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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #5

"Send in the Clowns!"
February 1989

In a Nutshell 
Excalibur battles the Crazy Gang inside Murderworld. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
Creators: Claremont & Davis

Plot
In Murderworld, Courtney Ross comes face to face with the Crazy Gang, confused as to why Captain Britain and the rest of Excalibur aren't doing anything, not realizing the two teams' have switched minds. Determined to put some distance between their foes, Excalibur-as-the-Crazy Gang grab Courtney and run off. From the control room Arcade watches this when Shadowcat suddenly appears, phasing through the monitors. Leaving Lockheed to guard Miss Locke and Mr. Chambers, she pulls Arcade into Murderworld. Shadowcat then proceeds to take control of Murderworld using a program she and Doug Ramsey wrote together, turning Murderworld against Arcade as Courtney continues to flee from the Crazy Gang. The two teams collide on Murderworld's stage set, and Captain Britain, still trapped in Tweedledope's body, gives Courtney a device he created.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

X-amining "Inferno" Tie-Ins Part 2

Amazing Spider-Man #312, Avengers #300, Daredevil #263, Fantastic Four #323, Spectacular Spider-Man #147, Web of Spider-Man #47
February 1989

Amazing Spider-Man #312 by David Michelinie & Todd MacFarlane
Avengers #300 by Walt Simonson & John Buscema (layouts) and Tom Palmer (finishes)
Daredevil #263 by Ann Nocenti & John Romita Jr.
Fantastic Four #323 by Steve Englehart & Keith Pollard
Spectacular Spider-Man #147 by Gerry Conway & Sal Buscema
Web of Spider-Man #47 by Gerry Conway & Alex Saviuk
(for full credits on each issue, please visit the GCD)

Plot
Avengers #300: Working together, the Captain, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman and the Forgotten One manage to defeat Nanny and the Orphan Maker. As they work to free Franklin Richards from the armor into which Nanny placed him, the boy is captured by demons working for N'astirh. Freeing him from the armor, N'astirh uses Franklin's vast power to reinforce the portal between Earth and Limbo, but the heroes, joined by Thor, track Franklin and free him before defeating a Growing Man android activated by Kang. With the portal closed and the demon effect fading, the heroes retire to the Richards' home, where the Captain, inspired by recent events, reiterates the importance of the Avengers, and asks the assembled heroes to join him in reforming the team.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

X-aminations in August


August looks to be a fairly straightforward month: as the summer heat dies down, so too does "Inferno", which will come to an end as the month closes out.

On Sale November 1988
August 6th: Uncanny X-Men #242
August 7th: New Mutants #73
August 8th: X-Factor #38

August 13th: "Inferno" Tie-ins Part 3: Web of Spider-Man #48, Fantastic Four #324, Power Pack #44, Amazing Spider-Man #313, Spectacular Spider-Man #148
August 14th: Excalibur #6
August 15th: Wolverine #5

On Sale December 1988

August 20th: Uncanny X-Men #243
August 21st: New Mutants #74
August 22nd: X-Factor #39

August 27th: "Inferno" Tie-ins Part 4: Daredevil #265 & The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak & Dagger #4
August 28th: Excalibur #7
August 29th: Wolverine #6

Monday, July 28, 2014

Retro Review: Bart Gets Famous

Original Airdate
February 3, 1994

Or the One Where
Bart enjoys fifteen minutes of fame after saying "I didn't do it" on Krusty's show. 

The Setup
During a field trip to the box factory, Bart sneaks off to visit the nearby Krustylu Studios and ends up becoming Krusty's personal assistant, eventually appearing on an episode of his show and declaring "I didn't do it" after accidentally knocking over the set. 

Notable Notes
Conan O'Brien, who was of course a former writer on the show before leaving to take over Late Night, appears in this episode as himself. The writers decided to write him into the episode and put Bart on his show before they knew for sure whether O'Brien got the gig, and O'Brien himself believed his show would be cancelled before this episode aired.

Friday, July 25, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #37

"A Matter of Honor"
February 1989

In a Nutshell 
X-Factor battles the Goblin Queen 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Walt Simonson
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In New York, X-Factor battles demons while on the trail of Cyclops' infant son Christopher. They draw nearer just as a demon delivers him to N'astirh. He then teleports away with the child, only to return moments later, joined by Madelyne in her Goblin Queen attire. Calling out Cyclops for abandoning her and their son, she attacks the team. X-Factor defends themselves, but holds back from harming Madelyne at Cyclops' insistence. When Madelyne realizes Marvel Girl is sharing the baby's thoughts, she blasts her, but N'astirh blocks the attack, hoping to keep X-Factor alive longer, in order to continue to goad and enrage Madelyne. She turns on her ally, declaring she is no longer his puppet. N'astirh teleports away, not caring what she is, so long as she does what he's set her to do: sacrifice her son to unleash his power and blast a permanent hole to Limbo.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #72

"Demon Reign"
February 1989

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants battle the demon rain as Illyana struggles with her dark side. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Artist: Bret Blevins
Inker: Al Williamson 
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Times Square, S'ym appears before N'astirh and the New Mutants, and the two demons begin to fight one another, with N'astirh teleporting Illyana away. Otherwise forgotten, the New Mutants attempt to disrupt the pentagram, reasoning that closing the portal between Earth and Limbo may very well help Illyana as well. Meanwhile, Illyana appears in a demonically-possessed diner, where inanimate objects urge her to use her sword to attack the possessed people inside before she is teleported away again. In the skies over Times Square, the New Mutants meet the X-Terminators, and the two groups team up to try and close the portal. Illyana next arrives in a demonic pet shop and is once again urged to use her sword, and she realizes the demons want her to use it to spill innocent blood in order to seal her dark transformation. In Times Square, the New Mutants succeed in rescuing the mutant infants and disrupting the pentagram.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #241

"Inferno Part the Second: Fan the Flames"
February 1989

In a Nutshell 
The Origin of Madelyne Pryor

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the secret high-tech catacombs beneath a Nebraska orphanage, Madelyne Pryor attacks Mr. Sinister, who claims to be her father. Mr. Sinister shrugs off her attack and traps her in chains as N'astirh disappears. Meanwhile, the X-Men and the Marauders find themselves in the midst of a demonically-possessed Manhattan, as inanimate objects and even the police have become enchanted. In Nebraska, Mr. Sinister asks Madelyne to share a childhood memory, but the only one she can recall is actually a memory of Jean Grey's. In Manhattan, the X-Men and the Marauders continue their battle, with the X-Men growing increasingly savage. Back in Nebraska, Mr. Sinister explains how he cloned Madelyne from a sample of Jean Grey's blood and tissue, but that she didn't awaken until after the Phoenix sacrificed itself on the moon. In Manhattan, Colossus learns his sister has been deposed as ruler of Limbo, and, with his teammates now enchanted themselves, leaves to help her on his own, in order to end the demonic invasion.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Retro Review: Homer the Vigilante

Original Airdate
January 6th, 1994

Or the One Where
Homer forms a vigilante group. 

The Setup
After Lisa's saxophone is stolen as part of crime wave sweeping Springfield, Homer forms a gang of vigilantes to hunt down the culprit and retrieve the instrument. 

Notable Notes
Sam Neill, riding high on the success of Jurassic Park at this point, guest stars as Malloy, the gentlemanly cat burglar.

Friday, July 18, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #3

"The Black Blade"
January 1989

In a Nutshell 
Lindsay & Silver Samurai work to free Wolverine from the Black Blade. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Al Williamson
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Lindsay and Silver Samurai watch, Wolverine, possessed by the Black Blade, escapes into a burning building with Jessica Drew, leading Silver Samurai to believe that Wolverine intends to sacrifice her. The pair goes to the Princess Bar, where O'Donnell is holding the captive Black Blade cultists. In order to learn where the sacrifice will take place, Lindsay tricks the captives into believing she's tortured and killed one of them. Together, the three head out to an old temple in the jungle outside the city. Leaving O'Donnell outside to deal with the authorities should they fail, Lindsay and Silver Samurai enter the temple.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #4

"Still Crazy After All These Years"
January 1989

In a Nutshell 
Arcade captures Courtney Ross. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
Dedicated to Dave Thorpe, co-creator of The Crazy Gang

Plot
While reminiscing about her past with Captain Britain, Courtney Ross is attacked in her office by the Crazy Gang. She manages to get past them and out into the street, only to be captured by a waiting Arcade. The next day, Kitty and Rachel are shopping when Kitty realizes the money she took out of Courtney's bank was made by Arcade. Meanwhile, at the lighthouse, Kurt and Meggan flirt as Kurt builds a jungle gym, with the pair almost kissing just before the rest of the team comes home. Kitty shows everyone the money, from which they deduce that Arcade, looking for revenge on Captain Britain, has captured Courtney, and where to find her. Brian, enraged, attempts to fly off in a rage but Rachel holds him back as Kurt points out that Arcade clearly wants them to come after her, so they must find a way to beat him at his own game.