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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Week in TV #6

Happy Halloween, everyone! I watched a ton of Halloween-themed shows yesterday, and am planning on more tonight, so we'll have a nice post-Halloween rundown of those next Monday (it'll be just like the old "Treehouse of Horror" episodes that aired well after Halloween!).

In the meantime, here's thoughts on what I watched last week.

Once Upon a Time: Pilot (series premiere)


I'm pretty much a sucker for anything that takes the archetypal fairy tale characters and casts them in a different light, whether it be the cleaned up animated versions found in classic Disney films or the more thrilling, exciting and adult stories that unfold in the pages of Fables (one of my favorite comic books). So I was pretty psyched to see two "fairy tale characters in the modern world" TV shows set to debut this fall (thus making the odds better that at least one will be watchable and will stick around). Once Upon a Time was the first of the shows to launch (we'll discuss Grimm in next week's post), and it was pretty good, at least at first glance.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!


May your pumpkin patch be found the most sincere, and may your vampire attacks be carried out by the genuine ones, not the sparkly kind.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Retro Review: Treehouse of Horror III

Or the One Where
"Clown Without Pity" (Homer is stalked by a killer Talking Krusty doll), "King Homer" (King Kong re-imagined with Homer in the title role), and "Dial Z for Zombie" (Bart accidentally raises the dead").

The Setup
Marge hosts a Halloween party for all the kids in lieu of trick-or-treating, with Lisa, Grandpa and Bart each telling a scary story at the party.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

X-amining X-Men #131

"Run for your Life!
March 1980

In a Nutshell 
The X-Men battle the White Queen. 

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
Kitty Pryde is being chased through a back alley in Chicago by a pair of Hellfire Club soldiers when Phoenix suddenly appears and destroys their car. Nightcrawler gets Kitty to safety, but frightened, Kitty runs away from him and hides inside a nearby building. Phoenix, tracking her telepathically and telekinetically changing into street clothes, finds the girl and calms her down. The X-Men, Kitty and Dazzler gather aboard the X-Men's skyship to plot their next move, and Cyclops asks Phoenix to read the mind of one of the Hellfire Club captives. She learns of White Queen's attack on the X-Men and the existence of the Hellfire Club, which startles her, as in her recent time slips she was married to a member of the Hellfire Club. With the information gathered from their captive and the help of Phoenix' power, the X-Men infiltrate the Frost Industries warehouse where their teammates are being held.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Last Week in TV #5

Thoughts on what I watched last week (I did watch the first episode of Once Upon A Time, but I'll save that for next week's post).

The Walking Dead: What Lies Ahead (season premiere)


Well, that was quite an ending...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

X-amining X-Men #130

"Dazzler"
February 1980

In a Nutshell 
The debut of Dazzler.

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

Plot
Cyclops, Phoenix and Nightcrawler arrive in a seedy New York neighborhood in search of the second recently-detected new mutant. Leaving Nightcrawler to keep watch outside, Cyclops and Phoenix enter a rundown disco, not knowing they are being watched by the Hellfire Club. As they search the disco for the new mutant, the Hellfire Club mercenaries check in with Sebastian Shaw and Jason Wyngarde, members of the club's secret Inner Circle. Wyngarde departs for the disco while Shaw checks in with the White Queen in Chicago. White Queen reveals that she has captured Professor X and has Wolverine, Storm and Colossus locked in power-inhibiting cages. Unknown to her, the stowed-away Kitty Pryde phases into the room, and manages to awaken Storm. She gives Kitty a number to reach the other X-Men, and, discovered, Kitty flees, using her power to dive through the floor and escape a pair of guards.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last Week in TV #4

Thoughts on what I what I watched last week (we'll discuss the season premiere of The Walking Dead next week; we can't watch it night of or else Mrs. Teebore has nightmares). 

How I Met Your Mother: Field Trip

 
So is Robin dating her therapist creepy? Yeah, kinda, though probably not as much as Ted and Barney seemed to think. It's certainly the kind of thing I wouldn't give a second thought to if the chemistry between the characters was good. Here it's...okay, but we'll give it time.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Retro Review: Lisa the Beauty Queen

Or the One Where
Homer enters Lisa in the Little Miss Springfield pageant.

The Setup
At the school carnival, Lisa has a caricature drawn of herself, which makes her think she's ugly. To boost her spirits, Homer sells his ticket to ride the Duff blimp to enter her in a beauty pageant.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fallcon 2011

Hey you guys!

If you're in the neighborhood this weekend, be sure to check out the Midwest Comic Book Association's annual Fallcon comic book convention on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.


We'll be in the Eco Building (aka the building with the environmentally-friendly house inside during the fair and the big windmill blade out front) from 10 AM to 4 PM this Saturday (the 15th). Tickets are $8 a piece (get a dollar off with a food shelf donation) with free admission for kids 9 and under. But if you're reading this and would like to check it out, let me know and I can score you some free tickets.

More details can be found here. If you do make it, be sure to stop by and say hello to me and Mrs. Teebore!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

X-amining X-Men #129

"God Spare the Child..."
January 1980

In a Nutshell
As the X-Men return to the mansion, Kitty Pryde, White Queen and the Hellfire Club debut.  

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

Plot
Several days after their battle with Proteus, the rested X-Men prepare to depart Muir Island, though Banshee has decided to stay behind with Moira. En route to New York, the X-Men's jet passes an Hellfire Club jet carrying Jason Wyngarde. As they pass, Jason reaches out to Phoenix's mind and Jean suddenly finds herself back in the 18th century, aboard a sailing ship and married Jason. Scared, she runs out on deck and is approached by a sailor, who transforms into Cyclops as Jean shifts back into the present. With a quiet moment to themselves, the pair finally reconcile and declare their love for one another. Receiving an intruder alert when they land at the mansion, the X-Men storm inside only to discover Professor X, returned from space. Days later, Scott and Jean witness Wolverine storming out of a training session in the Danger Room, and Cyclops tries to explain to Professor X that his style of teaching won't work on the new X-Men, but is interrupted by Cerebro, who suddenly detects the presence of two new mutants, one in Chicago and one in New York. Xavier splits the team, sending Scott and Jean to New York while he takes Storm, Wolverine and Colossus to Chicago. But unknownst to the X-Men, the Hellfire Club have tapped Cerebro, and dispatch the White Queen to Chicago as well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dr. Bitz Ranks Every Television Series Ever...Sorta (Part 2)

Remember me? Yeah, me neither. Remember my posts ranking every (non-comedy/non-reality) show ever? Yeah, me neither. But I'll continue it on anyway.
If you forgot the rules, check them out here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Last Week in TV #3

Still getting caught up, but lots to cover. 

How I Met Your Mother: The Stinson Missile Crisis


We return to the Robin/Barney/Nora triangle, but while I was mildly amused by the metatextual commentary on the show's format afforded by having the story unfold via Robin's discussion with Kal Penn's psychiatrist, I preferred the B story that found Ted struggling to fit himself onto "Team Baby" with Lily and Marshall. Oddly enough, given that damn near every sitcom to ever feature a pregnant character has done this kind of scene, my favorite part of the episode was Ted and Marshall in the birthing class together. And of course, the recurring gag of poor, sad Ted insisting famous duos were actually trios was classic stuff (my favorites were, not surprisingly, "Batman, Robin and Alfred", as well as "Romeo, Juliet and the Apothecary").

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

X-amining X-Men #128

"The Action of the TIGER!
December 1979

In a Nutshell
The X-Men defeat Proteus 

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
Proteus turns his power on the city of Edinburgh, warping reality to attack its denizens and reveling in his power. The X-Men do their best to protect the city's residents until Proteus turns his attention to Moira, transforming her into different hideous forms. Cyclops devises a plan designed to exploit Proteus chief weaknesses, his need for host bodies, and metal, and the X-Men attack. Proteus quickly traps Storm in crystallized amber, and when Wolverine stops to free her, moves in for the kill. But Banshee shoots the villain, forcing him back. Proteus responds by burying Banshee beneath the ground. Cyclops blasts an opening to Banshee and Nightcrawler teleports him out, the strain knocking both of them out of the fight. However, Cyclops first objective has been met, as Proteus has fled the city.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Last Week in TV #2

Well, real life intruded on TV much earlier in the season than I was expecting, which is why lots of stuff is missing this week (no Glee, Person of Interest, or Terra Nova yet; next week, hopefully). Anyways, here's what I got.

The Simpsons: Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts
Maybe it's just because I'm a history nerd, but I really liked this episode (Teddy Roosevelt is a pretty cool historical figure). Surprisingly, given the longevity of the show at this point, they've never really done a Superintendent Chalmers episode, and even more surprisingly, it was a relatively down-to-earth story, with Chalmers' old fashioned, boys-will-be-boys, rugged hands on approach reaching the more troublesome kids. Well, down-to-earth until Bart and the bullies overtook the school and held it hostage, but that was more a result of the random last act bizarreness from which the show seems unable to escape since the switch to the four act structure. Still, this late in the game, it's nice to see that The Simpsons is still capable of churning out a solid, thoroughly enjoyable episode now and then.