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

Friday, July 22, 2016

X-amining X-Factor #76

"X-Communication"
March 1992

In a Nutshell
Wolfsbane is captured by a supporter of Farnoq Dahn.

Writer: Peter David
Guest Penciler: Tom Raney and Kevin West
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
An unconscious Wolfsbane is found in the Trans-Sabal desert by Jolel, a fervent believer in Farnoq Dahn, and his sister Sandah. Meanwhile, Quicksilver searchs for Wolfsbane while the rest of X-Factor, searching for Havok, missing since the blast that took out the Hulk, encounters members of the Pantheon. Meanwhile, a bound Wolfsbane awakens inside Jolel's house. He intends to hold her for Farnoq Dahn, and though Wolfsbane insists that she was called in to help by Dahn, Jolel remains convinced she's some kind of demon that Dahn must deal with personally. As X-Factor battles the Pantheon, Quicksilver reaches the city where Rahne is being held just as Prometheus of the Pantheon attacks hims. Wolfsbane manages to escape from Jolel's house to help Quicksilver, but Jolel catches up to her, threatening her with a knife. However, Sandah intervenes, knocking out her brother and allowing Wolfsbane to escape. But when Jolel comes to, he kills his sister, to Wolfsbane's horror. Though he insists it was an accident, an enraged Wolfsbane attacks him. She then emerges from his house and meets up with Quicksilver, telling him to get her out of the place, insisting that she's going to burn for what she did.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

X-amining X-Force #8

"Flashed Before My Eyes"
March 1992

In a Nutshell
A flashback reveals Cable is from the future.

Plot/Framing Sequence Art: Rob Liefeld
Guest Penciler: Mike Mignola
Guest Inker: Bob Wiacek
Guessed Scripter: Fabian Nicieza
Jest Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Dressed Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Edits: Bob Harras
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Cannonball lies dying, Cable flashes back to a mission involving the Wild Pack, the mercenary group he led alongside Domino, Bridge & Kane, retrieving a piece of equipment for AIM that was stolen by Hydra. After handing the device over to AIM, the team goes their separate ways until their next job comes along, with Cable returning home to the future. There, he confers with Professor, his sentient computer, and learns of a possible new High Lord awakening: Sam Guthrie. Determined to guide his development and believing this to be the chance they've been waiting a long time for, Cable has Professor timeslide him into the past, roughly six month's before Sam's awakening. Back in the present, Cable is wondering why Cannonball isn't waking up from Sauron's attack, thinking maybe he was wrong about him. But, Cable insists to Sauron as he shoots him, if he was wrong, Sam won't be the only one who pays.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #286

"Close Call!"
March 1992

In a Nutshell
The X-Men return to Earth with Mikhail in tow.

Story & Art: Jim Lee & Whilce Portacio
Finishes: Art Thibert
Scripting: Scott Lobdell
Lettering: Task Force X
Coloring: Joe Rosas
Editing: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Colossus is stunned to be reunited with his brother Mikhail, who explains that his death was staged before the Russian government sent him to this world, and how he ended up sealing the portal at the cost of the lives of people he had come to care about. On Earth, Xavier & Forge confer with some of the world's top minds trying to close the portal, to no avail. Inside the void, Mikhail refuses to use his energy manipulation power to shutdown the portal a second time, which an enraged Colossus views as an act of cowardice. Meanwhile, an enthralled Archangel leads the Posse Comitatus against the rebels, including Mikhail and the X-Men, now joined by Iceman and Sunfire. When Colossus is threatened, Mikhail is driven to action. Realizing the growing portal threatens his brother as well as everyone else, he works in concert with Sunfire, Iceman and Jean to use his power to both close the portal and send the X-Men home, while keeping everyone else alive on the other side. The act nearly kills him, however, but Colossus revives his brother, who is stunned to learn they have a sister while wondering if Colossus and his friends do this sort of thing every day.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Game of Thrones 6x10: The Winds of Winter


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

Winterfell
Jon Snow is Jon Snowing (aka brooding) about his childhood in the same dining room he is now master of. Melisandre reminds Jon Snow that he may think he had it bad but this is the world of Game of Thrones so 99% of people had it worse. Then Davos comes in demanding answers about that burnt horse figurine he found.

Melisandre comes clean about burning Sheereen at the stake. Davos notes that not only was that monstrous but, considering how things ended for Stannis, it was pointless too. Jon Snow wants to know why he shouldn't just straight up execute Melisandre but she reminds Jon Snow that magical fire witches could be useful against ice zombies. Jon Snow decides to exile her to the south.

Jon Snow and Sansa talk on the walls of Winterfell. Sansa apologizes for not telling Jon Snow about the Vale army but never elaborates as to why she didn't tell him. Seemed like important information. Also important information? The fact that winter is no longer coming, it is here. But Sansa does tell Jon Snow that.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Force in Focus: Star Wars #41

"Imperial Pursuit!"
November 1980

In a Nutshell
The Imperials drive the Rebels off Hoth

Writer/Editor: Archie Goodwin
Artists: Al Williamson & Carlos Garzon
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Rick Veitch
Asst. Editor: Dan Fingeroth
Editor-in-Chief: James Shooter

Plot
Luke scrambles out of his crashed Snowspeeder and, using a harpoon gun, his lightsaber, and a concussion charge, manages to bring down an approaching walker. Back at the Rebel base, with the Imperials closing in, Han tries to get Leia to her transport, but their access is cutoff, forcing Leia to go with Han to the Falcon. Just as the Imperials are about to blast the ship, Han manages to take off, their escape watched by Luke as he scrambles to his waiting X-wing, and Vader orders his troops to capture the ship. In space, Han manages to evade the pursuing Star Destroyers, but is stunned to discover the hyperdrive is broken. Luke sets a course for Dagobah as Han scrambles to fix the hyperdrive, but he stops when the ship is hit with an asteroid. Han proceeds to recklessly dive into the asteroid field, hoping to use it to shake the pursuing TIE fighters. Eventually, he finds a cave on one of the larger asteroids and flies inside, hidden from the Imperials. Meanwhile, Luke crash lands on Dagobah, his arrival watched by a shadowy figure.

Friday, July 15, 2016

X-amining Incredible Hulk #390-391

"This Means War" / "X-Calation"
February - March 1992

In a Nutshell
X-Factor is called in to stop the Hulk's attack on the nation of Trans-Sabal.

Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Dale Keown
Inker: Mark Farmer
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bobbie Chase
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Issue #390: In Trans-Sabal, Hulk and the Pantheon help a rebel group repel the forces of the country's dictator, Farnoq Dahn. This prompts Dahn to ask CIA operative Galvin for additional assistance from the US, in addition to the equipment they already provided. Galvin proceeds to bring in X-Factor to take on the Hulk. Issue #391: Hulk's friend Rick Jones shows him that the equipment being used by Dahn's forces is from SHIELD, causing him to wonder if they're on the right side of the conflict, but Hulk insists they are. Meanwhile, X-Factor is briefed on the situation and prepares to battle Hulk, despite their dislike of Dahn. Back at the rebel camp, Rick befriends one of the soldiers, convincing him he's on the right side. Later, Hulk launches an attack on Dahn's forces, during which X-Factor intervenes. Hulk is able to mostly hold his own, until Havok is able to absorb some of his gamma radiation, weakening him but also triggering a massive explosion.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

X-amining Excalibur: Air Apparent

"Air Apparent"
1991

In a Nutshell
Excalibur battles a mad scientist and his Air-Walker android.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencilers: Ron Lim, Brian Stelfreeze, Dwayne Turner, Jackson Guice, Rick Leonardi, Erik Larsen, James Fry
Inkers: Al Gordon, Karl Story, Klaus Janson, Tom Palmer, Joe Rubinstein, Erik Larsen, Don Hudson
Colorists: Glynis Oliver, Dana Moreshead, Ariane,
Letterers: Michael Heisler, Steve Dutro,
Asst. Editor: Mark Powers
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Excalibur is briefed by WHO about Dr. Cayre, a brilliant bio-physicist who has gone mad. He has recreated Galactus' android herald Air-Walker, who has subsequently gone on a rampage, equipped his Life Model Decoy lab assistant Norm with a nuclear warhead, and experimented on himself, giving him the ability to unravel a person's genetic structure with a touch. Excalibur proceeds to split up, with Nightcrawler defeating Norm, Shadowcat defeating a failed Air Walker prototype, Meggan battling the mercenary Coldblood before destroying Cayre's lab, Phoenix trapping Cayre himself in a prison of glass, Captain Britain destroying the rampaging Air-Walker, and Lockheed defending the lighthouse from some overzealous WHO agents.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Milch Studies - Brooklyn South, The Wrap-Up



Brooklyn South, to its credit, did run for a full season.  That’s actually a decent run, when compared to other Milch programs (NYPD Blue’s twelve-year run was very much an outlier.)  The show, however, is pretty weak tea when compared to what most viewers expected from another Milch/Bochco cop drama.  The first season of NYPD Blue brought us a young lead in the midst of a divorce, an older lead crawling his way out of alcoholism, and various supporting players that ranged from a nice guy with a stutter to unrepentant adulterous scum.  Brooklyn South doesn’t give us a Sipowicz.  We don’t even get a Mike Roberts.

X-amining Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness

"Hearts of Darkness"
1991

In a Nutshell
Ghost Rider, Wolverine & Punisher are tempted by Blackheart to destroy Mephisto.

Writer: Howard Mackie
Penciler: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Klaus Janson
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: John Wellington
Asst. Editor: Chris Cooper
Editor: Bobbie Chase
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
After a Satantic cult raises Blackheart, son of Mephisto, the demon slays the cult, then declares he will kill his father. Later, Dan Ketch arrives in the small town of Christ's Crown, and ends up staying at a boarding house with fellow new arrivals Mr. Logan and Mr. Frank. All three heroes - Ghost Rider, Wolverine and Punisher - have been lured to the town by Blackheart, who promises information important to each of them in exchange for their help killing Mephisto. All three refuse, prompting Blackheart to take control of the town and capture Lucy, the daughter of the boarding house keeper, to force the heroes into helping him. They fight their way to the demonic realm where Blackheart is holding Lucy, and Blackheart once again offers to trade information for their help killing his father, but they refuse, and manage to severely injury the demon. Just then, Mephisto appears and swallows his son, declaring its time to teach him a lesson, after which he returns the heroes and Lucy to Earth, where Ghost Rider declares that while they may come close to, or occasionally cross the edge of being heroes, so long as the innocent ar e protected, their cause is just.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Force in Focus: Star Wars #40

"Battleground Hoth!"
October 1980

In a Nutshell
The Battle of Hoth begins.

Writer/Editor: Archie Goodwin
Artists: Al Williamson & Carlos Garzon
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Rick Veitch
Asst. Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Editor-in-Chief: James Shooter

Plot
With the Rebel base on high alert, a recovering Luke tries to tell Leia how he feels about her before thanking Han for saving his life. Meanwhile, Darth Vader executes Admiral Ozzel for emerging from hyperspace too close to the planet, alerting the Rebels of their imminent attack. On Hoth, Leia briefs the Rebels on their escape plan as Han and Chewie scramble to get the Falcon ready to fly. Luke bids them goodbye, then climbs into his Snowspeeder to help the defense of the base against the Imperial forces and their massive walkers. With their armor shielded against the vehicles' blasters, the Rebels are forced to use tow cables to bring down the Imperial walkers, but Luke is shot down as he moves into position for another attack, his ship crashing right into the path of an oncoming walker.