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Mar 17

Uncanny X-Men: Winter’s End

Posted on Sunday, March 17, 2019 by Paul in x-axis

So here’s a new angle in curious labelling.  Uncanny X-Men: Winter’s End may be billed as an X-Men special, but it’s actually the final issue of Sina Grace’s Iceman.

Now, this certainly isn’t false advertising, or anything like that.  Iceman is in the X-Men too.  And there’s a long history of unresolved plots from cancelled books being dutifully wound up in other titles, at least back in the days when people bothered to do such things as wrap up the unresolved plots from cancelled books.  But there’s no getting away from the fact that this is an issue of Iceman – the main story will make sense if you haven’t read that book, but there are subplots that really won’t.  So you have to suspect that this has been bannered as an X-Men story in the hope that it’ll sell a few extra copies.  (You probably wouldn’t guess that it was an Iceman story from the cover, either, which is a bit of a giveaway.)

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Mar 16

Charts – 15 March 2019

Posted on Saturday, March 16, 2019 by Paul in Music

Yes, I know there’s a few comics out this week to review – the Iceman one-shot, X-Force and X-23, to be exact – but I feel like keeping this up to date first…

1.  Lewis Capaldi – “Someone You Loved”

The top four is static, so Lewis Capaldi gets a third week at number one.  It doesn’t have a huge lead, but it’s doing well enough.

8.  Dave featuring J Hus – “Disaster”
9.  Dave – “Streatham”
11.  Dave featuring Burna Boy – “Location”

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Mar 9

Charts – 8 March 2019

Posted on Saturday, March 9, 2019 by Paul in Music

So the singles chart is looking a bit becalmed again…

1.  Lewis Capaldi – “Someone You Loved”

That’s two weeks, with a lead over Calvin Harris equivalent to 6,000 sales.  The previous single “Grace” climbs to a new peak of 21.  Meanwhile, “Don’t Call Me Up” by Mabel, which I didn’t think much of, moves 5-3, so what do I know?

6.  The Jonas Brothers – “Sucker”

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Mar 4

Charts – 1 March 2019

Posted on Monday, March 4, 2019 by Paul in Music

So there’s a podcast one post down if that’s more your thing!  But meanwhile… here’s something I didn’t see coming.

1.  Lewis Capaldi – “Someone You Loved”

The midweeks had it as a toss-up between Ariana Grande and Calvin Harris.  And while Lewis Capaldi only made his top 40 debut this year, “Someone You Loved” has been available since last November. Clearly the recently-released video helps – it has an actual star attached, after all – but the song has still taken seven weeks to climb through the top 40 to get here.  Whatever Capaldi might say in interviews, he doesn’t technically join the one-hit wonder list here; his previous single “Grace” is also seeing a second wind, and reaches a new peak of 24 this week. (more…)

Mar 3

House to Astonish Episode 172

Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2019 by Al in Podcast

It’s a relatively quiet few weeks for comics news, but we’re chatting about the upcoming Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen books, the Thought Bubble festival moving from Leeds to Harrogate, Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora’s The Once And Future, Dark Horse losing Usagi Yojimbo to IDW, DC’s Giant books entering the Direct Market and Marvel’s upcoming Venom-centric event. We’ve also got reviews of The Forgotten Queen and X-Tremists and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is written in the stars. All this plus comics tapas, Debbie Pisces and the Rick Jones cooking manga.

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 over at our Facebook fan page. And don’t forget, you can get hold of our fab t-shirts over at our Redbubble store.

Feb 24

Charts – 22 February 2019

Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2019 by Paul in Music

Ariana Grande is going nowhere.

1.  Ariana Grande – “7 Rings”

Back at number 1 for a fourth week after being interrupted last week by, um, the other Ariana Grade single, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend I’m Bored” – though it’s close to a tie between the two tracks.  Technically that makes Ariana Grande the first artist ever to replace themselves at number one twice in a row, but it’s the streaming era and this sort of thing is a lot easier than it ever was in the past.

“Break Up” is at number 2, and “Needy” drops to number 11; regular readers will be well aware that the chart rules only allow three tracks from the album to chart.  The album itself gets a second week at number one.  I don’t think any of these tracks are especially good material, but there’s no denying her A-list status.

“Giant” by Calvin Harris & Rag’N’Bone Man climbs 6-4.  “Options” by NSG featuring Tion Wayne climbs 12-9, giving all involved their first top 10 hit. (more…)

Feb 22

Return of Wolverine

Posted on Friday, February 22, 2019 by Paul in x-axis

Return of Wolverine is a comic that exists to get a thing from A to B.  We all know that.  And everyone involved knows we all know that.  So what to do on the pages?

Charles Soule is a writer unusually willing to take on this sort of horrendous assignment – he was the one who killed off Wolverine in the first place, after all, not to mention the writer who tried his best to deliver on Marvel’s Inhumans fetish.  He can be very good when he’s writing something like Daredevil that doesn’t come with a ton of baggage attached.  On something like this, well, at least he tends to bring something wilfully eccentric to the exercise.

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Feb 19

Shatterstar

Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 by Paul in x-axis

Shatterstar, written by Tim Seeley and pencilled by Carlos Villa (with Gerardo Sandoval on the flashbacks), reads like a pilot for an ongoing series – it’s got a new status quo, and what sure looks like the core of a regular supporting cast.  It’s an endearingly eccentric take on the character, but also one that seems to have been instantly jettisoned, given the way he’s being used in X-Force.  So… welcome to the apocrypha.

This is Shatterstar, intergalactic landlord.  He’s seemingly retired from superhero-ing, he’s broken up with Rictor, and he’s the landlord of a building called Manor Crossing where all of his tenants are refugees from assorted obscure universes.  And they’re a weird bunch.

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Feb 17

Charts – 15 February 2019

Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2019 by Paul in Music

Ariana Grande has an album out, and we all know what that means.

1.  Ariana Grande – “Break Up With Your Girlfriend I’m Bored”
2.  Ariana Grande – “7 Rings”
8.  Ariana Grande – “Needy”

It’s only been about six months since Ariana Grande’s last album “Sweetener”, but already we have a complete new album, giving her a third number one album.  The single “Break Up…” pushes her own “7 Rings” down to number 2, making her fifth number one single – three of which have come within the last 100 days (the other one being the title track).  This is pretty exceptional even in the streaming era, where we’ve had individual songs stick around at the top for ages, but it’s still rare for somebody to have a string of number one hits in a short period.  The only other modern artist to do it is Justin Bieber; going further back, Elvis Presley did it in 1961, and John Lennon did it when he died.

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Feb 15

House to Astonish Episode 171

Posted on Friday, February 15, 2019 by Al in Podcast

It’s a scattershot selection of news this time around, as we talk about DC’s layoffs, Image’s new retailer programmes and their announcements of Excellence and FairLady, Marvel’s upcoming Agents of Atlas and Savage Avengers series, the third Batman/TMNT mini, an interesting fill-in on Catwoman, Jughead’s Time Police, David F Walker’s Solid Comix and a quick round-up of comics festival news. We’ve also got reviews of Wonder Twins and Savage Sword of Conan, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is up to its old tricks. All this plus Sword Trainee, the Miscellaneanaissance and the left hand not knowing what the Hand is doing.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, via email, on Twitter or via our Facebook fan page. And hey, you’re never fully dressed without a smile, and you’re never fully FULLY dressed without a House to Astonish T-shirt!