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Sep 1

Charts – 31 August 2014

Posted on Monday, September 1, 2014 by Paul in Music

Another quiet week for new releases, while the turnover of number 1 singles continues with another hitherto obscure act.  But first…

38.  Katy Perry – “This Is How We Do”

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Aug 31

Wolverine: Three Months To Die vol 2

Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2014 by Paul in x-axis

In December 2013, when Marvel were soliciting issue #1 of the current Wolverine run, by Paul Cornell and Ryan Stegman, they offered retailers a novel incentive to order high.  Any unsold copies of issue #1, they said, could be exchanged for an exclusive “Mortal Variant” of issue #12 in September 2014.  And, it was made clear, you would want copies of issue #12, because it was a “double-sized landmark issue” which Marvel expected to receive “national attention for its game-changing story”.

In April 2014, Marvel announced the four issue Death of Wolverine miniseries by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven, to ship weekly in September.  Entertainment Weekly, who were given the official announcement story, described Death of Wolverine as the “culminat[ion]” of “Three Months To Die”.

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Aug 27

Charts – 24 August 2014

Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Paul in Music

This was looking like a busy chart in the midweeks, but it calmed down drastically by Sunday – once again, front loaded sales mean that three singles that looked on track to make the top 40 are gone by the time of the chart proper, including one that was showing as high as 20.  We’re left with…

34.  Saint Motel – “My Type”

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Aug 26

Wolverine Annual #1 – “Wolf and Cub”

Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Paul in x-axis

Yes, “#1″.  I know.

This is going in the second “Three Months to Die” trade paperback.  But that’s largely a case of “got to stick it somewhere” (despite the cover banner billing it as part of the story).  So we might as well give it a post of its own.

Although it has nothing much to do with the “Three Months” storyline, this story does take as its starting point the loss of Wolverine’s healing factor and his sudden feelings of mortality.  Its actual point is to give him a chance to say goodbye to Jubilee.  She hasn’t been a regular in his stories for years, but she was his main sidekick back in the 90s, and Paul Cornell hasn’t used her, so it makes sense for the Annual to give her a visit.

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Aug 24

All-New X-Factor vol 2 – “Change of Decay”

Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2014 by Paul in x-axis

Most of the stories we’ve looked at lately have been reasonably self-contained, even if lengthy.  All-New X-Factor operates rather differently.  Peter David works more in the soap opera style of team book that dominated the 80s and 90s, where the focus isn’t on having a single overall plot, so much as on getting a whole bunch of plates spinning, and then checking in on them from time to time.

And thus far, David has been largely devoting his time to getting the plates spinning.  Where volume 1 gathered the team, volume 2 spends most of its six issues on introducing Georgia Dakei and her family, as well as setting up a few plot points to be returned to in future, before finally unveiling the corporate X-Factor to the public in a press conference in issue #12.

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Aug 19

Charts – 17 August 2014

Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 by Paul in Music

This would have been a pretty dead chart, were it not for a couple of future hits poking their heads into the bottom of the top 40.  But hey!  Something manages to spend a second week at number one!

40.  Sam Smith – “I’m Not The Only One”

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Aug 17

X-Men/Iron Man/Nova: “No End In Sight”

Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2014 by Paul in Uncategorized

A relatively obscure story this week – this is a three-parter running through Uncanny X-Men Special #1, Iron Man Special #1, and Nova Special #1, a similar format to last year’s “Arms of the Octopus”.  These stories are pretty much incidental so far as the wider continuity is concerned, but rather than treat them as complete filler, Marvel seem to regard them as a good venue to try out new creators.

So we have here a complete story by Sean Ryan, who has a number of scattered writing credits to his name, but is probably best known in these parts as a former X-books assistant editor from a while back.  On art, we have three pencillers and six inkers, but since all involved are going for a relatively straightforward Marvel style (and colourist Ruth Redmond is able to impose a degree of consistency), the result reads quite smoothly.

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Aug 16

Summerslam 2014

Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2014 by Paul in Wrestling

The actual content of the last few WWE shows has been overshadowed by the rather more pressing question of how the WWE Network is doing.  For those joining us late, or who are simply blog readers who don’t follow this wrestling stuff between monthly posts, let’s recap.

Since the 1990s the basic model of major wrestling promotions in the US has been monthly PPV promoted by weekly TV shows.  The WWE Network attempts to break that model, offering the same “PPV” shows on a Netflix-style streaming service, along with a substantial on-demand back catalogue and some genuinely desirable new material such as NXT, at a monthly price that vastly undercuts the PPV providers.  This makes the WWE an early adopter, in terms of being a reasonably substantial content provider trying to cut out the distributors entirely and sell directly to audiences.  Hence, the performance of the Network is – or ought to be – of interest beyond the wrestling bubble.

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Aug 12

Moon Knight vol 1 – “From the Dead”

Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 by Paul in reviews

There weren’t any X-books to review last week, so let’s take a (belated) look at another title that did complete its first trade paperback.

Moon Knight is the sort of bubble character who hasn’t really been able to sustain an ongoing title in years, but who keeps getting relaunched regardless.  This happens partly because of Marvel (and DC)’s conviction that everything in their back catalogue is a masterpiece merely awaiting the right take, but also because people look at Moon Knight and think to themselves, surely this ought to work.  It’s the book Bill Sienkiewicz made his name on.  It’s been interesting in the past.  Surely it can be interesting again.

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Aug 11

Charts – 10 August 2014

Posted on Monday, August 11, 2014 by Paul in Uncategorized

There weren’t any X-books to review this week, hence no reviews.  I was thinking of doing the first six issues of Moon Knight instead but, well, I haven’t had time to write it.  Maybe later in the week.

Meanwhile, here’s a very dull chart.

40.  Maroon 5 – “It Was Always You”

No video for this, and it’s not officially on YouTube as an audio either (not that you’ll have any trouble finding it there).  This is a trailer single for their upcoming album “V”, and since it’s not a fully promoted single in its own right, they have an excuse for the chart position.  It was at 25 in the midweeks, which presumably means all the fans bought it at the start of the week – who knew there were so many Maroon 5 fans?

34.  Jessie Ware – “Tough Love”

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