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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

X-amining Magneto #1-4

"Return of the Messiah" / "Atonement" / "Kill Zone" / "Specters"
November 1996 - February 1997

In a Nutshell
Joseph battles Exodus and comes to terms with his past as Magneto. 

Plot: Peter Milligan
Script: Jorge Gonzalez
Penciler: Kelley Jones
Inks: John Beatty, Mark Heike & Jim Sanders III (issue #4)
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Brad Vancata
Separations: Graphic Color Works
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras
Separations: Digital Chameleon

Plot
Haunted by his past as Magneto - a past he doesn't remember - Joseph seeks out the ruins of Magneto's fallen space station Avalon. He encounters a group of Acolytes being hunted by Humanity's Last Stand. They decide Joseph is indeed Magneto reborn. Reaching Avalon, Joseph is horrified after he reviews Magneto's personal logs. Elsewhere, Exodus remains the leader of another group of Acolytes, who plan to launch a New Avalon which, when launched, will kill millions of humans. Determined to stop Exodus, Amelia Voght grudgingly makes an alliance with Fabian Cortez, telling him about Joseph. Cortez locates Joseph and convinces him to pretend to be Magneto in order to stop Exodus. Joseph's efforts to pass himself off as Magneto reborn are strengthened when he helps fight off Humanity's Last Stand, but the Acolytes are perplexed when he spares the life of their commander, Colonel Armstrong. However, Armstrong ultimately dies of his injuries anyway. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #62

March 1997

In a Nutshell
The X-Men team-up with Shang-Chi to hunt for a Legacy Virus cure! 

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Script: Ben Raab
Pencils: Carlos Pacheco 
Inks: Art Thibert
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Chris Lichtner & Liquid Color
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
Outside the Scottish home of an old associate, MI-6 agent Clive Reston, Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu, is attacked by a group of ninjas. He fights them off, only to be attacked in turn by Wolverine, who wants to test him. Their fight is ended by a lightning bolt from Storm, angry at Wolverine's actions. Cannonball arrives, and the group is introduced to Shang-Chi, after which they go inside Reston's home, where Reston, Cyclops, and Phoenix are waiting. They explain that Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club, is seeking the Elixir Vitae, which he hopes to use to cure the Legacy Virus (and make massive profits in doing so). Since Shang-Chi's villainous father created the elixir, the X-Men need his help. Later, Shaw is at his Hong Kong offices when he's told the X-Men are en route to the city; he orders a "reception" for the group. Shortly thereafter, as the X-Men and Shang-Chi make their way through the streets of Hong Kong in a pair of cars, they are attacked by a group of Cyber-Ninjas. 

Monday, August 29, 2022

X-amining X-Man #25

March 1997

In a Nutshell
Nate and Jean Grey confront the revived Madelyne Pryor!

Writer: Terry Kavanagh
Pencilers: Roger Cruz with Casey Jones
Inks: Bud LaRosa with Jason Martin
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft AD
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Madelyne talks to Threnody in a cemetery, trying to find out where Nate is. In the course of their conversation, Threnody realizes Madelyne is actually dead. Angry, Madelyne removes one of Threnody's psionic bafflers, knocking her out. Meanwhile, Nate senses Madelyne's return; after tracking her to the cemetery but finding her gone, he goes to Switzerland in search of her. At the X-Mansion, Jean is visited by the Askani woman named Sanctity, whom cryptically makes her aware of Madelyne's return. In Switzerland, Nate finds Madelyne and brings her to the cabin where they first met. Just then, Jean arrives in the Blackbird, and Madelyne attacks. During the ensuing three way battle, Madelyne realizes that, ultimately, Nate is going to side with Jean, while Nate realizes that Madelyne is his creation, formed of his psionic energy and memories of Jean from his own world as he sought comfort upon first landing on Earth. Angrily insisting she is a person with a right to exist, Madelyne angrily returns Nate's energy to him and leaves. Jean offers him a place with the X-Men once again, but he turns her down. He does tell her that he wished she'd been his mother. Later, Madelyne Pryor joins Sebastian Shaw in his bed. Back in Switzerland, Nate realizes that his telekinetic powers are gone, but is unsure if it is because of his confrontation with Madelyne, or the beginning of his end as his powers begin to consume him. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #342

"-- Did I Miss Something?"
March 1997

In a Nutshell
A contingent of X-Men are flung into Shi'ar territory via an out-of-control spaceship!

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Joe Madureira
Inkers: Tim Townsend
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Steve Buccellato and Team Bucce!
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Teleported by Gladiator onto an out-of-control starship, Beast, Bishop, Rogue, Gambit, Joseph, and Trish Tilby find themselves hurtling through space on a pre-set route as the ship threatens to blow apart around them. Beast manages to stabilize the vehicle, but can't alter its course, even as it heads into an asteroid field. Joseph steps up, and uses his power to clear the field in front of the ship until it reaches the Shi'ar stargate. Back on Earth, Cannonball alerts the rest of the X-Men to what happened, and they try to contact the Shi'ar. When no one answers, Cyclops must decide whether to go after their teammates, or focus on the numerous earthbound threats facing the X-Men. Back in space, the X-Men don Shi'ar uniforms as the ship arrives at its destination: a massive and heavily damaged Shi'ar space station. Exploring the wreckage, the X-Men find only one survivor: Deathbird!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

X-amining Venom: Tooth and Claw #1-3

November 1996 - January 1997

In a Nutshell
Wolverine and Venom battle Dirt Nap and Chimera!

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Joe St. Pierre
Inks: Al Milgrom
Letters:  Ken Lopez
Colors: Tom Smith 
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
As Eddie Brock, human host of Venom, is possessed by the villainous Dirt Nap, two young boys, Jerry and Rocky, are captured along with the symbiote Scream by an orb-like spaceship designed to hunt symbiotes which is seeking Venom. On orders from Chimera, Dirt Nap heads to the offices of Landau, Luckman and Lake, but finds Wolverine waiting there. When Emmet, a young LL&L agent, arrives, he determines that Dirt Nap is possessing Venom. During the ensuing fight, Venom is able to escape, but Wolverine is unable to kill Dirt Nap, as he is still possessing a young boy Wolverine tried to save during their first encounter. Venom, however, has no such compunctions, but he is hit by the suddenly-arriving orb. In the confusion, Dirt Nap escapes into a nearby warp chamber, followed by Venom and the orb, as well as Wolverine and Emmet, who give chase. During the ensuing fight, the orb opens and Dirt Nap possesses Scream, at which point Chimera enters the fray, at the head of a group of plasma wraiths. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

X-amining Onslaught Epilogue #1

"Prisoner M-13"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
A captive Professor X helps a fellow prisoner escape from Bastion!

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Randy Green
Inkers: John Holdredge with Hilary Barta
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Colors: Dan Moreshead
Editor: Mark Powers
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras
Separations: Digital Chameleon

Plot
Charles Xavier is being held by Bastion at an Operation: Zero Tolerance facility. Bastion is eager to learn more about why Onslaught happened, though Henry Peter Gyrich is confused as to why Bastion treats the seemingly-helpless Xavier so poorly. When psychologist Ingrid Thysson, accompanied by government agent Daryll Smith, arrives to conduct a full psych evaluation of Xavier, the prisoner in the cell next to his "slides" through their shared wall. She is Nina, a young girl with massive powers she is able to use to at least partially keep Bastion at bay. When Thysson arrives to evaluate Xavier, Nina returns to her cell. As Xavier sows doubt in Thysson about the validity of her job, Gyrich and Bastion discuss Nina, and decide to have Smith execute her. Later, Nina enters Xavier's cell, and offers to restore his telepathy; he turns her down, so instead she creates a phone, which Xavier uses to contact Renee Majcomb. With Thysson's help, he orchestrates an escape for Nina. Though Xavier provides a distraction, Smith captures both Thysson and Nina; when Xavier sees the unconscious Thysson, he believes his attempt failed. However, when Thysson visits him again in a few days, he receives a call from Majcomb, who puts the freed Nina on the phone, who reveals that Smith in fact helped her escape. Xavier tells Nina to try and find, and help, others like her, and she promises to one day restore his telepathy. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

G. I. JOE: SPECIAL MISSIONS #28 - November 1988 (The Commercial, Not the Comic)

  



"The final issue— and it's a space-race blockbuster! The new Joe Space Shuttle is put to a high orbit combat test by the ultimate Cobra weapon— the Cobra Condor!"

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

X-amining Tales From the Age of Apocalypse

"By the Light"

December 1996

In a Nutshell
Magneto's X-Men battle the Horseman of Death and his Inhumans!

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Script: Ralph Macchio
Penciler: Joe Bennett
Inkers: Joe Pimentel
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Gloria Vasquez
Separations: GSW
Editor: Mark Powers
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
With the help of the X-Men, Magneto is able to defeat Diablo and the Absorbing Man in order to liberate Robert Kelly from a prisoner of war camp. Later, Nightcrawler informs Magneto that Mystique has located where Apocalypse is hiding. Elsewhere, Sabretooth is tending to the recently rescued Blink, when Morph arrives and calls him to Magneto's emergency meeting. He reveals that Apocalypse is on the moon, and Blink will need to teleport them there. On the moon, Cyclops watches as the Horseman of Death tortures Sunfire. Cyclops remains disturbed by Death's actions and questions his loyalty to Apocalypse. Just then, Blink teleports the X-Men to the moon, just below the Celestial ship on which the X-Men believe Apocalypse to be recuperating. Death is aware of their arrival, however, and sends his Inhumans to attack. All the X-Men save Blink are captured. Death intends to use the Terrigen Mists to mutate the X-Men further and use them to overthrow Apocalypse. But Cyclops helps Blink teleport onto Ship where the X-Men are being held. He frees Sunfire, who kills Death, and then Blink teleports everyone away as Ship explodes. Back on Earth, Magneto and Rogue gaze up at the moon, and ponder whether Cyclops is truly their enemy, or an ally. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #16 - Patreon First

"Dearest Friend"
December 1987

In a Nutshell
Sean Cassidy meets Maeve Rourke, and begins to vie with this cousin Tom for her affections. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton
Pencils: Kieron Dwyer (additional pages)
Inks: Terry Austin (additional pages)
Letters: Tom Orzechowski, Ken Lopez (additional pages)
Colors: Glynis Oliver, Petra Scotese (additional pages)
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Being chased by the Northern Irish police, Sean Cassidy is rescued by a mysterious biker wearing a helmet. When the police run them off the road, Sean uses his power to save them both in turn. He flies the biker to his home, where she is revealed to be a woman named Maeve Rourke, enraged at the loss of her bike. Sean invites her inside, where she meets his rakish cousin, Tom. Over the ensuing weeks, she becomes friends with the two men, and finds herself genuinely torn between which one she cares for more. She agrees to accompany Sean to a spring dance, but when he's run off the road by the police sergeant he escaped earlier, he asks Tom to take his place. Tom stays silent about the reason for Sean's absence at first, confident he can win over Maeve, but eventually tells her the truth to spare her sorrow over Sean's absence.  

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

X-amining Excalibur #106

"A Portrait of the Artist"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
The Acolytes make Colossus an offer he easily refuses!

Writer: Ben Raab
Pencilers: Randy Green, Casey Jones, Rob Haynes, and Aaron Lopresti
Inkers: Martin, Rob Haynes, Ketcham, Pinnock, Simmons, Aaron Lopresti, Casey Jones
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Colorist: Ariane Lenshoek 
Editor: Matt Idelson
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
After finishing a painting Meggan intends to give to Brian as a wedding present, Colossus is contacted by Frenzy, one of Magneto's Acolytes. Having regrouped under Exodus' leadership following the fall of Avalon, the Acolytes want Colossus back in the fold. Learning the Acolytes are operating out of the X-Men's old base in the Outback, Colossus, Shadowcat, Wisdom, Nightcrawler and Wolfsbane travel there. Reaching the base, they find that only Colossus is able to enter. Inside, the Acolytes, including Frenzy, Unuscione and Scanner, urge him to rejoin the group and help bring about Exodus' vision for mutantkind's future. Colossus tells them he is done following the visions of others, and urges a wavering Scanner to leave with him. But the girl ultimately refuses, and Colossus is expelled from the base, with Unuscione warning him this was his only chance; when next they meet, the Acolytes won't be so cordial. Later on Muir Island, Colossus laments his failure to reach Scanner, in whom he sees a lot of himself. Wisdom points out that if someone as stubborn as Colossus can admit and learn from his mistakes, there's hope for anyone. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x16 - Patreon First

"Cold Comfort"

Original Airdate
February 4, 1995

Writer
Len Uhley

Plot
When Professor X is alerted to a break-in at a government facility committed by Iceman, a former member of the X-Men, he joins the team in the field to apprehend him. At the government facility, the X-Men manage to capture Iceman and bring him back to the mansion. He tells Beast about how after he and girlfriend Polaris left the team following Polaris' injury, they tried to live normal lives, but as things got worse for mutants, Polaris wanted to do more to help . One day, Iceman came home and found their apartment ransacked and Polaris gone; he's been looking for her ever since. Overhearing this, Jubilee decides to free Iceman and together they return to the facility where the X-Men caught Iceman. The two are knocked out by X-Factor, and after they awaken and are joined by the rest of the X-Men, a confrontation breaks out between the X-Men and X-Factor. After the X-Men gain the upper hand by switching up their opponents, Forge and Polaris put an end to the fight. Forge explains that X-Factor is a recently formed government backed mutant team, and he'd hoped a little scuffle with the X-Men would be good training. Polaris explains to Iceman that she was recruited by Forge to join the group, and has since fallen in love with its leader, Havok. Having found Polaris, Professor X offers Iceman a place with the X-Men once more, but he declines, much to Jubilee's dismay. 

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


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

X-amining Deadpool #2 - Patreon First!

"Operation: Rescue Weasel! (or: Operation: That Whacky Doctor’s Game!)"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
Deadpool battles Taskmaster in defense of Weasel!

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciler: Ed McGuiness
Inkers: Nathan Massengill & Norman Lee
Letters: RS/Comicraft/DL
Colors: Chris Lichtner
Enhancement: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Matt Idelson
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras 

Plot
Deadpool watches a sleeping Siryn through a window at the X-Mansion, then teleports away, lamenting that his feelings for her aren't reciprocated. Meanwhile, Weasel is kidnapped. The next morning, Blind Al teases Deadpool about his unrequited love for Siryn. When he seeks out a more comforting ear in Weasel, he discovers his friend is missing. Thanks to a special homing beacon, he tracks Weasel to a training academy run by the super-villain instructor Taskmaster. Deadpool is captured and reunited with Weasel, who isn't being held captive: Taskmaster has offered him a job, and he's considering taking it. Hurt, Deadpool agrees to fight Taskmaster as part of a class, and is soundly between, thanks to Taskmaster having copied Deadpool's fighting moves. Deadpool counters by using techniques he's never used before, giving him the edge over Taskmaster and humiliating him in front of his students, who leave the school. Taskmaster swears revenge on Deadpool, and Deadpool gets Weasel to agree to come back to work with him in exchange for the benefits Taskmaster promised him. 

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #15 - Patreon First

"Starjammers Aloft!"
December 1987

In a Nutshell
Corsair encounters the future Starjammers on a Shi'ar prison world. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton, Chuck Patton (additional pages)
Inker: Terry Austin (additional pages)
Letters: Tom Orzechowski, Diana Albers (additional pages)
Colors: Petra Scotese, Glynis Wein (additional pages)
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Christopher Summers is a broken man. Captured by the Shi'ar emperor in an attack that sent his sons plummeting to the Earth, only to watch his wife be slain by the emperor shortly thereafter, he has lived out his time since doing hard labor on a Shi'ar penal planet. He is so broken he doesn't even help when a cat-like woman is accosted by two guards. But when he's later questioned about the incident by two of the woman's friends and fellow prisoners, Ch'od and Raza, he finds a defiance within himself and decides to fight back. Using the fact that the guards consider him beneath their notice, he helps free the woman, and together, the foursome slay the guards who had taken her. The woman cautions that they'll continue to be hunted unless they can leave the planet, but for that, they'd need a pilot. Christopher tells them he's a pilot, and offers to join them, if they'll have him. The other three agree and ask his name; he responds that it is "Corsair".

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

X-amining X-Force #63

"Wish You Were Here"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
X-Force is pulled into a conflict over the legacy of Doctor Doom!

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Anthony Castrillo
Inkers: Mark Morales with Chad Hunt
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Lee Ann Clark with GCW 
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Meltdown awakens in a strange town and eventually runs into its only other resident, a man named Dimitri Fortunov who has been in the town for a week. Meltdown thinks back to how she got there: X-Force had been tasked by Nathanial Richards to acquire Doctor Doom's time traveling technology before it fell into the wrong hands. After infiltrating his castle, X-Force was attacked by Doombots and in the ensuing fight, Meltdown was knocked out and woke up in her current situation. Dimitri explains that he is the heir to Latveria following Doom's death, at which point a looming image of Cable in the sky reveals the truth: they've had their consciousnesses transferred into miniature synthetic clones and placed in Doom's artificial miniature city of Liddleville. Outside the castle, Sunspot, Warpath and Caliban wait as backup with a tribe of Romani whom Cable knows. When a woman named Sofia touches Warpath, she faints. Inside the castle, Cable restores Meltdown and Dimitri's minds to their bodies, and they proceed to Doom's time platform, only to find GW Bridge and SHIELD waiting for them. SHIELD wants the tech for themselves, while Dimitri wants to use it for the benefit of Latveria. During the ensuing fight, Dimitri is knocked into the platform's control panel. Outside, Sofia's mother explains that Sofia has precognitive abilities, and something in Warpath's future scared her enough to knock her out. Just then, the group is stunned to realize Castle Doom has suddenly disappeared! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x14 - Patreon First

"The Fate of the Phoenix"

Original Airdate
November 26, 1994

Writer
Brooks Wachtel 

Plot
With the Imperial Guard poised to take Jean Grey into custody in response to Dark Phoenix's actions, Professor X hastily invokes a Shi'ar right to a duel for Jean's life: the X-Men and the Guard will battle for Jean's fate. Everyone is transported to Lilandra's ship, and after conferring with her galactic allies, Lilandra agrees. The next morning, both groups are teleported to the habitable Blue Area of the moon, and the duel commences. The X-Men hold their own but are largely overmatched. Soon, only Cyclops and Jean are left standing, and when Cyclops is hit, Jean unleashes the Phoenix Force, reverting to Dark Phoenix. Lilandra opens fire and Xavier telepathically revives the X-Men to attack Phoenix, while Jean is able to assert enough control to hold Phoenix back slightly. She then turns one of the Shi'ar ship's weapons on herself, obliterating herself. However, the Phoenix Force is unharmed and, free of its connection to Jean's human form, far more rationale. It offers to revive Jean in exchange for the life force of another, and each of the X-Men volunteer a bit of their "fire" to bring Jean back to life. The Phoenix leaves to once more roam the cosmos, while the X-Men return to Earth to begin grappling with their recent experiences. 

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

X-amining Generation X #24

"Home for the Holidays"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
Emma and the girls celebrate Christmas in Monaco!

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Rick Leonardi & Mitch Byrd
Inker: Bud Larosa and Jason Martin
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
Emma Frost loves Christmas, and she has taken Monet, Jubilee, and Paige to Monet's home in Monaco for the holiday. In the interest of camaraderie, Jubilee suggests they all share something about themselves the others don't know, leading each woman to share how the experience of their powers first manifesting. Meanwhile, back at the school, Mondo trudges through the snowy grounds to meet a mysterious figure; when he asks if its time yet, the figure tells him to be patient; the time will come - sooner than he thinks. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #14 - Patreon First!

"What Stuff Our Dreams Are Made Of"
October 1987

In a Nutshell
After receiving a psychic transmission from Charles Xavier, Lilandra heads towards Earth to seek the help of her beloved!

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton, Chuck Patton (added pages)
Inker: Dan Green (added pages)
Letters: Tom Orzechowski, Diana Albers (added pages)
Colors: Glynis Wein, Michael Higgins (added pages)
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Captured by forces loyal to her brother, the Emperor D'Ken, Lilandra is about to be executed. Just then, a group of Shi'ar Pathfinders loyal to her attack, allowing her to escape in a small scout ship. As she races away from her captors, she suddenly becomes psychically connected to an Earthling named Charles Xavier. Struggling to regain her sense of self as Xavier's mind merges with hers, she discovers that the Pathfinders were all killed by the Shi'ar forces. Alone, she decides her only hope of stopping her brother's mad plans is to seek out Xavier and his X-Men, and thus sets out for Earth. 

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

X-amining Cable #40

"Into the Dark"

February 1997


In a Nutshell

Cable, Domino & Douglock rescue Rene Majcomb from First Strike!


Writer: Todd Dezago

Penciler: Scott Clark

Inker: Chris Carlson

Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft

Colorist: Mike Thomas

Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras


Plot

Cable, Domino and Douglock creep through the woods surrounding a house, seeking out Renee Majcomb. Their presence is detected by a group of masked soldiers called First Strike who work for Bastion and who are also seeking Majcomb. Cable thinks back to how Moira MacTaggert sent Douglock to the X-Mansion in order to recreate Xavier's files on the Mutant Underground, including the location of Majcomb, whom Moira learned was in danger. Meanwhile, inside the house, Majcomb's mutant protector Abyss discovers First Strike's presence. He attacks, absorbing one of the soldiers into his void, but is surprised when she almost dies. Cable manages to take one of the other soldiers hostage, triggering a standoff, at which point he determines that the First Strikers' armor reacts poorly to Abyss' void. He convinces them to give up their fight and return to base, then tries to extract Majcomb. But she insists she is safe enough with Abyss, who is better off being alone with her anyway as they continue her work to cure the Legacy Virus, given he is infected with it himself. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x13 - Patreon First!

"The Dark Phoenix"

Original Airdate
November 19, 1994

Writer
Larry Parr

Plot
In the wake of the Inner Circle club's defeat, Dark Phoenix attacks the X-Men, their battle spilling out into the nearby Central Park. She easily overpowers them all, but is unable to kill them. Instead, she flies off into space. Hungry for more energy, she devours a star, thereby destroying an uninhabited system, but her actions are observed by a Shi'ar research vessel, which informs Empress Lilandra of the new danger posed by the Phoenix. Back on Earth, Cyclops is aware of Dark Phoenix' actions through his psychic rapport with Jean, and declares that she's heading back home. Beast proceeds to build a mnemonic scrambler in the hopes of disabling Dark Phoenix' mind long enough for the X-Men to overpower her. Dark Phoenix returns to Earth and goes to Jean's childhood home, where the X-Men are waiting. Gambit manages to get the scrambler on Dark Phoenix, but she quickly burns out it. Just then Xavier enters Dark Phoenix' mind and with the help of Jean, is able to telepathically contain the Phoenix Force, restoring Jean's control of her body. The X-Men cautiously celebrate their victory, just as Lilandra and the Imperial Guard arrive, declaring their intent to arrest Jean. 

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

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

X-amining X-Factor #131

"Brotherhood"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
Havok tracks down the captive Dark Beast and invites him to join his new Brotherhood!

Writer: Howard Mackie
Penciler: Jeff Matsuda
Inker: Art Thibert
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Havok is being haunted by dreams of his past in which he is dominated and controlled by others, including Professor X, Mister Sinister, and Dark Beast. Deciding to take control of his own life, he locates Dark Beast, who is being held in a government facility. He attacks the facility, freeing both Dark Beast and the teleporter Fatale. Dark Beast thinks Havok is there to kill him, but instead, Havok offers them both a place with his new Brotherhood. Faced with no other options, they accept, with Dark Beast seeing in Havok something of his reality's counterpart. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #13 - Patreon First!

"Lifesigns"

September 1987

In a Nutshell
Misty Knight & Phoenix save a family...of dolphins. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton, Bob Layton (added pages)
Letters: Tom Orzechowski, Diana Albers (added pages)
Colors: Petra Scotese, Evenlyn Stenin (added pages)
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Jean is spending the weekend with her roommate Misty Knight, along with Misty's boyfriend Danny Rand and her partner Colleen Wing, at Danny's beach house. Misty remains uneasy about Jean's newfound increase in power, a sentiment Jean shares. Suddenly, Jean telepathically senses a family in danger, and flies out over the ocean. Misty follows in Danny's boat and discovers a shark circling the water where Jean entered. Misty fights off the shark, after which Jean emerges from the water and reveals that the family in danger was a pod of dolphins. Misty is incensed that she risked her life for a group of animals, but when Jean allows her to telepathically hear the dolphins' thoughts, she gains a newfound respect for the balance of nature and all things in it, including Phoenix. 

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

X-amining Wolverine #110

"Lesser Beasts"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
Wolverine and Shaman battle a demonically possessed bear!

Script: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Joe Bennet
Inks: Joe Pimentel 
Letters: Richard Starings & Comicraft's Emerson Miranda
Colors: Joe Andreani, Paul Becton, Graphic Colorworks 
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
Inside a cave, a bear knocks over a clay pot, becoming possessed by an evil spirit. Elsewhere, two crooks rob a convenience store, then hide in a nature preserve. Canadian Mounties enlist the aid of Shaman and Wolverine to track them down. Shaman warns Wolverine that he senses the revival of a Great Beast having occurred nearby. When Mounties cordon off the preserve and blocks the Totebind family from conducting their camping trip, Catherine berates her meek husband Bob into sneaking onto the grounds. Inside, they encounter the crooks, who take them hostage. Wolverine intervenes, ordering the crooks to release the family, but just then the bear possessed by the Great Beast attacks. Catherine and the crooks flee, but Bob stays behind and helps Wolverine fight the creature. Doing his best to control his own animal instinct to kill, Wolverine knocks out the bear, after which Shaman exorcises it of the Great Beast's possession. Elsewhere, the crooks decide to kill Catherine, but Wolverine and Bob catch up to them. Wolverine knocks out one of the crooks and Bob, finding his courage, knocks out the other one. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x12 - Patreon First!

"The Dark Phoenix Saga Part II: The Inner Circle"

Original Airdate
November 12, 1994

Writer
Steven Levi 

Plot
At the X-Mansion, Professor X tries to use Cerebro to locate the X-Men, but is blocked by the White Queen. As the Inner Circle, including their new Black Queen, Jean Grey, celebrate in front of the captive X-Men, Wolverine emerges from the sewers beneath the Circle Club and begins to make his way upstairs. With the Inner Circle fighting amongst themselves, Cyclops uses his psychic link with Jean to enter her mind and try to shake Mastermind's control. But the White Queen senses his move, and sends Mastermind into Jean's mind as well. There, the two men duel until Jean appears, hitting Cyclops with a mental blast, declaring she's been set free. In the real world, Cyclops collapses, seemingly dead. Just then, Wolverine burst into the room. Jean attacks him, but when she sees him in pain, she is shocked free of Mastermind's control. She proceeds to free the X-Men, who attack the Inner Circle as Jean chases after Mastermind. As the X-Men gain the upper hand, Cyclops follows Jean to the roof, where Mastermind attempts to regain control over her. But Jean declares that Phoenix is in control, and attacks Mastermind's mind, driving him insane, anointing herself Dark Phoenix. 

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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #61

"Bolt"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
Storm defeats Candra and learns the truth about Jamil!

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Cedric Nocon
Inks: Hunk & Miller
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
In Manhattan, Archangel returns home to the sound of Psylocke in a fight, but when he bursts into the apartment, he finds her calmly sitting. Just then, Gomurr the Ancient appears, and tells them there is a price to pay for the Crimson Dawn having saved Psylocke's life. Meanwhile, at the museum, Storm battles Jamil for Candra's heartstone, as Jamil manifests both the Shadow King and Juggernaut. But when Cable appears and offers to help Storm, she realizes something is amiss: it is the young girl Karima manifesting everyone, including Jamil. Her mutant power is the ability to give form to people's desire, in this case, Candra's desire to attain the stone and Storm's desire to stop her. Outside, as the X-Men race to help Storm, Jean Grey briefly finds herself completely alone on the street. Back at the museum, Karima explains how Storm's old mentor taught her to manifest Jamil in order to disguise her power and give herself a companion. As Jamil and the other villains fade away, Candra lunges for the stone, but Storm simply tosses it at her. However, the X-Men arrive at that moment and Cyclops blasts it, destroying the stone and with it, Candra. Storm admits she knew the X-Men had arrived and were confident they'd back her up. Meanwhile, Sebastian Shaw is in Hong Kong, plotting to retake control of the Hellfire Club.