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

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Force in Focus: The Mandalorian Season 2x01

"The Marshal"

Plot
Hoping to find other Mandalorians to aid him on his quest to reunite the Child with its people, the Mandalorian learns from fight promoter and beskar-dealer Gor Karesh that someone in beskar armor has been seen recently on Tatooine. He and the Child proceed to Tatooine and reunite with mechanic Peli, who points them to the city of Mos Pelgo. There, the Mandalorian meets Cobb Vanth, who is serving as the town's marshal and wearing the beskar armor. He strikes a deal with the Mandalorian: help him rid the town of a krayt dragon threatening it, and he'll hand over the armor. Together, Vanth and the Mandalorian form an alliance with a local tribe of Tusken Raiders, and both the tribe and the townspeople come together to destroy the dragon. In the aftermath of their success, Vanth hands over the armor, and the Mandalorian and the Child speed back to the ship, as they're unknowingly watched by someone familiar with Vanth's now-former armor. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

X-amining Cable #31

"There is a Reaction!
May 1996


In a Nutshell

The Cable/X-Man crossover concludes 


Writer: Jeph Loeb

Penciler: Ian Churchill

Inker: Scott Hanna 

Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft

Colorist: Mike Thomas 

Corner Man: Mark Powers

Towel Thrower: Bob Harras


Plot

With Exodus defeated, Nate turns his attention to Blaquesmith & Cable. Blaquesmith insists Nate needs to be killed, to prevent him getting in the way of Cable's true mission, the defeat of Apocalypse. Cable, on the other hand, recognizes much of his own past struggles in Nate's experiences, and wants to try to help him. Blaquesmith tries to deploy a failsafe technique designed by the Askani to handle someone of Nate's power, and the reverberations of his attack are felt by psychics all over the globe. Blaquesmith ultimately comes up short, but in the course of the ensuing fight with Cable, Nate's power finally reaches its upper limits, and he collapses. Cable enters his mind, finding it deeply shattered. Mustering his own psychic strength, Cable helps repair Nate's mind, finding a place deep inside which is willing to accept Cable's help. He ultimately succeeds in saving Nate, but finds the techno-organic virus in his body resurgent. Cable & Blaquesmith leave Nate in Threnody's care as they depart to help Cable recover, but just then, he receives a psychic call from Domino, saying X-Force is in trouble, and Cable orders Blaquesmith to take him to New York despite his condition. Meanwhile, Onslaught, having observed Cable and Nate's confrontation and disappointed it wasn't more conclusive, tasks Post with eliminating Cable, saying he has plans yet for young Nate Grey. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

X-amining X-Factor #122

"The Faces of Truth"
May 1996

In a Nutshell
Sabretooth (and Jeff Matsuda) join the team. 

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

Plot
Val Cooper contacts Forge, telling him the government has located the person they believe attacked Mystique at the Belle Fource dam a few weeks ago. However, Forge is actually Mystique in disguise, faking electrical interface in order to cover for her shifts between Forge and her true form forced by her inhibitor implant. When Val arrives at Falls Edge, Mystique absconds with her jet. Meanwhile, Wild Child laments Shard's absence to Polaris while Forge says goodbye to Naze. When they learn about Mystique, the team heads out to a government facility on the US/Canada border. Mystique arrives at the facility to find it filled with dead scientists, as well as her apparent attacker. She attempts to ambush him, but is instead captured herself. X-Factor reaches the facility and discovers that Sabretooth has captured Mystique, though he insists he didn't ambush her at the dam; rather he was sent specifically to find whomever did. Val is then forced to admit to the rest of X-Factor that Sabretooth has been placed on the team, shortly before he leaps to attack her. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #332

"The Road to Casablanca"
May 1996

In a Nutshell
The X-Men try to find the devolved Wolverine, and encounter Ozymandias in the process. 

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Joe Madureira
Inkers: Tim Townsend
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Team Bucce
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
Wolverine - transformed by his recent encounter with Genesis - pauses on a hilltop overlooking a temple. He senses the presence of someone nearby, watching him, but when he turns, the person is gone. Meanwhile, Professor X confronts Zoe Culloden at the Casablanca office of Landau, Luckman and Lake, trying to find Wolverine. She is reluctant to help, citing attorney-client privilege, but outside the office, Jean suddenly senses Wolverine nearby, and leads Cyclops, Iceman and Cannonball towards him. Meanwhile, Wolverine draws closer to the temple, and falls through a trap door. Deep inside the temple resides Ozymandias, a former disciple of Apocalypse transformed into animate stone. He confronts Wolverine, threatening to kill him if he doesn't explain why he's there. Just then, the X-Men arrive, and Ozymandias animates stone representations of assorted friends and foes of the X-Men, setting the constructs against them. During the ensuing fight, Cyclops is knocked into a deep chasm. Wolverine attempts to save him, but Ozymandias grabs him and prepares to throw him after Cyclops as well. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1 Episode 13 - Patreon First

 "The Final Decision"

Original Airdate
March 27 1993

Producer: Larry Houston
Story: Steven Melching
Storyboard Artist: Larry Houston
Story Editor Developer: Eric Lewald
Writers: Robert N. Skir & Marty Isenberg

Plot
As the X-Men search for the kidnapped Senator Kelly, Magneto explains to Kelly how he'd hoped Kelly's death would trigger a war between mutants & humans. But before he can kill Kelly himself, Sentinels attack, rescuing Kelly. The X-Men are able to track Magneto's location and arrive shortly thereafter, bringing the injured Magneto back to the X-Mansion. Senator Kelly is brought before Bolivar Trask & Master Mold, who reveals his plan to replace the brains of world leaders with computers. Meanwhile, using Gambit's memories of his experiences on Genosha, the X-Men track down Henry Peter Gyrich. When Gyrich calls Trask for help, Gyrich learns of Master Mold's plans. The X-Men resolve to stop the Sentinels, despite the tremendous odds against them. Arriving outside the Sentinel's base inside a mountain, Storm, Rogue & Jubilee distract the Sentinels while Cyclops, Gambit, Wolverine and Jean Grey penetrate the base to find Kelly. As Wolverine & Gambit engage Sentinels inside a mine and Magneto joins the fray outside, Cyclops & Jean rescue Kelly & Trask, who triggers an explosion he hopes will destroy Master Mold. But as the X-Men themselves barely escape the explosion, Master Mold bursts out of the mountain. Professor X, flying the Blackbird loaded with explosives, crashes into Master Mold, destroying it. Xavier is rescued by Magneto, and the pair depart on reasonable terms. Later, Senator Kelly, having seen the errors of his way, calls for tolerance for mutants, and arranges Beast's release from prison. Cyclops & Jean enjoy a picnic together, and Cyclops proposes to Jean. But the pair are being unknowingly watched by something...sinister. 

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Monday, October 26, 2020

X-aminations in November 2020 & January 1995 Power Rankings


Another month turns, apparently, as the end of the year and the holiday season draws near. And with it, the looming specter of "Onslaught". I called an audible on Wolverine #100 once I remembered it explicitly takes place before Uncanny X-Men #332 (but since they were both published in the same month, I could get away with that), which caused this month's reviews to get rejiggered a bit, but the general thrust remains the same as X-Men wraps up its last pre-"Onslaught" story, Rogue meets Joseph in X-Men Unlimited #11, and Marvel fights DC! 

On Sale March 1996
November 4: X-Men (vol. 2) #52
November 5: X-Force #54
November 6: Wolverine #101 

November 11: Generation X #15
November 12: Excalibur #97
November 13:  X-Man #15

November 18: Marvel vs. DC #1-4

On Sale April 1996
November 25: X-Men Unlimited #11

Power Rankings - On Sale January 1996

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

X-amining Wolverine #100

"Furnace of His Brain, Anvil of His Heart"
May 1996

In a Nutshell
Wolverine rejects the adamantium bonding process, becoming more feral than ever before slaughtering the Dark Riders. 

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: Dan Green
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Joe Rosas
Separations: Electric Crayon
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
Genesis and his Dark Riders begin the process of bonding Cyber's adamantium to Wolverine's bones, while Cannonball, joined by Zoe Culloden, watch from a hidden alcove. Cannonball wants to jump in and try to stop the process, but Zoe insists they need to observe longer. She shows him the place where Genesis intends to use the prisoners he's captured to restore Apocalypse, encased in a sarcophagus in the center of the room. They then return to the bonding chamber to find Wolverine resisting the process, prompting Genesis to order more power given to the procedure. Cannonball wants to intercede but Zoe says they need to wait for the right time, then teleports away to take care of other matters. But as the Dark Riders announce Wolverine is finally accepting the metal, Cannonball springs into action. He manages to damage some of the equipment, but is caught by the Dark Riders. The sight of them beating Cannonball to a pulp stirs something in Wolverine, and he wills the adamantium out of his body, triggering an explosion that sends adamantium shrapnel flying. Cannonball & Wolverine, now feral, flee deeper into the citadel, where Wolverine picks off the Dark Riders, one by one, before turning to face Genesis. Meanwhile, Cannonball opens the sarcophagus to find it empty, with no sign of Apocalypse or his body. He returns to Wolverine's side to find Genesis dead. Wolverine growls an apology, then runs off on his own. Elsewhere, Stick visits Elektra and tells her a warrior has fallen; she leaves to begin her journey to help him regain his path. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1 Episode 12 - Patreon First

"Days of Future Past Part 2"

Original Airdate
March 20, 1993

Producer: Larry Houston
Story: Steven Melching
Storyboard Artist: Larry Houston
Story Editor Developer: Eric Lewald
Writers: Robert N. Skir & Marty Isenberg

Plot
Bishop accuses Gambit of being the assassin who will bring about the terrible future from when Bishop hails. Though the X-Men stop Bishop from killing him, the X-Men aren't vehement in their support of Gambit, prompting him to storm out. Later, Bishop catches Gambit in the hanger, preparing to leave for Washington DC. Bishop thinks he's caught Gambit red-handed, but Gambit insists he's going to clear his name. The rest of the X-Men arrive, and Xavier deems Gambit's plan too risky; he and the rest of the X-Men are going to Washington for a summit on mutant affairs, but Gambit, Bishop and Wolverine will stay behind. In Washington, the X-Men assume lookout positions, determined the catch the assassin, as the mutant affairs committee begins their discussions. At the X-Mansion, Gambit triggers a distraction, and heads for Washington himself. At the summit, Pyro, Blob & Avalanche attack, targeting Senator Kelly. The X-Menspring into action, but Senator Kelly is seemingly targeted by Gambit. Just then, the real Gambit appears, followed closely by Bishop. He prepares to kill both Gambits, but Rogue damages his temporal transceiver, sending him back to the future, after which, the Gambit who tried to kill Kelly revels herself to be Mystique, who is also Rogue's foster mother. With Kelly safe, Rogue reluctantly lets her mother go free. Bishop finds himself back in the future, but little has changed. He believes he's failed, but Forge says that some other terrible event must have occurred. Back in the present, Professor X tries to meet with Senator Kelly in the aftermath of the failed assassination, but the X-Men discover he's been kidnapped from his office. Professor X believes he knows who took the senator, because as he entered the office, his watch became...magnetized. 

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Friday, October 16, 2020

X-amining X-Man #14

"Fallen From Grace"
April 1996

In a Nutshell
Nate battles Exodus 

Plot: John Ostrander
Script: Terry Kavanagh
Penciler: Steve Skroce
Inks: Bud LaRosa
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Separations: Graphic Color Works
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
As Nate battles Exodus, Cable avoids the avalanche triggered by their fight. Nate finds he can easily outmatch Exodus in terms of power, but also that Exodus draws strength by absorbing Nate's power, so he switches tactics and hits Exodus with a massive uppercut, sending him reeling. Meanwhile, in Paris, Madelyne Pryor is staying with Selene and preparing some food when she cuts herself, and realizes it only hurt after she noticed the cut. Meanwhile, back in Switzerland, Nate and Threnody put some distance between themselves Exodus, while Blaquesmith argues with Cable, who refuses to consider killing Nate, wanting instead to talk with him. Exodus catches up with Nate, and they resume their fight. Cable tries shooting Exodus, but he easily blocks the bullets. Exodus seems poised for victory, until Nate senses his connection to Apocalypse in his mind. Fueld by his rage at Exodus' association with a being Nate hates, Nate pours enough power into Exodus that he exceeds his' capacity to absorb it. He then throws Exodus into a crevasse in the Earth and seals it behind him. Flush with power and seething with fury, Nate then turns to Cable, Blaquesmith & Threnody. He mocks the fear he senses in all of them, saying he senses it in every mind he encounters on this unspoiled Earth, yet he's only just begun...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

X-amining Excalibur #96

"Fireback"
April 1996

In a Nutshell
Shinobi Shaw asks Captain Britain to infiltrate the London Hellfire Club as its Inner Circle puts their plans in motion. 

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Carlos Pacheco
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Ariane Lenshoek
Separations: Malibu Hues
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
In Westchester, Jean Grey finds Alistair Stuart at the gates of the X-Mansion, asking for help in reaching Excalibur, before they are all killed. Meanwhile, at the New York Hellfire Club, Shinobi Shaw laments his lack of agents inside the Inner Circle of the club's London branch, and reluctantly decides to reach out to Brian Braddock. At Muir Island, Nightcrawler is showing off his new look to Kitty & Colossus while practicing soccer, when Meggan interrupts to tell him he has a phone call. At the London Hellfire Club, the Black and Red Kings verbally spar as they discuss their plans for Black Air. Back on Mur Island, Nightcrawler, Kitty, and Colossus take a call from Alistair, who warns them of trouble afoot involving Black Air. Nightcrawler says he will take the Midnight Flit to retrieve him. Meanwhile, Sebastian Shaw meets with Black Air agent Scratch, trading him a mysterious box for files, before departing for a rendezvous with Tessa. Back on Muir Island, Nightcrawler departs in the Flit as Brian receives a call from Shinobi, who asks him to infiltrate the London club, warning him that the Inner Circle has a new member: Mountjoy. Outside, Douglock contemplates his being, and decides to put aside logic in favor of chaos. Later, as the Midnight Flit crosses into British air space with Alistair aboard, it is attacked by Black Air attack helicopters, which send it crashing to the ground. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

X-amining Generation X #14

"Jubilee's Top Ten Reasons Why Emplate is a Loser"
April 1996

In a Nutshell
Jubilee frees Generation X and Bishop helps Monet fight off Emplate. 

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Pascual Ferry
Inker: Mark Buckingham
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft 
Colorist: Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Jubilee continues to goad Emplate, prompting him to feed on her and absorb her powers, at which point he loses control of them on account of being so angry. The resulting explosion frees the captive Generation X, as Jubilee's plan comes to fruition. Meanwhile, Bishop and Monet work together to defeat Emplate's minions. Emplate, preparing to retreat, tries to grab Monet, but Bishop intervenes, telling Emplate he's going to die for his future crimes. Just then, Penance enters the fray, targeting Monet, but Monet doesn't resist, saying she wants to atone for her brother's sins. Meanwhile, Chamber forgives Gayle Edgerton for helping Emplate, saying nothing can change what they once meant to each other. As Bishop and Emplate fight, Emplate begins to worry, as he's growing weaker, making it harder for him to remain in this dimension. Just then, Penance turns on Emplate, slashing him from behind. Shocked at her betrayal, he phases into the extradimensional Beyond, telling Generation X they'll be too busy searching for their teammate to find him. As Generation X regroups, Banshee realizes Synch is missing, and Monet says she knows where he is. Given her brother's feelings about family, Synch has been transformed by Emplate and sent to his family, to either turn them, or kill them. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1 Episode 11 - Patreon First

 "Days of Future Past - Part 1"

Original Airdate
March 13, 1993

Producer: Larry Houston
Story: Steven Melching
Storyboard Artist: Larry Houston
Story Editor Developer: Eric Lewald
Writers: Julia Jane Lewald 

Plot
In the year 2055, Wolverine leads a pair of fellow rebels in battle against the Sentinels, but they are captured by a mutant tracker named Bishop. He takes them to a mutant internment camp, but upon delivery, the Sentinels inform him he's met his quota, and must be incarcerated as well. As the four mutants are led into the camp, Wolverine and his companions counterattack, and Bishop joins the fray. When the super-Sentinel Nimrod arrives, Wolverine's companions stay behind to hold it off. Wolverine & Bishop arrive at the mutant rebel headquarters where they meet Forge. Bishop learns the rebels have a time machine and plan to travel to the past in order to stop a political assassination by a mutant in the hopes of creating a better world. The Sentinels arrive, and as Wolverine engages them, Bishop goes back in time. Bishop arrives in the past, his memories fuzzy. He studies the time transceiver which keeps him anchored in the past, and deduces he must have come back in time to stop the assassination by killing the X-Men. He attacks the mansion but is captured by the X-Men; Xavier reads his mind and learns about the horrible future awaiting mutants. Just then, the transceiver alerts Bishop that something else has come back in time: Nimrod. Bishop joins the X-Men and they manage to destroy the Sentinel, but it starts reassembling itself until Bishop blasts its transceiver, sending it back to the future. As Bishop and the X-Men return to the mansion, they discuss the possible identity of the assassin. Just then, Rogue & Gambit return from visiting Beast. Upon seeing Gambit, Bishop remembers that he is the assassin, and proceeds to blast him with his gun. 

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

X-amining X-Force #53


"Even an X-Ternal Can Die!"
April 1996

In a Nutshell
X-Force battles Absalom & Crule as someone stalks the X-Ternals

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Adam Pollina
Inks: Mark Morales
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Marie Javins
Separations: Malibu Hues
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
As Sunspot & Caliban stare in disbelief at Gideon, Absalom & Crule attack, believing them to be responsible for his death. While Caliban is injured, Sunspot sends a distress call to the rest of the team, spurning them into action just as Domino, Siryn & Meltdown are returning from their encounter with Blob. As X-Force arrives on the scene and joins the fray, Warpath is drawn by his heightened senses to office out of which Gideon was flung. Climbing up the building, he enters Gideon's office and finds another X-Ternal, Saul, similarly drained of life; he can also sense that whomever did the killings is still inside. Outside, X-Force gains the upper hand, but Domino stops Shatterstar from killing Crule. In Gideon's office, Warpath is briefly able to track the X-Ternals' assailant, only to be taken out himself from behind. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #51

"Deathbound Train"
April 1996

In a Nutshell
Bishop, Gambit & (Dark)Beast attempt to stop an out-of-control train filled with wildly-mutating humans.

Writer: Mark Waid
Pencils: Pascual Ferry
Inkers: John Dell, Mark Morales, Vince Russell 
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Marie Javins
Separations: Malibu Hues
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
After finishing the repairs on Cerebro, Professor X detects a sudden surge of mutant energy in New Jersey. Bishop takes Gambit & Beast to investigate, and they find a commuter train out-of-control & overrun with mutates, humans infected with a disease that triggers mutations and is passed by physical contact. Meanwhile, Cyclops & Jean Grey are visiting Jean's parents when Graydon Creed announces his candidacy for president on TV. This prompts Xavier to contact Ambassador St. Croix and prepare him for the fact that the X-Men may need to take drastic action to stop Creed. Back on the train, Bishop & Gambit head for the engine while Beast cobbles together an anesthetic to knock out the mutates. After he does, Mr. Sinister appears on the train, claiming credit for the virus. At the head of the train, Bishop & Gambit are unable to stop the train, but Gambit comes up with an idea, and begins charging the train with kinetic energy, effectively turning it into a massive bomb heading right into Manhattan!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1 Episode 10 - Patreon First!

"The Unstoppable Juggernaut"

Original Airdate
March 6th, 1993

Producer: Larry Houston
Story: Steven Melching
Storyboard Artist: Larry Houston
Story Editor Developer: Eric Lewald
Writers

Plot
The X-Men return home from Genosha to find the mansion destroyed; they search the wreckage and discover a message from Xavier saying he is leaving the school for a time, recorded before the destruction. Wolverine picks up the scent of the culprit and, against Cyclops' orders, heads out on his own to follow the trail. He is followed by Jubilee, Rogue & Storm. In the city, Jubilee encounters Colossus, who is tearing down a building. Wolverine briefly believes him to be the one who attacked the mansion, but when he gets close enough to smell him, he realizes he is not. When Colossus is wrongly arrested for a bank robbery, Storm & Rogue break him out of jail, while Wolverine & Jubilee find the real culprit: Juggernaut. They try to stop him, but he is too strong. The rest of the X-Men arrive, and Jean says she can't control Juggernaut's mind because of his helmet. Working together along with Colossus, the X-Men manage to remove Juggernaut's helmet, at which point Jean wipes his mind. Back at the mansion, Colossus offers to help rebuild it, while Wolverine & Jubilee both realize they've come to think of the place as home.

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Monday, October 5, 2020

X-Men: The Art and Making of The Animated Series

 


The publisher sent me a review copy of Eric and Julia Lewald's new art book, X-Men: The Art and Making of The Animated Series a few weeks back. I'm coming at this from a biased perspective, admittedly, as a kid introduced to the X-Men on a spinner rack in 1988 and firmly planted in front of the television on October 31, 1992 awaiting the animated premiere of my favorite characters. But if you're a fan of this show, it's difficult to justify not picking this up.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Force in Focus: Star Wars #108

"Forever Crimson"
May 2019

In a Nutshell
Domina Tagge returns and attempts to retrieve the Crimson Forever jewels, but is stopped by Valance the Hunter.

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Pencilers: Guiseppe Camuncoli, Andrea Broccardo, Kerry Gammill, Ze Carlos, Jan Duursema, Stefano Landini, Luke Ross, Leonard Kirk,
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Mark Paniccia

Plot
On Centares, a group of scavengers discuss the history of Valance the Hunter as they harvest scrap metal. Meanwhile, on Stenos, Han & Chewbacca meet with a potential client with a large bounty on his head. When hunters turn up trying to capture him, a fight breaks out, and their client is killed. During the melee, Han & Chewie run into Jaxxon & Amaiza, who were also looking for their client, and learn that the bounty was placed by Domina Tagge. On Centares, the scavengers turn their find over to agents of Domina, while Han warns Leia about her re-emergence and they speculate she is attempting to once again unleash the Crimson Forever. In deep space, Valance's damaged body - lost amidst the scrap scavenged on Centares - reactivates, and he attacks Domina's agents. Meanwhile, Han & Leia lead a force to the outskirts of the galaxy, to the drifting Star Destroyer where they abandoned the Crimson Forever jewels. Domina and her forces arrive shortly thereafter, and the parties race aboard the Star Destroyer to retrieve the jewels. Jaxxon manages to get ahold of the jewels but refuses to hand them over to Leia, triggering a standoff that is interrupted by the arrival of Valance. He uses the jewels to restore his lost flesh, but is blasted by Domina. In the ensuing fight, one of the jewels is tossed out into space, thereby infecting everyone in the vicinity of the other jewel with the Crimson Forever plague. But Valance grabs the remaining jewel and, paying Luke back for saving his life, dives out of the ship.  In space, Valance brings the two jewels together, thereby curing the infected, before drifting into the nearby star, sacrificing himself to end the threat of the Crimson Forever once and for all.

Friday, October 2, 2020

X-amining Cable #30

"For Every Action"
April 1996

In a Nutshell
Cable tracks down Nate Grey

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Ian Churchill
Inker: Scott Hanna
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Separations: Malibu Hues
Knight in the Realm: Mark Powers
King: Bob Harras

Plot
Somewhere in the Swiss Alps, Exodus emerges from his tomb, just as he once did 800 years ago, refreshed yet hungering for the power he senses nearby. Meanwhile, Cable is flying over the Alps in pursuit of Nate Grey; as he draws closer to the boy, he begins to experience Nate's memories. Nate, leading Threnody to an unknown destination to which he feels himself drawn, begins to experience Cable's memories. They end up at one of Cable's safehouses. Nate sees a photo of Cable, recognizing him as an older version of himself. Just then, Cable arrives and offers to help Nate, but Nate reacts instinctively and blasts Cable out of the house. Cable responds by letting Nate read his mind, but when he sees images of Xavier, Moira, Sinister, and Apocalypse, his suspicion deepens, and when Blaquesmith arrives to warn Cable of the presence of someone powerful coming closer, Nate destroys the safe house. In the aftermath of the explosion, Nate finds himself face to face with Exodus.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

X-amining X-Factor #121

 "The True Path"
April 1996

In a Nutshell
Forge defeats 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

Plot
Forge awakens from a dream in which his teammates have been cast as the members of his Vietnam platoon to find Naze watching over him. Roma appears, and tells them she will hold the Adversary at bay while Naze prepares Forge. Meanwhile, Val Cooper confronts her superior about Sabretooth, but he uses the opportunity to show off Sabretooth's control collar; Val remains reluctant about the idea of him joining X-Factor. Meanwhile, Forge & Naze travel to the Rocky Mountains, where Naze helps rebuild Forge's magical strength, and offers him a choice of weapons, a knife and his Neutralizer gun, each representing magic or science. As Roma falters, the Adversary confronts Forge, who uses a combination of both magic and science, channeling his sorcerous abilities through the knife and into the gun, to blast the Adversary and banish him back to his home dimension. Though both Forge & Naze believe he will return again, his defeat revives the rest of X-Factor, and Forge is content, for now, to live in peace.