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

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

X-amining Logan: Path of the Warlord #1

"Path of the Warlord"
February 1996

In a Nutshell
Years in the past, Wolverine helps Chang of Landau, Luckman, & Lake stop the invasion of Earth by an extra-dimensional warlord.

Writer: Howard Mackie
Penciler: John Paul Leon
Inker: Shawn Martinborough
Lettering & Design: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Gregory Wright
Editor: Mark Powers
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Years in the past, Logan is working for Landau, Luckman & Lake. He is tasked by Chang with rescuing Dr. Carling from a warlord named Kimora. Ultimately, Kimora bests Wolverine in a fight, but is beheaded by Carling. A few years later, Logan is learning the way of the samurai as a means to control his more bestial side when Chang tracks him down. Chang reveals that Kimora is alive and has re-captured Carling, prompting Logan to join Chang in rescuing him again. Chang informs Logan that Kimora is from another dimension, and hopes to use Carling's research to send his armies to conquer Earth. Together, they travel to Kimora's dimension, and meet up with Rose, Carling's now-adult daughter. The trio make their way to Kimora's castle, fighting his shadow assassins along the way. Inside Kimora's castle, they confront the warlord, who kills Carling, triggering the animal inside Wolverine. He fights his way to Kimora, but Rose helps him regain control before killing him. Instead, they use Carling's device to trap Kimora in a dimensional rift. Logan, Chang & Rose return to Earth, and Chang offers Logan a role as Rose's partner working with Landau, Luckman & Lake once more. Logan says he'll consider it, affirming that he needs to start changing the way he looks at the world.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Patreon First - X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1

For our next "Patreon First" review series, I will begin reviewing every episode of one of the franchise's seminal pieces of multi-media expansion, the original Fox Kids animated series! Airing from 1992 to 1997, the series was hugely popular and no doubt responsible for creating a massive influx of X-Men readers, helping keep the line at the top of the sales charts even while the industry as a whole cratered around them.

Monday, July 27, 2020

G. I. JOE #40 - October 1985 (The Commercial, Not the Comic)

Cobra Hydrofoil
Shooting across the water
It's an evil new foe
Cobra Hydrofoil's gonna get
G. I. Joe
G. I. Joe A Real American Hero

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

X-amining Archangel #1

"Phantom Wings"
February 1996

In a Nutshell
Archangel meets a guilt-ridden, bird-attracting, telepathic ghost woman. 

Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Leonard Manco
Letters: Jonathan Babcock
Editor: Mark Powers
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Archangel flies off alone after an argument with Psylocke. Flying over New York City, he is psychically attacked & wakes up in a fortress-like building, the captive of woman named Tuesday Bird, who is deathly afraid of birds. She helps heal his damaged wings, while Psylocke & Jean search for him. Eventually, Archangel learns how Tuesday killed her abusive husband by causing their private plane to crash, which also killed a flock of birds. He realizes that her psychic powers are causing her guilt over the death of her husband to subconsciously call the attacking birds to her. He helps her escape the birds, and she lets him go, just as Jean & Psylocke discover that Tuesday died in the crash with her husband. In the wake of his encounter with Tuesday, Archangel finds himself more at peace with himself and his metal wings, though Psylocke is unsure how she feels about another woman - a ghost - being able to reach him when she couldn't.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Top Fives: The Champions - Patreon First

Concluding our coverage of The Champions, here's a trio of Top Five lists highlighting some of the highs and lows of the series. Check back next week for an announcement on the next Patreon review series!

Top Five Champions 

5. Iceman

While Iceman was a reliable source of ice slides, walls, and projectiles in fight scenes, outside of that, he did mostly one of two things throughout the series: moon after Darkstar, or think about how he was going to be quitting the team soon (any day now, for reals, totally...).

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

Monday, July 20, 2020

G. I. JOE #37 - July 1985 (The Commercial, Not the Comic)

Until now Joe's had it easy,
But now it's gonna get real hard
Cobra's hired evil twin brothers
Leaders of the Crimson Guard
They're double twins so much the same
If one's in trouble the other feels pain
The Crimson Guard is the most dangerous foe
of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero

Friday, July 17, 2020

X-amining Wolverine #98

"Fade to Black"
February 1996

In a Nutshell
Wolverine is framed for several deaths at the Princess Bar

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Ramon Bernado
Inkers: Napolitano, Milgrom, & Morales
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Joe Rosas
Separations: Malibu
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Wolverine awakens in the Princess Bar in Madripoor, surrounded by the bodies of his friends Archie Corrigan, O'Donnell, & Rose Wu, with no memory of how he got there or what happened to them. His last memory is of receiving a package from Zoe Culloden containing a key and a note he can't read in his memory. Stumbling out of the bar, Wolverine is confronted by Police Cheif Tai, who arrests him. Wolverine offers no resistance. Chained up in jail, Wolverine is visited by Dirt Nap, who taunts him with the fact that he's being setup by everyone. Shortly thereafter, Tyger Tiger strolls by the window of Wolverine's cell, and passes through a hacksaw and one of his yellow-and-blue uniforms. Later, Prince Baran & General Coy lead a group of thugs inside the prison to kill Wolverine, but when he learns a pair of the thugs are responsible for killing his friends and framing him, he snaps, breaking free of his restraint and slaughtering the thugs before turning towards Baran & Coy. Attempting to save himself, Coy kills Baran, but is killed in turn by a returning Tyger Tiger, who proceeds to accompany Wolverine to the damaged Landau, Luckman & Lake Madripoor office, where he uses the key Zoe gave him to open the office's warp chamber. Inside, he finds Zoe waiting, who promises to show him his fate.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

X-amining X-Force #51

"Reflections in the Night"
February 1996

In a Nutshell
In the wake of Sabretooth's escape, Boomer adopts a new look and codename.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Luciano Lima
Inkers: Hunt, Jones, Quijana & Russell
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Tom Vincent
Editor: Bob Harras

Cable & Bishop investigate the scene of Sabretooth's escape, and though Bishop believes the evidence shows Boomer played a role in his escape despite her statement to the contrary, Cable angrily backs up his teammate, forcing Storm to quell the tension between them. Up in her room, Boomer begins destroying some of her keepsakes. Meanwhile, Beast runs a series of tests on Shatterstar, puzzled by the presence of DNA matching Longshot's. Up on the roof, a brooding Gambit is disturbed when a sleeping Siryn subconsciously activates her power, destroying part of the mansion. Siryn tells him she was dreaming of being held against her will, alongside Deadpool. Elsewhere, Warpath continues to stretch his powers, racing on foot from the mansion into New York City for a meeting with a mysterious contact. Back at the mansion, Cannonball begs Boomer to let him inside her room, but she tells him to leave, sending a small timebomb through the keyhole to underscore her point. Downstairs, Sunspot discusses his recent experiences with the Askani language with Caliban, while in New York, Warpath meets a woman named Risque, who just gives him a quick kiss before running off, telling him not to forget her. The next morning, Cable & Cannonball gather outside Boomer's room, insisting she let them in. She finally opens the door, revealing a new uniform and shorter hair, telling them she's not Boomer anymore, she's Meltdown.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #49

"Eyes of a New York Woman"
February 1996

In a Nutshell
Bishop battles Fatale as Dark Beast discovers the existence of regular Beast

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Dialogue: Mark Waid
Pencils: Jeff Matsuda
Inks: Dan Panosian
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Kevin Somers
Separations: Malibu Hues
Editor: Bob Harras

At Harry's Hideaway, Bishop attacks Pamela, the waitress, believing her to be spying on him. Beast intervenes, but Bishop hurls him across the room, calling him a pet of Apocalypse. Responding to the disturbance, a police officer enters & Bishop's disarms him, but Pamela, not wanting to make things worse for Bishop, offers to take him back to her apartment to clear his head. Meanwhile, Gateway abducts Chamber from Xavier's School in Massachusetts; the only word Monet was able to get out of Gateway's mind before he disappeared was "Onslaught". Back in New York, Beast searches for Bishop, who is being watched by Dark Beast through Pamela's eyes. When Bishop wakes up, Pamela reveals herself as Fatale and attacks him. Their fight spills out into the street, drawing Beast's attention, but Dark Beast calls it off when he spots his doppelganger for the first time, as he is inspired to start a new, more sinister, plan.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Ranking The Champions #1-17 - Patreon First

The internet loves to rank things, so with the entirety of Champions reviewed, and that entirety standing at just seventeen issues (not counting guest appearances), I thought it would be fun to rank rank every issue of the series (against each other, relatively speaking) before moving on to the next review series.

The Bad

17. Champions #4

Guest Writer Chris Claremont does little to punch up a standard tale about super-soldier programs that is really more of a Black Widow/Hercules team-up than a Champions story.

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

Friday, July 10, 2020

X-amining X-Man #12

February 1996

In a Nutshell
Nate arrives on Muir Island to find Excalibur waiting for him

Writer: John Ostrander
Penciler: Steve Skroce
Inker: Bud LaRosa
Letterer: Richard Starkings/Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas/Graphic colorworks
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Following Rogue's advice, Nate arrives on Muir Island, and is immediately attacked by a suspicious Excalibur. Moira calls them off, however, and proceeds to run a series of tests on Nate. Elsewhere, Mr. Sinister contacts Threnody and asks if they have any data on Nate Grey; she feigns ignorance, but actually believes that Nate will be her ticket to escaping Sinister. On Muir Island, Moira confirms Nate does not have the Legacy Virus, but finds some odd readings she wants to examine further. In the meantime, Nate spends some time with Wolfsbane. Later, Moira discusses her findings with Xavier: Nate's immense power is burning out his body, killing him. Meanwhile, Nate is drawn to the cell where Spoor is being held, and while he is able to tell Spoor is not being entirely truthful about his claims that Muir Island is place of mutant experimentation, he nevertheless grows suspicious. He proceeds to confront Moira in her lab, and when he reads her mind, is alarmed by the news of his impending death and the fact that she was reporting on him to Xavier. Outside, Colossus & Nightcrawler are stunned when Moira's lab suddenly explodes.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

X-amining X-Factor #119

"The Best Offense"
February 1996

In a Nutshell
Wild Child & Shard hit up a rave as the rest of the team prepares for the arrival of the Adversary

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

Wild Child wakes up in the morning, determined to make a fresh start and put his relationship with Aurora behind him, when he's suddenly greeted by Shard's hologram. Meanwhile, the rest of X-Factor is busy preparing security defenses against the Adversary, though a weakened Roma insists Forge's technology won't be able to stop him. Shard wants to have some fun, so she and Wild Child race out of the base on his motorcycle, attracting his teammates' attention. Out in the desert, the Adversary gloats over Naze's final resting spot, little realizing the shaman may still live. Back in Virginia, Polaris follows after Wild Child & Shard but when she tries to get them to come back, Wild Child snaps at her about Havok before racing away. Elsewhere, Val Cooper receives an update on the captive - and alive - Sabretooth, who briefly breaks free of his restraints before being tranquilized again. Later, Wild Child & Shard arrive at a rave and run afoul of some members of the Friends of Humanity, ultimately fight them off. Shard announces she likes Wild Child, but fritzs out just before they kiss. Wild Child returns to Falls Edge and, feeling bad, find Polaris and apologizes for snapping at her. Polaris declares that while she still loves Havok, she's done feeling pain over his absence. He'll be back when he's back, she declares; both she & Wild Child need to get on with their lives.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #329

"Warriors of the Ebon Night: Part 1"
February 1996

In a Nutshell
Wolverine & Archangel set out to find the Crimson Dawn in order to save Psylocke

Writers: Scott Lobdell & Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Joe Madureira
Inker: Tim Townsend
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Observing events in his scrying pool, Dr. Strange realizes Wolverine & Archangel may soon need his help, whether they realize it or not, and sets out in his astral form to assist them. Meanwhile, Wolverine brings Archangel to a tea house in Little Asia, insisting they will find the help Psylocke needs inside. Their entrance is noticed & reported to a shadowy figure who says he was prepared for their arrival. Shortly after they sit down, they are attacked by the Steam Ninja. The ninja's weakness towards metal gives Archangel the edge in the ensuing fight, but it takes Wolverine seemingly killing an old woman in the back of the shop to dissipate the ninja. Archangel is outraged at Wolverine seemingly taking a life, but Wolverine reveals the old woman was actually a man named Gomurr the Ancient, who was controlling the ninja, and is alive and well. Wolverine convinces Gomurr to aid their quest to find the Crimson Dawn, the one substance Wolverine believes will save Psylocke's life. Just then, Dr. Strange arrives, and joins them on their quest as well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

X-amining Spectacular Spider-Man #18 - Patreon First

"My Friend, My Foe!"
May 1978

In a Nutshell
Spider-Man helps free Iceman from Rampage's control!

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Sal Buscema
Inker: David Hunt
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Mary Ellen Beveridge
Editor: Archie Goodwin

Though Stuart Clarke - Rampage - lies unconscious, Iceman continues to go on a rampage, attacking Spider-Man and Angel. Their fight spills out of Champions' headquarters and into the streets, though Angel is held up by the arrival of lawyers representing the contractors who built the building. As Spider-Man battles Iceman across the city, he manages to drag him into a carwash, where the sudden intense hint thaws his icy form and snaps him free of Clarke's lingering control. They return to Champions' headquarters to discover Angel has forced the contractors to repair their shoddy work for free, making the building easier to unload. Later, Spider-Man returns to New York as Angel returns Rampage to the hospital and Iceman decides to head out on his own.

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

X-amining X-Men Creators Choice #1-2 (Pizza Hut Exclusive)

This review comes courtesy of Patreon supporter Scott Church. After supporting the site at the "Extraordinary" level for twelve months, he chose these issues for review. To get the chance to pick your own issue for review, and support the site, become a Patron here

"One Good Mutant Part One & Two"
December 1993

In a Nutshell
The X-Men battle Mr. Sinister over control of a new mutant

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Alex Saviuk (issue #1), Ron Lim (issue #2)
Inker: Greg Adams (issue #1), Bill Anderson (issue #2)
Letters: Rick Parker
Colors: Paul Beacon (issue #1), George Roussos (issue #2)
Editor: Glenn Herdling
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

The X-Men arrive at a football stadium in Dallas, Texas, where a young player named Derrick Beacon's mutant power is manifesting for the first time. The X-Men try to help him control his power, but this leaves them open to attack by Mr. Sinister, who manages to knock out all the X-Men, save Jubilee. With the X-Men captive, Mr. Sinister tries to convince Beacon to join his efforts at bringing about mutant supremacy, but while Iceman taunts Sinister, Jubilee convinces Beacon to help free the X-Men, after which Mr. Sinister teleports away, defeated. The X-Men proceed to offer Beacon a place at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, but he declines, opting instead to finish high school & go to college.