcended her intended story function to become a leading lady, star of the new book X-Corp. Writer Kendra James also joins Connor to talk about Monet's historical importance as a unique character in the X-Men franchise. The CEREBRO character file on Monet, Nicole, Claudette, and Penance begins at 1:26:35. The interview with Kendra James begins at 2:09:04. The interview with Tini Howard resumes at 3:02:49. (Content Advisory: Monet's story includes torture, mind control, suicidal ideation, a suicide attempt by another character, Islamophobia, ableism, spooky bone marrow vampire stuff, and general body horror.)
May 17, 2021
Episode 035: Sally Blevins (feat. Jordan Blum)
In Episode 35 of CEREBRO, Connor and MODOK on Hulu co-creator Jordan Blum let down their barriers with Sally Blevins, the slippery Skids! Introduced in Louise Simonson's classic run on X-Factor, teen runaway Skids wants nothing more than a home and a family, but — overshadowed by other characters in her age group — she rarely catches a break. The CEREBRO character file on Skids begins at 1:15:17. (Content Advisory: Sally's story includes child abuse, domestic violence ending in murder, and brainwashing. This episode also discusses a story where an infant is murdered.) www.cerebrocast.com www.patreon.com/cerebrocast
May 6, 2021
Episode 034: Megan Gwynn (feat. Josh Cornillon)
In Episode 34 of CEREBRO, Connor and artist Josh Cornillon keep it tidy with Megan Gwynn, the polarizing Pixie! The secret half-faerie daughter of the villain Mastermind (no, really!), after exposure to black magic Pixie became the primary student character of the Decimation period. She now stars alongside her mentor Nightcrawler in Way Of X by Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn. The CEREBRO character file on Pixie begins at 1:27:08. (Content Advisory: Megan's story includes hate crimes and substance abuse. The plot of Way Of X involves suicide.)
April 29, 2021
Episode 033: Regan & Martinique Wyngarde (feat. Alex Abad-Santos)
In Episode 33 of CEREBRO, Connor and returning guest Alex Abad-Santos shatter the illusions of Regan Wyngarde and her sister Martinique, the ludicrous Ladies Mastermind! Born from an editorial mistake, Regan would rise to prominence in Mike Carey's celebrated run — but wherever these manipulative siblings go, trouble follows. The CEREBRO character file on Lady Mastermind and the other Lady Mastermind begins at 1:07:00. (Content Advisory: Regan and Martinique's story includes brainwashing, torture, implied rape and abuse of other characters, and a very creepy dad.) The episode cover features art of Regan and Martinique by Stuart Immonen, Greg Land, and Tim Sale.
April 21, 2021
Episode 032: Mojo (feat. Ann Nocenti)
In Episode 32 of CEREBRO, Connor and legendary Marvel writer and editor Ann Nocenti chase a ratings spike with her creation Mojo, ruler of the Wildways! Created for the 1985 miniseries Longshot, Mojo became one of the X-Men's strangest recurring foes: the alien despot of a world built on television. As biting meta-commentary on fandom itself, he has become an engine for social satire in X-Men comics. The CEREBRO character file on Mojo begins at 48:43. (Content Advisory: Mojo's story includes slavery, brainwashing, torture, suicide, and metaphors for addiction.) The episode cover features art of Mojo by Art Adams.
April 13, 2021
Episode 031: Armando Muñoz (feat. Angélique Roché)
In Episode 31 of CEREBRO, Connor and Angélique Roché (Marvels' Voices, Women of Marvel) adapt to their surroundings with Armando Muñoz, the ever-evolving Darwin! Created in the controversial retcon story Deadly Genesis, Darwin has nonetheless endured as a fan favorite. The CEREBRO character file on Darwin begins at 1:11:50. (Content Advisory: Armando's story includes child abuse, attempted suicide, and medical experimentation.)
April 8, 2021
Episode 030: Stryfe (feat. Anthony Oliveira)
In Episode 30 of CEREBRO, Connor and returning guest Anthony Oliveira swish about with STRYFE, the CHAOS-BRINGER! A delightfully fruity megalomaniac in a cape, Stryfe is an iconic X-Villain of the 90s. The CEREBRO character file on Stryfe begins at 1:12:13. (Content Advisory: Stryfe's story includes child abuse, brainwashing, genocide, a suggestion of rape, and incestuous and Oedipal themes. This episode also addresses the Legacy Virus, Stryfe's creation, as an allegory for the AIDS Crisis.)
March 31, 2021
Episode 029: Rachel Summers (feat. Sara Century)
In Episode 29 of CEREBRO, Connor and returning guest Sara Century don their finest spiked leather with Rachel Summers, the second Phoenix! As Scott Summers and Jean Grey's time-displaced daughter from the dystopian timeline called the Days of Future Past, Rachel offers the X-Men a terrifying glimpse of the worst-case scenario for mutants. The CEREBRO character file on Rachel Summers begins at 1:07:33. (Content Advisory: Rachel's story includes genocide, brainwashing, torture, slavery, and child abuse with sexual implications.)
March 26, 2021
Episode 028: Alison Blaire (feat. Evan Narcisse)
In Episode 28 of CEREBRO, Connor and writer Evan Narcisse dance the night away with Alison Blaire, the Disco Dazzler! Born from Marvel's failed first attempt at taking Hollywood by storm, Ali has struggled to find her spotlight in the years since. The CEREBRO character file on Dazzler begins at 1:06:40. (Content Advisory: Ali's story includes domestic violence, spousal abuse, drug addiction, miscarriage, and suicidal ideation.) You can now support CEREBRO on Patreon at www.patreon.com/cerebrocast!
March 19, 2021
Episode 027: Moira MacTaggert (feat. Zach Rabiroff)
In Episode 27 of CEREBRO, Connor and ComicsXF critic Zach Rabiroff tackle the ten lives of Moira X! Dr. Moira MacTaggert was believed a human martyr for mutant rights — but the revelation of her true nature has shaken the foundations of the franchise. The CEREBRO character file on Moira MacTaggert begins at 1:19:40. (Content Advisory: Moira's story includes spousal abuse and rape.) The episode cover features art of Moira X by Pepe Larraz.
March 11, 2021
Episode 026: Adam Neramani (feat. Fabian Nicieza)
In Episode 26 of CEREBRO, Connor and 90s X-Men scribe Fabian Nicieza get their blood burning with Adam X, the X-Treme! A curiosity of the X-Men franchise, Adam Neramani was intended to be the long-lost brother of Cyclops and Havok, but wound up lost in comics limbo after Nicieza's departure from Marvel. Now, 25 years later, that story will be told in the pages of the anthology series X-Men Legends. The CEREBRO character file on Adam X begins at 54:41. (Content Advisory: Adam's story includes brainwashing. This episode discusses plot points involving rape and enslavement.)
March 3, 2021
Episode 025: Kate Pryde (feat. Stephanie Burt)
In Episode 25 of CEREBRO, Connor and Harvard Professor of English Stephanie Burt sail the high seas with Captain Kate Pryde, Red Queen of the Hellfire Trading Company! Best known as Kitty Pryde or Shadowcat, Kate is the protagonist of much of the classic Claremont run, and has endured as a fan favorite. As the first explicitly Jewish superhero at Marvel Comics, she has often been the lens through which the minority metaphor of the X-Men was most often refracted. The CEREBRO character file on Kate Pryde begins at 1:01:48. (Content Advisory: Kate's story includes grooming of a minor, suicide, torture, antisemitism, rape of another character, a weird alien pregnancy plot, and genocides including the Holocaust.)
February 26, 2021
Episode 024: Alex Summers (feat. Allison Senecal)
In Episode 24 of CEREBRO, Connor and bookseller Allison Senecal try to explain why you should like Havok! Alex Summers, Cyclops's volatile younger brother, has never quite managed to escape his elder's long shadow. Conflicted and insecure, he's a troubled man with an uncertain future. The CEREBRO character file on Havok begins at 29:12. (Content Advisory: Alex's story includes brainwashing, slavery, and parents grieving the loss of a child. This episode also discusses another character's suicidal ideation.)
February 20, 2021
Episode 023: Cassandra Nova (feat. Patrick Willems)
In Episode 23 of CEREBRO, Connor and filmmaker Patrick Willems face the inner darkness, the anti-self: the mummudrai! Created by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, Cassandra Nova — Professor Xavier's diabolical twin sister — is one of the few post-Claremont X-Villains to truly stand the test of time. The CEREBRO character file on Cassandra Nova begins at 1:07:06. (Content Advisory: Cassandra's story includes genocide, miscarriage, stillbirth, brainwashing, suicide, and the murder of children. This episode also refers to the Holocaust, 9/11, and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) The episode cover includes art of Cassandra Nova, Ernst, and No-Girl by Frank Quitely, Marc Silvestri, Carmen Carnero, and Phil Jimenez. Subscribe to Patrick Willems on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF1fG3gT44nGTPU2sVLoFWg Here's our video from 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVb1utdCNy0 And the X-TENDED CUT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIAKWrPWYcc Here's our video from 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5lQw1X60eE And the X-TENDED CUT of that one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWQomA2QtDs
February 10, 2021
Episode 022: Doug Ramsey (feat. Annalise Bissa)
In Episode 22 of CEREBRO, Connor and Marvel's X-Office Associate Editor Annalise Bissa hack into the history of Doug Ramsey, a.k.a. Cypher! Killed off in 1988 and not brought back til 2009, the omnilingual mutant is now an integral part of the franchise. The CEREBRO character file on Cypher begins at 1:26:07. (Content Advisory: Doug's story includes traumatic mind control. This episode also discusses characters with stories involving unequal power dynamics in romantic relationships, including relationships in which one party is underage, as well as the topic of child sexual abuse.)
February 3, 2021
Episode 021: Mortimer Toynbee (feat. Tim Platt)
In Episode 21 of CEREBRO, Connor and comedian Tim Platt (Rude Tales of Magic) salute a classic 60s X-Men villain: Mortimer Toynbee, the sniveling Toad! Their analysis of the misfit superhenchman... somehow becomes an expansive dialogue on masculinity. Who knew! The CEREBRO character file on the Toad begins at 46:27. (Content Advisory: Mortimer's story includes abuse, a suicide attempt, sexually predatory behavior, and alcoholism.)
January 27, 2021
Episode 020: Lorna Dane (feat. Cori McCreery)
In Episode 20 of CEREBRO, Connor and Eisner Award-winning comics critic Corinne McCreery imagine a brighter future for Lorna Dane, the Mistress of Magnetism! Since her debut in 1968, Polaris has won many fans but also struggled to find her place in the franchise, even after she was revealed to be Magneto's long-lost daughter. The CEREBRO character file on Polaris begins at 44:02. (Content Advisory: Lorna's story includes struggles with bipolar disorder, disordered eating, mind control, long-term possession, genocide, and a suicide attempt.)
January 20, 2021
Episode 019: Tessa (feat. Valentine Smith)
In Episode 19 of CEREBRO, Connor and artist Valentine Smith analyze the X-Men's living computer, Sage! Introduced in 1980 as Tessa, a mysterious Hellfire Club attaché, a major retcon in 2001 revealed her to be one of Xavier's original students, kept apart from the X-Men and deployed as a spy. The CEREBRO character file on Sage begins at 1:12:36. (Content Advisory: Tessa's story includes sexual violence, sex trafficking, and torture.)
January 12, 2021
Episode 018: Meggan Puceanu (feat. A.R. Moxon)
In Episode 18 of CEREBRO, Connor and author A.R. Moxon celebrate the mystical metamorph, Meggan! Introduced in 1983 as a supporting character in Captain Britain, the part-fae mutant Meggan (lately also called Gloriana) was a founding member of Excalibur and has always been a uniquely vibrant character in the X-Men mythos. The CEREBRO character file on Meggan begins at 1:03:28. (Content Advisory: Meggan's story includes antiziganism, unequal power dynamics in a romantic relationship, a romantic partner's alcoholism, and the rape of another character.) The episode cover features art of Meggan by Alan Davis, Casey Jones, Mike Collins, and Marcus To.
January 6, 2021
Episode 017: Anna Marie (feat. Cass Morris)
In Episode 17 of CEREBRO, Connor and fantasy author Cass Morris (FROM UNSEEN FIRE, GIVE WAY TO NIGHT) have their psyches absorbed by the raucous Rogue! Introduced as a supervillain in 1981, the woman known only as Anna Marie has become one of the most popular members of the X-Men. The CEREBRO character file on Rogue begins at 48:25. (Content Advisory: Rogue's story involves sexual assault.)
December 30, 2020
Episode 016: Erik Magnus Lehnsherr (feat. Spencer Ackerman)
In Episode 16 of CEREBRO, a HANUKKAH SPECTACULAR, Connor and returning guest Spencer Ackerman become masters of magnetism! Introduced in 1963 as the X-Men's archenemy, Erik Magnus Lehnsherr — best known as Magneto — became the most famous Jewish character in comics. Reimagined by writer Chris Claremont as a tragic hero with a haunting backstory, he has ranged from the X-Men's greatest foe to their most vital ally. The CEREBRO character file on Magneto begins at 52:35. (Content Advisory: Erik's story revolves around genocide. This episode includes frank discussion of the Holocaust, antisemitism, and Israel-Palestine.) The episode cover features art of Magneto by Jack Kirby, John Romita, Jr., Phil Jimenez, and Pepe Larraz.
December 19, 2020
Episode 015: Jean Grey (feat. Sara Century)
In Episode 15 of CEREBRO, Connor and comics critic Sara Century become fire and life incarnate! The only woman on the 1963 X-Men team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Jean Grey began publication as the danger-prone Marvel Girl. Under writer Chris Claremont she was reimagined as Phoenix, the most powerful superhero — and threat to the universe! — at Marvel. The CEREBRO character file on Jean Grey begins at 49:12. (Content Advisory: Jean's story includes brainwashing, rape, genocide, slavery, and suicide.) The episode cover features art of Jean Grey by Jack Kirby, Werner Roth, Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, Walt Simonson, Jim Lee, Phil Jimenez, and Russell Dauterman.
December 9, 2020
Episode 014: Opal Luna Saturnyne (feat. Tini Howard)
In Episode 14 of CEREBRO, Connor and Marvel writer Tini Howard bow before Her Royal Whyness, Opal Luna Saturnyne, Omniversal Majestrix! Introduced in the relaunch of Captain Britain in 1981 as an interdimensional bureaucrat, Saturnyne and her counterparts on other worlds were integral to the classic run of Excalibur. She is now more prominent than ever before, and was the centerpiece of the recent franchise-wide event X of Swords. The CEREBRO character file on Saturnyne begins at 1:08:30. (Content Advisory: The story of Opal Luna Saturnyne, Courtney Ross, and Opul Lun Sat-Yr-9 includes genocide, sexual violence, gaslighting, brainwashing, and the grooming of a teenager.) The episode cover features art of Saturnyne by Alan Davis and Pepe Larraz.
December 1, 2020
Episode 013: Logan (feat. Gerry Duggan)
In Episode 13 of CEREBRO, Connor and Marvel writer Gerry Duggan investigate the mystery man called Logan! Brusque and brutal, Wolverine debuted as a minor antagonist in 1974, but over the years became the most popular member of the X-Men, and one of the overall flagship characters at Marvel Comics. The CEREBRO character file on Wolverine begins at 41:21. (Content Advisory: Logan's story includes rape, suicide, child abuse, animal murder, brainwashing, non-consensual body modification, and torture.) The episode cover features art of Wolverine by Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, and Barry Windsor-Smith.
November 25, 2020
Episode 012: Brian Braddock (feat. Jordan D. White)
In Episode 12 of CEREBRO, Connor and Marvel's X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White raise their swords to Brian Braddock! For many years the omniversal hero Captain Britain, he has now ceded that title to his twin sister Betsy and become Captain Avalon, his family's sworn protector. The CEREBRO character file on Brian Braddock begins at 1:02:15 (Content Advisory: Brian's story includes alcoholism, brainwashing, and sexual violence.) The episode cover features art of Brian Braddock by Herb Trimpe, Alan Davis, Mico Suayan, and R.B. Silva.
November 17, 2020
Episode 011: Hank McCoy (feat. Spencer Ackerman)
In Episode 11 of CEREBRO, Connor and Pulitzer Prize-winning national security reporter Spencer Ackerman highlight the hubris of Hank McCoy, the bouncing, brilliant Beast! One of the original X-Men from 1963, Hank has never felt at ease with his mutation, and longs to assimilate. In recent years, his arrogance has led him down an ever-darker path. The CEREBRO character file on Beast begins at 27:37. (Content Advisory: Hank's story includes body dysmorphia, the suicide of another character, war crimes, and genocide. This episode also features frank discussion of American and Israeli foreign policy.) The episode cover features art of Beast by Jack Kirby, Kerry Gammill, Frank Quitely, and Janeth Bazaldua.
November 10, 2020
Episode 010: Raven Darkhölme (feat. Patrick Sullivan)
In the GIANT-SIZE Episode 10 of CEREBRO, Connor and artist Patrick Sullivan fête the many-faced mercenary Mystique! Raven Darkhölme first appeared in 1978 as Ms. Marvel's arch-nemesis, but after that book's cancellation became one of the most iconic X-Men villains. The CEREBRO character file on Mystique begins at 41:28. (Content Advisory: Raven's story includes violence against children, parental abandonment, emotional abuse, severe mental illness, and torture.) The episode cover features art of Mystique by John Byrne, Marc Silvestri, Steve Epting, Sean Phillips, Gus Vazquez, and R.B. Silva.
November 3, 2020
Episode 009: Warren Worthington III (feat. Jay Jurden)
In the GIANT-SIZE Episode 9 of CEREBRO, Connor and comedian Jay Jurden soar with the Angel! (Or the Archangel, depending.) Since his 1963 debut, Warren Worthington III has endured in the popular imagination through constant transformation. The CEREBRO character file on Angel begins at 1:01:32. (Content Advisory: Warren's story includes suicide, torture, gaslighting, brainwashing, and non-consensual body modification.) The episode cover features art of Angel and Archangel by Jack Kirby, John Byrne, and Jim Lee.
October 28, 2020
Episode 008: Bobby Drake (feat. Anthony Oliveira)
In the GIANT-SIZE Episode 8 of CEREBRO, Connor kibitzes about Iceman with academic and Marvel writer Anthony Oliveira (War of the Realms: War Scrolls, Empyre: Emperor Hulkling)! One of the original X-Men from 1963, Bobby Drake is the only classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby creation to be later established as a gay character. The CEREBRO character file on Iceman begins at 58:55. (Content Advisory: Bobby's story includes homophobia and racism from other characters. This episode also discusses outing and intra-LGBT tensions.) The episode cover features art of Iceman by Jack Kirby, Walt Simonson, Whilce Portacio, and Matteo Lolli.
October 20, 2020
Episode 007: Dani Moonstar (feat. Darcie Little Badger)
In Episode 7 of CEREBRO, Connor and Darcie Little Badger (one of the writers of the upcoming Marvel's Voices: Indigenous Voices anthology) tackle the many transformations of Dani Moonstar! One of the original New Mutants, Moonstar (usually called Mirage) has been on a wild and often winged ride since her debut in 1982. The CEREBRO character file on Mirage begins at 18:27. (Content Advisory: Dani's story includes racism, animal murder, the rape of another character, and an inappropriate sexual student-teacher relationship between two other characters. This episode also discusses genocide and colonialism.) The episode cover features art of Mirage by Bob McLeod, Art Adams, Bret Blevins, Tony Daniel, Jim Cheung, Staz Johnson, and Rod Reis.
October 13, 2020
Episode 006: Scott Summers (feat. Jay Edidin)
In CEREBRO's first CROSSOVER EVENT, Connor and Jay Edidin of Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men (also writer of the recent X-Men: Marvels Snapshots) have an eye-opening chat about Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops! A polarizing character, "Slim" has provoked strong opinions since 1963. The CEREBRO character file on Cyclops begins at 30:04. (Content Advisory: Scott's story includes child abuse at an orphanage, eugenics, suicide of other characters, and references to enslavement and implied rape of other characters. This episode also discusses disability politics.) The episode cover features art of Cyclops by Jack Kirby, Dave Cockrum, Walt Simonson, Jim Lee, Frank Quitely, Chris Bachalo, and Leinil Francis Yu. Some links to work mentioned by Jay on this week's episode: The Essential Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men Episode 287: Welcome to the Age of Apocalypse, designed as a jumping-on point for newbies to Jay & Miles. Ruby Quartz Panic Room, a fanzine about Cyclops and neurodivergence.
October 6, 2020
Episode 005: Ororo Munroe (feat. Rashida Renée Ward)
In Episode 5 of CEREBRO, Connor and iconic fashion archivist Rashida Renée Ward celebrate Ororo Munroe, Beautiful Windrider, the Weather Witch, Goddess of the STORM! One of the most popular and celebrated X-Men, Storm changed the landscape of comic books forever when she debuted in 1975. The CEREBRO character file on Storm begins at 33:27. (Content Advisory: Ororo's story includes wartime atrocities and suicidal ideation. This episode also discusses racism, colorism, slavery, and the recent death of actor Chadwick Boseman.) The episode cover features art of Storm by Dave Cockrum, Paul Smith, Jim Lee, Salvador Larocca, Alan Davis, Ron Garney, and Lucas Werneck.
September 29, 2020
Episode 004: Piotr Rasputin (feat. Mattie Lubchansky)
In Episode 4 of CEREBRO, Connor and Ignatz Award-winning comics artist and editor Mattie Lubchansky are undeniably horny for Piotr Rasputin, the man of steel Colossus! A kind Soviet farmboy with an artist's heart, Piotr has been a major X-Men character since his debut in 1975. The CEREBRO character file on Colossus begins at 25:25. (Content Advisory: Piotr's story includes suicide. This episode also discusses the AIDS Crisis.) The episode cover features art of Colossus by Dave Cockrum, Marc Silvestri, and one of the three pencilers of Excalibur vol. 1 #71.
September 22, 2020
Episode 003: Emma Frost (feat. Alex Abad-Santos)
In the GIANT-SIZE Episode 3 of CEREBRO, Connor and culture writer Alex Abad-Santos swear their fealty to Emma Frost, the White Queen! An ice-cold femme fatale, Emma debuted in 1980 as a vicious villainess, but developed into a core member of the X-Men. The CEREBRO character file on Emma Frost begins at 35:36. (Content advisory: Emma's story includes involuntary institutionalization, sexual abuse, homophobic 'conversion therapy', substance abuse, survival sex work, animal murder, and genocide.) The episode cover features art of the White Queen by John Byrne, Chris Bachalo, Phil Jimenez, Terry Dodson, and Russell Dauterman.
September 15, 2020
Episode 002: Kurt Wagner (feat. Daniel Kibblesmith)
In Episode 2 of CEREBRO, Connor and Marvel writer Daniel Kibblesmith (Loki, Lockjaw) celebrate the fuzzy blue elf: Kurt Wagner, best known as Nightcrawler! Since his 1975 debut, the debonair swashbuckler has been one of the most recognizable and beloved X-Men. The CEREBRO character file on Nightcrawler begins at 13:41. (Content advisory: Kurt's main love interest is his adoptive/foster sister, if that skeeves! This episode also discusses antiziganism and the Holocaust.) The episode cover features art of Nightcrawler by Ed McGuinness.
September 8, 2020
Episode 001: Betsy Braddock (feat. Tini Howard)
In the inaugural episode of CEREBRO, Connor and Marvel writer Tini Howard talk Betsy Braddock: once Psylocke, now Captain Britain! Tune in for a deep dive on Betsy's wild 44-year publication history, and some exploration of Tini's work on Excalibur and the upcoming franchise-wide event X of Swords. The CEREBRO character file on Betsy Braddock begins at 15:44. (Content advisory: Betsy's story includes sexual violence, brainwashing, slavery, and non-consensual body modification. This episode also features some discussion of racism and eating disorders.) The episode cover features art of Betsy Braddock by Alan Davis, Marc Silvestri, Jim Lee, Kris Anka, Terry Dodson, and Marcus To.
September 1, 2020