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Aug 12

Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda

Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

On with the prequels, then.  From the look of it, these Hunt for Wolverine minis have two main functions: first, to revisit a different part of Wolverine’s life and define him in his absence; and second, to set up a plot point for the main event to come.

This one has Tom Taylor writing and R.B. Silva on art, a promising start – and most of the series lives up to that promise.  While last week’s Weapon Lost seemed only tangentially connected to Wolverine, this one is much more clearly linked: it’s a New Avengers miniseries.  It’s perhaps more surprising just how much actual Wolverine there is in it, given Marvel’s determination to delay gratification for as long as possible (and more).  Half of issue #1 is flashback; the remaining issues have much less of him, but he’s still actually in this story to a surprising degree.

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Aug 11

Charts – 10 August 2018

Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2018 by Paul in Music

This week: Travis Scott has an album out!  And…. um…

…yeah, that’s about it, to be honest.

1.  Drake – “In My Feelings”

Four weeks.  Its streaming points are still growing, but only very slightly; despite the release of the video during this chart week (which counts to the chart now, remember), it seems like this could be the peak.  The album is at 4; the other two singles are on their way out of the chart, currently sitting at 19 and 30.

9.  Travis Scott – “Sicko Mode”
15.  Travis Scott – “Stargazing”
29.  Travis Scott – “Carousel”

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Aug 10

Old Man Logan #43-45: “Bullseye Returns”

Posted on Friday, August 10, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Well, there’s a title that does what it says on the tin.  This is indeed a rematch against Bullseye, who last showed up in issues #36-38 (“Moving Target”, the Kingpin arc).  As I pointed out before, Bullseye is a perfectly good Wolverine villain; the two of them might not have any particular history, but he’s a strong character and his gimmick plays well against Wolverine, who can take the damage and keep coming.

But this is also a sequel to Ed Brisson’s own Bullseye miniseries from last year, in which an aggrieved FBI widow pursued Bullseye with the aid of obscure Daredevil villains Bullet and Shotgun, and did about as well as you’d imagine, bearing in mind that it wasn’t her book.  Brisson is clearly fond of Joy Jones, as she shows up here in full costume, repackaged as “Vendetta”.

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Aug 9

X-Men Blue #31-32: “Kings and Queens”

Posted on Thursday, August 9, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Oh, so I thought I’d caught up, but it turns out this is a two parter.  I hadn’t noticed because it doesn’t really end, but issue #33 is “Surviving the Experience, part one”, so there you go.

Not that this is a repeat of the recent Weapon X storyline which was given two names for no reason.  “Kings and Queens” is separate from what follows.  But it’s more of a piece of connective tissue between actual storylines, and an example of the way Blue and Gold both sometimes lapse into a more traditional subplot-juggling style of team book.

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Aug 5

Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost

Posted on Sunday, August 5, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Marvel haven’t exactly done themselves any favours in the way they’ve gone about the death and return of Wolverine.  Old Man Logan is so similar to the original that there’s been little scope for absence to make the heart grow fonder.  The Marvel Legacy one-shot where he returned was nearly a year a go, and it took months to have any follow-up.  And now we have… a series of four miniseries, leading into another miniseries in which he actually returns?  I suppose it’s helping to belatedly build anticipation, but sixteen issues of prologue is patience-testing stuff.

So we have four miniseries, each with different creators, and each featuring a different cast of characters who more or less knew Wolverine.  Adamantium Agenda is basically a New Avengers miniseries; Claws of a Killer is pretty much a Weapon X mini; Mystery in Madripoor has the X-Men themselves; and… um.

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Aug 4

Charts – 3 August 2018

Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2018 by Paul in Music

Um… well, there’s some stuff happening lower down the album chart…

1.  Drake – “In My Feelings”

Three weeks – and look, it has a video now!  A video which is eight minutes long, more than twice the length of the song.  So you know it’s important.  The album “Scorpion” is still at 3, and the other two singles are at 13 and 28.  This heads up a static top three and a moribund top ten, except for…

4.  DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo and Chance The Rapper – “No Brainer” (more…)

Aug 3

Weapon X #20-21: “If He Dies, He Dies”

Posted on Friday, August 3, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Officially a two-part story, this is actually just the conclusion of “Sabretooth’s In Charge”, the ostensible three parter that I reviewed last month.  In that story, the ailing Logan appointed Sabretooth as field leader, who wound up striking an awkward alliance with Omega Red in his feud with SICKLE, all to the general horror of Warpath and the more muted scepticism of Domino and Lady Deathstrike.  That leaves Omega Red’s feud with SICKLE to be resolved, which is pretty much what happens in these two issues.

So, Weapon X and Omega Red attack the SICKLE “Mothercarrier”, a robustly ugly version of the SHIELD Helicarrier reimagined as a brick, which, according to Omega Red, stays in the air because it’s “too stubborn to fall down”.  Domino starts getting worried about all this when she realises that Omega Red isn’t actually expecting to win, but just fancies a glorious death in battle against his estranged brother (the head of SICKLE).  Warpath has pretty much wandered off on his own by this point, but shows up anyway, mainly to help Domino.

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Aug 2

Cable #155-159: “Past Fears”

Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Cable‘s final storyline before cancellation is a wildly unfocussed oddity.

Our creative team for this one are writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler, who previously wrote The Dregs for Black Mask, and artist German Peralta, who’s worked on Thanos.  And this is a high concept one: a previously unmentioned monster, Metus, which has been pursuing Cable throughout his life.  Metus is bitter about some awful thing that Cable did in the past.  He doesn’t want to kill Cable, but he does want Cable to be alone.

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Aug 2

X-Men Gold Annual #2: “Into the Woods”

Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Given the volume of X-books that Marvel puts out, it’s not always clear why they do annuals as well.  The X-Men Blue annual this year was really just an extra issue of the regular title.  X-Men Gold takes the more sensible route, with the sort of off-to-the-side story that wouldn’t stretch to a mini, but might once have appeared in X-Men Unlimited.

I think this is the first comics work by Seanan McGuire, a prolific fantasy novelist with some award winning material to her credit.  It’s a solo story for a teenage Kitty Pryde, as she takes a few weeks off from the X-Men to go to summer camp.

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Jul 31

Exiles #1-5

Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

It’s been a few years since the last run of Exiles, a book which is essentially What If…?‘s parade of alternate Marvel Universes crossed with Quantum Leap‘s uncontrolled dimension-hopping.  Time for another go around, this time with Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodríguez.

And… does Exiles actually count as an X-book?  The original Exiles series was clearly an X-book, populated mostly by variants of X-Men characters.  Here, we’ve got Blink, a version of Wolverine, and that’s pretty much your lot, X-wise.  There’s still a prominent X in the logo, but I’m minded to treat this as a spin-off that’s gone its own way, like Deadpool.  (We miss you, Deadpool.  Send money.)  But hey, we’re here now.

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