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Mar 13

Cable #1 annotations

Posted on Friday, March 13, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

CABLE. This is the fourth volume of Cable. The first is the 1990s run which lasted 108 issues. The second is the 2008-9 run where Bishop chases him and Hope through time. The third is a miniseries from 2017. (There’s also an early 90s mini called Cable: Blood & Metal, and a Cable & Deadpool ongoing.)

Cable’s back story is notoriously convoluted, and recent events haven’t helped. In very broad outline, Cable is Nathan Summers, the son of Cyclops and his first wife Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey). For various reasons, assorted A-list villains were very interested in getting their hands on him. In the end, baby Nathan was (a) infected with a techno-organic virus that transformed part of his body and gave him his cyborg appearance, and (b) sent into a far future timeline ruled by Apocalypse, where he was raised by two foster parents (who were themselves actually a time travelling Scott and Jean – I told you this was all insanely complicated).

From there, Cable’s history used to involve him leading rebel forces against Apocalypse, eventually returning the present as a time traveller, and founding X-Force. However, in the recent Extermination miniseries, a second, teenaged Cable shows up from the future, and kills the original. This teenage Cable is the one we’re now following. Flashbacks in the previous run of X-Force attempt to explain this further. The long-term presence of the Silver Age X-Men in the present day (in All-New X-Men and X-Men Blue) was causing damage to the timeline, which Older Cable ought to have done something about, but didn’t. Teen Cable killed him in order to take his place and sort out the timeline problems. Why that meant killing the older Cable, and why everyone else was ultimately okay with it, is still a bit vague (if not downright screwy).

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Mar 12

New Mutants #9 annotations

Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. A fever-dream version of the New Mutants.

PAGES 2-3. A mutant cowers in a tunnel in a facility in Carnelia.

The mutant is named later in the issue as Tashi Repina, and she’s 13. She seems to have made a hole in the fence somehow, and taken refuge in… some sort of outflow pipe? She’s leaving a trail of something behind her, but it’s hard to tell what it’s meant to be – some sort of goop caused by her transformation of the world around her, I suppose.

Carnelia. Another of Marvel’s many, many fictional microstates from the back catalogue. This one comes from Iron Man stories in the late 1970s, when it was a generic Russian satellite state. It’s popped up a few times since then.

Pershyy Misto is its established capital city – though this doesn’t really look like it’s in the city.

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Mar 11

X-Men #8 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Cyclops and the New Mutants (specifically, Magma, Mirage, Wolfsbane and Magik) versus the Brood.

PAGE 1. Magma asks Mirage about Rahne’s egg.

The Akademos Habitat / The Sextant. The area of Krakoa where the members of the former teen teams live, including the New Mutants, as seen in their book.

Magma was a member of the classic New Mutants, but didn’t go on their recent trip to space, which was depicted in the Hickman-written New Mutants #1-2, #5 and #7. Mirage did.

The King Egg. This is the King Egg that the Starjammers were trying to steal in New Mutants. We’ll find out later that it’s a Brood King Egg. The Brood are insectoid aliens who go around planting eggs in people in order to turn them into more Brood; they’ve been major X-Men villains since the 1980s.

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Mar 8

Charts – 6 March 2020

Posted on Sunday, March 8, 2020 by Paul in Music

1. The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”

That’s four weeks (non-consecutive). He might be settling in for a while. Number 2 is “Roses” by Saint Jhn, which climbs 4-2, and now has a lyric video for the Imanbek remix that’s doing most of the business.

5. Lady Gaga – “Stupid Love”

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Mar 7

House to Astonish Episode 182

Posted on Saturday, March 7, 2020 by Al in Podcast

Hello! We’re back! And we’re talking about Dan DiDio’s exit from DC, the postponement of Emerald City Comic-Con, Comixology’s European price hikes, The Quotable Giant Days and John Layman and Dan Boultwood’s Chu. We’ve also got reviews of Join The Future and Strange Academy, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is half the man it used to be. All this plus Deathstroke the Coal, Roy Harper’s Syringe Academy and the Marvel Universe’s premier hand model.

The episode is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available through the player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page. And, as always, you can pick up some of our sweet tees over at our Redbubble store!

If you enjoyed my appearance on the first issue of the Shelfdust Presents podcast, then good news, because I was also on last week’s episode talking about 1989’s Damage Control #1. If you didn’t enjoy it then we’re too late to do anything about that now, unfortunately.

Mar 4

Excalibur #8 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Cullen Bloodstone in hunting gear, with the heads of Excalibur as trophies on the wall behind him. Don’t worry, this does not happen in the story.

PAGES 2-3. Cullen calms down and invites Excalibur to talk over a meal.

Cullen behaves as if he thinks he’s acting perfectly reasonably; even though he’s in monster mode, his threat is basically to call the police.

PAGES 4-5. Credits and recap. The story is “Verse VIII: The Unspeakable and the Uneatable II” by Tini Howard, Wilton Santos, Marcus To, and various others. (Four inkers – the deadlines must have been pressing…)

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Mar 4

Marauders #9 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

PAGE 1 / COVER. Bishop shoots at Yellowjacket.

PAGES 2-4. Pyro arrives on Krakoa and is immediately besieged by adoring fans.

As we’ll see later, this is a dream created by Emma Frost to keep Pyro’s mind busy and Yellowjacket confused. For what it’s worth, though, note that the other Marauders are entirely absent from Pyro’s dream, even though he’s supposed to be just off the boat. The endless beach party of Krakoa is something we’ve seen in plenty of stories, but here it’s used as a trope of ludicrous fantasy, which is… interesting.

Jean Grey appears as the one-dimensional love interest – presumably this is Emma’s reading of Pyro’s fantasy, since when we see her later, she doesn’t exactly seem in the mood to be making private jokes. Pyro seems remarkably gullible in all this, but presumably that’s Emma’s influence too.

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Mar 1

Charts – 28 February 2020

Posted on Sunday, March 1, 2020 by Paul in Music

Billie Eilish got a week at number one with her Bond theme, but slips straight to number 2. So we’re back with…

1. The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”

Three weeks total. Bear in mind that this has been out since before Christmas, and it’s been in the top ten for a total of 8 weeks now. Its staying power is impressive.

There’s not much else going on in the upper reaches. “Roses” by Saint Jhn is now up to 4. “Lonely” by Joel Corry climbs 14-8 to give him a second top 10 hit (he needs to reach 6 to match his previous peak). “Intentions” by Justin Bieber featuring Quavo climbs 10-9. And after that, there’s a bit of milling around in the teens before we reach…

20. The Weeknd – “After Hours”

…which doesn’t have a video because it’s a promotional single. It’s the title track of the upcoming album and, at six minutes long with an extended intro, considerably less radio friendly than the number one – though it’ll edit down nicely enough.

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Feb 29

New Mutants #8 annotations

Posted on Saturday, February 29, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition. By the way, the original version of the digital edition omitted the data pages – a corrected version was issued literally minutes before I was about to post this. X-Force, which has the same issue, still hasn’t been corrected at time of writing.

PAGE 1 / COVER: Magma fights the weird Brazilian monsters.

PAGES 2-3: Recap and credits. We’re continuing here from the Ed Brisson issues. The story is “A-Hunting We Will Go”, by Ed Brisson, Marco Failla and Carlos Lopez. The small print has changed to “Nova Roma – mutant hunting quadripeds”. I assume that’s a misprint for “quadruped”, not their name.

PAGE 4. Maxime and Manon tell Sebastian Shaw about the Bohem Cartel.

Blackstone is Shaw’s home on Krakoa, most often seen in Marauders.

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Feb 28

X-Force #8 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 28, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition. This isn’t an issue in need of much annotation, but hey, it’s a vehicle for an open thread.

This post has been edited to add the data pages, now that they’ve been included in the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. Domino and Colossus, facing opposite directions, with blood and bodies everywhere.

PAGES 2-5. Domino stops the anti-Domino from killing a politician.

Apparently the minister was intending to support pro-mutant legislation. Well, they are offering very quick trade deals.

The anti-Domino seems to be removing her own ear to use as a weapon. We saw something similar in the autopsy of the Xeno soldiers who attacked Krakoa in issue #1, and the next scene confirms the link.

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