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

Friday, September 19, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #41

"Golden Boy!"
June 1989

In a Nutshell 
The first appearance of the winner of the Mutant Registration contest. 

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

Plot
In London, a troll emerges from his lair, attracted to the scent of gold. It leads him to the house of Thomas Jones, and the troll watches as Thomas, studying for a chemistry test, unknowingly transforms his pen into gold. Called to dinner, Thomas leaves and the troll enters his room, determined to snatch the boy and use him to expand the Troll Associates treasure trove, thus restoring England to those who live by the old magical ways. Meanwhile, aboard Ship, X-Factor oversees the training of the newly-integrated X-Terminators and New Mutants. Back in London, Thomas returns to his room and his grabbed by the troll, prompting his mother to call X-Factor for help.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #76

"Splash!"
June 1989

In a Nutshell
The combined New Mutants & X-Terminators battle a sea monster. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Rich Buckler
Finisher: Tom Palmer
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Leaving the wreckage of the mansion, the New Mutants ponder their next move. Deciding all that's left is to pack it in and return home, they stop at a mall to use a payphone to call their families. However, the crowd thinks they're demons who have kidnapped Illyana, and they quickly realize they don't want to return to their old lives. When the cops show up, they flee, and Warlock decides to take everyone back to X-Factor's ship for the time being. Meanwhile, the X-Terminators, having been instructed by Ship while X-Factor is away to do something educational, are exploring the ocean beneath Ship. They discover a large and unique-looking shell on the ocean floor, and bring it back inside.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

State of the Blog

(Or, as Blam likes to call it, the Slog).


With the summer movie season behind us and the fall TV season about to begin, I figured it was a good time to touch base on what to expect in terms of TV coverage moving forward. I've never felt terribly compelled to do one of these "state of the blog" posts before, usually sneaking them into the first TV post of the fall, but there's a bunch of stuff happening or about to happen that make a quick overall check-in worthwhile.

That is, I can't sneak this into this season's first TV post, because there won't be a regular TV post this year. I'm giving up the episodic TV review game, at least for the time being, for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, for those of you haven't heard the news on Facebook or Twitter, my wife and I are expecting our first child (a boy!) at the end of the year (on either 12/29 or 1/3, depending on which medical professional you choose to believe). While I have every intention of continuing to write regularly while doing my best to prevent my son from becoming infected by a techno-organic virus and taken into the future for his own well being, I recognize that, realistically, the amount of time and mental energy I will have to write will be diminished come 2015.

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #245

"Men!"
June 1989

In a Nutshell 
The male X-Men repel an alien invasion. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Penciler: Rob Liefeld
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Master Bomber: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In orbit above Earth, an alien coalition prepares to launch its invasion of the planet as an archivist discovers humanity's success against other alien foes. In Australia, a morose Havok observes his teammates through the town's computer system before getting into an argument with Storm and Wolverine over their use. Suspecting what worked for the women would help the men as well, Wolverine suggests a boys night out. In space, the invasion leader is shown the Jean Bomb, a weapon in the form of a red-headed woman with the power to destroy all bonds. Just then, the archivist tries to warn the leader about Earth, but is gunned down for getting too close. In Sydney, Wolverine leads the male X-Men into a bar, where Longshot proceeds to dance with all the women while the rest get drunk.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Retro Review: Bart Gets An Elephant

Original Airdate
March 31, 1994

Or the One Where
Bart, uh, gets an elephant (the episode titles of late have been particularly descriptive in terms of plot).

The Setup
Trapped in the house by Marge for a vigorous bout of spring cleaning, Bart wins KBBL Radio's call in contest. Given the choice between $10,000 or the gag prize of a full grown African elephant, he chooses the elephant.

Notable Notes
Though not named, this is the first appearance of Cletus Spuckler, as one of the "slack-jawed yokels" who pays to interact with Stampy. Cletus will, of course, earn a name and become one of the show's recurring supporting characters.

Friday, September 12, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #7

"Mr. Fixit Comes to Town"
May 1989

In a Nutshell 
The Hulk arrives in Madripoor. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Buscema
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak
Colorist: Mike Rockwitz
Editor: Bob Harras
Consigliere: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Tahoe, Nevada, Mr. Fixit is tasked by a mob don to check on the recent setbacks of his partner in the Far East. In Madripoor, the prince admonishes everyone present for fighting in his home, but when he spots Lindsay McCabe amongst them, he is delighted and declares everyone his guests, much to General Coy's consternation. En route to the airport, Mr. Fixit's car stops for gas and his driver is harrassed by a biker gang, prompting Fixit to fight them off. Back in Madripoor, Wolverine helps Tyger remove her protective armor, telling her the prince has agreed to allow both her and Coy to continue to operate, each focusing on their respective activities, a compromise that Wolverine believes to be good enough for now.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #8

"Excalibur's New York Adventure"
May 1989

In a Nutshell 
Brian searches for Meggan while the rest of the team follows up on some loose ends. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Penciler: Ron Lim
Guest Inker: Josef Rubinstein
Letterers: Orzechowski & Mas
Colorist: John A. Wilcox
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Tour Guide: Tom DeFalco
Creators: Claremont & Davis

Plot
At the plaza hotel, Brian Braddock wakes up to discover Meggan and the rest of his teammates missing. While everyone else left a note, Meggan did not. Worried, Brian flies out into the city to search for her. Meggan, meanwhile, is at Coney Island, upset about her actions during Inferno. She runs into a group of women who befriend her and take her shopping. At the remains of Xavier's mansion, the New Mutants are picking through the rubble of the school when they're interrupted by Shadowcat. After she learns what happened to Illyana, Mirage offers Shadowcat a place with X-Factor, but she insists her place is with her team. In the city, Brian's powers begin to fail him, and he's forced to take a cab to continue his search, while Meggan dances with a handsome gentlemen at a street fair.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

X-amining Marvel Comics Presents #17-24 - The Retribution Affair

"Blinded by the Light" / "Plague in the Night" / "The Price of Retribution" / "Conscience of the King" / "Best Laid Plans" / "Alliance of Convenience" / "Mind Your Conscience" / "Retribution and Resurrection"
Late April Late July 1989 -

In a Nutshell 
Cyclops battles Master Mold in Muir Island, Banshee gets his power back.

Writer: Bob Harras
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Bruce Patterson, Carol Riem (issue #21), Jeff Albrecht (issues #22-24),
Letterer: Agustin Mas
Colorist: Andy Yachus
Editor: Terry Kavanagh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Issue #17: Cyclops arrives on Muir Island, called there by Banshee on account of Moira MacTaggert's strange behavior of late. Upon arriving, Cyclops is attacked by the island's defenses. He calls out to a passing Moira but she doesn't respond, and he collapses. The next morning, however, there's no evidence of his battle, and Moira doesn't remember seeing him. Issue #18: At night, young Bobby and Mary Campbell are taken from their home by an entranced Moira. The next day, Cyclops and Banshee discuss Moira's odd behavior, before they're called to the home of Mary Campbell, who has become very ill. That night, an entranced Moira is transported to Master Mold, who congratulates her on making the young mutant Mary sick. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Retro Review: Homer Loves Flanders

Original Airdate
March 17, 1994

Or the One Where
Homer, uh, becomes friends with Flanders.

The Setup 
After Ned wins tickets to the big Springfield vs. Shelbyville football game and invites Homer, Homer has such a great time that he begins spending more time with Ned.

Notable Notes
This is the last episode to have been pitched by Conan O'Brien before he left the series.

Friday, September 5, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #40

"Dust to Dust"
May 1989

In a Nutshell 
X-Factor battles Nanny and the Orphan Maker.

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

Plot
Watched by Nanny and the Orphan Maker, X-Factor leaves Madelyne's funeral, ending a week of funerals for the heroes. Nanny tells Orphan Maker that once X-Factor leaves their ship with the babies kidnapped during Inferno, they'll make their move to take the babies for themselves. Returning to Ship, X-Factor is greeted by the X-Terminators and Jean's parents. Shortly thereafter, Iceman leaves to return Artie, Leech and Taki to school, while the rest of X-Factor heads to Washington, D.C. to hand the kidnapped babies over to the government. As they reach the city, Nanny captures X-Factor's plane above the city. She and Orphan Maker force their way aboard and attack. During the course of their battle, Beast is hurled into Nanny's ship, disrupting its ability to fly and sending it and X-Factor's plane hurtling to the ground.