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Sep 12

Charts – 11 September 2020

Posted on Saturday, September 12, 2020 by Paul in Music

It’s quiet week on both charts, but let’s see what we’ve got.

1. Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”

Two weeks at number one, with a very comfortable lead. It’s going to be here a while. Below, a long list of mostly-small climbers…

Number 2 is “Mood” by 24KGoldn featuring Iann Dior, climbing from 4 – 24KGoldn’s other current single, guesting on “Tick Tock” by Clean Bandit & Mabel, climbs 20-14, thus beating the peak of Clean Bandit’s last single (by one place). “Ain’t It Different” by Headie One featuring AJ Tracey & Stormzy climbs 5-3. “Mood Swings” by Pop Smoke featuring Lil Tjay, which has been hovering in the top 10 for several weeks now, reaches a new peak of 5. “Looking for Me” by Paul Woolford & Diplo featuring Kareen Lomax climbs 12-8.

“Midnight Sky” by Miley Cyrus, which entered at 15 three weeks ago and has been hovering since then, suddenly bounces up to 10. She’s appeared on several top ten collaborations since then, but this is her first top ten solo hit since “Wrecking Ball” back in 2013 (and deservedly so). “Take You Dancing” by Jason Derulo climbs 15-11. “You Broke Me First” by Tate McRae continues to march up the chart, jumping 22-13. “Holiday” by Little Mix, which entered at 17 six week ago, finally makes it to… 15. “Heather” by Conan Gray climbs 23-17. “Fake Friends” by PS1 featuring Alex Hosking climbs to 19 and finally reaches the top 20 in its ninth week on chart.

20. DJ Khaled featuring Drake – “Popstar”

Sep 11

X-Force #12 annotations

Posted on Friday, September 11, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #12
“The Cerebro Sword”
by Benjamin Percy & Bazaldua

COVER / PAGE 1: X-Force face off against Russian forces led by the “Russian doll” supersoldiers from previous issues. This is symbolic – nothing like it happens in the issue.

PAGES 2-3. Mikhail Rasputin talks to the dying Kid Omega.

As we’ll see later, Mikhail is going to hand Omega’s body over to XENO to exploit in the same way as Domino’s. He seems aware that Kid Omega can be resurrected, but presumably thinks there’s something useful to be done with the body – even though Domino’s resurrection seemed to cut off XENO’s clones from using her powers.

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.

Sep 9

Marauders #12 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

“The New Phase”
by Gerry Duggan & Matteo Lolli

COVER / PAGE 1: The resurrected Kate Pryde shows off her new knuckle tattoos, which read “Kill Shaw”. The tattoo she got in issue #2 read “Hold Fast”.

This cover art wasn’t used in the solicitations, which instead had an image of Lockheed saying “shhhh” – presumably as a placeholder to avoid spoiling Kate’s return in the previous issue. Ironically, this concern to avoid spoilers doesn’t extend to issue #12 itself, since the unveiling of Kate’s new tattoos is the final beat of the issue.

PAGES 2-4. Kate is welcomed back to Krakoa following her resurrection.

Note that resurrected Kate has her traditional hairstyle, not the straightened hair that she’s had throughout the series to date. In keeping with Krakoan culture, she’s referred to by a “mutant name”, though the codename used is Red Queen (more of an office than a name) rather than any of her previous names.

Sep 6

iWolverine 2020

Posted on Sunday, September 6, 2020 by Paul in reviews

iWOLVERINE 2020 #1-2
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: Roland Boschi
Colourist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Editor: Darren Shan

There’s no point being a completist if you’re not going to be a completist. So… iWolverine 2020. Or at least, that’s what the logo says. The Comixology listing says it’s called 2020 iWolverine. And the event checklist says it’s just called iWolverine (though on every other book, it agrees that the “2020” comes at the end). Let’s go with what it says on the cover, and resign ourselves to the fact that when this thing finally appears on Marvel Unlimited, nobody will ever be able to find it.

It’s a curious commission. It’s part of the Iron Man 2020 event, which basically consists of six issues of Iron Man plus a bunch of tie-in issues. The broad plot of the event involves artificial intelligences around the world rising up in a rebellion against the humans who want to use them as simple tools. But unless I’m missing something, iWolverine 2020 has nothing to do with that storyline whatsoever. There’s a passing mention of the fact that Albert and Elsie-Dee are technically Donald Pierce’s property, but it’s really a red-skies crossover. This story would have worked just as well whether or not the rest of the crossover existed.

Sep 5

Charts – 6 September 2020

Posted on Saturday, September 5, 2020 by Paul in Music

The singles chart is quiet; the album chart, not so much.

1 Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”

Climbing to number 1 in its fourth week out, and the first time either Cardi B or Megan Thee Stallion has reached number one. These things are subjective, but it surely has to be the most explicit record ever to reach number one. The chart compilers, who would naturally prefer to talk about the statistics than the lyrics, are pushing it as “the first ever female rap collaboration to go to Number 1 in the UK”. I did wonder whether the word “collaboration” was doing some heavy lifting there, but no, Salt-N-Pepa never made it higher than number 2 – twice, with “Push It” in 1988 and “Let’s Talk About Sex” in 1991.

Sep 3

Wolverine #5 annotations

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

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #5
by Benjamin Percy & Viktor Bogdanovic

It’s not a continuity-heavy issue, and to be honest, there’s not that much to say about it in those terms.

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine is beset by vampire bats.

PAGES 2-4. Dracula and co top up their bloodclocks from the captive Wolverine.

Apparently Wolverine’s healing factor is so good that you can freeze him in ice and he doesn’t suffocate. Not sure how that works. Anyway, the idea here is that Wolverine’s blood is special and carrying it lets vampires walk around in the day, at least for a time. This picks up on a data page from issue #1, which claimed that Wolverine’s blood – thanks to its healing powers – is somewhat similar to the blood of someone who has been bitten by a vampire, but has curative properties and lacks the vulnerability to light.

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.

Sep 2

Cable #4 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

CABLE vol 4 #4
“The Big Bang”
by Gerry Duggan & Phil Noto

COVER / PAGE 1. Cable and Esme fight the Spaceknights. This is bannered as a “Path to X of Swords” issue, presumably for sword-related reasons that would have applied to the whole series to date.

PAGES 2-5. Esme recounts the history of the Spaceknights.

We’ve covered this before, but the Spaceknights form part of the back story of Rom, the 1980s licensed series. In Rom, the established back story saw the Galadorians coming under attack from the Dire Wraiths about two hundred years ago, and the Spaceknights such as Rom being volunteers who gave up their normal bodies to become cyborg warriors. (The basic set-up of most issues of Rom was that Rom kept showing up to kill Dire Wraiths disguised as ordinary humans, and people kept mistaking him from a murderous killer robot.)

Aug 30

The Incomplete Wolverine, Part 6

Posted on Sunday, August 30, 2020 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II
Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939
Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era

We left off with Logan firmly established as a secret agent working for the likes of the CIA (and with Romulus in the background feeding him missions, thanks to Wolverine: Origins). Now, we finally get to one of the phases of his history that’s more familiar, as he joins Team X.

And this phase is… bitty. Nobody really does entire stories to the Team X era – instead it’s all fragmented flashbacks, some of which then turn out to be memory implants. So this is going to be a particularly haphazard one, since few of these really amount to a whole story.

by Kieron Gillen & Dan Panosian
February 2009

We’ve had scenes from this issue before, but it takes place over a very long time frame, and it has several scenes set during the Team X period. In particular, it’s got the closest thing to Logan joining Team X – we don’t actually see that happening, but we do learn that he applied successfully for the job, and is then horrified when Victor Creed shows up as another recruit. Logan attacks him on sight, and the two are quickly separated. The Team X staff aren’t that bothered, because they were planning to wipe both men’s memories anyway. Of course, Romulus is sitting in the background behind all this mind-wipe stuff (this issue is post-Origins). But we’ll see later that Team X has at least some employees who know nothing about Romulus – so either it’s a genuinely independent outfit that he’s infiltrated, or there are simply some people who aren’t in on the scam.