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

Monday, March 13, 2023

G. I. JOE #72 - June 1988 (The Commercial, Not the Comic)


Nobody beats G. I. Joe

Nobody beats G. I. Joe

Fighting hard against the Cobra foe

Nobody beats G. I. Joe

A Real American Hero!

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

X-amining X-Men (vol. 2) #63

April 1997

In a Nutshell
The search for a Legacy Virus cure gets complicated as Sebastian Shaw returns and the Kingpin reveals himself!

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Script: Ben Raab
Pencils: Carlos Pacheco 
Inks: Art Thibert
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Chris Lichtner , Aron Lusen & Liquid Graphocs
Editor: Bob Harras

The X-Men an Shang-Chi battle the cyber ninjas, who reveal they are working for Sebastian Shaw, who shortly thereafter reveals himself to the X-Men. After a brief scuffle, Storm brokers a truce, while Cannonball slips away underneath a rickshaw headed towards Fujikawa Enterprises. At the Hong Kong branch of the Hellfire Club, Shaw admits he's seeking a cure for the Legacy Virus — and a financial interest in the production of it — but claims there is some altruism to his motives. He also secretly receives all of Moira MacTaggert's data on the Legacy Virus from Rory Campbell. Shortly thereafter, the X-Men depart for Fujikawa Enterprises, where Shaw believes the Elixir Vitae sought by Shang-Chi's father and key to the cure, is being held. However, Cannonball is already inside, and learns the new head of the company is none other than the Kingpin, who shortly thereafter reveals himself to the intruding X-Men!

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

60 Years of X - 1969

 Year 7: 1969

1969 X-Men Comics & Appearances: X-Men #54-65, Sub-Mariner #14

Neal Adams saves the X-Men! Roy Thomas returns! So do the Sentinels & Professor X! Magneto gets a face! Havok, Sauron, Sunfire, the Savage Land mutates (& the Living Monolith...) debut!

037 - Year 7 Cover: X-Men #56

Monday, February 13, 2023

60 Years of X - 1968

 Year 6: 1968

1968 X-Men Comics & Appearances: X-Men #42-53, Avengers #53 & #60!

Xavier dies, Magneto returns, the X-Men disband! The Avengers crossover, Polaris debuts! Roy Thomas leaves, Gary Friedrich comes & goes, Arnold Drake arrives! All that plus Jim Steranko in 1968!

031 - Year 6 Cover: X-Men #50

Thursday, February 9, 2023

X-amining Classic X-Men #26 - Patreon First

October 1988

In a Nutshell
Banshee & Wolverine swap war stories and realize they indirectly crossed paths years before becoming X-Men!

Writer: Tom Orzechowski, Chris Claremont (additional pages)
Artist: John Bolton, Kieron Dwyer (additional pages)
Inker: Terry Austin (additional pages)
Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Colors: Gregory Wright
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Wolverine, Banshee, Nightcrawler, and Cyclops are having a "boys night" at Harry's Hideaway. When Wolverine tells a story about how he and his lady friend Cracklin' Rosa would sucker patrons of her Calgary bar into trying to beat Wolverine at a drinking contest, Banshee realizes they inadvertently crossed paths while Banshee was working as an Interpol agent. Banshee had followed a pair of wanted criminals to Rosa's bar, and Wolverine's antics had helped distract their bodyguards, allowing Banshee to signal the Mounties to arrest his man without any complication. In the present, Banshee points out how they both inadvertently learned something about teamwork that day, while Cyclops says he's proud to call them both teammates. 

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

X-amining X-Men Unlimited #14

March 1997

In a Nutshell
Franklin Richards deals with the aftermath of "Onslaught". 

Writer: Terry Kavanagh
Pencils: Jim Cheung
Inks: Andrew Pepoy
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Kevin Somerset
Editor: Kelly Corevese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Franklin Richards is having nightmares of his family disappearing and being replaced by the man he blames for their deaths, Joseph. In the morning, he wakes and is comforted by his friends Artie and Leech. All three boys are visiting Beast's childhood home along with Beast, Gambit, and Storm. Later that morning, Beast's father Norton invites the kids on a tractor ride. Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Dunfee, a group of men led by Grange Janssen discuss the recent assassination of Graydon Creed and the influx of mutants like Hank McCoy in their town. Grange decides its time they do something about it. Back at the McCoy farm, Franklin uses his powers to disable the tractor, creating an opening that allows the boys to run off into the woods. Gambit warns Storm, but when she flies off to find the boys, she is shot by Grange and his posse, who capture Artie and Leech as well as Beast when he intervenes. Unaware of his friends' capture, Franklin uses his powers to teleport Joseph to him, then attacks, angrily holding him responsible for the death of his family. Joseph is confused, but unable and unwilling to overpower Franklin. In the woods, the police arrive and defuse the situation, arresting Grange and his posse. Out in the field, Gambit comes to Joseph's defense and helps convince Franklin not to kill Joseph. But by then, Franklin's power has grown out of his control, and it takes the timely arrival of Leech, delivered by Beast, to shut it down. Having at least made peace with Joseph, Franklin resumes playing with his friends. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Thursday, February 2, 2023

X-amining X-Men: The Animated Series 4x04 - Patreon First

"Proteus Part 1"

Original Airdate
September 30th, 1995

Bruce Reid Schaefer

On Muir Island, the energy-based mutant Proteus escapes from his cell. Moira MacTaggert calls Xavier for help, and while the X-Men race across the Atlantic in the Blackbird, Xavier tells them about his past with Moira. On Muir Island, Moira tells the X-Men about Proteus' ability to take control of host bodies and warp reality around him. As Proteus cuts a swath through Scotland searching for his father, the X-Men track him down. Confronted, Proteus uses his powers against the X-Men, overpowering their senses and terrifying Wolverine. From there, Proteus confronts his father, Joe MacTaggert, Moira's ex-husband, prompting a tearful Moira to admit that Proteus is her son!

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

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

X-amining X-Man #26

"Down to Earth"
April 1997

In a Nutshell
Nate seeks Moira's help in the wake of the loss of his telekinetic powers. 

Writer: Terry Kavanagh
Guest Penciler: Pascual Ferry 
Inker: Jamie Mendoz & Howard Shack
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Mike Thomas
Separations: GCW
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Stuck in Switzerland without his telekinetic powers, Nate psychically projects himself to his friend, Peter Parker, to ask for help with his lost abilities. While touched Nate would seek him out, Peter admits he's not the best person to ask, and steers Nate in the direction of Moira MacTaggert. Nate physically travels to Muir Island, using his telepathy to sneak aboard cargo vehicles and mask his presence from Excalibur as he heads towards Moira's lab. However, Moira is well aware of his presence thanks to a device she's created. Nate asks for her help contacting Forge, but when Moira reaches Val Cooper, she's told X-Factor is dead. Moira proceeds to run some tests on Nate, and concludes there's nothing physically wrong with him: his own mind is, for some reason, suppressing his telekinesis. Meanwhile, Dark Beast suggests to Havok that he recruit Nate to his Brotherhood, but cautions him to leave Beast's name out of it. Back on Muir Island, Moira attacks Nate, hoping his instincts will kick in and allow his power out, but it doesn't. Later, as Nate ponders his next move, Havok and Fatale teleport onto Muir Island, and tell Nate they can help him. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

60 Years of X - 1966

Year 4: 1966

1966 X-Men Comics & Appearances: X-Men #18-29, Strange Tales #156. 

019 - Year 4 Cover: X-Men #28

Not a lot of great covers to choose from in '66. Werner Roth's cover to Banshee's first appearance stands out due to the red background & eerie spectral quality to Banshee & the energy created by the figure's movement.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

X-amining Classic X-Men #25 - Patreon First

"Just don't look it in its eyes"
September 1988

In a Nutshell
Wolverine is stalked by a hunter and fights a bear. 

Writer: Ann Nocenti, Chris Claremont (additional pages)
Artist: John Bolton, Kieron Dwyer (additional pages)
Inker: Terry Austin (additional pages)
Letters: Tom Orzechowski, Michael Heisler (additional pages)
Colors: Gynis Wein
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Moonlighting for Central, Wolverine destroys a building in the Canadian wilderness, but gets burned in the process. Making his way back to civilization, he is spotted by a hunter, who thinks the burned Wolverine may be a creature like Big Foot or Sasquatch. The hunter tries to sneak up on Wolverine, but Wolverine is amazed at how noisy the hunter is, noise which attracts a large bear. The bear attacks Wolverine but he manages to kill it. As the hunter gets closer to Wolverine, he fires an arrow at him, but Wolverine catches it and throws it back to the hunter. Hitting his thigh, the hunter is stunned to learn his prey isn't some dumb beast. Wolverine leaves the hunter be, then continues on his way home. 

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #343

April 1997

In a Nutshell
The Phalanx return as the X-Men fight to save the Shi'ar!

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Joe Madureira
Inkers: Tim Townsend
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Colors: Steve Buccellato and Team Bucce
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

As Bishop and Beast tend to the injured Deathbird, Gambit and Joseph arrive to interrogate her. However, Deathbird grabs Bishop's gun and fires on them, revealing both to be Phalanx, the techno-organic aliens who have decimated the Shi'ar Empire. Meanwhile, Rogue attempts to rescue the real Gambit & Joseph, but is drawn into conflict with the Phalanx. She is partially transmoded, which allows her to learn of the Phalanx plans for galactic conquest, just before Gambit & Joseph rescue her in turn. Back on Earth, Bastion arrives at an Operation: Zero Tolerance base with special cargo: the captive Jubilee. Back in Shi'ar space, the X-Men arrive at distant moon of Chandilar, the Shi'ar throneworld. They allow the Phalanx to destroy their ship, using the debris to mask their descent to the moon inside a makeshift lifeboat. Landing on the moon, they proceed to one of Deathbird's safehouses, and from there, teleport to directly to Chandilar!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

60 Years of X - 1965

Year 3: 1965

1965 X-Men Comics: X-Men #10-17, Fantastic Four Annual #3

013 - Year 3 Cover: X-Men #13

On his way out in '65 (shifting to only doing layouts & covers), Kirby turns in some of the strongest covers of his run, w/several icon entries. I like this one just a smidge more than #12, the other Juggernaut cover.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

60 Years of X - 1964

Year 2: 1964

1964 X-Men Comics: X-Men #4-9, Fantastic Four #28, Journey into Mystery #109, Strange Tales #120, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1

007 - Year 2 Cover: X-Men #4

Of '64's mostly routine Silver Age covers, this stands out due to Kirby's knack for characterization: Pietro's indifference, Toad's simpering & Wanda's odd intensity. We know something about them before we even open the book.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

X-amining Deadpool #3 - Patreon First

March 1997

In a Nutshell
Deadpool & Siryn team-up to track down Black Tom!

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciler: Ed McGuiness
Inkers: Nathan Messengill & Norman Lee
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft 
Colors: Matthew Pain
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Matthew Idelson
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

In the wake of losing his finger, Deadpool takes bets at the Hellhole on how fast he can grow it back, but loses money when his finger doesn't return. Later, he receives a package from Black Tom Cassidy containing a hand that had been previously severed. This prompts him to visit Siryn at the X-Mansion, where he tells her about the package he received from her uncle. Siryn doesn't know where Black Tom is, but worried about Deadpool, she agrees to help him. They track the hand back to Doctor Killebrew, the former Weapon X scientist who experimented on Deadpool. He says he sent the hand to lure Deadpool to him, as he wants to atone for his past by saving Deadpool, saying not only is his healing factor failing, but his entire body is killing him from the inside!

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

Friday, January 6, 2023

60 Years of X - 1963

As an addendum/archive of my "60 Years of X" social media project, I will post the collective results of each year here upon its completion as a standalone post, and add the results to the running "60 Years of X" page (linked on the top of the left column on the home page) which will, by year's end, feature the entirety of the project and my favorite bits from each of the X-Men's sixty years of existence. 

Year 1: 1963

1963 Comics: X-Men #1-3, Tales of Suspense #49

001 - Year 1 Cover: X-Men #1

The pickings are slimmer in Year 1, of course, but it's hard not to go w/the iconic cover to the series' first issue, especially since I've had an Alex Ross recreation of it in poster form hanging on my wall for decades.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

X-amining Excalibur #107

March 1997

In a Nutshell
Salvador Larroca debuts as the new series artist while Excalibur is attacked by the Dragons of the Crimson Dawn!

Writer: Ben Raab
Penciller: Salvador Larroca 
Inker: Scott Koblish
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Kevin Tinsley
Separations: GCW
Editor: Matt Idelson
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Brian Braddock and Meggan arrive arrive in London for what Meggan says will be one of the happiest days of their lives, while back on Muir Island, Colossus, Wolfsbane, and Nightcrawler work together to build their own Cerebro unit to detect mutants. In London, Brian and Meggan discover that despite their recent heroics in saving the city, many of the citizens still blame them for the death of the "real heroes" at the hands of Onslaught. Angry, Brian declares he doesn't want to be a superhero anymore, just a scientist, then laments that he's letting his anger ruin his and Meggan's day. On Muir Island, Douglock urges Moira to take a break from her Legacy Virus research, but she refuses, determined to find a cure for the virus. Back in London, Brian and Meggan are picking out an engagement ring when Meggan is suddenly knocked out onto the street. Just then, Spiral appears, and Brian attacks her, thinking she targeted Meggan. But when Spiral reveals she's been marked by Crimson Dawn, the Dragons of Crimson Dawn, Meggan's actual attackers, emerge and reveal they have come to kill Brian!