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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #15

"The Camel's Back"
December 1992

In a Nutshell
The X-Men defeat the MLF as Stryfe confronts Apocalypse.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencilers: Any Kubert
Inker: Mark Pennington
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Gambit & Quicksilver are saved from Reaper by Havok & Psylocke, and though Boom-Boom's jaw is broken and Rogue is blinded, the X-Men successfully route the MLF, with Storm hoping they'll be able to lead them to Stryfe. Meanwhile, Bishop, Wolverine & Cable escape from Department K's force by teleporting to Cable's space station, while Beast & Moira continue struggling to treat Xavier. Elsewhere, Stryfe continues to torment Cyclops & Jean Grey, before having Zero teleport him to where Apocalypse is recovering. After easily defeating the Dark Riders guarding him, Stryfe confronts Apocalypse and declares that he is going to kill him.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

X-aminations in April

After a brief break brought on by Excalibur's inexplicable bi-weekly shipping during this time, April brings the conclusion to "X-Cutioner's Song", along with the promotional, Handbook-y Stryfe's Strike Files and some New Mutants follow-up in New Warriors #31.

On Sale October 1992
April 5: Marvel Comics Presents #117-122 (Wolverine story)
April 6: Excalibur #59

On Sale November 1992
April 12: Uncanny X-Men #296
April 13: X-Factor #86
April 14: Wolverine #65

April 19: X-Men (vol. 2) #16
April 20: X-Force #18
April 21: Excalibur #60

April 26: Stryfe's Strike Files #1
April 27: New Warriors #31
April 28: Excalibur #61

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Milch Studies: NYPD Blue, Season Ten, The Wrap-Up

The tenth season of Blue sticks to the revised formula Steven Bochco developed for the series.  Two cases per episode (Sipowicz and Clark alternate between using McDowell and Ortiz or Medavoy and Jones as back-up on the main case), a culprit who isn’t obvious until the last act of the episode, and closing personal life scenes to round out the show.  Individually, most of the episodes remain entertaining, and there is a sense that the detectives are putting more work into the cases than we’ve seen in previous years.  You see more locations in each episode, and more scenes of detectives interviewing suspects that aren’t obviously guilty or innocent than in the Milch years, which tended to dwell on the interrogations.

I’ve mentioned earlier that making the least likely suspect the perpetrator just creates its own formula, but I can understand the argument that it’s more entertaining to watch the detectives running around than staying in the same room for most of the episode.  And, admittedly, I didn’t see one or two of these twists coming, even though I knew I should’ve been watching for them.

The Walking Dead 7x07: Sing Me A Song

Nobody wants to have a target on their back. There's a reason a lot of people like to be the person behind the person of power. *cough* Steve Bannon *cough*. There's power and safety being the one who influences from within the shadows.

But, there are certain people who just can't stand not being in the limelight. They can't stand not being front and center. They need the attention, the adulation, the credit. And I'll agree Negan is that type of person.

Sure, Negan, if you want to be the one in charge then I get that. But if you're going to paint a target on your back at least be smart of it!

The Walking Dead 7x06: Swear

This season of the Walking Dead has taken the strategy of focusing (for the most part) on one location a week. We had Rick and crew in the woods with Negan, Morgan and Carol at the Kingdom, Daryl at the Savior's, we checked in on Alexandria, visited Maggie and Sasha at Hilltop and now we see Tara at some all women village.

This could be a fine approach. The Walking dead is really trying to expand its universe and splitting up their cast and focusing on one location an episode seems like a good way to do that. The problem is, most of their characters are boring.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Force in Focus: Star Wars #64

"Serphidian Eyes"
October 1982

In a Nutshell
Luke helps overthrown an evil tyrant on a world of lizard people.

Plot: Michael Fleisher
Script: David Michelinie
Pencils: Joe Brozowski
Inks: Vince Colleta
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letters: Joe Rosen
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Tasked by Princess Leia with helping overthrow a cruel, Imperial-friendly ruler on the planet Serphidi, Luke and two other pilots, Berl & Cinda, are attacked by a group of TIE Fighters as they near the planet. They manage to destroy the TIE's, but Cinda's X-wing is damaged, and crashes near a hunting party led by the evil king S'Shah. In the ensuing fight, Berl is killed and Cinda captured, but Luke manages to escape and save the life of Elglih, an older Serphidian who is hoping to overthrow S'Shah at the upcoming jousting tournament. Luke agrees to fight in Elglih's stead. As the tournament approaches, Cinda is prepared to serve as the main course at S'Shah's victory feast, but during the joust, Luke manages to unseat S'Shah, and is then forced to kill him when he draws a concealed weapon. Having won the contest and the right to rule the planet, Luke frees Cinda and names Elglih the new king, who agrees to maintain a strong bond with the Rebel Alliance. As Luke & Cinda return to their base, they express sorrow at the loss of Berl, though Luke says he would be happy knowing he died helping, in some small way, to restore freedom to the galaxy.

Friday, March 24, 2017

X-amining Wolverine #64

"What Goes Around..."
December 1992

In a Nutshell
Shiva arrives as Psi Borg continues to manipulate the former Weapon X members.

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Mark Pacella
Inks: Dan Panosian
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: James Tinsley
Art Assist: Scott Hanna
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Wolverine, Sabretooth, Maverick & Wraith proceed to destroy Ferro's computer equipment, attempting to draw him out. Their efforts succeed, and Ferro appears in his full Psi Borg guise. He separates Wolverine from the group, telling him he's the prize he's been after. He shows Wolverine the memory of Silver Fox being killed by Sabretooth, and Wolverine learns that Sabretooth didn't kill her, though she did knock out one of Sabretooth's teeth. Psi Borg realizes Wolverine's mental pain is the key to the age suppression factor they all share, and forces Sabretooth to attack Silver Fox. Upstairs, Shiva appears, and asks Jubilee where Vole is. Jubilee proceeds to kick Shiva over the edge, where it lands on Psi Borg. Free of his control, Sabretooth attacks Psi Borg, who once again turns into a tree and consumes him, leaving behind only a twig and a pod, which contains a tooth.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

X-amining X-Factor #85

"Snikts & Bones"
December 1992

In a Nutshell
Wolverine & Bishop battle Cable.

Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Jae Lee
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letters: Richard Starkings
Colors: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

At Department K, Wolverine & Bishop attack Cable, while in Arkansas, Cannonball leads X-Factor & the X-Men to a town that turns out to contain a hidden Mutant Liberation Front base. In Switzerland, Apocalypse enters Cable's safehouse, and is stunned to recognize Cable's tech as being similar to his own. In Arkansas, X-Factor & the X-Men attack the MLF. Elsewhere, Stryfe tortures Cyclops, making him believe he's responsible for the deaths of Jean and a group of children. In Canada, Cable is able to convince Wolverine he didn't shoot Xavier, at least long enough to stop their fight and hear Cable out. In New York, the X-Patriots knock out one of Madrox' dupes, left behind to guard them, and leave the hospital. In Arkansas, Wildchild knocks out Gambit, who is turn knocked out by Quicksilver. But Reaper sneaks up on Quicksilver, cutting his leg, leaving both Quicksilver & Gambit at his mercy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #295

"Familiar Refrain"
December 1992

In a Nutshell
The X-Men battle Apocalypse as Wolverine & Bishop search for info on Stryfe.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Brandon Peterson
Inks: Terry Austin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

A weakened Apocalypse, searching out his Horsemen to learn why they attacked the X-Men, enters one of his old bases to discover the X-Men waiting for him. Meanwhile, Havok & Polaris check in on X-Force, now imprisoned in the Danger Room. As the X-Men attack Apocalypse, a captive Jean Grey comes face-to-face with Stryfe. At the X-Mansion, Val Cooper briefs the X-Men & X-Factor on Stryfe, thanks to Mr. Sinister alerting them to his involvement, while Wolverine & Bishop break in to Department K, having taken it upon themselves to find more info on Stryfe. Elsewhere, Apocalypse manages to overpower the X-Men despite his weakened state, and teleports away, determined to discover who is orchestrating recent events. At the X-Mansion, Havok & Gambit meet with Cannonball, and offer him the opportunity to help take down Stryfe in exchange for any information Cannonball has on Stryfe and the Mutant Liberation Front. In Canada, Cable arrives at Department K, also seeking information on Stryfe, and proceeds to run right into an enraged Wolverine & Bishop.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Milch Studies: NYPD Blue, Season Ten - The Cast & Guest Stars

Season Ten, and the show still has over forty episodes to go.  Honestly, I'm not sure who was even running the series at this point.  Reports had Steven Bochco moving away from his daily duties on the show, which I suppose left Mark Tinker as the man in charge.  Matt Olmstead and Nicholas Wootton also have co-executive producer credits, so perhaps they were the daily showrunners.  Nicholas Wootton has been a writer on the show for years, and his scripts tend to stand out as the strongest ones of the year.  Matt Olmstead, conversely, tends to write lighter episodes, and his name is on the script with the horrendous Grease seduction scene from last year, so I'm probably carrying at least a slight bias towards his work...