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

Friday, December 19, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #15-16

Wolverine #15

"Homecoming"
Early November 1989

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine returns to Madripoor in the hunt for the Gehenna Stone. 

Writer: Peter David
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Bill Sienkiewicz
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Boss: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Madripoor, Wolverine rescues Lindsay from a group of police officers attacking her for information about the stone O'Donnell recently acquired. Returning to the Princess Bar as Patch, he oversees a confrontation between Lindsay and O'Donnell, and learns that both of them, like Jessica, knew Patch was actually Wolverine. Just then, Archie bursts in saying Burt has gone missing. O'Donnell tells them of how the Prince acquired the stone from O'Donnell, just as a group of cops arrive led by Chief Tai. Out on the streets, Burt helps save a woman from Ba'al's followers. who want to use her as a blood sacrifice. When he's overwhelmed, Jessica intervenes, helping fight off the last of the followers.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #14

"Too Many Heroes"
November 1989

In a Nutshell 
Excalibur arrives on a world populated with superheroes created by the Impossible Man. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Letterer: Agustin Mas
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Chief Correspondent: Tom DeFalco

Plot
At Westminster Palace, Excalibur attends the engagement party of Prince William and Princess Katherine. Kitty, not wanting to watch Alistair and Rachel dance together, returns to Excalibur's train to find Widget awake. She tries to understand how he works, but is interrupted by Rachel, storming out of the castle after reading the inappropriate thoughts of that world's Nigel Frobisher. As she and the rest of Excalibur come aboard the train, Rachel's Phoenix energy interacts with Widget, causing the train and everyone in it to disappear. The train reappears not far from what appears to be Excalibur's lighthouse, but at the same time a massive tidal wave is bearing down on Great Britain. To protect them, Rachel places everyone inside an energy cocoon, but when the rest of the team emerges, they find Rachel missing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #252

"Where's Wolverine?!?"
Mid November 1989

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine and Jubilee escape the Reavers. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Penciler: Rick Leonardi
Guest Inker: Kent Williams
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Overlord: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As the Reavers search the town for the missing Wolverine, Jubilee uses the tunnels to evade the villains as she steals food and medicine for the badly injured Wolverine. She returns to her hidden room as Wolverine is hallucinating Carol Danvers and Nick Fury, and, not recognizing Jubilee, he attacks her, even though both Danvers and Fury tell him to stop. Using her fireworks to defend herself, Jubilee knocks him out. Meanwhile, Bonebreaker and Pierce attempt to use the town's computer system to locate Wolverine, while Lady Deathstrike acquires the Honor Sword of Clan Yashida from Wolverine's room. Unable to locate Wolverine on the computers, Pierce turns to a trio of cybernetic dingoes to track him down.

Friday, December 12, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #46

"Exchange"
November 1989

In a Nutshell 
Marvel Girl wakes up and Seera is found out. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Paul Smith
Inker: Allen Milgrom
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Tom Vincent
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the Reject city, Zharkah remains suspicious of Beast, and plans to use the upcoming prisoner exchange involving Marvel Girl to test his loyalties. In the Chosen city, Iceman and Lev entertain bets on Iceman's upcoming arena battle with Archangel while a distracted Seera rushes back to her home, unknowingly spied on by a flying Dualer. In the Beginagain dwellings, Ryest shows Cyclops his telepathic discovery of Marvel Girl amongst the Rejects, but doesn't want to disrupt the prisoner exchange for fear of making the war worse and hastening the judgement of the Celestials. But Cyclops rushes out after her. In the Chosen city, Rask oversees the practice of a drugged Archangel, but Archangel manages to wound Rask in the leg. As the Rejects depart for the prisoner exchange, Beast oversees the unconscious Marvel Girl and rushes to her side, exposing himself as a Dualer spy in Zharkah's eyes.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #81

"Faith"
November 1989

In a Nutshell
Magma questions her faith during an encounter with Hercules. 

Guest Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Penciler: Louise Williams
Penciler: Terry Shoemaker (pp 1-3, 25)
Guest Inker: Josef Rubinstein 
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Greg Wright
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
Creators: Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Plot
In Nova Roma, Amara and Empath discuss religion, with Amara asking Empath to prove his God is real. He counters with the same request, and Amara says she's met hers. In the past, Amara and the New Mutants watch a movie starring Hercules. While her friends find the movie unintentionally funny, Amara is troubled by the buffoonish portrayal of someone who is one of her gods. That night, she prays to Jove, who answers her prayers by sending Hercules to visit her. However, Amara just believes him to be the actor from the movie. Rousing the New Mutants out of bed, they go outside, where Hercules tries to prove his validity by showing off his powers, but the New Mutants, who can match his feats themselves, are unimpressed. When Hercules attempts to transport himself and Amara to Olympus, he gets no response from his father who, watching from Olympus, explains to the rest of the gods that he's punishing Hercules for the travesty of a movie he made.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #251

"Fever Dream"
Early November 1989

In a Nutshell 
The X-Men enter the Siege Perilous and Wolverine is crucified by the Reavers. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Marc Silvestri & Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Chief Inquisitor: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Chained to a large wooden X outside the X-Men's Outback town, Wolverine awakens as Donald Pierce and the Reavers approach. Pierce taunts the defeated X-Man, but Wolverine manages to make him angry, and Pierce storms off. The Reavers proceed to search the town, believing they saw someone, but Jubilee manages to evade them. Outside, Wolverine slips into a fever dream, hallucinating the arrival of first the X-Men and then some of his old foes before entering Dreamtime and reliving first his capture, and then the X-Men returning from the Savage Land and being telepathically coerced by Psylocke to enter the Siege Perilous in order to escape the Reavers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Force Awakens: Five Intriguing Things


Hey, remember a couple weeks back, when the first The Force Awakens teaser hit theaters and the internet and everyone was buzzing about it? Let's go back in time to then and pretend this post was written in a timely manner.

Back in the day, you had to actually go to a movie theater in order to see a new trailer, and so in 1999 I plunked down actual money alongside Paul Zenisek for a ticket to Wing Commander, just to see the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace trailer. The movie was pretty awful, but hey, the trailer was pretty awesome (arguably better than the movie itself), plus we got to see a couple of girls who were just there to ogle Freddie Prince Jr. walk out when they realized it was a sci-fi movie.

This time, I just had to pull up the teaser on my laptop the afternoon of Black Friday, and it's entirely possible that not having to watch Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lilliard mug their way through a terrible movie afterwards added to my appreciation of it. So here's five things from an 88 second teaser specifically designed to whet appetites and reveal nothing concrete that caught my attention.

Friday, December 5, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #13-14

Wolverine #13 

"Blood Ties"
Early October 1989

In a Nutshell 
The origin of the Gehenna Stone is revealed.

Writer: Peter David
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Bill Sienkiewicz
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Madripoor, twin brothers enter the Princess Bar carrying a stone they claim they're going to make a lot of money selling. In San Fransisco, Wolverine helps Archie evade the police as Burt agrees to tell everyone about the Gehenna Stone. In Madripoor, the two brothers rent a room from O'Donnell. In San Fransisco, Archie tells the history of the Gehenna stone, which is the repository of the soul of a demonic being named Ba'al who, in Biblical times, was slain outside Jerusalem by a warrior named the Hand of God. The warrior smashed the stone into fragments and scattered them, never to be reassembled. However, over the last few year, archaeologists have begun unearthing the stone fragments, after which the fragments started to disappear.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #13

"The Marriage of True Minds"
October 1989

In a Nutshell 
Kitty deals with the ramifications of William's proposal. 

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

Plot
At Prince William's castle, Captain Britain shows off his new costume just before the Queen arrives for an audience with Excalibur. Noting her resemblance to Saturnyne, Captain Britain greets her warmly, but the Queen then announces that, by the laws of their land, Kitty is unable to refuse William's marriage proposal. When she objects, the Queen magically teleports herself and Kitty away. The rest of Excalibur try to find her, but are stopped by the palace's giant guards. Meanwhile, back in Brighton, Nigel Frobisher reverts to normal, and manages to engage Technet's services in rescuing James Braddock from the African tyrant Doc Croc. Back in the alternate England, the Queen's sorcerers transform Kitty, body and mind, into a more ideal image of a princess, and she insists to Excalibur that she's happy that way.

The Walking Dead 5x08: Coda


Well, when it comes to the *sigh* mid-season finale* and The Walking Dead, you can always count on someone dying and this episode was no different. When a main character dies I always try to figure out why and how it served the plot. Of course, on a nihilistic show like this that may be a fool's errand.

On The Walking Dead people die all the time. Some would say that's the point of the show. It doesn't matter if you're good or bad, smart or stupid. People die. Sometimes it's their fault, sometimes it's not but the world keeps on turning. I think my thoughts about that is well explored territory for me so maybe I should just move on.