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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Retro Review: Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood

Original Airdate
November 18, 1993

Or the One Where
Bart joins the Junior Campers and goes on a rafting trip with Homer. 

The Setup
After a bored Bart and Milhouse find twenty dollars, they go on an all-syrup-Super Squishee-bender that ends with Bart joining the Boy Scouts-esque Junior Campers in his sugar-induced stupor. 

Notable Notes
Ernest Borgnine guest stars in this episode as himself. The staff was reportedly a fan of his film work, and he agreed to the appearance because his grandchildren were big fans of the show.

Friday, June 27, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #2

"Possession is the Law"
December 1988

In a Nutshell
Wolverine fights Silver Samurai for the Black Blade. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Klaus Janson
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Wolverine, disguised as Patch, joins Lindsay McCabe at a hotel in Lowtown to meet Jessica Drew. As Lindsay remains at the bar, Wolverine searches the hotel, following a trail to a roomful of corpses and Silver Samurai, who is seeking the Black Blade himself. They fight, with Wolverine refusing to use his claws in order to keep his identity a secret, until they are interrupted by Jessica, who has been possessed by the Black Blade. She attacks both Wolverine and Silver Samurai as Lindsay helps evacuate the bar. Wolverine brings the hotel down, and Lindsay pulls Silver Samurai from the wreckage as Wolverine chases after Jessica.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #3

"Moving Day"
December 1988

In a Nutshell 
Excalibur battles Juggernaut and moves into their new headquarters. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Guest Letterer: L. Lois Buhalis
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Vixen and her men break into Crossmoor Prison, determined to free a specific prisoner, but they discover his cell to be empty, and are quickly attacked by the guards. Trying to escape, they stumble across a cell containing Juggernaut. Agreeing to release him if he creates a distraction, Juggernaut, as well as some other inmates, are set free. Vixen gets away as Excalibur arrives to round up the escaped prisoners and battle Juggernaut, who is ultimately defeated by Phoenix's telepathy. Meanwhile, in Newcastle, a UFO enthusiast discovers Widget, who teleports him to the world of Opal Lun Sat-Yr-9. Later, Excalibur moves into their new headquarters, Captain Britain's lighthouse, just as a storm sets in.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

X-amining Marvel Comics Presents #10-17

"Eating American Pie" / "Cold Warriors" / "Iron Curtains" / "Draw the Lines..." / "The Secret Is There's No Secret" / "Bondage" / "One Hand Washes" / "Fit to Print"
Jan. - April 1989

In a Nutshell 
While on vacation, Colossus helps save a family from the Cold Warriors. 

Writer: Ann Nocenti
Penciler: Rick Leonardi
Inker: P. Craig Russell (#11-14, #16-17) Al Milgrom (issue #15, w/Russell #16 & 17) 
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Glynis Oliver & Michael Higgins (issue #11), Mike Rockwitz (issue #12-13, #15-17), Gregory Wright (issue #14)
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh 
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Issue #10: Colossus visits an amusement park and gets into an argument with a news vendor. After accidentally transforming into his steel form, he runs off into the woods. There, he overhears a family having a picnic, and ponders the meaning of freedom. Zachary, the young boy with the picnicking family, plays in the woods until he stumbles across a group of men about to kill a captive. Issue #11: The group of men, called the Cold Warriors, kill their captive, and receive orders from their leader to kill Zachary as well. Nearby, Bruce, Zachary's father, spots Colossus and suspects him of spying on his family. The two men tussle until they hear Zachary scream. Rushing to the sound, Colossus attacks the Cold Warriors. Issue #12: Colossus fights off the Cold Warriors and helps the family escape. Bruce insists on going to the police, even though Colossus believes the Cold Warriors' cybernetic enhancements suggest a connection to a higher power within the government. When the police behave strangely, Colossus once again helps the family escape, and Bruce takes him to his house, where he begins boarding up the windows and handing out guns. When he gives a gun to Zachary, the boy points it at Colossus and asks if he's a Commie.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

X-aminations in July...and Beyond!


Here's a look at what will be covered in X-aminations next month, as well as a rough outline for the rest of the year. Any quibbles with the proposed order or suggestions for issues I may have overlooked, let me know in the comments.

Appropriately enough, we spend the rest of the summer dealing with "Inferno", then move on to a surprising amount of Havok-centric stories followed by Claremont's dissolution of the X-Men through the fall, such that by year's end, there won't even be a team of X-Men in X-Men! The fall also sees double coverage of Wolverine, as Marvel decided to bump up his series to bi-weekly shipping in the summer along with Uncanny X-Men, and I couldn't think of a better way to deal with it than doing two Wolverine issues per post.

Friday, June 20, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #1

"SwordQuest"
November 1988

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine battles pirates in search of the Muramasa Blade. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Al Williamson
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
On the island of Telambang, a group of pirates led by Banapur Khan brutalize the surviving passengers and crew of a crashed jet liner. As Khan fights the captain, Wolverine sneaks onto the island and tracks down a brutally beaten man named Kojima. As he frees Kojima, Khan and the pirates discover him, and a fight breaks out, during which Wolverine kills all the pirates. As Khan tries to escape, he's shot by one of the flight attendants. Returning to Kojima, Wolverine is told by the dying man, who is Mariko Yashida's personal sectratary, that the pirates were hired by the Cult of the Black Blade, who are after the Muramasa Sword. When they learned Mariko was transferring the sword from America, the cult hired the pirates to learn the identities of the couriers. Though Kojima doesn't know who the couriers are, he tells Wolverine they are arriving in Madripoor tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #2

"A Warwolf Possessed"
November 1988

In a Nutshell 
Excalibur rescues Shadowcat from the Warwolves. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
Creators: Claremont & Davis

Plot
In Loch Daemon, a young mutant named Colin is hunted by men employed by the crimelord Vixen. Desperate to escape, he is teleported away by Widget, much to Vixen's dismay. Meanwhile, in London, the Warwolves, including the captive Kitty, are chased through the subway tunnels by Excalibur. The Warwolves manage to shake their pursuit, and return to their lair, where Kitty is skinned. Feeling the pain of that act telepathically, Rachel takes to the sky, the better to focus all her attention on maintaining Kitty's consciousness. As she does so, her ascent is noticed in the night sky by both Nigel Frobisher and Courtney Ross. Meanwhile, Nightcrawler, following a lead on his own, his attacked and captured by one of the Warwolves.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Game of Thrones 4x10: The Children



Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Moat Cailin -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen

The Wall
Jon Snow is walking north of the wall and is soon captured and brought to Mance. So, this was apparently his plan? He's lucky that Mance's army were more interested in negotiating rather than slaughtering any Night's Watch soldier on sight.

So Mance says that it's already cold in the north and now winter is coming. Beyond that, there are ice zombies roaming about. All he wants is the ability to go south for the winter like every other self-respecting northerner. Hey, I live in Minnesota, I get it!

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #238

"Gonna Be A Revolution"
Late November 1988

In a Nutshell 
The X-Men rescue Wolverine, Rogue & Maddy and inspire a revolution in Genosha.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Genosha, the Genegineer and Chief Magistrate Anderson watch a psychic transcript of the telepath who scanned Madelyne, seeing what was in her mind moments before she killed everyone in the examining room. The Genegineer confronts Madelyne in her cell, but she claims ignorance of the attack. Elsewhere, Wolverine, Rogue and Phillip Moreau reach the Mutant Settlement Zone where the enslaved mutants live, and Phillip is horrified by the conditions. However, when Wolverine and Rogue are discovered, Phillip is arrested alongside them and taken to the Citadel. There, Madelyne comforts Jenny Ransome as Phillip is brought before his father, where he argues on behalf of mutants. Meanwhile, the rest of the X-Men infiltrate the Citadel, attacking Magistrates and searching for their captured teammates.

Friday, June 13, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #34

"Death!"
November 1988

In a Nutshell 
Death battles Hodge for the life of Candy Southern. 

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

Plot
Deep below a Chicago skyscraper, Death fights his way through Right soliders, in pursuit of Cameron Hodge. Hodge, watching Death's progress on a monitor, sends a group of demons provided by N'astirh to engage the winged mutant. In Hong Kong, Nanny and the Orphan Maker intercept a list of mutant infants sent to N'astirh from Hodge as they add another mutant child to their group, killing her parents in the process. Back in Chicago, N'astirh appears before Hodge, complaining that infants on his list have disappeared. Hodge directs him to the lower levels of an orphanage, then tells N'astirh of Angel's transformation into Death. As Death draws closer, N'astirh withdraws, taking his demons with him but promising to honor his deal to keep Hodge alive.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #69

"Bad Company"
November 1988

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants learn the truth about Gosamyr. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Artist: Bret Blevins
Inker: Al Williamson
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As the forces around Spyder's planet prepare to fire on the New Mutants' ship in punishment for their bribing of an official, Spyder calls off the attack, telling the admiral the ship contains his cargo, giving them permission to land on the planet. Once the suspicious New Mutants have landed, Dani, fed up with Gosamyr, runs off the ship and bumps into a group of thugs looking to sell her to Spyder. Back on the ship, Sam and Roberto continue to fight over Gosamyr, while an unaffected Warlock tries to get a sulking Illyana to help them. Outside, Dani fights off the group of aliens, only to run into another group. When Rahne transforms into a wolf, she senses Dani's distress, and the New Mutants teleport to an increasingly dark Limbo. On Earth, Magneto discusses his missing students with the White Queen, and leaves the mansion to join her at the Hellfire Club. Back on Spyder's world, the New Mutants emerge from Limbo to help Dani.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #237

"Who's Human?"
Early November 1988

In a Nutshell 
Rogue and Wolverine evade Genoshan pursuit. 

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

Plot
As the Genoshans tracks down Wolverine and Rogue's decoy vehicle over the Indian Ocean, discovering it empty, the escaped X-Men enter a bar frequented by Magistrates in order to procure new IDs in order to lay as false a trail as possible. A drunken Phillip Moreau is in the bar as well, and starts a fight that Wolverine escalates, using the commotion to pick Magistrate pockets. Phillip, however, gets knocked unconscious and the Magistrates, angry at the way his father has been harraguing their chief of late, decide to put him on the "mutie train". Overhearing this, Wolverine and Rogue follow, chalking it up to curiousity and a hunch, and they end up sneaking aboard the train. At the Citadel, the Genegineer meets with Jenny Ransome, explaining how her father switched her records and that she will soon undergo the mutate process. He then checks in on Madelyne, who is undergoing a psychic examination prior to that same process.

Game of Thrones 4x09: The Watchers on the Wall



Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Moat Cailin -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen

The Wall
We start the episode with Sam and Jon keeping watch on the Wall. Sam wants to know want sex is like. He figures that he's about to die a virgin so he'd at least like some insight. Instead of giving Sam a warm pie and telling him to find out for himself, Jon Snow says all it was like two people becoming one but that all it ever really got him was an arrow six inches from his heart.

Meanwhile, the Night's Watch are actually the knights watched. A wildling warg is spying on them with an owl. Ygritte is sharpening her arrows and awaiting the chance to use them. She also really isn't interested in hearing Tormund Giantsbane's tales of bear fucking.

Styr interrupts the proceedings to taunt Ygritte about her “crow lover” Jon Snow. Ygritte brags about how many “crows” she has already killed. She also announces that if Jon Snow is alive she wants to kill him herself. None of that has to do with Ygritte's ginger minge which was also discussed.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #1

"Warwolves of London"
October 1988

In a Nutshell 
The newly formed Excalibur tries to track down the Warwolves. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti & Terry Kavanagh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
At Loch Daemon, Crazy Gang member Tweedledope tries to build a robot but gives up, walking away before the small metal head opens its eyes. In London, Captain Britain, Shadowcat and Phoenix help the police with a hostage situation at a nightclub. As Shadowcat and Phoenix enter the bank, one of the Warwolves attacks an inspector, killing him and taking his form. Inside the bank, Phoenix is knocked out by the telepathic death cry of the inspector, and Shadowcat is forced to try and take out the hostage-takers herself. Later, the Warwolves kill again, and Rachel once more feels the death. A few days later, Kitty is working on a device to try and help the problem while Nightcrawler and Meggan prepare Captain Britain's lighthouse to serve as Excalibur's headquarters.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #236

"Busting Loose!"
Late October 1988

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine and Rogue fight to escape the Genoshan citadel. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Magistrate: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Genosha, Wolverine and Rogue, having been transported there by Pipeline, battle a group of Magistrates before Wipeout arrives and removes their powers. Elsewhere on Genosha, Philip Moreau wakes up to a call sending his father, the Genegineer, into work. En route to the Citadel, the Genegineer is made aware of the situation by the Chief Magistrate. Back in Australia, the X-Men teleport into the cell of the captured Magistrates, and Psylocke reads their minds, learning the truth about Genosha: that their economy is built on the genetic manipulation and slave labor of mutants. The X-Men then depart to rescue their friends. Back on Genosha, Rogue, traumatized by the harsh treatment she received at the hands of the Magistrates once her powers were removed, hands over control of her body to the Carol Danvers persona, in the hopes that Carol can help her and Wolverine escape.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Game of Thrones 4x08: The Mountain and the Viper



Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Moat Cailin -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen

Mole's Town
A the female inn keeper is playing Name That Tune via burps. One patron first guests “The Rains of Castamere” but is wrong. The next guy correctly guesses “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” which, duh, those are the only two songs in Westeros.

Anyway, Gilly is at this inn and I think we are all shocked to hear she's not having the time of her life. She hears an “owl” hooting and gets freaked. The innkeeper doesn't know what the big deal is but soon we see Ygritte and her wildings showing up and slaughtering people. Ygritte finds Gilly and her child hiding but her heart grows three times larger and she decides to spare them.