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

Friday, September 29, 2017

X-amining Excalibur #68

"Dead Space Part One"
 August 1993

In a Nutshell
The Starjammers come to Earth looking to arrest Cerise.

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Script: Dan Slott
Pencils: Steve Buccellato
Inks: Harry Candelario
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Upon returning from the future, Excalibur mourns the loss of Captain Britain, to the dismay of Micromax, who is trying to organize a training session for the team. Only Kylun takes him up on his offer, but as they spar on the grounds outside Braddock Manor, they are attacked by the Starjammers. With the rest of the team responding to the attack, Corsair explains that they've come to arrest a Shi'ar fugitive. Excalibur, believing he means Phoenix, attack the Starjammers, and in the course of the fight it's revealed that the Starjammers are actually after Cerise, who emerges from the mansion wearing her armor and agreeing to go with the Starjammers, tearfully telling Nightcrawler that Corsair is right about her. But after the Starjammers & Cerise depart via stargate, Phoenix repowers the gate. Leaving Kitty behind to watch over Feron & Meggan, Nightcrawler leads the rest through the gate, determined to rescue Cerise.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

X-amining X-Force #25

"Back to Front"
August 1993

In a Nutshell
Cable reunites with X-Force, then battles Magneto.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Greg Capullo
Inkers: Wiacek, Green, Ryan, Palmiotti, Hanna, Conrad, Milgrom
Letterer: Chris Eliopolous
Colorist: George Roussos
Platoon Leader: Bob Harras
Back is Front: Tom DeFalco

Plot
X-Force returns to Camp Verde and realizes somebody has infiltrated their base. They split up to search the complex, with each pair encountering the intruder, who turns out to be Cable. After Cable comes clean with the team, Exodus arrives, extending an invitation to Cannonball & Sunspot, as former members of the New Mutants, to join him on his master's sanctuary. Cannonball agrees, but only after Exodus agrees to bring the rest of the former New Mutants, including Rusty & Skids, with him. They depart, after which Cable reveals Cannonball gave X-Force the means to track them before leaving. The former New Mutants arrive on Avalon, an orbital station created from the remnants of Graymalkin, and meet Exodus' master: a revived Magneto. Just then, the rest of X-Force arrives, and as they battles Exodus, Cannonball rejects Magneto's offer to join him on Avalon. Cable sends the rest of the team away but, determined to save Professor, stays behind. He encounters Magneto, who uses his power to destroy all the metal in Cable's body, grievously wounding him, but Cable manages to retrieve Professor and teleport away. Magneto is disappointed that he failed to sway the next generation of mutants to his side, but tells Exodus it is time to offer sanctuary to the rest of Xavier's brood, and see how they respond.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #23

"Leaning Towards Oneself"
August 1993

In a Nutshell
Mr. Sinister kicks off a decades-long mystery.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inker: Mark Pennington
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Leaning Tower of Pizza: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Alaska, Mr. Sinisters insists he only wants to warn Cyclops about Stryfe's mutant-targeting virus, but their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of the Dark Riders, come to test the two. In Japan, Lord Nyoirin tells the X-Men they need to talk to Shinobi and Matsu'o for further answers, while at the X-Mansion, Wolverine reports to Xavier about his findings in the Savage Land.. In Alaska, Mr. Sinister attacks the Dark Riders, telling them they're welcome to fight Cyclops but can't kill him, before disappearing. In Japan, Beast & Gambit visit Shinobi, while Psylocke & Revanche attack Matsu'o. In Alaska, Cyclops fights the Dark Riders long enough for them to declare that he is strong enough to fight in the coming war, leaving Cyclops to ponder what he's learned that day, and decide that the time has come to ask others for help.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

X-aminations in October 2017


Just one review next week, as I'll be busy working on our local fall comic convention (stop by and say hi if you're in the area). After that, it's Joe Madureira and Deadpool's big breakout, Excalibur finally gets a proper annual, and Magneto makes his official return as "Fatal Attractions" continues.

On Sale June 1993
October 4: Cable #4

On Sale July 1993
October 11: X-Men Unlimited #2
October 12: Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1-4
October 13: Excalibur Annual #1

October 18: Uncanny X-Men #304
October 19: X-Factor #94
October 20: Wolverine #73

October 25: X-Men (vol. 2) #24
October 26: X-Force #26
October 27: Excalibur #69

Friday, September 22, 2017

X-amining Wolverine #72

"Sleeping Giant"
August 1993

In a Nutshell
Wolverine & Jubilee encounter a revived Sentinel in the Outback.

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Dwayne Turner
Inks: Joe Rubinstein
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Kevin Somers
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Wolverine & Jubilee explore the X-Men's old Outback base, discovering the remains of the Reavers and Fitzroy's Sentinels. As they expand their search outside, looking for Gateway, one of the Sentinels activates and uses Spiral's remaining equipment to repair itself. Outside, Wolverine & Jubilee discover Gateway missing, but a groove from his bullroarer remaining. When Jubilee touches it, she suddenly finds herself back in her parent's house, before they died, and realizes they were actually murdered by two hired goons sent to kill Jubilee's neighbors. As Wolverine pulls her back to the present, the activated Sentinel approaches them, declaring that it has overrode its prime directive to protect humans and intends to use the temporal vortex to make the world better for Sentinels by eradicating humanity. When Wolverine moves to stop him, the Sentinel grabs Jubilee, telling Wolverine that if he attacks, the Sentinel will snap her neck.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

X-amining X-Factor #93

"The Longest Day: Part 1"
August 1993

In a Nutshell
X-Factor deals with the death of Illyana while Forge is appointed their new government liaison.

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Script: J.M. DeMatteis
Penciler: Terry Shoemaker
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Havok & Wolfsbane arrive at the X-Mansion, and express their condolences for Illyana's death to a stone-faced Colossus before being taken to Professor X. Meanwhile, Polaris & Quicksilver try on their new X-Factor uniforms while Guido is teleported away by Lila Cheney. At the X-Mansion, Havok plays handball with his brother, while Xavier gives Wolfsbane the bad news that he can't cure her mental conditioning telepathically, without risking her ending up stuck as a mindless mutate. Someplace far away, Guido finds himself in front of an alien crowd during one of Lila's concerts, and demands that she take him him, turning down her offer to return as her bodyguard and live a life of luxury, much to her dismay. Back at X-Factor headquarters, Quicksilver reluctantly accepts his new costume after shedding it of some unnecessary accessories, while at the pentagon, Val Cooper meets with X-Factor's new government liaison: Forge.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #303

"Going Through the Motions"
August 1993

In a Nutshell
The death of Illyana

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Special Guest Artist: Richard Bennet
Inks: Dan Green (pp 8, 14-18)
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Jean Grey seeks out Jubilee, asking if she wants to talk about what she's feeling. Jubilee is reluctant at first, but soon she opens up, admitting she shouldn't be surprised by what happened. A few hours ago, Jubilee was keeping an increasingly-ill Illyana company along with Kitty while Xavier & Moira worked desperately to stop the spread of the virus making her sick. Annoyed by how close Kitty & Illyana were, Jubilee left to check on Xavier, and was saddened by how despondent he was. Then Illyana suddenly went into cardiac arrest, and Xavier was forced to use a piece of Shi'ar technology to keep her alive, albeit in a coma. Kitty argued that consigning her to that fate was worse than death, and as they argued, Jubilee picked up Illyana's bamf doll and placed it in her arms, doing what she could to make the girl happy. Shortly thereafter, the X-Men returned from Dallas to find Xavier waiting to break the news of Illyana's passing to a stone-faced Colossus, leaving Jubilee to ask Jean why, if the X-Men can save the world every day, they couldn't do zip to save one little girl? She tells Jean that what she's feeling more than anything is that she wants to be left alone, but Jean hugs her, saying that while everyone enters and leaves the world alone, the time they spend in between, together with other people, is what makes life worth living.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Force in Focus: Star Wars #70

"The Stenex Shuffle"
April 1983

In a Nutshell
Jo Duffy debuts with a flashback tale featuring a trip of new characters.

Plot/Script: Mary Jo Duffy
Pencils: Kerry Gammill (pp1, 5-16, 18-21), Tom Palmer (pp2-4,17,22)
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letters: Joe Rosen
Editor: Louise Jones
Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Luke and Lando, their respective searches having led them in the same direction, approach the planet Stenex, a place which Luke visited earlier, shortly after he and Han joined the Rebellion. Luke proceeds to tell Lando of how he, Han and Leia came to the planet in search of a missing Rebel cell, finding instead Rik Duel, an old associate of Han's, and Rik's partners. Duel tells Leia that he was tasked by the Rebel cell's leader to stay behind after the rest of the cell fled the incoming Imperial occupation to search for a hidden artifact that could be valuable to the Rebellion. Leia and company agree to help Duel, but when they find the artifact, a statute of a local Stenaxes' god, Duel claims it for himself, intending to sell it to the local Imperial governor, after turning the Rebels over to him. As the Rebels fight back against the summoned Stormtroopers, the native Stenaxes intervene. After they defeat the Stormtroopers, Han points them towards Duel. They attack the exchange between Duel and the Imperial governor, leaving Duel to curse Han's name as the Millennium Falcon flies off. Luke tells Lando they never learned what happened to Duel and his crew, but Lando hopes the Stenaxes will be grateful enough to help them find the bounty hunters Luke & Lando are now seeking, for Han's sake.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

X-amining Wolverine: Inner Fury

"Inner Fury"
1992

In a Nutshell
Wolverine gets infected with nanites that turn his healing factor against him.

Writer: D.G. Chichester
Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Colorist: Sherilyn Van Valkenburgh
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
A Hydra scientist named the Whale breaks off from the group with the nano-technology he had been working on, but is pursued by the co-leader of the project. Later, SHIELD alerts Wolverine that they picked up a Hydra courier with a communique containing his name. Nick Fury cautions against Wolverine investigating, saying it's clearly a trap, but Wolverine insists on springingit. He is subsequently attacked by a group of Hydra soldiers, and gets infected with the nanotechnology, but he manages to kill all the soldiers except for one, who is finished off by someone named Mr. Big. Mr. Big tells Wolverine that the nanites are affecting his healing factor, causing it to reject the adamantium in his body. As the adamantium begins to leak out of his body, Wolverine and Mr. Big track down the Whale, after which it's revealed that Mr. Big is Hydra as well, the co-leader of the project with Whale. His healing factor too overtaxed for him to fight, Wolverine "reboots" his power by stabbing himself in the head with his claws, forcing it to prioritize healing that injury instead of rejecting the adamantium. When he regains consciousness, he kills Mr. Big, and then promises the Whale, who was genuinely only interested in exploring science and got tricked into working with Hydra, that he'll help him get in touch with Reed Richards or some other super-scientist.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

X-amining Cable #3

"Twenty Questions"
July 1993

In a Nutshell
Cable answers some questions.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Art: Ron Lim & Co. (1-4), Paul Smith & Tom Palmer (5-7), Klaus Janson (8-10), B. Peterson & H. Candelario (11-13), Kerry Gammil & Al Milgrom (14-16), Ian Churchill & Bob Wiacek (17-18), Ian Churchill & Al Milgrom (19), Paul Ryan & Al Milgrom 20-22
Letterer: Chris Eliopolous
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Cable & Kane are back in the 20th century but stuck in the Time Displacement Core at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Cable pulls out some beer to pass the time, and Kane takes the opportunity to ask him some questions. Meanwhile, GW Bridge breaks into Cable's Swiss chalet, while in Sarajevo, Sinsear approaches Weasel, looking for Deadpool. Bridge is stunned to discover Professor running Cable's house, and even more shocked to learn Cable is still alive. Back at the Time Displacement Core, Cable reveals that while he and Kane have been drinking and talking, he's been re-powering the teleportation unit with his own personal power supply. With the unit fully charged, he and Kane teleport to Cable's chalet, and Cable is enraged to find Bridge there. But Bridge quickly tells him that he can tell Cable where X-Force is.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Force in Focus: Star Wars #69

"Death in the City of Bone!"
March 1983

In a Nutshell
Leia & Fenn Shysa team-up to free Mandalore from Imperial rule.

Writer: David Michelinie
Pencils: Gene Day
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letters: Joe Rosen
Editor: Louise Jones
Mandalorian Protector: Jim Shooter

Plot
Leia & Threepio are brought to the Imperial base on Mandalore, and taken before Suprema, the Imperial leader, who declares he will soon kill Fenn Shysa. But as Leia & Threepio are led away by Stormtroopers, one of the troopers turns out to be Shysa in disguise. He cuts a deal with Leia: help him rescue one of his soldiers, Tobbi, and he'll help her capture Dengar. They free Tobbi from his cell, after which Fenn signals his troops outside the base to attack. The group commandeers an airspeeder and heads for Suprema's headquarters, triggering a slave uprising inside the base. Confronting Suprema, Tobbi is lethally shot, but lives long enough to open the doors to the base, allowing the slaves to escape, and then close them before a squad of Stormtroopers can capture Leia, Threepio & Fenn. In the process, he triggers a chain reaction that destroys the base, killing Suprema. Catching up to Dengar, Fenn forces him to admit he wasn't working with Boba Fett, but gives Leia a clue to his possible whereabouts. Meanwhile, Lando & Chewbacca meet an informant about Bossk's whereabouts, but Lando is less than happy when he learns the location.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

X-amining Marvel Comics Presents #132-136 - Brothers in Arms

"Trouble in Paradise" / "Alone Against the Coven" / "Chain Reaction" / "Off the Cuff" / "Cat's Game"
July - September 1993

In a Nutshell
Wolverine battles Cyber on a tropical island

Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Steve Lightle
Inker: Steve Lightle
Letterer: Ul Higgins, John Babcock (issue #136)
Colorists: Steve & Marianne Lightle
Editors: Terry Kavanagh, Richard Ashford (issues #133-136)
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Vacationing on a tropical island, Wolverine encounters a young woman named Kayla fleeing from a cult called the Coven, who intend to bring about a new Dark Age on Earth. After fighting off some members of the Coven, Wolverine & Kayla sleep together, which Kayla says marks Wolverine as her champion; now, the Coven will need to kill him to meet their goals. Meanwhile, the leaders of the Coven, who have hired Cyber, learn of Wolverine's involvement. Wolverine attacks them, but is knocked out, and when he wakes up, he discovers he's been chained to Cyber. The two fight, and Wolverine gets knocked out again. He regains consciousness just as he and Cyber are being lowered into a vat of acid, intended by the Coven as a sacrifice. Cyber manages to cut them free, and the pair escape along with a jewel the Coven needs for their ritual. Wolverine brings the gem to a temple housing a group resisting the Coven, including Kayla. They only want to let Wolverine inside, but are forced to allow Cyber in since he's still chained to Wolverine. Inside, Cyber immediately reveals this has all been a ruse to get him inside the temple, and unlocks the manacle. The temple defiled, the rest of the Coven enter, but Wolverine is able to defeat them by going into a berserker rage, and Cyber escapes in the melee. With the Coven defeated, Kayla reveals the gem they stole was a fake all along, and Wolverine notes that in being deceitful like the Coven, the group has traded a darkness they could see for one that lives in everyone.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Game of Thrones 7x07: The Dragon and the Wolf



Opening Credits Map

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

King's Landing
Well, if your dream was to see nearly all the main characters assemble in one area then your wish has been granted. We get banter between Tyrion and Bronn and the Hound and Brienne. Also, Podrick the Pink Taco Pounder talked with Bronn. Bronn mentioned the Casanova's “magic cock.” There it was. Five or so seasons of setup have finally paid off.

Daenerys and her allies meet with Cersei and her allies. The Hound makes sure the Mountain and everybody watching knows that they will have a showdown. There's more banter back and forth with Cersei thinking the talk of an invading White Walker army being some sort of ploy by Daenerys. That's when the Hound releases the captured zombie and Cersei is suitably scared and shows more emotion than I thought she'd allow herself to.

Euron wants no part of this and declares that he's sailing back to the Iron Islands where the White Walkers can't get him. Cersei agrees to a truce with Daenerys provided that Jon Snow vows to completely withdraw from this war and never aid Daenerys. Jon Snow, of course, says he can't do that because Daenerys is now his queen. Being too honest and letting love get in the way of your politicking? That's two Stark mistakes for the price of one!