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Mar 25

Charts – 22 March 2015

Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by Paul in Music

Another rather quiet week sees Sam Smith hang on uneventfully.  I know, I’m really building this one up, aren’t I?  Perhaps the most interesting announcement this week is the official confirmation that the chart is shifting to Fridays, where Radio 1 will grudgingly accommodate it in a reduced two hour slot.  To be honest, that’s probably for the good of the chart show, as three hours of statistically-determined play listing is a bit much for most people.  (Even I don’t actually listen to it live.)

38.  MNEK – “The Rhythm”


Mar 22

House to Astonish Episode 130

Posted on Sunday, March 22, 2015 by Al in Podcast

Paul and I have got a good solid 95 minutes of comics chat for you this time round, with (brief) discussion of last week’s controversies, (less brief) chat bout Marvel’s slate of books going into Secret Wars, the artistic changes on Star Wars, the new Hopeless Savages OGN, the first wave of casting for the Preacher TV show, Universal’s Chrononauts deal, Oni’s open submissions period and DC’s returnability for their June releases, and a (very non-brief) blitz through a packed wave of solicitations. We’ve also got reviews of Invisible Republic and Giant Days, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is the future of personal safety. All this plus boring potatoes and ugly fish, Mad Max: Torode Warrior and Untold Tales of Moses.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the player below. Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page. iTunes reviews and ratings are very much appreciated and really do help with spreading the word about the podcast, and of course, our Redbubble store is full of swish gear, as your old dad no doubt would refer to it.

Mar 16

Charts – 15 March 2015

Posted on Monday, March 16, 2015 by Paul in Music

A week where pretty much all the new releases under perform, except for one…

35.  Calvin Harris featuring HAIM – “Pray To God”


Mar 15

Wolverines vol 2: Claw, Blade & Fang

Posted on Sunday, March 15, 2015 by Paul in x-axis

Wolverines is turning out to be one of the oddest, most haphazard X-books in quite some time, seemingly for reasons both intentional and otherwise.  This second volume takes us up to issue #10 – halfway through the run, as the whole thing is wrapping up in May before Secret Wars.  And quite where it’s all heading at this stage is anybody’s guess.

The first arc set up a relatively focussed story.  The Paradise guys wanted to get their hands on Wolverine’s body in order to (somehow) derive a cure for their condition; the rest of the cast were tagging along in order to be released from their post-hypnotic control words.  So this sets up a series about people chasing the Wolverine statue as a macguffin, right?


Mar 11

Uncanny X-Men vol 5 – “The Omega Mutant”

Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 by Paul in x-axis

It’s been a long, long while since we checked in with Uncanny X-Men, but that’s because this is a long, long story.  The title above may say volume 5, which collects issues #26-31, but the Matthew Molloy arc started back in issue #23, with the “Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier” issues.  And then it overran at the end (which is why issue #31 has a cover for a completely unrelated story).

We should, I suppose, note at the outset the other oddity of this storyline – that the first three issues are billed as an Original Sin tie-in, despite the minor technicality of having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Original Sin.

Those three issues, you may recall, were billed as Original Sin tie-ins, something which manages the unusual double whammy of being both egregiously mendacious and essentially harmless.  “Last Will” is not an Original Sin tie-in by any possible stretch of the imagination.  But it does at least feature a hidden secret coming to light, and since most actual Original Sin tie-ins just used the crossover as a springboard to do basically the same thing, I suppose there’s no harm done.


Mar 9

Charts – 8 March 2015

Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015 by Paul in Music

In a moment, we return to our regularly scheduled turnover of number one singles.  Which is good, because the rest of the chart is pretty quiet.

33.  Imagine Dragons – “Demons”

Originally a number 13 hit a year ago – it’s back because it was covered on The Voice UK.

18.  Kanye West featuring Allan Kingdom, Theophilus London & Paul McCartney – “All Day”


Mar 7

X-Force vol 3 – “Ends/Means”

Posted on Saturday, March 7, 2015 by Paul in x-axis

The third volume of Si Spurrier’s X-Force run is also the last.  Given the sales on the one hand, and the imminence of Secret Wars on the other, you have to wonder whether Spurrier would have let this run for longer given the choice.  But it doesn’t feel rushed; Spurrier makes his point in this fifteen issue run and draws a line under it.  Yes, there are unusual narrative jumps in the closing issues which could be a sign of cancellation-driven compression, but they’re played (successfully) as deliberate creative choices.

Put shortly, Spurrier has devoted his run on X-Force to critiquing and rejecting the entire concept of the team – that is, the darker, paramilitary version of the X-Men that Rob Liefeld brought about in 1991, and which formed the template for the recent versions.


Mar 4

Charts – 1 March 2015

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 by Paul in Music

This is the annual chart that follows on the Brit Awards, hence a bunch of odd re-entries.  The awards themselves seem to have some short-term sales effect, and the primetime TV coverage is always good for shifting a few downloads to people who aren’t regular audience members.  Without the Brits this would be another rather quiet chart.

40.  Ed Sheeran – “Don’t”
38.  Ed Sheeran – “Sing”
35.  Ed Sheeran – “Bloodstream”
12.  Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”


Mar 2

All-New X-Men vol 6 – “The Ultimate Adventure”

Posted on Monday, March 2, 2015 by Paul in x-axis

It’s been a while – a long while – since I’ve been able to say this, but there’s a podcast this week!  Check one post down for the new House to Astonish episode.

Meanwhile… All-New X-Men visits the Ultimate Universe in a story that ran long.  This was originally solicited as a five parter, it winds up at six, and it’s gone off schedule enough that issue #38 ended up shipping ahead of issue #37 (to avoid screwing up the Black Vortex crossover).


Mar 1

House to Astonish Episode 129

Posted on Sunday, March 1, 2015 by Al in Podcast

Well, we did say we’d be back.

After eight months away, Paul and I have returned to the House, to resolve our cliffhanger. We’re also here to give you our thoughts on Convergence and Secret Wars, a few of the books out of the Image Expo, Marvel and DC’s upcoming movie slates and the Marvel/Kirby Settlement. We’ve also got reviews of Curb Stomp and Thor Annual, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is so low. All this plus a falling tide that lifts one ship, Mad Dave’s Power Armour Sale and Cornelius Meredith Punk.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the player below. Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, by email, on Twitter, or on our Facebook fan page.

Remember, we’ve also got a Redbubble store, where you can help put our kids through baby college and look amazing to boot.