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May 20

Rogue & Gambit

Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Sometimes I regret that Marvel doesn’t just run a single weekly X-Men title and cycle in different creative teams for each arc.  It seems like a better vehicle for something like Rogue & Gambit, which deserves more than to be dismissed as a side miniseries.  (Also, between Gold, Blue, Red and Astonishing, two of which are biweekly, Marvel currently produces more than one X-Men title a week, so combining them into a single book would require some welcome restraint.)

This five-issue miniseries is written by Kelly Thompson, which is something of a catch for the X-office.  I’m less familiar with artist Pere Pérez; judging from his bibliography, he’s been around forever without making a huge impact on me.  But teamed with Frank D’Armata on colours, he’s done some very good work here; classic-looking superhero stuff, but with strong character beats and an ability to keep hordes of Rogues and Gambits from different points in their histories distinct.


May 19

Charts – 18 May 2018

Posted on Saturday, May 19, 2018 by Paul in Music

I’ll start catching up on reviews in the next day or so, but let’s get the topical stuff done first.  And sometimes the charts make this nice and easy, by having basically one record come out in a week.

1.  Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”

Well, this is settling in for the long run, isn’t it?  Five weeks at number one makes this the longest Calvin Harris has stayed at number one, passing 2008’s “Dance Wiv Me”.  2011’s Rihanna collab “We Found Love” managed six, but that was in two goes.  Calvin and Dua head up a completely static top five, because it’s one of those weeks.

18.  Arctic Monkeys – “Four Out Of Five”
23.  Arctic Monkeys – “Star Treatment”
26.  Arctic Monkeys – “One Point Perspective”


May 14

Charts – 11 May 2018

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018 by Paul in Music

A dull week on the singles chart, with one very obvious exception.  A rather busier week for the albums…

1.  Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”

Four weeks.  Granted, it’s not facing intense competition from any recent releases, with the top 10 singles merely swapping a few places – but it had eight million plus streams last week too.

14.  Childish Gambino – “This is America”


May 7

Charts – 4 May 2018

Posted on Monday, May 7, 2018 by Paul in Music

One of those weeks where we can feel thankful they changed the rules to stop Ed Sheeran…

1.  Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”

Three weeks, which makes it Dua Lipa’s biggest hit, since “New Rules” only stayed on top for two.  And it has a proper video now, too.  It’s number one in both sales and streams, so it could be here for a while.  It heads up a static top four, over Ariana Grande, Drake and Lil Dicky.

9.  Post Malone – “Better Now”
11.  Post Malone – “Paranoid” (more…)

May 5

House to Astonish Episode 163

Posted on Saturday, May 5, 2018 by Al in Podcast

We’ve been away for a long time, but House to Astonish is back for Free Comic Book Day, and we’ve got news of DC’s upcoming streaming service, DC dropping the digital codes on most of their $3.99 books, Man of Steel‘s returnability, Jeanine Schaefer joining BOOM! and John Barber rejoining IDW. We’ve also got reviews of Avengers and Coda, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe has put a spell on you. All this plus Donut Showdown, an international crisps competition and what it’s like to eat an entire box of Weetabix.

The podcast is here or on Mixcloud here, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think in the comments, on Twitter, via email or at our Facebook fan page. And remember that you can get our t-shirts at our Redbubble store, and that you’ll look great in them.

May 3

Hunt for Wolverine

Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Wolverine’s return was the great climax of the Marvel Legacy one-shot.  And that was last September.

Now, over six months later, Marvel finally gets around to the follow-up.  Yes, I gather there’s been some “where’s Wolverine” pages at the back of various comics, but they don’t make it into any of the digital editions, presumably because Marvel are classing them as glorified house ads.  Rightly so, by all accounts.  But with Hunt for Wolverine, Charles Soule – who killed off Wolverine in the first place – does the set-up work for a bunch of parallel miniseries that are going to bring him back again.


Apr 30

Weapon X #15-16: “Happy Birthday, Old Man Logan”

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Have I mentioned – I think I may have done once or twice – that I didn’t greatly care for Axis?  You remember Axis.  It was the crossover back in 2014 where people had their moral compass “inverted” so goodies became baddies and vice versa.  And that’s fine as a bit of short-term gimmickry, but Marvel decided to leave some of the characters like that permanently.

So four years later, Havok and Sabretooth are still kind-of-sort-of inverted.  They had a go at an ongoing series with an inverted Iron man too, but unless I’m very much mistaken, that one just kind of petered out without a proper resolution.


Apr 28

Charts – 27 April 2018

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

I’ll get back to reviews shortly, but first, let’s catch up on a busy week…

1.  Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”

Two weeks – Calvin Harris has number one hits fairly often but hasn’t managed a two week run since “We Found Love” back in 2011.  This still doesn’t have a proper video, so here’s a TV performance which Calvin Harris has posted on his YouTube channel.

2.  Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left To Cry” (more…)

Apr 21

Charts – 20 April 2018

Posted on Saturday, April 21, 2018 by Paul in Music

Well, so much for Drake having another mammoth run at number 1.

1.  Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”

We’re ready for summer, then?  Calvin Harris has been around for over a decade now, and he’s been placing consistently in the top ten the whole time.  This is his ninth number one hit, following “Dance Wiv Me” (2008), “I’m Not Alone” (2009), “We Found Love” (2011), “Sweet Nothing” (2012), “Under Control” (2013), “Summer” (2014), “Blame” (2014), and “Feels” (2017).  Okay, a couple of those were guest appearances, but that’s still seven with top billing.  It’s an impressive haul, but you don’t think of Calvin Harris as that level of celebrity, perhaps because he’s more of a background figure in the way he promotes his own records.


Apr 19

X-Men Gold #23-25: “Cruel & Unusual”

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

I’m late with this one, but that’s what I get for trusting the solicitations, which insist that “Cruel & Unusual” is a three-parter.  It certainly seemed to have finished with issue #25, but you never know, do you?

So this is the prison story, which is a somewhat interesting idea.  If you’re going to plonk the X-Men in Central Park then one side effect of that should be that the team get to deal with the authorities a lot more directly than when they just hid out in upstate New York and tried not to get noticed.  So there’s some mileage in a story about the X-Men knowing they’re innocent, but recognising that the police have sensible reasons for arresting them, and deciding that they’d better play by the rules.  It’s not how the X-Men are used to working.