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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

X-amining Avengers #369

"Of Kith & Kin: Bloodties the Finale"
December 1993

In a Nutshell
The X-Men & Avengers unite to stop Exodus & save Genosha.

Writer: Bob Haras
Pencilers: Steve Eptin & Jan Duursema
Inker: Tom Palmer
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Mike Rockwitz
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Exodus attacks Cortez, seemingly killing him and taking Luna for himself. On the streets above, the X-Men & Avengers unite as the skies turn yellow and outside communications are jammed, actions attributed to Exodus. As Storm & War Machine investigate the barrier and confirm it is psionic in nature, Professor X telepathically contacts the two teams, who send a contingent to aid him, Beast & US Agent against the Magistrate Elite and liberate the mutate concentration camp. Just then, Exodus appears, with Crystal, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch & Jean Grey in his thrall, and orders the mutates of Genosha to slaughter all humans, or else his barrier surrounding the island will contract, killing everyone. Recognizing that Exodus is telepathically fanning the mutates' fervor, the two teams split, with one group holding off the mutates while another attacks Exodus as Xavier probes his defenses. Sensing that the's stretched too thin, Xavier telepathically blasts Exodus, allowing Black Knight to get in close enough to shut him down with his plasma sword. The barrier disappears and the mutates back down, but Exodus recovers enough to escape, blasting Quicksilver on his way. Black Knight revives him with CPR, and days later, as the country begins to rebuild, Xavier ponders whether keeping his identity as a mutant a secret has done more harm than good.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

X-aminations in February 2018


With "Fatal Attractions" and "Bloodties" both behind us, things settle in for what passed as normal in late '93, as Sabretooth moves into the mansion, Adam-X returns, Gambit gets his own limited series, and Jean proposes to Cyclops!

On Sale October 1993
February 7: X-Men (vol. 2) #27
February 8: X-Force #29
February 9: Excalibur #72

On Sale November 1993
February 14: Uncanny X-Men #308
February 15: X-Factor #98
February 16: Wolverine #77

February 21: X-Men (vol. 2) #28
February 22: X-Force #30
February 23: Excalibur #73

February 28: Gambit #1-4
March 1: Cable #7

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Milch Studies: John from Cincinnati - “I Don’t Know, Butchie Instead”


The official description of John from Cincinnati reads: “In Imperial Beach, California, the dysfunctional Yost family intersects with two new arrivals to the community: a dim-but-wealthy surfing enthusiast and (a) man spurned by the Yosts years ago.”

It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?  A family drama set against the backdrop of the professional surfboarding scene, introducing viewers to the characters from the perspective of two outsiders -- one they grow to love, one they already hate.  If you’re a TV exec convinced that young people want a sexier Six Feet Under meets X-Games at the Beach, and this guy all the critics love is going to be running the series, of course you’re going to pick this up.

Friday, January 26, 2018

X-amining Wolverine #76

"Northern Dreams"
December 1993

In a Nutshell
Wolverine heads to Canada, trailed by Lady Deathstrike.

Script: Larry Hama
Guest Pencils: Tom Coker
Guest Inks: Al Milgrom
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Kevin Somers
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Riding his motorcycle into Canada, Wolverine crashes, killing a rabbit and injuring a fox that ran into the road. He is found by a group of bikers, and mistaking their concern for a threat, he pops his bone claws, which causes him to pass out from the pain. In Manhattan, Ronald Parvenue tells Lady Deathstrike that his sources have alerted him to Wolverine crossing the border into Canada, and they depart to track him down. Later, the bikers show up at Heather Hudson's house with the unconscious Wolverine, having found her address in his wallet. Wolverine dreams of Magneto's attack, then wakes up, having been unconscious for two days. Lady Deathstrike tracks down the bikers who helped Wolverine, learning his whereabouts.  Wolverine asks Heather to hack into Canada's government databases for information on the Weapon X project. As they search, Puck bursts into the house, alerting them to a suspicious limo outside. Just then, Lady Deathstrike crashes through the window.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

X-amining X-Factor #97

"The New Humanity"
December 1993

In a Nutshell
X-Factor becomes embroiled with Haven's movement.

Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Guest Penciler: Jan Duursema
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Editor: Corvese
Group Editor: Harras
Chief: DeFalco

Plot
Lorna find herself transported to a pocket dimension by Haven. The pair briefly discuss Haven's "New Humanity" philosophy before Haven sends Lorna back to DC. In upstate New York, Random returns home, unaware his house is being monitored. Lorna confers with Professor X about Haven, and he asks her to look into the woman for him. Afterwards, Lorna discovers an increasingly morose Madrox, his personality splintered such that each dupe is manifesting a different trait. In Albany, Random is attacked by the troops outside his house, but defeats them all. The next night, X-Factor, sans Forge & Havok, attend a seminar being held by Haven. As she launches into her "New Humanity" speech, however, she's interrupted by a plasma blast, as Havok & Forge burst into the room, declaring that Haven is under arrest. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #307

"Night and Fog: Part Four of Bloodties"
December 1993

In a Nutshell
Sersi fights Exodus.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Dan Green
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulis
Colorist: Buccellato/Somers
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Beast, Professor X & US Agent fight to protect the mutates from the Magistrate Elite, above them, Sersi battles Exodus. At the UN, Black Widow officially withdraws the Avengers from their charter. Back in Hammer Bay, the X-Men enter the city, as Sersi & Exodus' are blown apart by their fight. Beneath the capital citadel, Quicksilver & Jean Grey search for a way inside, hoping to get to Cortez & Luna. They run into Scarlet Witch & Crystal, after which Cortez appears, using Luna as a human shield, and frightened of retribution at the hands of Exodus. Just then, Exodus blasts into the tunnels, and Cortez shrieks to Crystal & Quicksilver that if they ever want to hold their daughter again, they must destroy Exodus.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Milch Studies: John from Cincinnati - “Some Things I Know…”


John from Cincinnati, created by David Milch and “surf noir” novelist Kem Nunn, is the oddest series in Milch’s biography.  The only Milch series to feature supernatural elements, the show was conceived at the behest of HBO’s new management, who viewed Deadwood as too expensive to continue.  They also wanted a show that could attract a young audience, and apparently because Milch was already in the room with them (and maybe they felt bad about canceling his show), the execs asked if he had any thoughts on a show based in the world of surfing.

Even though he’s lived there since the early 1980s, nothing in Milch’s work communicates any affection for southern California.  Milch later implied in a talk that his interest in surfing begins and ends with old Annette Funicello movies, and that he views surfers as the dumbest people in America.


Friday, January 19, 2018

X-amining Wolverine: Global Jeopardy

"The Heart of Animals"
December 1993

In a Nutshell
Wolverine teams up with Namor, Ka-Zar & Shanna the She-Devil to help endangered animals.

Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Richard Howell
Inks: Bill Anderson
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Colors: Richard Howell
Photography: Gerry Ellis
Editing: Glenn Herdling
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Wolverine, Namor, Ka-Zar & Shanna the She-Devil all witness endangered animals disappear before their eyes. Independently, they track the missing animals to an island. After a brief fight between Namor & Wolverine, the group is captured by the Conservator, who has turned his island, Castillo, into a safe haven for the endangered species of the world. After being freed by Ka-Zar's sabretooth tiger Zabu and a devilish dinosaur, Shanna convinces the Conservator he could do more to help endangered species by educating people rather than hiding them away on an island. This prompts him to turn Castillo into a wildlife preserve, in the hopes of creating a living, public memorial to the world that had once been, when all animals - two and four-legged - coexisted with nature instead of savaging it.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

X-amining Avengers West Coast #101

"Genosha, Mon Amour: Bloodties Part III of V"
December 1993

In a Nutshell
War Machine battles Exodus in the skies over Genosha.

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: Dave Ross
Inks: Tom Dzon
Letterer: Steve Dutro
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Nel Yomtov
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As the Avengers confront the United Nations over the terms of their charter, the contingent of the team that journeyed to Genosha are confronted by Exodus. War Machine engages him as the Scarlet Witch & Crystal head off to find Luna and the rest of the Avengers try to stop the fighting between the mutates and humans. Elsewhere, Professor X, Beast & US Agent discover a mutate concentration camp in the tunnels beneath the city, protected by the Magistrate Elite. On the outskirts of the city, the X-Men defeat the Unforgiven, while in the skies above the city, Exodus overpowers War Machine, only to find Sersi ready to go one-on-one with him.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

X-amining X-Men Unlimited #3

"The Whispers Scream"
December 1993

In a Nutshell
In the wake of Birdy's death, Sabretooth comes to Xavier for help quelling his homicidal rages.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Mike McKone
Inkers: Mark McKenna (with assist from Mick Gray) & Steve Moncuse
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Dana Moreshead
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Maverick tracks down Sabretooth, who is growing increasing unhinged & slaughtering everyone involved in a deal gone bad, to a monastery in Barcelona, but Sabretooth manages to escape. Meanwhile, a man named Geinstach, who was also involved in the deal, meets with Commcast, hoping to hire him for protection. Instead, Commcast suggests Maverick or Wolverine. Maverick infiltrates the X-Mansion, hoping to get Wolverine's help, but Xavier offers the X-Men in light of Wolverine's absence. Meanwhile, Sabretooth meets with Commcast, looking for a telepath; he directs him to one affiliated with the Yashida clan in Japan, then contacts Maverick to give him a lead on Sabretooth. The X-Men split up, with Rogue, Gambit & Bishop going to Frankfurt to protect Geinstach, only to find him dead.. In Japan, Beast & Maverick are greeted by Silver Samurai, and they attempt to stop Sabretooth, but when he discovers the telepath has been incapacitated since the bombing of Hiroshima, Sabretooth runs off, and Beast knows where he is going: to Professor X. Later, Sabretooth sneaks into the school and finds Xavier in the library, but Xavier stops him with a telepathic blast, then enters his mind. Observing scenes from Sabretooth's childhood, he tells him Sabretooth has the ability to choose not to kill. Xavier will help him overcome his homicidal urges, but not by suppressing them the way Birdy once did. Sabretooth agrees, then later bemoans that he is essentially a prisoner. Xavier tells him it could be worse, but that he'll cure him, and then Sabretooth will pay for his crimes.

Friday, January 12, 2018

X-amining Excalibur #71

"Crossing Swords"
 November 1993

In a Nutshell
"Fatal Attractions" conclude as Excalibur helps heal Colossus' head injury.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencilers: Ken Lashley, Darick Robertson & Matthew Ryan
Inkers: Cam Smith, Randy Elliot, Randy Emberlin, Mark Nelson
Letterers: Bill Oakley, Pat Brosseau, Dave Sharpe
Colors: Joe Rosas
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Excalibur helps round up the prisoners who escaped from Muir Island as a result of Magneto's recent EM blast. Just then, Professor X, Cyclops & Jean Grey arrive on the island, needing Shadowcat's help. Xavier believes that Colossus' may be suffering brain damage as a result of a recent injury, and wants Shadowcat to lure him to the island so they can heal the wound, in the hopes that he will then leave the Acolytes and return to the X-Men. She reluctantly agrees, and when he teleports to the island, Excalibur manages to capture him. Meanwhile, Cable arrives on the island, looking for revenge on the Acolytes, and ends up fighting with Phoenix. As the X-Men manage to heal Colossus' injury, a group of Acolytes appear, looking for Colossus. A fight breaks out, but it ends once Colossus calls it off. Fully healed, he nonetheless decides to return to Avalon with the Acolytes, and bids a sad farewell to Kitty before teleporting away. In the wake of his departure, Nightcrawler announces that Excalibur is going to stay on Muir Island, helping Moira with her work while trying to stop problems before they become disasters.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

X-amining X-Force #28

"The Axe Falls"
November 1993

In a Nutshell
Feral defects and Sunspot disappears as X-Force battles the MLF.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Antonio Daniel
Inker: Kevin Conrad
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Martin Thomas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Cable battles Reignfire, Feral escapes with Gyrich, who needles her along the way. Elsewhere, X-Force turns the tide against the MLF. As Feral & Gyrich make a break for X-Force's ship, Feral finally snaps, and turns on Gyrich, but Tempo stops her from killing him. As the larger fight spills outside, Cable is forced to stun Feral, who is retrieved by Reignfire as he calls for the group, sans Tempo, to retreat. But as Locus prepares the teleport the MLF away, Sunspot uses his power to fly up and blast her, causing feedback which disrupts the teleport, sending the MLF, and Sunspot, to parts unknown. Back on the island, Gyrich insists his views on mutants haven't changed, causing Cable to slug him, angry that all their sacrifices that day had been for nothing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #26

"Part Two of Bloodties: Civil Disobediance!"
November 1993

In a Nutshell
Various outside factions arrive in Genosha amidst the civil war triggered by Cortez.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Matt Ryan
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
En route to Genosha, Quicksilver is enraged to learn from his broadcast that Cortez has his daughter. Meanwhile, Colossus tends to the comatose Magneto before being dismissed by Exodus in order to counsel with Magneto. In New York, a contingent of Avengers are able to fight their way past SHIELD and head for Genosha, while in Genosha, Beast & Xavier are kidnapped from their UN escort by a group of bipartisan rebels. The kidnapping turns out to have been orchestrated by Xavier in order to allow him & Beast to operate more freely, but US Agent is secretly tracking them. Elsewhere, the X-Men arrive in the country, and are quickly confronted by Cortez and a group of mutates called the Unforgiven, while the Avengers arrive in Hammer Bay and help stop an attack on mutates by a group of human soldiers, all of whom are then obliterated by Exodus, who declares Magneto's greatest disciple will now follow in his footsteps and save the Genoshan mutates, even if it means the death of every human on the island.

Friday, January 5, 2018

X-amining Wolverine: Killing

"Killing"
September 1993

In a Nutshell
Wolverine fights a secret society in Tibet.

Writer: John Ney Rieber
Art & Design: Kent Williams
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Sherilyn van Valkenburgh
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Motivated by unsettling dreams, Wolverine goes to Tibet. However, his dreams have been motivated by a secret society, whose matriarch wants Wolverine to impregnate her daughter Serra so his healing abilities will be added to their bloodline. Wolverine fights some Chinese soldiers and then members of the secret society, befriending Serra along the way while also struggling with his inner beast, before ultimately holding the beast in check and deciding not to kill Serra's mother's enforcer after defeating him. Wolverine then leaves Serra a farewell note, and departs. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

X-amining Cable #5

"Sinsearly Your, Sincerely Mine..."
October 1993

In a Nutshell
Cable fights Sinsear

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Darick Robertson
Inker: John Holdredge
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Sinsear reflects on how he came to be, then locates Cable, who is at X-Force's base working to bring Professor online. Before he can finish, Sinsear teleports him to his base of operations, where he declares he's going to kill Cable slowly, just as Cable did to him. The pair fight, and Cable is able to prevail through a combination of his own mutant abilities and turning Sinsear's various weapons against him. As a defeated Sinsear teleports away, he leaves Cable with the information that Tolliver is the time traveler Sinsear was sent back in time to kill, prompting Cable to reason that Tolliver must still be alive, which in turns causes him to wonder who Tolliver was to begin with.