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May 19

Charts – 17 May 2019

Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2019 by Paul in Music

He was bound to be back sooner or later.

1.  Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – “I Don’t Care”

This is the first new Ed Sheeran single in two years – unless you count his guest appearance on Eminem’s “River”, and even that came out right at the end of 2017.  Yes, new songs written by Ed Sheeran seem to chart all the time; he’s approaching Barbara Cartland levels of prolificity.  But this is a proper Ed Sheeran single, so it’s an entirely predictable number one (his sixth in total).  It doesn’t quite have the highest sales/streaming figure of the year – that’s still Ariana Grande – but it’s close.  The song is… pretty routine and on brand: Sheeran is an ordinary bloke who feels out of place in the celebrity world and his girl makes him feel okay about that.

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May 12

Charts – 10 May 2019

Posted on Sunday, May 12, 2019 by Paul in Music

We have a new podcast episode, just one post down!  Or if you prefer, there’s this…

1.  Stormzy – “Vossi Bop”

Two weeks, with over 10 million streams once again.  “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X is still hanging in at 2 with very respectable numbers; it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that it might retake number one.

4.  Lewis Capaldi – “Hold Me While You Wait”

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May 11

House to Astonish Episode 174

Posted on Saturday, May 11, 2019 by Al in Podcast

Lots to discuss this time round, as we talk about the deaths of Kazuhiko Kato aka Monkey Punch and Kazuo Koike, the Lion Forge/Oni Press merger, Dark Horse’s Netflix first look deal, Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso’s new publishing company and Marvel Comics 1000. We’ve also got reviews of Excellence and New Agents of Atlas and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is a mean green mother from outer space. All this plus the maximum number of wild animals that can safely live in a blacksmith’s, the George’s Marvellous Medicine of comics, and Magic Ian the Magician.

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. You can, as always, pick up one of our well lush t-shirts over on our Redbubble store.

May 6

Dead Man Logan #1-6 – “Sins of the Father”

Posted on Monday, May 6, 2019 by Paul in x-axis

So here’s another one which I figured was meant to be a twelve parter – why make it a miniseries otherwise, after all?  But no, issue #7 is apparently “Welcome Back, Logan” part 1, so this is indeed a six-part story.

Unlike Uncanny, though, these six issues actually do seem to be a separate story.  If anything, the question is why the final two arcs of Old Man Logan have been hived off into a miniseries, beyond the obvious point that it provides an excuse for another issue #1.  Which is probably the only reason you need.  The unifying theme, as you might expect, is simply that this is the series ending.  So the first half is Logan tying up the last loose end from present day earth, and the second half is his return to the Wastelands.

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May 4

Uncanny X-Men #11-16 – “This Is Forever”

Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2019 by Paul in x-axis

This isn’t an ideal point to be reviewing Matthew Rosenberg’s current Uncanny X-Men storyline, which to all intents and purposes is still going.  But for whatever reason – most likely, to give different names to the trade paperbacks – issue #17 is titled “We Have Always Been, part 1”.  So officially, at least, issues #11-16 are a single arc, and let’s go with that.

Except… well, except it very obviously is the first part of a continuing storyline, and not an arc at all.  And I’m bearing in mind that Rosenberg’s New Mutants: Dead Souls looked like a bit of a mess at the halfway mark, only to cohere in the end stretch.  Then again, his Multiple Man miniseries also looked like a bit of a mess at the halfway mark, and it was.  Still, I’m inclined to reserve judgment to some degree.

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May 3

Charts – 3 May 2019

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2019 by Paul in Music

Now this is a pleasingly eclectic week.

1.  Stormzy – “Vossi Bop”

Well, that’s slightly unexpected.  Stormzy is a big name – his 2017 album “Gang Signs & Prayer” got a week at number one.  But his previous peak in the singles chart is number 6, and on top of that, Taylor Swift has a new single out this week.  (Though as we’ll see, it wouldn’t have made number one anyway.)  “Vossi Bop” has 12.7 million streams in its first week, though, so it’s a big hit.

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Apr 27

Hulkverines

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2019 by Paul in x-axis

Marvel’s approach to the return of Wolverine could politely be described as confused.  They brought him back in the Marvel Legacy one-shot, and then dawdled around for ages trying to decide what to do with him.  Eventually, they decided that it wasn’t really him after all, and so they brought him back again in a sprawling collection of minis.  And after all that effort, the follow-up is… Wolverine: Infinity Watch, a miniseries tying in to a crossover that finished long ago.

And, technically, Hulkverines, a three-issue mini in which Wolverine and the Hulk meet Weapon H, the Hulk/Wolverine hybrid that debuted in Weapon X before spinning off into his own series.  This only barely qualifies as an X-book – I didn’t treat Weapon H as an X-book, since it promptly went its own way, so we’ve got here a one-third X-content.  But hey, close enough.

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Apr 26

Charts – 26 April 2019

Posted on Friday, April 26, 2019 by Paul in Music

More of an albums week, I think…

1.  Lil Nas X – “Old Town Road”

Two weeks at number one, with a weekly streaming figure above ten million.  That’s impressive.  And now a string of climbers, so deep breath:  “Piece of Your Heart” by Meduza featuring Goodboys climbs 4-2, and “SOS” by Avicii featuring Aloe Blacc climbs 12-6 to become Avicii’s tenth top 10 hit.  “Here With Me” by Marshmello featuring Chvrches edges 10-9, and “So Am I” by Ava Max moves 14-13.  And  “All Day and Night” by Jax Jones & Martin Solveig featuring Madison Beer moves 22-14.

23.  Jonas Blue featuring Theresa Rex – “What I Like About You”

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Apr 25

Mr & Mrs X #7-10: “Gambit & Rogue Forever”

Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2019 by Paul in x-axis

While most of the X-books are quite literally off in their own little world (and boy, that’s going to be a lot of storylines all finishing at once in a couple of months…), we still have secondary titles continuing as usual.  So here are four issues of Rogue and Gambit in the Mojoverse.

Mojo’s not an obvious choice of villain for these two.  Yes, he’s an X-Men bad guy, but he doesn’t have any more specific link to these two, and like Arcade, he’s the sort of wacky novelty villain who can wear thin rather quickly.  So it’s probably for the best that writer Kelly Thompson only devotes an issue and a half to traditional Mojo hijinks before moving on to something with a bit more substance.

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Apr 20

Charts – 19 April 2019

Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2019 by Paul in Music

It turns out that Lewis Capaldi is not, in fact, “going to be here forever”, whatever I may have said last week.

1.  Lil Nas X – “Old Town Road”

After last week’s 39-2 climb, this probably shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but Lewis Capaldi’s seven-week run comes to an end with this rap/country viral hit.  There’s clearly a novelty factor at work here, but you can’t really file “Old Town Road” as a novelty record in the traditional sense; it’s played fairly straight, and at most it’s a whimsical fragment, not a comedy song.  And I’ve said this before, but yes, that is the official video.  Well, it’s a “Visualizer” – but it is indeed what you get if you go to his own YouTube channel.  Despite what some people will tell you, this doesn’t technically give Billy Ray Cyrus his first UK number one (“Achy Breaky Heart” was a number 3), because as far as the chart is concerned, he’s not on the lead version of the track, so he doesn’t get credited.

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