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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #65

"Demons!"
July 1988

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants fight Freedom Force. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Artist: Bret Blevins
Inker: Terry Austin 
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Illyana approaches Magneto, asking for his help in killing Forge to avenge the deaths of the X-Men, but Magneto refuses, saying that the X-Men died willingly, and that they are not his charges. He reminds the team that they are grounded, but this doesn't stop Illyana from teleporting away. She arrives on Muir Isle and reunites with Kitty Pryde, hoping to enlist Kitty's help. But she too tries to talk Illyana down, and Illyana teleports away in anger. Back at the mansion, the remaining New Mutants are split over whether to help Illyana, but when she appears to grab her costume, they quickly follow her to Limbo. Though still unwilling to kill Forge, the New Mutants agree to help Illyana, if only to prevent her from being killed herself. Drawing her Soul Sword, thus ceding control of Limbo to S'ym for the time being, she teleports the team to Dallas, where they find Forge and Freedom Force waiting for them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #231

"...Dressed for Dinner!"
July 1988

In a Nutshell
Colossus reunites with Illyana and battles Baba Yaga. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Rick Leonardi
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Australia, Colossus, troubled by recent dreams of his sister and his difficulty transforming to flesh, has a heart-to-heart with Storm. That evening, as the X-Men do the dishes, Dazzler suggests letting Colossus contact Illyana. Just then, Gateway appears and beckons Colossus. Following, Gateway opens a portal and Colossus emerges in Limbo, just as Illyana is about to cast a necromancy spell to return him to life. Colossus smashes the demon S'ym, then Illyana, believing him to be the shade of her brother, tells him of how the New Mutants have been captured by a demon posing as Baba Yaga. Unable to teleport them through the demon's protective wards, she turned to Colossus, hoping his iron body would make him less vulnerable than Illyana. She then teleports him to Baba Yaga's location in Limbo, a demonic version of the X-Mansion.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Game of Thrones 4x03: Breaker of Chains



Opening Credits Map
King’s Landing -> Dragonstone -> Dreadfort -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Meereen

King's Landing
The episode starts quickly with Sansa being whisked away by Dontos. Tyrion is arrested as Tywin orders every guard to perform a hard-target search for Sansa in every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in King’s Landing. However, the Stark girls have a knack for making quick and stealthy exits from King’s Landing so Sansa makes it to safety.

Safety, in this case, is a ship run by Baelish! Dontos expects gold for helping Sansa escape from King’s Landing. Instead he gets an arrow through the head. I’d say Dontos died doing what he loved but, really, I have no idea what Dontos loved doing.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Last Week in Pop Culture #27

The Simpsons: Days of Future Future


Future-set episodes (which have now occurred often enough to be their own thing) on this show are usually pretty good, because they allow the writers to put the character into new and different situations they can't use when everyone is perpetually stuck at the same age. That said, this was one of the weaker future episodes, mainly because the "it was all in your head" twist undercuts the arcs made by the characters within that dream. Bart still comes out the other end having gotten over Genda, but what about everyone else?

Also, the whole "cloning Homer" gag seemed pointless. It wasn't that funny to begin with, then it ultimately amounted to nothing when the end result was Homer getting uploaded into a computer. They could have skipped the clones and just started there and the episode would have been all the better. The repeated funerals for Homer's clones seemed ridiculous. Why wouldn't you stop having funerals after a while, and why would anyone keep going even if you did? 

Friday, April 18, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #29

"Fame!"
June 1988

In a Nutshell 
Infectia attacks as Ship moves out to sea. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Walt Simonson
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
At her apartment, Infectia watches in frustration as one of the men she's mutated burns out his power and dies, forcing her to make another. Later, X-Factor holds a press conference to announce the removal of Ship from the shoreline. In the process, the pier on which the media has gathered collapses, and X-Factor, along with Ship, is forced to rescue the reporters from the water. Watching the press conference at a bar, Infectia picks up another unsuspecting man. Back at the press conference, an increasingly-irate Cyclops excuses himself, followed by Marvel Girl, leaving Iceman to continue talking to the reporters as Beast and Trish Tilby reconnect. Meanwhile, Infectia brings her dupe back to her apartment, where she kisses him, her mutant power transforming him into a monster. Back at the ship, Cyclops and Marvel Girl prepare to move Ship out over the ocean as Infectia, along with three transformed men, watch from a nearby rooftop.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #64

"Instant Replay!"
June 1988

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants bury Doug Ramsey. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Bret Blevins
Inker: Terry Austin 
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the Danger Room, Rahne replays the events surrounding Doug's death, only this time, she manages to prevent his death. Just then, Roberto interrupts, urging Rahne to get some sleep before Doug's visitation. Upstairs, Illyana watches the footage of the X-Men dying on a loop, while Dani and Warlock watch Night of the Living Dead. The next day, the students, as well as Magneto, attend Doug's visitation, though the site of his body upsets Rahne, and the notion that Doug will be buried away from light and sun forever causes Warlock to freak out. That evening, Warlock sneaks into the funeral room and attempts to wake up Doug. Remembering the time Doug helped revive Warlock by giving him some of his life energy, Warlock tries to the do the same. When Doug doesn't revive, Warlock concludes Doug has forgotten what it feels like to be alive, and determines to show him how much everyone misses him in order to get Doug to take Warlock's life energy.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #230

"'Twas the Night..."
June 1988

In a Nutshell 
The X-Men return the Reavers stolen loot. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In their new Australian home, the X-Men train, with Madelyne tracking their actions via the town's computer system. As their exercise completes, Madelyne swears to track down the Marauders and make them pay for stealing her baby. Elsewhere in the town, Longshot is drawn through some tunnels by strange voices and discovers the Reavers' vault, containing all the loot they'd stolen through the years. His psychometric abilities making all the objects in the room come alive like ghosts and tell their stories, he is overwhelmed and falls unconscious. Days later, the X-Men attempt to clean up the mess left behind by the Reavers, while Rogue brings Gateway a picnic lunch. Shortly thereafter, Longshot awakens, telling the X-Men they need to return the objects stolen by the Reavers to their rightful owners as best they can.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Game of Thrones 4x02: The Lion and the Rose



Opening Credits Map
King’s Landing -> Dragonstone -> Dreadfort -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Meereen

Dreadfort
Before we get to the fun part we’ll start at Dreadfort. Roose Bolton’s bastard son Ramsay Snow is playing his version the most dangerous game. Theon, er, Reek is now free but completely brainwashed to serve Ramsay. I was thankful for the lack of torture but seeing a presumably innocent young girl get hunted and killed wasn't much better.

I don't really remember the girl who was with Ramsay. Her name is apparently Myranda and she wants to be the fairest one of all. That’s bad news for any girls better looking than her but is presumably good news for the woman who is just slightly less attractive than Myranda. I imagine being the second best looking woman in town can have its advantages.

Anyway, Roose Bolton shows up and he apparently hasn't spent much time with Ramsay because he’s surprised at and none too pleased about what Ramsay did to Theon. Theon had trade value to Balon Greyjoy but Reek does not. Roose’s mood improves when Reek has information regarding the lives of Bran and Rickon Stark and where they’re most likely headed. So Ramsay is off to the Wall. Let’s hope Jon Snow is wearing a codpiece...or is willing to commit more fully to the oath of the Night's Watch.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday Night Live: Seth Rogen & Ed Sheerhan


A bit of a Jekyll & Hyde episode, with the first half consistently strong while the second half was much more inconsistent. A weak Weekend Update (which has, unfortunately, consistently been the case of late) signaled the transition, and while what followed it wasn't, with one exception, completely terrible, the back end sketches weren't as reliably funny as the pre-Update ones. Seth Rogen was fine, doing his usual "confused straight man" and "loud angry outbursts" routines, and the episode as a whole continued this little post-spring break "good enough" role the show has been on. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Last Week in Pop Culture #26

Around the Web 
One new review from me at Sound on Sight, for Nightcrawler #1, possibly the best new Chris Claremont comic I've read in years.

Also, and far more importantly, Monday sees the launch of the much-teased Saved by the Bell Reviewed podcast, co-hosted by me and Dr. Bitz, as well as Portland cartoonists Carolyn Main and Ryan Alexander-Tanner (Ryan, the driving force behind this project, is of course the mad genius behind the wonderful Full House Reviewed blog as well). You'll be able to download the first episode on Monday from our Tumblr site, and if you haven't already, be sure to like our Facebook page and follow the show on Twitter @sbtb_reviewed.

(And, as long as I'm asking you to like Facebook pages, if you enjoy my writing for Sound on Sight, then be sure to like their Facebook page as well).

Finally, if you're heading out to the comic shop this weekend or poking around on the newly-acquired-by-Amazon Comixology, check out Shutter #1 from Image Comics. It's about a futuristic female Indiana Jones, and features a backup story written and drawn by Ryan. 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier


A really solid follow-up to the first film (which I think is a bit underrated these days), which made the most of its 70s conspiracy thriller vibe and did an effective job of servicing everyone in its rather large cast (this was probably the best Black Widow film yet, right?). If anything, the titular Winter Soldier was the most marginalized element of the movie - there wasn't much of a reason for him to be the one leading the Hydra/SHIELD strike team other than his connection to Cap, and the real impact of that seems to have been left for a future film.