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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.

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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.