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Jun 24

All-New Wolverine #19-21 – “Immune”

Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2017 by Paul in x-axis

Well, they can’t all be winners.  I really like All-New Wolverine.  It’s consistently one of the best X-books.  But “Immune” is a three-parter devoted to setting up a contrived set-piece finale, and it’s a bit of a dud, to be honest with you.

So here’s the idea.  An alien spaceship crashes on Roosevelt Island in New York – population 11,000 or so, according to Wikipedia.  There’s a dying alien child inside who asks for Laura Kinney before dying.  By a happy coincidence (well, presumably the kid was aiming for her), Laura and Gabby happen to be in the area doing something unrelated. Specifically, it’s a child-trafficking subplot that takes up a lot of chapter one but has no real purpose beyond keeping Laura away from the main story until it’s ready for her.

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Jun 17

Charts – 16 June 2017

Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2017 by Paul in Music

We’ll get back to reviews soon.  I’ve been busy.  In the meantime, here’s a quiet week on the singles chart.  Five new entries, but three of them below 30…

1.  Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber – “Despacito”

That’s six weeks, and it’s still miles ahead of the competition.  It could be there for a while, in the absence of any obvious challengers – remember, even charity fundraisers now face the challenge of getting streams as well as sales.  For example, Ariana Grande’s live version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” lands at 60 this week, which is because it sold respectably but didn’t get streams.

Meanwhile, “Unforgettable” by French Montana featuring Swae Lee climbs two places to 3.

5.  David Guetta featuring Justin Bieber – “2U”

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Jun 10

Charts – 9 June 2017

Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2017 by Paul in Music

Prime time television still sells records.  But first…

1.  Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber – “Despacito”

Five weeks at number one.  It’s the top streaming single of the week, but it’s not the top seller.  That would be…

2.  Ariana Grande – “One Last Time”

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Jun 6

Generation X #1-2

Posted on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by Paul in x-axis

We reviewed Generation X on the podcast a few weeks ago, but it turns out that the book is opening with a two-parter, so here we are already.  This is a straightforward intro story – very straightforward – so, sure, if you’re going to start with this, best get it over with.

Be warned, this is basically going to be me putting in writing the same things I said on the show.  Which is to say, there are good elements here, and some individually promising ideas, but right now it’s very much less than the sum of its parts.

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Jun 5

Old Man Logan #21-24 – “Past Lives”

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2017 by Paul in x-axis

Coming a little late to the relaunch party, this is Jeff Lemire’s final arc on Old Man Logan before handing over to Ed Brisson.  It’s a bid for closure.

Like All-New X-MenOld Man Logan feels like a short-run concept, a second (or third) Wolverine while the real one is out of commission selling his death.  Played that way, the natural ending would be pretty obvious: having found peace in the present, Logan heroically returns home to protect his loved ones anyway.  Or some such thing.  But Old Man Logan is selling pretty well by Marvel’s current standards, and it isn’t going away any time soon.

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Jun 4

Charts – 2 June 2017

Posted on Sunday, June 4, 2017 by Paul in Music

It’s election time.

1.  Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber – “Despacito”

That’s four weeks, which – assuming you’re prepared to turn a blind eye to Justin Bieber’s bits – makes it the longest running foreign language number one ever.  The previous record of three weeks is officially (i.e., in the eyes of the chart compilers) held by Manhattan Transfer’s “Chanson D’Amour”, from 1977, though that’s actually a mixture of English, French and “ra da da da da”.

4.  Captain Ska – “Liar Liar”

Now here’s something a bit more contentious than usual.

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Jun 1

Weapon X #1-3

Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Paul in x-axis

So it’s this again, is it?  In the X-books’ “back-to-basics” relaunch, I can’t say I was especially enthused to see Weapon X trotted out again, with the teaser story apparently setting up the old routine of baddies forcing people onto a team.

In fact, it’s not quite so clear that the book really is heading in quite that direction.  The core group here is Lady Deathstrike, Logan, Sabretooth, Warpath and Domino.  We already saw Deathstrike getting carted off in X-Men Prime.  But now that the series is underway, what actually seems to be happening is that Weapon X want to capture these guys in order to copy their powers and use them to improve Weapon X’s own home-grown cyborgs.

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May 28

Charts – 26 May 2017

Posted on Sunday, May 28, 2017 by Paul in Music

After a brief flurry of activity, we’re settling back into the routine of a handful of new entries per week, some of which go on to climb the chart, slowly, ever so slowly…

1.  Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber – “Despacito”

Three weeks at number one.  Could be here a while, too.

3.  Liam Payne featuring Quavo – “Strip That Down”

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May 23

Charts – 19 May 2017

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 by Paul in Music

It’s a quiet week.  Honestly, you might want to try the podcast, one post down.  But anyway…

1.  Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber – “Despacito”

Two weeks.  Not much more to be said.

4.  Shawn Mendes – “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”

Up one place.  Did I mention last week that it’s overtaken “Treat You Better” to become his second-biggest hit?  Well, it has.

6.  Harry Styles – “Sign of the Times”

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May 21

House to Astonish Episode 155

Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2017 by Al in Podcast

We’ve been away for a little while longer than usual, but that just means that there’s plenty for us to gab about. We kick off by discussing the sad death of Rich Buckler, then talk a little about the extra issue recently granted to Secret Empire (as well as the execution of the story so far); the upcoming “Doomsday Clock” story (as well as “The Button” and Watchmen more generally); the abrupt cancellation of Black Panther and the Crew and what it says about Marvel’s line overall; the announcements of Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa’s Mech Cadet Yu, Ted Naifeh’s Heroines and Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle; Scott Snyder’s last “proper Batman” story and Sony’s Venom movie. We’ve also got reviews of Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks and Generation X and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe shows three heads are not necessarily better than one (or none). All this plus Shogo Warriors, an evil interior decorator and a country that’s not doing an industry.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page. And don’t forget, you can buy our terrific tees at our Redbubble store. You’ll look amazing.