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

Monday, May 20, 2019

Game of Thrones 8x05: The Bells


Opening Credits Map

Last Hearth -> Winterfell -> King's Landing

Who is the tyrant? The tyrant or the tyrant who opposes the tyrant? Beware of those who seek to overthrow oppressors for they just want to be oppressors themselves. Nobody wants to balance the scales they only want to tip the scales in their favor. Do not aid those who fight against injustice and inequality because you don't know what kind of injustice and inequality they will create.

You, on the right side of the scales. Do not help those on the wrong side of the scales for they will simply turn on you the first opportunity they get. And you, on the wrong side of the scales. Be happy. Be happy with your tyrant for they are known and the unknown is much scarier.

Also, bitches be crazy, yo! Amiright?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

X-amining Age of Apocalypse Ashcan & Year of the Mutants: Collector's Edition

December 1994

Firsts and Other Notables 
The Year of the Mutants Collectors Preview, is a magazine-style look at "Age of Apocalypse", mixing creator interviews, previews, and in-universe information. The articles include one on the AoA costume designs, excerpts from AoA Magneto’s journal, a Scott Lobdell interview, an update on the X-Men animated series, a look at the world of AoA in terms of its geography, a Fabian Nicieza article, "Blast From the Past", a look at the stories which inspired "Legion Quest" and "Age of Apocalypse" (like Uncanny #161), an interview with John Francis Moore, and the "X Files": excerpts from Professor Xavier's journal in which he analyzes various characters.

The ashcan issue is a more overtly promotional item, which presents the cover of the first issue of each of the X-titles along with a bit of text that segues into the name of the title replacing it, then lists all the "Age of Apocalypse" titles at the end.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #19 - Patreon First!


"Co-Dependent Behavior"
April 1995

In a Nutshell
Desdemona retaliates against Halloween Jack as Krystalin frees Billy the Kid.

Writer: John Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Harry Candelario
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Bobbie Chase

Plot
In New Mexico, Cerebra regains consciousness moments before the bomb Xi'an left is set to detonate, and she manages to get Fitz & Luna out before the base explodes. In Las Vegas, Desdemona reveals she's transformed her brother Lytton into a hulking brute whose actions she can control via a neural spike. She sends Lytton out to trash one of Halloween Jack's casino, drawing him into a confrontation. During the ensuing fight, Meanstreak realizes Lytton is being controlled, and tracks down Desdemona, breaking her connection. As punishment, Halloween Jack declares he's going to leave the siblings along together in the high desert. Meanwhile, Krystalin breaks Billy the Kid out of a holding facility, though she has to go through one of her brother's lieutenants to do so. Elsewhere, the unearthed giant robot begins its grim march.

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


Monday, May 13, 2019

G. I. JOE # 18 - December 1983 (The Commercial, Not the Comic)


Destro's got a plan
He's an evil man
The terrifying enemy of G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe a real American hero
Fighting Cobra and Destro

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Game of Thrones 8x04: The Last of the Starks


Opening Credits Map

Last Hearth -> Winterfell -> King's Landing

Winterfell
The battle against the Night King and his army of the undead is over. Winterfell still stands, barely. Daenerys still has two dragons and an army (diminished but still strong) behind her. All she needs to do is march down to King's Landing and take out Cersei. Should be smooth sailing, right? Well...if you think that then you haven't been watching Game of Thrones very long.

We start at a mass funeral pyre. We see rows of bodies waiting to be burned. I believe they're sectioned off by army. Jon Snow makes a pretty good speech about the sacrifice they made and the gratitude the entire world owes them. Then the fires are lit.

At first I thought the respective leaders of each army/family was doing the lighting. Like, Daenerys lit Jorah and, I believe, the Dothraki. Tormund lit the wildlings. Sansa burned Theon and presumably Winterfell. Jon Snow was burning the Mormonts but since that line is over it kind of made sense he did it. But then Sam and Arya are out there and I know they had personal connections to Edd and Beric respectively but I'm not sure who they're burning with those people and if they're the best ones to do it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

X-amining X-Men: Alpha #1

"Beginnings..."
March 1995

In a Nutshell
The Age of Apocalypse begins.

Story: Scott Lobdell
Dialogue: Mark Waid
Pencils: Roger Cruz w/Steve Epting
Inks: Tim Townsend w/Dan Panosian
Letters: Starkings w/the Comicraftsmen
Colors: Steve Buccellato w/the Electric Crayons
Editor: Bob Harras
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the wake of a culling in Seattle, a hooded figure is attacked by Prelate Unus and a squad of Infinites, soldiers of Apocalypse. The man is rescued by the timely arrival of Magneto and his X-Men. When the hooded figure, who turns out to be Bishop, recognizes Magneto, he attacks, telling Magneto the world is twisted and it's all his fault. Meanwhile, in Apocalypse's pens, Prelate Summers, called Havok, puts down one of Beast's experiments gone mad, after which Cyclops admonishes Beast for continuing his experiments despite the terms of the Kelly Pact. Just then, the Summer brothers' father, Mr. Sinister, appears, and pulls Cyclops aside. He tells Cyclops that he'll soon be leaving, and that Cyclops will have to face what's coming alone. Nearby, nightclub owner Angel meets with Gambit, who is looking for the location of the X-Men's base. At the X-Mansion, Rogue & Magneto visit with their son Charles before continuing the questioning of Bishop. Elsewhere, Apocalypse convenes a meeting of his Horsemen, while in London, Weapon X & Jean Grey meet with the Human High Council, delivering information given to them by Sinister. At the X-Mansion, Rogue & Magneto use their powers in tandem on Bishop, enabling them to see his memories of a reality like hers, but different. Just then, Gambit, having snuck inside, breaks the connection, believing Rogue to be in danger. In the wake of viewing Bishop's memories, Magneto dispatches Nightcrawler to find his mother, Mystique, while telling Gambit he has a mission for him as well. Meanwhile, Apocalypse discovers Mr. Sinister has fled, but Holocaust assures him operatives have already been dispatched to bring him back. At the X-Mansion, Magneto tells Rogue they have much to do, unaware that a new force is slowly but inexorably making its way toward Earth.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #18 - Patreon First!

"Free Radical Chic"
March 1995

In a Nutshell
Krystalin meets the Free Radicals as Halloween Jack strengthens his hold on Las Vegas.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Harry Candelario
Ink Assists: Hector Collazo
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
60s Causality: Joey Cavalieri
90s Chief: Bobbie Chase

Plot
In search of her brother, Krystalin breaks into the Free Radicals' base, but is captured by one of them, Instant Karma. At Zhao's facility, the shadowy figures teleport away the frozen would-be X-Men, at which point Cerebra wakes up, sensing their presence. She attacks one of them who is trying to abscond with the comatose Zhao, but is knocked out, after which her assailant removes his mask to reveal it is Xi'an, who then teleports away, leaving behind a bomb. Back in Berkeley, Krystalin is brought before the assembled Free Radicals, whose leader, Trance, tells Krystalin she will break Billy the Kid out of the Panther's custody, or else Trance will use her power to force Krystalin's brother to kill himself. In Las Vegas, Halloween Jack takes control of the casino syndicate's finances, then releases Desdemona Synge, telling Meanstreak he's going to bring a new dimension to Las Vegas. Later, Desdemona visits her drug-addled brother Lytton, giving him an injection, telling him it'll give him the means to grind Halloween Jack into dust.

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

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #92

"The Dream"
February 1985

In a Nutshell
The Star Warriors help free a planet being subjugated by an apprentice of Darth Vader.

Plot & Script: Jo Duffy
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inks: Tom Mandrake
Colors: G. Wein
Letters: R. Parker
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Luke awakens from a recurring dream in which he's haunted by Darth Vader in order to attend a meeting of the Alliance high command, where Admiral Ackbar discusses the disturbing reports of recent Imperial activity. Shortly thereafter, a lone starfighter lands on Endor, piloted by Denin, who says he is the sole survivor of the royal house on the planet Naldar. His world under Imperial occupation, he requests that Luke train him in the ways of the Force. Luke, unsure he can teach anyone, refuses, but Ackbar approves sending a recon mission with Denin, consisting of Luke, Leia, Han, Lando, Chewbacca, the droids and Barney, a young Alliance cadet from Belderone hoping to find his childhood friend Flint on the nearby Naldar. On the way to the planet, Luke experiences a vision in which Yoda, Obi-Wan & Anakin Skywalker explain that his dreams of Vader represent the rising of a new dark power.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Unstacking the Deck: Marvel Flair Annual '95

Fleer 1995

Vital Statistics
150 card (including the checklist card) plus a 12 card Chromium card chase set, a three card foil-enhanced Duo Card chase set (featuring cards with mirrored art on both sides of the card, ie Spider-Man & Scarlet Spider), a 10 card Flair Print chase set, a 12 card HoloBlast chase set in which each card features a battle (ie Wolverine vs. Cyber) in which one of the two combatants is holographic, and a 24 card Power Blast chase set.

Card layout and approach is the same as the initial Flair Annual set, and like that set, these cards are printed on thicker card stock, with foil-enhanced writing on the fronts, featuring re-used artwork culled from covers and interior pages of comics both within the covered year and without, with computer-enhanced backgrounds augmenting the sampled artwork.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #17 - Patreon First!

"Strange Daze"
February 1995

In a Nutshell
Halloween Jack makes his move in Las Vegas while Krystalin gets caught up in family drama.

Writer: John Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Harry Candelario
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Lead Singer: Bobbie Chase

Plot
Meanstreak & Halloween Jack arrive in Las Vegas, and confront Desdemona Synge, but she calls for help in the form of the Rat Pack. In Oakland, Krystalin's brother Zak urges her to leave the X-Men and join his Soldiers of the Panther, but they are interrupted by Daze, an agent of the Free Radicals, who kidnaps Zak and demands the release of a prisoner named Billy the Kid. In Vegas, Meanstreak & Halloween Jack defeat the Rat Pack, then Halloween Jack touches Desdemona in order to replicate her physical form, at which point he uses her palm print to transfer her casino resources to him. Elsewhere, Bloodhawk returns from the Savage Land and reunites with Liebowitz, then leaves to return to his desert home. In Oakland, the Panthers ask Krystalin to let them handle Zak's kidnapping themselves, but she decides to investigate anyway. With the help of an old family friend named Havana, she tracks down the location of the Free Radicals' base. Meanwhile, Cerebra tells Fitz that she's managed to stop the cellular degeneration of Zhao's X-Men. After she leaves the room, three shadowy figures teleport inside, on orders to bring the frozen X-Men to the Director.

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

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

X-aminations in May 2019 & December 1994 Power Rankings


Reality has been wiped clean; now it's time for the Age of Apocalypse!

After another trading card set and some additional promotional material, of course.

May 1: Unstacking the Deck: Marvel Flair Annual '95

On Sale January 1995
May 8: X-Men Alpha #1

May 15: X-Men - Year of the Mutants Collectors Preview

May 22:  X-Men Chronicles #1

May 29: Astonishing X-Men #1
May 30: Factor X #1
May 31: Weapon X #1

Monday, April 29, 2019

G. I. JOE # 16 - October 1983 (The Commercial, Not the Comic)


Major Bludd is a dangerous foe
Trained by Destro,
the enemy of G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe a real American hero
Fighting Cobra and Destro

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Game of Thrones 8x02: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms



Opening Credits Map

Last Hearth -> Winterfell -> King's Landing

Winterfell
Well, I hope you like Winterfell because we're going to be staying here for a while. I also hope you like dialogue because there's not going to be any action. And I hope you like character reunions because there's plenty of those. I also hope you like discussions on who characters were, how they've changed, and the long road it took for them to get where they are because if you do, this is the episode for you!

Let's get started. We first start with Jaime standing trial in front Daenerys, Sansa, and Jon Snow. Daenerys is pissed at him for killing her father (even though he was insane) and Sansa is pissed that he attacked Ned Stark. They're both pissed he didn't bring a Lannister army with him.

Bran is there too. However, he doesn't spill what he knows. Jaime says he regrets nothing and would do it all over again. Way to have introspection and improve yourself Jaime.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

To Better Know a Hero 2.0: The Avengers


There's a little film called Avengers: Endgame coming out this week (maybe you've heard of it?); I wrote a To Better Know A Team post for the Avengers ahead of the first movie, all the way back in 2012, so I figured they were due for an update. But I'm going to try a different approach by highlighting some specific areas of history/lore. If people seem to like this, I may do something similar for other characters/teams in the future.

Top 5 Avengers Characters Without Their Own Solo Series

(For the purposes of this exercise, I'm excluding Hawkeye from consideration on the basis of his run in Solo Avengers and his recent solo series, but if you think that shouldn't make him ineligible, then consider him #1 on this list).

Friday, April 26, 2019

X-amining Cable #20

"An Hour of Last Things"
February 1995

In a Nutshell
As the crystallization wave approaches, the X-Men confront the impending end of reality.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Guest Artist: Ian Churchill
Guest Inkers: Bud LaRosa with Barta & Carani
Lettering: Starkings/Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Editor: Lisa Patrick
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Cable returns from the past, uncertain what happened. Xavier uses his telepathy to confirm that Cable made contact with the X-Men in the past and warned them about Legion, but there's little left for the X-Men to do in the present but wait. Lilandra contacts Xavier, telling him about galaxies being obliterated by the M'Kraan Crystal, and warning him that the crystallization wave will hit Earth in about an hour. With their apparent end near, Cyclops & Phoenix decide to tell Cable they were Redd & Slym, the couple who raised him, something Cable admits to having figured out already. He then goes to Domino, and they declare their feelings for one another before kissing. As the crystallization wave approaches, Xavier gathers the X-Men around him, telling him he will miss them all terribly. With that, reality crystallizes, then shatters, and Xavier's dream of peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants dies with it.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

X-amining Avengers #47-49 - Patreon First!

"Magneto Walks the Earth!" / "The Black Knight Lives Again!" / "Mine is the Power!"
Dec 1967 - Feb 1968

In a Nutshell
Magneto returns to Earth and sets about reuniting his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Writer: Roy Thomas
Pencils: John Buscema, George Tuska (issue #48)
Inks: George Tuska
Letterer: L.P. Gregory (issue #47), Artie Simek
Editor: Stan Lee

Plot
Issue #47: Magneto & Toad return to Earth thanks to the inadvertent efforts of scientist Dane Whitman, nephew of the criminal Black Knight. Magneto quickly overpowers Dane and his lab assistant, taking Dane's castle for himself, then sends a coded message to Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch, determined to reunite his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. When Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch learn Magneto has returned, they attack him, but Magneto easily overpowers & captures both. Issue #48:  Donning his uncle's old gear and winged horse, Dane escapes from Magneto, intent on warning the Avengers about his return. But the Avengers, thinking Dane is his uncle, attack him. Eventually, he convinces the Avengers he's not his uncle, and takes them to his castle, only to discover that Magneto has abandoned it. Issue #49: Magneto brings Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch to an island he's raised in the Atlantic, telling them he intends to petition the UN to make the place a sanctuary for mutants. Wary of Magneto but intrigued by the idea, Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch agree to go with him to the UN. There, his petition is denied, and when the UN attempts to throw him out, he attacks. The Avengers arrive and join the fight, during which Scarlet Witch is grazed in the head by a bullet fired by one of the UN guards. Unbeknowst to Quicksilver, Magneto directed the path of the bullet, as this was his plan all along: trigger a confrontation that would ensure Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch's loyalty. Enraged that humans tried to murder his sister, Quicksilver renounces the Avengers, and retreats with her alongside Magneto, who tells him he is once more Quicksilver's true friend.  tells him he is once more Quicksilver's true friend.

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

X-amining Generation X #4

"Between the Cracks"
February 1995

In a Nutshell
Banshee and the kids battle the Orphan Maker

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inks: Mark Buckingham
Letterer: Starkings & his Craftsmen
Hues: The Bucce and his Crayons
Head Reindeer: Bob Harras
Santa's Favorite Helper: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Attempting to take a field trip, Banshee, M, Skin, Synch & Jubilee are waylaid by a police roadblock. Nearby, a disfigured boy named Eliot has taken a teacher and some students hostage at a local school which refused to allow him to attend on account of being a mutant, prompting the police standoff which closed the roads. At Xavier's School, Chamber attempts to make friends with Penance, while Paige studies the Grotto's schematics. Meanwhile, the rest of Generation X arrive outside the hostage situation. As M and Skin keep an eye on the cops, Jubilee works her way into the crowd and decides to sneak into the school, while Synch attempts to lock onto Eliot with his power. Instead, he draws out the Orphan Maker, waiting nearby to kill Eliot's parents. As the rest of the group battles Orphan Maker, Jubilee gets inside the school, just as Eliot lets all the kids free, the teacher having died, his heart giving out from the excitement. Jubilee realizes he's just a scared kid, and Synch confirms he's not even a mutant. Orphan Maker, disgusted by Eliot's parents failing to fight for him, breaks off the fight, deciding Eliot is already functionally an orphan. Skin notes the irony of Eliot being treated like a mutant without having any of the benefits, as Banshee insists Eliot was one of them, albeit one who fell between the cracks, just as reality crystallizes around them.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #16 - Patreon First!

"Scary Monsters"
January 1995

In a Nutshell
Loki transforms into Halloween Jack, and reunites with Meanstreak.

Writer: John Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Harry Candelario
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Las Vegas, on orders from Desdemona Synge, the Rat Pack targets the suspected leader of a gang of thieves that has been robbing casinos, who turns out to be the would-be Asgardian god, Loki. Meanwhile, Krystalin arrives in Oakland for her father's funeral. Back in Vegas, Desdemona interrogates Loki with a bio-electric device that interferes with his genetic modifications, triggering a painful transformation that allows him to break free and escape. At Zhao's complex, Fitz & Cerebra train together as they discuss plans to confront the Theater of Pain. Outside, Luna attempts to make peace with Meanstreak, but she's attacked from behind and knocked out. Meanstreak battles her shapeshifting assailant, who turns out to be Loki, Meanstreak's old friend Jordan Boone, having taken a new form as Halloween Jack. He tells Meanstreak he's hoping Meanstreak will join him for a little fun, and help him take over Las Vegas.

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

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Game of Thrones 8x01: Winterfell



Opening Credits Map

Last Hearth -> Winterfell -> King's Landing

Winterfell
Daenerys had once says that she wants to break the wheel. If that’s the case the she’ll have to break Game of Thrones because this show is coming full circle!

Force in Focus: Star Wars #91

"Wookiee World"
January 1985

In a Nutshell
Han, Lando & Chewbacca return to Chewbacca's homeworld of Kashyyyk!

Script & Plot: Jo Duffy
Penciler: Tony Salmons
Finisher: Tom Palmer
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Han, Lando & Chewbacca arrive on Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld. As they make their way to Chewbacca's home, they're confronted by a pale figure who says the Wookiees have dubbed him "Knife", and has made friends with Chewbacca's brother-in-law, Vargi. Knife & Vargi accompany the group to Chewbacca's home for drinks, only to find it empty. Chewbacca is worried, but Han & Lando suggest his family is merely out shopping, since Chewbacca had wanted to surprise them and thus they had no way of knowing he'd be home. However, when Chewbacca's son Lumpy comes home accompanied by three Wookiee thugs, Knife reveals he's holding Chewbacca's family hostage, and that he hopes to restart the slave trade on Kashyyyk. Leaving the captive Han & Lando behind, Knife parades Chewbacca down to the spaceport, hoping to break the spirit of those resistant to his slave trade. However, Han & Lando escape, and Han is able to release Chewbacca, only to be savagely beaten by Vargi. Chewbacca intervenes, but holds back, fearing for his family, until Lando arrives, having released Chewbacca's family. Unrestrained, Chewbacca defeats Vargi, inspiring an uprising against Knife's collaborators. Knife, however, manages to escape, but Han vows to track him down for a rematch as soon as possible.

Friday, April 19, 2019

X-amining Excalibur #86

"Back to Life"
February 1995

In a Nutshell
Pete Wisdom debuts as Excalibur heads to Genosha.

Writer; Warren Ellis
Pencil Artist: Ken Lashley
Ink Artist: Tom Wegrzyn
Letterer: J. Babcock
Colorist: J. Rosas
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Thailand, in the wake of a disastrous mission, British Intelligence operative Pete Wisdom decides to quit. Later, on Muir Island, Brian Braddock finishes work upgrading Moira's hovercraft to serve as Excalibur's chief mode of transport, which he dubs the Midnight Runner. Just then, agents of British Intelligence's Black Air organization arrive, along with Pete Wisdom, and enlist Excalibur's help in going to Genosha alongside Wisdom to help settle the war still raging between the humans and mutates. Despite feeling like they're being played, Excalibur agrees to go. As they arrive in Genoshan airspace, Kitty questions Wisdom, and he reveals that conditions in Genosha are far worse than they believed, with both sides of the conflict suffering massive starvation. Just then, rockets pepper the Midnight Runner, sending it crashing to the ground as all of reality crystallizes, then shatters.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

X-amining X-Force #43

"Teapot in a Tempest"
February 1995

In a Nutshell
Reignfire is revealed to be Sunspot as reality ends.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Tony Daniel
Inker: Kevin Conrad
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
With Cable occupied in Israel, Cannonball decides to combine Cerebro with Cable's time displacement core in an attempt to locate the missing Sunspot. Much to his surprise, it works, pinpointing Sunspot on an island in the North Atlantic. Meanwhile, in Greenwich Village, Rictor & Shatterstar go clubbing, while Boomer tries to help a troubled teenage girl get off the streets. Back at X-Force's base, Cannonball contacts Cable, but he's unable to return with X-Force's vehicle. Just then, Locus appears, having been abandoned by Sunspot and shocked to learn she's been gone six months. When she learns that X-Force has located Sunspot on Earth, she agrees to take them to him. They stop along the way to pickup Boomer, Shatterstar & Rictor, then arrive at the Mutant Liberation Front's base in the North Atlantic, in the middle of a pitched battle, just after Reignfire has attacked Moonstar. Cannonball demands to know where Sunspot is, and Reignfire responds by removing his mask and declaring that he is and has always been Sunspot. Just then, reality begins to crystallize, and Cannonball realizes it is what Cable & and the X-Men were trying to stop, as everything turns to crystal, then shatters.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #41

"Dreams Die!"
February 1995

In a Nutshell
Legion accidentally kills Xavier in the past, ending reality.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencilers: Andy Kubert & Matt Ryan
Inker/Finishes: Matt Ryan
Letterers: Oakley & NJQ
Colorists: Kevin Somers/Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Legion attacks Magneto twenty years in the past, the X-Men who followed him to that time attempt to stop him. In the present, Lilandra contacts Professor X, telling him a crystallization wave launched by the M'Kraan crystal is destroying worlds, and it's heading towards Earth. In the past, the battle between Legion, Magneto and the X-Men draws the attention of Apocalypse, who decides it's time for the order of ascension to begin, in which only the fittest will survive. In Haifa, Iceman uses his power to freeze all the water in Legion's body, seemingly stopping his attack. But Legion restores himself and, having overpowered Magneto, prepares to strike a killing blow. Just then, Xavier throws himself between Legion & Magneto, taking the strike intended for Magneto, killing himself in the process. Having slain his own father, Legion blinks out of existence, and the X-Men disappear as well, save for Bishop, who is left behind, his mind damaged by the energy that ripped away Legion & the X-Men. In the present, the crystallization wave reaches Earth, and as it approaches the X-Men, Rogue reaches out and kisses Gambit, just as all of reality transforms into crystal, then shatters.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #15 - Patreon First!

"Shadows and Light"
December 1994

In a Nutshell
Glitterspike & Rosa face the Shadow Dancer

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

Plot
As Metalhead regains consciousness, Glitterspike flies over the desert with Rosa, who manages to damage his anti-grav unit, sending them both crashing to the ground and knocking them out. Metalhead, Mama Hurricane & Louise Wingfoot race into the desert in search of Rosa. Meanwhile, Rosa & Glitterspike wake up in a cave, brought there by the Shadow Dancer. As Glitterspike picks a fight with the creature, Rosa sneaks away. At Zhao's compound, Fitz convinces Cerebra to stay with the team under his leadership, while Krystalin learns that her father has died. In the desert, Metalhead, Mama Hurricane & Louise find Rosa inside the cave, and the group discovers a crashed space ship, realizing the Shadow Dancer is a stranded alien. Just then, the Shadow Dancer appears, but rightly senses the group means it no harm. Glitterspike, however, comes out of the shadows and attacks the Shadow Dancer again, but Metalhead intervenes, forcing Glitterspike to drain his reserves of light energy, then knocking him out. Later, the group emerges from the cave, with Louise declaring that Rosa's baby will be fine, while a powerless Glitterspike wakes up inside the cave to find himself face to face with the Shadow Dancer.

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

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Force in Focus - The Rise of Skywalker Teaser


After what seemed like a really long time to go without either a teaser or a title for Episode IX, both were finally revealed this last Friday at Star Wars Celebration. Here then are a few of the things from that teaser trailer which caught my eye/sparked my interest.

Phantom Menace Parallels 


Billed as the last chapter in a nine part saga, and with this trailer released just a few weeks ahead of the twentieth anniversary of the release of the first chapter in that saga, I love the way the early moments of the trailer echo the early moments of the Phantom Menace trailer, from the "every generation has a legend" title card, to the cut of a vehicle racing across a desert landscape, to the way the vehicle is moving left to right in Phantom but right to left in this one, thereby completing the loop.

Friday, April 12, 2019

X-amining Wolverine #90


"The Dying Game"
February 1995

In a Nutshell
Returned to the X-Mansion, Wolverine fights Sabretooth.

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: Mark Farmer & Dan Green
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Back at the X-Mansion, Wolverine confronts the captive Sabretooth, who attempts to push through the force field entrance to his cell to attack him. But the pain of the field forces him back. Wolverine proceeds to do his best to go about his business, ignoring Sabretooth, but something doesn't sit right with him. Hearing news reports about serial killer Linus Dorfmann, Wolverine realizes that Sabretooth is slowly building up his pain tolerance in order to breach the field. He rushes to Sabretooth's cell and arrives just as Creed forces himself through the force field. A vicious brawl ensues between the two, but Wolverine holds back, not using his claws, until Sabretooth threatens to hunt down and kill every woman Wolverine has ever loved, starting with Jean Grey and ending with Jubilee. With that, Wolverine loses control, pinning Sabretooth down with one claw on either side of his head. As Sabretooth taunts him further, Wolverine pops his third claw into Sabretooth's head, just as reality crystallizes around them.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

X-amining X-Factor #111

"Explosive Performance"
February 1995

In a Nutshell
Strong Guy suffers a heart attack as reality crystallizes, then shatters.

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

Plot
The K'Lanti appear before Lila & X-Factor, demanding she return the Harmonium they entrusted to her for safekeeping. Lila agrees to return it to them, and they give her "about an hour" to do so, leaving a series of diamond-shaped bombs in the skies above Madripoor for motivation. Lila teleports herself, Strong Guy & Polaris to Cygnus Prime, a junk world where Jordik likely sold the Harmonium after he stole it from Lila. In Washington DC, Val Cooper is trying to track down X-Factor when she spots Madrox on the street, but he disappears into a crowd. On Cygnus Prime, Strong Guy fights a creature guarding the junk while Lila & Polaris search for the Harmonium. In the process, he absorbs a dangerous amount of kinetic energy. On Earth, Forge, Havok & Wolfsbane work to defuse the K'Lanti's bombs. Just then, Lila, Strong Guy & Polaris return with the Harmonium, but as the K'Lanti depart, they leave Lila with one of the bombs. When it explodes, Strong Guy takes the brunt of the blast, absorbing the energy, which proves to be too much for his heart. He collapses, and as Lila tries desperately to revive him, all of reality crystallizes, then shatters.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #321

"Auld Lang Syne"
February 1995

In a Nutshell
Cable attempts to contact the time-lost X-Men as Legion puts his plan into action.

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Dialogue: Mark Waid
Penciler: Ron Garney
Inkers: Townsend, Green & Rubinstein
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Twenty years ago in Haifa, Xavier & Magneto fight side-by-side in a bar brawl, in defense of a disabled veteran being harassed by the patrons. In the present, Xavier, Cable & Phoenix work together, assisted by Shi'ar technology, to send Cable's mind into the past, in order to contact the X-Men stranded there and warn them of Legion's intentions to alter the future and the threat that poses to reality. In the past, those X-Men continue to struggle with not knowing their reason for being in the past, hoping it will become clear soon. Elsewhere, Legion visits his mother Gaby, appearing before her as Xavier, an act that Xavier telepathically senses, realizing Gaby is in danger. As he and Magneto rush to her, Cable arrives in the past, and manages to restore the X-Men's memories. Meanwhile, Xavier & Magneto arrive at the hospital to find a distraught Gaby, at which point Legion emerges, declaring that, in his time, Magneto will become the greatest villain the world will ever know, and for that, he must now die.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #14 - Patreon First!

"All That Glitters"
November 1994

In a Nutshell
As the Freakshow settles in to a new town, they're attacked by Glitterspike.

Writer: John Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Harry Candelario
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In California, a woman is killed by an assassin with light-based powers named Alexi. Meanwhile, Fitz and Luna reunite with the remaining X-Men. Meanstreak is less than pleased to see Luna, but Fitz says they have bigger things to worry about, revealing Xi'an's defection to the Theater of Pain and his intentions to take the group down. Elsewhere, the Freakshow arrives at the home of the Keewazi Nation, where they are welcomed by Louise Wingfoot, an old friend of Mama Hurricane's. Later, Rosa receives a check-up, learning she'll be having a boy, while the assassin - code-named Glitterspike - is given the location of a woman he's trying to track down as payment for his last job. Back in the Keewazi Nation, Dominic runs into the Shadow Dancer, a quasi-legendary creature that lives in the hills surrounding the town, whom Louise says is only supposed to be appear when trouble is near. Just then, Glitterspike flies into town, revealing himself to be Rosa's abusive ex-husband. Metalhead attacks him, but is bested, at which point Glitterspike declares that as he's the father of Rosa's baby, from now on he'll be taking care of both of them.

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Saturday, April 6, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #90

"The Choice!"
December 1984

In a Nutshell
Tensions simmer as Luke, Kiro & Rik Duel's gang return to Endor.

Script/Plot: Jo Duffy
Breakdowns: Bob McLeod
Finishes: Tom Palmer
Coloring: Bob Sharen
Lettering: Rick Parker
Editing: Ann Nocenti
Chief: J. Shooter

Plot
Princess Leia & Mon Mothma return to Endor from their mission to Herdessa just as Luke & Plif return alongside Rik Duel's gang and an injured Kiro. As Kiro is rushed to medical attention, Mon Mothma briefs Admiral Ackbar on the resurgent Imperial activity she & Leia encountered on Herdessa. Later, Luke & Leia discuss Leia's struggle to reconcile her roles as warrior & diplomat, as well as their father, deciding to keep their relationship to Darth Vader a secret for awhile longer. They then visit a recovering Kiro, and when Luke & Kiro deduce that Kiro tapped into the Force to help save the galaxy, he asks Luke to train him as a Jedi. Luke refuses, angering Kiro. Meanwhile, Mon Mothma & Ackbar host the first meeting of a galactic parliament, where it is agreed that anyone not present forfeits their right to vote. Elsewhere, a fight breaks out between some Rebel soldiers and Rik Duel's gang when Rik is accused of cheating at cards, which leads to Chihido being shot. Luke intervenes and puts a stop to the fight, but Rik insists on vengeance, until Kiro talks him down, having realized the importance of patience and listening to one another. Leia believes it is the action, more than words, which taught Kiro this lesson, while elsewhere, Mon Mothma & Ackbar lament the parliament's decision to forfeit, due to their absence, Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and Lando's rights to help the Alliance govern moving forward.