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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Force in Focus: Princess Leia #1-5


This week, I reviewed Marvel's recently-completed Princess Leia miniseries, by Mark Waid & Terry Dodson, for Sound on Sight. Highlights include new character, Evaan, and a story that puts Leia front and center, showing off her skills at both diplomacy and butt-kicking. Lowlights include an ending which fizzles out and art that doesn't really fit the book.

Read the entire review here, and if you've read the series as well, let me know what you thought in the comments of this post.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

X-amining Alpha Flight #87-90

"Loyalty" / "Trust" / "Faith" / "Strength"
August - November 1990

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine and Forge independantly help with the re-formation of Alpha Flight. 

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Michael Bair
Inker: Mike Manley
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Issue #87: During the course of a parliamentary hearing on the relationship between the government and Alpha Flight, it is decided that Gamma Flight will be disbanded, something which prompts Gamma Flighter Wild Child to fly into a rage, nearly killing one of the committee members. Heather Hudson leads Alpha Flight in an attempt to capture Wild Child, but it is ultimately Wolverine, in Canada to tie up loose ends, who manages to do so. Meanwhile, Box and Diamond Lil have secretly been dispatched by the government to a Roxxon Oil facility in Denver, in order to help reign in some out-of-control machinery. But when Box attempts to do so, he discovers a very angry consciousness is controlling the machine.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

X-aminations in August 2015


It turns out that I'll be traveling a fair amount this month (for both work and fun), more than I was expecting, leading to a schedule of posts that's a little bit wonkier and shorter than usual (this is also why I'm only reviewing the Alpha Flight story this week), and one which already deviates from the schedule I laid out next month.

But we will cover the pure debut of Jim Lee on X-Men, as well as the return of Rogue, as we look at the final issues before "X-Tinction Agenda" begins. 

On Sale July 1990
August 5th: Uncanny X-Men #268
August 6th: Excalibur #27
August 7th: Wolverine #30

August 12th: Excalibur #28
August 13th: Wolverine #31

August 19th: X-Factor - Prisoner of Love

On Sale August 1990

August 26th: Uncanny X-Men #269
August 27th: New Mutants #94
August 28th: X-Factor #59

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Force in Focus: Star Wars #12

"Doomworld!"
June 1978

In a Nutshell
Luke meets on faction on Drexel, while Han & Leia reach the planet aboard Crimson Jack's ship.

Writer/Editor: Archie Goodwin
Artists: Carmine Infantino & Terry Austin 
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Janice Cohen
Consulting Editor: Jim Shooter

Plot
On Drexel, Luke Skywalker watches as three ships attack the sea serpents, driving them off, but at the cost of two of their skimmers. They spot Luke's escape pod, and bring him aboard the remaining ship. They claim the droids in the name of their governor, but Luke makes it to the cockpit of the ship and orders them to leave the droids be and take them to their governor, or he'll fuse the controls with his lightsaber, leaving them to the mercy of any passing Dragon Lords. They shortly arrive at their base, a massive city composed of floating ships connected into one large land mass. Luke is introduced to the governor, Quarg. His curiosity sparked by his men's claim that Luke is a Jedi, Quarg agrees to hear Luke out and leads him inside, while Luke wishes to himself that he had Han's gift for gab, or that the Millennium Falcon would suddenly appear and blast them free.

Friday, July 24, 2015

X-amining X-Factor #58

"Nevermore"
September 1990

In a Nutshell 
The Ravens are defeated as Archangel returns to normal. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciller: Jon Bogdanove
Inker: Allen Milgrom
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist:Brad Vancata
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As the Ravens prepare for the ceremony that will induct Archangel into their ranks, X-Factor, Banshee and Forge searches the city for him via the residual telepathic link between Marvel Girl and the Ravens, formed when the Ravens captured Archangel. Needing someone for Archangel to feed on after his transformation, Crimson retrieves Charlotte Jones. As the Ravens begin transforming Archangel, Marvel Girl is able to track the Ravens to the abandoned theater where they're performing the ritual, arriving just as Archangel is about to feast on Charlotte. X-Factor attacks the Ravens, creating a distraction that allows Crimson to attempt to absorb Archangel's power for herself.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

X-amining New Mutants #93

"Madripoor"
September 1990

In a Nutshell
Cable and the New Mutants encounter Wolverine in Madripoor. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Artist: Rob Liefeld
Inker: Hilary Barta
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Brad Vancata
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Madripoor, the New Mutants are ambushed by a group of masked troops, leading Cable to realize they've been set up. Just as he wonders where the agent dispatched by the Japanese government is, Sunfire appears, and helps the New Mutants defeat the troops. Meanwhile, General Coy contacts Stryfe, angry that his men were wasted battling the New Mutants. Stryfe reminds him he was paid more than they were worth to have the New Mutants tested, and that next they'll face his men, as he's sending three members of the MLF to Madripoor. Meanwhile, Sunfire tells the New Mutants of the drug called Sleet, which causes murderous rages in its users. Sunfire has traced the drug to Madripoor, just as the New Mutants traced the MLF to the city. Using a portable Cerebro device, the New Mutants and Sunfire split up to track the mutants it identifies.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #267

"Nanny: Into the Fire"
Early September 1990

In a Nutshell 
Storm regains her memories as Jim Lee begins his run as series artist. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Art: Homage Studios (Lee, Portacio & Williams)

Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Dr. Shen leads the Hounds in an attack on Storm and Gambit at the airplane junkyard, prompting Storm to use her power to lift her plane into the air. A pair of Hounds leap aboard, but Gambit fights them off. Just then, their plane is targeted by Nanny's ship. The encounter with Nanny shakes some of Storm's memories, but Gambit manages to blast Orphan Maker, forcing Nanny to retreat. Later, Storm awakens from nightmares of being captured by Nanny in New Orleans, having learned the city in the intervening weeks from Gambit. Together, they act as a pair of Robin Hoods, robbing from the rich to give the poor, until Nanny catches up to them once again.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Force in Focus: Star Wars #11

"Star Search!"
May 1978

In a Nutshell
Han & Leia are captured by Crimson Jack. 

Writer/Editor: Archie Goodwin
Artists: Carmine Infantino & Terry Austin
Colorist: Janice Cohen
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Consulting Editor: Roy Thomas

Plot
As Han and Chewbacca leave Aduba-3, planning on rejoining the Rebellion, they once again run afoul of the pirate Crimson Jack, prompting Han to reason that Crimson Jack must have put a tracer on the Falcon during their last encounter. With an idea in mind, he allows the ship to be captured peacefully. But when they come aboard, they're stunned to discover Jack has captured Princess Leia, who was heading to the Drexel system in pursuit of Luke, and intends to ransom her to the Empire. Shifting gears, Han convinces Jack that the Rebel treasury is located on Drexel, and that he can lead Jack's pirates through the defense grid in exchange for a fifty/fifty split of the loot. Leia, not seeing any better option for escape, plays along, and the pirates set off for Drexel. Meanwhile, on the planet, Luke and the droids have crashed into an ocean and are fighting off a massive sea serpent. With Artoo's help they use the ship's escape pod to launch themselves away from the sinking vessel just as the creature destroys. Surfacing, they spot a second serpent, as well as someone riding it, and realize the creatures are being controlled.

Friday, July 17, 2015

X-amining Wolverine #29

"The Road Back"
Late August 1990

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine, Karma and Target recount how they came to be on Rumika. 

Writer: Jo Duffy
Penciler:Barry Kitson
Inker:Al Milgrom
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Greg Wright
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
On Rumika, Wolverine, Karma and Merrick burn the dead mercenaries, then tell each other of how they came to Rumika and their connections to the Master Form: Wolverine, who ended up on the island following his encounter with Dr. Page and the Pinocchio robot in Madripoor, Karma, who came to stop the mercenary attack after learning of it from her uncle, and Target, who was duped into believing he was protecting the Form by Merrick, who was actually responsible for killing Target's family when he was a boy and his father was working with the Master Form. Just then, a trio of mercenaries appear on the island. Working together, Wolverine, Karma and Target kill them, then add their bodies to the still-burning funeral pyre. Wolverine, having decided on their next move after listening to each of his companion's stories, tells them to get ready to leave. But first, he places the Master Form before the fire, declaring that Rumika died for it, so it shall remain on the island as a representation of its people. Then he tells Karma and Target their destination: Madripoor. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

X-amining Excalibur #26

"The Times They Are A-Changin'"
Late August 1990

In a Nutshell 
Excalibur battles Mastermind

Writer: Michael Higgins
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Letterer: Augustin Mas
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Rachel dreams of her past, of Franklin Richard's death during the X-Men's escape from the Sentinels' internment camp, yet wakes feeling refreshed. She and Kitty decide to go shopping, and while looking at clothes, Rachel runs into someone who looks like Franklin. He tells her that Kate Pryde sent him back to the past to tie up some loose ends from their attack on Project: Nimrod, and he and Rachel joyously embrace. When they return to Excalibur's lighthouse, Lockheed and Widget are suspicious of Franklin, while Franklin suggests to Rachel that she use a psi-link to fill him in on what she's experienced since coming to the past. Acting on Lockheed's suspicions, Kitty tries to go up to Rachel's room, but finds a strange force preventing her from doing so. Meanwhile, Franklin uses the psi-link to tap into Phoenix's power, overjoyed to once more be one with the cosmos.