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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

X-amining X-Men #106

"Dark Shroud of the Past"
August 1977

In a Nutshell
The X-Men fight a manifestations of Xavier's dark side

Plot: Chris Claremont (pp 1-2, 31) Bill Mantlo (pp 3-31)
Script: Chris Claremont
Artist: Dave Cockrum (pp 1-2, 31), Bob Brown (pp 3-31)
Inker: Tom Sutton
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Andy Yachus
Editor: Archie Goodwin

Plot
As the X-Men vanish through the stargate, Firelord returns and confronts Professor X, who collapses under the strain of losing Lilandra. In his delirium, Xavier recalls the aftermath of the first of his recurring nightmares: As Xavier receives a sedative from Moira, the X-Men are training in the Danger Room. Suddenly Angel appears and taunts the new X-Men. He is quickly joined by Beast, Iceman and Marvel Girl, all of whom attack the new team. The original X-Men managed to keep the new X-Men at bay via teamwork, but Cyclops quickly realizes they are images when his optic blast has no effect on Angel. Just then, Professor X appears and manages to make the original X-Men disappear.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Last Week in TV #31

Getting caught up. Expect some Community and/or Parks and Rec reviews next week.

How I Met Your Mother: Hopeless


A nice rebound after last week's not-so-great episode (in short, for a series that is as concerned with its own continuity as this one, I was bugged by some of the continuity glitches on display while the Barney subplot was too over the top). Definitely an episode that was more heart than humor, it still generated some solid laughs and showcased more solid performances from NPH and John Lithgow.

Friday, April 22, 2011

X-amining X-Men #105

"Phoenix Unleashed!"
June 1977

In a Nutshell
Princess Lilandra arrives on Earth as Phoenix battles Firelord

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Bob Layton
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Andy Yanchus
Editor: Archie Goodwin

Plot
Returning to the mansion, the X-Men discover Erik the Red lying in wait and attack him, unaware that he has convinced Firelord, a former herald of Galactus, that the X-Men are villains. Seeing the X-Men attack Erik, Firelord comes to his aid and he swiftly defeats the X-Men. Meanwhile, Shi'ar Princess Lilandra Neramani teleports from her ship to Earth just as her vehicle is destroyed by a pursuing craft. Professor X is visiting Jean at her New York apartment when Lilandra appears, and Xavier recognizes her from his visions.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

X-amining X-Men #104

"The Gentleman's Name is Magneto"
April 1977

In a Nutshell
The new X-Men face off against Magneto for the first time.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Sam Grainger
Letterer: John Constanza
Colorist: Bonnie Wilford
Editor: Archie Goodwin

Plot
Leaving Ireland, the X-Men charter a boat to take them to Moira MacTaggert's research station on Muir Island in Scotland. Nearing the island, the craft is destroyed and the X-Men are pulled towards the island and trapped in a bubble of force by none other than Magneto. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Moira arrive on the island and learn of Magneto's trap. Magneto quickly overpowers the X-Men and is poised to destroy them when Cyclops surprises him. Learning that Magneto was restored to adulthood by Erik the Red, Cyclops realizes Magneto is being used to keep the X-Men busy and unable to protect Xavier. He orders the X-Men to retreat, and they head back to New York. Magneto basks in his triumph as, in outer space, Corsair and Cho'd plan to oppose the Shi'ar Emperor just as Princess Lilandra arrives on Earth and Erik the Red stands poised to attack Xavier.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Last Week in TV #30

Another short one, but I should be back to my regular long-winded ramblings next post, as I'm home and should have plenty of TV watching time. 

American Dad: Jenny Fromdabloc
Good stuff. Steve/Roger pairings are always enjoyable (Wheels and the Legman is one of my favorite things, ever) and I love it when Roger gets into his characters a bit too much. The Stan/Francine plot was amusing if slight (the cutaway to Stan racing down the street in his underwear after one martini was pretty hilarious), but the episode realized its strength was in the Steve/Roger plot and wisely didn't crowd it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Last Week in TV #29

Another short one this week, as travel kept me away from the TV most of the week. Next week's post will be similarily short and/or non-existent for similar reasons, but I should be caught up after that.

The Simpsons: The Great Simpsina


Maybe I'm just a sucker for magician stories (even "real" magicians like these, ones that can't do any actual magic, though I loved that Teller did appear to have real magical powers), but I quite liked this episode. It featured a rare Lisa story that didn't center on her activism or her intelligence getting her in over her heard, a classic guest star appearance in Martin Landau's Great Raymondo, some funny (if easy) jokes about some of the celebrity magician guest stars, and an ending that added a surprising touch of sweetness. It wasn't quite on par with one of the show's classic episodes, but I daresay it was pretty dang close. Plus, for the first time that I can remember, the relatively new four act structure not only didn't hinder the story, but actually strengthened it, allowing for a commercial break cliffhanger before the final act that, for once, didn't feel forced.

Friday, April 8, 2011

X-amining X-Men #103

"The Fall of the Tower"
February 1977

In a Nutshell
The X-Men defeat Black Tom and Juggernaut

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Sam Grainger
Letterer: John Constanza
Colorist: Janice Cohen
Editor: Archie Goodwin

Plot
Nightcrawler awakens and finds himself face to face with the leprechauns of Cassidy Keep. They explain how Black Tom and Juggernaut took over the castle from the leprechauns, forcing Eamon O'Donnell to lay the trap for the X-Men by holding the leprechaun families hostage. They tell Nightcrawler that the X-Men are being held in the castle's laboratory. Nightcrawler observes as Black Tom and Juggernaut prepare to torture the X-Men in order to lure Professor X to them. Getting an idea, Nightcrawler uses his image inducer to disguise himself as Professor X and teleports into the lab.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Last Week In TV #28

A busy week for me that found most shows resting up for May sweeps leave us with little to discuss (and I'm traveling for work and thus won't catch the Sunday night Fox shows until later in the week). But let's talk about that Top Chef finale!