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

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

X-amining Star Trek/X-Men #1

"Star TreX"
December 1996

In a Nutshell
The X-Men meet the crew of the USS Enterprise!

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencilers: Marc Silvestri, Billy Tan, Anthony Winn, David Finch
Background Assists: Brian Ching
Inkers: Batt, D-Tron, Billy Tan, Aaron Sowd, Joe Weems
Ink Assists: Victor Llamas, Team Tron, Jose "Jag" Guillen, Viet Troung, Mike Manczarek
Letters: Dennis Heisler
Colors: Tyson Wingler, Steve Firchow, Jonathan D. Smith, Richard Isanove
Editor: Bobbie Chase
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
The USS Enterprise returns to Delta Vega, site of the death of former crew member Gary Mitchell. Drawn there by reports of a rift of psionic energy in space, they arrive just as a Shi'ar craft emerges from the rift. It is quickly destroyed by the anomaly, but a second larger ship soon emerges, out of which Gladiator flies, warning the Enterprise to stay away from the planet. Meanwhile, Wolverine reconnoiters the Enterprise, as he and the rest of the X-Men teleported onto the ship shortly before their Shi'ar vessel was destroyed. The X-Men hope to keep their presence a secret, but Doctor McCoy discovers Storm, Beast and Gambit in sick bay while Spock detects Jean Grey's telepathic scans and deduces the X-Men's hiding place. After a brief scuffle, he brings the X-Men to Captain Kirk. They tell Kirk that the other ship is under the control of Deathbird, who is tracking a powerful reality-altering mutant from their universe, Proteus. On Delta Vega, Proteus has taken control of the body of Gary Mitchell. Beaming down, the X-Men and Enterprise crew discover Proteus has transformed the planet into a replica of a Scottish village. Deathbird arrives, and offers Proteus use of their ship in exchange for an alliance. As the X-Men battle Proteus and the Imperial Guard, Jean and Captain Kirk enter Proteus' mind, convincing the remnants of Mitchell's consciousness that he needs to die again. As Bishop and Chief Engineer Scott find a way to re-channel the psionic rift's energy in order to close it, the rest of the X-Men and Enterprise crew destroy Proteus. Commandeering Deathbird's ship, the X-Men prepare to return home before the rift closes completely, telling Kirk and his crew they are grateful, for all the terrible futures they've known, to encounter one which seems hopeful. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

X-amining Classic X-Men #1

This review is free to read here and on Patreon, but for the rest of the series' reviews going forward, as well as already-completed reviews of every issue of X-Men 2099The Champions, and Ms. Marvel, as well as episodic reviews of X-Men: The Animated Series, become a Patron now for as little as $1.25 a month! 

"First Night"
September 1986

In a Nutshell
The new X-Men settle in while the original X-Men decided whether to stay or go. 

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

Plot
Following the new X-Men's successful rescue of the original X-Men, Professor X grapples with how he's going to integrate the two groups. He telepathically eavesdrops on his students, learning that Havok & Polaris plan to leave the group. Meanwhile, Cyclops finishes his after-action report, while Iceman confronts Banshee, Nightcrawler, and Colossus, angrily telling them they haven't earned the right to call themselves X-Men. Outside, Wolverine makes his attraction to Jean known, while Angel joins Storm in the skies above the mansion. But when he spots Wolverine talking to Jean, he swoops down, angrily separating them. A fight breaks out between Angel & Wolverine, which Storm and Jean do their best to stop. The next morning, after a sleepless night for both, Jean visits Professor X and tells him she's going to leave the X-Men as well, in part because of the attraction she feels towards Wolverine, but also to see more of the world and live a life amongst the humanity she's meant to protect. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

X-amining X-Force #61

"Ask Me No More Questions and I’ll Tell You No More Lies!"
December 1996

In a Nutshell
X-Force stops Mojo while Shatterstar's soul is transferred to Benjamin Russell. 

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Kevin Lau
Inker: Andrew Pepoy 
Letterer: RS & Comicraft
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Having been digitized by Mojo, Cable & Shatterstar are stuck in a holovid program depicting Shatterstar's final battle with Mojo 100 years in the future, during which Shatterstar suffers a mortal injury. Meanwhile, Mojo is absorbing all the ambient energy from the humans captivated by his broadcast, growing more powerful. In Mojoworld, Spiral approaches Longshot and X-Force, telling them she can help save Shatterstar. As the rest of X-Force and Longshot's rebellion fight to destroy Mojo's broadcasting capabilities, Spiral teleports Longshot and Spiral into the holovid program where they retrieve Cable & Shatterstar. Spiral then delivers them to the Weisman Institute, where Siryn brings them to the comatose Benjamin Russell. Longshot then performs a ritual in which Shatterstar's soul is placed in Benjamin's body, at which point he wakes up with all of Shatterstar's memories. On Mojoworld, X-Force stops Mojo's broadcast, then return home to their teammates, unaware that they're being watched from afar by Gamesmaster. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

X-amining Generation X #22

"All Hallows Eve"
December 1996

In a Nutshell
Generation X celebrates Halloween while Emma is visited by Nightmare!

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Al Vey & Scott Hanna 
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
In Rutland, Vermont, Banshee & Paige watch over Artie, Leech, and Franklin Richards as they participate in the town's Halloween celebration. Back at the school, Jubilee, Skin, Chamber, and Monet team-up to help prank a group of locals hoping to vandalize the school. Watching from afar, Emma is visited once again by Nightmare, who says he needs her help. Back in Rutland, Paige asks Banshee if he's ever sad about missing the childhood of Siryn, his daughter, and then Franklin comes up to them, saying he misses his mother and father. Paige, who also lost her father at a young age, helps him manage his grief. Meanwhile, Nightmare tells Emma he needs her help to regain control of his dream realm from a woman who has usurped him; Emma doesn't buy it, and he admits he really just wanted to make sure Emma wouldn't be able to help his rival. Emma assures him she is not capable of projecting corporeal forms into the nightmare realm. In Rutland, Banshee and Paige pack the exhausted boys into the car, and Artie creates a projection of what Siryn would have looked like at their age, his way of saying thank you. Back at the school, Nightmare visits Emma once more, and as his way of saying thanks, offers her a vision of what the future holds, dark events which will befall her students. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Patreon First: Classic X-Men, X:TAS Seasons 3-4, and Deadpool!

With the Ms. Marvel retrospective complete, it's time to turn to another batch of Chris Claremont stories I previously overlooked, the Classic X-Men backups! 

Paired with a reprint of X-Men from the early "All New, All Different" days, these backup stories, usually written by Claremont and drawn by John Bolton (but also featuring the first Jim Lee X-Men art!), were meant to take place in between those "main" stories, tying in (sometimes) chronologically or thematically to flesh out events in the reprinted story. In many cases, they had a more adult/sophisticated vibe to them, often featuring the characters out-of-costume and fighting more mundane foes (if fighting at all). Claremont also occasionally used them to retroactively seed later ideas he had developed into older stories (sometimes even in the form of pages added or revised within the original, reprinted tale, which I'll call out in the reviews as well, when relevant). My memory of the backup stories is that they vary wildly, from compelling and essential to silly and irrelevant, but they're something I've wanted to revisit and review for a long time. 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

X-amining Cable #38

"In Perspective"

December 1996


In a Nutshell

Cable, Domino, and Kane meet the Micronauts


Writer: Jeph Loeb

Penciler: Ian Churchill

Inkers: Vince Russell & Ian Hanna 

Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft AD

Colorist: Mike Thomas

Enhancements: Graphic Color Works

Editor: Mark Powers

Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras


Plot

Cable, Domino & Kane finds themselves transported into the Microverse aboard the mysterious ship they entered in their pursuit of Psycho-Man and the captive Vanessa. Inside the microscopic universe, they are attacked by warships sent by Psycho Man, but are rescued by the arrival of Commander Rann, Mari, and Bug, the remaining Micronauts. Rann explains that he sent the ship to Cable in order to find help on Earth to stop Psycho-Man's attempted conquest of the Microverse. Realizing Cable is allies with Rann's old friends the X-Men, the two groups agree to work together to stop Psycho Man and rescue Vanessa. Meanwhile, on Earth, G.W. Bridge arrives in San Francisco, still trying to track down Cable. Back in the Microverse,  Psycho-Man hopes to use Kane's cybernetics to augment his soldiers to aid his conquest, but when he realizes he's captured Vanessa, not Kane, he decides to use her to lure the real Kane to him. As Cable, Domino, Kane and the Micronauts attack Psycho-Man's base and his zombie soldiers, Cable's telepathic defenses falter, and Psycho-Man fills him with doubt. Kane, however, manages to breach the ship, only to be filled with hatred by Psycho-Man, hatred he directs towards Cable! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

X-amining X-Factor #129

"Playing with Fire"
December 1996

In a Nutshell
Mystique escapes as X-Factor deals with the returned Madrox. 

Writer: Howard Mackie
Art: Jeff Matsuda & Art Thibert
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft's KF
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Separations: American Color
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Val Cooper arrives at Fall's Edge, looking for the mutant X-Factor was sent out to capture; Forge and Polaris are furious they were sent after their old teammate Madrox. Val is stunned to learn Madrox is alive, but says if she doesn't produce him soon, the troops waiting outside will storm the building. But Madrox is being held at a safehouse by Wild Child & Shard. Mystique offers to pose as Madrox, and though Sabretooth is with the troops and can sense the ruse, he lets her pass. Once she's away, Mystique slips her restraints and escapes. While Forge & Polaris arrive at the safe house, Mystique meets up with Pyro, telling him the plan remains the same, they're just accelerating it. Meanwhile, Madrox explains how the Madrox who died of the Legacy Virus was just a dupe, but his death made the real Madrox amnesiac. Eventually, he was confronted by Havok, who wanted him to join his Brotherhood, but Madrox declined. He asks after Guido, and Polaris tells him if he can help her find Havok, she'll take him to Strong Guy. Just then, Forge learns of Mystique's escape, and though the team tracks her to where she met Pyro, the pair is gone, but they realize she intends to assassinate Graydon Creed. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

X-amining Marvel Two-in-One #51 & Marvel Fanfare #24 - Patreon First!

"Full House -- Dragons High!" / "Elegy
May 1979 / January 1986

In a Nutshell
Ms. Marvel joins a poker game and helps defend the SHIELD helicarrier, then returns to the game as Binary and gets caught up on some sad events. 

Writer: Peter Gillis / Chris Claremont
Penciler: Frank Miller / David Ross 
Inker: Bob McLeod / Bob Wiacek
Letters: Tom Orzechowski / Rick Parker
Colors: Glynis Wein / Bob Sharen
Editor: Roger Stern / Al Milgrom

Plot
Marvel Two-in-One #51: The Thing is hosting the first floating superhero poker game at Avengers Mansion, with Avengers Ms. Marvel, Wonder Man and Beast in attendance along with Nick Fury, D.A. Towers, and Jarvis. The game is cut short when Fury receives word that the SHIELD helicarrier is being attacked by agents of the Yellow Claw, led by General Pollock, who want to retrieve some of Yellow Claw's weaponry confiscated by SHIELD. The poker players leap into action and eventually take Pollock into custody, however, when they return to Avengers mansion, all but Wonder Man are too tired to continue their game.  

Marvel Fanfare #24: Carol Danvers, shortly after her transformation into Binary, brings Wolverine to Avengers Mansion for one of the Thing's floating poker games. After the new Captain Marvel arrives, Carol asks after her old friend Mar-Vell, only to learn he died of cancer. Shocked, she transforms into Binary and flies off. She visits Mar-Vell's grave, but finds herself unable to feel grief about his death as a result of her encounter with Rogue. Returning to Earth, she talks to Wolverine, telling her she's decided to leave her old life behind completely and leave Earth once and for all with the Starjammers. They say their goodbyes, then Carol flies off once more, to her new life amongst the stars. 

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

Monday, September 27, 2021

X-aminations in October 2021 & August 1996 Power Rankings


This monthly, we boldly go into a new era of cross-property crossovers, as Marvel uses the X-Men to get some eyes on their newly-acquired Star Trek license, and the first of several Marvel/Image crossover books arrives, as both companies put the past behind them in the name of wringing every last dollar possible out of a shrinking market. 

On Sale October 1996
October 6: Generation X #22
October 7: X-Force #61

October 13: Star Trek/X-Men

October 20: Black Knight: Exodus #1 
October 21: Excalibur #104

October 27: Generation X '96
October 28: X-Force/Youngblood #1

Thursday, September 23, 2021

X-amining Wolverine #108

"East is East..."
December 1996

In a Nutshell
Wolverine & Pale Flower escape from jail and team-up to rescue Yukio & Amiko! 

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Anthony Winn 
Inks: Dan Green & Vince Russell
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft's Kolja Fuchs
Colors: Joe Rosas
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
As Wolverine and Pale Flower sit in jail, the Iron Monk attacks and proves difficult for the guards to stop given his invincibility against all mortal weapons. However, Yohei, an agent of Clan Yashida, arrives and gives Wolverine the Clan Yashida honor sword, a gift from Silver Samurai. Forged from a meteorite, Wolverine is able to kill the Iron Monk with it, and escape from jail along with Yohei and Pale Flower. Elsewhere, Akatora continues to brainwash Amiko while receiving news from the noodle vendor of the Iron Monk's failure. At the docks, Yohei reveals he is more than a simple courier by defeating a gang of thugs; Pale Flower, displaying some telepathic abilities, reveals that he is Clan Yashida's secret weapon. Meanwhile, Akatora learns the noodle vendor has been sharing information with the FBI; he sends his agents to kill him, but they fail. As Pale Flower and Yohei agree to help Wolverine rescue Yukio and Amiko, Akatora decides to send his cybernetic ninjas against both Wolverine and the noodle vendor. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #59

"Touched"
December 1996

In a Nutshell
Cyclops goes to the movies while Hercules visits the X-Mansion. 

Story: Scott Lobdell
Script: Ralph Macchio 
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Art Thibert
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft AD
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Enhancement: Graphic Colorworks
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
In the aftermath of his recent encounter with his brother, Cyclops is watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington at by himself at a theater, until Jean finds him. Meanwhile, Hercules arrives at the X-Mansion, seeking out surviving Avengers. Quicksilver is brooding by the lake, and Wolverine tries to help him deal with the loss of his wife and sister. Later, Quicksilver encounters Joseph, and angrily reminds him of all the lives he ruined as Magneto before running off. At Graydon Creed's campaign headquarters, the undercover Iceman worries about his father, who was arrested for speaking out against Creed, while Cannonball has a strange conversation with Creed about his parents. Back at the X-Mansion, Quicksilver leaves with Hercules, who cautions him not to hold grudges. At the theater, Cyclops and Jean discuss Professor X and conclude that Xavier never took the time to appreciate the simple things in life, while Cyclops and Jean at least have each other. With Xavier gone, it's up to them to carry on his dream. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

X-amining Avengers #200 - Patreon First!

"The Child is Father to ... ?
October 1980

In a Nutshell
Ms. Marvel gives birth to the son of Immortus, who also impregnated her, then leaves Earth to live with him in Limbo.  

Plot: Jim Shooter, George Perez, Bob Layton, David Michelinie 
Writer: David Michelinie
Penciler: George Perez
Inker: Dan Green
Letters: John Costanza
Colors: Ben Sean
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
After just three days of pregnancy, Ms. Marvel gives birth. Though the Avengers are overjoyed at the prospect, Ms. Marvel feels used, having no memory of the child's conception, and wants nothing to with the boy. Within hours, the infant grows and becomes a young man who calls himself Marcus, and sets about building some kind of machine. Meanwhile, all over New York, time displaced elements like dinosaurs and medieval knights begin to appear, terrorizing the city. As the Avengers do their best to fight back against the time-tossed elements, Hawkeye comes to suspect Marcus' machine is responsible for the time fluctuations, and destroys it. Dismayed, Marcus tells the Avengers his story: the son of Immortus, lord of the time-lost realm of Limbo, he craved an escape after the Avengers prevented Kang from ever becoming Immortus, thereby leaving Marcus alone. He proceeded to kidnap Ms. Marvel and after his attempts to woo her proved unsuccessful, used devices at his disposal to make her love him, at which point he conceived himself then sent her back to Earth moments after she left, with no memory of the encounter. On Earth, he quickly grew, but his presence caused disruptions in time, disruptions the now-destroyed machine he was building would have averted. But now he must return to Limbo or risk the destruction of all existence; Ms. Marvel, unsure of her feelings for him, decides to join him, and Thor uses his hammer to transport them both back to Limbo. With Marcus gone, the time displaced elements disappear, and the Avengers are left to wonder if they made the right decision in letting Ms. Marvel go. 

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

Thursday, September 16, 2021

X-amining X-Man #22

"Falling Up"
December 1996

In a Nutshell
Nate & Threnody start building a life for themselves. 

Writer: Terry Kavanagh
Pencilers: Roger Cruz & Manny Clark
Inkers: LaRosa & Geiger
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
After an arsonist sets fire to a tenement, Nate rescues the people trapped inside, then captures the arsonist and telepathically makes him feel the terror he instilled in his victims. Later, he arrives in Washington Square Park, where Threnody is capitalizing on his recent appearances there as a kind of street healer to make some money. As he helps a young mother realize the inner strength to help her son battle cancer, he feels like he's being watched. Elsewhere, Bastion is monitoring the return to Earth of the Silver Surfer as well as the Hellfire Club, while Selene introduces Madelyne to Sebastian Shaw, saying she is the means to deliver the X-Men to the Hellfire Club. Later, Nate & Threnody go shopping, then settle into an apartment, whose owner is away long-term. With his time running out, Nate tells Threnody he wants to know all about her. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #339

"Fight and Flight!"
December 1996

In a Nutshell
The X-Men battle Havok and his new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencilers: Adam Kubert & Cedric Nocon
Inkers: Jesse Delperdang & Scott Hanna
Letters: Richard Starking & Comicraft/KF
Colors: Steve Buccellato & Team Bucce
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Spider-Man visits the X-Mansion to warn the team that J. Jonah Jameson is investigating Graydon Creed's campaign, and is worried he might become a target as a result. Later, Mystique watches one of Creed's appearances on TV, plotting her assassination attempt. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Beast board a plane at JFK airport; Jameson is aboard as well, and they're hoping to keep an eye on him while Storm and Joseph follow in the Blackbird. In London, reporter Nick Bandouveris anxiously awaits Jameson's arrival; having learned the truth about Creed's parentage, he worries for his life. As Storm tries to explain Cable's history to Joseph, another vehicle appears above Jameson's passenger plane. Havok, leading a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, blasts the top off the plane and tells Jameson the Brotherhood doesn't need his help stopping Creed. Cyclops attacks his brother, their fight spilling out into the open skies. Joseph manages to use his power to land the plane safely, while Storm saves Cyclops after Havok teleports away, but Jameson is left pondering the apparent presence of Magneto fighting alongside the X-Men. Back in London, Nick is killed by Bastion, who needs Creed to continue playing his part for the success of Operation: Zero Tolerance and can't risk his heritage becoming public and ending his political career. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

X-amining Marvel Super-Heroes (vol. 2) #11 - Patreon First!

 "Cry Vengeance"
September 1992

In a Nutshell
Ms. Marvel tries to track down Mystique, battling the Hellfire Club and Brotherhood of Evil Mutants along the way!

Writers: Chris Claremont, Simon Furman
Pencilers: Mike Vosburg, Mike Gustovich
Inkers: Mike Vosburg, Mike Gustovich
Letters: Jim Novak
Colors: Heidi Goodhue
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
With the help of Iron Man and a device from Reed Richards, Ms. Marvel learns that a shapeshifter named Mystique killed Michael Barnett. At Barnett's funeral, Carol's seventh sense delivers another vision of her impending death, of being buried in an avalanche before bursting into flames. Later still, Ms. Marvel traces Mystique to the offices of an air freight company. There, she discovers the head of the company, Paul Coelho, is an arms dealer, and observes him meeting with members of the Hellfire Club. When she's discovered, she's attacked by Donald Pierce & Harry Leland, escaping when Leland uses his power to drop her into the sewers. Later, as Carol Danvers, she becomes friendly with Coelho on a flight to Hong Kong, hoping to track him to Mystique. Meanwhile, following a vision from her companion Destiny, Mystique sends her agents Pyro & Avalanche to kill Ms. Marvel once and for all. They attack her in Hong Kong, and though she survives their attack, when she confronts Coelho, she discovers him dead, killed by Sebastian Shaw for double-selling his arms to both the Hellfire Club and Mystique's Brotherhood. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Marvel disappears from Destiny's sight, but when she emerges, Mystique's daughter Rogue attacks her. During their fight, Rogue unintentionally steal's Ms. Marvel's powers and memories, leaving her to be rescued by Spider-Woman. Afterwards, she works with Professor X to regain some measure of her memories before being transformed into the cosmic Binary and living amongst the stars. 

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

Thursday, September 9, 2021

X-amining Excalibur #103

"Bend Sinister Reprise"
November 1996

In a Nutshell
Shadowcat, Colossus, and Nightcrawler are confronted with manifestations of their darker selves by Belasco

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Carlos Pacheco
Inkers: Scott Koblish & Bob Wiacek 
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Colorist: Ariane Lenshoek
Editor: Matt Idelson
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Kitty, Nightcrawler and Colossus wake up in a village populated by no one except alternate versions of themselves. Exploring the village, Kitty realizes they are all darker alternate selves, representing the sides of themselves they try to repress. As the three teammates make their way through the town, they come to realize they are trapped in Limbo, and only emerge once they've affirmed the attributes which have enabled them to survive all the darkness they've faced recently. They begin to fade away, much to Belasco's delight, who had been watching alongside a captive Margali, the three heroes having endured the test he administered to them ahead of a likely confrontation. Back on Muir Island, the rest of Excalibur is relieved to have their missing teammates home, and Wisdom declares his love for Kitty. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

X-amining Pryde and Wisdom #1-3

"Mystery School" / "Mystery Walk" / "Mystery Train"
September - November 1996

In a Nutshell
Kitty Pryde and Pete Wisdom investigate a serial killer mutant who fossilizes his victims. 

Writer; Warren Ellis
Artists: Terry Dodson & Karl Story (issue #1), Dodson & Aaron Lopresti (issues #2-3)
Inkers: Lopresti, Pinnco, Simmons, Martin
Letterer: RS & Comicraft
Colorist: Ariane Lenshoek 
Enhancements: Malibu
Editor: Matt Idelson
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Issue #1: On their way to meet with Jardin, an old associate of Pete Wisdom's, Kitty Pryde and Wisdom are attacked. After foiling the attempted assassination, they meet with Jardin, who asks them to find his daughter Amanda, a journalist who has gone undercover trying to find a mutant serial killer who fossilizes his victims. They proceed to meet with the Mystery School, a subset of the police department tasked with investigating occult cases, passing one of their members, Gideon, on the way in. Examining the body of one of the victims, Pryde & Wisdom discover a series of strange symbols carved into the bones; reluctantly, Wisdom tells Kitty his family might be able to help them. On their way, they are attacked again, this time directly by the killer, but escape once more, their actions observed by a shadowy woman who declares they must die. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

X-amining Marvel Super-Heroes (vol. 2) #10 - Patreon First!

"Sabretooth Stalks the Subway"
July 1992

In a Nutshell
Ms. Marvel battles Sabretooth!

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Mike Vosburg
Inker: Mike Vosburg
Letters: Jim Novak
Colors: Heidi Goodhue
Editor-in-Chief: Archie Goodwin

Plot
At Avengers Mansion, new member Ms. Marvel participates in a training session overseen by Iron Man. Meanwhile, Sabretooth is being transferred by SHIELD to the Canadian government, who hope to use him to track down Wolverine. After the training session, Carol tries to contact Michael Barnett, unaware that he has been murdered. She proceeds to have lunch with her agent and accountant, married couple John and Nancy, but their meal is interrupted by a crashing SHIELD transport, the one carrying Sabretooth. When she realizes Sabretooth has escaped, Carol transforms into Ms. Marvel and follows the villain into the subway. They engage in a savage fight, with Sabretooth's recuperative abilities keeping him standing against Ms. Marvel's raw power. Eventually, she manages to knock him out and turn him over to SHIELD custody, at which point her seventh sense activates, giving her a foreboding image of Mystique. 

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

Friday, September 3, 2021

X-amining Ms. Marvel #23 - Patreon First!

"The Woman Who Fell to Earth"
April 1979

In a Nutshell
Ms. Marvel teams up with Vance Astro to battle the Faceless One!

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Mike Vosburg
Inker: Bruce D. Patterson
Letters: Diana Albers
Colors: George Roussos 
Editors: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
After returning from a date with Sam Adams, Carol Danvers is stunned when her old friend Salia Petrie shows up at her door, having believed Salia to have died during a space mission. Carol is even more surprised when Salia attacks her, knocking her out. Carol wakes up aboard the Guardians of the Galaxy's space station Drydock, a prisoner of the Faceless One, who saved Salia's life in order to use her to bring Carol to the Faceless One so he can control her power. Managing to escape the environmental test chamber the Faceless One used to brainwash Salia, Carol transforms into Ms. Marvel and meets the Guardians' leader, Vance Astro, the only Guardian present. They team up to take down the Faceless One. When Ms. Marvel manages to destroy the Faceless One's android body with liquid coolant, he flees, but Vance prevents him from leaving with Salia. Vance then uses his mental powers to restore Salia's mind, after which Ms. Marvel reveals her secret identity to her friend, promising to take her home. 

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

Thursday, September 2, 2021

X-amining X-Force #60

"I Know YOU Are But What Am I?"
November 1996

In a Nutshell
X-Force tries to rescue Cable & Shatterstar from Mojo.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Anthony Castrillo 
Inker: Bud LaRosa
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
On Mojoworld, Mojo attempts to brainwash the captive Shatterstar & Cable. Meanwhile, Longshot brings X-Force to Doctor Strange to get his help traveling to Mojoworld. In Miami, Risque, eager to find Warpath, is confronted by Blob, Mimic, and their mysterious leader. In Mojoworld, Longshot X-Force meets up with Dazzler and her fellow rebels, then helps them storm Mojo's castle. But they find it curiously empty, save for a single television playing the "Cable and Shatterstar Show". Longshot explains that they've been digitized, and won't survive in that form for long. What's worse, humans watching the show on Earth become entranced, much to the delight of Mojo, who wants to make the entire world his captive audience.   

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

X-amining Generation X #21

"To Live and Die and Molt in LA"
November 1996

In a Nutshell
Skin visits his own grave while his classmates take a test.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inker: Joe Pimentel
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
At Xavier's school, Beast administers a mid-term exam in Xenobiology; Penance sneaks into the classroom and tries to take the test as well, while Beast insists that Monet remain in class despite having already completed the test. In Los Angeles, Howard the Duck and Chamber start a bar fight to draw the attention of gang leader Tores. At the school, Monet enters another fugue state, drawing Beast's attention, while Sean and Emma discuss his teaching methods. In LA, Skin's mother arrives at the cemetery where he is supposed to be buried; she is comforted in her grief by an old man. Back at the school, Monet awakens; when Beast asks her if she has these spells often, she says no, but her classmates disagree. In LA, Tores arrives at Skin's grave, cursing him for dying. The old man watches her leave, then Chamber and Howard emerge as the old man removes his disguise. Skin goes to his own grave, and Chamber asks if he's going to tell them what's going on and why he asked them to keep Tores busy; Skin says no. Back at the school, Beast meets with Emma and Sean, and tells them he thinks Monet is autistic. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

X-aminations in September 2021 & July 1996 Power Rankings


A relatively straightforward month, as most series continue to deal with the fallout from "Onslaught"/lead-up to "Operation: Zero Tolerance" and/or continue the stories they began last month as they moved out of the crossover's shadow. 

September 1: Generation X #21
September 2: X-Force #60

September 8: Pryde & Wisdom #1-3
September 9: Excalibur #103

On Sale October 1996
September 15: Uncanny X-Men #339
September 16: X-Man #22

September 22: X-Men (vol. 2) #59
September 23: Wolverine #108

September 29: X-Factor #129
September 30: Cable #38

Monday, August 30, 2021

G. I. JOE #54 - December 1986 (The Commercial, Not the Comic)

 


Cobra's got the right materials

Cobra's got the perfect home

Cobra Terror Drome (Cobra Terror Drome)

Cobra's got a threat more evil

than G.I. Joe has ever known

Cobra Terror Drome  (Cobra Terror Drome)

G.I. Joe - A Real American Hero

Thursday, August 26, 2021

X-amining Cable #37

"True Lies"

November 1996


In a Nutshell

Cable & Domino reunite with Kane & Vanessa as they're targeted by Psycho Man


Writer: Jeph Loeb

Penciler: Ian Churchill

Inker: Scott Hanna 

Letterer: RS/Comicraft/AD

Colorist: Mike Thomas

Separations: Graphic Color Works

Editor: Bob Harras


Plot

G.W. Bridge leads a SHIELD contingent into the Weapon X facility in Canada, which has been abandoned and its files ransacked, which Bridge worries may mean someone is targeting former Weapon X subjects, including his former colleague Kane. Meanwhile, Cable and Domino arrive in San Francisco and head to an old theater where they find Kane and Vanessa. Kane explains how the pair tried to live a normal life, but someone found out they were mutants and targeted them, burning the theater. Now, Kane wants Cable to use his telepathic abilities to find whomever did it. However, all four begin acting strangely towards one another: Domino & Vanessa begin to feel intense rage towards each other, while Kane becomes wracked with doubt and Cable with fear. Just then, the cause of their heightened emotions emerges: the villain Psycho Man, who is seeking Kane's bionic parts in the hopes that the future technology will help him conquer a universe. He then disappears with Kane, and shortly thereafter, a massive ship suddenly appears in the theater announcing it's programmed to find Kane. As Cable & Domino debate boarding it, Kane appears, revealing the "Kane" with whom Psycho Man absconded was Vanessa in disguise. Vowing not to abandon her, he enters the ship, followed by Cable & Domino. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

X-amining X-Factor #128

"Night of the Hounds"
November 1996

In a Nutshell
Jamie Madrox returns as Forge finds himself questioning X-Factor's purpose. 

Writer: Howard Mackie
Penciler: Jeff Matsuda
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft's KF
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
In Georgia, a group of locals are hunting some masked mutant fugitives through the wood until X-Factor arrives and takes over the chase, citing jurisdiction over the matter. Though Forge is dismayed to have X-Factor tasked with hunting down their own people, he oversees the team as they split up to track down the fugitives. Meanwhile, in New York, Graydon Creed receives a warning from Bastion's aide Harper to not deviate from their plans for him, as he did recently when he had the Friends of Humanity target Mystique. Back in Georgia, Shard and Mystique each capture one of the fugitives. A third is spotted by Polaris, and he's relieved, because he believes she will listen to him. However, Polaris simply knocks him out from afar, not in the mood to talk. Elsewhere, Wild Child and Sabretooth corner the fourth fugitive. Forge catches up to them, and the fugitive taunts him about what he and X-Factor have become. He then hits his hands together, and three more of him appear. He removes his mask, and Forge is stunned to realize X-Factor has been hunting Jamie Madrox.