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Aug 19

Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer

Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Three down, one to go.  And if you’re going to do four parallel lead-in stories, each drawing on a different aspect of Wolverine, then somewhere along the line you’re going to need a story about beclawed people doing violent things.  Of course, even if you can’t use Wolverine himself, the Marvel Universe has no shortage of other characters who are, shall we say, Wolverine-adjacent.

Mariko Tamaki and Butch Guice are the creative team tackling this remit in Claws of a Killer.  Lady Deathstrike has found out about Wolverine’s return through her contacts with the Reavers, and enlists Sabretooth and Daken to look into it.  The idea seems to be that all three were meant to have devoted their lives to getting revenge on Wolverine, and his death screwed that up.  So they need to get their chance now, before anyone else does.

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Aug 18

Charts – 17 August 2018

Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2018 by Paul in Music

More of an albums chart week, this.  But let’s quickly knock through the singles chart first.  Believe me, this won’t take long.

1.  George Ezra – “Shotgun”

That’s a little unexpected.  “Shotgun” had two weeks at number one in July, but it’s been stuck at number two for five weeks behind first “Three Lions”, and then Drake.  Returning to number one is less rare than it used to be, though still unusual; returning to number one after five weeks is still pretty rare.

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Aug 17

Cable & Deadpool Annual #1

Posted on Friday, August 17, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

I’m nothing if not comprehensive.  Why is there a Cable & Deadpool annual this year?  No idea.  Well, not exactly no idea – maybe it’s something they wanted to do before Extermination – but this is very much disposable stuff.

It’s David Walker writing, and a whole bunch of artists doing anything from a scene to an individual page.  Basically it’s an artist jam issue, then, and your mileage will vary depending on your interest and tolerance for such things.  Mine… not so high.

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Aug 16

Astonishing X-Men Annual #1: “Who We Are”

Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

It seems we’re headed for yet another relaunch, with a new Uncanny X-Men weekly title on the way.  It’s no great surprise to see Gold and Blue coming to an end (the time travelling kids look like their storyline is finally building to some sort of conclusion in the Extermination mini).  It’s perhaps a little odder to see yet another relaunch in the offing while X-Men Red and Astonishing X-Men are literally in the course of “gathering the team” arcs.  It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that this direction, or indeed any other, will stick it out for long.  Still, it’s a decent line-up of creators, so let’s hope it works out.

In the meantime, we have an Astonishing X-Men Annual, predictably numbered #1.  And this is pretty good.  Although it’s written by the current Astonishing writer Matthew Rosenberg, it’s a follow-up to Charles Soule’s arc, catching up with what Professor X is up to now that he’s been revived.  Always good to see some follow-up.

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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…)