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

Friday, August 29, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #6

"Roughouse!"
April 1989

In a Nutshell 
The gang war escalates into a confrontation inside the prince's palace. 

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

Plot
In the midst of a storm, Karma uses her power to infiltrate the palace of Madripoor's prince, hoping to free Tyger Tiger, Jessica Drew and Lindsay McCabe, captured by her uncle and taken to the palace. When her concentration falters for a moment and the guard she's possessed regains his senses, Karma is saved by the timely arrival of Wolverine and Archie Corrigan, having tracked the women's scents to the palace. Deeper inside, General Coy toys with Jessica and Lindsay before giving them an ultimatum: kill Tyger Tiger for him, and they can go free. Just then, Wolverine intervenes, and is attacked by Roughhouse and Bloodscream.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #7

"Goblin Morn!"
April 1989

In a Nutshell
Excalibur is consumed by Inferno. 

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

Plot
In the transformed Manhattan, Crotus comes across the mannequin-like Rachel, frozen in place inside a bridal shop. Recognizing her as Phoenix, Crotus begins to enact a spell to bind her power to his will, through which he can rule everything. Meanwhile, inside the demonic movie theater, Shadowcat battles a possessed Captain Britain, their action movie trappings eventually changing, with Captain Britain becoming a horror movie monster and Shadowcat a cheerleader. Elsewhere, Nightcrawler is scooped up by demonic garbage truck, but manages to escape, then helps leads a defense against an army of possessed mannequins as Shadowcat comes face to face with Meggan the Goblin Princess.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

X-amining "Inferno" Tie-Ins Part Four

Daredevil #265 & The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #4
April 1989

Daredevil #265 by Ann Nocenti & John Romita Jr.
The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #4 byTerry Austin & Mike Vosburg

Plot
Daredevil #265: Daredevil wanders New York, fighting back against the demonic invasion but growing increasingly more harsh and disconnected from reality. Eventually, with the help of his young friend Butch, he snaps out of it, and as the demonic invasion subsides, the city slowly begins to return to normal. The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #4: Having stolen Belasco's spell book, Crotus intends to re-enact the Inferno spell successfully, by tricking Cloak & Dagger into killing themselves. To that end, his demons confront the pair, playing on their fears and insecurities. Dagger manages to resist their efforts, while Cloak transports the demons, and himself, into the Dark Dimenson from which he draws his power. When Dagger, with the help of the New Mutants, locates Cloak, she finds only his cloak, and believes it to mean that her friend is dead.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

X-aminations in September


Next month, we enter publication year 1989, and with it, the first appearance of everyone's favorite sass-mouthed, fireworks-generating, trenchcoat-wearing character, Jubilee! Plus, Rob Liefeld makes his first appearance in the X-books (or, at least, his art does).

It may still be 1989, but the 90s are knocking at the door!

On Sale January 1989
September 3rd: Uncanny X-Men #244
September 4th: New Mutants #75
September 5th: X-Factor #40

September 10th: Marvel Comics Presents #17-24 (Cyclops story)
September 11th: Excalibur #8
September 12th: Wolverine #7

On Sale February 1989
September 17th: Uncanny X-Men #245
September 18th: New Mutants #76
September 19th: X-Factor #41

September 24th: X-Men Annual #13
September 25th: Excalibur #9
September 26th: Wolverine #8

Monday, August 25, 2014

Retro Review: Deep Space Homer

Original Airdate
February 24th, 1994

Or the One Where
Homer becomes an astronaut.

The Setup
Angry at suffering through another boring space shuttle launch on TV and feeling disrespected after being passed over for a union-mandated "Worker of the Week" award by an inanimate carbon rod, Homer calls NASA to complain, just as NASA is looking for an average Joe to send into space to boost ratings.

Notable Notes
This episode was written by David Mirkin, who was the show's executive producer at the time. It is his only writing credit on the series.

Friday, August 22, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #39

"Ashes to Ashes"
April 1989

In a Nutshell 
"Inferno" ends as Cyclops destroys Mr. Sinister. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Walt Simonson
Inker: Allen Milgrom
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Gregory Wright
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Amidst the ruins of the X-Mansion, Longshot challenges Mr. Sinister, holding an unconscious Marvel Girl, and Malice. Along with Beast, he distracts them long enough for the rest of their teammates to wake up. Psylocke and Rogue attack Sinister, but he overpowers them both as he captures Cyclops, mentally blocking his power and detailing the role he played in Cyclops' life as child. As Havok attacks Sinister, he's trapped in metal by Malice as the rest of the X-Men and X-Factor begin to formulate a plan, telepathically linked by Psylocke. Reasoning that Mr. Sinister seems vulnerable to Cyclops' optic blast, they resolve to free Marvel Girl and Havok while Havok tells them to leave Cyclops to him.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #74

"The Right Stuff"
April 1989

In a Nutshell
In the wake of "Inferno", Gosamyr leaves the team. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Artist: Bret Blevins
Inker: Bob Wiacek 
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Gregory Wright
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Cannonball, Rusty and Skids fly through the streets of Manhattan, mopping up the lingering effects of the Inferno, while Rictor, Wolfsbane and Boom-Boom tend to the rescued mutant babies at the church. Shortly thereafter, Mirage, Warlock, Gosamyr and Sunspot return from their own clean-up mission. Meanwhile, at the Hellfire Club, Shaw and Magneto come to blows over their respective outlooks on the future of mutantkind. Elsewhere, the X-Terminators take the New Mutants and the rescued babies to Ship, who scans each of them as they enter. He freaks out upon scanning Gosamyr, and imprisons her in a containment unit, prompting both teams of young mutants to attack Ship in order to free her. Working together, Sunspot and Rictor manage to free Gosamyr, but she ends the confrontation, telling them Ship understands better than they do just how dangerous her race is.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #243

"Inferno Part the Fourth: Ashes"
April 1989

In a Nutshell 
The X-Men and X-Factor track down Mr. Sinister at the X-Mansion. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Guest Inker: Hilary Barta
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
At the Empire State Building, the X-Men and X-Factor are mourning the loss of Madelyne when Marvel Girl suddenly cries out in pain. Using the psipaths from when she established a telepathic rapport with her, Psylocke brings herself, Cyclops, Storm and Wolverine into Marvel Girl's mind, where they realize that she now shares memories with both Madelyne and Phoenix. Just then, an avatar of Mr. Sinister appears in Marvel Girl's mind as well, destroying her memories, determined to transform her into a blank state. As Psylocke momentarily fights him off, Storm, Wolverine and Cyclops urge the remnant of Madelyne's mind to help them fight back against the villain, her true tormentor. Agreeing, Madelyne lashes out, forcing Sinister out of Marvel Girl's mind. At the X-Mansion, Mr. Sinister wakes up, telling Polaris they're about to have company.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Retro Review: Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy

Original Airdate
February 17, 1994

Or the One Where
Lisa teams up with the creator of Malibu Stacy to create a new, more female-empowering, doll. 

The Setup 
Confronted by his own mortality, Grampa decides to give the family their inheritance earlier, prompting a speedy trip to the mall. There, Lisa is excited by the new talking Malibu Stacy doll, until she actually hears it speak. Incensed by the blatant sexism spouted by the doll, she vows to seek out Malibu Stacy's creator. 

Notable Notes
Kathleen Turner guest stars as Stacy Lavelle, the creator of the original Malibu Stacy.

Friday, August 15, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #5

"Hunter's Moon!"
March 1989

In a Nutshell 
The gang war between Tyger Tiger and General Coy continues.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Al Williamson
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Crimelord: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Madripoor, Bloodsport notes Karma's bleeding hand, and when he tastes her blood, he tells her they are now bound together, til death and perhaps beyond. Meanwhile, Patch and Archie Corrigan are flying into the Golden Triangle, en route to General Coy's opium fields. Remembering his encounter with Bloodsport, Archie struggles with the idea of executing Patch, ultimately deciding he can't do it. Just then, their plane is attacked by an old fighter plane, but together, Archie and Patch manage to destroy it. Back in Lowtown, Jessica Drew and Lindsay McCabe bring the unconscious Tyger Tiger to the office of Landau, Luckman and Lake for safe keeping. In the Golden Triangle, Battleaxe and Shotgun, two mercenaries working for Coy, are ordered by Hardcase, their commander, to investigate the plane crash, just as Patch appears out of the mud.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

X-amining Excalibur #6

"Goblin Night"
March 1989

In a Nutshell 
Excalibur is drawn into the events of "Inferno". 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Boss: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the middle of the night, Rachel awakens from a dream to a psychic cry of help from her baby brother. In a burst of energy, she flies off to New York, and the rest of Excalibur decides to follow her. At Euston Station, Inspector Dai Thomas meets with Alysande and Alistair Stuart of the Weird Happenings Organization, who show him a train seemingly from an alternate reality, inside of which are strange versions of Moira MacTaggart and Callisto, each wearing Nazi armbands, with Moira threatening to tell the Fuhrer of their wrongful imprisonment. Meanwhile, Phoenix arrives in New York and, seeing the Goblin Queen atop the Empire State Building, approaches her, thinking she is her mother. But the Goblin Queen blasts her , and Phoenix is absorbed into the demonic building.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

X-amining "Inferno" Tie-Ins Part 3

Amazing Spider-Man #313, Fantastic Four #324, Power Pack #44, Spectacular Spider-Man #148, Web of Spider-Man #48
March 1989

Amazing Spider-Man #313 by David Michelinie & Todd MacFarlane
Fantastic Four #324 by Steve Englehart & Keith Pollard
Power Pack #44 by Julianna Jones & June Brigman
Spectacular Spider-Man #148 by Gerry Conway & Sal Buscema
Web of Spider-Man #48 by Gerry Conway & Alex Saviuk
(for full credits on each issue, please visit the GCD)

Plot
Fantastic Four #324: The Fantastic Four team-up with Kang to rescue Mantis from the sorcerer Necrodamus. Web of Spider-Man #48: Spider-Man battles the demonically-possessed Hobgoblin. Amazing Spider-Man #313: Spider-Man battles the Lizard. Spectacular Spider-Man #148: Flash Thompson and Betty Brant are targeted by demons who pose as Spider-Man and Betty's deceased husband, Ned Leeds. Power Pack #44: In the midst of the Inferno, Power Pack does their best to fight against the demon hordes until they see a massive portal open which draws in all the demons.

Friday, August 8, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #38

"Duet!"
March 1989

In a Nutshell 
Madelyne Pryor and Jean Grey fight to the death. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Walt Simonson
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Tom Vincent
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Atop the transformed Empire State Building, with Marvel Girl her prisoner, Madelyne prepares to sacrifice her son to permanently bond Limbo with Earth. Madelyne sets the remaining demons against the X-Men and X-Factor, then turns Longshot, Dazzler and Angel to her side and tasks Havok with bringing her his brother's heart. But Angel, fighting Madelyne's influence, manages to free Marvel Girl as Storm deals with Longshot and Dazzler. Their powers useless against each other, Havok and Cyclops resort to throwing punches as Marvel Girl attempts to rescue Christopher, but Madelyne stops her, containing the women inside a massive bubble of telekinetic energy. As the X-Men probe the force field, Havok falls off the building, but is rescued by Angel. Together, Storm and Cyclops reason that if the two teams can apply enough force to the bubble to tax Madelyne's concentration, a well-placed blow could then shatter the field. As Madelyne telepathically links her mind to Marvel Girl's, showing her how she was born the day Jean Grey rejected the portion of her soul stolen by the Phoenix, Longshot overcomes the demonic influence long enough to use his luck power to pinpoint the weakest spot on the force field.

X-amining X-Factor #38...

...will appear on Monday, due to unforeseen technical difficulties.


Vision thanks you for your patience.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #73

"The Gift"
March 1989

In a Nutshell
Illyana's battle with her dark side comes to an end. 

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

Plot
In the demonically transformed Manhattan, Illyana battles S'ym, quickly realizing she'll need to fully accept her dark side in order to defeat him. Elsewhere, both the New Mutants and Colossus search for Illyana. Atop the roof of the Hellfire Club, N'astirh appears before the Inner Circle, offering an alliance. Passing by, the New Mutants see Magneto conversing with the demon, increasing their distrust in their estranged headmaster. Nearby, Colossus is brought to S'ym, just as the New Mutants spot the effects of his battle with Illyana. The New Mutants manage to separate Illyana from S'ym as Colossus fights the demon himself, and Illyana, distraught over her brother seeing her Darkchilde form, flees to Limbo along with the New Mutants. Once there, she realizes she can no longer run from her destiny and takes her throne, accepting her dark side as ruler of Limbo once more. On Earth, Colossus continues to fight S'ym as Dani, Rusty and Skids defend the kidnapped babies from demon attacks. In Limbo, Rahne rushes off, determined to locate the child Illyana the New Mutants had previously seen running through Limbo.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #242

"Inferno Part the Third: Burn!"
March 1989

In a Nutshell 
The X-Men and X-Factor team-up against N'astirh. 

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

Plot
In Central Park, Wolverine kisses Marvel Girl, proving to himself that she's real. This triggers a fight between the two teams, egged on by Madelyne, with X-Factor, believing the X-Men to have died in Dallas and in light of the X-Men's Inferno-influenced bloodthirstiness, thinking their old friends are demonic simulacrums, while the X-Men consider X-Factor to have sold out Xavier's dream. During the battle, Havok confronts Cyclops, telling him he abandoned his family. Just then, N'astirh appears, and sends a demonic carriage to rundown Madelyne while Marvel Girl battles her demonic parents, forcing Cyclops to choose one or the other to save. He first blasts the demons off Marvel Girl, but when he turns to blast the carriage, Havok blocks his shot, siding with Madelyne and leaping onto the carriage as it scoops her up. Arriving at the Empire State Building, Madelyne declares Havok her Goblin Prince as she prepares to sacrifice her son.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Retro Review: Homer and Apu

Original Airdate
February 10, 1994

Or the One Where
Apu comes to live with the Simpsons after Homer causes him to lose his job. 

The Setup 
After Apu's questionable practices (and his own questionably choices) give him food poisoning, Homer goes undercover to expose the said practices, causing Apu to lose his job at the Kwik-E-Mart. 

Notable Notes
This is the first of a what will eventually become a subset of Apu-centric episodes, which will find the Simpsons playing host to Apu's wedding to Manjula and being involved in the birth of their octuplets, amongst other things. In the process, both Homer and Marge develop a friendship with Apu and Manjula that far exceeds the customer/shopkeeper relationship in place at the start of this episode, to the point where the Nahasapeemapetilons are arguably Homer and Marge's closest married couple friends, a rare bit of ongoing continuity for the show.

Friday, August 1, 2014

X-amining Wolverine #4

"Bloodsport"
February 1989

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine gets caught up in a Madripoorian crime war. 

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

Plot
In Madripoor, Chancellor Ranjamaryam is chased through Lowtown  by two super-powered beings who ultimately kill him. Later, Wolverine arrives on the scene as Police Chief Tai pulls the body from the river. Noting that the chancellor was prepared to recommend that the Prince acknowledge Tyger Tiger as the new crime lord, they worry that a gang war may be upon them. Elsewhere, Roughhouse and Bloodscream, the two people who killed the chancellor, rough up pilot Archie Corrigan, telling him he works for their general now, not Tyger. Meanwhile, Wolverine investigates the chancellor's death, sneaking into his palace compound, where he notes a familiar scent. He follows it to a hotel in Hightown, where he finds former New Mutant Karma. She tells him she's working for her uncle, General Coy, for reasons of her own, and Wolverine tells her she needs to decide whose side she's on.