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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #7 - Patreon First!

"Hurricane Force"
April 1994

In a Nutshell
The X-Men meet Mama Hurricane

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Jimmy Palmiotti
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
The fight between the X-Men and the Freakshow is brought to a halt by the arrival of Mama Hurricane and her associate Rosa. Elsewhere, Krystalin arrives at the home of Victor Ten Eagles, the person Xi'an sent her to contact. Back in Iron Horse, Mama Hurricane brings the X-Men into her base of operations, where Cerebra realizes that Rosa is pregnant with a mutant as Xi'an attempts to heal Metalhead of the disease with which Contagion infected him. Later, Hurricane confirms she is the same person who helped shepherd mutants to the sanctuary of Avalon during the Great Purge. Just then, a group of armored Trackers, seeking the Freakshow, attack the base, but working together, the X-Men & Freakshow fight them off. Afterwards, Xi'an declares he is going to find Avalon. Meanwhile, Victor Ten Eagles shows Krystalin the reason she was sent to him: a shadowy figure flying in the night sky, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Archangel.

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #84

"Seoul Searching"
June 1984

In a Nutshell
Han & Chewbacca discover the lost planet of Seoul 5.

Writer: Roy Richardson
Penciler: David Mazzucchelli
Inker: Tom Palmer
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Rick Parker
Editors: Jones & Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
After a string of luck playing cards, Han is facing down an old man who wages a crystal he claims comes from the lost Seoul system, along with a map to the planet where he found the crystal.  Intrigued, Han agrees to play & beats the man, who accuses Han of cheating, prompting him and Chewbacca to race out of cantina after the other gamblers Han beat turn on them. Out the funds they'd so recently won, Han decides to investigate the old man's claims and follows his map to Seoul 5. Landing on the outskirts of the city, Han proceeds by himself, soon discovering an Imperial presence on the planet as well. Ducking the Imperials, Han ends up inside a room filled with crystals like the one he won from the old man. With Stormtroopers in close pursuit, he goes deeper into the chamber & discovers a pair of archaeologists whom the Empire has captured in the hopes of using their knowledge to weaponize the crystals. They tell him the crystals were the source of the Seoularians' energy, and that he possess the control crystal. Han is able to use it to escape the Imperials along with the scientists, but in the process, he reunites all the crystals, which creates a massive energy buildup. Realizing the danger, he and the archaeologists race back to the Falcon, and manage to get off the planet just before it explodes. The scientists are saddened by the loss of the crystals, but glad the Empire won't be able to use them.

Friday, February 15, 2019

X-amining Wolverine #89

"The Mask of Ogun"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
En route to the X-Mansion, Ogun returns.

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Fabio Laguna
Inks: Fabio Laguna
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Wolverine arrives on the outskirts of New York City, on his way home to the X-Mansion, when he is intercepted by Ghost Rider, who tells him his old mentor Ogun has returned. He follows Ghost Rider to a museum, passing through carnage in the streets triggered by Ogun's presence. Inside the museum, they discover Ogun's demon mask, which Wolverine had destroyed, as part of an exhibit on Japanese martial culture. Just then, the mask connects with a suit of armor on display, manifesting Ogun, who attacks Wolverine. Ogun taunts Wolverine to unleash the beast inside him, but Wolverine recalls how Ogun had taught him to balance the man and the beast within, and with Ghost Rider's help, manages to destroy Ogun's mask once more. He briefly sees that the figure inside the armor looks like him, before it fades away, the armor collapsing. Wolverine explains to Ghost Rider that the figure wasn't really Ogun, just his spirit, reaching out from beyond the grave to attack him with a piece of himself. Meanwhile, at the X-Mansion, Gambit taunts Sabretooth with the fact that Wolverine will be returning soon; unimpressed, Sabretooth tells Gambit to tell the runt he's waiting for him.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

X-amining X-Factor #110

"Creatures on the Loose!"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
X-Factor battles aliens in Madripoor.

Plot: John Francis Moore
Script: Todd DeZago
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inks: Al Milgrom
Letters: Starkings/Comicraft
Colors: Matt Webb
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
On the planet Boh-tan-ee, a hooded figure learns her quarry has gone to Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, X-Factor suddenly appears in Madripoor, teleported there by Legion. They land atop a spaceship floating in the bay, from which emerges a massive rock-like alien. Strong Guy battles the creature, during which he is captured by a mysterious figure in a trenchcoat. Meanwhile, Mystique is flying to Paris from Israel, steadfast in her desire for revenge on Legion. Back in Madripoor, the electrical energy of the alien creature affects both Polaris' and Havok's powers, while Strong Guy finds himself a captive of the alien Jornick, who is using an image inducer to appear human. Just then, Lila Cheney teleports in, telling Strong Guy that Jornick has robbed her treasure hoard, including a music box she needs to avert a war. But Jornick reveals he sold the box, leaving Lila despondent over her fate. Elsewhere, the rest of X-Factor struggles to stop the destruction wrought by the creature released by Jornick, until Strong Guy and Lila arrive, and Lila teleports the beast back to its home planet. Upon her return to Earth, however, she finds a massive spaceship in the skies above Madripoor waiting for her, and she tells Strong Guy they're in big trouble now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #320

"The Son Rises in the East"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
"Legion Quest" begins as Legion heads into the past.

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Dialogue: Mark Waid
Penciler: Roger Cruz
Inker: Tim Townsend
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Legion easily overpowers the X-Men, Storm realizes the X-Men have been fooling themselves that they could overcome him. She thinks back on their meeting with Gabrielle Haller and the combined forces of Israel & Palestine, brought together in the wake of Legion creating a large black dome in the Negev desert filled with off-the-chart energy readings. With all the troops sent against him getting chewed up, Storm declares that the X-Men will take care of the situation. But now, Storm is less confidant as Legion briefly teleports her to the past, to just moments before the plane crash that killed her parents. Returning to the present, he tells her the trip was no illusion, then declares he's going back in time to mutantkind's most critical moment. Quickly, Storm orders Psylocke to telepathically link herself to Bishop, who is absorbing Legion's chronal energy. Through Bishop, Psylocke is able bring along herself, Storm & Iceman as Legion disappears into the past, leaving behind only Jean Grey, who manages to telepathically alert Xavier to the situation before passing out. Meanwhile, Shi'ar Empress Lilandra is awoken by Jahf, first guardian of the M'Kraan crystal, who declares he must speak with her. When Lilandra asks what could possibly be so urgent as to force Jahf to abandon his sacred post, he declares nothing, save the end of all that is.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #6 - Patreon First!

"Freakshow"
March 1994

In a Nutshell
The X-Men battle the Freakshow

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: James Sanders III
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Meanstreak, Krystalin, Bloodhawk & Fitz fly back from New York, Bloodhawk once more bids adieu to the team and flies off, followed shortly thereafter by Fitz, who recklessly jumps out of the craft after Bloodhawk. Disgruntled, Bloodhawk gets him safely to the ground, albeit in the desert still miles away from the rest of the X-Men. Eventually, Fitz comes across a meditating Xi'an, and together, they return to the X-Men's camp. There, the X-Men intercept a transmission from someone calling herself Mama Hurricane. Xi'an hopes this is the same Mama Hurricane who helped mutants during the Great Purge, as she may be able to help him find more mutants. After he dispatches Krystalin on a separate mission, he and the rest of the X-Men track Hurricane's signal to an abandoned town in Arizona. There, they encounter the Freakshow, a group of genetically modified Degens. When Xi'an asks after Mama Hurricane, a fight breaks out, during which Metalhead is infected with a disease by Freakshow member Contagion, prompting Xi'an to confront Breakdown, the Freakshow's leader, and remove the glove from his "destruction" hand.

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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #83

"Sweetheart Contract"
May 1984

In a Nutshell
Lando helps a group of rebels overthrew an oppressive monarchy on the planet Drogheda.

Story: Linda Grant
Art & Lettering: Bob McLeod
Coloring: Glynis Wein
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
On the planet Drogheda, Lando and the sister of Queen Sarna, Danu, are attacked by a group of rebels looking to depose the queen, but are rescued by Harlech, head of the Royal Guard. At the citadel, Lando reunites with Sarna, an old flame, and she tasks him with rooting out the rebels from their base inside a mine. Leading the Royal Guard, Lando leaves orders to capture, not kill, the rebels as he enters the mine to flush them out, but to his horror, the Royal Guard massacre the rebels as they emerge from the mine. Lando manages to capture one of them alive, and learns from him that in the wake of the Empire's collapse, the people of Drogheda simply want to establish their own government. Feeling played, Lando tells Sarna she can find some other sucker to help suppress the desired democracy of her people, but Sarna orders the Royal Guard to capture him. He manages to escape, running into Danu, who has been secretly helping the rebels. Realizing the time for their uprising is at hand, she signals her allies and they storm the citadel, with Lando fights alongside them, ultimately capturing Sarna. Sentencing her to exile, Danu offers to pay Lando to take her with him off-planet. Looking to salvage some profit from the adventure, he agrees, and both Lando & Sarna depart Drogheda, bickering with one another over a potential business venture.

Friday, February 8, 2019

X-amining Cable #18

"The Dark Ride Part 2: Judgement Day"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Cable, Domino, Storm & Caliban track the Dark Riders to Egypt.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Steve Skroce
Inkers: Sellers, Lowe, Barta, Carani, Ryan, Branch,
Letterer: Starkings/Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Editor: Lisa Patrick
Snake Charmer: Bob Harras
Elephant Boy: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Hunting for the Dark Riders, Cable, Domino, Storm & Caliban arrive in Alexandria, Egypt, where Caliban is able to locate Tusk. Captured, he agrees to lead them to his teammates, but when they're surrounded by a sandstorm Storm can't control, they realize it's a trap just as the Dark Riders attack. Cable and his companions once again hold their own, prompting Gauntlet to turn on Hurricane, who twice promised he could defeat Storm and twice failed, declaring that he's been tested and failed. But Harddrive teleports the Dark Riders away, followed shortly thereafter by Cable and his companions. They arrive in a ruined city which Cable recognizes as Akkaba, a place where, in the future, Cable's rebel group will establish a base, not realizing it is the birthplace of Apocalypse. Just then, the Dark Riders emerge from the city behind their leader, who removes his helmet to reveal that he is Cable's son, Tyler.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

X-amining X-Men Unlimited #7

"Memories"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Storm, Gambit & Phoenix are caught in a power struggle between Candra & Storm's old mentor.

Writer: Mackie
Penciler: Romita
Inker: Rubinstein
Lettering: Starkings/Comicraft
Colorist: Matt Webb
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Edits: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Storm, accompanied by Gambit & Jean Grey, arrives in Cairo at the behest of her dying mentor, Achmed El-Gibrar. At the same time, Candra arrives, with designs on exploiting the latent power of one of Achmed's current urchins, Jamil, whom Candra's associate Bond has been following. When Storm meets with Achmed, he makes her promise to look out for Jamil, but Jamil decides to ally himself with Candra, and leaves Achmed's side along with a fellow urchin named Karima whom they capture. To honor her promise to Achmed, Storm challenges Candra to a duel for Jamil. As Gambit battles Bond, Storm fights Candra. The woman are evenly matched in terms of power, but Storm's experiences on the streets allow her to sucker punch Candra, winning the fight. But Jamil declares he still wants to remain with Candra, and Storm is forced to return to Achmed only with Karima. But Achmed tells her she has succeeded in honoring her promise. As he dies, he declares that Karima will be the new leader of his gang of young thieves, and Storm calls forth a massive storm to honor her fallen teacher.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

X-amining Generation X #2

"Searching"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Penance escapes and Generation X gives chase.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inker: Mark Buckingham
Letterer: Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Jubilee confronts a silent Gateway on the roof of the school, Monet shares her deductions about Penance with Emma & Banshee, stating she believes Penance to be connected to Emplate in some way. As Paige & Skin play scrabble, an alarm sounds: Penance has slashed her way out of the infirmary. Banshee & Emma split up the students and lead search parties after her into the surrounding woods. Elsewhere, an armored figure attempts to assassinate Cartier St. Croix, only to have his armor start to fall apart. Back at the school, Banshee & Husk close in on Penance, only to fall into a trap laid by her, which results in Penance placing one of her razor-sharp fingers in Banshee's mouth.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #5 - Patreon First!

"Lightningstrike: Fall of the Hammer Part Three"
February 1994

In a Nutshell
The X-Men become embroiled in the "Fall of the Hammer" crossover.
Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Jim Sanders III
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Loki, Mischiefmaker: Joey Cavalieri
Odin, All-Seeing: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Fitz escapes from Alchemax's security forces, on Valhalla, floating above New York City, Meanstreak, Krystalin & Bloodhawk are confronted by Heimdall. He takes out Meanstreak & Bloodhawk, but Ravage helps Krystalin escape. Below, as the crowd cheers the return of Thor, Fitz commandeers an aircab to get up to Valhalla, recalling how the X-Men arrived in the city and were caught by Alchemax at the apartment of Meanstreak's friend Jordan Boone, prompting the group to split up & Fitz to be captured. As the cab climbs higher, it suddenly gives out, but someone grabs Fitz to prevent him from falling to his death. On Valhalla, Loki appears before Meanstreak and offers to disable the neurotech that gives Heimdall his powers, allowing the X-Men to knock him out. Loki then reveals himself as Boone, having undergone Alchemax' genetic restructuring process to gain powers for himself. Just then, Fitz arrives, along with his rescuer, Dr. Doom. Fed up with the environmental harm being done by Valhalla, Bloodhawk takes to the sky, intent on destroying it, only to be blasted down by a bolt of lightning hurled by an angry Thor.

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #82

"Diplomacy"
April 1984

In a Nutshell
Luke returns to Iskalon on a diplomatic mission.

Script/Plot: Jo Duffy
Breakdowns: Ron Frenz
Finishes: M. Hands
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Following a training session with a group of Ewoks, Admiral Ackbar dispatches Luke on a diplomatic mission, to reach out to friendly worlds and offer them a chance to participate in the Alliance's effort to rebuild the government. Joined by Plif, Luke first travels to Iskalon. There, amongst the wreckage of the Iskalonians' former underwater city, he discovers Rik Duel, Dani & Chihido stripping the place for salvage. Luke & Plif are outraged at their insensitivity & urge them to leave, but the group is attacked by a massive sea snake. They are able to fight it off, but Plif senses it was sent to the attack them by the natives, who soon emerge from the depths and attack as well. Luke does his best to fend them off without killing anyone until the attack is halted by Kiro, who recognizes Luke. Mone, leader of the School, emerges, and Luke offers him and Iskalon a place in the new government, but Mone refuses, the School still distrustful of outsiders following Luke's last visit. Luke promises to leave, and to take Rik and his partners with him, but Kiro suddenly announces he will be joining Luke as well, having grown bored of his role within the School. With Luke's X-wing too small for a passenger, Kiro boards Rik's ship, leaving the School and Iskalon behind.

Friday, February 1, 2019

X-amining Excalibur #84

"Dark Adapted Eye"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Gravemoss & Shrill descend on Muir Island seeking the Soulsword.

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Daerick Gross
Inker: Bill Anderson
Letterer: J. Babcock
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Kitty, possessed by the Soulsword, attacks Moira, but is knocked out by Britanic. Meanwhile, the emergence of the Soulsword has allowed Shrill to find its location, and she sets out for Muir Island to destroy its holder. On Muir, Amanda Sefton returns and is greeted by a Gravemoss-possessed Nightcrawler; he throws her off a cliff into the sea. Inside, Moira, Xavier & Rory Campbell theorize that the Soulsword must have transferred to Kitty when Illyana died, but before they can figure out a way to separate her from it, the fire alarm in Douglock's room goes off, triggered by Gravemoss having set the techno-organic being on fire. Down in the medbay, Kitty awakens and draws the sword once more, only to discover a pained Shrill waiting for her, declaring her intent to kill Kitty to destroy the sword. Just then, Gravemoss-as-Nightcrawler, having knocked out the rest of the team, teleports into the room and urges Kitty to give him the blade.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

X-amining X-Force #41

"The Fun House"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
The truth about the murders in Feral & Thornn's past is revealed.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Tony Daniel
Inker: Kevin Conrad
Letterers: Eliopoulos & Oakley
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Cannonball, Shatterstar, Thornn & Detective Hidalgo explore Feral & Thorrn's old house, hoping to draw Feral out. They succeed, but Feral grabs Hidalgo and takes him to the roof. Outside, Cable sends Siryn to the roof, while Hidalgo taunts Feral, telling her she's evil. As Cannonball, Shatterstar & Thornn make their way through the building, Cable insists to Domino that Feral isn't dying today. As everyone converges on Feral and the captive Hidalgo, the truth about Feral & Thornn's childhood comes out: how a young Feral, overhearing their mother, blamed their youngest sister Carolina for their father leaving, and how Carolina fell down the stairs to her death shortly thereafter, while Feral was supposed to be watching her. How their younger brother Matteo was playing with Feral's treasured pigeons on the roof and fell, unable to pull himself up. How Feral killed their mother's boyfriend when he tried to rape Thornn, then killed their mother after she slaughtered Feral's pigeons in retribution. The truth revealed, X-Force overpowers Feral and Hidalgo arrests her. In the wake of the encounter, Cable reveals to Cannonball who provided the tip on Feral's whereabouts: Dani Moonstar, who tells Cannonball she did it because she still cares about the truth, and family.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #39

"Birds of a Feather"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Adam-X (the X-TREME!!!) saves the life of Cyclops' grandfather.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Guest Penciler: Terry Dodson
Inks: Matt Ryan
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Color Art: Somers/Javins/Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Traveling through the Canadian wilderness, Adam-X spots a crashing plane and pulls Philip Summers from the wreckage. At the X-Mansion, Cyclops receives a call that his grandfather has gone missing, prompting him & Jean to head to Alaska to help search for him. In the wilderness, Adam-X builds a shelter, determined to keep the injured Philip alive. In the Israeli desert, Legion experiences a vision of Destiny, and continues his efforts to set things right. In New Orleans, Gambit's ex-wife Bella Donna is appointed the leader of the Assassins Guild following the death of her father. In the wilderness, Adam-X tells Philip of traveling through space, then uses his power to help keep Philip alive by igniting the electrolytes in his blood to generate heat. The next morning, they are found by a search party and taken to a local hospital, though Adam-X slips away, rather be identified. Later, he slips into Philip's hotel room. Jean senses his presences, and uses her power to help Adam share his experiences of space travel with Philip. He then slips out again, as a pair of mysterious figures watch Cyclops & Jean at Philip's bedside.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #4 - Patreon First!

"The Darkroom"
January 1994

In a Nutshell
The X-Men are targeted by the Theater of Pain

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Sanders III & Jimmy Palmiotti
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the New Mexican desert, Bloodhawk is attacked & captured by La Lunatica. At Nuevo Sol, the X-Men are salvaging what equipment they can when Meanstreak receives a message from his friend Jordan Boone indicating he's in some kind of trouble. When Xi'an refuses to let Meanstreak go to New York to help him, Meandstreak leaves anyway, prompting Xi'an to send Krystalin & Fitz after him. Elsewhere, Bloodhawk wakes up inside the Theater of Pain, where Lunatica uses her mutant power to trigger painful memories, which Controller Thirteen records for the benefit of their patrons. Having been tasked by Brimstone Love with capturing the mutants who attacked Las Vegas, the Controller sends Lunatica after Bloodhawk's allies. She tracks them down at a truck stop where Krystalin & Fitz catch up to Meanstreak, and captures all three. However, when Lunatica trigger's Fitz's memory of the death of his girlfriend, his power activates, destroying the Controller's equipment, including the inhibitor collar controlling Lunatica. Freed after ten years of service, she attacks the Controller, while the freed X-Men continue on their way to New York in search of Boone.

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Monday, January 28, 2019

X-aminations in February 2019


"Legion Quest", the prelude to "Age of Apocalypse", begins in earnest, Warren Ellis' first Excalibur story comes to a close, and another Wolverine one-shot revisits one of the more surprisingly entertaining & effective ones; will the sequel do its forebear justice (my expectations are low)?

On Sale October 1994
February 6: Generation X #2
February 7: X-Men Unlimited #7
February 8: Cable #18

On Sale November 1994
February 13: Uncanny X-Men #320
February 14: X-Factor #110
February 15: Wolverine #89

February 20: X-Men (vol. 2) #40
February 21: X-Force #42
February 22: Excalibur #85

February 27: Wolverine - Scorpio Rising

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #81

"Jawas of Doom"
March 1984

In a Nutshell
Han & Leia travel to Tatooine and fun afoul of a resurrected Boba Fett.

Script/Plot: Jo Duffy
Breakdowns: Ron Frenz
Finishes: Palmer/Mandrake
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Shortly after the Battle of Endor, Han Solo finds himself short on credits. Unable to convince any fellow Alliance members to front him a loan, he, Leia & Artoo take the Falcon to Tatooine, in the hopes of retrieving some funds he left with a bank in Mos Eisley. Meanwhile, the unconscious form of Boba Fett is discovered on the outskirts of the Sarlaac Pit by a group of Jawas. In Mos Eisley, Han is frustrated to learn the bank computer won't release his funds because his account was frozen when he was frozen in carbonite. Leia realizes Artoo could talk to the computer, but when she & Han return to the Falcon, Artoo is gone. Spotting small footprints nearby, they figure he was captured by Jawas, and take off in a pair of landspeeders. They track down the sandcrawler as it's being attacked by a group of Tusken Raiders. Han leaps aboard, and discovers Artoo inside along with a conscious but amnesiac Fett. With Fett's help, Han gets Artoo out of the sandcrawler. Han goes back for Fett, but as Leia calls out Han's name, Fett's memories return and he opens fire. Dodging the blast, Han leaps clear just as the damaged sandcrawler careens into the Sarlaac Pit, taking Boba Fett with it.

Friday, January 25, 2019

X-amining Wolverine #88

"It's D-D-Deadpool Folks!"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Wolverine helps Kane & Vanessa fight Deadpool

Script: Larry Hama
Pencilers: Adam Kubert & Fabio Laguna
Inkers: Mark Farmer & Tim Townsend
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Colors: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Asked to check on Garrison Kane by James Hudson, Wolverine arrives at the apartment in San Francisco where Kane lives with Vanessa to find Deadpool waiting. With Wolverine's healing factor still not at full strength, Deadpool overpowers him and heads off in search of Kane & Vanessa, who are working at a local theater. As Wolverine pulls himself together, he spots Vanessa in a picture amongst a theater company and figures that's where Deadpool is heading. He stumbles outside and hails a cab. At the theater, Deadpool attacks Kane & Vanessa, hurling one sword at each of them, forcing Kane to choose between saving himself & saving Vanessa. Kane deflects the sword coming at him, just as Wolverine arrives & saves Vanessa. Outnumbered, Deadpool tosses a grenade to cover his escape. Later, Wolverine tells Vanessa not to be too hard on Kane, as if he allowed himself to be killed, he wouldn't have been able to save her anyway, then wishes them both well, saying it's finally time for him to go home.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

X-amining X-Factor #109

"The Waking"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Legion wakes up and heads out to set things right.

Plot: John Francis Moore
Script: Todd DeZago
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inks: Al Milgrom
Letters: Starkings/Comicraft
Colors: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Mystique attacks the revived Legion, who telekinetically pushes her away. She manages to escape into the city, with X-Factor in pursuit. Later, Mystique meets up with Avalanche, but X-Factor tracks her down. Avalanche triggers a tidal wave, and while X-Factor deals with that, Mystique escapes again. Wolfsbane & Forge both track her down again, but their fight is interrupted by Legion, who brings Mystique onto the Astral plane where he passes along a message from Destiny. He then returns to the physical world to find X-Factor waiting for him, and he teleports them all away, before flying off by himself, leaving Mystique behind, saying he's going to fix everything, going to make it better.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #319

"Untapped Potential"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Rogue & Iceman go home, Psylocke & Archangel go on a date, & Xavier receives a strange visitor.

Words: Scott Lobdell
Guest Penciler: Steve Epiting
Inkers: Dan Green & Tim Townsend
Off Honeymoonin': Chris & Audra
Colorists: Buccellato, Becton, Hicks
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Rogue joins Iceman for a visit home, while Xavier is seemingly visited in a dream by Magneto, and Archangel & Psylocke go out for a night on the town. As Iceman storms out of his house when it becomes clear his father isn't just perennially disappointed in his son, but is also a bigot, Magneto suggests to Xavier that the world would be a better place if Xavier hadn't had to spend so much time fighting Magneto, then reveals himself to be Xavier's son, Legion. Elsewhere, Psylocke & Archangel pledge to avoid the romantic pitfalls of their peers and keep things simple, simply being there for one another when needed, while Rogue helps Iceman grapple with the disconnect between his own morality, which he'd thought he'd learned from his dad, and his dad's bigotry. At the X-Mansion, Xavier wakes up in a panic, drawing the attention of Beast, whom he tells about his psychic encounter with Legion. When Beast asks which of Legion's personalities was in control, Xavier tells him that's what is scaring him: for the first time, Legion seemed whole and in full control of his mind, meaning a desperate, unstable boy now has access to potentially-limitless power, and he's set himself on some kind of mysterious mission.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #3 - Patreon First!

"Viva Las Vegas"
December 1993

In a Nutshell
One of the X-Men dies as the rest rescue Xi'an from Junkpile & Lytton Synge.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Adam Kubert , Chris Ivy, Jim Sanders III, Cam Smith & Gary Martin
Letterers: Ken Lopez & Jon Babcock
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Bloodhawk attacks the Vegas strip outside Synge's casino, creating a distraction which allows Cerebra, Tim a& Tina to sneak inside. and free the captive Meanstreak & Metalhead. Meanwhile, Krystalin learns Lytton Synge killed his father & framed Xi'an. She tries to kill Lytton, but is stopped by Junkpile. Elsewhere, the reunited X-Men are confronted by the Rat Pack, but Cerebra is able to activate Tim's power to blast them aside. As they close in on Xi'an's location, they are confronted by Junkpile, who kills Tina and shatters one of Bloodhawk's wings before he's stopped by a newly-revived Xi'an. He easily dispatches Junkpile, but refuses to kill him, then reveals that the cocoon he was in both healed his injury and activated a new power, giving him the ability to heal others with one of his hands. He is able to repair Bloodhawk's wing, but is unable to bring Tina back from the dead. Just then, Desdemona appears. She tells the X-Men they are free to go, as she knows her brother killed their father. The X-Men return to the desert where they bury Tina, while elsewhere, Brimstone Love has a woman named Luna dispatched to investigate the new mutant phenomenon in that area.

What to read the rest? Become a patron via Patreon!


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Force in Focus: Return of the Jedi Action Figures Wave 1

Roll Call
Admiral Ackbar
Skiff Guard Lando w/removable helmet
Nien Nunb
Bib Fortuna
Biker Scout
Chief Chirpa
Emperor’s Royal Guard
Gamorrean Guard
General Madine
Klaatu
Logray
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight Outfit)
Princess Leia (Boushh disguise)
Rebel Commando
Ree-Yees
Squid Head
Weequay
Sy Snootles and the Max Rebo Band set (w/ Droopy McCool & Max Rebo)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

X-amining Bishop #1-4

"Escape from Tomorrow" / "One Man Posse" / "Future Intense" / "Final Reckonings"
December 1994 - March 1995

In a Nutshell
Bishop battles the remaining fugitive from his time, Mountjoy.

Writer: John Ostrander
Pencils: Carlos Pacheco
Inks: Cam Smith
Letterer: Richard Starkings/Comicraft
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Issue #1: Following yet another Danger Room session in which Bishop replays the circumstances surrounding Malcolm & Randall's deaths, Storm & Xavier order Bishop to accompany Storm into the city to attend a play. On his way out, he passes his holoprojector to Forge, telling him it contains memories of his sister but is in need of repair. Meanwhile, in the wake of Fitzroy's death, Bantam is being hunted by Mountjoy, a fellow time traveler whom only Bantam is aware is in the present time. Calling the X-mansion to get Bishop's help, he learns he's in the city, and tracks him down. When he does, a fight breaks out between Bishop, Storm & Mountjoy. Bishop is able to force Mountjoy out of Storm's body & drive him off, but is injured in the process.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #2 - Patreon First!

"Synge City Blues"
November 1993

In a Nutshell
Xi'an's condition worsens as the X-Men search for evidence he was framed for Synge's death.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Adam Kubert & Mike Sellers
Letterer: Tom Smith
Colorist: Ken Lopez
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Xi'an's X-Men race away from Nuevo Sol, pursued by the Synge Casino enforcers. They receive an unexpected assist from Bloodhawk, who helps fight off the enforcers and takes the X-Men to a secure location, saying his debt to Xi'an for freeing him from Synge is complete. Back at Nuevo Sol, Lytton Synge admonishes Junkpile for the botched assassination of Xi'an, ordering him to finish the job. Later, a drunk Desdemona crashes her father's memorial service, reminding Lytton she now owns equal shares in the casino. Elsewhere, with the injured Xi'an mysteriously being covered by a cocoon-like red carapace, the X-Men split up, with Meanstreak, Krystalin & Metalhead heading to Synge's casino in order to find evidence that Xi'an was framed for Synge's murder. After they leave, Junkpile tracks down the remaining X-Men guard Xi'an. At the casino, Meanstreak & Metalhead are captured by the Rat Pack, while Junkpile makes short work of Cerebra, Tim and Tina, only to discover Xi'an fully encased in his cocoon.

What to read the rest? Become a patron via Patreon!

Monday, January 14, 2019

G. I. JOE # 14 - August 1983 (The Commercial, Not the Comic)


He's the terrifying enemy of G.I.Joe
Destro is his name
(Destro is his name)
G.I. Joe a real American Hero
Fighting Cobra and Des-trooo

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #80

"Ellie"
February 1984

In a Nutshell
The "Search for Tay Vanis" concludes as Luke & Leia find their long-sought-after quarry.

Plot & Script: Jo Duffy
Breakdowns: Ron Frenz
Finisher: Tom Palmer
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Posing as traders, Luke, Leia & Threepio arrive at an Imperial base on planet to which they were directed by Tay Vanis' last message. They ask Ellie, the droid managing the flow of supplies in the hangar, to search for Vanis, which triggers an alarm. Luke & Leia manage to escape the Stormtroopers which arrive in response, taking Ellie with them. She tells the Rebels Vanis is being held at a nearby castle, but on the way, they spot a crashed X-wing. Investigating, they discover a recording from Vanis stating he left the sought-after data tapes with Ellie, with orders to destroy them should no Rebels contact her in two days. However, Ellie has vanished, so the Rebels proceed to the castle, where they track Vanis to a locked room. Entering, they trigger a recording from Darth Vader, who reveals he captured Vanis some time ago but, knowing Luke would eventually find him, let the search for Vanis continue to occupy both the Rebels & bothersome Imperial officers. Deeper in the room, the Rebels find a vegetative Vanis. Luke wants to bring him back to the Alliance, but Ellie says saving Vanis would be no kindness. She withdraws the tapes, having held onto them despite Vanis' orders to destroy them, knowing someone from the Alliance would come for them one day. With that, she embraces Vanis, and self-destructs, killing them both. Determined to leave a monument to both Ellie & Vanis, Luke causes the castle to explode, then contacts Admiral Ackbar, telling him they retrieved the tapes, but that Vanis was already gone before they arrived.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

X-amining Cable #17

"The Dark Ride Part 1: The Calling"
November 1994

In a Nutshell
Cable encounters the new Dark Riders in the Morlock Tunnels.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: Steve Skroce
Inks: Mike Sellers with Ryan & Dvorak
Lettering: Starkings/Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Editor: Lisa Patrick
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Egypt, Foxbat is killed by the new Dark Riders. At the X-Mansion, Cable informs Storm that some of the Morlocks may have survived the apparent murder-suicide triggered by Mikhail Rasputin, and she demands he take her into the tunnels immediately. Once there, they encounter Caliban, who is being targeted by the Dark Riders. Cable, Domino & Storm intervene in his defense, and battle the Dark Riders until Harddrive puts a stop to the fight, as the Dark Riders have orders not to interfere with Cable. As the Dark Riders teleport away, Cable demands to know who is giving them orders, but receives no answer. Caliban thanks Cable for saving him, and Cable declares they're going to patch up Caliban and use his mutant tracking ability to track down the Dark Riders.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

X-amining Wolverine: Evilution

"Evilution"
1994

In a Nutshell
Wolverine & Boom-Boom team-up when a teen cult raises a demon.

Writer: Ann Nocenti
Layouts: Mark Texeira
Penciler: John Royle
Inkers: Phillip Moy & Andrew Pepoy
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Colorist: Monica Bennet
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
A strange dream leads Wolverine to the small town of Prescott, which is dealing with the pollution caused by a recently-closed nuclear power plant in town. Boom-Boom is also in town, as she periodically visits the mall there, and they both encounter members of the Devos, a cult of young people dedicated to destroying technology and returning the world to a more primitive state. Using rituals involving animals & technology, the Devos manage to summon an ancient demon. Wolverine tells Boom-Boom to leave town, but she doesn't, and is captured by the Devos. With the help of a local, Red Water Fall, Wolverine tracks the Devos to the abandoned power plant, where they intend to sacrifice Boom-Boom. Wolverine & Red Water Fall rescue her, and then Wolverine & Boom-Boom team-up to defeat the demon and shut down the Devos, but the demon swears he will return.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #1 - Patreon First

"The Gathering"
October 1993

In a Nutshell
Tim Fitzgerald is asked to join mutant leader Xi'an's X-Men just as Xi'an is betrayed by one of their own.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Adam Kubert
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the year 2099, mutant drifter Tim Fitzgerald arrives at the seemingly-abandoned Nuevo Sol. He is ushered inside by Junkpile, where he discovers a thriving community of societal outcasts, and is shown around by Tina. Meanwhile, mutant leader Xi'an confronts casino magnate Noah Synge, warning him his attacks on Xi'an's people must stop. Elsewhere in the casino, environmental activist Bloodhawk is sentenced to death via a game show, only to be rescued by Meanstreak & Krystalin, two of Xi'an's operatives. Though grateful, Bloodhawk refuses to join Xi'an's group, and flies off on his own. Later, Lytton & Desdemona Synge discover their father has been killed in a manner consistent with Xi'an's disintegration power, and Lytton demands vengeance. Meanwhile, Xi'an arrives back at Nuevo Sol. After checking in with Cerebra, his second-in-command, Xi'an addresses the crowd, including Tina & Tim, speaking about the strength of the diversity of the gathered crowd and their desire to create a better tomorrow. As Krystalin & Meanstreak join the group, Tim spots a sniper in one of the balconies, and uses his power to blast him. However, the assassin still gets off a shot, grievously wounding Xi'an. Just then, Synge's casino enforcers arrive, and as Cerebra leads the escape of Xi'an's followers, the barely conscious Xi'an tells a stunned Tim he knew he'd join Xi'an's X-Men.

What to read the rest? Become a patron via Patreon!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars in Concert

Thanks to a birthday present from my wife's aunt last year, my wife and I recently attended "Star Wars in Concert", an event in which the Minnesota Orchestra plays the complete score to Star Wars while the film unfolds above it on a big screen. As both a huge Star Wars and film score fan, this was a supremely fun & unique experience ("concert films" are somewhat in vogue these days; the Minnesota Orchestra alone has done or will be doing similar performances of everything from Jurassic Park to Prisoner of Azkaban to Star Trek Into Darkness; when my wife and I were discussing what performances would be fun to see in this setting, I basically settled on "most anything"). Here's a few observations and reactions I had during the performance.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

X-amining Deadpool: Sins of the Past #1-4

"If Looks Could Kill!" / "Luck of the Irish" / "Deadpool Sandwich" / "Mano @ Mano"
August - November 1994

In a Nutshell
Deadpool teams up with Siryn & Banshee against Black Tom & Juggernaut

Writer: Mark Waid
Pencils: Ian Churchill, Lee Weeks (issue #2), Ken Lashley (issue #3-4)
Inks: Jason Minor, J. Minor, B. McCleod, B. LaRosa (issue #2), Bud LaRosa (issue #3), Bud LaRosa & Tom Wegryzn (issue #4)
Letterer: Starkings/Comicraft
Colors: Moreshead/Thomas
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Issue #1 Juggernaut breaks Black Tom out of a government facility working to cure him of the wood infection ravaging his body, taking with them Dr. Killebrew and some files on Deadpool. Weeks later, Deadpool is attacked at a bar by armored soldiers sent by Black Tom. He is joined by Banshee & Siryn, on the trail of Black Tom, and together they incapacitate the goons. With the trail to Tom cold, Siryn stays with Deadpool while Banshee goes to check with an old Interpol contact. Just then, one of the goons wakes up and attacks Deadpool, slicing off his hand before Deadpool kills him. Siryn is concerned about his injury, but Deadpool insists his healing factor will take care of it, just before he passes out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

X-aminations in January 2019...and Beyond!

Three words:

Age
Of
Apocalypse

That's right, the next six months of reviews will find the X-books gearing up for, and then diving into, the "Age of Apocalypse", the X-books' most ambitious and sweeping crossover yet, in which every series is technically cancelled & relaunched under a new title set in an alternate reality ruled by Apocalypse, a status quo that will last for an entire four months of publication time. This storyline had a huge influence on me back in the day, and represents something of the high-water mark of my initial Marvel Zombie/all-in/"everything the X-books do is great because they're doing it!" mentality. As a result, reaching it in X-aminations is benchmark for me on-par with hitting with the '91 relaunch or the beginning of the "All New, All Different" X-Men, and I'm excited to finally be approaching it.

But first, we've also got three months' worth of regular X-books to cover, as the series are forced to pivot quickly from "Phalanx Covenant" to "Age of Apocalypse" (to varying degrees of success; pour one out for Generation X, which gets "cancelled" and thrown into an alternate timeline only four months after it debuts). "Legion Quest", the crossover-before-the-crossover, unfolds across Uncanny & X-Men (and to a lesser extent, X-Factor & Cable), the mystery of Reignfire is (sort of) revealed in X-Force before reality gets blown away, and Wolverine returns to the mansion 15 issues after he left. Plus, there's three more solo limited series (a second Deadpool mini, plus Rogue and Bishop's) and, of course, more superfluous Wolverine oneshots.

As always, if there's anything that looks to be missing or you think should be covered, let me know!