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

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #43

"Falling From Grace"
August 1995

In a Nutshell
Cyclops & Phoenix attempt to survive the destruction of Avalon.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Guest Penciler: Paul Smith
Inkers: Matt Ryan & Cam Smith
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Kevin Somers/Digital Chameleon
Grace Catcher: Bob Harras

Plot
Professor X telepathically tries to contact Cyclops & Phoenix, who have been teleported to Avalon in the midst of Exodus' battle with Holocaust. On Avalon, Cyclops & Jean try to find Skids, and learn Rusty was killed by Holocaust. Elsewhere, Colossus debates abandoning Cyclops & Jean to escape with Magneto. At the X-Mansion, Voght tells Xavier he'll never break through Exodus' psionic shields, but he continues to try. On Avalon, Cyclops rallies the remaining Acolytes to escape, while Phoenix sets out in search of Skids. After Xavier breaks through and makes contact with Jean, he tells Colossus to use an escape pod to escape with the comatose Magneto. As Jean uses her power to leave the station and recover Skids, Cyclops leads the Acolytes to the escape pods, only to discover they're all missing or destroyed. As Exodus & Holocaust's battle causes the station to fully break apart, Cyclops orders Unuscione to use her exoskeleton to protect the hunk of wreckage to which he and the rest of the Acolytes are clinging, but as the pieces of the station begin crashing to Earth, Jean senses Unuscione's shields starting to falter.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

X-amining X-Nation #6 - Patreon First

"Exodus"
August 1996

In a Nutshell
X-Nation battles Exodus as Halo City floods around them.

Story/Script: Benn Raab
Story: Terry Kavanagh
Penciler: Eric Battle
More Pencils: Edward McGuiness
Inks, Inks: John Holdredge
And More Inks: Ralph Cabrera
Letterer: J. Ul Baggins
Colorist: James Brown
Man of Tomorrow: Mark Powers
Editor-in-Chief: Bobbie Chase

Plot
Standing triumphant over X-Nation, Exodus turns his attention to the Wild Boys. After defeating them, Exodus promises to take X-Nation out of Halo City and to a better world, then teleports away with the group. Shortly thereafter, the Ancient One and his disciple Strange arrive in the city, and Strange sets out after Exodus. Meanwhile, in the ruins of the Xavier Shelter, Xi'an tries to use his healing power on Nostromo, which triggers his Phalanx infestation to take over. Elsewhere, Reed Richards does his best to aid the evacuation of the city, while Exodus deposits himself and X-Nation across the city from where they started, his energy reserves depleted. Already growing suspicious of the man, when Exodus starts preaching anti-human rhetoric, X-Nation turns on him. Back at the shelter, Cerebra helps Nostromo free himself of the Phalanx, though he stills feels their pull. Elsewhere, Exodus incapacitates X-Nation, but the arrival of Strange creates an opening that allows X-Nation to free themselves. Twilight turns her power on Exodus, but he is able to overcome her sphere of influence, at which point Clarion sacrifices himself to save Twilight and drive Exodus away, who leaves with a warning to X-Nation not to cross him. With Exodus gone and the city flooded, Strange teleports the group out of Halo City.

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Monday, October 28, 2019

X-aminations in November 2019 & April 1995 Power Rankings


I'm calling a bit of an audible on the rest of the reviews for the year. My bill-paying day job is exceptionally crazy right now (which is why posts have been so late), and I've got some longer-than-usual work-related travel scheduled in both November & December. Thankfully, I'd already set a relatively lighter load of reviews for those months on account of the holidays, so now I'm mostly just moving some stuff around (and dropping in one new review - the Age of Apocalypse-centric What If?If, to add a little wiggle room), but the plan is a little different now relative to the schedule I wrote up back in June.

Anyway, the end result is that X-Men #43 will be the lone regular X-aminations review this week, as I punt Knight of Terra into November. Otherwise, we wrap up June '95, take a look at that aforementioned What If?, and spend Thanksgiving with the moody Jack the Ripper-inspired Wolverine/Gambit miniseries.

On Sale June 1995
November 6: Generation X #6
November 7: Excalibur #88
November 8: Cable #22

November 13: Wolverine: Knight of Terra

On Sale July 1995
November 20: What If? (vol. 2) #77

November 27: Wolverine/Gambit: Victims #1-4

April 1995 Power Rankings

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Force in Focus: The Rise of Skywalker Final Trailer


The final Rise of Skywalker was released earlier this week, and while it is still pretty light on plot (in terms of revealing anything concrete about what is happening in the movie), it is packed with tons of great images and intriguing moments. Here are five such that caught my eye and piqued my interest.

Friday, October 25, 2019

X-amining X-Man #6

"Earthly Delights"
August 1995

In a Nutshell

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Steve Skroce
Inker: Bud LaRosa
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Mike Thomas & Digital Chameleon
Editor: Lisa Partick
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
In Genosha, Sugar Man tasks his agent Rex to capture Nate Grey on his behalf. Hours later, in Switzerland, Nate & Madelyne try to get to know one another, a task made difficult by Nate not knowing where he is and Madelyne not knowing who she is. In town, Sven, owner of the house where Nate is staying, is getting drunk and is approached by Rex. Elsewhere, Blaquesmith tries to track Nate's psionic signature. Back in Switzerland, Nate offers to read Madelyne's mind, and when he does so, a massive, monstrous image of Havok appears; the strain knocks out Nate. In town, Rex detects the surge of energy and, no longer needing him, kills Sven on his way to find the source. He arrives at the chalet and attempts to capture a barely-conscious Nate, but Nate uses the last vestiges of his mental power to blast Rex out of the house, knocking him out and allowing Nate & Madelyne to escape. Later, Rex wakes up and contacts Sugar Man, promising him everything is under control.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

X-amining X-Factor #113

"Impulsive Behavior"
August 1995

In a Nutshell
X-Factor battles Fatale for Havok.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Guest Penciler: Jerry Bingham
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Uncle from On High: Bob Harras

Plot
At a Tokyo nightclub, a three-way fight breaks out between Fatale, Scarlett, and X-Factor over Havok, a fight which draws the attention of Yukio. After Fatale starts a fire and uses it as cover to escape, she takes Havok to the hold of an Italian frigate which she plans to use to smuggle him out of Japan. She leaves him there restrained in metallic coils designed to nullify his powers, at which point Yukio, having tracked Fatale to the ship, enters. As Mystique & Polaris interrogate Tatsu'o for information about Fatale, Wild Child & Forge track Havok to the docks. Inside the ship, Yukio frees Havok just as Fatale arrives, and his ensuing burst of energy disrupts their fight and destroys the ship. X-Factor finds him amidst the wreckage, and though Yukio also emerges unscathed, Fatale is nowhere to be found. The immediate threat over, Havok despondently dons his energy-containing body suit, while at the airport, Scarlett meets with her mysterious boss and promises him she'll deliver Havok to him. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #323

"A Nation Rising"
August 1995

In a Nutshell
The X-Men are attacked by Gene Nation while investigating the nightclub massacre.

Story: Scott Lobdell
Guest Penciler: Bryan Hitch
Guest Inker: Cam Smith
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Edits: Bob Harras

Plot
While Rogue & Iceman deal with a flat tire while on their road trip, Psylocke & Archangel train in the Danger Room before being interrupted by Gambit, who regains consciousness, staggers into the room, and asks after Rogue before passing out. Outside, Cannonball takes Sabretooth for a walk, and the pair run into Wolverine, who threatens to kill Sabretooth if he turns out to be faking his docility. He is interrupted by Storm, who asks Wolverine to accompany her and Cannonball into the city in order to investigate the recent nightclub massacre. In the city, Beast confronts Tish Tilby about her decision to go public with news of the Legacy Virus, while outside city hall, Graydon Creed uses the nightclub massacre to whip an anti-mutant crowd into a frenzy. Around the corner, Charlotte Jones emerges and leads the X-Men inside to the morgue. In the desert, Iceman presses Rogue on what she saw in Gambit's mind, after which he is taunted by a vision of Emma Frost. Back at the city morgue, the X-Men meet with the coroner, but Wolverine senses something off with him, and attacks, causing the mutant Sack to emerge from the coroner's now-dead body. Sack is soon joined by his companion Vessel, who says that while Gene Nation is dedicated to the destruction of human society, they will gladly kill the X-Men in order to do so.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #35 - Patreon First

"Lifeboat"
August 1996

In a Nutshell
The X-Men defeat Vulcann and depart for the Savage Land as the series concludes.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Jan Duursema
Inker: Jeff Albrecht
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos & Virtual Calligraphy
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Editor-in-Chief: Bobbie Chase

Plot
Darkson & Vulcann deliver the unconscious Luna to the X-Men, triggering a fight. Meanwhile, Cerebra, Xi'an & Nostromo attempt to escape the flooding city via the service tunnels. Outside, Darkson telekinetically traps the X-Men aboard one of the boats fleeing the city, part of a mutant flotilla that Vulcann plans to direct Darkson to lead in a conquest of the world. Beneath the city, Cerebrea leads her companions to the secret chamber Doom showed her, in order to access its teleportation technology to send them to the X-Men. Elsewhere, after being seemingly killed by Vulcann, Fitz learns his mutation has transformed him into a being of pure energy. Outside the city, Cerebra, Xi'an and Nostromo are reunited with the rest of the X-Men, when an Atlantean warship suddenly surfaces and attacks the flotilla. The captive X-Men are knocked into the water. Xi'an frees them and they attack Vulcann & Darkson. Working together, Bloodhawk & Metalhead are able to kill Vulcann, at which point Fitz arrives and is able to knock out Darkson. The X-Men all climb aboard one of the surviving ships, where Cerebra & Xi'an announce they'll be leading the rest of Halo City's mutants to the Savage Land!

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #106

"My Hiromi"
July 1986

In a Nutshell
Luke leads the Hiromi on a rescue mission aboard the Tof flagship.

Writer: Jo Duffy
Layouts: Cynthia Martin
Finishes: Ken Steacy
Colorist: Dana Graziunus
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
The Hiromi's celebration of their victory over the Tof on Zeltron is cut short when Luke tells them he's going to lead them in an assault on the Tof flagship to rescue Leia's Zeltron attaches. Meanwhile, the attaches attempt to escape from their Tof cell, but their captors fail to fall for their ruse. Back on Zeltron, Leia & Dani follow the captive Den, hoping to locate their missing companions, while the Hiromi manage to extract intelligence & security codes from a captive Tof. When the rest of the Tof faction seemingly frees the Zeltrons & Alliance representatives from the Nagai, Han greets them warmly, only to be turned on by the Tof, who attack the collective group. But the timely intervention of Leia & Dani gives them an opening, and working with the Nagai, Han, Lando, and the rest of the Alliance forces manage to overpower their would-be captors. In the wake of their victory, Den proposes a new alliance to Leia. In space, Luke, the Hoojibs and the Hiromi board the Tof ship. As Luke attacks the Tof, the Hoojibs take out all the ship's systems except life support and the Hiromi free the Zeltrons. Luke then joins them, having set explosive charges to destroy the ship, and the Hiromi celebrate their victory.

Friday, October 18, 2019

X-amining Cable #21

"...Our Regularly Scheduled Program..."
July 1995

In a Nutshell
X-Force prepares for their move to the X-Mansion, then Cable receives a warning from Blaquesmith.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Guest Penciler: Arnie Jorgensen
Guest Inker: Mark Pennington
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas & Digital Chameleon
Hostess: Lisa Patrick
Party Crasher: Bob Harras

Plot
Cable and X-Force explore the wreckage of their Murderworld base, salvaging anything of value. With the help of Jean Grey & Caliban, they manage to free their Pacrat ship from the rubble, and use it to ferry the team to the X-Mansion. Once they arrive, Cable receives a telepathic call for help, and quickly sets out in response, bringing alone Domino & Caliban. They arrive at a rusted freighter in Baltimore and, after disabling some booby traps, discover Cable's ally Blaquesmith, who has been working out of the ship. He tells Cable someone attacked him and stole all his date on Cable, triggering Blaquesmith's call for help. Blaquesmith promises Cable he'll continue to search for the identity of the attacker and keep him informed, and Cable asks Blaquesmith to create new uniforms for X-Force. As Cable leaves, Blaquesmith warns him that whomever realized he could get at Cable through Blaquesmith is both smart & deadly. Meanwhile, on Muir Island, Moira tells Rory Campbell that she believes someone on Muir leaked the information about the Legacy Virus, and while that news has already broke, the data pertaining to Cable, in the wrong hands, could mean his life is in danger.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

X-amining Excalibur #87

"Back to Reality"
July 1995

In a Nutshell
Excalibur explores the secrets of Genosha.

Story & Dialogue: Warren Ellis
Pencils/Storyteller: Ken Lashley
Inker: Tom Wegrzyn
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Kitty thinks back on Excalibur's crash landing on Genosha, then travels with Black Air agent Pete Wisdom, Meggan & Douglock to investigate the Genegineer's old lab. Along the way, she & Peter discuss the events which occurred shortly after their crash, in which Excalibur was caught in a three-way fight between some Mutate refugees, Magistrates, and Mutate freedom fighters. On Muir Island, Moira & Rory try to figure out how the information about the Legacy Virus was leaked, while back on Genosha, Britanic meets with Governor Ransom, who tells him the special bullets being used by the magistrates were created in part by his father. Later, Excalibur, along with Ransom & Philip Moreau, gather outside the Genegineer's original lab. After Kitty & Douglock disable the lab's defense, the team learns that the Genegineer received the original mutate process from an unnamed third party. At this point, a watching Sugar Man decides they've gotten too close to learning about his involvement, and triggers the lab's booby traps from afar, sending the truth about Genosha - and the bullets - up in smoke, much to Excalibur's dismay. Still, the watching Black Air agents are pleased: Excalibur achieved what they wanted, stirring up Genoshan secrets to Black Air's advantage.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

X-amining Generation X #5

"Don't Touch That Dial"
July 1995

In a Nutshell
Jubilee, Synch, Skin & Monet visit the city while Chamber comforts Paige.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inker: Mark Buckingham
Titles: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Electricolor: Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Changing Channels: Bob Harras

Plot
Gateway visits Chamber, and urges him to reach out to Paige, who is not reacting well to the news of the Legacy Virus. Meanwhile, Jubilee, Synch, Monet & Skin are in New York City, on their way to meet Emma at Frost Enterprises. Suddenly, Monet enters a fugue state, unable to move or respond to her companions. Back at Xavier's School, Banshee tries to communicate with Penance. In New York, unable to reach Emma by phone, Jubilee convinces Synch & Skin to leave Monet in Rockefeller Plaza as they're driven to Frost Enterprises. But when they enter the garage, they discover the security guards violently slaughtered. Back at the school, Chamber consoles a drunk Paige, agreeing, with a look in the mirror, with her declaration that life is unfair. Back at Frost Enterprises, Jubilee, Synch & Skin discover Hemingway of Gene Nation waiting to ambush them in Emma's office. Working together, they fight him off, then discover Artie hiding in the office; his friend Leech was taken by Gene Nation before they arrived, and Jubilee vows to help find him.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

X-amining X-Nation #5 - Patreon First

"Gimme Shelter"
July 1996

In a Nutshell
X-Nation deals with the loss of the Sisterhood of the Howling Commandments & the Xavier Shelter.

Story: Ben Raab & Terry Kavanagh
Script: Ben Raab
Penciler: Eric Battle
Inker: Ralph Cabrera
Letterer: J. Babcock
Colorist: J. Brown
Enhancements: Malibu
Man of Tomorrow: Mark Powers
Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Sifting through the ruins of the Xavier Shelter, X-Nation finds the grievously-wounded Sister Nicholas. Twilight tries to use her power to save her, but she is unable to do so. As she dies, Sister Nicholas urges the kids to make something out of their lives. Later, they mourn the loss of the Sisters and try to figure out what to do next while drinking at the Negative Zone milk bar. Suddenly, Nostromo's powers flair out of control, attracting the attention of the Wild Boys. They attack X-Nation and, stronger than before, they manage to overpower everyone but Metalsmith. As they turn their attention to him, Nostromo manages to escape. He finds Cerebra, who had been searching Halo City for X-Nation, but his powers continue to flair out of control. Just then, Cerebra loses her sense of X-Nation's energy signatures, which she says can only mean they're dead. Outside the milk bar, Exodus stands triumphant over the fallen forms of both the Wild Boys and X-Nation.

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #105

"The Party's Over"
May 1986

In a Nutshell

Story: Jo Duffy
Layouts: Cynthia Martin
Finished Art: Steve Leialoha
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Letterer: Ken Steacy
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Overseeing: Jim Shooter

Plot
Luke & Pliff continue to be amused captives of the Hiromi, until the Tof burst into the room where they're being held. Meanwhile, Han & Lando bristle at having been captured by the Nagai, who contact Den to report their success. Den tells them to proceed to the rendezvous point, but Den, as well as Leia & Dani, have also been captured by the Tof. When the Tof enter with Leia's captured Zeltron attaches, the foursome fight back, but are ultimately recaptured. To stave off their execution, Leia plays up their importance to the war effort against the Nagai, prompting the Tof to order them taken to their ship for further interrogation. The Tof leader then orders Den to reveal where he's meant to meet the rest of the Nagai, but Den refuses, until the Tof threaten Dani with torture & death. After Den & the Tof leader leave, the Hoojibs run in, pretending to be dumb animals while they drain the Tof weapons of their energy charge. Meanwhile, Luke uses the Force to escape his bonds, rescue the Hiromi, and overpower the Tof, though their fight spills into the chamber where Leia & Dani are being held. Their weapons useless, the Tof are defeated. Leia intends to rescue the rest of her friends, as well as the Nagai, from the remaining Tof, while Luke says he'll rescue her attaches, telling the Hiromi they'll be helping him storm the Tof command ship, much to their dismay.

Friday, October 11, 2019

X-amining Wolverine #91

"Path of Stone, Wood of Thrones"
July 1995

In a Nutshell
Wolverine and the X-Men try to come to terms with Wolverine's new mental state.

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Duncan Rouleau
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Colorist: Marie Javins
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
From the woods surrounding the X-Mansion, Wolverine watches two kids return to their house on the border of the property, having picked some flowers for their sick mother. Meanwhile, Xavier, Beast & Storm discuss Wolverine's mental state, while Psylocke joins Cyclops & Jean Grey for dinner at the boathouse, where Psylocke senses the presence of Wolverine, watching from outside. They worry that he is losing control. Later, Xavier shares data he's assembled suggesting that Wolverine's adamantium skeleton had retarded his mutation; with the metal gone, his increasingly-feral state is the result of his mutation continuing to evolve him. Outside, Wolverine watches the neighbor family as the father begins assaulting the mother. He is interrupted by Xavier, Storm & Beast, but when the domestic fight spills out into the yard, Wolverine intervenes, prepared to attack the father. But he is held back by the other X-Men, and relents when the mother comes to her husbands' defense. As she orders the X-Men off her property, Wolverine tells his friends he's remaining outside. When they insist they want to help him, he says they also wanted to help the abused women, but now she'll likely die at the hands of her husband, and that'll be on their heads for stopping Wolverine just now, just like it'll be on their heads if they don't deal with him before its too late.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

X-amining X-Force #44

"...Already in Progress..."
July 1995

In a Nutshell
Cable announces a new look & focus for the team as Cannonball graduates to the X-Men.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: Adam Pollina
Inks: Mark Farmer
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Marie Javins
Color Seps: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
X-Force gathers outside Professor Xavier's office, where Cable and the professor are discussing the fate of the team, until Domino comes in and shoos them out, telling them to find something else to do. Outside, the team tells Sunspot there's no updates, then goes their separate ways, with Rictor leaving to call home, Boomer & Shatterstar heading to the Danger Room, and Warpath contacting Banshee, looking for news on the absent Siryn. When Boomer & Shatterstar get to the Danger Room, they discover it's been turned into a habitat for the now-docile Sabretooth. Meanwhile, Cannonball runs into Cyclops, and discusses his feelings about being back in the mansion after so long away. Just then, Cable telepathically calls the team to Xavier's office, where he announces that X-Force will now operate out of the mansion, with a unified look and a focus on boosting their powers, including an increased use of Cable's telepathy. Xavier then announces that Cannonball is graduating to join the X-Men, while Domino enters with Caliban, who will be joining the team in his place. Unnerved by the prospect of Cable being in his head, Rictor decides to return home for a visit, over Shatterstar's objections, while Boomer & Cannonball vow to maintain their relationship in the face of all the changes. Elsewhere, a bound & gagged Siryn is delivered to the Weisman Institute for the Criminally Insane.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #42

"Heaven Can Wait"
July 1995

In a Nutshell
Holocaust wakes up on Avalon.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Paul Smith
Inker: Matt Ryan
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Kevin Somers/Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
Exodus toasts the arrival of the strange figure trapped in ice, believing it to be a sign of good tidings for the Acolytes. Some of the Acolytes have reservations, however, and when Milan stays behind to further analyze the being, he inadvertently comes into contact with it and is killed when it drains his life force. On Earth, Storm notifies Professor X of the nightclub massacre, while Beast tends to the now-comatose Juggernaut. In Florida, Iceman stops Rogue from committing a robbery. Back on Avalon, Rusty & Skids are discussing whether they made the right choice joining the Acolyteswhen Scanner appears and tells Rusty Exodus wants him to check on Milan. When he does, he too is killed, and his energy is enough to cause the figure - Holocaust - to break free of the ice. When Exodus confronts him, Holocaust - recognizing Exodus as one of the X-Men from his world and not realizing he's in a different reality - attacks, and their subsequent fight severely damages Avalon. Voght teleports away, seeking help, and returns with Cyclops & Phoenix, who are greeted by the raging Holocaust/Exodus fight and Colossus, cradling the comatose Magneto, declaring that in a manner of minutes, the station will be destroyed and everyone aboard killed.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #34 - Patreon First

"The Drowning City"
July 1996

In a Nutshell
Vulcann makes his move as Halo City floods.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Jan Duursema
Inkers: Rob Hunter & Paul Neary
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy
Colorist: Tom Smith
Editor: Jaye Garnder
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Inside a hidden fortress in the Pacific Northwest, Vulcann ages the captured Joaquim to physical adulthood. Meanwhile, the X-Men assist in the evacuation of the flooding Halo City, after which Book advises them that an alien object in orbit around the planet is causing the seas to rise, while Krystalin worries about the still-missing Meanstreak. At the Unicelo building, Xi'an searches through the rubble, looking for the body of the Foolkiller, before leaving to check on the Sisterhood of the Howling Commandments at the Xavier Shelter. At the Rasputin Housing Complex, Metalhead tries to comfort a distraught Rosa when Vulcann and the grown Joaquim appear. Joaquim telekinetically throws Metalhead from the building, then Vulcann tells Rosa that while Joaquim is meant to lead the next generation of mutants, he needs nurturing Vulcann can't provide, and offers Rosa the opportunity to join them. Elsewhere, Xi'an discovers the ruins of the Xavier Shelter and encounters Cerebra & Nostromo, the only apparent survivors of a confrontation with Exodus. The three try to leave the city, but are caught under some collapsing rubble. Meanwhile, Metalhead returns to his apartment to find Rosa missing, and when Joaquim destroys a building, the X-Men attack him and Vulcann, leading Vulcann to seemingly kill Fitz.

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

Friday, October 4, 2019

X-amining X-Man #5

"The Man Who Fell to Earth"
July 1995

In a Nutshell
Age of Apocalypse refugee Nate lands in Switzerland & takes a last name.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Steve Skroce
Inker: Bud LaRosa
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Mike Thomas & Digitial Chameleon
Editor: Lisa Patrick
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Nate lands disoriented in the Swiss Alps. Dazed and unsure where he is, he stumbles across a highway and is picked up by a truck driver. But when Nate becomes suspicious, his powers flare out of control, destroying the truck and leading Nate to stumble into the nearby town on Montreux. Meanwhile, Bishop & Professor X are discussing Bishop's strange dreams when Xavier psychically detects Nate's presence, followed immediately by that presence becoming cloaked, something that's never happened to Xavier before. In Montreux, Nate confronts a man he thinks is Forge, but is actually a resident of Montreux named Sven. Seeing that Nate is in need of help, Sven brings him to his home. When asked his name, Nate adopts the surname "Grey", thinking of his mother. He then falls asleep on the couch while Sven goes for food. Nate wakes up later to discover he's not alone: he has been joined by a red-haired woman who says her name is Madelyne Pryor.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

X-amining X-Factor #112

"Wreaking Havok Part One: Unnecessary Evils"
July 1995

In a Nutshell
Mystique & Wild Child join X-Factor on the hunt for an out-of-control Havok.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Guest Penciler: Jeff Matsuda
Inker: Al Milgrom
Lettering: Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
In Tokyo, a confused Havok emerges from a crashed jet plane. A few hours later, the rest of X-Factor, including Mystique and Wild Child, are attacked by the Cyburai, sent to delay X-Factor as a favor to a mysterious individual. Meanwhile, an assassin arrives in Tokyo, while a dazed Havok encounters Scarlett, whom he realizes kidnapped him. She tells him she was taking him to Genosha for his own good, but he runs away. Elsewhere, Random receives a mysterious phone call, after which he kills Vera, then collapses into a pile of goo. In Tokyo, Tatsu'o, master of the Cyburai, meets with the assassin, Fatale, the person who asked them to delay X-Factor. She intends to take matters into her own hands now. Meanwhile, Polaris & Wild Child manage to track Havok to a nightclub, arriving just after Scarlett. With his power building & growing out of his control, Fatale suddenly appears. Calling herself damage control, she stabs Havok from behind.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #322

"Dark Walk"
July 1995

In a Nutshell
Archangel visits the site of a massacre while Juggernaut gets punched across the country by Onslaught.

Story: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Tom Grummett
Inks: Green, Pennington, Ryan & Milgrom
Lettering Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Steve Buccellato
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
Archangel meets Charlotte Jones outside a nightclub. She takes him inside, where a dance floor packed with humans was slaughtered by a group of mutants. At the X-Mansion, Storm tells Wolverine he still has a place with the X-Men, but he insists that he can feel his humanity slipping away. In New Jersey, Beast & Bishop are leaving a movie when they see an object streak through the sky before crashing to the ground. Investigating, they discover the object was an unconscious Juggernaut. Upstate, Scott & Jean visit Jean's parents, and Jean shares the news of her sister's death. In Jersey, Juggernaut wakes up and promptly freaks out, triggering a fight with the X-Men that ends when Bishop absorbs energy from the city's electric grid and rechannels it back at Juggernaut again and again. Shocked to his senses, a weary Juggernaut tells Beast the last thing he knew, he was in Canada, intent on coming to warn the X-Men about the same person who punched him across the country: Onslaught.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

X-amining X-Nation #4 - Patreon First

"First Blood! "
June 1996

In a Nutshell
Atlantis attacks the Xavier Shelter while X-Nation escapes from Avian.

Story: Terry Kavanagh & Ben Raab
Script: Ben Raab
Pencils: Eric Battle
Inks: John Holdredge
Ink Assist: Thibert & Mendoza
Letters: Jon Babcock
Colors: James Brown
Editor: Mark Powers
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Atlantean forces attack the Xavier Shelter, prompting the Sisterhood of the Howling Commandments to fight back in defense. Meanwhile, the captive X-Nation is brought before Avian, and when they can't tell him where Willow is, he sends them to processing, where young mutants are tortured in the hopes of discovering the Mutant Messiah. There, they meet the previously-captured Metalsmith. Back in Halo City, Cerebra fights off Exodus, who believes she will make an excellent acolyte in mutantkind's emancipation, while the Sisterhood takes heavy losses as Attuma enters the fray. In Florida, X-Nation & Metalsmith are freed by a disguised Willow, who then poses as Avian in order to use his ship to fly the entire group home. However, just as they arrive back at the shelter, it explodes.

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