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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Unstacking the Deck: Marvel Universe Series IV

Skybox 1993

Vital Statistics
180 cards (including the checklist), plus nine red foil chase cards featuring characters from Marvel's 2099 imprint, and one rare Spider-Man vs. Venom hologram card, available in three different colors (red, green or the rarest, blue), inserted at the odds of one in every 180 packs.

The big change in this series that the bulk of the cards, comprising the various heroes and villains cards, are 1/9 of a larger image that forms when each batch of nine cards are placed in a nine-pocket plastic sleeve.

As a result, the border around each card varies, depending on where in the grid it falls (so the middle card has no border, the bottom right card a border on it's right and bottom, etc.), with a line across the top of each card denoting whether the character is a hero, villain, rookie, or alien race, along with the Marvel logo with the year inside it.

The back of each card is laid out in landscape, with a large headshot and a smaller full body image of the character in the center. Their real name and team affiliation is listed, followed by their ranking (by numeric value) in four ve categories: Strength, Intelligence, Fighting Ability, and Speed. Beneath that is a one sentence origin for the character, along with their first appearance. On the very bottom of the card is a "did you know" fact for each character.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

X-aminations in September 2017


As you may or may not have noticed (depending on how closely you're watching for new posts), I've struggled a bit lately in getting posts up anywhere close to their scheduled release times/days, with both the last Wolverine and Excalibur reviews going up well into the week following their planned release date. A combination of a busier-than-usual summer workload and real life junk (nothing serious, just a surplus of mundane stuff that has eaten up my time at the computer and worn me down a bit mentally) is to blame, but with at least one more abnormal week ahead (thankfully due, in part, to having some legitimately fun stuff planned for at least part of Labor Day weekend), and in the hopes of getting caught up and back to something more closely approximating a regular schedule (and to get Force in Focus running regularly again), I've decided to split what was originally planned for review in the first week of September into two weeks.

That aside, this month is another one with several significant events, including a couple of big returns in X-Force as "Fatal Attractions" continues, the introduction of what will become one of the franchise's longest-running mysteries in X-Men, and a genuinely emotional issue of Uncanny X-Men as the X-Men say goodbye to one of their own. 

On Sale May 1993
September 6: Marvel Comics Presents #132-136 (Wolverine story)

On Sale June 1993
September 13: Wolverine: Inner Fury
September 14: Cable #3

September 20: Uncanny X-Men #303
September 21: X-Factor #93
September 22: Wolverine #72

September 27: X-Men (vol. 2) #23
September 28: X-Force #25
September 29: Excalibur #68

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Milch Studies: NYPD Blue Season 12, The Final Wrap-Up


As recently as Season Ten, I was remarking on the show’s continued ability to create strong hooks for episodes, and consistently discover some new angle to make the aging show interesting in some way.  Then, Season Eleven happened.  That year did have some solid episodes, but overall, it’s hard to deny a sense of exhaustion.  Looking back on the later days of NYPD Blue, I can pinpoint two moments the series never recovered from. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Game of Thrones 7x06: Beyond the Wall



Opening Credits Map

King's Landing -> Dragonstone -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Eastwatch -> Old Town

Dragonstone
Daenerys bemoans Jon Snow's decision to go capture a White Walker. She tells Tyrion that she's glad he isn't a hero. Heroes are hot, hunky men who make your loins cry out for satisfaction but, instead of quenching you're deep, desperate thirst, heroes go off on stupid, ill-advised quests that will probably get them killed.

Tyrion is less concerned about Daenerys's carnal desires and more interested in her death. More specifically, he's worried about who will succeed her and how the succession will take place. Daenerys, however, isn't keen on thinking about her own mortality.

Not much is decided here accept some acknowledgement that a benevolent dictatorship is only a good form of government for one generation. Daenerys is focused on simply becoming a benevolent dictator before worrying about anything else. Tyrion is still concerned about the long game.

Friday, August 25, 2017

X-amining Excalibur #67

"Days of Future Yet to Come"
 July 1993

In a Nutshell
Excalibur defeats the Sentinels of the future.

Writer/Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Colorists: Moreshead & Thomas
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Tangerine senses the destruction of her RCX teammates by the Sentinels, she and the remaining members of the group help Excalibur prepare their assault on Sentinel headquarters to rescue Phoenix & Widget. Meanwhile, a captive Phoenix telepathically links with Widget, where she discovers that the Sentinels, having learned of alternate realities via Phoenix' escape to the past, are planning to wipe out mutants across all existence. Outside, Excalibur and the RCX are able to use a captive Sentinel to infiltrate the Sentinel base, just as Phoenix manages to escape her prison and free Widget. With Excalibur & RCX holding off the Sentienls, Phoenix & Widget work together to reprogram Master Mold, and through its link with them, all the Sentinels on the planet, to rewrite their first directive to protect all life, a directive immediately put into action as a Sentinel stops Ahab from killing Phoenix, but spares his life. As Ahab teleports away, Phoenix tells the RCX that the war is over, but it's up to them to win the peace. They ask Phoenix to stay with them, but she declines, saying that she has a new home, a new family and a new future with Excalibur.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

X-amining X-Force #24

"Prisoners of Fate"
July 1993

In a Nutshell
X-Force rescues Rusty & Skids from the Friends of Humanity.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Greg Capullo
Inking: Richard Bennet
Lettering: Chris Eliopolous
Color: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
The Friends of Humanity attack a transport transferring Rusy & Skids from the Vault, and capture the mutants. Shortly thereafter, X-Force returns from their fight with the X-Ternals, and Cannonball announces they're heading out on another mission: to rescue Rusy & Skids. At the X-Mansion, Professor X tells Val Cooper that he's asked X-Force to retrieve Rusty & Skids, who were on their way to him for treatment. In Boston, Vanessa agrees to bring Domino, Grizzly & Hammer to X-Force, over Domino's protests. In space, a mysterious figure pulls together the scattered remains of Graymalkin. Back on Earth, X-Force infiltrates the Friends of Humanity's compound, easily overpowering the men stationed there and rescuing their former teammates, despite Rusty & Skids remaining thoroughly brainwashed and going on about Stryfe. Spotting some of the Friends' anti-mutant literature, Cannonball wonders to Boomer if there's any way for humans and mutants to get along, and Boomer replies they'd better, since there's nowhere else to go.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #22

"The Mask Behind the Facade"
July 1993

In a Nutshell
The X-Men learn "the truth" about Psylocke.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inker: Mark Pennington
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Gambit and the Psylockes attack and defeat Silver Samurai, with their battle revealing a hidden page from Lord Nyoirin's diary. Meanwhile, Shinobi Shaw meets with Matsuo, Lord Tatsu'o and Lord Nyoirin to discuss their territorial claims to Jigoku criminal enterprises. In Alaska, Cyclop's tells his grandparents the truth of what happened to his son, and meets their neighbor, Mike Milbury. Back at Nyoirin's estate, Gambit, Beast and the Psylockes read the diary page, which reveals that after Psylocke emerged from the Siege Perilous, she was found by Nyoirin's lover and assassin, Kwannon, and when Kwannon touched Psylocke, their minds fused. Losing all sense of her self, Kwannon fled, eventually encountering Matsuo and becoming transformed into the Hand's agent. Psylocke angrily refutes the revelations held in the diary, but just then, Lord Nyoirin returns, accompanied by Silver Samurai, and declares that both women are who they claim to be; the real question is if either can ever be whole again, or if they want to. Meanwhile, in Alaska, Cyclops checks on Milbury, only to learn he's actually Mr. Sinister, who has come to discuss Cyclop's family tree with him.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Game of Thrones 7x05: Eastwatch



Opening Credits Map

King's Landing -> Dragonstone -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Eastwatch -> Old Town

On The Road
Shockingly, Jaime's alive! Just kidding. We all knew he'd survive.

So, Bronn helps Jaime out of the water and they're apparently far enough away that Daenerys' army as to not get caught. Jaime is in shock. He says they just got their ass kicked by one dragon and she's got three of them! They're screwed!

Bronn corrects Jaime and notes that only Jaime and the Lannisters are screwed. Fighting dragons is where Bronn's service ends.

The Milch Studies: NYPD Blue Season 12, Stars & Guest Stars


Once it was obvious that NYPD Blue would be on the air for a very long time, Dennis Franz made it known that he’d like the series to end with Season Twelve, thinking it a nice, even number.  The show was nearly clipped in Season Eleven, given the incredible cost of keeping such a long-running drama in the air.  (Typically, a series becomes more expensive to produce each year it’s on, if only due to the yearly raises that are expected.)

Friday, August 18, 2017

X-amining Wolverine #71

"Triassic Park"
July 1993

In a Nutshell
Wolverine defeats Sauron

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Dwayne Turner
Inks: Bennet/Barta/Rubinstein
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Rogue flies into Sauron's citadel and attacks him, Wolverine climbs up out of the pit via the stampede of dinosaurs being dropped on him. He and Rogue capture Sauron and bring him to Brainchild's laboratory, intending to use Brainchild's genetic transformer to revert Sauron to Karl Lykos. But Sauron argues that he and Lykos are essentially two different people: to bring back Lykos is to kill Sauron. He maintains that, in the Savage Land, Sauron has a better right to life than Lykos, and Wolverine grudgingly agrees, setting him loose. Shortly thereafter, Storm and Bishop arrive in the Blackbird, sent by Xavier due to the lack of communication from Wolverine and Rogue. They load up the fist made of iron to bring back to the professor, and when Storm asks what he thinks of the evidence they found, Wolverine declares that he saw enough to know that a storm is brewing, with the X-Men caught in the middle of it.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

X-amining X-Factor #92

"The Man Who Wasn't There"
July 1993

In a Nutshell
X-Factor battles the Acolytes

Co-Plotter: Scott Lobdell
Penciler/Co-Plotter: Joe Quesada
Script: J.M. DeMatteis
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Starkings
Background Artist: Cliff Van Meter
Colorist: Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the wake of an Acolyte attack on a hospice in Virgina, Havok, Quicksilver & Val Cooper interview one of the survivors, whose descriptions of the Acolytes' savagery stuns them. They are unknowingly watched by the Acolyte Scanner, who reports back to Cortez. Later, X-Factor interrogates Spoor, the one Acolyte captured during the attack. He is initially belligerent, but becomes reverential when Quicksilver, the son of Magneto, enters the room. Spoor proceeds to tell them the location of the Acolytes' next target, a low-level military base in Kentucky. But instead of bringing X-Factor, Val goes there only with Quicksilver, along with Random as hired help. Suspicious, the rest of X-Factor follows, and along the way they encounter a mysterious flying mutant who observes them briefly before flying off. At Camp Hayden, Quicksilver quickly learns the base is a front for Project: Wideawake, the government program to create Sentinels. Arriving shortly thereafter, X-Factor is stunned by the revelation. Just then, the Acolytes attack the base, and while they fight X-Factor, Cortez attempts to recruit Quicksilver. He rejects Cortez, who then calls for the Acolytes' retreat, saying they've succeeded in planting a seed. In the wake of their departure, Val coughs up green smoke, revealing she's been under the control of the Acolytes for the last several weeks. However, she says that she was just following the government's orders in keeping Project: Wideawake a secret from the team, and X-Factor walks away from her in disgust.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #302

"Province"
July 1993

In a Nutshell
The X-Men battle Fitzroy in Dallas.

Writes: Lobdell
Pencils: Romita Jr.
Inks: Green & Panosian
Vacations & Lettering: Eliopoulos & Babcock
Colors: Buccellato
Edits: Bob Harras
Chiefs: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Storm struggles to contain the debris from the Aerie explosion, Bishop searches the rubble for any sign of Forge, Mystique or Fitzroy. Meanwhile, Xavier worries about Illyana's worsening health. In Dallas, Storm is attacked by a mob, but a local police officer comes to her defense. In the remains of the Aerie, Forge emerges from a protective shield along with an unconscious Mystique, while on the ground, the mob reasons they can probably overpower both Storm and the cop, just as Iceman arrives and helps contain the situation. Above. Fitzroy attacks Bishop & Forge, but his armor is destroyed by Jean, while Colossus leaps into the fray, pummeling him in rage to the point that Colossus has to be pulled off the unconscious villain by his teammates. Back at the mansion, a studying Jubilee is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Kitty Pryde, who came as soon as she heard about Illyana.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Game of Thrones 7x04: The Spoils of War



Opening Credits Map

King's Landing -> Dragonstone -> Pyke -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Old Town

Winterfell
We start with Wun Wun sitting in a wheel chair. Finally! Wun Wun is independently mobile. Littlefinger skulks into the room and hands Wun Wun the knife used to killed Bran because he, of course, thinks Wun Wun is Bran too.

I think this is some kind of power play by Petyr but it doesn't work. Wun Wun is completely disaffected and simply tells Littlefinger that "chaos is a ladder." This unnerves Baelish. My sources say that that's a phrase Littlefinger told Varys in private earlier in the series. I think Littlefinger has no clue how handle someone he can't keep secrets from and can't play mind games with.

Meanwhile, Arya saunters up to the gates of Winterfell and two guards blunder their way through not letting her in (believing the idea that she is Arya Stark is too far fetched). While these two work on their three....er....two stooges routine, Arya up and sneaks by them.

This eventually ends up with reunion between Sansa and Arya. They're happy to see each other. It's sweet. That leads to Sansa, Arya and Wun Wun reuniting. It's...not as sweet. Wun Wun just, totally doesn't care about anyone anymore. He gives Arya that sweet Valyrian steel dagger though.

We go from the Three-Eyed Raven to the Three Legged Man. Podrick the Pornstar is sparring with Brienne. He's losing of course despite Brienne's advice. Arya's advice is not to spar against someone who has defeated the Hound. I would think that, despite everything else, Podrick's third leg is interfering with his footwork.

Anyway, Arya wants a go at Brienne. Brienne goes easy on Arya to start but we know how that works out. Eventually Arya pisses off Brienne and it's on like a 1980's ape based video game. The match ends in a draw and that's cool and all but it feels like if I was shooting hoops in my driveway and some dude walks up saying he's rusty and would like to get some practice in and then throws down a 360-tomahawk jam over me. I mean, that's sweet but I'm starting to think their intent wasn't to brush up on fundamentals.

Friday, August 11, 2017

X-amining Cable #2

"Mired in Destiny"
June 1993

In a Nutshell
Cable & Kane return to the present.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Art Thibert
Inkers: Milgrom, Wiacek
Readouts: Chris Eliopolous
Alarmed: Marie Javins
Running Behind: Bob Harras
Takes a lick' an' keeps on tickin': Tom DeFalco

Plot
The Clan Chosen infiltrate the Tinex facility, but find a cadre of Canaanite guards waiting for them. Meanwhile, General Haight assures the Canaanite Commission on Strategic Maneuvers that his men can repel Clan Chosen and that they won't impact Sinsear's mission to eliminate the other who has gone off his programming before working to ensure the ascension of Apocalypse. Back at the Tinex, Cable asks Boak to sacrifice himself to overcome the Canaanite forces, which enrages Hope, but she still accesses the Tinex in order to send Kane home. In the process, she learns someone else has already used it to go back in time. In the present, Sinsear visits Tolliver's Austrian home, and when he's told Tolliver is dead, Tolliver kills the man who told him as much, insisting Tolliver is still alive. Back in the future, Hope finds the right timeline to send Kane back to, but Cable announces he's going back with him, leaving orders to blow up the facility once they're gone. Cable & Kane are sent back in time, and the Clan Chosen flies off as they destroy the facility. Arriving in the present, Cable & Kane are surprised to find Professor offline, and Graymalkin seemingly on the ocean floor.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

X-amining X-Factor Annual #8

"Charon" / "What Have You Got to Hide" / "Crawlin' From the Wreckage"
1993

In a Nutshell
The Chalkers return as part of Charon's first appearance.

Writer: Peter David, Skip Dietz (2nd & 3rd Story)
Penciler: Terry Shoemaker, Buzz (2nd Story), Chris Batista (3rd Story)
Inker: Mark McKenna, Al Milgrom (2nd Story). Jeff Albrecht (3rd Story)
Letterer: Lois Buhalis, Dave Sharp (2nd Story), Pat Brosseay (3rd Story)
Colorist: Joe Rosas, Carlos Lopez (2nd Story), Joe Rosas (3rd Story)
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Leaving a movie with his parents, Charlie Ronalds is devastated when his parents are killed by an attacker who says he is a mutant. Years later, Charlie is injured during an accident at his school involving Guido Carosella, another mutant. In the present, Guido, along with Polaris, appear on a talk show while the rest of X-Factor trains in the Danger Room. Charlie, his hatred for mutants and Guido in particular still raging, contacts a demon named Cloot. Learning of Charlie's hatred for X-Factor, Cloot grants him powers, and allies in the Chalker family, in exchange for Charlie delivering the souls of X-Factor to Cloot. As Charon, Charlie leads the Chalkers in an attack on X-Factor, but the Chalkers quickly die once more as Charon battles Strong Guy, and when he declares he simply wants Strong Guy to die, Cloot appears, telling Charlie he's broken their deal and sending Charlie to the same hell dimension where his parents reside, leaving X-Factor confused about what exactly has just happened.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

X-amining X-Men Unlimited #1

"Follow the Leader"
June 1993

In a Nutshell
Sienna Blaze attacks Storm, Cyclops & Professor X. 

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Scott Bachalo
Inker: Dan Panosian 
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Assistant: Jaye Gardner
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Nudge: Bob Harras
Evil Mutant: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Antarctica, a visor-less Cyclops searches the wreckage of the crashed Blackbird for Xavier, who then helps Cyclops find Storm. Elsewhere, new Upstart Sienna Blaze is angry to learn her attack on the three X-Men hasn't killed them yet. Back at the mansion, Psylocke & Bishop set out to rescue their comrades. In Antarctica, Xavier, Storm & Cyclops recall events leading up to the crash for any information about their attacker, remembering being hit by a massive energy blast on their way home from the Savage Land and how Cyclops lost his visor trying to bring the craft down safely. With the blizzard outside the remnants of the plane raging, Storm attempts to tame it, but its size overwhelms her, triggering a massive fever. The next morning, Cyclops & Storm awake to find Xavier gone, having set out in the night in search of a psionic imprint he detected, a search which ultimately leaves him stranded in the blizzard. Storm & Cyclops set out after him, encountering Blaze, who once again tries to kill them. But working with a returned Xavier, they manage to defeat her, though she uses her power to escape, triggering an electro-magnetic vacuum that nearly destroys the X-Men. But Storm is able to protect the trio until Xavier senses the arrival of Bishop & Psylocke, who retrieve them. Later, Xavier recalls his rescue by an unseen friend, as a shadowy figure watches the Blackbird depart.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Game of Thrones 7x03: The Queen’s Justice


Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Dragonstone -> Pyke -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Old Town

Dragonstone
Jon Snow shows up. That was fast! You know, I'm not necessarily upset at the show for speeding up certain things, like travel, but it is a bit jarring compared to the, possibly overly, deliberate pacing earlier in the series. However, despite not needing to spend several episodes with Jon Snow traveling, this show does seem to have difficulty conveying any passage of time between when Jon Snow left and when he arrived.

Anyway, Jon Snow and Tyrion are the first to meet and they do that Han Solo/Lando Calrissian thing where you act like you hate each other only to then show affection for each other. Not sure who they trying to initially fool but this wasn't the most egregious use of this trope. At least their “affection” was just a smile and head nod.

Tyrion and Jon Snow catch up a little bit since Jon Snow last saw Tyrion relieving himself off the Wall. Jon Snow is lead to Daenerys who, of course, immediately demands fealty because she is the rightful ruler of Westeros. She's nice enough to allow Jon Snow be warden of the North, though.

Jon Snow rejects this saying all this talk of ruling Westeros is pointless until the White Walkers are dealt with. He's not wrong but I can't help but feel he's going about this wrongly. Frankly, they both are. Daenerys needs allies but alienates them by demanding complete loyalty when they first meet doesn't seem the best way to garner support. And Jon Snow might want to try to explain the White Walkers better and not just immediately claim everybody is an idiot.

So, things are tense and seem to be going south. Beyond that, Jon Snow is kind of trapped because they took his boat. That's another way not to gain allies.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Force in Focus: Star Wars #68

"The Search Begins"
February 1983

In a Nutshell
Leia meets Fenn Shysa on Manadalore while searching for Dengar.

Script: David Michelinie
Layouts: Gene Day
Finishes: Tom Palmer
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letters: Joe Rosen
Editor: Louise Jones
Corellian Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Luke, Leia & Lando depart Arbra, each in search of a different bounty hunter who may be able to provide information as to the whereabouts of Boba Fett & Han Solo. Leia, looking for Dengar, lands on the planet Mandalore. She and Threepio come across a group of Imperial-backed slavers, but before they can intervene, the slavers are attacked by soldiers wearing armor like Boba Fett's. Leia meets their leader, Fenn Shysa, and he takes her back to his village, where she learns about Boba Fett's past and discovers that Shysa has captured Dengar, who was attempting to claim a bounty on Shysa. Dengar agrees to tell Leia everything she wants to know in exchange for breaking him free. That night, while Leia distracts Shysa and knocks him out, Threepio frees Dengar. But as the three race for Leia's ship, Dengar reveals that he's altered their deal, having signaled the local Imperial troops in the hopes of capturing an even bigger bounty than Shysa, just as Leia & Threepio are surrounded by a contingent of Stormtroopers.

Friday, August 4, 2017

X-amining Excalibur #66

"Back to the Present"
June 1993

In a Nutshell
The truth between Widget is revealed as Excalibur travels to the future.

Writer/Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Dana Moreshead
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In 2013, Ahab attempts to harness the residual temporal energy surrounding Kate Pryde to follow Rachel Summers back in time. But the combination of that energy, radiation from the Sentinel attack that triggered Rachel's time jump, and Kate's phasing ability cause a malfunction that results in her being fused with a Sentinel and tossed into the timestream, emerging as Widget two years later before fleeing to warn Rachel. In the present, Excalibur returns to Braddock Manor, and Rachel immediately prepares to return to her future timeline. In 2015, Widget encounters the RCX, then senses Rachel entering the timestream just as Ahab launches a Sentinel attack, hoping to capture Widget. The link between Widget and Rachel opens a gateway stable enough for the rest of Excalibur to travel into the future, where they assist the RCX in repelling Ahab and the Sentinels. However, both Widget & Rachel are captured as Ahab retreats. Though the RCX insists Excalibur would be insane to go to the Sentinels headquarters, Nightcrawler declares that since they're stranded in the future, their choice is simple: defeat the Sentinels or die trying.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

X-amining X-Force #23

"Compromising Positions"
June 1993

In a Nutshell

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Greg Capullo
Mood: Beef Candelario
Alphabet: Spike
Our Ted Turner: Marie
MIA (Missing-in-Australia): Bob Harras
Muck-a-Muck: Tommy Dee

Plot
X-Force retrieves Crule from the hospital, offering to take down the X-Ternals if he helps them locate the group. Meanwhile, Cannonball confers with Xavier, hoping to find a way to rescue his friends while keeping his word to Gideon. In Canada, Domino & Grizzly escape Weapon: Prime with Hammer's help, while in Oregon, Gideon assures Saul that X-Force will come for their friends, likely sneaking in to attempt a rescue. But when X-Force, sans Cannonball, arrives near Saul's home, they decide to take the opposite approach, and blast their way in, taking Gideon & Saul by surprise. In Boston, Vanessa is confronted by Deadpool & Sluggo. However, they're shot from behind by Domino & Grizzly, and Vanessa tells Domino she knows where X-Force is. Back at Saul's home, X-Force has retrieved their captured friends, and Gideon expresses his dismay that Cannonball broke his word. Sunspot gives Gideon a letter written by Cannonball, explaining that while he promised to stay away, the rest of X-Force didn't. Saul says that without Cannonball, the X-Ternals may all die, to which Shatterstar declares, as X-Force departs, that if the X-Ternals don't leave X-Force alone, that will happen anyway.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #21

"The Puzzle Box"
June 1993

In a Nutshell
The X-Men head to Japan in search of the truth about Psylocke.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Brandon Petersen
Inker: Dan Panosian
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
The X-Men interrogate the two Psylockes, and when both telepathy and Wolverine's senses fail to determine which is the real deal, Xavier declares the team must go to Japan to find Lord Nyoirin to learn the truth. In Alaska, Cyclops reunites with his grandparents, while in Seattle, the Dark Riders target Mesmero, killing him for being unworthy before executing one of their own sickly teammates. In Japan, Lord Nyoirin meets with Shinboi Shaw, and agrees to use Kwannon to kill the X-Men in exchange for Shinobi supporting Nyoirin's claim on Clan Yashida's holdings. Elsewhere, Gambit, Beast and the two Psylockes infiltrate Nyoirin's ancestral home. Taking out his guards, they discover a secret painting of Kwannon, resembling Asian Psylocke, in Nyoirin's study. In Tokyo, Shinobi attacks Matsu'o, angry that Matsu'o has prevailed on Gamesmaster to block Shinboi's efforts to kill Psylocke. In Nyoirin's study, the suspicions of the X-Men grow, but as they question Psylocke, they're attacked from behind by Silver Samurai, who declares that in order to regain the place of honor lost to Clan Yashida, he must kill them all.