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

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

X-amining Generation X #3

"Dead Silence"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
Generation X battles Penance.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inker: Mark Buckingham
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Banshee escapes from Penance thanks to the intervention of Husk, but Husk is injured & Penance flees deeper into the woods surrounding the school. Elsewhere, a woman named Cordelia tries to convince Mondo to go back with her to the States. At Xavier's, Jubilee & Synch encounter Penance, with Synch's aura protecting them. Just then, Banshee catches up with them, and asks Jubilee & Synch to get Husk to the infirmary. Synch agrees, but Jubilee continues on after Banshee & Penance. Elsewhere, the Orphan Maker shows Nanny his falling-apart-armor, and she declares that he's growing up. Back at the school, M & Emma confront Penance, but their psychic abilities don't stop her either, and Banshee declares they're just going to have to work to wear her down. But Jubilee is still on her trail, suspecting that Penance doesn't truly mean them any harm since she was brought to them by Gateway, and she watches as Chamber reaches Penance and, drawing on their shared experiences of having paid a price for their mutant abilities, convinces her to stand down. Later, Skin visits a recovering Husk in the infirmary, resuming their game of Scrabble.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #10 - Patreon First!

"Roadwork"
July 1994

In a Nutshell
La Lunatica Returns as Xi'an leaves the X-Men.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Koblish, McKenna, Adams, Sanders
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Smith, Caponsacco
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Highway Patrol: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Xi'an gloats over the fallen Zhao, then storms out of complex, telling the X-Men he doesn't need any of them. Meanwhile, Bloodhawk arrives in the Savage Land. In Mexico, La Lunatica escapes from a Circuit-Skips sent after her by the Theatre of Pain, while Fitz catches up to Xi'an, who wants to tag along as Xi'an goes over the edge. Inside Zhao's complex, the X-Men help Frostbite put her teammates in a cryogenic freeze to hopefully stop their genetic deterioration, while the Driver returns to his base with the mutant he rescued, only to zap him with a beam of light. Elsewhere, Xi'an & Fitz stop at a roadhouse. Xi'an, still looking to find the Driver, now so he can locate other mutants to serve as his muscle, is looking to call in a favor, but Fitz spots Lunatica amongst the crowd. He chases her outside and the two fight until Lunatica gets the drop on Fitz, then kisses him. She tells him to stop holding back and to let the fire inside him rage, and he gladly agrees, calling himself her man.

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #86

"The Alderaan Factor"
August 1984

In a Nutshell
Leia encounters a Stormtrooper from Alderaan.

Writer: Randy Stradley
Penciler: Bob McLeod
Inker: Tom Palmer
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Rick Parker
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Over Luke's objections, Leia travels alone to the planet Yinchor, hoping to sway the local Yinchorri to the side of the Rebellion. Once on the planet, however, she learns the Yinchorri have betrayed her to the Empire, a result of the Empire having kidnapped the local Yinchorri ruling body. Her shuttle targeted by a pair of TIE fighters, Leia manages to destroy one and ground the other, but her ship crashes as well, with Leia managing to activate her emergency beacon before going down. As Luke, Lando & Chewbacca take off in the Falcon to rescue Leia, she discovers the pilot of the TIE fighter survived as well, and is a fellow survivor of Alderaan. Though Leia is appalled he would still be serving the Empire after they destroyed their homeworld, the two work together to stay alive in the desert wastes of the planet. Sensing conflict in him, Leia offers the Stormtrooper a place in the Rebellion, but he declines, unwilling to upend his life for a dream that may never come true. But when the local Imperial governor catches up to the pair and orders the summary execution of the Yinchorri leadership followed by Leia, the Stormtrooper is appalled by the governor's cruelty. Just then, the Falcon arrives, and both Leia and the Stormtrooper attempt to escape on the ship, but the Stormtrooper takes a shot intended for Leia, saving her but preventing him from getting aboard as the Falcon flies off, leaving Luke & Lando to pull a heartbroken Leia inside.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

X-amining Rogue #1-4

"An Affair to Remember" / "Choices" / "The Gauntlet" / "Back to Life!"
Jan - April 1995

In a Nutshell
Rogue must defend herself & Gambit from attacks by Belladonna and the Assassins Guild.

Writer: Howard Mackie
Pencils: Mike Wieringo
Inks: Terry Austin
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Colorist: Dana Moreshead
Editor: Lisa Patrick
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Issue #1: On the anniversary of the first manifestation of Rogue's power, in which she inadvertently put her childhood sweetheart Cody into a coma, Rogue tells Gambit about the incident before departing for her annual pilgrimage to the hospital where he resides. Meanwhile, as Belladonna assumes leadership of the Assassin's Guild on the death of her father, she is approached by Candra, who offers to renew her pact with the Guilds. Bella says she'll consider it, then kidnaps Cody as revenge on Rogue for stealing her memories, telling Rogue she'll do the same to everyone she holds dear. Issue #2: Rogue is contacted by Tante Mattie, warning her that Belladonna has Cody and is targeting Rogue's loved ones. After she helps Gambit defeat a group of Assassins sent by Belladonna, she urges him to let her handle things on her own. But when he learns his ex-wife is behind the attacks, he follows Rogue to New Orleans. Arriving in the city, Rogue is swarmed by Assassins, as Belladonna tells Candra she'll renew the Guild's pact once her business with Rogue is concluded.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #9 - Patreon First!

"Brand X"
June 1994

In a Nutshell
Xi'an battles Zhao!

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: James Sanders III
Letterer: Lopez & Dutro
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
The X-Men arrive on Zhao's ranch, called there by Krystalin, who emerges from inside, along with Victor Ten Eagles; both are acting strangely. When the X-Men press her on it, Zhao emerges, declaring that she is one of his X-Men now, as they all will be, whether they like it or not. When the X-Men resist, they are attacked and captured by the brainwashed Krystalin & Zhao's X-Men. Elsewhere, Bloodhawk meets an old friend named Liebowitz who asks him to look into some aggressive developers operating in the Savage Land. Back at Zhao's ranch, Zhao prepares to insert a chip into each of the X-Men that will make them subservient to him. In Texas, a newly-manifested mutant is on the run, but is offered sanctuary by a mysterious figure. Back at the ranch, Xi'an attempts to use his disintegration power to free himself, but Zhao strikes first, entering his mind in order to activate the chip. In Xi'an's mindscape, he battles Zhao, but is overcome, until the manifestation of his dark side appears and offers to help. Reluctantly, Xi'an merges with his dark side, enabling him to overpower & defeat Zhao. In the real world, Xi'an breaks free of his restraints, and when Cerebra asks if he's alright, he grins evilly and replies he's never been better.

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Force in Focus: Return of the Jedi Action Figures Wave 2

Roll Call
The Emperor
AT-ST Driver
B-Wing Pilot
Han Solo In Trench Coat
Princess Leia in Combat Poncho
Prune Face
Rancor Keeper
Teebo
Wicket W. Warrick
Lumat
Paploo (not part of the pOTF line, late in wave 2)

Firsts and Other Notables
A decidedly smaller wave than the previous one, this contains figures of just two of the main characters, Han & Leia, in their respective Endor garb (Luke will get his Endor-specific release in the later Powers of the Force line, alongside a new Lando figure).

Thursday, February 28, 2019

X-aminations in March 2019 & October 1994 Power Rankings!


Following the Rogue miniseries and the conclusion of November '94's titles, we dive into the first batch of "final issue before "Age of Apocalypse!" issues, as reality begins to crystallize and most of the series try to end on some kind of cliffhanger.

On Sale November 1994
March 6: Rogue #1-4

March 13: Generation X #3
March 14: Cable #19

On Sale December 1994
March 20: Uncanny X-Men #321
March 21: X-Factor #111
March 22: Wolverine #90

March 27: X-Men (vol. 2) #41
March 28: X-Force #43
March 29: Excalibur #86

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

X-amining Wolverine: Scorpio Rising

"Scorpio Rising"
1994

In a Nutshell
Wolverine, Nick Fury & Scorpio help stop a Hyrda coup.

Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Shawn McManus
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Gloria Vasquez
Group Editor: Nelson Yomtov
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Recently freed from Soviet rule, the governing body of the nation of Carpasia is wiped out by Hydra, with the goal of replacing the government with a ruler loyal to Hydra, triggering a civil war within the country. When Michael Fury, training with his father, hears about the coup, he breaks the Cosmic Key out of SHIELD containment and dons his Scorpio garb, intent on fighting alongside his people. Meanwhile, Wolverine gets drawn into the Carpasian conflict on the side of the rebels, and he runs into Nick Fury, on the trail of his son. Together, they free Scorpio from Hydra, who attempted to lure him to their side using a Life Model Decoy of his deceased mother. The presence of the LMD makes Wolverine and Fury realize Hydra is augmenting their army with LMDs, and track the production facility to an abandoned nuclear power plant, which Scorpio destroys with the cosmic key, thereby crippling Hydra's efforts. In the wake of their defeat, Scorpio is named acting president of Carpasia. Wolverine & Nick Fury leave the country, with Wolverine telling Fury he has a lot to be proud of in his kid.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #8 - Patreon First!

"Ghost Winds"
May 1994

In a Nutshell
A new team of X-Men debut as the other X-Men part ways with the Freakshow.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Jim Sanders III
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Krystalin marvels at Victor Ten Eagles' holograms of the original X-Men, before the pair set out to track down the mysterious shadow they observed flying in the night sky. Meanwhile, Mama Hurricane & the Freakshow prepare to depart Iron Horse. In New Mexico, Krystalin & Victor visit an agricultural cooperative only to find the place ransacked, Victor's contact encased in ice and saying they were attacked by agents of Zhao. At Iron Horse, Mama Hurricane gives Xi'an a map of all the previous Mutant Underground routes, while Metalhead decides to stay with the departing Freakshow. Meanwhile, Krystalin & Victor track the cooperative's attackers to a desert compound. Inside, they're attacked by a group of apparent mutants styled after the original X-Men. Together, Krystalin & Victor are able to fight off the X-Men, but as they try to escape, Zhao himself knocks them out, declaring they are to become one of the Chosen - one of his X-Men!

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Monday, February 25, 2019

BLACK HAT BLUES - Gene Kendall’s New Novel, On Sale Now!


Gene Kendall here, announcing my second creator-owned novel, Black Hat Blues! Don’t care about the ’90s alternative rock boom? Didn’t understand why I’d devote a year writing G. I. Joe novels for a defunct publishing venture?

Fine. I’ll do a novel about comic books, instead.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #85

"The Hero"
July 1984

In a Nutshell
Han, Chewie & Lando run afoul of Drebble and the Lemo/Sanda Gang.

Script & Plot: Jo Duffy
Breakdowns: Bob McLeod
Finishes: Tom Palmer
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letters: Rick Parker
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
While Drebble rages against being conned by Lando, on Endor, Lando learns that the Alliance is declaring Drebble a hero of the Rebellion, thanks to all the actions Lando took in his name (hoping to cause problems for him). Mon Mothma also announces another series of diplomatic missions to invite worlds to help form a new galactic government, prompting Han & Lando to volunteer for a mission to Keyorin. After landing on the bounty hunter-friendly, Han & Lando run into both Drebble & members of the Lemo & Sanda gang Lando conned, still searching for the Dancing Goddess statue. Drebble gets the drop on the Han & Lando, turning Han over to the Lemo/Sanda gang & taking Lando aboard the Falcon. Han, realizing Lemo & Sanda won't recognize Lando since he was in disguise when he conned them, direct them towards the Falcon, then escapes with Chewie's help. On board the Falcon, Drebble hears the Alliance proclamation calling him a hero and making him a captain in the Alliance. When the Lemo/Sanda gang descends on the ship, looking for the Dancing Goddess, Drebble joins Lando defending the Falcon until Han, Chewie & Drebble's allies arrive to turn the tide. Pleased with his heroic actions, Drebble lets the Rebels go, and Lando gives him a reward: the Dancing Goddess statute.

Friday, February 22, 2019

X-amining Excalibur #85

"Edge of Night"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
Shrill & Amanda help Kitty defeat Gravemoss.

Writer: Warren Ellis
Penciler: Ken Lashley
Inker: Tom Wegrzyn
Letterer: Jon Babcock
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Nightcrawler urges Kitty to hand over the Soulsword, Shrill reveals that Gravemoss is in control of his body. She then blasts Nightcrawler, and Kitty uses the distraction to phase away. With a moment to herself, Kitty returns the sword to her body and remembers the training she received from Wolverine. When Gravemoss teleports into the room, Kitty attacks him. Overwhelmed, Gravemoss teleports to Nightcrawler's room. Realizing his body possesses knowledge of swordfighting, he draws a sword and returns to Kitty, forcing her to draw the Soulsword to defend herself. Using Nightcrawler's skills, Gravemoss defeats her, but Shrill intervenes again, along with a still-alive Amanda, which gives Kitty an opening to use the sword to do what it does best: break enchantments, thereby expelling Gravemoss from Nightcrawler's body. Kitty hands over the sword to Amanda, who in turn gives it to her mother, only to discover that with the defeat of Gravemoss, Margali's position on the Winding Way has improved. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

X-amining X-Force #42

"A Lie of the Mind"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
X-Force visits Generation X as Warpath makes peace with Emma Frost.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Guest Penciler: Terry Dodson
Inker: Kevin Conrad
Letterers: Pat Brosseau & Chris Eliopoulos
Color Art: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Warpath, Siryn , Boomer & Cannonball visit the Massachusetts Academy. As Warpath meets with his former teacher Emma Frost, Siryn discusses her feelings for Warpath with her father. Emma pushes Warpath on his feelings regarding the death of his brother, and is outraged by his belief that she had anything to do with the massacre at his reservation, equivocally stating she did not. Elsewhere, Cannonball gives his sister a hard time about going to a school where the former White Queen is the principal, but she reminds him that his own stories of his life with the New Mutants contain a fair amount of wild and irresponsible decisions on his part. Just then, Boomer interrupts, inviting them to witness a shop-off between her & Jubilee at the local mall. Elsewhere, a shadowy figure is gunned down after breaking in to the Verschlagen biochemical research facility. When his mask his removed, the intruder turns out to be the husband of Mrs. Verschlagen, and she realizes they need to prepare for a visit from Clan Yashida. Back in Massachusetts, Warpath & Emma's talk comes to an angry close, as he tells her to take better care of her new students, while she insists to him he's closer to an untimely death than he is to Siryn. Joining his teammates outside, Warpath decides to join the others at the mall, telling them it's time to celebrate tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #40

"The Killing Time"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
A young Xavier & Magnus encounter Legion in the past, while in the present, Lilandra delivers a dire warning.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inker: Matt Ryan
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Kevin Somers
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the past, Xavier invites his friend & hospital co-worker Magnus to dinner, after which Magnus has an encounter with an amnesiac "John Doe" patient. In the present, the X-Men scour the Negev Desert for their missing teammates but discover only Phoenix, who informs them that Legion has taken the rest of the X-Men into the past. Back at the mansion, Sabretooth, believing the place empty, attempts to escape, only to discover Wolverine has returned home. In the past, Magnus is tending to John Doe when Doe suddenly reaches into Magnus mind, discovering the horrors in his past. Magnus rushes off to find Xavier, believing Doe to be one of the mutants they've discussed recently, and when they return to the hospital, they discover John Doe psychically manifesting both fire and images of strange individuals. In the present, Cable & Domino rendezvous with the X-Men at Xavier's behest, but they are interrupted by the sudden appearance of a Lilandra, appearing via a holographic transmission to warn the X-Men that Legion's actions in the past pose a threat to the fabric of all reality. When Xavier asks how she could possibly know this, Lilandra reveals that she is surrounded by a half dozen Watchers, the deliverers of the warning.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #7 - Patreon First!

"Hurricane Force"
April 1994

In a Nutshell
The X-Men meet Mama Hurricane

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Jimmy Palmiotti
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
The fight between the X-Men and the Freakshow is brought to a halt by the arrival of Mama Hurricane and her associate Rosa. Elsewhere, Krystalin arrives at the home of Victor Ten Eagles, the person Xi'an sent her to contact. Back in Iron Horse, Mama Hurricane brings the X-Men into her base of operations, where Cerebra realizes that Rosa is pregnant with a mutant as Xi'an attempts to heal Metalhead of the disease with which Contagion infected him. Later, Hurricane confirms she is the same person who helped shepherd mutants to the sanctuary of Avalon during the Great Purge. Just then, a group of armored Trackers, seeking the Freakshow, attack the base, but working together, the X-Men & Freakshow fight them off. Afterwards, Xi'an declares he is going to find Avalon. Meanwhile, Victor Ten Eagles shows Krystalin the reason she was sent to him: a shadowy figure flying in the night sky, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Archangel.

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #84

"Seoul Searching"
June 1984

In a Nutshell
Han & Chewbacca discover the lost planet of Seoul 5.

Writer: Roy Richardson
Penciler: David Mazzucchelli
Inker: Tom Palmer
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Rick Parker
Editors: Jones & Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
After a string of luck playing cards, Han is facing down an old man who wages a crystal he claims comes from the lost Seoul system, along with a map to the planet where he found the crystal.  Intrigued, Han agrees to play & beats the man, who accuses Han of cheating, prompting him and Chewbacca to race out of cantina after the other gamblers Han beat turn on them. Out the funds they'd so recently won, Han decides to investigate the old man's claims and follows his map to Seoul 5. Landing on the outskirts of the city, Han proceeds by himself, soon discovering an Imperial presence on the planet as well. Ducking the Imperials, Han ends up inside a room filled with crystals like the one he won from the old man. With Stormtroopers in close pursuit, he goes deeper into the chamber & discovers a pair of archaeologists whom the Empire has captured in the hopes of using their knowledge to weaponize the crystals. They tell him the crystals were the source of the Seoularians' energy, and that he possess the control crystal. Han is able to use it to escape the Imperials along with the scientists, but in the process, he reunites all the crystals, which creates a massive energy buildup. Realizing the danger, he and the archaeologists race back to the Falcon, and manage to get off the planet just before it explodes. The scientists are saddened by the loss of the crystals, but glad the Empire won't be able to use them.

Friday, February 15, 2019

X-amining Wolverine #89

"The Mask of Ogun"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
En route to the X-Mansion, Ogun returns.

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Fabio Laguna
Inks: Fabio Laguna
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Wolverine arrives on the outskirts of New York City, on his way home to the X-Mansion, when he is intercepted by Ghost Rider, who tells him his old mentor Ogun has returned. He follows Ghost Rider to a museum, passing through carnage in the streets triggered by Ogun's presence. Inside the museum, they discover Ogun's demon mask, which Wolverine had destroyed, as part of an exhibit on Japanese martial culture. Just then, the mask connects with a suit of armor on display, manifesting Ogun, who attacks Wolverine. Ogun taunts Wolverine to unleash the beast inside him, but Wolverine recalls how Ogun had taught him to balance the man and the beast within, and with Ghost Rider's help, manages to destroy Ogun's mask once more. He briefly sees that the figure inside the armor looks like him, before it fades away, the armor collapsing. Wolverine explains to Ghost Rider that the figure wasn't really Ogun, just his spirit, reaching out from beyond the grave to attack him with a piece of himself. Meanwhile, at the X-Mansion, Gambit taunts Sabretooth with the fact that Wolverine will be returning soon; unimpressed, Sabretooth tells Gambit to tell the runt he's waiting for him.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

X-amining X-Factor #110

"Creatures on the Loose!"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
X-Factor battles aliens in Madripoor.

Plot: John Francis Moore
Script: Todd DeZago
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inks: Al Milgrom
Letters: Starkings/Comicraft
Colors: Matt Webb
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
On the planet Boh-tan-ee, a hooded figure learns her quarry has gone to Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, X-Factor suddenly appears in Madripoor, teleported there by Legion. They land atop a spaceship floating in the bay, from which emerges a massive rock-like alien. Strong Guy battles the creature, during which he is captured by a mysterious figure in a trenchcoat. Meanwhile, Mystique is flying to Paris from Israel, steadfast in her desire for revenge on Legion. Back in Madripoor, the electrical energy of the alien creature affects both Polaris' and Havok's powers, while Strong Guy finds himself a captive of the alien Jornick, who is using an image inducer to appear human. Just then, Lila Cheney teleports in, telling Strong Guy that Jornick has robbed her treasure hoard, including a music box she needs to avert a war. But Jornick reveals he sold the box, leaving Lila despondent over her fate. Elsewhere, the rest of X-Factor struggles to stop the destruction wrought by the creature released by Jornick, until Strong Guy and Lila arrive, and Lila teleports the beast back to its home planet. Upon her return to Earth, however, she finds a massive spaceship in the skies above Madripoor waiting for her, and she tells Strong Guy they're in big trouble now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #320

"The Son Rises in the East"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
"Legion Quest" begins as Legion heads into the past.

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Dialogue: Mark Waid
Penciler: Roger Cruz
Inker: Tim Townsend
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Legion easily overpowers the X-Men, Storm realizes the X-Men have been fooling themselves that they could overcome him. She thinks back on their meeting with Gabrielle Haller and the combined forces of Israel & Palestine, brought together in the wake of Legion creating a large black dome in the Negev desert filled with off-the-chart energy readings. With all the troops sent against him getting chewed up, Storm declares that the X-Men will take care of the situation. But now, Storm is less confidant as Legion briefly teleports her to the past, to just moments before the plane crash that killed her parents. Returning to the present, he tells her the trip was no illusion, then declares he's going back in time to mutantkind's most critical moment. Quickly, Storm orders Psylocke to telepathically link herself to Bishop, who is absorbing Legion's chronal energy. Through Bishop, Psylocke is able bring along herself, Storm & Iceman as Legion disappears into the past, leaving behind only Jean Grey, who manages to telepathically alert Xavier to the situation before passing out. Meanwhile, Shi'ar Empress Lilandra is awoken by Jahf, first guardian of the M'Kraan crystal, who declares he must speak with her. When Lilandra asks what could possibly be so urgent as to force Jahf to abandon his sacred post, he declares nothing, save the end of all that is.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #6 - Patreon First!

"Freakshow"
March 1994

In a Nutshell
The X-Men battle the Freakshow

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: James Sanders III
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Meanstreak, Krystalin, Bloodhawk & Fitz fly back from New York, Bloodhawk once more bids adieu to the team and flies off, followed shortly thereafter by Fitz, who recklessly jumps out of the craft after Bloodhawk. Disgruntled, Bloodhawk gets him safely to the ground, albeit in the desert still miles away from the rest of the X-Men. Eventually, Fitz comes across a meditating Xi'an, and together, they return to the X-Men's camp. There, the X-Men intercept a transmission from someone calling herself Mama Hurricane. Xi'an hopes this is the same Mama Hurricane who helped mutants during the Great Purge, as she may be able to help him find more mutants. After he dispatches Krystalin on a separate mission, he and the rest of the X-Men track Hurricane's signal to an abandoned town in Arizona. There, they encounter the Freakshow, a group of genetically modified Degens. When Xi'an asks after Mama Hurricane, a fight breaks out, during which Metalhead is infected with a disease by Freakshow member Contagion, prompting Xi'an to confront Breakdown, the Freakshow's leader, and remove the glove from his "destruction" hand.

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #83

"Sweetheart Contract"
May 1984

In a Nutshell
Lando helps a group of rebels overthrew an oppressive monarchy on the planet Drogheda.

Story: Linda Grant
Art & Lettering: Bob McLeod
Coloring: Glynis Wein
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
On the planet Drogheda, Lando and the sister of Queen Sarna, Danu, are attacked by a group of rebels looking to depose the queen, but are rescued by Harlech, head of the Royal Guard. At the citadel, Lando reunites with Sarna, an old flame, and she tasks him with rooting out the rebels from their base inside a mine. Leading the Royal Guard, Lando leaves orders to capture, not kill, the rebels as he enters the mine to flush them out, but to his horror, the Royal Guard massacre the rebels as they emerge from the mine. Lando manages to capture one of them alive, and learns from him that in the wake of the Empire's collapse, the people of Drogheda simply want to establish their own government. Feeling played, Lando tells Sarna she can find some other sucker to help suppress the desired democracy of her people, but Sarna orders the Royal Guard to capture him. He manages to escape, running into Danu, who has been secretly helping the rebels. Realizing the time for their uprising is at hand, she signals her allies and they storm the citadel, with Lando fights alongside them, ultimately capturing Sarna. Sentencing her to exile, Danu offers to pay Lando to take her with him off-planet. Looking to salvage some profit from the adventure, he agrees, and both Lando & Sarna depart Drogheda, bickering with one another over a potential business venture.

Friday, February 8, 2019

X-amining Cable #18

"The Dark Ride Part 2: Judgement Day"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Cable, Domino, Storm & Caliban track the Dark Riders to Egypt.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Steve Skroce
Inkers: Sellers, Lowe, Barta, Carani, Ryan, Branch,
Letterer: Starkings/Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Editor: Lisa Patrick
Snake Charmer: Bob Harras
Elephant Boy: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Hunting for the Dark Riders, Cable, Domino, Storm & Caliban arrive in Alexandria, Egypt, where Caliban is able to locate Tusk. Captured, he agrees to lead them to his teammates, but when they're surrounded by a sandstorm Storm can't control, they realize it's a trap just as the Dark Riders attack. Cable and his companions once again hold their own, prompting Gauntlet to turn on Hurricane, who twice promised he could defeat Storm and twice failed, declaring that he's been tested and failed. But Harddrive teleports the Dark Riders away, followed shortly thereafter by Cable and his companions. They arrive in a ruined city which Cable recognizes as Akkaba, a place where, in the future, Cable's rebel group will establish a base, not realizing it is the birthplace of Apocalypse. Just then, the Dark Riders emerge from the city behind their leader, who removes his helmet to reveal that he is Cable's son, Tyler.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

X-amining X-Men Unlimited #7

"Memories"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Storm, Gambit & Phoenix are caught in a power struggle between Candra & Storm's old mentor.

Writer: Mackie
Penciler: Romita
Inker: Rubinstein
Lettering: Starkings/Comicraft
Colorist: Matt Webb
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Edits: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Storm, accompanied by Gambit & Jean Grey, arrives in Cairo at the behest of her dying mentor, Achmed El-Gibrar. At the same time, Candra arrives, with designs on exploiting the latent power of one of Achmed's current urchins, Jamil, whom Candra's associate Bond has been following. When Storm meets with Achmed, he makes her promise to look out for Jamil, but Jamil decides to ally himself with Candra, and leaves Achmed's side along with a fellow urchin named Karima whom they capture. To honor her promise to Achmed, Storm challenges Candra to a duel for Jamil. As Gambit battles Bond, Storm fights Candra. The woman are evenly matched in terms of power, but Storm's experiences on the streets allow her to sucker punch Candra, winning the fight. But Jamil declares he still wants to remain with Candra, and Storm is forced to return to Achmed only with Karima. But Achmed tells her she has succeeded in honoring her promise. As he dies, he declares that Karima will be the new leader of his gang of young thieves, and Storm calls forth a massive storm to honor her fallen teacher.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

X-amining Generation X #2

"Searching"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Penance escapes and Generation X gives chase.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inker: Mark Buckingham
Letterer: Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Jubilee confronts a silent Gateway on the roof of the school, Monet shares her deductions about Penance with Emma & Banshee, stating she believes Penance to be connected to Emplate in some way. As Paige & Skin play scrabble, an alarm sounds: Penance has slashed her way out of the infirmary. Banshee & Emma split up the students and lead search parties after her into the surrounding woods. Elsewhere, an armored figure attempts to assassinate Cartier St. Croix, only to have his armor start to fall apart. Back at the school, Banshee & Husk close in on Penance, only to fall into a trap laid by her, which results in Penance placing one of her razor-sharp fingers in Banshee's mouth.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #5 - Patreon First!

"Lightningstrike: Fall of the Hammer Part Three"
February 1994

In a Nutshell
The X-Men become embroiled in the "Fall of the Hammer" crossover.
Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Jim Sanders III
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Loki, Mischiefmaker: Joey Cavalieri
Odin, All-Seeing: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Fitz escapes from Alchemax's security forces, on Valhalla, floating above New York City, Meanstreak, Krystalin & Bloodhawk are confronted by Heimdall. He takes out Meanstreak & Bloodhawk, but Ravage helps Krystalin escape. Below, as the crowd cheers the return of Thor, Fitz commandeers an aircab to get up to Valhalla, recalling how the X-Men arrived in the city and were caught by Alchemax at the apartment of Meanstreak's friend Jordan Boone, prompting the group to split up & Fitz to be captured. As the cab climbs higher, it suddenly gives out, but someone grabs Fitz to prevent him from falling to his death. On Valhalla, Loki appears before Meanstreak and offers to disable the neurotech that gives Heimdall his powers, allowing the X-Men to knock him out. Loki then reveals himself as Boone, having undergone Alchemax' genetic restructuring process to gain powers for himself. Just then, Fitz arrives, along with his rescuer, Dr. Doom. Fed up with the environmental harm being done by Valhalla, Bloodhawk takes to the sky, intent on destroying it, only to be blasted down by a bolt of lightning hurled by an angry Thor.

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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #82

"Diplomacy"
April 1984

In a Nutshell
Luke returns to Iskalon on a diplomatic mission.

Script/Plot: Jo Duffy
Breakdowns: Ron Frenz
Finishes: M. Hands
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Following a training session with a group of Ewoks, Admiral Ackbar dispatches Luke on a diplomatic mission, to reach out to friendly worlds and offer them a chance to participate in the Alliance's effort to rebuild the government. Joined by Plif, Luke first travels to Iskalon. There, amongst the wreckage of the Iskalonians' former underwater city, he discovers Rik Duel, Dani & Chihido stripping the place for salvage. Luke & Plif are outraged at their insensitivity & urge them to leave, but the group is attacked by a massive sea snake. They are able to fight it off, but Plif senses it was sent to the attack them by the natives, who soon emerge from the depths and attack as well. Luke does his best to fend them off without killing anyone until the attack is halted by Kiro, who recognizes Luke. Mone, leader of the School, emerges, and Luke offers him and Iskalon a place in the new government, but Mone refuses, the School still distrustful of outsiders following Luke's last visit. Luke promises to leave, and to take Rik and his partners with him, but Kiro suddenly announces he will be joining Luke as well, having grown bored of his role within the School. With Luke's X-wing too small for a passenger, Kiro boards Rik's ship, leaving the School and Iskalon behind.

Friday, February 1, 2019

X-amining Excalibur #84

"Dark Adapted Eye"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Gravemoss & Shrill descend on Muir Island seeking the Soulsword.

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Daerick Gross
Inker: Bill Anderson
Letterer: J. Babcock
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Kitty, possessed by the Soulsword, attacks Moira, but is knocked out by Britanic. Meanwhile, the emergence of the Soulsword has allowed Shrill to find its location, and she sets out for Muir Island to destroy its holder. On Muir, Amanda Sefton returns and is greeted by a Gravemoss-possessed Nightcrawler; he throws her off a cliff into the sea. Inside, Moira, Xavier & Rory Campbell theorize that the Soulsword must have transferred to Kitty when Illyana died, but before they can figure out a way to separate her from it, the fire alarm in Douglock's room goes off, triggered by Gravemoss having set the techno-organic being on fire. Down in the medbay, Kitty awakens and draws the sword once more, only to discover a pained Shrill waiting for her, declaring her intent to kill Kitty to destroy the sword. Just then, Gravemoss-as-Nightcrawler, having knocked out the rest of the team, teleports into the room and urges Kitty to give him the blade.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

X-amining X-Force #41

"The Fun House"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
The truth about the murders in Feral & Thornn's past is revealed.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Tony Daniel
Inker: Kevin Conrad
Letterers: Eliopoulos & Oakley
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Cannonball, Shatterstar, Thornn & Detective Hidalgo explore Feral & Thorrn's old house, hoping to draw Feral out. They succeed, but Feral grabs Hidalgo and takes him to the roof. Outside, Cable sends Siryn to the roof, while Hidalgo taunts Feral, telling her she's evil. As Cannonball, Shatterstar & Thornn make their way through the building, Cable insists to Domino that Feral isn't dying today. As everyone converges on Feral and the captive Hidalgo, the truth about Feral & Thornn's childhood comes out: how a young Feral, overhearing their mother, blamed their youngest sister Carolina for their father leaving, and how Carolina fell down the stairs to her death shortly thereafter, while Feral was supposed to be watching her. How their younger brother Matteo was playing with Feral's treasured pigeons on the roof and fell, unable to pull himself up. How Feral killed their mother's boyfriend when he tried to rape Thornn, then killed their mother after she slaughtered Feral's pigeons in retribution. The truth revealed, X-Force overpowers Feral and Hidalgo arrests her. In the wake of the encounter, Cable reveals to Cannonball who provided the tip on Feral's whereabouts: Dani Moonstar, who tells Cannonball she did it because she still cares about the truth, and family.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #39

"Birds of a Feather"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Adam-X (the X-TREME!!!) saves the life of Cyclops' grandfather.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Guest Penciler: Terry Dodson
Inks: Matt Ryan
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Color Art: Somers/Javins/Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Traveling through the Canadian wilderness, Adam-X spots a crashing plane and pulls Philip Summers from the wreckage. At the X-Mansion, Cyclops receives a call that his grandfather has gone missing, prompting him & Jean to head to Alaska to help search for him. In the wilderness, Adam-X builds a shelter, determined to keep the injured Philip alive. In the Israeli desert, Legion experiences a vision of Destiny, and continues his efforts to set things right. In New Orleans, Gambit's ex-wife Bella Donna is appointed the leader of the Assassins Guild following the death of her father. In the wilderness, Adam-X tells Philip of traveling through space, then uses his power to help keep Philip alive by igniting the electrolytes in his blood to generate heat. The next morning, they are found by a search party and taken to a local hospital, though Adam-X slips away, rather be identified. Later, he slips into Philip's hotel room. Jean senses his presences, and uses her power to help Adam share his experiences of space travel with Philip. He then slips out again, as a pair of mysterious figures watch Cyclops & Jean at Philip's bedside.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #4 - Patreon First!

"The Darkroom"
January 1994

In a Nutshell
The X-Men are targeted by the Theater of Pain

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Sanders III & Jimmy Palmiotti
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the New Mexican desert, Bloodhawk is attacked & captured by La Lunatica. At Nuevo Sol, the X-Men are salvaging what equipment they can when Meanstreak receives a message from his friend Jordan Boone indicating he's in some kind of trouble. When Xi'an refuses to let Meanstreak go to New York to help him, Meandstreak leaves anyway, prompting Xi'an to send Krystalin & Fitz after him. Elsewhere, Bloodhawk wakes up inside the Theater of Pain, where Lunatica uses her mutant power to trigger painful memories, which Controller Thirteen records for the benefit of their patrons. Having been tasked by Brimstone Love with capturing the mutants who attacked Las Vegas, the Controller sends Lunatica after Bloodhawk's allies. She tracks them down at a truck stop where Krystalin & Fitz catch up to Meanstreak, and captures all three. However, when Lunatica trigger's Fitz's memory of the death of his girlfriend, his power activates, destroying the Controller's equipment, including the inhibitor collar controlling Lunatica. Freed after ten years of service, she attacks the Controller, while the freed X-Men continue on their way to New York in search of Boone.

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