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

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Force in Focus: Star Wars #6

"Is This -- The Final Chapter?"
December 1977

In a Nutshell
Luke blows up the Death Star with an assist from Han and Chewbacca. 

Writer & Editor: Roy Thomas
Artist & Storyteller: Howard Chaykin
Embellishers: Rick Hoberg & Bill Wray
Colorist: Paty
Letterers: Lay & Royer
Consulting Editor: Archie Goodwin

As the Rebel pilots approach the Death Star, the Imperials respond with their turbo lasers, but the Rebel craft are small enough to evade the guns, prompting Darth Vader to lead a group of TIE fighters against them. As the Imperial ships approach, Luke finds himself wishing Han Solo and Chewbacca were with him, then destroys a ship targeting Biggs. Shortly thereafter, Biggs mourns the loss of his friend Porkins, and then Luke's squad leader starts an attack run on the trench leading to the exposed exhaust port. But Vader destroys Blue Leader and his wingmates, leaving only Luke, Biggs and Wedge Antilles to destroy the Death Star.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Game of Thrones 5x07: The Gift

Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen -> Dorne

“All rulers are butchers...or meat.” So says Daario to Daenerys. That's pretty much the theme of the episode. Characters are making choices to stand up and become the butchers rather than meat. Then again, being decisive and aggressive to get ahead of the cautious and timid is pretty much theme of the entire series.

The Wall
We start at the Wall. Jon Snow is preparing to go north and meet with the Wildlings. I'm not sure if that makes Jon Snow a butcher or meat, yet. Ser Alliser pretty much says Jon is crazy and Jon thanks him for speaking his mind. I doubt either of them are surprised by what the other said. And with that, Jon Snow is off.

Maester Aemon dies because...he was old? Presumably? Anyway, Sam eulogizes him and Ser Alliser gives Sam the ominous warning that he's running out of friends. I was hoping Ser Allison was above that. Regardless, I'm not sure if Maester Aemon could've prevented what happens next anyway.

Later, some Night's Watch randos accost Gilly. Just when I thought we'd watch a second rape in as many episodes Sam shows up to defend her. Sam then gets the crap kicked out of him and then they turn to Gilly once more. Just when I thought we'd watch a second rape in as many episodes Ghost shows up to defend her. The idiots run away.

Gilly takes care of the injured Sam by having sex with him. Not sure what that says about how women are presented on this show, but Sam seems to like it. I would think sex after being beaten within an inch of your life and while you're slightly concussed would be rough but, hey, better that be your first time than not have a first time at all!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

X-aminations in June 2015

I'm still hammering out the schedule for the rest of the year, so I'll post that with the July schedule next month. In the meantime, here's a look at what's ahead in June, including a return to summer bi-weekly shipping for Uncanny X-Men & Wolverine, "Days of Future Present", and the first appearance of Gambit (sort of)!

On Sale in May 1990
June 3rd: Uncanny X-Men #263
June 4th: New Mutants #91
June 5th: X-Factor #56

June 10th: Uncanny X-Men #264
June 11th: Excalibur #24
June 12th: Wolverine #26

June 17th: Fantastic Four Annual #22
June 18th: New Mutants Annual #6
June 19th: X-Factor Annual #5

June 24th: X-Men Annual #14
June 25th: New Mutants Summer Special #1
June 26th: Wolverine #27

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

X-amining Marvel Comics Presents #51-53: The Wilding

"Face Off " / "The First Cut is the Deepest" / "The First Cut is the Deepest"
June - July 1990

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine battles Wildchild

Plot: Rob Liefeld
Script: Rob Liefeld (issue #51), Fabian Nicieza (issue #52-53)
Pencils: Rob Liefeld
Inkers: Rob Liefeld, Chris Ivy/Joe Rubinstein (issue #53)
Letterer: Jade Moede
Colorist:Brad Vancata
Editor: Terry Kavanagh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Issue #51: Leaving a bar, Wolverine is attacked by Wild Child, leading both Wolverine and Heather Hudson to believe that Wild Child is responsible for a recent rash of serial killings. Wolverine, after remembering a previous training session with Wild Child, vows to track him down. Issue #52: Wolverine stakes out Wild Child's apartment, and watches as Heather Hudson enters the building. Inside, she's attacked by Wild Child, who rips through the circuitry of her suit. Wolverine crashes into the room, and spotting Heather's condition, realizes Wild Child is not a man to be saved but an animal to be put down. The two fight, but Wild Child retreats, knowing Wolverine will opt to save Heather rather than pursue him.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Force in Focus: Star Wars #5

"Lo, The Moons of Yavin!"
November 1977

In a Nutshell
The Rebels prepare for their assault on the Death Star. 

Writer/Editor: Roy Thomas
Illustrator: Howard Chaykin & Steve Leialoha
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Consulting Editor: Archie Goodwin

As the Millennium Falcon speeds away from the Death Star, Han and Luke man the ship's gun turrets to fight off the pursuing Imperial TIE fighters. However, their escape is all part of Darth Vader's plan to have them reveal the location of the Rebel base via the homing beacon he hid on the Falcon. Leia suspects as much, and only hopes that the information in Artoo will reveal a weakness in the Death Star. After the ship arrives at the Rebel base on the fourth moon of Yavin, the data is analyzed and General Dodonna briefs the Rebel pilots on their mission: to destroy the Death Star, they'll need to fire a proton torpedo at a small target while flying at maximum speed.

Game of Thrones 5x06: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen -> Dorne

The past. It colors all our movements. Some of us embrace it. Some of us learn from it. Some of us try to forget it entirely. However, none of us are beyond its grasp.

Arya is certainly trying to forget her past entirely. It's pretty much a requirement of the Many-Faced God in order to become No One. Arya currently looks to be putting in her work without much of a fuss. Eventually she wants to play the “game” with the other girl in the House of Black and White. This girl says that Arya isn't really ready and then tells Arya the story of her life. Basically, she was a rich kid who had an evil stepmother. I'm not sure her back story is necessary to know because she then asks Arya which parts of her story were a lie, none, some or all? I wasn't sure and neither was Arya. My vote would be all, for what it's worth.

Later, Jaqen decided to play the game with Arya. At least, I think it's the game. Anyway, Jaqen asked Arya questions about her past and lashed her when he caught her in a lie. This game seems a bit rigged to me, though, because Jaqen already knows Arya's history so how can she lie to him about it? Anyway, the interesting part of this scene is Arya declares her hate for the Hound and gets whipped for it. She swears it's true but it's obvious Jaqen believes she's lying to herself.

Next a man shows up with his sickly daughter. The man has tried all medical treatments and is to the point where he just wants her suffering to end. Arya takes her to a pool of water and tells her a tale of her being sick and brought to this temple where the water healed her. She gives the daughter some water and she dies.

Jaqen thinks Arya is still not ready to be become no one but is now ready to become someone else. Ummmm...OK. I guess we'll see where that goes.

Friday, May 22, 2015

X-amining Wolverine #25

"Heir Aid"
June 1990

In a Nutshell 
A rare (possible) glimpse at Wolverine's early days.

Writer: Jo Duffy
Artist: John Buscema
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Chief: Tom DeFalco

A small time gangster named Morrow calls in a favor from Wolverine. He is preparing to launch a turf war with his rival Piggot, and fearing Piggot will attack through Morrow's son, Gabriel, tasks Wolverine with protecting the boy for the evening. When Gabriel asks for a bedtime story, Wolverine tells him of a small boy cast out for being weak, who is adopted by a pack of wolverines in the Canadian wilderness. Growing stronger and more feral, the boy is captured by fur traders, but the wolverines attempt to free him. When some are shot, the boy flies into a rage and kills the traders.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

X-amining Excalibur #23

"Here Comes the Judge"
June 1990

In a Nutshell 
Excalibur arrives on a world ruled by totalitarian justice. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Letterers: Tom Orzechowski & Kevin Cunningham
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Desk Sergeant: Tom DeFalco
Creators: Claremont & Davis

Illyana Rasputin, the Sorcerer Supreme, casts a spell to direct Excalibur to her world, on the orders of crime kingpin Kitty Pryde, just as Kitty is targeted by the Justicers. Her advocate, Doug Ramsey, argues that their search is illegal, but Justicer Bull declares they have proof that links all the criminal enterprises in the realm to Kitty. Just then, Excalibur's train comes crashing through the building, sending Kitty out the window to her death in the process. Captain Britain instinctively tries to save her, but gets blasted by the Justicers, and when Meggan tries to save him, the poor quality of the air sends her falling as well. As Nightcrawler is arrested by his Justicer counterpart for being a mutant, Illyana orders the rest out, saying that with Kitty gone, their warrant is no longer valid. Outside, Captain Britain manages to grab Kitty just as they hit the toxic sludge that is the ocean, then fishes out Meggan, badly injured by the toxic world, as well.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

X-amining X-Men Spotlight on Starjammers #1-2

"The Phalkon Quest Part 1" / "Phalkon Quest Part 2"
May-June 1990

In a Nutshell 
The Starjammers race Deathbird to the power known as the Phalkon. 

Writer: Terry Kavanagh
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inker:Jeff Albrecht
Letterer: Augustin Mas
Colorist: John Wilcox
Assistant Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor: Mark Gruenwald
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Issue #1: While raiding a Shi'ar ship, the Starjammers discover the captain has a map to the Phalkon, a mythical power source Deathbird hopes to use to crush the rebellion the Starjammers are leading against her. However, the captain manages to break the map into four pieces and send them off into the galaxy, while also alerting Deathbird. The Starjammers set out to retrieve the map pieces before Deathbird. With the help of Professor X, who has merged his mind with the consciousness of the Starjammer's computer, endangering his body but increasing his power, the Starjammers retrieve the map, but are betrayed by their medic, Sikorsky, who allows Deathbird and a force of Imperial troops to board the ship. As the Starjammers fight the troops, Deathbird captures Lilandra then teleports away, leaving the Starjammers to decide whether to save Lilandra or continue their pursuit of the Phalkon.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Force in Focus: Star Wars #4

"In Battle With Darth Vader"
October 1977

In a Nutshell
Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi duel to the death. 

Scripter/Editor: Roy Thomas
Illustrators in tandem: Howard Chaykin & Steve Leialoha
Embellisher/Colorist: Steve Leialoha
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Consulting Editor: Archie Goodwin

Trapped by the encroaching Imperial Stormtroopers, Leia grabs Han's weapon and blasts an opening in the wall to a garbage chute, and the rest follow her into the garbage unit. Landing in the muck, Luke is attacked by some kind of tentacled creature, but is released when the creature flees after the walls start contracting. Luke desperately tries to call C-3PO to stop the trash compactor, but Threepio and Artoo are busy dodging Stormtroopers. Once they're safe, Artoo is able to stop the compactor just in time. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan succeeds in shutting off the tractor beam. As Luke, Han, Chewbacca and Princess Leia attempt to get back to the Falcon, they're discovered by Stormtroopers. Splitting up, Luke and Leia swing across a large chasm to escape, while Han and Chewie lead a squad of a troops on a chase through the station.