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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

X-amining X-Man '96 #1


"Sons of the Father" / "Mindgames"
1996

In a Nutshell
Nate Grey returns to the Age of Apocalypse!

Story: Terry Kavanagh, Ralph Macchio (2nd Story)
Art: Alan Davis, Terry Dodson (2nd Story)
Inker: Mark Farmer and Robin Riggs, Rachel Pinnock (2nd Story)
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Tom Vincent, Joe Andreani (2nd Story)
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Nate Grey traces recent ripples in reality to Sugar Man in Genosha, and confronts the villain in his stronghold. But Nate's attack plays into Sugar Man's hands, powering his "fargate" which opens a portal into the past of their shared home reality, from which Sugar Man plans to steal a deadly virus for use in his new world. Nate follows him through the portal, and is reunited with Forge and Magneto, both younger than Nate knew them. Together, the trio storms Sugar Man's fortress on word from Magneto's inside man, Morph, who helps rescue a captive Mastermind from Sugar Man. When Sugar Man deploys the virus into the water, Magneto uses his power to collect and destroy it. Nate tells Forge he wants to stay and change the future of his world, but Forge insists he return to what is now his home. With Mastermind's help, Forge tricks Nate into returning home, with Sugar Man getting caught up in the effects of the fargate and sent back as well. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x08 - Patreon First!

"Savage Land, Strange Hearts Part 1"

Original Airdate
September 10, 1994

Writers: Robert Skir, Marty Isenberg

Plot
In the Savage Land, Sauron and his forces are overwhelmed by Ka-Zar and his rebellion. Sauron is rescued by Zaladane, a priestess of Garokk, a religious deity represented throughout the Savage Land via a series of stone heads. Zaladane tells Sauron to leave the Savage Land in order to find additional mutants on which to feed. He flies an old jet of Magneto's to New York, transforming into the human Karl Lykos in the process. Later, Lykos bumps into a group of X-Men visiting New York City, and absorbs Wolverine's energy, not realizing he's a mutant. The energy transforms him back into Sauron. Rogue and Storm attack Sauron in the air. Sauron hypnotizes Rogue and turns her against the X-Men, allowing him to escape to the Savage Land with Storm. The X-Men follow him, and are reunited with Ka-Zar. Meanwhile, Sauron unleashes Storm's dark side, then attack Ka-Zar and the X-Men. They manage to weaken Sauron such that he transforms  back into Lykos, at which point Garokk tells Zaladane to unleash Storm, who angrily attacks the X-Men. 

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Monday, January 24, 2022

Thursday, January 20, 2022

X-amining Excalibur #105


"Hard Truths"
January 1997

In a Nutshell
Excalibur battles the MLF while Kitty comes to terms with the truth about Douglock.

Story: John Arcudi
Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist: Bryan Hitch
Inkers: Paul Neary Bryan Hitch, and Riggs
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Colorist: Ariane Lenshoek 
Separations: Malibu
Editor: Matt Idelson
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Kitty emerges from Doug Ramsey's grave, stunned to have seen his body. Douglock once again explains that he is not a resurrected Doug Ramsey but, simply, Douglock Wolfsbane accepts this, but Kitty is still not convinced. Meanwhile, on Muir Island, Colossus and Wisdom work together to repel the Mutant Liberation Front's attack, while Dani Moonstar does her best to appear determined to carry out the MLF's mission of retrieving the Xavier Protocols while also sabotaging the mission from within. Back in Westchester, Kitty brings Douglock and Wolfsbane to Kitty & Doug's favorite pizza place. Oblivious to Douglock's protests, she orders Doug's favorite pizza, then is surprised once more when he explains he doesn't like it. Back on Muir Island, Nightcrawler and Moira manage to seal off the computer where the Xavier Protocols are held with a force field, which is enough of an obstacle to give Dani the cover she needs to pull the team out. In Westchester, Kitty, Douglock and Wolfsbane visit Doug Ramsey's childhood home, but when Kitty phases inside and sees that his parents have turned his old room into a den, she realizes they have moved on. This causes her to come to her senses, and she says goodbye to Doug once and for all before formally introducing herself to Douglock. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

X-amining Deadpool #1


This review is free to read here and on Patreon, but for the rest of the series' reviews going forward, as well as already-completed reviews of every issue of 
X-Men 2099The Champions, and Ms. Marvel, as well as ongoing reviews of Classic X-Men and X-Men: The Animated Series, become a Patron now for as little as $1.25 a month! 

"Hey, It's Deadpool!"
January 1997

In a Nutshell
Deadpool battles Sasquatch and turns down a job from Zoe Culloden

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciler: Ed McGuinness
Inkers: Nathan Massengill & Norman Lee
Letters: RS/Comicraft/DL
Colors: Chris Lichtner
Enhancement: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Matt Idelson
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
In the Bolivian jungle, Deadpool steals a powerful energy cannon and turns it over to the general of the rebel army who hired him. However, when he is paid in rebel currency that will only have value when the rebels win, Deadpool kills them all and teleports away. The entire scene is watched by Zoe Culloden and Noah Dubois, who believe Deadpool might be the man they need; they decide to test him by arranging a job in Antarctica and making sure Deadpool's handler, Patch, assigns it to him. Arriving in a lab being run by Sasquatch, Deadpool attacks the superhero. Their fight causes the lab's gamma core to go into meltdown, but Deadpool is able to stop the disaster. Later, Zoe and Noah approach Deadpool and explain they need him for a mission with galactic stakes, one which will lead Deadpool to play an important role in creating paradise. Deadpool doubts this very much and turns down the mission, but Zoe remains convinced Deadpool is their man. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #8 - Patreon First

"Phoenix"
April 1987

In a Nutshell
A dying Jean Grey cuts a deal with Phoenix!

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton
Letters: Tom Orzechowski 
Colors: Glynis Oliver 
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
As Jean Grey pilots the space shuttle back to Earth, passing through a band of cosmic rays, the radiation pierces her telekinetic shields. Dying, a presence appears before her. Claiming to be a universal force representing all life, it offers to help save Jean and the X-Men - but at the cost of herself, as they would have to merge into one being. Jean worries that she won't be able to handle that kind of power, but knows she would do anything to save the X-Men, and agrees. The being begins to take on Jean's form and features, but a part of Jean refuses to give up, staying inside her dying body. The newly-humanoid energy being encases Jean's body in a protective cocoon to allow it to heal, then assumes its final form, calling itself Phoenix!

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Thursday, January 13, 2022

X-amining X-Force #62

"
Human Nature"
January 1997

In a Nutshell
X-Force foils a plot involving Shinobi Shaw and Karma's younger siblings. 

Writer: John Dokes
Penciler: Kevin Lau with Adam Pollina
Inker: Andrew Pepoy with Norman Lee
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Le Ann Clark 
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Shinobi Shaw has abducted Leong and Nga Coy Mahn, twin siblings of former New Mutant Karma, and is using them as test subjects for a machine intended to turn mutants into regular humans. Led by Domino, X-Force infiltrates his base, but one of Shaw's mercenaries, Mindmeld, uses her power to swap the minds of Domino and Meltdown with Caliban and Sunspot; the resulting disorientation is enough for X-Force to be captured and rendered powerless via inhibitor collars. Shinobi then offers Sunspot a place in his Inner Circle, but Sunspot turns it down just as Spiral teleports into the base and absconds with Leong and Nga. Just then, another mercenary working for Shaw, Clear-Cut, turns on him, helping X-Force escape and restoring Domino and Meltdown's minds to their own bodies. In the ensuing battle, X-Force manages to destroy Shinobi's machine, though Shinobi escapes. In the aftermath, Clear-Cut tells Domino to let Cable know his debt to him is paid in full. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

X-amining Generation X #23

"For All This...We Give Thanks"
January 1997

In a Nutshell
Generation X celebrates Thanksgiving.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Mitch Byrd 
Inker: Jason Martin and Karl Story 
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Enhancements: GCW
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Banshee ruminates on his strained relationship with his daughter as he prepares to take Monet to a doctor to discuss her autism, but Monet insists she is not going. Meanwhile, Paige and Chamber are in Kentucky celebrating Thanksgiving with Paige's family. At the school, Monet admits that when her mutant powers first manifested, her father took her to see lots of doctors, and she doesn't want to experience that again. In Kentucky, Paige and Chamber arrive at her home to find her family away for the afternoon, which Chamber takes as an insult, but Paige reminds him there are plenty of "freaks" in her family already, so Chamber doesn't bother them. Elsewhere, Bastion and Daria continue to look into Emma Frost. In the Biosphere, Howard the Duck and his friend Beverly meet Artie, Leech and Franklin, and discover the boys are trying to help a sick Tana Nile. At the Guthrie Farm, Paige and Chamber discuss their feelings for each other, with Paige skewering some of Chamber's perceptions of her expectations about their relationship, angry at his ignorance of her own feelings. Later, Emma and Banshee discuss Monet and the possible threat she represents to the school, while being unknowingly watched by a hidden figure with wooden appendages. Back in Kentucky, Chamber tells Paige he's leaving, and Paige quietly calls him a jerk as he departs. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 3x07 - Patreon First!

 "The Phoenix Saga Part Five: Child of Light"

Original Airdate
September 9th, 1994

Writer: Mark Edward Edens 

Plot
With the mad Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken in control of the M'Kraan Crystal, Phoenix explains how he is using the power to create a new universe inside the crystal, one which will soon draw in all existence. Phoenix sends the X-Men and Starjammers away and tries to stop D'Ken, but gets pulled into the crystal, along with everyone in the vicinity. As the effects of D'Ken's actions begin to be felt on Earth, the X-Men, Starjammers, and Imperial Guard try to stop D'Ken inside the crystal, but he is in full control of the environment. Realizing she can't stop him from inside, Phoenix brings everyone out of the crystal. Phoenix explains that the Phoenix Force chose Jean as a host because her powers allowed it to connect with the crystal, and she draws on the emotional strength of the X-Men to create a lattice around the crystal, containing D'Ken and its harmful energies inside. This ends the immediate threat, but Phoenix declares that to prevent anyone else from harnessing the power of the crystal, she must sacrifice herself to bury the crystal inside Earth's sun where no one can reach it. After bidding a tearful goodbye to the X-Men, Phoenix flies into the heart of the sun. When the X-Men return to Earth, Cyclops is nevertheless despondent over the loss of the woman he loves, but Professor X believes Phoenix will rise again.

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Thursday, January 6, 2022

X-amining Cable #39

"All Things Great and Small"

January 1997


In a Nutshell

Cable and the Micronauts defeat Psycho Man!


Writer: Jeph Loeb

Penciler: Ian Churchill

Inker: Scott Hanna

Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft 

Colorist: Mike Thomas

Editor: Mark Powers

Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras


Plot

As Psycho Man presses his assault, Commander Rann orders a retreat, leaving Cable behind. But Cable musters enough telepathic strength to send his allies a message saying they need to sever Psycho Man's connection to Vanessa in order to free Kane and reduce Psycho Man's advantage. Domino and the Micronauts proceed to Psycho Man's lab, where the Micronauts destroy his equipment while Domino brings Vanessa back to her senses. After Vanessa rescues Kane, Cable is able to harness everyone's emotions and blast Psycho Man, shutting him down. With Psycho Man defeated, the Micronauts bid farewell to Cable, Domino, Kane and Vanessa, sending them back to Earth. There, Domino and Vanessa make peace with each other, after which Vanessa and Kane ride off in search of an ordinary life. Meanwhile, at the X-Mansion, Moira MacTaggert desperately tries to reach Cable, saying Renee Majcomb is in danger and needs his help! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

X-amining X-Factor #130

"A Mother's Eyes"
January 1997

In a Nutshell
Graydon Creed is assassinated. 

Writer: Howard Mackie
Penciler: Eric Battle
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Chief Suspect: Bob Harras

Plot
As Mystique and Pyro plot their next move ahead of Graydon Creed's latest speech, Val Cooper tells Creed he either accepts the extra security provided by X-Factor, or the speech will be cancelled. Shortly thereafter, Val discovers Mystique trying to get close to Creed disguised as Val, and arrests Mystique, but a riot soon breaks out between Creed's supporters and his detractors. Mystique uses it to escape, appearing before Creed with some kind of weapon-like device, but Polaris intervenes, preventing her from using it. As Mystique is hauled away, she pleads with Val, saying she's making a mistake and needling her for not questioning the government's recent interactions with X-Factor more. As X-Factor captures Pyro, hiding amidst the crowd, Creed resumes his speech, believing the threat to his life ended with Mystique and Pyro's capture. But he is suddenly shot while on stage, reduced to ash by an unseen assailant. In the wake of the assassination, Mystique tells Val she was trying to save Creed, so as not to give his cause a martyr, something Forge backs up when he arrives with Pyro and tells Val the weapon Mystique had wielded was a force field projector. Just then, words appear on a nearby monitor, proclaiming that Creed's death was just the first, and that Mystique will be next. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

X-amining Classic X-Men #7 - Patreon First!

"Out with the Old"
March 1987

In a Nutshell
Sebastian Shaw orchestrates a takeover of the Hellfire Club after the White King proves an anti-mutant bigot. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton
Letters: Tom Orzechowski 
Colors: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Attending the Hellfire Gala with his lover Lourdes Chantel, Sebastian Shaw is thanked by Ned Buckman, the White King, for his funding of Stephen Lang's Project Armageddon, which hopes to isolate & reproduce the X-gene for the gain of the Hellfire Club. Lourdes and Shaw's assistant Tessa remain suspicious, however, and their suspicions are confirmed by Emma Frost, who learns Project Armageddon's true anti-mutant goals from the mind of Michael Rossi. When a Sentinel attacks Emma, Shaw orders Lourdes to teleport them to her; in the ensuing fight, Lourdes is killed saving Shaw. Later, Shaw enacts his revenge when Emma takes control of Ned Buckman's mind, making him kill the entirety of the ruling Council of the Chosen, paving the way for Shaw to take control of the Hellfire Club with his own Inner Circle. 

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