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Sterling archivist Michael Fiffe once more opens the vaults with this collection of Kyle Baker’s X-Men comic strip, “It’s Genetic”:

The 11 “It’s Genetic” gag panels below were taken from the now defunct Marvel Age comic, the official Marvel Comics news comic. These were the only ones that I know of and they would pop up once in a while. They’re posted in order of appearance (Marvel Age #s 31, 32, 33, 37, 39, 40, 42, 54, 57, 59, 60 respectively). I think they’re great and beautifully drawn… maybe some of these were inked while riding the New York City subways? After all, that’s how Mr. Baker got all “expressive”! Would I lie to you?

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  1. The secret origin of “It’s Genetic”:

    Back then, I was the assistant editor on MARVEL AGE. Editor Jim Salicrup came in one day and said he’d thought of a new feature to add — a newspaper-style page called “The Mutant Report,” that would cover all-things X-related.

    I recoiled in horror, and responded, “I’m not touching that. Not unless there’s a gag cartoon in it! Called, uh, ‘It’s Genetic!’ and drawn by Kyle Baker!”

    [I’d been seeing some of Kyle’s early “Cowboy Wally” strips, and thought they were hysterical.]

    Jim looked at me oddly and said, “Uh, okay.”

    So I went out to the Bullpen, where Kyle was in using Marvel’s production facilities for his own nefarious purposes, and told him, “Hey, Kyle, we’re doing a new feature in MARVEL AGE. A one-panel monthly gag cartoon about the X-characters, called ‘It’s Genetic,’ and you have to draw it.”

    Kyle looked at me oddly and said, “Uh, okay.”

    Then he paused and said, “Does it pay?”


    I think the “Come back next week” one is the best of them, but they’re fun stuff.

    But I still cringe at the panel of “Mutant Beach Party” where the power-stealing mutie in green says that she has to wear special pancake makeup to keep her powers in check, and Eyeclops calls her “Rogue.” The joke is tied to the fact that her parody name is “Rouge.” But that was a spelling mistake made so often that the letterer just reflexively corrected it…

    Ah well. Long time ago. Let it go, Busiek. Let it go.


  2. OMG!!! That stuff is hilarious!! ;D

    Yeah I remember those Marvel Age books, Marvel really needs to get back to publishing fun stuff like that. :)

  3. Kurt, thanks so much for the origins of “It’s Genetic”. These were some cool little odd pieces of forgotten yucks and laffs, so I’m glad people can still dig it.

    As for the “Mutant Beach Party”, don’t cringe too much! I miss parodies like that. God knows, we need them now more than ever!

  4. >> As for the “Mutant Beach Party”, don’t cringe too much! I miss parodies like that. God knows, we need them now more than ever! >>

    Oh, I don’t cringe at the story — I love that kind of thing myself, and I’m still proud of Nonentity, Dark Kloenix and Carnivorax.

    I just cringe at the mistakes.

    “Mutant Beach Party,” by the way, was recently reprinted in its two-part entirety in the back of an issue of GENEXT.

    I have no idea why.