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Jul 28

Charts – 27 July 2018

Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2018 by Paul in Music

Look, we need dull weeks so that the slightly less dull weeks can seem interesting in comparison.

1.  Drake – “In My Feelings”

Two weeks, still no video.  The album “Scorpion” drops to 3 this week as it yields to a far, far greater force, but more of that later.  As for the other two Drake singles, “Don’t Matter To Me” drops to 7, and “Nonstop” falls to 22.  There could well be others that would qualify for the top 40 if it wasn’t for the three-song cap.

26.  Loud Luxury featuring Brando – “Body”

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Jul 27

X-Men: Wakanda Forever #1: “Echo Chamber”

Posted on Friday, July 27, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

You want comprehensive, I’ll give you comprehensive.  This is actually the middle chapter in a three-part miniseries about the Dora Milaje.  I haven’t read the first chapter, and I don’t plan to do so, at least until it shows up on Marvel Unlimited in five months time.  So reviewing it in isolation might seem pointless and futile…

…except that it is being promoted as a “one-shot”, it does have issue #1 on the cover, and if you’re going to (mis)promote a comic that way, you can’t really complain when people take you up on the offer.  To be fair, it does also say “The second part of a new Dora Milaje adventure”, and the “Wakanda Forever” logo is more prominent than the “X-Men”.  But still, the whole point of this sort of needlessly confusing numbering is to get people to treat it as a one-shot instead of a middle chapter, so let’s do that.

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Jul 26

X-Men Gold #31-32: “Prestige Dark”

Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

As titles go, “Prestige Dark” is… not good.  It conjures up images of inexpensive aftershave, or perhaps pretentious late-night soft porn on obscure channels on the third screen of the Entertainment section.  The main hits on Google are for laminate flooring and rum.  None of these connotations seem likely to be intentional.

For a while now, Marc Guggenheim has been building a subplot about Mesmero tinkering with Rachel’s mind.  This is where it comes to a head, but not in an especially satisfying way.

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Jul 25

X-Men Blue #29-30: “The Search for Jimmy Hudson”

Posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Continuing my catch-up efforts – X-Men Blue is already up to issue #32 – we have this bizarre little two-parter from Cullen Bunn and Nathan Stockman.  You may recall that we just did an arc with a fill-in team so that the regular cast could go off and appear in the Venomized miniseries.

X-Men Blue doesn’t really bother to explain what happened in those issues, beyond the fact that Jean Grey is alive and well, something that is unlikely to come as a tremendous shock.  But Jimmy Hudson, who wasn’t in the set-up issues at all, is apparently now the last remaining Poison on Earth.  Yay?

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Jul 24

Old Man Logan #41-42: “Logan the Hunted”

Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Old Man Logan is obviously on its way to some sort of wrap-up.  With the original Wolverine on his way back, the Wastelands version is simply redundant.  The question is how to draw a satisfying line under this version of the character, given that his whole schtick is that his story came to an end only for him to return to the game.

Kill him?  Can’t really do that while bringing back the real Logan at the same time.  Have him wander off into the sunset?  Tough to buy.  Send him back to the Wastelands?  It’s the obvious thing to do, but it doesn’t seem very satisfying.  Ed Brisson’s answer seems to be to play up Logan’s mortality, so that his return to the Wastelands (to die) can seem like a dignified farewell.

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Jul 23

X-Men Gold #26-30 – “‘Til Death Do Us Part”

Posted on Monday, July 23, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Bait and switch marriage issues seem to be the thing this year for superhero comics.  Not that I’m complaining too much; the Batman issue works as a story even if it makes the hype look insincere, while X-Men Gold seemed to be on the verge of marrying off Kitty and Peter for no particular reason beyond the fact that it seemed like an X-Men-y sort of thing to do.

How many of today’s X-Men readers actually are invested in the idea of Kitty and Peter’s relationship, I wonder?  It’s something that gets referenced from time to time, but the actual meat of it stems from Claremont stories back in the early 1980s – it was in the past even by the time I started reading.  The marriage we actually get in issue #30 seems like one that far more readers are likely to care about, so if anything, it’s a switch that many fans will see as a trade up.

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Jul 22

Charts – 20 July 2018

Posted on Sunday, July 22, 2018 by Paul in Music

You will not be surprised to hear that “Three Lions” is no longer number one.

1.  Drake – “In My Feelings”

Drake’s third number one of the year (after “Nice for What” and “God’s Plan”) and his fourth in total.  It’s broken from the album pack, presumably because it’s being used in viral dance videos – those don’t count towards the chart, even under the new rules, because only the official video counts.  Still, it’s giving the track a bit more attention.  The other two Drake tracks on this week’s chart are “Don’t Matter To Me” at 5, and “Nonstop” at 15.  “Scorpion” naturally gets a third week at number one on the album chart.

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Jul 14

Charts – 14 July 2018

Posted on Saturday, July 14, 2018 by Paul in Music

Well, this is unfortunate timing.

1.  David Baddiel, Frank Skinner & The Lightning Seeds – “Three Lions”

England’s favourite football song soars to number one on the strength of the team’s sterling performance in the World Cup!  The semifinal, and peak of English excitement, was almost perfectly timed to coincide with the end of the chart week.  And… they lost.  So “Three Lions” arrives at number one just in time for the mood to be over.  Ah well.

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Jul 13

Weapon X #17-19: “Sabretooth’s In Charge”

Posted on Friday, July 13, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Here we have a classic example of that Marvel curio, the three part story which is blatantly just the first half of a six part story, but gets a separate title for no discernible reason beyond the possibility that it might justify the drastic change of art style in what would otherwise have been part four.

So while issue #20 – which is already out, because I’m hopelessly behind – has the cartooning of Ricardo López Ortiz, these three issues have Yildiray Cinar, who is more of a conservative house-style artist, and plays it all pretty straight.  The ideal tone for Weapon X‘s stories would probably be somewhere in between, since they’re gleefully over the top but played fairly deadpan.  But Cinar is solid, and helpfully for this story, he can do some good night time snow.

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Jul 8

House to Astonish Episode 165

Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2018 by Al in Podcast

It’s been a sad few weeks for comics, and Paul and I are here to talk about the deaths of Harlan Ellison, Bong Dazo and, of course, Steve Ditko. In less tragic news, we’ve got discussion on the Descender sequel Ascender, the end of I Hate Fairyland and the upcoming launch of Middlewest, Boom! aquiring the Firefly licence, Marvel’s upcoming Deadpool vs Black Panther and Shatterstar minis, Jared Leto being cast as Morbius and the launch details for DC’s new streaming service (including in relation to how comics themselves fit into it all). We’ve also got reviews of Submerged and Catwoman, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is going to come bouncing back to you. All this plus supervillain hen nights, YouTube Blue and YouTube Gold, and the Manimal of the Marvel Universe.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available through the embedded player below, as well as on Stitcher, Spotify and all your favourite podcatchers. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

If you weren’t able to make it along to Glasgow Comic-Con to witness the Bullseye for the Skull Guy panel, where Kelly Kanayama of the Frank Discussions podcast and I teamed up with Jamie McKelvie, Annie Wu and Kathryn Briggs to give the Punisher a makeover in the style of a certain popular Netflix revival show, then you can catch it over on the Frank Discussions feed here, right now!

Remember you can get our lovely t-shirts over at our Redbubble store, and if it were ever a time when the weather was right for it, now is that time.