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Jan 11

House to Astonish Episode 189

Posted on Monday, January 11, 2021 by Al in Uncategorized

It’s the Homies awards! We look back at The Year of Big Pando in comics, and pick out winners in the many and various categories which long-term listeners will have come to know and tolerate. Where did your favourites place? Find out here! Unless you voted for something that didn’t win, in which case, you’ll have to go through the voting thread and tot up the league table yourself, sorry.

Also in this podcast! An important message to you from the editor — about the NEW Astonishing!

You can get the podcast here, or here on Mixcloud, or via the embedded player below. Let us know what you thought, in the comments thread, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

And if you’re in the Southern hemisphere, congratulations! You’ve probably got weather that would justify you buying one of our beautiful t-shirts!

Dec 16

House to Astonish Episode 188

Posted on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 by Al in Uncategorized

We’re back, and we’re talking about the sad death of Richard Corben, DC’s post-Future State plans, Marvel’s Alien series, X of Swords, Rob Liefeld’s latest stint at Marvel and the return of Witchblade. We’re also reviewing Batman: Black & White and Home Sick Pilots, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is as cold as ice, and willing to sacrifice. All this plus what happens to comic store employees in Hell, Real Housewives of Limbo, and shorthand for your granny.

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. Remember that our super-swish t-shirts are available at our Redbubble store, and you can (and should) vote in our 2020 Homies Awards, just one post down from this one!

Dec 14

The Homies 2020

Posted on Monday, December 14, 2020 by Al in Uncategorized

There’s gifts on the fire and logs on the tree, and that means only one thing – it’s time for the annual House to Astonish Homies awards, where we dish out our gongs in various categories to the best and brightest comics of the year.

As always, Paul and I will individually be choosing a winner for each category, but there’s the usual proviso – we want YOU to help, so you all name your picks in the comments, and Paul and I each choose our own, and we talk a bit about each of the three on our awards show.

We’re likely to be recording at the beginning of the new year, so we’re giving you until midnight UK time (7pm Eastern, 4pm Pacific) on December 31 2020 to make your choice. When you list your picks, don’t just name names either, because we’ll be reading out the best comments on the show, so let us know your thinking!

BEST NEW SERIES

This one’s pretty self-explanatory – any comic whose first issue was published between 1 January and 31 December 2020 is eligible. What new series got your attention the most this year?

BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

This one’s a little less self-explanatory – what series, again first published during 2020, did you think was best, with the proviso that it has to be something where the property wasn’t in existence prior to the start of 2020. We’re counting re-use of titles as well as concepts, so X-Factor or Amethyst wouldn’t be eligible, but (for example) Giga or Decorum would.

BEST CONTINUING SERIES

The counterpart to the categories above, which covers books whose first issue was published in 2019 or before. They’ve been around the block, but they’ve still got what it takes.

BEST MINI, ONE-SHOT OR OGN

These are explaining themselves by this point, right? We’re looking for OGNs, one-shots and minis published in 2020 (or partially in 2020, in the case of minis).

FAVOURITE WRITER

FAVOURITE ARTIST

FAVOURITE COLOURIST

Each of these three is pretty self-explanatory – whose name on the cover or credits box of a book makes you want to pick it up? Whose work do you most look forward to seeing?

MOST WANTED

This is for the comic, series or graphic novel that saw print this year which you’d want to see more of, whether that be a book that was cancelled before its time, a one-shot or mini that just begs for a follow-up, or an OGN that you’d love to see a sequel to.

MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

It may have seemed unappealing when you read about it online, and those preview pages may have looked unremarkable, but when you finally got the winner of this category in your hands you were ready to eat your words. What comic, series or graphic novel did you find yourself enjoying much more than you thought you would?

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

This is exactly what it says – which creator, creative team, publisher or other contributor to the world of comics really knocked it out of the park this year?

Let us have your picks in the comments thread below, along with your thinking on each one – we’ll read out a range of the responses on our big end-of-year show. Happy nominating!

Dec 3

X-Factor #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, December 3, 2020 by Paul in Uncategorized

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

X-FACTOR vol 4 #5
“Suite No. 5: First Movement Finale: ‘After a Summer of Allostatic Overload”
by Leah Williams, David Baldeon & Israel Silva

“Allostatic load” is wear and tear on the body as a result of stress.

COVER / PAGE 1: Aurora and Northstar using their powers together. More of that later.

PAGES 2-4. X-Factor show the Five proof of Wind Dancer’s death.

This is picking up the storyline that was in progress before “X of Swords”. Presumably Wind Dancer’s plight was put on hold while the Five had a more pressing crisis to deal with, in the form of disruption to the whole resurrection operation.

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Nov 21

Juggernaut #3 annotations

Posted on Saturday, November 21, 2020 by Paul in Uncategorized

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

JUGGERNAUT #3
“Stuck in the Past”
by Fabian Nicieza, Ron Garney & Matt Milla

COVER / PAGE 1. The Juggernaut replacing a broken statue of Lady Justice, and weighing sand in her scales.

PAGE 2. This issue’s kind-of-sort-of recap page is referencing Amazing Spider-Man vol 1 #230 (July 1982), in which Juggernaut is trying to abduct Madame Web, and winds up fighting Spider-Man on a construction site. Unable to actually hurt Juggernaut, Spider-Man defeats him by luring him into newly-poured concrete foundations which apparently go down 40 feet or so, leading him to sink to the bottom. He was indeed stuck there for quite some time – his next published appearance was in Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #183, two years later – though previous stories have given it as anything from a month to six months.

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Nov 16

House to Astonish Episode 187

Posted on Monday, November 16, 2020 by Al in Uncategorized

A compact and bijou hour-and-change of comics chat for you this time round, with discussion of Marie Javins’ promotion to DC EIC, John Nee being let go as Marvel Publisher, and the announcements of Truth & Justice, X-Men Legends, Hollow Heart and Geiger. We’ve also got reviews of Punchline and Hellboy and the BPRD: The Seven Wives Club, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe mentioned it once but it thinks it got away with it. All this plus Adam Smith’s Golden Age comics career, 1990s house anthems and Johnny Fishnchips, the scrappy British superhero.

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. And remember, if you ever feel like your torso could be warmer, you can always buy one of our neato t-shirts over at our Redbubble page.

Oct 21

House to Astonish Episode 186

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 by Al in Uncategorized

We’re back, with a bunch of chat for you about DC’s Future State, the return of the Thunderbolts, delays to Marvel’s Eternals and Aftershock’s merger, we review Amazing Spider-Man and We Live, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe brings you Sandman Done Right Done Right. All this plus Methadone Spidey, Miracle Dog and a Rainmate with a face.

The podcast is here, or on Mixcloud here, or available through the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, on Twitter, via email, or via our Facebook fan page. And hey! You know what never goes out of style? Our t-shirts!

Oct 8

X-Force #13 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2020 by Paul in Uncategorized

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

X-FORCE vol 6 #13
“X of Swords, Chapter 4”
by Benjamin Percy, Viktor Bogdanovic & Matthew Wilson

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine in the hellfire with Solem waiting. Not exactly how it plays out in the issue.

This issue is a direct continuation from Wolverine #6, which shipped on the same day – it even has the same artist. I’m not going to repeat anything that was covered already in the post for that issue, which will keep this post shorter.

PAGE 2. Epigraph from the Silver Samurai.

PAGES 3-4. Flashback: Logan confronts the Hand in the temple.

Yomi is the Japanese word for the underworld or land of the dead.

PAGES 5-6. Credits and recap.

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Sep 10

X-Factor #3 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Paul in Uncategorized

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

X-FACTOR vol 4 #3
“Suite No. 3: Mojoverse Sonata the 2nd, a Celestial Rondo”
by Leah Williams & David Baldeon

The title of the previous issue was “Suite No. 2: Mojoverse Sonata Xf. 3 Op. 45, Danse Macabre”, so we’re continuing a theme here.

COVER / PAGE 1. Mojo (who doesn’t actually appear in the story) watches various police shows starring the X-Factor cast. Though surely X-Factor aren’t actually the Krakoan police…?

PAGES 2-3. X-Factor make short work of Durkitt’s crew, and Spiral welcomes them to her show.

This sort of playing to the crowd is out of character for Spiral, but we’ll see later that people in her position need to keep up the act. She describes Mojo with a bizarre pile-up of titles – benefactor, executive producer, democratically-elected ruler, king, supreme leader, and “most holy”. Clearly Mojo remains firmly in charge despite the supposed democratisation of the new Mojoverse. The logical end point of this direction for the Mojoverse is Mojo as Mark Zuckerberg.

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Sep 3

New Mutants #12 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2020 by Paul in Annotations, Uncategorized

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #12
“Monster Machine”
by Ed Brisson & Marco Failla

COVER / PAGE 1. Magik lashes out at the media (in general, rather than specifically Dox, but okay).

PAGES 2-3. Prologue – more monsters in Nova Roma.

This scene picks up on a plot thread from issue #8, where Magma, Armor and Boom-Boom dealt with a bunch of weird mutant-hunting creatures in the jungles around Nova Roma (Magma’s hidden anachronistic home town). “Senator Aquila” is Magma’s father. That story ended with the unnamed woman seen here showing up looking for revenge for the death of some of her creations.

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