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

Monday, August 31, 2015

X-aminations in September 2015



This month, we take a look at the first set of Marvel Universe trading cards, then finally reach the start of "X-Tinction Agenda", the X-Men crossover of 1990 and the first formally structured one. Unfortunately, due to some more work travel on my part, we're only getting the first round of crossover issues this month, as I'm spacing things out a bit in anticipation of my upcoming time constraints.

As always, sound off with any questions or omissions in the comments!

September 2nd: Unstacking the Deck - Marvel Universe Series 1

On Sale August 1990
September 9th: Excalibur #29
September 10th: Excalibur #30
September 11th: Wolverine #32

On Sale September 1990
September 16th: Uncanny X-Men #270

September 23rd: New Mutants #95
September 24th: X-Factor #60

September 30th: Marvel Comics Presents #64-71 (Wolverine/Ghost Rider story)
October 1st: Excalibur #31
October 2nd: Wolverine #33

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Force in Focus: The Force Awakens Teaser #3


Thursday saw the release of a new 15 second teaser trailer for The Force Awakens, and while it was mostly designed to show off Instagram's new landscape feature and doesn't offer up a ton of new content, that doesn't mean they're aren't still some little details worth discussing!

Spoilers below, but nothing too egregious beyond what's been shown in the trailers and discussed in the Entertainment Weekly article.

Friday, August 28, 2015

X-amining X-Factor #59

"Yesterday's News"
October 1990

In a Nutshell 
Archangel & Charlotte grow closer, helping Archangel make peace with his condition. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Terry Shoemaker
Inker: Allen Milgrom
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Archangel is brooding, perched atop a cable line for the Roosevelt Island tram, when he is interrupted by a group of reporters crammed into one of the cars. Two of the reporters fall out, prompting Archangel to sweep down and rescue them, but when they pepper him with questions about Charlotte, he drops them in the river. The whole thing is picked up by Trish Tilby and her cameraman, and Trish laments that while the reporters deserved it, the public will only see a mutant attacking two humans, and starts to come around to Hank's side of their argument. Archangel proceeds to Charlotte Jones apartment, where he meets her son and her mother-in-law before joining her for coffee. Inside Ship, the rest of X-Factor runs some tests on Christopher's force field, after which Bobby leaves for a date with Opal after helping Hank realize he owes Trish an apology. At the TV station, Trish laments her inability to cut the footage to present Archangel in a positive light to her boss and ex-husband, Paul.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

X-amining New Mutants #94

"Lethal Weapons"
October 1990

In a Nutshell
Cable & Wolverine fight, then team-up to help defeat Stryfe and the MLF. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Artist: Rob Liefeld
Inker: Hilary Barta
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Brad Vancata
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Wolverine and Cable savagely fight one another, while Cannonball, Boom-Boom, Warlock and Sunfire are held captive by the MLF. However, Cannonball goads Dragoness into kissing him, and he uses the opportunity to filch the key to their restraints from her headdress. Back at the docks, the rest of the New Mutants, worried that Cable and Wolverine will kill each other, intervene by dropping a water tower on them to break up the fight. As cooler heads prevail, Cable fills Wolverine in on the situation with the MLF and the drug Sleet. Elsewhere, Stryfe sends his expendable soldiers after the escaped New Mutants, needing the MLF to disperse the sleet, after which it won't matter what Cable and the New Mutants do. However, via stealth, the escaped New Mutants manage to capture one of the soldiers, and Sunfire threatens him with his power in exchange for the location of Sleet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #269

"Rogue Redux"
October 1990

In a Nutshell 
Rogue emerges from the Siege Perilous

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Jim Lee
Guest Inker: Art Thibert
Letterer: Task Force X
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Rogue suddenly emerges from the Siege Perilous, appearing in her old room in the X-Men's former base in Australia. Overhearing a news report about Mystique's death, she calls the X-Men for help,  but quickly realizes that the powers she stole from Ms. Marvel are gone when she leaps out a window and lands at the feet of the Reavers, who have retaken the town. Pierce orders her killed, but suddenly Ms. Marvel appears and attacks the Reavers. In the confusion, Rogue absorbs Gateway's power, enabling her to teleport away. Meanwhile, on the fringes of Shi'ar space, Lila Cheney flees from the Shi'ar Strike Lord, teleporting away before she can be captured. Back on Earth, Rogue arrives in the Savage Land, while Ms. Marvel, who followed her through the portal, ends up on Muir Island to find a captive Polaris and everyone else under the control of the Shadow King.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Force in Focus: Star Wars #15

"Star Duel!"
September 1978

In a Nutshell
Han Solo faces off against Crimson Jack above Drexel. 

Writer/Editor: Archie Goodwin
Artists: Carmine Infantino & Terry Austin
Colorist: Janice Cohen
Letterer: John Constanza
Consulting Editor: Jim Shooter

Plot
In the space above Drexel, Crimson Jack's ship is suddenly freed of the effects of the sonic jammer, and Jack  orders Jolli to target Han Solo the moment their fighter craft are repaired. On Drexel, an anxious Han waits as Chewbacca and the droids inspect the Falcon to make sure she's space-worthy. Just then, the floating ship is attacked by a Y-wing, and everyone rushes aboard and off the planet. In space, Han and Luke man the gun turrets as more of Jack's fighters attack. They fight them all off save the Y-wing, which is piloted by Jolli. She crashes into the Falcon, managing to destroy its gyro control module but sending herself spinning off into space. Stranded, the Falcon is contacted by Jack, who is about to destroy it, but Han reveals that he stole all of Jack's navigational information when Chewie had earlier tapped into the ship's computers. Without it, Jack is as stranded as the Falcon, so Han proposes a trade: the module he needs in exchange for the navigation data.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

X-amining X-Factor: Prisoner of Love

"Prisoner of Love"
October 1990

In a Nutshell 
A morose Beast gets enchanted by a beautiful alien woman. 

Writer: Jim Starlin
Artist: Jackson Guice
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Colorist: Alfred Ramirez
Assistant Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Beast, morose over his monstrous appearance relative to other mutants, is walking the streets of New York when he encounters a beautiful young woman being attacked by muggers. He attempts to save her, but grows weak and falls unconscious. He wakes up in the woman's apartment, and she introduces herself as Synthia Naip, explaining that she took care of the muggers herself. Entranced, Beast is seduced by Synthia, and the pair make love. Hours pass, and Beast becomes weaker even as he is more drawn to Synthia, who won't explain anything about herself beyond admitting that she's not entirely human. That night, Beast dreams of an evil Dark One stalking Synthia, and later, of slaying monstrous forms of his X-Factor teammates to prove his love to Synthia.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Force in Focus: Star Wars #14

"The Sound of Armageddon!"
August 1978

In a Nutshell
The Star Warriors are reunited as they help the Dragon Lords defeat Governor Quarg. 

Writer/Editor: Archie Goodwin
Artists: Carmine Infantino & Terry Austin
Colorist: Janice Cohen
Letterer: Denise Wohl
Consulting Editor: James Shooter

Plot
On Drexel, an imprisoned Luke dodges the attacks of a wild Chewbacca, while Quarg and his men struggle to bring down Crimson Jack's ship. Aboard that ship, Jack angrily laments Han's now-apparent double cross that brought them to Drexel. On the planet, Quarg's men tow the Millennium Falcon, with Leia still aboard, to their base, while Quarg decides to call on Luke and the droids for help bringing down Jack's ship. Later, Quarg explains to Luke that he wants to use the Falcon's engines to boost his jamming power, and offers up the captive Leia to force Luke into helping him. Meanwhile, Han, having been recused by one of the Dragon Lords, is shown around the underwater cavern that serves as their base, learning that they are working in concert with the the sea serpents, whose ferocious attacks are being fueled by the jammer. But soon, the jammer will kill them all, so the Dragon Lords are launching an all-out assault to destroy it. After learning that the Falcon is also one of their targets, Han joins them.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

X-amining Wolverine #31

"Killing Zone"
Late September 1990

In a Nutshell
Wolverine fights the Yakuza in Madripoor. 

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Wolverine and Archie Corrigan are enjoying a drink at the Princess Bar when a group of Yakuza thugs enter , looking for Wolverine. Archie slips out the back, but is briefly accosted by two more Yakuza, Reiko and Goro, before being allowed to leave, as Reiko believes their boss may have a use for him. Meanwhile, the Yakuza leader, Dai-Kumo, demonstrates a new cancer-fighting drug to Prince Baran, Tyger Tiger and General Coy. Made from the hypothalamus of a protected species of monkey native to Madripoor, he hopes to use Coy's opium harvesters to gather the animals and Tiger's smuggling network to get the creatures to Japan, where the drug will be processed and sold to the mega-rich. Though Tiger has reservations about the scheme, Dai-Kumo insists the only stumbling block is Wolverine.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

X-amining Excalibur #28

"The Night They Tore Down the Gilded Lady"
Late September 1990

In a Nutshell 
Captain Britain & Meggan find their night out interrupted by a pair of con artists.

Writer: Terry Austin
Penciler: Colleen Doran  
Inker: Bret Blevins
Letterer: Phil Felix
Colorist: Brad Vancata
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Brian and Meggan are excited to have snuck out of the lighthouse for a date night. Together, they fly to the Gilded Lady, a pub in London which Brian frequented during his college days, and which is slated to be torn down the next day. They get a table and order drinks, though the alcoholic Brian gets some flak for ordering lemonade instead of beer. However, Meggan draw attention away from him by mimicking his form and posing as his twin, matching the crowd drink for drink. Just then a woman named Cooter and her cousin Bash enter the bar. They set about fleecing the patrons, using Cooter's power to trick them into thinking they're buying gold on the cheap, when in fact they're just buying ordinary pebbles. Meggan and Brian, however, are unaffected by Cooter's power, and their attempts to stop the pair lead to a barfight that destroys the Gilded Lady. Eventually, the police arrive, and Brian & Meggan turn Cooter & Bash over to them before flying off. But Cooter uses her power to trick the police into seeing the bar's rubble as gold, and she & Bash drive off into the night, contemplating a trip to America. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Force in Focus: Star Wars #13

"Day of the Dragon Lords!"
July 1978

In a Nutshell
The Star Warriors get caught in the middle of a war on Drexel. 

Writer/Editor: Archie Goodwin
Artists: Carmine Infantino & Terry Austin
Colorist: Janice Cohen
Letterer: Rick Parker
Consulting Editor: Jim Shooter

Plot
On Drexel, Artoo repairs a hydra-skimmer to prove his value to Governor Quarg, after which Luke is required to take the skimmer for a test flight to check his work. During the flight, he's attacked by the Master Machinesmith whose job Artoo is taking, but Luke manages to fight him off and complete the test, earning Luke and the droids a place with Quarg's men. Later, Quarg tells Luke of how he and his men came to be on Drexel, then shows him the sonic jammers he used to crash Luke's ship, just as another vessel appears in orbit around the planet: Crimson Jack's Star Destroyer. Quarg turns the jammers on the ship, but its massive size helps it resist. The attack, however, creates an opportunity for Han, Leia and Chewbacca to reach the Millennium Falcon and escape from Jack.

Friday, August 7, 2015

X-amining Wolverine #30

"Family Matters"
Early September 1990

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine, Karma & Target destroy the Lazarus Project. 

Writer: Jo Duffy
Penciler:Bill Jaaska
Inker:Joe Rubinstein
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
At the Prince's palace in Madripoor, Dr. Page tends to Pinocchio as the Broker receives word that the forces sent to Rumika were all killed and the island is now abandoned. He sends his men to warn General Coy. Meanwhile, Wolverine, Karma and Target sneak back into Madripoor, with Target wondering what happened to his cousin Ricky, who joined the Lazarus Project along with him after their parents were killed. The three attack the palace, much to Coy's dismay, who takes his men to hide behind Pinocchio. When the three heroes reach Page's lab, Wolverine attacks Pinocchio, damaging the robot enough to reveal there is a human inside it, whom Target realizes is Ricky. He urges Wolverine not to destroy the machine, and Karma uses her power to bring Ricky's consciousness to the surface. Wolverine then knocks out Dr. Page before she can remotely destroy Pinocchio's organic tissue, and Karma severs her ties with her uncle. Wolverine then tries to track down the Broker, but he fakes his death and escapes. Wolverine is content, however, at having shut down the Lazarus Project and allowing the dead of Rumika to rest in peace.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

X-amining Excalibur #27

"Reel People"
Early September 1990

In a Nutshell 
Excalibur is manipulated by Jamie Braddock into fighting the Nth Man & Alfie O'Meagan. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Barry Windsor-Smith
Inker: Bill Sienkiewicz 
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
Creators: Chris Claremont & Alan Davis

Plot
The insane Jamie Braddock meets with Nigel Frobisher in anticipation of Nigel's upcoming meeting with the crime chiefs of South Engalnd, but when Nigel gets angry with Jamie's caretaker, he transforms him into a twisted image of Vixen to make his job harder. Just then, Jamie gets distracted by something on TV. Meanwhile, Excalibur is called to Pinewood Studios by WHO to investigate Dr. Candy Goodstroke, who appears to be a refugee from an alternate reality and believes Excalibur to be manifestations of a powerful being named Alfie. As Meggan and Captain Britain follow Dr. Goodstroke's trail to where she first appeared, Nightcrawler tries to cheer up Phoenix, who is depressed over Shadowcat's absence. But he instead triggers a panic attack, leading her to teleport herself & Nightcrawler to Dr. Goodstroke's world, replacing them with John Doe the Nth Man & KGB assassin Vavara Novikova.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #268

"Madripoor Knights"
Late September 1990

In a Nutshell
Wolverine battles the Hand in the past & the present, alongside Captain America & Black Widow. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In 1941 Madripoor, Captain America rescues a Russian man from a group of Hand ninjas, but needs help in turn from Logan, who is hunting the Hand himself. In the present, Black Widow is attacked by the Hand, but is rescued by Wolverine, Psylocke and Jubilee. In 1941, Logan has a drink with Captain America and Ivan, the Russian, at Seraph's Place, briefly running afoul of Baron Von Strucker, who is also in the city. Logan tells them that any enemy of the Hand is a friend of his, while Ivan explains that Strucker and the Hand seem to be in league together, and have kidnapped a young girl in Ivan's charge: Natasha Romanoff. In the present, the adult Natasha tells Wolverine that she is in Madripoor due to rumors of an alliance between Strucker's children, Fenris, and Matsu'o Tsurayaba, leader of the Hand. In 1941, Logan attacks the car carrying Natasha, seemingly dying in the process, but leaving Natasha to be rescued by Captain America and Ivan.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Force in Focus: Princess Leia #1-5


This week, I reviewed Marvel's recently-completed Princess Leia miniseries, by Mark Waid & Terry Dodson, for Sound on Sight. Highlights include new character, Evaan, and a story that puts Leia front and center, showing off her skills at both diplomacy and butt-kicking. Lowlights include an ending which fizzles out and art that doesn't really fit the book.

Read the entire review here, and if you've read the series as well, let me know what you thought in the comments of this post.