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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

X-aminations in January...and Beyond!

Since I caught up to what I had mapped out previously, I recently had to go through and update my schedule for what's ahead, and I now have a rough outline in place that goes through November 2014.

So I thought I'd share that outline, at least through next summer, which puts "Fall of the Mutants" in March, the addition of Wolverine and Excalibur to the (bi-)weekly rotation in June and has "Inferno" coverage wrapping up by the end of August, and which also sees the first of three summers in which Uncanny X-Men ships two books a months for three months.

Of course, I reserve the right to update this as we move along, depending on whether or not I stumble across any other ancillary issues or tie-ins that should be included, or if someone argues passionately for the inclusion of something I've intentionally left off (I'm also still planning on covering X-Factor's appearance in Hulk #336-337 somehow - maybe in a "X-amining X-Men Elsewhere" standalone post), and I'll continue to put up a monthly "look ahead" post on the last Tuesday of the month. But, as is, this should provide a fairly accurate preview of the year ahead in X-aminations.

And if I stay on top of the schedule, maybe I'll post something like this every six months or so.

January 2: Fallen Angels #1-8

January 8: Uncanny X-Men #219
January 9: New Mutants #54
January 10: X-Factor #18

January 15: X-Men vs. the Fantastic Four #1-4
January 17: X-Factor Annual #2

January 22: X-Men vs. the Avengers #1-4
January 24: X-Men Annual #11

January 29: Uncanny X-Men #220
January 30: New Mutants #55
January 31: X-Factor #19 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

X-amining New Mutants Annual #3

"Anything YOU Can Do..!"
1987

In a Nutshell
Warlock duels the Impossible Man in a shape changing contest. 

Presentor: Stan Lee
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Creators: Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Plot
Following a Danger Room session in which the New Mutants take on simulacrums of the Avengers rendered as teenagers, they receive an unexpected and unwanted visit from the Impossible Man. Hoping to find the X-Men, he instead challenges the New Mutants to a contest. While most of the New Mutants turn him down, Warlock agrees to the challenge. The two aliens begin a duel to determine who is the better shapeshifter, taking a variety of forms before disappearing. Hoping to keep them out of trouble, the New Mutants teleport to Limbo, where they use Illyana's magic to locate Warlock and the Impossible Man.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

However you choose to celebrate the holiday (or don't), I hope the day finds you happy and well.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Last Week in Pop Culture #13: All Christmas Edition

Quick note: since this is an "all Christmas" Last Week in Pop Culture post, looking at the various Christmas episodes I watched recently, and because nobody wants to read about Christmas stuff after Christmas, I'm posting it a little earlier than the usual Saturday. 

The Simpsons: White Christmas Blues


This was a messy episode. The plot was, what, Marge turns the house into a bed & breakfast for the holidays, then has to deal with the inconveniences that brings? Meanwhile, in the wisp of a B-plot (that isn't even introduced until about halfway into the episode) Lisa learns not to be sanctimonious in her gift giving.

Nothing here was bad - it's always good when Marge gets a chance to be just as whacky and irrational as the rest of the family (and her insistence that Christmas carols only have one verse was easily the comedic highlight of the episode), and there's nothing wrong with Lisa having the piss taken out of her every once in awhile - but it was all so scattered and formless I spent more time trying to figure out what the story was than I did enjoying it.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday Night Live: Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake


It's always tough to be critical of the Christmas episode. Unless it completely bombs, there's usually an effervescent energy to it that manages to smooth out the rough edges, especially if they manage to get a seasoned/favorite/recurring host to do the show (and they usually do). So while this episode definitely finished weaker than it started, there were quite a few highly entertaining bits. Both Fallon and Timberlake (who essentially co-hosted, at least in the first half) performed well, had a ton of energy, and seemed genuinely happy to be hosting. Maybe it's that energy, or just the holiday season, but I really enjoyed this one.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Last Week in Pop Culture #12

Short one this week, as I'm holding the Christmas episode of stuff I've watched for next week's "all Christmas" post. 

Top Chef: Like Mama Made


The timing of this episode worked out well: down to nine chefs, we can finally start to get know them a little better, and this challenge allowed us to do just that.

Anthony Mackie made for a surprisingly entertaining judge. He was funny, but seemed to know his stuff. I wouldn't mind seeing him back.

Even though Travis stepped up in the last episode, his elimination was another "head nod" elimination (in that it made sense as he seemed like the weakest remaining chef). Not many surprise eliminations this season: everyone seems to be leaving more or less at the seeming right time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

X-amining X-Factor #17

"Die, Mutants, Die!"
June 1987

In a Nutshell 
The first appearance of Rictor and the Right. 

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

Plot
Thor returns Iceman, his powers now amplified by Loki, to X-Factor headquarters on the day of Angel's funeral. Learning of Warren's suicide, Bobby is enraged at the thought of Warren killing himself because humans cut off his wings. When X-Factor arrives at the funeral, they find pro- and anti-mutant demonstrations being waged, and only the timely arrival of Leech and Caliban prevent Bobby from blowing X-Factor's cover when he's confronted by reporter Trish Tilby and has difficulty controlling his power. When X-Factor enters the church, they discover an anti-mutant screed spray painted across the altar. Meanwhile, Apocalypse prepares his fourth horseman. As X-Factor arrives back at their headquarters, Cameron Hodge receives a call from the governor of California, saying that the X-Terminators are threatening to destroy San Fransisco via a mutant named Rictor. Though Hodge turns the governor away, X-Factor insists on helping, and Bobby suggest they go as the X-Terminators, rather than X-Factor, to show that not all mutants are evil.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

X-amining New Mutants #53

"Seduced and Abandoned"
July1987

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants attend a party at the Hellfire Club. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Penciler: Rick Leonardi
Guest Inker: Terry Austin 
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
At the X-Mansion, Doug wakes up from a nightmare in which he became infected by the transmode virus and attacked the New Mutants. The next evening, in Manhattan, a man named Van Ostamgen receives a priceless statute he believes will gain him admittance to the Hellfire Club. At the same time, the New Mutants and Magneto arrive in Central Park, courtesy of Illyana, and heads towards the Hellfire Club, which is holding a gala. Though they are all somewhat apprehensive of making nice with the Hellfire Club and the Hellions, despite Magneto's new alliance, Doug is especially agitated. As they enter the gala, Amara bristles at the presence of Selene, while Doug angrily refuses to dance with Tarot. When Rahne reunites with Catseye, the pair transform into their animal forms and run off. Alerted to the transformation by the activation of her psychic link with Rahne, Dani and John Proudstar attempt to track down their errant teammates.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #218

"Charge of the Light Brigade"
June 1987

In a Nutshell 
The X-Men fight Juggernaut. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Mark Sylvestri & Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
In New Mexico, Alex Summers and Lorna Dane are run off the road by a speeding VW bus. Meanwhile, in Scotland, Dazzler regains consciousness only to realize that Juggernaut, believing her dead, has buried her alive in a makeshift cairn. After Psylocke makes telepathic contact with her, she manages to absorb enough energy from the ambient sound around her to send up a flare, directing the X-Men to her location. Just then, the X-Men hear reports on the radio of the Juggernaut tearing up Edinburgh. Rogue flies the team to the city, and they confront the villain. Attacking him one-on-one, they're unable to stop him, but they regroup and attack as a team. Rogue kisses him, absorbing a portion of his power and enabling her to rip off his skullcap. Dazzler is then able to laser off his skullcap, leaving him vulnerable to Psylocke's mental attack as Rogue and Longshot manage to stop a passenger train in danger of derailing as a result of the damage done by the fight.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How I Met Your Mother 9x13: Bass Player Wanted


Well, at least the show went into its winter break on a strong note, finally bringing Marshall into the fold at the Farhampton Inn and revealing Ted's upcoming secret Chicago move to Barney while featuring a big helping of the Mother and perhaps the season's best use of a guest star. Best of all, it avoided most of the pitfalls of the season's worst episodes: no schlockly pre-wedding hijinks and the characters acted like real people: for the most part, the Lily/Robin and Ted/Barney interactions were grounded and realistic, with the broadest bit being Ted stealing the scotch, but that happened mostly off camera and, as broad whacky hijinks go this season, was relatively mild. This wasn't the funniest episode or an all-time HIMYM classic or anything, but it at least avoided sending what has thus far been a wildly uneven season into the holiday break on a down note.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday Night Live: John Goodman & Kings of Leon


Another cromulent if unexciting episode. Few of the sketches were awful, with most having at least one or two funny bits, but there were very few top-to-bottom successes. John Goodman, a seasoned pro at this,  certainly gave it his all and acquitted himself well, playing everything from straight men to more whacky characters, but overall the sketches seemed to have a hard time coming together.

Other Thoughts
Thirteen hosting gigs for John Goodman is pretty impressive, but his consecutive streak from 1989 to 2001 impresses me even more. I mean, Roseanne likely earned him most of those spots well into the nineties, and Monsters, Inc. likely landed him his last hosting gig, but there's at least a few years there where he wasn't doing much of note and was getting asked back just on the strength of his talent (he's third on the all-time hosting list between Alec Baldwin (16) and Steve Martin(15)). 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Last Week in Pop Culture #11

The Simpsons: Yellow Subterfuge


This was a disappointing episode, mainly because the plot had an opportunity to do something unique, yet ultimately settled for more of the same. There was definite potential in the idea of Bart doing his best to be genuinely good, even in the face of Skinner trying to get him to slip up, and then in the idea of Bart dealing with the disappointment of not making it onto the sub despite his best efforts. But the former was undermined by having Bart break one of Skinner's rules (no matter how lame the rule was) instead of being purposely tripped up or illegitimately passed over by Skinner, while instead of having Bart deal with his disappointment, the episode instead wrapped up with the kind of routine, over-the-top shenanigans we've seen countless times before. A pity.

The B-plot, meanwhile, was almost laughably superfluous to the A-plot and was, for the most part, built around the kind of hit-or-miss cultural humor that Family Guy has made its bread-and-butter, but I did laugh pretty hard despite myself at the Romanian Krusty being elected President-for-Life and at everything involving Irish Krusty. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

X-amining X-Factor #16

"Playing With Fire"
May 1987

In a Nutshell
Rusty seeks out the woman he accidentally burned to make amends.

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: David Mazzucchelli
Inker: Josef Rubinstein
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
In the wake of Angel's death, Rusty and Skids continue to try and hone their powers. When Rusty accidentally breaks Skids' necklace, she, unable to pick up the scattered pearls, becomes frustrated with her inability to lower her force field and runs off. Rusty chases her into the Morlock tunnels, where they run into Masque. Unable to disfigure Skids, he turns on Rusty, but the pair escape, returning to X-Factor headquarters. Later, Rusty sees a newspaper article about Emma La Porte, the women he accidentally burned when his power first manifested, entering a hospital in New York. When he learns from Cameron Hodge that X-Factor, who has been paying Emma's medical bills, may have to cut off their support in the wake of Angel's death, Rusty becomes determined to help her some other way. He then returns to the tunnels and seeks out Masque, making a deal with him.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

X-amining New Mutants #52

"Grounded Forever"
June 1987

In a Nutshell
Magneto responds to the New Mutants recent actions.

Presenter: Stan Lee
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Rick Leonardi
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Creators: Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Plot
In the Danger Room, the New Mutants face off against simulacrums of the Marauders, and are easily defeated, with the entire team killed or wounded in barely five minutes. When Roberto complains that they lost because the session was a high-level scenario designed for the X-Men, Magneto counters that his intention was to show them just how much danger they were in when they left the school against orders during the Morlock Massacre, and proceeds to restrict the New Mutants to the school grounds until they can prove themselves capable of acting maturely. Meanwhile, in Limbo, Illyana, who disappeared in the midst of the Danger Room exercise, continues her fight against S'ym for control of Limbo, eventually returning to Earth, frustrated by her constant struggle to contain her dark side and feeling alone with Kitty and Peter on Muir Isle.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #217

"Folly's Gambit"
May 1987

In a Nutshell 
Dazzler fights the Juggernaut.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Jackson Guice
Inker: Steve Leialoha
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Oliver & Scotese
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
On Muir Isle, the X-Men train, pitting Rogue, Dazzler and Longshot against Psylocke, unknowingly observed by one of Dr. Doom's scanbots disguised as a trawler fisherman. Over breakfast, Banshee evaluates their performance, while Moira and Callisto attend to the recovering Morlocks. Later, as the X-Men work out, Callisto taunts Dazzler for being weak, causing her to storm off in a huff. Needing a break and frustrated with the life of an X-Man, Dazzler takes a boat to the nearby town of Ullapool. Drawn by music to a local pub, she spends the evening dancing and enjoying herself, making friends with Conal, one of the locals. As they leave the pub, however, they're nearly rundown in the street by a car, and Dazzler recognizes the driver from the X-Men's files: Juggernaut.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saturday Night Live: Paul Rudd & One Direction

 
Apparently, "mediocre" is this season's new baseline status, as this was another episode with neither a really strong standout sketch nor any overtly terrible sketches (and, frankly, "medicore" isn't a bad baseline for a show that has a propensity to set that baseline at "lackluster"). Paul Rudd brought his usual goofy charm to a handful of roles (his standout sketch was likely the pre-taped One Direction bit, and he did an effective job of keeping the premise of that sketch from being too creepy), and though there were guests a-plenty in this episode, they were mostly relegated to two sketches (one of which was the cold open), so Rudd didn't get squeezed out too much.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Last Week in Pop Culture #10

The Simpsons: The Kid is All Right


A surprisingly-measured look at friendship amongst political differences, this episode wasn't the funniest episode ever (most of the laughs came from the always-reliable over-the-top-ness of the Springfield Republicans and Lisa and Homer's joint dream of not-dead Democrat ghosts) but still managed to tell a good story.

Friday, December 6, 2013

X-amining X-Factor #15

"Whose Death Is It, Anyway?"
April 1987

In a Nutshell 
Angel dies. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciller: Walt Simonson
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Following his surgery, Warren wakes up to discover in horror that his wings are gone. Meanwhile, in Alaska, Scott identifies the body of a red-haired woman as Maddie, and vows to find whomever killed his wife and son. At X-Factor headquarters, Masque picks a fight with Boom-Boom, but an overworked Hank lashes out at Boom-Boom, giving her laundry duty as punishment. At the hospital, a surly Warren orders Jean out of his room, telling her she should have let him die. Jean calls Scott and asks him to come back to New York to help Warren, but he says he needs to stay longer to bury Maddie. At the X-Factor complex, the remaining Morlocks discuss returning to the tunnels, but Hank insists they'll be safer with X-Factor. Masque angrily attacks Hank, prompting a fight between Masque and Caliban, from which Caliban emerges victorious. Though the Morlocks are grateful for X-Factor's help, they point out they couldn't save Angel from being mutilated by humans.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

X-amining New Mutants #51

"Teachers' Choice"
May 1987

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants return home while Professor X opts to remain in space. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Kevin Nowlan
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Creators: Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Plot
As the Starjammers repair their ship, Professor Xavier telepathically learns more about recent events from the New Mutants. Horrified by what he sees, he realizes he must return to Earth with his students. Back on Earth, Magneto and Storm help create a breakwater to protect a town from a hurricane, discussing the Hellfire Club's offer of an alliance, with Storm arguing the benefits of such an arrangement. Aboard the Starjammer, Illyana locks herself in her room, refusing to come out. Over Dani's objections, Xavier helps Karma possess Illyana, forcing her to explain her actions: she wishes to stay on the Starjammer, and not return to Limbo, where she'll be forced to reclaim her dark side once again. Just then, Xavier telepathically detects a cloaked fleet of Shi'ar starships, poised to attack the Starjammer.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #216

"Crucible"
April 1987

In a Nutshell
Storm fights Crimson Commander, Stonewall and Super Sabre.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Jackson Guice & Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
In the Adirondack Forest, a near-savage Wolverine is struck by a car, damaging the vehicle and stranding its occupants. Elsewhere, Storm and Priscilla set a trap for Super Sabre, one that will likely kill him, but when the super speedster approaches, Storm fails to spring the trap, refusing to kill, much to Priscilla's frustration. On Muir Isle, Moira MacTaggert is awakened by the arrival of the rest of the X-Men, returning to the island with the last of the massacre survivors. Back in New York, Crimson Commando and Stonewall discover the trap Storm refused to spring. Realizing she passed up an opportunity to kill Super Sabre, Stonewall begins to doubt whether Storm is really the criminal they think she is, though Crimson Commando remains certain. On a nearby ridge, Super Sabre is ambushed by Storm. Though she manages to overpower him, Priscilla triggers an avalanche, seemingly burying them both.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Walking Dead 4x08: Too Far Gone

Whether it’s a season finale or (in this case) a mid-season finale The Walking Dead always tries to go out with a bang. (This mid-season finale literally had a bang thanks to the tank the Governor brought along.) It was the ultimate showdown between the Governor and Rick. It was quite the spectacle but it left me feeling conflicted. I wasn't sure if this was all happening too late or too soon.

The first half of this episode was about building tension. Rick and the Governor have a face-to-face at the fence of the prison. Rick thinks everyone can peacefully coexist. Heck, for a few brief moments I thought the show might go in the tentative coexistence of the two camps direction. But then Rick had to make a big speech rallying for a bloodless resolution and forgiveness. The longer and more impassioned Rick spoke the more nails were being pounded into poor old Hershel's coffin. The Governor, always averse to peaceful compromises and not killing, will have none of this "peace" talk. A gruesome decapitation later and the episode's second half of mayhem begins.

How I Met Your Mother 9x12: Rehearsal Dinner


So I get that we're supposed to view Barney's surprise rehearsal dinner as a grand romantic gesture (or at least that the writers think it is one), and heaven knows I'm well aware that Marshall and Lily's "we keep no secrets from each other" business is a bunch of claptrap - at the very least, Christmas kind of sucks if you don't keep secrets from your spouse, and I threw my wife a surprise party for her 30th birthday, the details of which I kept secret from her for a long time. But you know what I didn't do in the time leading up to the reveal of her party? Lead her to believe I was actually ruining an event that was very important to her, just to make the eventual surprise that much more surprising.

Granted, doing so is very much consistent with Barney's character, and is the kind of thing you'd expect from a guy who proposed to Robin in the most overly-elaborate, manipulative way possible. The problem is that the show keeps trying to sell, both in this episode and via "The Robin", this trait of Barney's as something that is admirable and deeply romantic, and frankly, it's not (it is, in fact, borderline creepy and highly troubling). Keeping secrets from a loved one to surprise them is fine; putting them through hell first just to sell the inevitable surprise is just a dick move. And like most of the Robin/Barney-centric episodes this season, it once again makes you wonder why these two are even getting married.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saturday Night Live: Josh Hutcherson & Haim


For whatever reason, Josh Hutcherson wasn't given much to do in this episode, and ended up largely relegated to the straight man roles that hosts whom the writers don't think can handle much usually get (and most of the non-straight man work he got, like Lil' Peanut, was built around the fact that he's kinda short), which is a shame, because he seemed like he may have been capable of handling more (maybe the writers just didn't want to roll the dice on a first time host who's pretty much just done one notable thing in his career?).

The end result was another solid, if unexciting, episode, a bit of a letdown after the previous two strong ones but another episode with few completely bad sketches - even the sketches I didn't enjoy as much weren't fundamentally flawed or poorly executed, and at this point in a transitional season, "not many awful" sketches is almost as promising as "lots of really good sketches".  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Last Week in Pop Culture...

...will return next week, on account of the holiday and a lack of time to do much of anything pop culture-related (I still haven't seen last week's SNL, which I hope to do this weekend and have a post up about it Monday).

So look for a return to normal next week. In the meantime, you'll just have to enjoy all that shopping and leftover food without my pop culture ramblings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 29, 2013

X-amining X-Factor #14

"The Mutant Program!"
March 1987

In a Nutshell 
Cyclops vs. Master Mold. 

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

Plot
In Alaska, Master Mold is drawn to Cyclops, just as a pair of police officers arrive at the site of his destroyed home. Suspecting Cyclops of blowing up the house, they arrest him. In New York, Jean and Bobby leave to visit Warren in the hospital, leaving Hank to oversee Boom-Boom's training session, much to her disappointment. In Alaska, Master Mold attacks Cyclops, killing one of the police officers in the process. His glasses knocked off by Master Mold's attack, Cyclops is able to convince the other cop to give him his visor, allowing him to fight back. In New York, reporter Trish Tilby suddenly bursts into Warren's hospital room, demanding to know the truth of his involvement with X-Factor, but Jean and Bobby are able to shoo her out. The commotion, however, causes Warren to pass out. In Alaska, Cyclops and the remaining cop are chased by Master Mold into an oil refinery.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

X-amining New Mutants #50

"Father's Day"
April 1987

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants reunite and defeat Magus. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Jackson Guice
Guest Inker: John Beatty
Letterers: Orzechowski & Buhalis
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Co-Creators: Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Plot
Alone in Limbo, Illyana fights off a horde of demons infected by the transmode virus, led by a similarly-infected S'ym. Desperate to stop them, she plunges her Soulsword into the crowd, thinking of Professor X as she hopes to disrupt Limbo itself. Later, on an alien world, the Starjammers barter for supplies, when Charles Xavier suddenly detects a familiar mental presence. He tracks it to a slave auction, where a captured Illyana is being sold off. He claims her as his own, blowing the Starjammers cover and forcing them to quickly retreat to their ship. Illyana is relieved to see Xavier again, and fills him in on all that has happened in his absence. Realizing he can read her mind for the first time, Xavier theorizes that Illyana's attempts to destroy limbo instead purged her of her demonic side while casting her out, her mutant power sending her to the last person she was thinking of. Hoping to reunite the New Mutants, Xavier and Illyana return to Limbo, where Illyana is forced to reclaim her demonic side in order to hold S'ym at bay and keep Limbo under her control.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #215

"Old Soldiers"
March 1987

In a Nutshell 
Storm runs afoul of three World War II-era superheroes. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
The X-Men, including new members Dazzler and Longshot, as well as Callisto, prepare to leave for Muir Isle with the wounded X-Men and Morlocks. Leaving Rogue in charge, Storm and Wolverine head upstate. Meanwhile, in San Fransisco, the red-haired Jane Doe awakens and tells the doctors her name is Madelyne Pryor. In New York, Storm and Wolverine arrive at the home of Sara Grey to find it burning, victim of a fire bomb. Checking the wreckage for clues on the culprit, Wolverine detects first the scent of Cyclops, then Jean Grey - the later of which causes him to go berserk and accidentally knock out Storm. To the east, as the Blackbird races towards Muir Isle, the ghost-like Kitty visits her teammates, though Longshot is able to sense her presence. Elsewhere, Storm awakens shackled in a dungeon. Easily picking the locks, she escapes her cell and finds herself in some kind of hunting lodge.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Walking Dead 4x07: Dead Weight

Well, when a person is wrong they have to admit they were wrong. Me? I was wrong. So this Thanksgiving week the bird I’m apparently eating is crow.

After last week’s episode I lambasted The Walking Dead for trying to redeem the (in my opinion) unredeemable Governor. It’s honestly where I thought the series was headed. Instead, by the end of this episode the Governor is back to being his old, villainous self. However, that just makes me ask this question: What was the point of the last two episodes?

How I Met Your Mother 9x11: Bedtime Stories


More clever and amusing than outright funny, this was, nevertheless, a pretty enjoyable episode. There wasn't much more to it beyond the central gimmick (well, I suppose James Van Der Beek returned), but it was another episode set away from the inn, it didn't involve sitcom-y wedding hijinks, and the gimmick did generate a few laughs all on its own (mainly from seeing how certain words got rhymed and/or fit into the meter - Barney in particular had some impressive ones).

Maybe it's just the English major in me, but I thought this was tons of fun. As far as stunt episodes for long-in-the-tooth sitcoms go, this could have been much, much worse. What it ultimately boils down to is whether or not you enjoyed the gimmick. I did.

Monday, November 25, 2013

X-aminations in December

This year, with Christmas and New Years Day falling on Wednesday and me feeling the grind of doing three X-aminations posts every week (on top of everything else), I considered giving myself a little two week break from posting on account of the holidays. 

But, I have yet to miss a week posting something X-related since I started this crazy X-aminations project, and that's a feat of which I'm especially proud. So, in a compromise between my pride and my laziness, I am taking a little break for the holidays this year, by only doing one post the weeks of Christmas and New Years, first New Mutants Annual #3 on Christmas (because who doesn't want the Impossible Man for Christmas?) and then the Fallen Angels limited series on New Years Day (and yes, I recognize the irony of taking it easy by reading Fallen Angels). After that, we'll be back to the usual three-posts-a-week (usually, at least. There's a chunk of limited series and annuals we'll look at in January that'll throw that count off again).

Anyways, before we get to all that, here's a look at the otherwise-normal month ahead.  

December 4th: Uncanny X-Men #216
December 5th: New Mutants #51
December 6th: X-Factor #15

December 11th: Uncanny X-Men #217
December 12th: New Mutants #52
December 13th: X-Factor #16

December 18th: Uncanny X-Men #218
December 19th: New Mutants #53
December 20th: X-Factor #17

December 25th: New Mutants Annual #3

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Last Week in Pop Culture #9

A short one this week, as I have family in town and thus significantly less time to watch TV...

The Simpsons: Labor Pains 


Another meh episode, with an intriguing and original premise (for this show; it's a sitcom cliche, but The Simpsons have never really done a "deliver a baby in an elevator" story before) which the script didn't seem to know what to do with (along with a B-plot that played out in the most perfunctory manner possible). The funniest parts of the episodes were a couple running gags: the ongoing poker game at Carl's apartment (that Homer was increasingly ignoring) and the other guy in the elevator ("And the funny thing is, I’m a doctor."), plus a pair of lines I'll quote below. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

X-amining X-Factor #13

"Ghosts!"
February 1987

In a Nutshell
Cyclops returns home. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Walt Simonson
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Scott leaves for Alaska, stopping on his way to the airport to visit Jean and Warren. Meanwhile, in the Alaskan waters, Master Mold, long-dormant, awakens. Back at the hospital, Hodge discusses the fraud charges being leveled at Warren. Hours later, Scott arrives in Alaska and returns to his house to find it for sale, the locks changed. Using his power to blast the locks, he goes inside to find the house empty and deserted. Offshore, Master Mold, sensing Scott's presence, uses an oil platform as raw material to rebuild himself. In Anchorage, Scott continues to search for Maddie, but finds no record of her, with the realtor, his grandparents' airline, even the police.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

X-amining New Mutants #49

"Ashes of the Soul"
March 1987

In a Nutshell
The other half of the team finds themselves in their own dystopic future. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Artist: Bret Blevins
Guest Inker: Val Mayerik
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Creators: Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Plot
In a future New York City, Doug and Warlock evade a pair of Arbitrators, the city's police force, before scrawling a message in support of humans on the side of a building. Elsewhere, Dani visits Heroes Plaza, a memorial to the deceased X-Men and New Mutants, before leaving with Sam on a mission to retrieve food and medical supplies for the city's disenfranchised human population. Dani and Sam's actions brings them to the attention of an elderly Katie Power, even as the Chief Arbitrator is similarly made aware of their presence. Meanwhile, in downtown, the New Mutants distribute the supplies to the human population as Katie introduces them to her own group of young mutants, whom she's trained to fight in defense of humans. Just then, the gathering is attacked by Arbitrators, and the New Mutants, along with Katie, are captured.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #214

"With Malice Toward All"
February 1987

In a Nutshell 
Dazzler joins the X-Men. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Barry Windsor-Smith
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
In Denver, Dazzler, performing at a concert as part of Lila Cheney's band, is goaded by Malice into taking the spotlight from Lila, exposing herself as a mutant in the process. After the concert, Lila chastises her, and Dazzler, fully possessed by Malice, quits the band. In New York, Storm, Rogue and Psylocke declare Cerebro damaged beyond their ability to repair it as Wolverine and Callisto spar in the Danger Room, when they receive a call from Lila, concerned about Dazzler. The X-Men track her to a nightclub in Dallas where she performs with abandon, making no secret of her mutant abilities. When she spots the X-Men, she attacks, and when the X-Men overpower her, Malice abandons Dazzler and takes control first of Wolverine and then Rogue. The possessed Rogue blasts out of the club, attacking the police gathered outside.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Walking Dead 4x06: Live Bait

I gave last week’s episode of The Walking Dead very high praise. I liked the energy, suspense, plot and acting. The only real negative I brought up was my disappointment that the Governor showed up at the end. I have nothing against the Governor coming back, per se, but I felt it was too early to bring him back. The show was on a role so there was no need for him in the narrative. Save him for when the plot is lagging.

So, after expressing my disappointment regarding his cameo at the end of the previous episode, what do we get this episode? A whole heapin’ helpin’ of the Governor.

How I Met Your Mother 9x10: Mom and Dad


Aaaand we're back to broad, wacky wedding hijinks.

The whole "Barney wants his parents to get back together" plot was patently ridiculous, on multiple levels (even if the show did acknowledge it via Robin's insertion into Barney's musical dream), so the saving grace of this episode was Ted's feud with Billy Zabka. I'm a sucker for Ted-as-incompetent detective (he can't even detect sarcasm) and the feud played out much better than I'd feared when it was first introduced. Plus, the trials and tribulations of Billy Zabka were pretty funny (I especially loved that his mom booed him over the phone); it was a fairly unrealistic, broad bit (I also liked that everyone always had popcorn to throw, wherever he went), but it's less problematic when a peripheral character playing a caricature of himself goes broad than when the main cast does it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Saturday Night Live: Lady Gaga


This was a pretty solid episode: a few sketches I liked less than others, but nothing completely awful or deeply flawed in conception, everything generally amusing on some level and quite a few sketches I genuinely enjoyed. In terms of Lady Gaga, I recall thinking, when she'd pop up in sketches during her various turns as a musical guest, that she'd make for a decent host. She passed my first test for any celebrity with an air of pretentiousness about them: the ability to display a sense of humor about themselves. Beyond that, while most of her sketch work played off her image to one extent or another, preventing her from disappearing into roles the way, say, Kerry Washington did, she acquitted herself well. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Last Week in Pop Culture #8

My stupid DVR failed to record Top Chef for whatever reason, so we'll have to talk about that next week. In the meantime, here's some stuff my DVR managed to record properly. 

The Simpsons: YOLO


Pleasant and amusing, if not terribly funny (though there were some good lines on the fringes). But while Lisa's manipulation of her classmates was pretty great, I'm not sure why she ever thought the whole honor code thing would work (nor why it ultimately did). Sure, she got Nelson to sign a pledge, but since when does Nelson give a crap about signing a pledge? Wouldn't he just go back to cheating immediately, pledge or not, even if he was tattled on by goody goodies like Martin or Milhouse (ditto Bart, Dolph, Kearney, etc.)?

Friday, November 15, 2013

X-amining Mephisto Vs. #1-4

"Give the Devil His Due!" / "Sympathy for the Devil" / "The Devil You Say!" / "His Satanic Majesty's Request"
April - July 1987

In a Nutshell 
Mephisto battles a variety of superhero teams in search of a powerful innocent soul. 

Writer: Al Milgrom
Penciler: John Buscema
Inks: Bob Wiace, Al Milgrom (issue #3)
Letters: Rick Parker
Color: George Roussos
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Issue #1: Mephisto lures the Fantastic Four to his realm, yearning to acquire an innocent soul. He tricks the Invisible Woman into giving up her soul in exchange for her teammates' lives. Issue #2: Eager to improve on the quality of the soul he's acquired, Mephisto uses Invisible Woman to draw out X-Factor, promising each member a different boon in exchange for their soul. Ultimately, Marvel Girl agrees, to protect her teammates and to free Invisible Woman. Issue #3: Reed Richards, happy that his wife has been returned but worried that Mephisto, having traded up souls once, may be targeting the soul of a god. He contacts the X-Men to warn them that Mephisto may be after Storm, who was once worshipped as a goddess. But when Mephisto appears before the X-Men, he targets Rogue, letting her learn that he intends to take the souls of all the X-Men. To protect them, Rogue flies to each of her teammates and touches them, absorbing their memories and, in effect, their souls, in order to protect them. But Mephisto reveals this was his plan all along, as he transports Rogue, along with the souls of her teammates, to his realm, returning Marvel Girl to Earth in the process.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

X-amining Thor #373-374

"The Gift of Death" / "Fires of the Night!"
November-December 1986

In a Nutshell
Thor rescues Angel from the Marauders. 

Writer: Walter Simonson
Art: Sal Buscema
Lettering: John Workman
Colorist: Max Scheele
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Issue #373: Thor returns to Earth after a lengthy absence and gets back into the life of Sigurd Jarlsson, his secret identity. Learning from the frogs in Central Park about the massacre going on underneath the streets, he transforms into Thor and enters the Morlock Tunnels. Overhearing Angel's screams, he discovers the mutant being tortured by the Marauders, and fights them off. Issue #374: Thor once again fends off the returning Marauders as he endeavors to take the badly injured Angel to the surface for medical attention. Elsewhere in the tunnels, Blockbuster, chafing at being twice beaten by Thor, vows to kill him. Nearby, Thor encounters Artie, and offers to bring him to the surface as well, but just then Blockbuster attacks, breaking Thor's arm.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

X-amining Power Pack #27 & Daredevil #238

Power Pack #27
"Whose Power -- ?"
December 1986

In a Nutshell
Power Pack faces off against the Marauders

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Jon Bogdanove
Inker: Al Gordon
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Carl Potts
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Alerted to the massacre of the Morlocks thanks to Franklin Richards' power, and concerned about the welfare of their Morlock friends, Power Pack sneaks into the tunnels to investigate. They're quickly attacked by Sabretooth, but manage to escape by blasting the tunnel ceiling, collapsing it on top of him. They then run into Wolverine, who orders them out the tunnels before leaving to track down Sabretooth, but they decide to stay and keep searching for their friends. Meanwhile, X-Factor and a group of rescued Morlocks arrive at X-Factor headquarters, and though they are still dealing with a variety of injuries, the team decides to head back into the tunnels to find Angel and rescue more mutants, including the still-missing Artie. Back in the tunnels, Power Pack encounters Leech and the injured Caliban, just as they're attacked by a group of Marauders. Power Pack manages to hold them off until X-Factor arrives, prompting the Marauders to flee. Power Pack helps Leech deal with the loss of Annalee, and X-Factor promises to look after him. As Power Pack leave the tunnels, Beast and Iceman head back to their headquarters with Leech and Caliban as Cyclops and Marvel Girl continue to search for Angel and Artie.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Walking Dead 4x05: Internment

About three years ago I watched The Walking Dead pilot. I wasn’t sure where the series was headed but I knew it had potential. As the series progressed I would get frustrated by The Walking Dead's inability to live up to that potential. (And by its lack of nudity, but whatever.) This season has had its ups and downs.  I liked the premiere but the following episodes were uneven for me. Then came this week's episode: Internment.
 
Internment is everything I envisioned The Walking Dead could be when I first watched it.

How I Met Your Mother 9x09: Platonish


Nine episodes into the season and we finally get a legitimate "the wedding weekend is just a framing device for a flashback" episode promised by the creators before the start of the season. I was expecting (and hoping for) more of them, frankly, but hopefully this wasn't the last. Needless to say, this episode was a marked improvement on the previous one, and while I'm not as down on the overall setting of the season as some (there are good stories that can be told set at Farhampton, the show just hasn't told very many of them yet), there's no denying that this episode benefited from a trip back to familiar places and a story built around something other than the usual Robin/Barney pre-wedding plots.

It also benefited from the presence of the Mother, echoing her role in the season's premiere episode to do something other than pop up in the last five minutes to hang out with Ted in a flashforward. The idea that Barney met the Mother, before Ted, before Farhampton, and that she played a significant role in his life by making him realize he wanted to be with Robin, is the kind of coincidence that you almost only ever see in Hollywood, but gets something of a pass on a show like this, one built around the idea that coincidences and unseen connections can play a significant role in a person's life in general, and that has specifically established previously that the Mother, unbeknownst to Ted, has been hovering within his sphere of influence for several years now.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Last Week in Pop Culture #7

The Simpsons: Four Regrettings and a Funeral


Look, you can either be structurally clever, or really funny (or, ideally, both). This episode tried to do both and succeed at neither.

In case you're wondering, Fox was supposed to air "Bart the Lover" in the 6:30 slot, in remembrance of Marcia Wallace, but apparently had issues getting the episode back from syndication, so they aired "The Ned-liest Catch" instead, making Bart's sad chalkboard message that opened "Four Regrettings and a Funeral" the best tribute of the night. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

To Better Know a Hero: Thor

Note: This is a slightly-edited re-posting of an earlier "To Better Know a Hero" post about Thor, to celebrate the release of the character's second feature film (because I ran out of time to do a "To Better Know a Villain" post on Loki). 

Forsooth! Verily, Thor doth star in a new film, in theaters now! Before seeing thy film, feast thy eyes on these runes to vanquish thine ignorance about the mighty Thor!

Real Name
Thor Odinson 

First Appearance
Journey Into Mystery #83, August 1962

Nicknames and Aliases
Dr. Don Blake, Sigurd Jarlson, Eric Masterson, Jake Olson, Siegfried, Siegmund.

Powers and Abilities
Thor possesses super-human strength, speed, endurance, durability and longevity thanks to his godly nature. He is also a skilled warrior.

X-amining X-Factor #12

"Boom Boom Boom!"
January 1987

In a Nutshell
X-Factor takes in Boom-Boom

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciller: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
At the hospital, Warren is told that he'll die if his wings aren't removed, but he refuses, saying he'd rather die than lose his wings. Meanwhile, at X-Factor headquarters, Hank, Bobby and X-Factor's charges, including the rescued Morlocks, are having breakfast when they receive a call from Boom-Boom, telling them she's found an evil mutant. Though their headquarters is already overcrowded, Hank and Bobby decide to investigate. Back at the hospital, Jean sees a news report about the firebombing of an apartment believed to belong to relatives of a mutant, followed by an interview given by her sister, Sara, expressing support for mutants. Realizing Sara may be in danger, Jean tries to call her, but doesn't get an answer, so she and Scott leave to warn her in person. At an arcade in Manhattan, Vanisher tracks down Boom-Boom, and agrees to give her a larger cut of the money she steals if she returns with him.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

X-amining New Mutants #48

"Ashes of the Heart"
February 1987

In a Nutshell
Half the New Mutants end up in a future ruled by Sentinels. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Jackson Guice
Inker: P. Craig Russell
Letterers: Buhalis & Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Creators: Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Plot
Accidentally scattered through space and time by Illyana, Sunspot, Magma, Karma and Wolfsbane find themselves in a future ruled by Sentinels, in which most of their teammates have been killed. They're are quickly attacked by Sentinels, but are rescued by adult versions of Sam and Dani from this timeline. Meanwhile, at Xavier's mansion in the present day, Magneto discusses the New Mutants' absence with Stevie Hunter, repeating his belief that they are still alive, and that he won't abandon them. In the future, Sam tells the New Mutants about the history of his timeline and how the world turned against mutants, while Rahne is shocked to learn just how cold and distant the adult Dani has become. Sam explains that most of the surviving mutants have fled Earth to live on Lila Cheney's Dyson Sphere, something which rankles Roberto. Just then, the Sentinels announce they've captured Lila and intend to execute her.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How I Met Your Mother 9X08: The Lighthouse



Other than the last five minutes, this was a pretty terrible episode. Centered around the asinine feud between Robin and Barney's mom (a plot line for which the best thing going for it is that it ended in this episode) and featuring far too many "whacky hijinks" in the Daphne/Marshall subplot (can Marshall get to Farhampton already?), the best part of this episode was the final five minutes, in which, for the first time since the premiere, we finally got to spend more time with Ted and the Mother.

And look, I'm glad we got those five minutes, but when I said I wanted the Mother back, I meant in a more substantial role (imagine, if you will, a version of this episode in which the Robin and Marshall storylines are reduced or jettisoned and the spine of the plot was a parallel narrative featuring Ted visiting the lighthouse with Cassie in the present and the Mother in the future, leading up to that proposal). If all we're going get out of the Mother this season is little five minute snippets like this, set in the future in order to fill out a punch list of significant events between her and Ted, while the rest of the season is devoted to an endless litany of cliche and asinine Robin/Barney pre-wedding A-plots, then it's going to be a long (and disappointing) season.

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #213

"Psylocke"
January 1987

In a Nutshell 
Psylocke joins the team as Wolverine and Sabretooth fight once again. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Penciler: Alan Davis
Guest Inker: Paul Neary 
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Psylocke telepathically surveys the mansion with the help of Cerebro, checking in on Rogue, who is patrolling the perimeter, and the injured X-Men. Meanwhile, Wolverine, Storm, Magneto and Callisto check the Morlock Tunnels, confirming that the energy which blasted through the tunnels has scoured it of anything flammable. Magneto, believing he has failed the missing New Mutants, mentions the Hellfire Club's offer to become their White King. Storm quickly shoots down the idea, but Callisto notes that the X-Men could use the help, especially in the face of the Marauders. Meanwhile, at the mansion, Psylocke detects a stranger entering the grounds, but when she tries to read his mind, the resultant feedback knocks her out, and in LA, Malice continues to exert more control over Dazzler. Back at the school, Rogue is knocked out by Sabretooth. As Psylocke regains consciousness, she tries to warn the X-Men, but Sabretooth attacks her.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Saturday Night Live: Kerry Washington & Eminem


I'm not sure if this was the best episode of the season so far, but it was easily the most consistent, with almost all of the sketches landing on some level, flawed at times and humorous at others, all in the same sketch. Nothing was brilliant, but nothing was terrible either.

And most of the credit for that goes to Kerry Washington, who was a fantastic host. She ended up appearing in nearly every sketch to varying degrees, and did a lot to elevate some of the lesser material. Having not watched Scandal, I'm not terribly familiar with Washington's work (I know her mainly from her minor role in the Fantastic Four films and Django Unchained), but based on this episode, I'd be happy to see her back hosting again any time (or on a sitcom someday).

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Walking Dead 4x04: Indifference


To quote Harry Dunne, “Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this...and totally redeem yourself!” Alright, that might be a bit drastic but I was getting very annoyed with this episode (and with Rick in particular) but, thankfully, this episode’s ending saved itself.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Last Week in Pop Culture #6: All Halloween Edition

TV and movies make a big deal out of most of the major holidays, but Halloween, arguably, gets the biggest inflation in scope from "real life" to "fiction". Once you've outgrown trick-or-treating, there isn't a whole lot to the day. I celebrate it by going to a party (in costume, of course), listening to appropriately-themed music in the weeks leading up to the holiday, and watching suspense/horror/Halloween-themed movies and TV shows.

Yet while Christmas remains my favorite real world holiday, Halloween is probably my favorite when it comes to fictions about the holiday itself, as the stories, imagery and sensations on display in fiction are so much larger and impactful than they are in real life. And as much as there are some Christmas movies I love, and some fantastic Christmas-themed episodes of favorite TV shows, I have much more fun plowing through the fiction of Halloween every October than I do that of Christmas in December (in part because there's plenty more real world stuff to do associated with Christmas).

Anyways, here's my thoughts on some Halloween-themed TV shows I watched last week.

Sleepy Hollow: John Doe


So the lost colony of Roanoke is lost because the Horseman of Pestilence (aka Conquest) infected it with a plague then sent it forward in time so Pestilence could be unleashed on the modern world, but the colony was protected by the ghost of Virgina Dare, who gave the water healing properties, at least until one of the colonists was lured out by the Horseman and pierced the time barrier, entering the modern world and bringing the plague along with him?

Goddamn, I love this show.

Friday, November 1, 2013

X-amining X-Factor #11

"Redemption!"
December 1986

In a Nutshell 
X-Factor tries to help a group of displaced Morlocks. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Jackson Guice
Inks: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
In the Morlock Tunnels, Beast and Iceman, having rescued Leech and Caliban, are attacked by a group of Morlocks called the Tunnelers, who believe them to be the Marauders. Elsewhere in the tunnels, Cyclops and Marvel Girl, along with Artie, are bringing the gravely-injured Angel back to their headquarters when they overhear the fight between their teammates and the Morlocks. The battle stops when the leader of theTunnelers, Berserker, recognizes X-Factor as the X-Terminators. Cyclops offer them sanctuary, and the group returns to X-Factor headquarters, where the Tunnelers quickly realize that the X-Terminators and X-Factor are one and the same. Even though the other rescued Morlocks vouch for X-Factor, the Tunnelers aren't convinced, and sneak out of the complex as Scott and Jean take Warren to the hospital. They reach the river and stop to decide their next move, but are confronted by a street gang. A fight breaks out between the two groups, with casaulties on both sides, but one of the gang members manages to call the police before Berserker strikes him down.