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

Friday, October 17, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #9

"Promises to Keep"
July 1989

In a Nutshell 
In a flashback story, Wolverine stalks a group of mercenaries.

Writer: Peter David
Art: Gene Colan
Inker: Al Williamson
Letters: Bill Oakley
Colors: Mark Chiarello
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the past, a group of mercenaries, on the run from Wolverine, rent a cabin, but he tracks them down, killing one of them then disappearing into the night. One of the remaining mercenaries, Rollins, takes first watch. As another merc, Malone, sleeps, he dreams of when this first started, back in Iraq. He wakes with a start to find Rollins dead. Malone, along with the remaining mercs Bruno and Needle, head out into the woods, recalling their job in Iraq, in which they helped a group of militants take over the American embassy, and how Malone tormented one of the female hostages until special forces retook the embassy and they fled. They suddenly realize Wolverine was amongst the operatives that freed the hostages, an operation which ended five years ago tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #10

"Widget"
July 1989

In a Nutshell 
Captain Britain fights Hauptmann Englande

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Penciler: Marshall Rogers
Guest Inker: Terry Austin
Letterers: Mas & Heisler
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Referee: Tom DeFalco
Creators: Chris Claremont & Alan Davis

Plot
At the Tower of London, Captain Britain battles Hauptmann Englande, though Captain Britain, still suffering a decrease in his power, is easily over-matched by his foe. Below, Reichsminister MacTaggert and Callisto attempt to escape with their hostage, Brigadier Stuart, while the family of lizard-like tourists wander into the battle. As debris from the battle threatens the young Calvin, Captain Britain manages to save him, but it leaves Captain Britain open to an attack from the Lightning Squad's Shadowcat and Nightcrawler. Seemingly defeated, he musters enough strength to knock out Hauptmann Englande just as the Lighning Squad's Meggan reveals she's actually Excalibur's Meggan. She takes out the alternate Nightcrawler and rescues Brigadier Stuart as a revived Phoenix defeats the alternate Shadowcat.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

X-amining The Punisher War Journal #6-7

"On the Track of Unknown Animals / "Endangered Species"
June-July1989

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine & the Punisher clash for the first time. 

Story/Layouts: Carl Potts
Layouts/Finished Art: Jim Lee
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Gregory Wright
Editor: Don Daley
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Issue #6: Worried that the Punisher has been pushing himself too hard lately, his associate Microchip insists he take a vacation, and sets him up with an African expedition to the Congo in search of rumored dinosaurs, being headed up by an old friend of Microchip's. Meanwhile, in Madripoor, Wolverine encounters a transporter for a ring of poachers specializing in endangered species. After taking care of the transporter, Wolverine sets out for Africa to shut down the ring. In the Congo, Punisher acts as security for the expedition, unaware that the leader's wife, Nora, and one of the African guides are secretly poachers. When they kill a local boy who discovered their secrets and blame it on a gorilla attack, Punisher investigates and is attacked himself by a gorilla who escaped the poachers. Forced to defend himself, Wolverine oversees him attacking the animal and assumes he's one of the poachers. The two come to blows, with Wolverine seemingly slaying the Punisher and leaving him for dead.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Walking Dead 5x01: No Sanctuary


Hey, I'm back after a summer filled with me thinking about things I'd like to write about but never actually getting around to it. But, the summer vacation is over and The Walking Dead is back. So now I get to dive right back into that joy-filled world!

So...The Walking Dead really loves itself some Carol, huh? She single handedly navigated a zombie hoard to Terminus, took down the walls and most everybody inside (including using one of the most unrealistic ways of igniting a propane tank I have ever seen) and saved the entire group! After all that she was welcomed back to the group with open arms.

I would call this a redemption episode for Carol but I don't think that's how the show sees it. I think The Walking Dead sees this as a redemption episode for Rick. He finally gets a mean streak, realizes the “error of his ways” for “foolishly” banishing Carol and lets her back into the fold. Finally Rick has come back to his senses! At least, I think that's what they want me to think.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Retro Review: Lady Bouvier's Lover

Original Airdate
May 12, 1994

Or the One Where
Grampa dates Marge's mother, until she falls for Mr. Burns instead. 

The Setup 
After they attend Maggie's birthday party, Marge realizes that both her mom and Grampa are lonely, and suggests they spend some time together.

Notable Notes
Though by no means her last appearance, this is pretty much the last time Marge's mother is directly featured in a story until, arguably, season 21's "Moe Letter Blues". Most of her subsequent appearances are in the background of scenes or briefly in flashbacks. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #42

"All That Glitters..."
July 1989

In a Nutshell 
X-Factor battles the Troll Associates. 

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 the tunnels under London, the Troll Associates gloat over the unconscious X-Factor, then leave with Thomas Jones to enact their plan to destabilize Britain's economy. X-Factor, however, quickly regains consciousness, and easily defeats the two trolls left to guard them. Above, the trolls try to force Thomas to turn the Tower of London into gold, but when he refuses and insteads transforms a dog, wounded by one of the trolls, to gold to end his suffering, they get a better idea, and attack Buckingham Palace, demanding to see the Queen. Just then, the police arrive, and their lights and sirens scare away the trolls. As they fly off, they encounter X-Factor, who manages to force the trolls out of the sky and back into the tunnels, where Thomas yells to X-Factor that sunlight will destroy the trolls.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #77

"Strange!"
July 1989

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants battle a possessed Dani with help from Dr. Strange. 

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

Plot
In Hel, Hela plots to regain lost power, using Dani. In Russia, the New Mutants return Illyana to her parents. Suddenly, Dani sees a vision of death coming for her, then collapses along with Brightwind, burning up with fever. The New Mutants rush back to Ship, who scans Dani and determines her illness is not physical but mystical in nature. He suggests the New Mutants check with Dr. Strange. Later, they arrive outside Strange's Greenwich Village home, but they are greeted by his housekeeper Wong, who tells them Dr. Strange is dead. Dr. Strange, however, is not dead, and senses something evil about Dani's illness. Just then, Dani cries out in pain as she and Brightwind burst into flame and begin attacking the New Mutants. Via his astral form, Dr. Strange intervenes, drawing Dani's astral form from her body. But this just allows the monster in control of her body to attack even more viciously than before.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #246

"The Day of Other Lights!"
July 1989

In a Nutshell 
Master Mold returns, and ends up targeting Rogue. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Beneath the X-Men's town, Dazzler gazes into the Siege Perilous, seeing images of her potential lives and deaths. In New York City, Nimrod busts up a drug deal, vaporizing the criminals. Back in Australia, Wolverine tells Storm he needs to take a leave of absence from the team. In Washington DC, Rogue, with Carol Danvers in control of her body, visits the Vietnam Veterans memorial, honoring her brother. In the desert just outside the X-Men's town, Havok, Longshot, Colossus and Dazzler train. At the Hellfire Club, Sebastian Shaw meets with Robert Kelly, who tells Shaw resurrecting the Sentinel program is too risky. Downtown from the club, Carol retrieves some of her things from her old apartment, and is met by Psylocke. The pair discuss Carol and Rogue's unique situation.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Retro Review: The Boy Who Knew Too Much

Original Airdate
May 5, 1994

Or the One Where
Bart witnesses a crime while skipping school, then must decide whether or not to come forward in defense of the accused.

The Setup
On a particularly gorgeous day, Bart skips school but is pursued by Principal Skinner, only escaping him when he sneaks into the Quimby Compound.

Notable Notes
The Quimby/Kennedy connection really gets hammered home in this episode as Bart visits the Quimby compound, introduces himself as "Bart-Bart" to Mayor Quimby, then interacts with Arnold Schwarzenegger stand-in Rainier Wolfcastle, whose wife, like actual Kennedy Maria Shriver, Schwarzenegger's wife at the time, is named Maria.

Friday, October 3, 2014

X-amining Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown #1-4

"Mexican Standoff" / "Tender Loving Lies!" / "Duel" / "Endgame"
Nov 1988 - Feb 1989

In a Nutshell 
Havok and Wolverine are targeted by the villainous Meltdown.

Writer: Louise Simonson & Walt Simonson
Artists: Jon J. Muth & Kent Williams
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Designer: R S Bozeman
Editors: Margaret Clark & Steve Buccellato
Editor-in-Chief: Archie Goodwin

Plot
Issue #1: Two Russian men, Meltdown and Doc Neutron, play chess, as the nuclear facility in Chernobyl begins to melt down, an event they orchestrated. They realize they will need help for the next part of their plan. Meanwhile, Havok and Wolverine are on vacation in Mexico, unaware they are being watched. After picking a fight with the locals, they escape via a confiscated car, bringing along the female owner. However, she shoots them at close range, and when Wolverine awakens inside a hospital, he is told the bullets were laced with Bubonic plague, and that Havok is dead. An enraged Wolverine leaves the hospital and goes to Havok's grave, but when he digs up the coffin, he only finds a pinata filled with rocks.