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

Wednesday, April 27, 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! 

Wednesday, April 20, 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. 

Thursday, April 7, 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. 

Wednesday, April 6, 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. 

Wednesday, March 30, 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. 

Thursday, March 24, 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. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

X-amining X-Man #24


"First Noel"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
Nate and Spider-Man battle Morbius!

Writer: Terry Kavanagh
Penciler: Roger Cruz 
Inker:  Bud LaRosa
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Separations: GCW
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Peter Parker is spending Christmas with Mary Jane at her aunt Anna's house. He senses a disturbance in the neighbor's garage; investigating, he finds Nate Grey, who says he's been attacked. Peter realizes Nate has been bitten by Morbius, and promises to help. Meanwhile, Threnody wanders through a hospital, harvesting the energies of the dying patients. Elsewhere, Madelyne Pryor seduces Sebastian Shaw in the wake of her confrontation with Tessa. Later, Threnody visits an abandoned tenement, harvesting the energy of the dying there, and is unknowingly stalked by Morbius. Visiting her mother's grave, Threnody is confronted by Morbius, who says they have a lot in common. Just then, Nate and Peter, as Spider-Man, arrive in the graveyard and attack Morbius, but Threnody defends him. As Threnody fights Spider-Man, Nate battles Morbius, managing to break the vampire's hold over him, at which point Morbius retreats. Nate then tells Threnody he knows what she's been doing, and says he won't take her back until she stops. Nate and Spider-Man leave, after which Threnody is visited by Madelyne, asking if she's seen anyone matching Nate's description. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x11 - Patreon First!

"Dazzled"

Original Airdate
November 12, 1994

Writer: Jan Strnad

Plot
On Muir Island, Professor X and Moira MacTaggert study the newly-returned Jean Grey, trying to determine why, with the M'Kraan crystal safe, the Phoenix Force still resides in Jean's body. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Gambit visit the mutant singer Dazzler at a nightclub, considering asking her to join the X-Men. When Dazzler is attacked by agents of the Circle Club, the two X-Men help Dazzler fight them off. As Jean and Xavier arrive back at the mansion, the Inner Circle of the Circle Club meets, with the telepathic Emma Frost telling them of the raw power of Phoenix. Hoping to control it for themselves, they task Mastermind with using his power of illusion to gain control of Jean. At the mansion, Phoenix continues to assert its dominance over Jean. As Cyclops leaves to check on Dazzler, Emma Frost puts Mastermind in Jean's mind, where he creates a complex illusion that he and Jean are married and living in the Victorian era. When her psychic connection to Cyclops shatters the illusion, Jean flies to the club where Dazzler is performing. When she sees a grateful Dazzler embrace Cyclops, however, Jean slips back into Mastermind's illusions and leave the club with him. The X-Men track Jean to the Circle Club and break in, searching for their teammate. A fight between the Inner Circle and the X-Men breaks out, which only ends when Jean turns on her teammates, declaring that Phoenix has taken full control of her mind and body.

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #341

"When Strikes a Gladiator"
February 1997

In a Nutshell
Cannonball fights Gladiator!

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

Plot
The X-Men are in New York during the holidays. As Beast and Trish Tilby depart for dinner, Joseph tells Rogue he has a surprise for her, prompting Gambit to sulk away alone. Bishop wants some time to himself as well, leaving Cannonball to head to a toy store to finish his Christmas shopping alone. At the toy store, a portal suddenly emerges and Gladiator, leader of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, steps out, looking for the X-Men. Meanwhile, Joseph takes Rogue on a horse drawn carriage ride, using his magnetic powers to lift the animal and vehicle into the air. Back at the toy store, Cannonball assumes Gladiator is there to attack the X-Men, and attacks him first in an effort to get him away from bystanders. Elsewhere, Joseph brings Rogue to the top of the World Trade Center, where he's placed the modified Z'Nox chamber on which he's been working. Turning it on, he explains it will create a field which nullifies her powers, then proceeds to kiss her on the forehead before wishing her a merry Christmas. Below, Cannonball holds his own against Gladiator, managing to shake Gladiator's confidence, which weakens him, enabling Cannonball to knock him out at a construction site just as the rest of the X-Men arrive. Gladiator emerges from the rubble and explains that the Shi'ar Empire is in danger, but he's been forbidden to help, so he's come to the X-Men instead. Just then, he summons a teleportation field which sends all the X-Men except Cannonball away. When he asks Gladiator where they've gone, Gladiator explains they've been sent to Sh'iar space. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #11 - Patreon First!

"Hope"
July 1987

In a Nutshell
Storm intervenes in the life of a suicidal writer. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton
Penciler: Dave Cockrum (additional pages)
Inker: Sam Grainger (additional pages 
Letters: Tom Orzechowski, Bill Oakley (additional pages)
Colors: Glynis Oliver, Evelyn Stein (additional pages)
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Famous fantasy writer Phil Halloran finds himself struggling with writers block. In the midst of an ongoing attack by an escaped serial killer, he wanders the streets of London, eventually climbing to the top of the tallest tower in the city. There, he contemplates suicide, but is spotted by Storm. A fan of his work, Storm takes him flying, telling him the world needs people like him who can express its beauty to other people. Landing back on the tower, Storm is knocked out by the serial killer. As the killer drags her away, Phil hesitates, worried Storm will stop him from killing himself, but ultimately intervenes, attacking the killer, which gives Storm time to recover and blast the killer with a lightning bolt. Weakened, she begs Phil not to kill himself, saying as long as he lives, there's always hope. But Phil just leaves to call an ambulance and the police, still unsure what he'll do afterwards. 

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

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

X-amining XSE #1-4

"Time Lost" / "Future Intense" / "Future Betrayed" / "Conflagration
November 1996 - February 1997

In a Nutshell
Bishop and Shard's pasts revealed! 

Writer: John Ostrander
Penciler: Chris Gardner, 
Inkers: Terry Austin & Tom Palmer
Art: Deodator Studios / Mozart Cuto (issues #2-4)
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Derek Bellman, Shannon Blanchard (issues #3-4)
Enhancements: Graphic Color Works, Malibu (issue #3)
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Having accepted the holographic Shard as his sister, Bishop invites her to the X-Mansion in an effort to convince her to join X-Men. Shard is reluctant, not wanting to be seen only as Bishop's little sister. Bishop uses the Danger Room's holographic capabilities to explore the siblings' past. They revisit their harsh childhood and eventual recruitment into the XSE, where they are attacked by a group of Emplates during a training mission. Bishop's actions during that attack lead to him becoming a full XSE officer; a year later, Shard graduates as well. Years later, Bishop is made a squad commander and makes the unconventional choice to appoint Malcolm and Randall - two underpowered mutants who don't really like each other - to his squad. Ultimately, the team bonds during an attack on Harmony Base, a colony in which humans and mutants live together. Meanwhile, the ambitious Shard rises through the XSE ranks, becoming Bishop's superior officer while helping develop new holographic technology. When Bishop participates in a field test of the new technology and proves it doesn't work, he tries to mend things with Shard by giving her a tip he received from the captive Fitzroy about the location of the anti-human Exhumes' base. However, all Shard finds at the base is a pack of Emplates, and her squad is overwhelmed, with Shard herself infected. When Bishop arrived on the scene, Shard begs him to kill her before she becomes an Emplate. Instead, he takes her to the Witness where, in exchange for a year of Bishop's service, Shard's memories are downloaded into a holographic projector to preserve her existence. Back at the X-Mansion, Shard is touched to realize how much Bishop sacrificed for her, and agrees to stay with him among the X-Men, but in the course of their reminiscences, Bishop has come to realize she needs to build her own life with X-Factor. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x10 - Patreon First!

"Obsession"

Original Airdate
September 24, 1994

Writer
Adam Gilad 

Plot
Using his immense wealth, Archangel has funded an extensive archaeological investigation into Apocalypse, desperate to find a weakness in order to kill him. One researcher shows Archangel evidence of a weak spot behind Apocalypse's neck. Just then, Archangel learns that Apocalypse is attacking the Statute of Liberty. The X-Men, who are using Shi'ar technology to monitor a hidden spaceship, are alerted to the attack, and join Archangel. But when Apocalypse escapes, the group reconvenes at the mansion. Archangel is determined to go after Apocalypse and flies off; Rogue and Gambit follow him, while the rest of the X-Men proceed to the spaceship. Inside, Beast discovers the ship is controlled by a sentient intelligence dubbed "Ship", and works with Ship to come up with a way to capture Apocalypse. However, the X-Men are instead captured by a trap set by Apocalypse, who controls Ship. When Archangel, Gambit and Rogue catch up to Apocalypse, he taunts them before flying off to the ship. When he arrives, however, he discovers the X-Men have escaped his trap. They, in turn, capture him inside a force field. However, this isn't good enough for Archangel who, upon arrival, frees Apocalypse in order to kill him. Apocalypse reveals his apparent "weakness" was just a ruse to draw out Archangel, and during their ensuing fight, Ship is damaged. On the verge of destruction, Ship blasts Apocalypse into space as Archangel and the X-Men fly away. Beast says that while Apocalypse will be back, they're out of danger for now. Archangel is still mad though, and flies off, while Beast bids a tearful goodbye to Ship as it crashes into the ocean. 

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

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

X-amining Logan: Shadow Society

"Shadow Society"
December 1996

In a Nutshell
Secret agents Logan and Carol Danvers are drawn into a conspiracy involving the Canadian defense ministry and the Hellfire Club! 

Plot: Howard Mackie
Script: Mark Jason
Penciler: Tomm Coker
Inkers: Keith Aiken with Octavio Cariello
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Colors: Christie Scheele
Separations: D. Chameleon
Editors: Marc Bernardo & Mark Powers
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Neil Langram, partner of Canadian secret agent Logan, is mysteriously killed. Meanwhile, when CIA agent Carol Danver's attempt to capture an arms dealer fails when her cover is blown, she is rescued by Logan. After learning of Neil's death and knowing he was in the middle of an investigation, Carol and Logan try to hack into the Canadian defense ministry's computers to learn what Neil was investigating. They fail, but after assassins sent by the defense ministry fail to kill them, they break into Department H of the ministry. There they discover a file named "the Mutant Agenda", which references a doctor named Perry Edwards who has written a book about a secret society of "mutants" living amongst humanity. Carol and Logan travel to Manhattan to find Edwards, saving him from more assassins. Edwards tells them there are mutants inside the upper class Hellfire Club; Logan breaks into the club, and learns of a secret Canadian installation involving the club. As he and Carol set out to find the installation, Sebastian Shaw assigns Sabretooth to kill Logan. Upon arriving at the secret installation, Logan and Carol find everyone inside dead - including several defense ministry officials and Perry Edwards. Just then Sabretooth attacks and explains how the Hellfire Club and Department H are competing to recruit mutants, and tells Logan he killed Langram, who was secretly a mutant, for refusing to join the Hellfire Club. Logan savagely attacks Sabretooth, but Sabretooth manages to set off a bomb, destroying the facility. Later, Logan and Carol are left wondering who they can trust.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #10 - Patreon First!

"Tag, Sucker!"
June 1987

In a Nutshell
Wolverine is hunted through New York City by Sabretooth

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton, John Romita Sr. (added pages)
Inker: Sam Grainger (added pages)
Letters: Tom Orzechowski, Gaspar Saladino (added pages)
Colors: Glynis Oliver, Michele Wrightson (added pages)
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Wolverine explores New York City, finding himself uncomfortable in the urban environment. Suddenly, he realizes he is being hunted by an unseen figure. He decides to make the stalker chase him, and he runs through the city, stopping briefly in a bar. A patron there flirts with him, but Wolverine's stalker kills her. Wolverine runs again, ending at Battery Park, where he dons his X-Men uniform and turns to face his opponent. But the stalker attacks him from behind, ripping out his throat and tossing him in the ocean. But the stalker underestimated Wolverine's healing abilities, and he climbs out of the water, knowing he should have died. Realizing it was Sabretooth who hunted and attacked him, Wolverine affirms that in order to survive, he'll have to do better next time. 

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

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

X-amining Marvel Fanfare (vol. 2) #4-5

"Cause and Effect" / "Life Lessons"
December 1996 - January 1997

In a Nutshell
Longshot and Dazzler lead the fight against the now-despotic Mojo II (the Sequel). 

Writer: Jaimie Campos
Penciler: Steven Jones
Inker: Mike Witherby
Letters: Jon Babcock, Caroline Wells and Jeff Powell; Sue Crespi and Caroline Wells (issue #5)
Colors: Brian Buccellato
Editor: James Felder
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Issue #4: On Mojoworld, Longshot, Dazzler and Quark lead their rebels forces against the oppressive regime of Mojo II, stopping another of his public executions. Meanwhile, Mojo II schemes with his aide Pet and decides to goose his ratings by executing a member of the previous Mojo's regime, the captive Major Domo. Learning of this, Longshot's rebels decide to rescue Major Domo, leading Quark to battle Mojo II's executioner, Spiral. He defeats her, but when he spares her life, she disappears. Meanwhile, Longshot and Dazzler rescue Major Domo, who throws in with the rebels out of gratitude. Issue #5: Some time later, Mojo II's forces attack the rebel base. As Longshot leads the fight against them, Dazzler discovers a traitor in the rebels' midst, who knocks out and captures Dazzler and Quark. Major Domo then switches sides again, after which Mojo II buries Longshot in his base. After he regains consciousness, Spiral teleports into the base and offers to help Longshot escape. She delivers him to the site of Dazzler and Quark's pending executions. Once the rebels are reunited, Major Domo switches sides again, and helps turn the tide against Mojo II. Spiral takes Mojo II for punishment, while Major Domo is ultimately accepted by the rebels. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x09 - Patreon First!

 "Savage Land, Strange Hearts Part 2"

Original Airdate
September 17, 1994

Writers
Robert Skir and Marty Isenberg 

Plot
With Storm raging out of control, the non-corporeal Garokk grows stronger, feeding on her energy. To stop her, the X-Men have Karl Lykos absorb Storm's power for himself, triggering his transformation into Sauron but stopping Storm's rampage. Sauron meets with Zaladane, telling her he'll no longer be a pawn of Garokk, but Garokk overpowers him. Garokk explains how he once had a corporeal form until a battle with an outlander transformed him into inanimate stone. But when the X-Men recently arrived in the Savage Land, Garokk found himself reinvigorated by Storm's elemental power, and he arranged for Sauron to bring her to the Savage Land. When the X-Men attack Garokk, he draws on Storm's powers once more and forms a new, massive body for himself. Sauron, bitter towards having been used by Garokk, absorbs Garokk's energy, gaining a new massive form for himself. The two giant beings fight one another over the volcanoes which keep the Savage Land warm, their battle ending with a massive explosion of their energy which reverts Garokk to his inert form and transforms Sauron back to Karl Lykos. As the X-Men prepare to return home, Lykos decides to remain in the Savage Land with Ka-Zar, away from any mutants who could cause Sauron to be reborn. 

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


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

X-amining Maverick #1

"The Sword Song On a Barren Heath"
January 1997

In a Nutshell
Maverick takes a break from dying to battle Omega Red!

Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: Wildred Santiago
Inkers: Tim Townsend
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Marie Javins
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Maverick, dying from the Legacy Virus, is visited by Elena Ivanova, a psychic who wants his help finding Sabretooth. Realizing he is being hunted by Omega Red, Maverick agrees to help Elena if she helps him with Omega Red. The pair head to a Canadian air force research base, followed by Omega Red. At the base, Canadian forces capture Omega Red but Maverick and Elena escape with the help of John Wraith, Maverick's old Team X compatriot. Omega Red manages to escape, however, by killing all the soldiers around him with his mutant death factor. Maverick, Elena and Wraith proceed to the old Weapon X facility, where Maverick has hidden the carbonadium synthesizer that Omega Red needs. With the help of Elena's telepathy, they lure Omega Red to the base and trap him in a containment chamber, then escape just as the Canadian air force bombs the facility. Maverick honors his promise to Elena and gives her a lead of Sabretooth, but she decides to stay with Maverick in order to be with him through his final days. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #9 - Patreon First!

"The Gift"
May 1987

In a Nutshell
As he waits for news on Jean Grey, Nightcrawler befriends a young boy at the hospital. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton, Tom Morgan (added pages)
Letters: Bill Oakley
Colors: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
With the X-Men gathered at the hospital, awaiting news on Jean's condition, Nightcrawler meets a young boy in the hospital's garden late at night. Concerned about the boy being out so late alone, Nightcrawler befriends him, learning his name is Daniel and that he is waiting for someone. Unsure if the boy himself is sick or is visiting a sick family member, Nightcrawler proceeds to do his best to cheer him up, culminating in a juggling act he learned at the circus. Nightcrawler then shares his true appearance with the boy, who isn't at all shocked, and after Nightcrawler brings him home, they agree to meet up later at the hospital. But when Nightcrawler returns to the hospital, he learned that Daniel died of cancer that evening, and realizes his encounter with the ghost of Daniel has led him to a greater appreciation for the joys of life.

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

X-amining X-Man '96 #1


"Sons of the Father" / "Mindgames"
1996

In a Nutshell
Nate Grey returns to the Age of Apocalypse!

Story: Terry Kavanagh, Ralph Macchio (2nd Story)
Art: Alan Davis, Terry Dodson (2nd Story)
Inker: Mark Farmer and Robin Riggs, Rachel Pinnock (2nd Story)
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Tom Vincent, Joe Andreani (2nd Story)
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Nate Grey traces recent ripples in reality to Sugar Man in Genosha, and confronts the villain in his stronghold. But Nate's attack plays into Sugar Man's hands, powering his "fargate" which opens a portal into the past of their shared home reality, from which Sugar Man plans to steal a deadly virus for use in his new world. Nate follows him through the portal, and is reunited with Forge and Magneto, both younger than Nate knew them. Together, the trio storms Sugar Man's fortress on word from Magneto's inside man, Morph, who helps rescue a captive Mastermind from Sugar Man. When Sugar Man deploys the virus into the water, Magneto uses his power to collect and destroy it. Nate tells Forge he wants to stay and change the future of his world, but Forge insists he return to what is now his home. With Mastermind's help, Forge tricks Nate into returning home, with Sugar Man getting caught up in the effects of the fargate and sent back as well. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x08 - Patreon First!

"Savage Land, Strange Hearts Part 1"

Original Airdate
September 10, 1994

Writers: Robert Skir, Marty Isenberg

Plot
In the Savage Land, Sauron and his forces are overwhelmed by Ka-Zar and his rebellion. Sauron is rescued by Zaladane, a priestess of Garokk, a religious deity represented throughout the Savage Land via a series of stone heads. Zaladane tells Sauron to leave the Savage Land in order to find additional mutants on which to feed. He flies an old jet of Magneto's to New York, transforming into the human Karl Lykos in the process. Later, Lykos bumps into a group of X-Men visiting New York City, and absorbs Wolverine's energy, not realizing he's a mutant. The energy transforms him back into Sauron. Rogue and Storm attack Sauron in the air. Sauron hypnotizes Rogue and turns her against the X-Men, allowing him to escape to the Savage Land with Storm. The X-Men follow him, and are reunited with Ka-Zar. Meanwhile, Sauron unleashes Storm's dark side, then attack Ka-Zar and the X-Men. They manage to weaken Sauron such that he transforms  back into Lykos, at which point Garokk tells Zaladane to unleash Storm, who angrily attacks the X-Men. 

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

Monday, January 24, 2022

Thursday, January 20, 2022

X-amining Excalibur #105


"Hard Truths"
January 1997

In a Nutshell
Excalibur battles the MLF while Kitty comes to terms with the truth about Douglock.

Story: John Arcudi
Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist: Bryan Hitch
Inkers: Paul Neary Bryan Hitch, and Riggs
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Colorist: Ariane Lenshoek 
Separations: Malibu
Editor: Matt Idelson
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Kitty emerges from Doug Ramsey's grave, stunned to have seen his body. Douglock once again explains that he is not a resurrected Doug Ramsey but, simply, Douglock Wolfsbane accepts this, but Kitty is still not convinced. Meanwhile, on Muir Island, Colossus and Wisdom work together to repel the Mutant Liberation Front's attack, while Dani Moonstar does her best to appear determined to carry out the MLF's mission of retrieving the Xavier Protocols while also sabotaging the mission from within. Back in Westchester, Kitty brings Douglock and Wolfsbane to Kitty & Doug's favorite pizza place. Oblivious to Douglock's protests, she orders Doug's favorite pizza, then is surprised once more when he explains he doesn't like it. Back on Muir Island, Nightcrawler and Moira manage to seal off the computer where the Xavier Protocols are held with a force field, which is enough of an obstacle to give Dani the cover she needs to pull the team out. In Westchester, Kitty, Douglock and Wolfsbane visit Doug Ramsey's childhood home, but when Kitty phases inside and sees that his parents have turned his old room into a den, she realizes they have moved on. This causes her to come to her senses, and she says goodbye to Doug once and for all before formally introducing herself to Douglock. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

X-amining Deadpool #1


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"Hey, It's Deadpool!"
January 1997

In a Nutshell
Deadpool battles Sasquatch and turns down a job from Zoe Culloden

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

Plot
In the Bolivian jungle, Deadpool steals a powerful energy cannon and turns it over to the general of the rebel army who hired him. However, when he is paid in rebel currency that will only have value when the rebels win, Deadpool kills them all and teleports away. The entire scene is watched by Zoe Culloden and Noah Dubois, who believe Deadpool might be the man they need; they decide to test him by arranging a job in Antarctica and making sure Deadpool's handler, Patch, assigns it to him. Arriving in a lab being run by Sasquatch, Deadpool attacks the superhero. Their fight causes the lab's gamma core to go into meltdown, but Deadpool is able to stop the disaster. Later, Zoe and Noah approach Deadpool and explain they need him for a mission with galactic stakes, one which will lead Deadpool to play an important role in creating paradise. Deadpool doubts this very much and turns down the mission, but Zoe remains convinced Deadpool is their man. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #8 - Patreon First

"Phoenix"
April 1987

In a Nutshell
A dying Jean Grey cuts a deal with Phoenix!

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton
Letters: Tom Orzechowski 
Colors: Glynis Oliver 
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
As Jean Grey pilots the space shuttle back to Earth, passing through a band of cosmic rays, the radiation pierces her telekinetic shields. Dying, a presence appears before her. Claiming to be a universal force representing all life, it offers to help save Jean and the X-Men - but at the cost of herself, as they would have to merge into one being. Jean worries that she won't be able to handle that kind of power, but knows she would do anything to save the X-Men, and agrees. The being begins to take on Jean's form and features, but a part of Jean refuses to give up, staying inside her dying body. The newly-humanoid energy being encases Jean's body in a protective cocoon to allow it to heal, then assumes its final form, calling itself Phoenix!

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