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Jun 17

Charts – 15 June 2018

Posted on Sunday, June 17, 2018 by Paul in Music

Well, it’s movement.

1.  Jess Glynne – “I’ll Be There”

Number one with an asterisk.  For the second time this year, a long-running number one single stays at the top long enough to get whacked by the “accelerated chart ratio” rule that downweights the streams of tracks that have been out for ten weeks, and which are three weeks past their peak.  So the hammer falls on Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss”, which swandives from 1 to 7.  It would otherwise have managed another week at number one, and since all this is a lot more visible than it was meant to be – the rule was meant to target older tracks that needed a helping kick on their way out of the top 40 – you suspect they’ll tweak the rule soon, so as to fade it in a little bit more gently.

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Jun 13

House to Astonish Episode 164

Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by Al in Podcast

Paul and I are back with a compact and bijou hour and twenty of comics chat for you, with discussion of the departures of Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns from DC, Johns’s new imprint and his recently-announced 3 Jokers and Shazam series, Vertigo’s relaunch, the DC Zoom and DC Ink slates, Ellis and Howard’s Cemetery Beach, Brandon Sanderson’s partnering with Vault Comics, Edge of Spider-Geddon and Asgardians of the Galaxy. We’ve also got reviews of Immortal Hulk and Justice League, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe knows that eight is enough. All this plus the Greg Land hurricane warning, Organ Theft Aquaman and Daredevil Dinosaur.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

As a reminder, you can come and see me teaming with Kelly Kanayama of the Frank Discussions podcast at Glasgow Comic-Con on 30 June, where we’ll be giving the Punisher a live makeover (strange as that may sound). Tickets are on sale here.

And hey, it’s June! I love how that House to Astonish t-shirt looks on you… wait, you don’t have one? How embarrassing. Here, click on this link before someone sees you.

Jun 8

Charts – 8 June 2018

Posted on Friday, June 8, 2018 by Paul in Music

Another week to quietly give thanks for the Ed Sheeran rule…

1.  Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss” 

Okay, now this is getting boring.  This is eight weeks and counting.

10.  Kanye West – “Yikes”
11.  Kanye West – “All Mine”
17.  Kanye West – “Ghost Town”

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Jun 6

X-Men Red Annual #1

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Or, as the logo has it, Annual X-Men Red.  I haven’t actually reviewed the first arc of X-Men Red yet, because it’s still going.  But this turns out to be a sensible place to start, because it’s a transition issue by regular writer Tom Taylor that bridges the gap from Phoenix Resurrection #5 to X-Men Red #1.  It’s the connective tissue that gets Jean Grey in place for the start of the series, shunted off into an annual to stop it bogging down those early issues.

Let’s start with the art.  It’s… well, it’s got its problems.  Pascal Alixe has been around for a while, though it’s been getting on for twenty years since he did anything on the X-books.  He’s a pro.  And page one looks nicely dramatic.  He does a really nice firebird for the Phoenix.  Once we get into the story proper, though, things get a bit clumsier.

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Jun 4

Legion: “Trauma”

Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Given the success of the Legion TV series (which I’ve never actually seen), it’s unsurprising that Marvel would figure that a Legion mini made sense.  Except of course that the Legion TV show is on FX, as part of the X-Men rights package, to which Marvel’s attitude in recent years has been… whatever the opposite of corporate synergy is.  That.

X-Men: Legacy ended with Legion more or less wiping himself from history, which is not an ideal starting point.  Legion deals with that little problem by ignoring it entirely.  On the other hand, there’s nothing to stop you plugging it into history as a flashback story if you want, so let’s run with that.

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Jun 2

Charts – 1 June 2018

Posted on Saturday, June 2, 2018 by Paul in Music

Not much happening, to be honest, but hey, we’ve got a format to keep up…

1.  Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”

Seven weeks, so it’s now clearly Calvin Harris’s longest-running number one, outlasting the six weeks of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” back in 2011.  And that was a “featuring” credit, anyway.

20.  George Ezra – “Shotgun”

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May 29

Old Man Logan #39-40 – “Glob Loves, Man Kills”

Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Old Man Logan must surely be on its way to publishing graveyard, most likely by killing off its imminently redundant lead character.  From this book’s point of view, you might have thought it would make sense to tie him into the real Wolverine’s return; but in the bigger picture, the spare Wolverine is better kept to the margins, so that the return of Wolverine can feel a bit more returnish.

So we’re getting time-marking stories like this, in which Logan returns to the Xavier Institute to have his health problems checked out, and happens to be around for a two-part Glob Herman story.  Glob is one of those students who’s been around for years because the visual is so strong, but rarely gets much to do besides being a recognisable background figure.  Here, he’s going on a date.

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May 27

All-New Wolverine #33-35 – “Old Woman Laura”

Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

The final All-New Wolverine story comes at an awkward time.  It’s a wrap-up for a series that doesn’t really want to wrap up.  After all, Tom Taylor had only just introduced what appeared to be a new status quo, with Laura helping her former victims to hunt down the people who hired her back when she was an assassin.  And he’s still writing both Laura and Gabby over in X-Men Red.  But this is the end of All-New Wolverine, before it relaunches next month as X-23, and since Taylor’s run on the book has been one of the high points of the X-books in recent years, some sort of farewell is called for.

The solution is something of a symbolic finale, as the book simply jumps a generation or so into the future, to offer its version of the “one last mission” story.

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May 26

Charts – 25 May 2018

Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2018 by Paul in Music

A quiet week for the singles chart, less so for the albums.

1.  Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”

That’s six weeks, which matches Calvin Harris’s previous best – “We Found Love” with Rihanna, back in 2011.  And that did it in two goes.  Casting about for something new to say about it, the Official Charts Company have come up with the information that this is now the longest running number one by a Scottish act since 1994 (when Wet Wet Wet’s “Love is All Around” was number one for 15 weeks).  In fact, within the last decade, the only Scottish acts to have a UK number one single were Calvin Harris himself, and Emeli Sande.

12.  Clean Bandit featuring Demi Lovato – “Solo”

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May 22

X-Men: The Wedding Special

Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

What would a superhero wedding be without a skippable anthology one-shot?  Not that this lead-in to the wedding of Peter and Kitty is that bad, though it certainly features some very odd choices; but its very status as an ancillary set-up to a story in a fortnightly comic makes it completist fodder.

There are three stories here – a bachelor party for Peter and a hen night for Kitty, plus an opening story written by Chris Claremont.  “The Dream Before” is presumably here to provide the link with X-Men tradition, and to endorse the marriage as part of a long and storied history.  It’s very Claremont indeed, with narrative captions in quantities that would have seemed heavy even at his peak, but “very Claremont indeed” is precisely what the remit calls for.

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