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

Friday, March 24, 2017

X-amining Wolverine #64

"What Goes Around..."
December 1992

In a Nutshell
Shiva arrives as Psi Borg continues to manipulate the former Weapon X members.

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Mark Pacella
Inks: Dan Panosian
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: James Tinsley
Art Assist: Scott Hanna
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Wolverine, Sabretooth, Maverick & Wraith proceed to destroy Ferro's computer equipment, attempting to draw him out. Their efforts succeed, and Ferro appears in his full Psi Borg guise. He separates Wolverine from the group, telling him he's the prize he's been after. He shows Wolverine the memory of Silver Fox being killed by Sabretooth, and Wolverine learns that Sabretooth didn't kill her, though she did knock out one of Sabretooth's teeth. Psi Borg realizes Wolverine's mental pain is the key to the age suppression factor they all share, and forces Sabretooth to attack Silver Fox. Upstairs, Shiva appears, and asks Jubilee where Vole is. Jubilee proceeds to kick Shiva over the edge, where it lands on Psi Borg. Free of his control, Sabretooth attacks Psi Borg, who once again turns into a tree and consumes him, leaving behind only a twig and a pod, which contains a tooth.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

X-amining X-Factor #85

"Snikts & Bones"
December 1992

In a Nutshell
Wolverine & Bishop battle Cable.

Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Jae Lee
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letters: Richard Starkings
Colors: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
At Department K, Wolverine & Bishop attack Cable, while in Arkansas, Cannonball leads X-Factor & the X-Men to a town that turns out to contain a hidden Mutant Liberation Front base. In Switzerland, Apocalypse enters Cable's safehouse, and is stunned to recognize Cable's tech as being similar to his own. In Arkansas, X-Factor & the X-Men attack the MLF. Elsewhere, Stryfe tortures Cyclops, making him believe he's responsible for the deaths of Jean and a group of children. In Canada, Cable is able to convince Wolverine he didn't shoot Xavier, at least long enough to stop their fight and hear Cable out. In New York, the X-Patriots knock out one of Madrox' dupes, left behind to guard them, and leave the hospital. In Arkansas, Wildchild knocks out Gambit, who is turn knocked out by Quicksilver. But Reaper sneaks up on Quicksilver, cutting his leg, leaving both Quicksilver & Gambit at his mercy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #295

"Familiar Refrain"
December 1992

In a Nutshell
The X-Men battle Apocalypse as Wolverine & Bishop search for info on Stryfe.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Brandon Peterson
Inks: Terry Austin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
A weakened Apocalypse, searching out his Horsemen to learn why they attacked the X-Men, enters one of his old bases to discover the X-Men waiting for him. Meanwhile, Havok & Polaris check in on X-Force, now imprisoned in the Danger Room. As the X-Men attack Apocalypse, a captive Jean Grey comes face-to-face with Stryfe. At the X-Mansion, Val Cooper briefs the X-Men & X-Factor on Stryfe, thanks to Mr. Sinister alerting them to his involvement, while Wolverine & Bishop break in to Department K, having taken it upon themselves to find more info on Stryfe. Elsewhere, Apocalypse manages to overpower the X-Men despite his weakened state, and teleports away, determined to discover who is orchestrating recent events. At the X-Mansion, Havok & Gambit meet with Cannonball, and offer him the opportunity to help take down Stryfe in exchange for any information Cannonball has on Stryfe and the Mutant Liberation Front. In Canada, Cable arrives at Department K, also seeking information on Stryfe, and proceeds to run right into an enraged Wolverine & Bishop.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Milch Studies: NYPD Blue, Season Ten - The Cast & Guest Stars


Season Ten, and the show still has over forty episodes to go.  Honestly, I'm not sure who was even running the series at this point.  Reports had Steven Bochco moving away from his daily duties on the show, which I suppose left Mark Tinker as the man in charge.  Matt Olmstead and Nicholas Wootton also have co-executive producer credits, so perhaps they were the daily showrunners.  Nicholas Wootton has been a writer on the show for years, and his scripts tend to stand out as the strongest ones of the year.  Matt Olmstead, conversely, tends to write lighter episodes, and his name is on the script with the horrendous Grease seduction scene from last year, so I'm probably carrying at least a slight bias towards his work...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Force in Focus: The Empire Strikes Back Action Figures Wave 2

Dengar
Han Solo (Bespin Outfit)
Lobot
Ugnaught
AT-AT Driver
Princess Leia (Hoth Outfit)
Imperial Commander
Rebel Commander
2-1B

The second wave of Empire Strikes Back action figures is, like the first wave, fairly democratic, containing an assortment of figures culled from various settings/character classes from across the film, rather than focusing on one particular area. There's two main characters (new versions of Han and Leia), one from the Bespin setting and another from the Hoth setting, one bounty hunter (Dengar), an alien (Ugnaught), a droid (2-1B), three troop builders (AT-AT Driver, Imperial Commander, Rebel Commander) and one Lobot (Lobot).

Friday, March 17, 2017

X-amining Excalibur #57

"For Whom the Bell Trolls!"
Late November 1992

In a Nutshell
Excalibur & the X-Men team-up to rescue Alchemy from the Troll Associates.

Plot: Alan Davis
Words: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Joe Madureira
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Letters: Ken Lopez
Colors: Kevin Tinsley
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Tom Jones frantically tries to contact the X-Men for help rescuing his mom, only to be captured by shadowy figures. Later, as Excalibur is searching for Sat-yr-9, they comes across gold statues that turn out to be real people transformed into gold. Meggan leads the team back to their assailants, where they run afoul of the Troll Associates, who have kidnapped Tom. As the trolls escape, Captain Britain is turned to gold by Tom as well. As Nightcrawler sends Cerise to fetch Feron, the X-Men, having received Tom's earlier message, arrive in England. Wolverine tracks Tom's scent to where Excalibur is searching the sewers for him, and the two teams enjoy a brief reunion before Psylocke telepathically picks up on the psychic distress of Tom and his mother, whom the trolls have kidnapped to force Tom to work for them. The X-Men and Excalibur track Tom to a chamber behind a massive door. As Psylocke senses Tom and the trolls behind it, Cyclops orders Gambit to blow the door, just as Wolverine realizes from its smell that Tom has turned it into plastique, thus triggering a massive explosion when Gambit's thrown card detonates.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

X-amining X-Force #16

"Jacklighting"
November 1992

In a Nutshell
X-Force battles X-Factor & and the X-Men.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Greg Capullo
Inker: Harry Candelario
Letterer: Chris Eliopolous
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Texas, X-Force engages the combined X-Factor/X-Men Blue team. They hold their own for awhile, but are eventually overwhelmed, and Cannonball orders them to retreat and regroup, as Wolverine sets off in pursuit. Meanwhile, the Gold team & Quicksilver arrive at a warehouse where Cerebro has located Caliban's energy signature. Inside, they are attacked by Caliban & Famine, and in the process of defeating them, trigger a message from Mr. Sinister, which says that Apocalypse is both the cause of their current situation, and a means to an end. At the X-Mansion, Sinister himself quickly overpowers Bishop, and gives Val Cooper the name of the true culprit behind the attack on Xavier. Meanwhile, Cable prepares to find Stryfe, while the captive Cyclops & Jean Grey are brought before the villain. Back in Texas, Wolverine catches up to X-Force, with the rest of his team close behind. With X-Force surrounded and overpowered, Wolfsbane begs Cannonball to stand down, and he reluctantly does, after which X-Force is taken into custody.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Walking Dead 7x05: Go Getters


I know when I watch a show, especially one that flouts all laws of physics like The Walking Dead does, that I have to turn my brain off. But sometimes there are some things I can't turn my brain off for. (Like, last season when Jesus magically teleports.)

This time it's when the Saviors left a running car in the middle of Hilltop with a radio blasting to attract zombies. I mean, what? Really? I just couldn't buy it.

The Walking Dead 7x04: Service


More isn't always better.

The Walking Dead doesn't seem to realize this. They love their 90 minute episodes. They think this makes the episodes better, grander, more special. It doesn't.

You want to know what happened in this episode? Negan asserted his dominance over Alexandra (and Rick specifically). That's really it. Negan came in, bullied everyone, got what he wanted and Rick just acquiesced and begged everyone in Alexandria to do the same. That's all. You don't need 90 minutes for that.

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #14

"Fingers on the Triggers"
November 1992

In a Nutshell
Apocalypse awakens as the X-Men hunt down X-Force.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Any Kubert
Inker: Mark Pennington
Letterer: Lois Buhalis
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Beast & Moira MacTaggert work to treat the techno-organic virus attacking Xavier, Storm & Havok split the combined X-Men & X-Factor into two teams: one to hunt down X-Force in the hopes of finding Cable, the other to find Apocalypse's Horsemen, in the hopes of rescuing Cyclops & Jean Grey, while Bishop opts to stay behind and guard Xavier. Meanwhile, Mr. Sinister trades the captive Cyclops & Jean Grey to the MLF in exchange for a mysterious canister, while X-Force's ship crashes after fleeing their encounter with X-Factor, prompting them to call for the rest of their team. In Egypt, Apocalypse is awoken by the Dark Riders, who tell him his Horsemen have kidnapped Cyclops & Jean Grey in his name. In space. Cable returns from the future to Graymalkin, where he learns someone impersonating him has shot Xavier. At the X-Mansion, Mr. Sinister suddenly appears, telling him he's come to bury Xavier, while in West Texas, the X-Men Blue team & X-Factor track down X-Force's crashed vehicle, only to find the entire group waiting for them, as Cannonball declares that while they don't want a fight, X-Force is more than ready to give them one.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Walking Dead 7x03: The Cell


Hey, it's a Daryl episode! Usually that's a good thing. In this case, it's merely not a bad thing. It was an alright episode but it was just as much about Dwight as it was about Daryl. Dwight does not do a whole lot for me.

Even though I'm not a big fan of Dwight's, I will say that this episode answered a lot of questions I had about Dwight in his first appearance. His escape from the Saviors, double-cross of Daryl and subsequent return to the Saviors seemed very odd to me. The fact that the catalyst to Dwight's change of heart was Tina's death is probably something I should've figured out on my own. However, it still doesn't make complete sense to me.

The Walking Dead 7x02: The Well


Sorry, it's been a while. I have my excuses. Not good ones, though.

I got a little busy which delayed this post and then a funny thing happened. The US election. And...that was rough.

It's no secret that we here at Gentlemen of Leisure are no fans of Donald Trump. So after the election I was really bummed. The last thing I felt like watching was a dark, soulless, dystopian view of the future. I get enough of that following the news. So, my DVR kept filling up with episodes of the The Walking Dead; taunting me.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Force in Focus: Star Wars #63

"The Mind Spider!"
September 1982

In a Nutshell
Luke endeavors to learn the truth about Shira.

Plot/Script: David Michelinie
Plot/Storyteller: Walt Simonson
Pencils/Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letters: Joe Rosen
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Luke & Chewbacca scramble away from Darth Vader, only to quickly realize he is merely a recorded hologram. Vader reveals to Luke that Shira Brie was really his agent, inserted into the Rebellion to kill or discredit Luke. Determined to learn the truth, Luke & Chewbacca head for the Imperial data center on Krake's Planet. When Vader learns the communication device on Shalyvane has been destroyed, he deduces Luke's destination and sets the Executor on a course for Krake's Planet as well. Luke & Chewbacca manage to infiltrate the facility and strong-arm an officer into giving them access to the data, at which point Luke confirms Shira was indeed an Imperial agent, trained by the Empire since childhood. Their presence detected, Luke & Chewie are separated, and Luke is unable to retrieve the file on Shira as he scrambles to escape. As Vader arrives in orbit, Luke retrieves Chewbacca, and using the Falcon's deflectors to destroy the base, they escape the planet & jump into hyperspace just ahead of the Executor. As they fly home, Luke learns that Chewbacca managed to retrieve Shira's file to clear his name, while Vader visits a medical bay deep inside his ship, where he tells an unconscious but healing Shira Brie he still has need of her.

Friday, March 10, 2017

X-amining Wolverine #63

"Bastions of Glory!"
November 1992

In a Nutshell
The former Weapon Xers battle Aldo Ferro aka Psi-Borg.

Script: Larry Hama
Art: Mark Texeira
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
With Maverick standing between Ferro and Wolverine & his allies, Ferro uses his telepathic abilities to manipulate everyone's minds, revealing that the Weapon X project's Professor hired him to use his psionic abilities to link the memories and pain receptors of the project participants together, and create new false memories without the need for staged sets. Carol Hines interrupts his attack, and Ferro kills her before disappearing. As Maverick & Wraith discover a hidden facility beneath the floor, at the X-Mansion, Professor X and Jean Grey suddenly detect a surge of psi-talent. At Ferro's complex Jubilee is left behind as the rest of the former Weapon X teammates descend into the hidden facility, hoping to find Ferro and get their minds straightened out. But they encounter only more hallucinations, and Silver Fox is seemingly killed again, much to Wolverine's dismay, with Maverick declaring that Ferro is still playing them, and could even be using his abilities to masquerade as one of them. Up above, Jubilee is seemingly joined by Xavier & Jean, but they are not who they appear to be.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

X-amining X-Factor #84

"Tough Love"
November 1992

In a Nutshell
X-Factor battles X-Force

Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Jae Lee
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Colorist: Brad Vancata
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As a contingent of X-Force prepares to head to New York to find Cable, Xavier is rushed to the hospital. As various members of X-Factor & the X-Men gather, Havok sends Wolfsbane & Strong Guy out to check the scene of the crime themselves. Shortly thereafter, X-Force arrives at the same spot. As Strong Guy calls in to Havok, Wolfsbane is reunited with her old New Mutants teammates. They try to convince her to join them, but she refuses, citing once again her feelings for Havok. With Feral finding no trace of Cable's scent, they prepare to leave, but Strong Guy attempts to stop them, and a fight breaks out. It is quickly joined by the rest of X-Factor and, overpowered, Cannonball orders X-Force to retreat. As they do, Havok blasts their ship, damaging it in order to leave a trail, in the hopes that X-Force will lead them to Cable. Meanwhile, Apocalypse's Horsemen deliver the captive Cyclops & Jean Grey to their master who, once they're gone, reveals himself to be Mr. Sinister masquerading as Apocalypse. Back at the hospital, the doctors announce that while they've stabilized Xavier, they've discovered he's been infected with something else: a techno-organic virus.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #294

"Overture"
November 1992

In a Nutshell
Xavier is shot by Cable.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Brandon Peterson
Inker: Terry Austin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As various X-Men gather in Central Park ahead of a Lila Cheney concert at which Professor X intends to deliver a plea for human/mutant tolerance, a pair of terrorists intending to set off a bomb are killed, seemingly by Cable, who calls dibs on killing Xavier. Meanwhile, Scott & Jean are at Harry's Hideaway while Iceman & Colossus grocery shop across the street. Suddenly, Scott & Jean are attacked by Caliban, and as Lila brings Xavier onto the stage, Caliban's fellow Horsemen of Apocalypse, War & Famine, attack Iceman & Colossus. Xavier delivers his speech amidst boos & catcalls from the crowd, and when he finishes, Cable shoots him, declaring himself the man who saved tomorrow. Back at Harry's, the Horsemen are defeated, but manage to teleport away along with a captive Scott & Jean. At Central Park, Archangel tries to capture Cable, but he blasts one of Archangel's wings and bodyslides away. At X-Force's temporary home in New Mexico, Siryn manages to get one of their monitors to show Lila's concert, just in time to see the news of Cable's attack on Xavier.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

X-aminations in March 2017


This is technically a week late in coming, but I was so caught up in Retro X-aminations that I totally forgot to do this post for February, so better late than never! Here's what's coming up this month, as we dive into "X-Cutioner's Song" and Excalibur goes bi-weekly for some reason!

On Sale September 1992
March 8: Uncanny X-Men #294
March 9: X-Factor #84
March 10: Wolverine #63

March 15: X-Men (vol. 2) #14
March 16: X-Force #16
March 17: Excalibur #57

October 1992
March 22: Uncanny X-Men #295
March 23: X-Factor #85
March 24: Wolverine #64

March 29: X-Men (vol. 2) #15
March 30: X-Force #17
March 31: Excalibur #58

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Force in Focus: Star Wars #62

"Pariah!"
August 1982

In a Nutshell
Ostracized from the Rebels, Luke returns to Shira's homeworld in search of the truth about her.

Script/Plot: David Michelinie
Layouts/Plot: Walt Simonson
Finished Art: Tom Palmer
Colors: Tom Palmer
Letters: Joe Rosen
Editor: Jim Salicrup
The Hut: Jim Shooter

Plot
Leia tells Luke that while she believes he didn't mean to kill Shira, she also can't support him, for fear it would cause a rift in the Alliance. Luke agrees, and puts on a show of angrily storming out after Leia removes his commission. Luke quickly finds himself a pariah within the base on Arbra, stripped of his rank & privileges and with nearly everyone believing him guilty of killing Shira. Concerned that the Force led him astray, he determines to find another explanation, and with Chewbacca's help, leaves the base aboard the Millennium Falcon. They return to Shalyvane, Shira's homeworld, and are captured by the barbarians who attacked the Rebels during Luke's last visit to the planet. With the help of the Force, he proves his trustworthiness to the locals, and quickly learns that Shira lied to him about the barbarians and the fate of the city. Returning to the altar where Shira had paid homage to her deceased family, Luke discovers a communication device. Remembering that Shira cut her hand to put blood on the altar, he does the same. After his blood hits the device, it activates, and suddenly Luke is face-to-face with Darth Vader.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

X-amining Excalibur #56

"Things That Go Shriek in the Night"
Early November 1992

In a Nutshell
Excalibur defeats Sat-yr-9 & Jamie Braddock.

Writer/Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer
Letterer: Heisler - Eliopoulos
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Sat-yr-9 orders her troops to find Kitty Pryde, Kitty, hidden inside one of the mansion's walls, passes out from the pain of her encounter with Jamie Braddock. Hours later, with Jamie asleep after warping Excalibur into misshapen messes, Psylocke manages to telepathically reach Captain Britain, who's been drugged under Sat-yr-9's control. They discuss the situation, but Jamie forces his way into their mindlink, and pulls Psylocke out. Her cries of pain wake up Kitty, who manages to knock out some of Sat-yr-9's troops and abscond with a uniform. Upstairs, a jealous Nigel attempts to kill Captain Britain, but Sat-yr-9 kills Nigel instead. Downstairs, Kitty manages to get close to Jamie posing as one of Sat-yr-9's guards, but her ruse ultimately fails. However, she buys enough time for Meggan to shake off Sat-yr-9's drugs, after which she reveals that she's immune to Jamie's power. She attacks him, snapping the rest of Excalibur back to normal, and together, they manage to rout Sat-yr-9 and Jamie, but given their weakened state, are unable to pursue them as they flee. Later, the team attends the funeral of Alysande Stuart, at which Nick Fury appears and reveals that she was framed, given Alistair information he may able to trace to the culprits.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

X-amining Cable #1-2


"Blood & Metal"
October - November 1992

In a Nutshell
Cable & Kane team-up in an attempt to defeat Stryfe and the MLF, while flashbacks detail Cable's history with the Six Pack and Stryfe.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Brad Vancata
Asst. Editor: Lisa Patrick
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Issue #1: A decade ago, the Wild Pack, led by Cable, completes their first mission for Tolliver. In the present, Cable stops the Mutant Liberation Front from stealing an ancient sword bearing the likeness of Apocalypse. In Canada, Bridge shows Kane footage of Cable attacking the MLF. Confused, Kane agrees to hunt him down, and proceeds to visit their old teammate Hammer for a list of Cable's safe houses. Meanwhile, Cable learns there are a variety of artifacts baring Apocalypse's likeness, and is able to be on hand when the MLF try to steal the next one, but he gets no closer to Stryfe. In the past, the re-named Six Pack are on a mission in Afghanistan when they discover a secret base of Stryfe's. In the present, Kane attacks Cable at his Swiss safe house. The two fight, and when Cable gets the upper hand, he demands to know why Kane is after him. In response, Kane shows him the recording of his encounter with Stryfe, revealing to Cable that Stryfe shares his face.