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

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...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Force in Focus: The Empire Strikes Back Action Figures Wave 2

Han Solo (Bespin Outfit)
AT-AT Driver
Princess Leia (Hoth Outfit)
Imperial Commander
Rebel Commander

The second wave of Empire Strikes Back action figures is, like the first wave, fairly democratic, containing an assortment of figures culled from various settings/character classes from across the film, rather than focusing on one particular area. There's two main characters (new versions of Han and Leia), one from the Bespin setting and another from the Hoth setting, one bounty hunter (Dengar), an alien (Ugnaught), a droid (2-1B), three troop builders (AT-AT Driver, Imperial Commander, Rebel Commander) and one Lobot (Lobot).

Friday, March 17, 2017

X-amining Excalibur #57

"For Whom the Bell Trolls!"
Late November 1992

In a Nutshell
Excalibur & the X-Men team-up to rescue Alchemy from the Troll Associates.

Plot: Alan Davis
Words: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Joe Madureira
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Letters: Ken Lopez
Colors: Kevin Tinsley
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Tom Jones frantically tries to contact the X-Men for help rescuing his mom, only to be captured by shadowy figures. Later, as Excalibur is searching for Sat-yr-9, they comes across gold statues that turn out to be real people transformed into gold. Meggan leads the team back to their assailants, where they run afoul of the Troll Associates, who have kidnapped Tom. As the trolls escape, Captain Britain is turned to gold by Tom as well. As Nightcrawler sends Cerise to fetch Feron, the X-Men, having received Tom's earlier message, arrive in England. Wolverine tracks Tom's scent to where Excalibur is searching the sewers for him, and the two teams enjoy a brief reunion before Psylocke telepathically picks up on the psychic distress of Tom and his mother, whom the trolls have kidnapped to force Tom to work for them. The X-Men and Excalibur track Tom to a chamber behind a massive door. As Psylocke senses Tom and the trolls behind it, Cyclops orders Gambit to blow the door, just as Wolverine realizes from its smell that Tom has turned it into plastique, thus triggering a massive explosion when Gambit's thrown card detonates.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

X-amining X-Force #16

November 1992

In a Nutshell
X-Force battles X-Factor & and the X-Men.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Greg Capullo
Inker: Harry Candelario
Letterer: Chris Eliopolous
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

In Texas, X-Force engages the combined X-Factor/X-Men Blue team. They hold their own for awhile, but are eventually overwhelmed, and Cannonball orders them to retreat and regroup, as Wolverine sets off in pursuit. Meanwhile, the Gold team & Quicksilver arrive at a warehouse where Cerebro has located Caliban's energy signature. Inside, they are attacked by Caliban & Famine, and in the process of defeating them, trigger a message from Mr. Sinister, which says that Apocalypse is both the cause of their current situation, and a means to an end. At the X-Mansion, Sinister himself quickly overpowers Bishop, and gives Val Cooper the name of the true culprit behind the attack on Xavier. Meanwhile, Cable prepares to find Stryfe, while the captive Cyclops & Jean Grey are brought before the villain. Back in Texas, Wolverine catches up to X-Force, with the rest of his team close behind. With X-Force surrounded and overpowered, Wolfsbane begs Cannonball to stand down, and he reluctantly does, after which X-Force is taken into custody.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Walking Dead 7x05: Go Getters

I know when I watch a show, especially one that flouts all laws of physics like The Walking Dead does, that I have to turn my brain off. But sometimes there are some things I can't turn my brain off for. (Like, last season when Jesus magically teleports.)

This time it's when the Saviors left a running car in the middle of Hilltop with a radio blasting to attract zombies. I mean, what? Really? I just couldn't buy it.

The Walking Dead 7x04: Service

More isn't always better.

The Walking Dead doesn't seem to realize this. They love their 90 minute episodes. They think this makes the episodes better, grander, more special. It doesn't.

You want to know what happened in this episode? Negan asserted his dominance over Alexandra (and Rick specifically). That's really it. Negan came in, bullied everyone, got what he wanted and Rick just acquiesced and begged everyone in Alexandria to do the same. That's all. You don't need 90 minutes for that.

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #14

"Fingers on the Triggers"
November 1992

In a Nutshell
Apocalypse awakens as the X-Men hunt down X-Force.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Any Kubert
Inker: Mark Pennington
Letterer: Lois Buhalis
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

As Beast & Moira MacTaggert work to treat the techno-organic virus attacking Xavier, Storm & Havok split the combined X-Men & X-Factor into two teams: one to hunt down X-Force in the hopes of finding Cable, the other to find Apocalypse's Horsemen, in the hopes of rescuing Cyclops & Jean Grey, while Bishop opts to stay behind and guard Xavier. Meanwhile, Mr. Sinister trades the captive Cyclops & Jean Grey to the MLF in exchange for a mysterious canister, while X-Force's ship crashes after fleeing their encounter with X-Factor, prompting them to call for the rest of their team. In Egypt, Apocalypse is awoken by the Dark Riders, who tell him his Horsemen have kidnapped Cyclops & Jean Grey in his name. In space. Cable returns from the future to Graymalkin, where he learns someone impersonating him has shot Xavier. At the X-Mansion, Mr. Sinister suddenly appears, telling him he's come to bury Xavier, while in West Texas, the X-Men Blue team & X-Factor track down X-Force's crashed vehicle, only to find the entire group waiting for them, as Cannonball declares that while they don't want a fight, X-Force is more than ready to give them one.