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

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

X-amination in April 2020 & July 1995 Power Rankings



After wrapping up the September '95 books, Uncanny's 1995 annual, a look at the fourth Marvel Masterpieces card set, and then back to the main books as we sort of meet Joseph, X-Force gears up for its 50th issue, and X-Man continues X-Man-ing.

On Sale September 1995
April 1: Generation X #9
April 2: Excalibur #91
April 3: Cable #25

April 8: Uncanny X-Men '95

April 15: Unstacking the Deck: Marvel Masterpieces Series IV

On Sale October 1995
April 22: Uncanny X-Men #327
April 23: X-Factor #117
April 24: X-Man #10

April 29: X-Men (vol. 2) #47
April 30: X-Force #49
May 1: Wolverine #96

X-amining Champions #9 - Patreon First

"The Battle of Los Angeles!"
December 1976

In a Nutshell
The newly-unveiled Champions are attacked by Crimson Dynamo and his allies in a battle that rages across LA!

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Bob Hall
Inker: Bob Layton
Letterer: Karen Mantlo
Colorist: Don Warfield
Editor: Archie Goodwin

Plot
Titanium Man & Griffin, led by Crimson Dynamo, attack the Champions inauguration ceremony, though only Angel & Hercules are on hand. However, Ghost Rider arrives in the midst of the battle, having dropped Rampage at the hospital, but the three are eventually overpowered by their opponents. Meanwhile, Ivan & Iceman trace Commissar Bruskin's black pearl to an abandoned warehouse. Iceman creates an ice tunnel to allow them to enter, but they are attacked by the returning villains, carrying the rest of the Champions as captives. As Iceman fights back, Ivan gets inside the warehouse. Black Widow attacks her jailer, Darkstar, but is unable to defeat her until Ivan bursts in, distracting her long enough for Black Widow to knock her out. Just then, the Crimson Dynamo enters and declares he will kill the fallen Champions if Ivan doesn't surrender. He then removes his helmet to reveal himself as Yuri Petrovich, Ivan's thought-dead son!

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Monday, March 30, 2020

G. I. JOE #30 - December 1984 (The Commercial, Not the Comic)



They can destroy and leave no traces
Dreadnoks!
The evil is written all over their faces
Dreadnoks!
A horrifying new foe of G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe, a real American hero
Fighting evil Cobra!


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Force in Focus: The Clones Wars Season 7 Episode 06

"Deal No Deal"

The Moral of the Story
Mistakes are valuable lessons often learned too late.

Plot
As Trace shows off her ship, Silver Angel, to Ahsoka, Rafa arrives at the hanger, needing Trace's help: she lined up a delivery job, but her contact for the pilot & ship has dropped out, and she needs the Silver Angel & Trace to do the job instead. Ahsoka volunteers to come along, something which doesn't sit well with Rafa. Soon, the three depart, and it quickly becomes clear that Trace has never flown a starship before, as she nearly avoids a confrontation with the Republic military on the way off planet. Rafa directs them to Kessel, explaining that they've been hired to pick up a shipment of unrefined spice. They meet Kinash Lock, the majordomo of Kessel's King Yaruba, and are directed to a nearby mining pit where they pick up the shipment. After leaving Kessel, Rafa announces they're delivering the spice to the Pyke Syndicate. Ahsoka & Rafa argue over what to do with the spice, which prompts Trace to simply dump it in Hyperspace, something both her sister and Ahsoka agree just made their situation worse. Ahsoka comes up with a plan, however, and when they arrive on Oba Diah, Ahsoka uses a Jedi mind trick on Krim to make him process the exchange without any questions. But one of his associates remains suspicious, and discovers the empty cargo containers just as Trace prepares to depart. With the Pykes now aware of the missing spice, the Silver Angel is caught in a tractor beam as patrol ships quickly surround it.

Friday, March 27, 2020

X-amining Wolverine #95

"Manhattan Rhapsody"
November 1995

In a Nutshell
Wolverine battles Dirt Nap as his wild side continues to take control

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: Dan Green & Matt Ryan
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Joe Rosas
Separations: Malibu's Hues
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
In Egypt, Cyber battles a robotic Wolverine as the Dark Riders monitor him, pleased with the results. In New York, Wolverine is walking the streets, monitored from afar by James & Heather Hudson. He oversees a strange man named Dirt Nap try to sell a kid some stolen computers & intervenes, drawing Dirt Nap's ire, but James gets involved before Wolverine can attack, thinking he's lost control, which allows Dirt Nap to escape. He & James almost come to blows, but Heather breaks them up, and Wolverine says he needs a cup of coffee. Meanwhile, at the offices of Senator Kelly, Kelly's aide Noah receives a call from Zoe Culloden, telling him they've released "the napper" too soon, but the plan is still afoot to rendezvous in the Canadian Rockies. Back in Manhattan, Wolverine spots Dirt Na outside the diner, having taken control of another host. He runs out to attack him, but is possessed himself. However, Wolverine's healing factor expels Dirt Nap, forcing him into the body of a nearby rat, which quickly scurries away, saying his boss still has big plans for Wolverine. In the wake of the attack, James apologize for doubting Wolverine, and tells him to come home to Canada with them so they can reverse his regression. But Wolverine says, after all these years of fearing it, he's starting to like his wild side now that it's taking over.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

X-amining X-Force #48

"Intervention"
November 1995

In a Nutshell
X-Force holds an intervention for Boomer.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Adam Pollina
Inkers: Pennington & Rubinstein
Letterer: Comicraft
Colorists: Marie Javins & Derek Bellman
Separations: Electric Crayon
Editor: Bob Harras
Technical Advisor: Christine G.

Plot
Boomer goes downstairs in the middle of the night to find the rest of X-Force - as well as Cannonball - waiting for her. They tell her they're concerned about the time she's spending with Sabretooth, and are intervening in order to convince her to stop. They remind her of Sabretooth's participation in the slaughter of Caliban's people, but Boomer throws back Caliban's own villainous past, as well as Sunspot's time as Reignfire, in their faces. Warpath insists Sabretooth is pure evil, but Boomer argues that no one is beyond redemption. Shatterstar is unconcerned: if Boomer thinks she can handle Sabretooth, then it's none of their concern. Meanwhile, Holocaust is busy slaughtering everyone on a small South Seas island when Sebastian Shaw shows up, offering him a part in a plan against Shaw's son. Back at the X-Mansion, X-Force tries to convince Boomer she's going to get killed, and gives her an ultimatum: stop seeing Sabretooth, or leave the team. Xavier then enters, and when Siryn reminds him of the second chance he gave Magneto, he admits he was wrong to do so. Boomer collapses, finally accepting that she has to give up Sabretooth, just like she gave up on her father. Later, she goes to the Danger Room one last time. She calls out to Sabretooth, asking him to tell her all the time they spent together wasn't for nothing. But he gives no response, and merely smiles in the darkness.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #46

"They're Baaack..."
November 1995

In a Nutshell
The X-Babies, running for their lives, seek out the help of the X-Men.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Cam Smith
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Kevin Sosers & Malibu Hues
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
At Storm's urging, Gambit takes Bishop out for a night-on-the-town to clear their heads, bringing him to an underground strip club casino. Meanwhile, Jean Grey is at a Manhattan bookstore looking for a gift for her niece & nephew, accompanied by Iceman. The pair are unknowingly watched by someone in the shadows. Elsewhere, Senator Kelly leads a group of heavily-armed soldiers into an secret Sentinel factory, the inhabitants of which have all vanished. When they turn on the power, all the computer screens repeat the same word: Onslaught. Back in New York, Bishop & Gambit discuss Bishop's distrust of Gambit over his actions in Bishop's time. They are being watched by a group of X-Babies, whose emergence triggers a brawl. At the bookstore, Iceman asks Jean to read his mind for any traces of Emma Frost, and they discuss his recent struggles with his powers. Just then, X-Baby versions of Storm & Iceman tumble out of the stacks onto them, arguing with one another. Elsewhere, a woman picking tomatoes in a field comes across a man with flowing gray hair and a beard; he can remember falling from the stars, but the man once known as Magento cannot remember why he is there. Back at the club, the X-Babies are impressed with how quickly Gambit & Bishop quelled the fight. They tell the X-Men they are the run. Just then, the hunters Gog and Magog enter the club, saying they are there to cancel the X-Babies.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

X-amining Champions #8 - Patreon First

"Divide & Conquer"
October 1976

In a Nutshell
The Champions hold a public unveiling even as the Russian agents escalate their attacks.

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Bob Hall
Inker: B. Patterson
Letterer: K. Mantlo
Colorist: D. Warfield
Editor: Marv Wolfman

Plot
Rampage arrives at the Champions headquarters bearing pictures of a captive Black Widow, announcing she's been captured by someone called the Outcast. His message delivered, Rampage's suit suddenly explodes. As Iceman puts out the ensuing flames, the Champions discover Rampage is still alive, prompting Ghost Rider to rush him to the hospital. Richard Fenster urges the remaining Champions to prepare for the team's public unveiling in a few hours. Ivan & Iceman decide to work on finding Black Widow, leaving Hercules & Angel to clean-up. Meanwhile, Black Widow awakens in abandoned warehouse alongside Bruskin to find herself a captive of Darkstar & Titanium Man. The two villains then leave and meet with Griffin and the leader of the group, the Outcast, wearing the Crimson Dynamo armor. Back at Champions headquarters, Ivan unveils the tracking device he's built to home in on the frequency of the black pearl carried by Bruskin, and the pair set out to follow the signal. Below, Angel, Hercules and Fenster greet the crowd gathered outside the building and Angel formally announces the formation of the Champions, but before the celebration can begin, the gathering is attacked by Titanium Man, Griffin, and Crimson Dynamo!

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

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Force in Focus: The Clones Wars Season 7 Episode 05

"Gone With a Trace"

The Moral of the Story
If there is no path before you, create your own.

Plot
Traveling across Coruscant, Ahsoka's speeder bike malfunctions, sending her plummeting into the city's lower levels. She crashes near a repair shop, whose mechanic, Trace, offers to repair the bike - for a price. When Ahsoka admits she doesn't have much in the way of credits, Trace agrees to lend Ahsoka the tools needed to fix it herself. Trace shows Ahsoka the starship she is repairing, with the hope that she and her sister Rafa will be able to leave the planet & escape the war. Just then, Pintu and two thugs arrive, looking to collect on Rafa's debt. Ahsoka fights them off. Later, they meet with Rafa, who has a job lined up to earn the credits to pay back Pintu. The job involves building Binary Load Lifter droids; Ahsoka agrees to help Trace with the work, even though she knows that model of droid to be unstable. Sure enough, one of the droids goes wild upon activation, leading Ahsoka & Trace on a chase through the underworld before they bring it to heel. Back at the garage, Rafa promises her sister she'll do the right thing with the droids, but in the end, she hands them over to her client, and uses the money to pay off Pintu. Disappointed, Ahsoka heads off to work on her bike, but Trace follows after, offering to help.

Friday, March 20, 2020

X-amining X-Man #9

"A Question of Power" / "Teeth of the Storm"
November 1995

In a Nutshell
Nate battles Dark Beast

Story: Jeph Loeb (1st Story)
Writer: John Ostrander
Pencilers: Skroce & Haynes, Lee Weeks (2nd Story)
Inkers: LaRosa, Carani, Lowe, Hanna & Pennington, Bill Sienkiewicz (2nd Story)
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft, The Usual Suspects (2nd Story)
Colorist: Mike Thomas, Paul Becton (2nd Story)
Separations: Malibu
Editor: Lisa Patrick
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Having killed Rex, Dark Beast confronts Nate, impressed with the work Sinister did in creating him. He suggests he knows more about Nate's nature, and tries to persuade him to help rule this world. But Nate knows Dark Beast's reputation from their home reality, and a fight ensues. Nate is more powerful, but Dark Beast fiercer when in close range, and he wounds Nate, taunting him that Sinister created him to be a weapon, but the weapon doesn't need to remain powerful after it completes its task, explaining Nate's random drops in power. He says he can help Nate and offers him a place at his side again, but Nate is adamant and knocks out Dark Beast. Recalling there were people once before who could help him, Nate instead decides to seek out this world's X-Men, and heads off. Watching this unfold, Blaquesmith realizes he must warn Professor X of Nate's imminent arrival.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

X-amining X-Factor #116

"Home Comings"
November 1995

In a Nutshell
Wild Child faces his past in Aurora & Alpha Flight!

Writer: Howard Mackie
Penciler: Steve Epting
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Separations: Malibu's Hues
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
At Department H headquarters in Canada, Northstar & Puck discover Aurora, their former Alpha Flight teammate & Northstar's sister, is missing. Northstar suspects she's gone after her former lover, Wild Child. Later, Wild Child is dirt biking outside of X-Factor's Falls Edge base when he's attacked by Aurora, who is angry at him for leaving her. Meanwhile, Val & Mystique are meeting with Forge, but they are interrupted by a hologram of Bishop's sister, Shard, whose projector Forge is repairing as a favor. Just then, they are alerted to the Wild Child/Aurora fight, and join Havok & Polaris outside, along with the newly-arrived Puck & Northstar. Elsewhere, Dark Beast monitors Random's progress as he drives towards Falls Edge, on a mission to carry out Dark Beast's plan against Havok. At Fall's Edge, Wild Child explains to a furious Aurora how, once his mutation evolved further and made him more unattractive, he didn't think he was good enough for her. Aurora declares that if she can't have him, no one can, and tries to kill him. Meanwhile, Random arrives at Fall's Edge, torn between his feelings for Polaris and his desire for Dark Beast to make him whole again. Elsewhere, Mystique tries to distract Aurora by shifting into Wild Child's former, handsome, form, but Wild Child objects to this tactic & exposes the ruse, saying simply that he and Aurora need to move on with their lives. Aurora then passes out, having overextended her powers. Puck & Northstar gather her up and Northstar warns Wild Child to stay away from his sister.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #326

"The Nature of Evil"
November 1995

In a Nutshell
Gambit confronts Sabretooth as Beast & Xavier debate the threat of the Legacy Virus.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Joe Madureira
Inkers: Tim Townsend
Letters: Richard Stakings & Comicraft
Colors: Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Gambit, sitting alone on the roof of the mansion, ruminating on his recent reunion with Rogue in Seattle, is joined by Storm, and they discuss whether a person can truly change who they are. Meanwhile, Beast & Professor Xavier appear at WHO conference in San Francisco to debate the Legacy Virus, in an attempt to play down the virus' threat and calm the public's fear & anger toward mutants. Genoshan Rene Majcomb is in the audience & argues on behalf of the mutates killed by the virus, but Val Cooper delivers the government's official position that at present, there is little evidence proving the threat of the virus to the population at large. At the X-Mansion, Boomer has growing doubts regarding the sincerity of the seemingly-docile Sabretooth, but Gambit does not. He bursts into the Danger Room and confronts Sabretooth with holographic recreations of his past kills, arguing that no one can forget or move past those heinous acts, until Storm comes in and makes him stop. Back in San Francisco, Beast finds Xavier ruminating on his recent failures, notably with Sabretooth. Beast says that it may very well be in Sabretooth's nature to kill, and while they may have failed to change him, they shouldn't let Sabretooth change them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

X-amining Champions #7 - Patreon First

"The Man Who Created Black Widow"
August 1976

In a Nutshell
Darkstar debuts as Black Widow's past resurfaces!

Writer: Tony Isabella
Penciler: George Tuska
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: K. Mantlo
Colorist: Phil Rache
Editor: Marv Wolfman

Plot
At the Champions' temporary headquarters, Iceman & Hercules are suddenly hit by a rocket. They are able to disable it, after which Ivan & Black Widow take it away for examination, while a shadowy figure watches from afar, hoping Ivan will deduce its origins. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Angel's lawyer is dismayed that the injured Rampage won't accept the Champions' financial aid. Just then, Griffin & Darkstar burst into the hospital and abduct Rampage. Angel & Ghost Rider pursue them, but the villains manage to fight them off & escape. Back at the Champions' base, Hercules & Iceman check for additional traps, with business manager Richard Fenster eager to ensure the upcoming ceremony goes well. The villainous Outcast, scouting the facility, uses the sudden arrival of a child looking for help to escape unnoticed. Elsewhere, Ivan & Black Widow find evidence in the missile that it was sent by their old mentor & ally Commissar Bruskin, who contacts them via a radio in the missile. Black Widow immediately tracks him down on a nearby rooftop, but before they can talk, Bruskin is blasted from behind by the Titanium Man!

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




Saturday, March 14, 2020

Force in Focus: The Clones Wars Season 7 Episode 04

"Unfinished Business"

The Moral of the Story
Trust placed in another is trust earned.

Plot
Plotting the retaking of Anaxes, Echo proposes a daring plan: sneak aboard the Separatist flagship using his knowledge & use their reliance on his algorithm to feed them false information. He assures the Jedi that Wat Tambor will have kept the loss of Echo to himself, out of fear for his profit margins, and Mace Windu reluctantly agrees to the plan. As Mace & Obi-Wan begin the assault of the Separatist ground forces, Echo, Anakin, Rex and the Bad Batch sneak aboard General Trench's ship. As Mace & Obi-Wan's forces breach the massive Separatist assembly plant, Trench puts in a call to Skago Minor for Echo's algorithm to direct his moves. Masking his location, Echo sends an order to send all droid forces to that area, intending to disable them all at once with a massive feedback pulse. After Echo does so, Trench learns Echo's orders came from aboard the ship, so he triggers a massive bomb beneath the assembly plant surface to wipe out the Republic forces. As Mace Windu works to defuse the bomb, Anakin confronts Trench for the disarming sequence, cutting off several of Trench's arms to get it. When Trench moves to attack Anakin, he kills him. Anakin then grabs the ship's self-destruct trigger, and as Mace disarms the bomb on the planet's surface, Anakin and the clones fight their way back to their ship, at which point Anakin lets Wrecker blow up Trench's flagship. In the aftermath of the battle, Echo decides his place is with the Bad Batch, and Rex salutes the group as they prepare to depart.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

X-amining Generation X '95


"Of Leather and Lace" / "The Very Personal and Very Private Journal of Monet St Croix"
1995

In a Nutshell
Generation X rescues Mondo from the mysterious Barrington

Story: Scott Lobdell & Jeph Loeb, Scott Lobdell (2nd Story)
Breakdowns: Wood and McManus
Pencils: Jeff Matsuda (2nd Story)
Finishes: Lightle, McManus, Sienkiewicz, Panosian, V.Russel & Chaloner
Inkers: Vince Russel and Rurik Taylor (2nd Story)
Letters: Rich and Dave at Comicraft,  J.T Babcock  (2nd Story)
Colors: Moreshead and Kalisz, Dana Moreshead (2nd Story)
Editor: Mark Powers
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Cordelia Frost brings Mondo to Shinobi Shaw, hoping her control over the powerful mutant will lead Shaw to grant her the title of White Queen within the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle. He declines, however, and the pair are then attacked by agents of Barrington, who kidnap Mondo. With her leverage gone, Cordelia reluctantly turns to her sister, Emma Frost, for help retrieving him. Unable to determine Cordelia's true intentions, Emma agrees to help her, and leads Generation X to battle Barrington's men and rescue Mondo. Meanwhile, Penance suffers a seizure, and Banshee turns to Moira for help, leading the pair to finally discuss Moira's infection with the Legacy Virus. Later, after returning to the school, Mondo decides to stay with Generation X and enroll, much to Cordelia's dismay. She vows to one day get even with her sister.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

X-amining Champions #6 - Patreon First

"Mad Dogs & Businessmen"
June 1976

In a Nutshell
The Champions name a team leader as they continue their fight with Rampage!

Writer: Tony Isabella
Artists: George Tuska & Vince Colletta
Letterer: Irv Watanabe
Colorist: Petra Goldberg
Editor: Marv Wolfman

Plot
With Rampage threatening Angel, the Champions feign retreat, but loop back around and turn the tide, driving Rampage off. Hiding on a rooftop, Rampage changes into normal clothes, then slips past the Champions amongst other escaping bystanders. As the wounded Ivan is put in an ambulance, Angel declares that the team needs a leader, and nominates Black Widow; the group then heads to the hospital with Ivan. Later, seeing news footage of Rampage's attack on TV, his former lawyer recognizes him, and calls the police. At his company office building, Rampage decides to dismantle his suit before he's caught, but just then, the police arrive, prompting him to blast out of the building using an experimental jet pack. Hearing reports of the ensuing battle between Rampage and the police on the radio, Iceman informs the Champions and they leave to resume their fight with him. When they arrive, Rampage realizes he is over-matched and triggers an explosion with his jet pack. But Rampage is caught in and badly injured by the ensuing debris, while his lawyer realizes he can now sell the company to pay off Rampage's creditors and still turn a tidy profit.

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

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Force in Focus: The Clones Wars Season 7 Episode 03

"On the Wings of Keeradaks"

The Moral of the Story
Survival is one step on the path to living.

Plot
Anakin & the Bad Batch hold off the Techno Union forces as Tech & Rex work to free Echo. As Wat Tambor closes in, Echo is freed and directs the group to an exhaust pipe above them. Thanks to Wrecker's strength and Anakin's Jedi abilities, the group escapes, with Wrecker leaving behind a handful of detonators to destroy Tambor's "science experiments". As Anakin and the clones try to escape the citadel, they're surrounded while perched on a narrow pipe high above the ground. Tech, using recordings he made of their cries, calls a flock of keeradaks to them, which they mount & fly away. The keeradaks deliver the Republic soldiers back to the village of the Poletecs, and Rex gives an impassioned speech urging them to take up arms against the Separatists. They agree, and fight side-by-side with Anakin and the clones when the Techno Union attacks. Together, they drive back the droid forces, much to Wat Tambor's dismay, who is determined to recoup the lost profit as a result of Echo's escape. As the Republic troops prepare to leave the planet, Rex apologizes for not finding Echo sooner, and promises him everything will soon be like it was, though Echo seems less sure of that sentiment.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) '95


"A Sinister Heart" / "Words"
November 1995

In a Nutshell
Genesis targets Mr. Sinister through his relationship with a former actress.

Writers: J.M. DeMatteis & Ralph Macchio, Scott Lobdell with Matt Idelson (2nd Story)
Pencils: Terry Dodson & John Paul Leon, Ramon Bernardo (2nd Story)
Inks: Jon Holdredge & Shawn Martinborough,  P. Craig Russell (2nd Story)
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Mike Thomas, Mike Rockwitz (2nd Story)
Editor: Mark Powers
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Beast & Jean Grey are at Beast's cabin in the Catskills, awaiting the arrival of Cyclops & Archangel for a weekend of relaxation, when they're attacked by the Dark Riders. Jean is captured, but manages to leave a faint telepathic trail for Beast to follow. Jean is taken to a Hollywood mansion, where Genesis, master of the Dark Riders, has captured an old woman named Faye Livingstone, drawing the attention of Mr. Sinister. Genesis wants Jean to read Faye's mind in order to learn why Mr. Sinister secretly visits her every year. Sinister, held at bay with Faye captured, recalls his romantic relationship with her in Depression Era Hollywood, how she ultimately found his secret lab and he was forced to hold her captive in order to conduct genetic experiments on her. Beast arrives and fights his way inside the mansion, where he convinces Jean to do as Genesis is asking and connect Sinister and Faye's minds. Once she does so, the pair share a final dance, and Faye tells Sinister she knows that, despite his cruelty, he truly did love her. Faye then dies, and Genesis leaves, having found no weakness in Sinister to exploit. Mr. Sinister then allows Beast & Jean to leave as well. They return to the cabin, ruminating that it is not their powers, but their capacity for love - which Sinister rejected - that gives them their strength.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

X-amining Champions #5 - Patreon First

"The Economy is So Bad That..."
April 1976

In a Nutshell
The Champions battle Rampage, villain of the recession.

Writer: Tony Isabella
Artists: Don Heck & John Tartag
Inker: Mike Esposito
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Janice Cohen
Editor: Marv Wolfman

Plot
Angel learns that he has inherited his recently-deceased parents' fortune, while at the same time, industrialist Stuart Clarke learns he is bankrupt, the result of competition from Stark Industries and the recent recession. Bitter, he knows just how to revive his fortunes. Later, Ivan worries that it might be too soon for Black Widow to join up with the new team Angel is forming, but she thinks working with a larger group might work out this time. At UCLA, Richard Fenster is fired, but Angel offers him a job as the business manager of the Champions, his new superhero team. Meanwhile, Stuart Clarke dons a suit of sophisticated armor he's created, and decides to rob a bank. Passing by, Iceman intervenes, but Clarke's exoskeleton overpowers him. The rest of the Champions arrive, but Clarke's strength rivals even Hercules', and when Angel is knocked out, Clarke grabs him and threatens to kill him if the rest of the Champions don't back off!

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