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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

X-amining X-Men #44

"Red Raven, Red Raven!"
May 1968

In a nutshell: Angel fights Red Raven.

Editor: Stan Lee
Plot: Roy Thomas
Script: Gary Friedrich
Writer: Gary Friedrich (2nd Story)
Breakdown Penciller: Don Heck
Finishing Penciller: Werner Roth
Penciller: George Tuska (2nd Story)
Inker: John Tartigalone, John Verpoorten (2nd Story)
Letterer: Sam Rosen, Artie Simek (2nd Story)

Plot
The captured X-Men are all placed within cells designed to nullify their individual powers, but Angel manages to escape. Rather than waste time freeing the other X-Men and risk recapture, Cyclops orders him to flee and alert the Avengers to the situation. Angel tussles with Quicksilver before breaking away and flying back to the mainland.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Retro Revew: Bart the Muderer

Or the One Where: Bart goes to work for mobster Fat Tony.

The Setup: A particularly bad day for Bart ends with him stumbling upon the hangout of Fat Tony, who is charmed enough by Bart to offer him a job at his social club.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dirty Dozen: Teebore's 12 Favorite Movies

Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting a "Dirty Dozen" blogfest on his blog, in which he asked the participants, "what movies have changed your life? What movies have changed you as a person? What movies are your ultimate enjoyment from start to finish? If you could only round up twelve, what movies would be your Dirty Dozen?"

Here are mine. Bear in mind, as in most of my lists, these are my personal favorites, not the twelve movies I think are the best, ever. This list is largely driven by nostalgia, personal significance, re-watchability, and theme. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Retro Review: When Flanders Failed

Or the One Where: Flanders opens the Leftorium and Bart learns karate.

The Setup: At a neighborhood barbecue, Flanders announces he's opening a store that caters to lefties, after which Homer wishes for it to fail.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

X-amining X-Men #43

"The Torch is Passed...!"
April 1968

In a nutshell: In the wake of Professor Xavier's death, Magneto returns! 

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: George Tuska, Werner Roth (2nd Story)
Inker: John Tartigalone, John Verpoorten (2nd Story)
Letterer: Sam Rosen, Artie Simek (2nd Story)

Plot
Watching the funeral of Professor X from afar, Magneto observes Quicksilver approaching the proceedings. The X-Men spot Quicksilver as well, and suspicious, confront him. Quicksilver only wishes to pay his respects, and his working up the courage to ask the X-Men for help, but their hostility towards him chases him back to Magneto. The X-Men return to the mansion and discover a recording Professor X made before his death, telling them that Marvel Girl now shares his telepathic abilities, which they will need in confronting a newly-returned Magneto.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Weekend at SpringCon

The re-positioning of the two day MCBA comic book convention from its traditional fall dates to ones in mid-May posed several questions: would we be able to book enough big-name creators (one of the stated reasons for the switch)? Would enough people attend, given the 20+ year history of having the two day show in the fall? Would basement-dwelling geeks be able to resist the lure of gorgeous Minnesota May weather?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Soccer Season

Most of the world is buzzing about the World Cup and, if ESPN has their way, the United States will be buzzing too. I don't know if the U.S. will ever truly accept soccer, but I did check out the Americans vs. the Brits on Saturday. Yeah, I was THAT bored.

I try not be a snob about these things. If you're a fan of soccer and like watching it then good for you. It was an OK way to kill two hours for me. But there are things in soccer that annoy me. So here are my top three things that I don't like about soccer (that doesn't include the fact that I'm supposed to say 'football' and while it makes sense to call it football it just leads to confusion):

1. Stoppage Time: When does a soccer game end? Whenever the referee decides. You see, any time there's a penalty or a ball goes out of bounds the clock doesn't stop. Instead, the officials keep track of that time and then add it to the end of each half. But only they know how much time will be added.

So, instead of building towards a finish the game ends with the fans saying "Huh...I guess the refs decided to end the game." In some ways it creates artificial tension in one goal or tie games, but at the same time I hate when the referees have information the fans don't. That's a lot of power to give the refs and if I know one thing it's that you can't trust referees...just ask Tim Donaghy.

2. Dives: I don't know if it's a Europe thing or a soccer thing, but the flops that occur can be atrocious. If I have to see another soccer player get nipped in the leg by another player, fall to the ground grabbing his ankle and then, after seeing nobody cares, get up and play like nothing has happened then I'm going to personally break their leg just so they know what a real injury is. (Well, I would, but they are still athletes and would most likely kick my ass all they way back across the pond.) Anyway. here are some examples of the flops:



3. Ties: OK, ties only happen in the World Cup during the opening round of group play, but still, you know when everyone watched Lost expecting to get answers to all those mysteries but then the series ended with a bunch of mysteries still unanswered? That's a tie.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Retro Review: Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington

Or the One Where: The Simpsons go to Washington DC.

The Setup: After receiving a free copy of Reading Digest magazine, Homer becomes obsessed with it, culminating in Lisa entering an essay contest sponsored by the magazine and winning a trip for the family to DC.

Friday, June 4, 2010

X-amining X-Men #42

"If I Should Die...!"
March 1968

In a nutshell: Professor X dies! 

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Don Heck, Werner Roth (2nd Story)
Inker: George Tuska, Herb Trimpe (2nd Story)
Lettering: Sam Rosen, Al Kurzrok (2nd Story)

Plot
With Cyclops and Beast fighting Grotesk, Iceman and Angel are shocked that Professor X won't let them return to the fight, ordered instead stay at the mansion with Marvel Girl, who reluctantly sides with Xavier. Grotesk's fight with the X-Men is cut short, however, when he suddenly has a mental image of someone operating the Nuclear Oscillotron. Knowing where to find it now, he abandons Cyclops and Beast. The two X-Men return to the mansion and Marvel Girl continues to keep the male X-Men from leaving on orders from a now-absent Professor X.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

THE NERD WITHIN - She-Hulk #1-12 (2004-2005)

When She-Hulk was being released monthly, I picked up the first 6 issues and was drawn to the light-hearted humor, unique take, and, even though I really shouldn't admit it, sexy covers.

However, money concerns propelled me to stop buying monthly mags and the girlie greenie's tale was not mine to read. Thanks to MARVEL.com, I've finally finished Dan Slott's initial run on Bruce Banner's voluptuous cousin's comic series.

For those who don't know, Jennifer Walters was in dire need of a blood transfusion so her cousin, the alter ego of the Incredible Hulk, gave her some of his life juice. This, combined with her "anger", transformed her into the She-Hulk.

This particular comic series starts off with the She-Hulk spending a bit too much time turning the Avengers mansion into a den of libations, pulsating music, and throbbing libidos.

Captain America and Iron Man are the buzz kills probably because one used to be an alcoholic and the other apparently doesn't know what an IPOD is.

She-Hulk gets kicked out of the mansion and is hired by a prestige law firm who specializes in "super-human" law.

The cases she handles are somewhat ridiculous and her co-workers include a shape-shifting process server and the Mad Thinker's Awesome Android, affectionately called Awesome Andy.

She gets drunk with a c-rate supervillian, uses real life comic books as government approved documentation, helps Spider-Man sue J. Jonah Jameson for libel, and many other silly things.


Dan Slott's writing is fluid and funny.

The artwork is pleasing to the eye and easy to follow.

The whole series will make you smile and crave more. Luckily, Dan Slott returned to the title a year later and wrote another 21 issues which are all available on marvel.com as well. Soon, I shall be ocularly devouring them.

These 12 issues are collected in two volumes here and here.