Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Game of Thrones 6x08: No One

Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Riverrun -> Winterfell ->The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen

On the Road
The Hound is pissed! He goes off in search of some Brotherhood Without Banners members responsible for the slaughter of his community and, as luck would have it, he finds some of them hanging around a campfire practicing kissing. Literally!

The Hound walks up and axes them all to death fairly unceremoniously. Well, the final dude is kept alive long enough for the Hound to try and get information as to the whereabouts of the others responsible for the slaughter but the dude doesn't give up the goods. That just means he gets a good axing too.

The Hound then comes across Beric and Thoros of the Brotherhood Without Banners and they have the rest of the guys responsible for the slaughter in nooses. Beric wants to hang them because they're giving the Brotherhood a bad name and, also, they're shitty people. The Hound wants to kill them himself. There's some negotiation and, in the end, the Hounds got to kill two of them personally but it has to be by hanging and not by axing. The Hound likes axing but goes along with the hanging.

Later, Beric wants the Hound to join them. The Hound says he's not very religious but the promise of fighting ice zombies is enough for him to tag along. Besides, what else is he going to do?

X-amining X-Factor #75

"The Nasty Boys"
February 1992

In a Nutshell
X-Factor battles the Nasty Boys & learns the truth about Madrox.

Written: Peter David
Pencilled: Larry Stroman
Inked: Al Milgrom
Lettered: Michael Heisler
Colored: Glynis Olvier
Edited: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

The Nasty Boys are watching news coverage of Strong Guy's arrest when they're visited by their boss, Mr. Sinister. At their headquarters, X-Factor confers with Moira MacTaggert, who helps verify Madrox's identity. They release the Madrox claiming their teammate is a rogue dupe, with their apologies. He proceeds to absorb the other Madrox, then meets with Edmond Atkinson, who turns out to be Mr. Sinister. Later, Quicksilver is examined by a doctor, who declares the problems with his powers are all mental, likely brought on by stress. Madrox arrives at the Nasty Boys' headquarters, where he's introduced to Senator Shaffran, thanking him for helping him gain control of the real Madrox at long last. Back at X-Factor's headquarters, the team discusses the results of Quicksilver's tests, and realizes someone is turning their powers against them, and likely did the same with Madrox, prompting the team to set out in search of him.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

X-amining X-Force #7

"Under the Knife"/ "X-Tenuating Circumstances"
February 1992

In a Nutshell
Cannonball is killed by Sauron.

Plot/Art: Rob Liefeld
Rob's Scripter: Fabian Nicieza
Rob's Letterer: Chris Eliopoulis
Rob's Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Rob's Editor: Bob Harras
Robs Banks: Tom DeFalco

First Story: As Siryn, Warpath & Shatterstar battle Toad, Blob & Sauron, Masque, Thornn & Phantazia infiltrate X-Force's base. Entering the hangar, they find the rest of the team waiting for them. Outside, Shatterstar locates a weapon cache and helps Siryn defeat Toad, while Blob falls into a ravine, and the three race back to their base. Inside, Feral & Thornn fight one another, while Cannonball flies into Phantazia, which disrupts his blast field. As Sauron enters the base looking for a new opponent, Cannonball approaches him, but his blast field is unable to prevent Sauron from skewering him through the chest with one of his wing talons, much to the horror of Boom-Boom, who cries out that he's dead.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #285

"Down the Rabbit Hole"
February 1992

In a Nutshell
The first appearance of Colossus' brother Mikhail

Plot & Pencils: Whilce Portacio
Co-Plotter: Jim Lee
Script: John Byrne
Finishes: Art Thibert & Al Milgrom
Lettering: Tom Orzechowski
Coloring: Joe Rosas
Editing: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

The X-Men emerge on the other side of the void, but are scattered. Colossus & Jean land in the midst of the armored rebels they fought on Earth, all of whom bow down before Colossus when he reverts to his human form, claiming the prophecy has been fulfilled. Elsewhere, Storm is rescued from the desert by a hooded man who grows upset when he learns the X-Men breached the portal. Elsewhere again, an unconscious Archangel helps a group of soldiers defeat rebels when his wings act of their own accord, earning the praise of the soldiers. Elsewhere yet again, Sunfire and Iceman fall through the roof of a tavern, while Storm & the stranger depart his home and Colossus & Jean arrive at the rebel base, where Colossus is received as a savior. Later, Iceman & Sunfire hear word of Colossus, while Archangel is received by Shar-har-a-zath, the worldy avatar of the Triumvirate, who names him their Lord Protector. Back at the rebel base, Jean and Colossus are suddenly joined by Storm and the stranger, who reveals himself as Colossus' brother. Back on Earth, Trish Tilby reports on Bishop's massacre of Fitzroy's allies, but a watching Bishop swears the future he knows will never come to pass.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Game of Thrones 6x07: The Broken Man

Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Riverrun -> Winterfell ->The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen

River Run
Walder Frey's army is at River Run castle that has been taken over by Blackfish. They show off Edmure and threaten to kill him if Blackfish doesn't surrender. Blackfish tells them to go ahead and kill him. Lothar Frey and Walder Rivers (yup, had to look those names up) realize that killing a hostage immediately renders the hostage useless so they decide against killing him. They're stumped as to what to do as an army comes up from behind them.

Fortunately for Frey's army and unfortunately for...well...everyone else it's Jaime (with Bronn!) and the Lannister's army coming to help Wlader Frey's army. Jaime tells Lothar and Walder they're idiots for writing checks their butt won't cash and then decides to have a parley with the Blackfish.

Jaime rides up to the castle entrance and a bunch of archers point arrows at him. They should kill him. Blackfish comes out not to kill Jaime but instead “size him up.” He should kill him instead. Jaime says he and the Lannister army are going to eventually win so the Blackfish can save a lot his men's lives by giving up. Which I assume means the Blackfish would be executed but his men would certainly be allowed live, right? Because the Lannisters and Freys are so trustworthy.

Anyway, Blachfish isn't impressed and dares Jaime to enter into a two years castle siege. How about instead of taunting Jaime Blackfish just kills him? Jaime is the only real threat. Whatever. Jaime trots off still alive and in one piece (well, minus the hand he lost so long ago but you know what I mean).

Force in Focus: Star Wars #38

"Riders in the Void!"
August 1980

In a Nutshell
Luke & Leia encounter an extragalactic ship and its strange captain.

Writer/Editor: Archie Goodwin
Plotter/Penciler: Michael Golden
Inker: Terry Austin
Colorist: Michael Golden
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Assistant Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Attacked by Imperial ships in the middle of a supply run, Luke & Leia jump to Hyperspace to escape, but damage to their ship causes them to end up in the starless void beyond the galaxy. Suddenly, a massive, glowing organic ship appears, and swallows their craft whole. Exploring the ship, the pair separates, and Luke duels with some kind of training robot before the ship opens a hole into space, nearly sending Luke & Leia to their deaths. But their love for another speaks to the captain of the ship, the last survivor of a massive war, who has become fused to the ship and its computer. The captain brings them back to their galaxy, appearing before the Star Destroyer that attacked them. The Imperials attack the strange ship, but the captain fights back, easily defeating them. With the area safe, Luke & Leia reboard their vessel, and the captain, who finds this galaxy too reminiscent of what happened in his own past, returns to riding in the void.

Friday, June 17, 2016

X-amining Wolverine #50

"Dreams of Gore: Phase 3"
January 1992

In a Nutshell
Wolverine learns his memories have been altered as he battles Shiva.

Script: Lethal Larry Hama
Pencils: Murderous Marc Silvestri
Inks: Dangerous Dan Green, with help from Hilary Barta & Tom Palmer
Lettering: Punishing Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Stompin' Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

With Forge's help, Wolverine tracks down the refueling SHIELD helicarrier and strong-arms Nick Fury into handing over his security dossier. The transfer of those files catches the attention of a Hydra cell. Thanks to information in the files, Wolverine, accompanied by Cyclops, Jean Grey, Jubilee and Professor X, goes to a warehouse in Windsor, Canada. He enters the building alone, watched by both Hydra and Professor Thorton. Inside, he finds sets that correspond to many of his memories, while Professor Thorton activates the Shiva scenario, which brings forth a massive robot programmed to kill Wolverine. He destroys the robot, but the Shiva program is designed to learn from its defeats and powers up another body. This one proves harder to destroy, and as Professor Thornton watches the battle, he's attacked by the leader of the Hydra cell, a very-much-alive Silver Fox. As they fight, Shiva triggers all of Wolverine's memories, overwhelming him. He manages to snap out of it, insisting he's a man, not a beast, but Silver Fox realizes her memories were tampered with a well. She kills Professor Thorton just as Wolverine destroys the latest incarnation of Shiva. Joined by the X-Men, he discovers Thorton's body, and learns that Shiva has moved on to target the next name on its list: Sabretooth. Wolverine could care less though, about him and the other mutants on Shiva's list, a change in attitude that Professor X finds unsettling.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

X-amining Excalibur #46

"Colin the Barbarian"
January 1992

In a Nutshell
Kylun comes to Earth while Rachel & Meggan's quest comes to an end.

Writer/Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Kylun & Sa'tneen manage to defeat Necrom's zombie Excalibur, but Necrom slays Sa'tneen in the process. Enraged, Kylun chases Necrom into the Tower That Crosses Time and emerges before a shocked Nightcrawler in Excalibur's bathroom. After learning Nigthcrawler speaks English and seeing Widget, Kylun realizes he's returned to his homeworld. Meanwhile, in France, Meggan & Rachel battle a pair of illusory monsters crafted by two elderly brothers who are harnessing the power of a captive Neuri. As Kylun tells Nightcrawler of how he came to Ee'rath and expresses fear that Necrom is looking to establish a new empire on this world, Meggan & Rachel learn the Neuri, not Meggan's parents, is the being they've been tracking. Taking them into the Alshira, the Neuri shows Meggan her true form, and explains that while she didn't find her parents, their journey wasn't a complete loss, as both she and Rachel have found a sense of identity in the process. As the Neuri dies, Meggan returns to her previous form, saying it's the one she chooses to take, and the two fly for home. Back at the lighthouse, a sudden explosion heralds the arrival of a large, bug-like alien.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #4

"The Resurrection and the Flesh"
January 1992

In a Nutshell
Omega Red attacks the X-Men.

Plot & Pencils: Lee
Script: Byrne
Inks: Williams
Letterer: Orzechowski
Colorist: Rosas
Editor: Harras
Editor-in-Chief: DeFalco

On an island in the South Pacific, the Hand, overseen by Matsu'o Tsurayaba, resurrect Omega Red, sacrificing twenty-five lives to bring him out of his hibernation. At the X-Mansion, Gambit, Jubilee, Wolverine & Rogue play basketball while Moira grapples with the fallout of Magneto's death and the revelation of her previous manipulation of him. Feeling she's failed Xavier and the X-Men, she decides to leave the school. In Berlin, Matsu'o meets with Fenris, telling them the resurrection of Omega Red was successful. Back in New York, Gambit & Rogue leave to go on a date, accompanied by Beast, Wolverine & Jubilee. They are attacked along the way by the Hand, and manage to hold their own, until Omega Red enters the fray. His mutant death factor knocks out the rest of the team as he confronts Wolverine, who recognizes him as a man named Arkady. Later, the Hand, disguised as paramedics, load the unconscious X-Men into an ambulance. Moira approaches the scene in a cab, but distraught, refuses to even look at the scene, and tells the driver to keep going.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Milch Studies - NYPD Blue Season Five, The Wrap-Up

By 1997, NYPD Blue had been a solid hit for four years, leaving Steven Bochco and David Milch as in-demand TV producers, with offers coming in from every network.  Fall 1997 saw the debut of two new Milch/Bochco co-creations, Total Security on ABC and Brooklyn South on CBS.  Total Security didn’t even air the contracted thirteen episodes, and died a quiet death on Saturday evening television.  I have only a vague idea of what the show was supposed to be about, and I doubt there’s anywhere online where you can watch the series.  The opening credits are on Youtube, however, and boy does this show look horrific.  (It did feature Dexter’s dad, though.)