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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

X-amining X-Men #119

"'twas the Night Before Christmas..."
March 1979

In a Nutshell
The X-Men defeat Moses Magnum, but Banshee loses his powers in the process.

Author/Co-Plotter: Chris Claremont
Artist/Co-Plotter: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
Letterer: Costanza
Colorist: G. Wein
Editor: R. Stern
Editor-in-Chief: J. Shooter

Plot
Near the Kuril Islands, Storm and Nightcrawler approach Moses Magnum's base inside a dead volcano, drawing near enough for Nightcrawler to teleport inside. With Storm and Banshee providing a distraction, Nightcrawler makes his way deeper into the base, thinking back on the X-Men's briefing from the Prime Minister's aid about Moses Magnum. Beneath the ocean floor, Cyclops, Sunfire, Wolverine and Colossus are tunneling towards Magnum's base, waiting for Nightcrawler to activate a beacon that will allow them to surface inside the base. They emerge to find Magnum waiting for them, and a battle erupts. Magnum easily defeats Wolverine and Colossus, but realizing the X-Men's assault means Japan will not capitulate to his demands, Magnum breaks off from the battle to activate his Magnum Force in order to destroy the country. With the rest of the X-Men occupied battling more Mandroids, Banshee intercepts Magnum's energy blast with a powerful sonic scream, modulating the frequency to match the Magnum Force. Banshee manages to reflect back the blast, destroying Magnum's base, and saving Japan, though the effort leaves his vocal chords severely injured.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Retro Review: The Otto Show

Or the One Where
School bus driver Otto moves in with the Simpsons

The Setup
Following a Spinal Tap concert, Bart takes up guitar, and when Otto proceeds to rock out on it and deliver the kids to school late, he is fired, prompting Bart to offer him a place to stay.

Notable Notes
This is the first (and to date, only) episode to feature Otto prominently, as the show continues to develop its supporting cast and figure out who works better than others. Otto's last name (Mann) is revealed as well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

To Better Know A Hero: Captain America

Real Name
Steve Rogers

First Appearance
Captain America Comics #1, March 1941

Nicknames and Aliases
Cap, Sentinel of Liberty, Living Legend, the Star-Spangled Avenger, Winghead, the Captain, Nomad, Weapon I

Powers and Abilities
Thanks to the Super Soldier serum, Captain America's strength, speed, agility, endurance and durability have been heightened to the highest levels possible for a normal human. He also possesses an indomitable will, extreme determination, and an inner nobility.

Captain America is also a highly skilled military strategist and tactician, and through years of training and practice can hurl his shield with unerring accuracy in such a way that it ricochets back to him. He is arguably the best hand-to-hand combatant in the Marvel Universe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

X-amining X-Men #118

"The Submergence of Japan"
February 1979

In a Nutshell
The X-Men team-up with Sunfire against Moses Magnum's Mandroids.

Writer/Co-Plotter: Chris Claremont
Artist/Co-Plotter: John Byrne
Guest Inker: Ric Villamonte
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Six weeks after being rescued by the crew of the Jinguchi Maru, the X-Men arrive in Japan, only to find the city of Agarashima in flames following a devastating earthquake. With the ship unable to dock due to the condition of the port, the X-Men make their own way ashore. Lacking any proper identification or passports, they head to Sunfire's home, doing what they can to help people caught in the aftermath of the quake along the way. Wolverine reads a news report which suggests there is something unnatural about the earthquake. Arriving at Sunfire's manor, they find the former X-Man in conference with several high ranking government officials, including the Prime Minister, as well as Misty Knight and her partner Colleen Wing. Sunfire is reluctant to accept the X-Men's help, but they are invited inside at the request of the Prime Minister.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Retro Review: Black Widower

Or the One Where
Sideshow Bob marries Aunt Selma.

The Setup
Homer and the kids are watching Dinosaurs on TV before Selma arrives for dinner with her mysterious date, who turns out to be Sideshow Bob.

Notable Notes
This is the second Sideshow Bob episode, following season one's "Krusty Gets Busted". It's revealed that Bob has completed his prison sentence for framing Krusty for armed robbery, but he's sent back to jail at the end of the episode for attempted murder. Humorously, as he's being dragged away, he claims he'll be out on the street once the Democrats are back in the White House, and his next appearance occurs after Bill Clinton is elected president.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

X-amining X-Men #117

"Psi War!"
January 1979

In a Nutshell
Professor X recalls his first encounter with an evil mutant

Writer/Co-Plotter: Chris Claremont
Artist/Co-Plotter: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
Letterer: Clem Robins
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Caught in a massive storm in the Drake Passage, the X-Men are rescued by a passing Japanese boat. The crew welcomes them aboard, but due to the classified nature of the ship's mission, the X-Men are not allowed any outside communication until they reach Japan. Back in New York, Jean prepares to leave the mansion, telling Lilandra there are now too many painful memories in the place. Lilandra then turns her attention to Xavier, who spends his days lost in despair. He blames himself for the death of the X-Men, and his mind wanders back to the beginning of it all.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Retro Review: Colonel Homer


Or the One Where
Homer manages Lurleen Lumpkin, a waitress/country music singer with eyes for him.

The Setup
After Marge insults Homer's intelligence at a movie, he spends the night at a redneck bar where he meets Lurleen.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

X-amining X-Men #116

"To Save the Savage Land"
December 1978

In a Nutshell
The X-Men fight Garokk

Writer/Co-Plotter: Chris Claremont
Artist/Co-Plotter: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter 

Plot
Ka-Zar leads the X-Men to a snowy peak overlooking the domed City of the Sun God, which is using all of the energy that usually keeps the Savage Land warm and verdant. As they plan their next move, the group is attacked by Garokk's Pterasaur riders who capture Cyclops, Colossus, Banshee and Ka-Zar. Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Storm head into the city after their teammates. Approaching the edge of the city, Wolverine slays a sentry. Making their way through the tunnels beneath the city and then up into the higher levels, they come across a vast arena, at the center of which are the captured X-Men, awaiting execution.