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Sep 26

Charts – 25 September 2020

Posted on Saturday, September 26, 2020 by Paul in Music

Time for a new number one!

1 24KGoldn featuring Iann Dior – “Mood”

This has climbed 11-5-2-2-1 to get to the top, and it’s the first number one for either artist. 24KGolden has other hits to his name, including a guest appearance on the current Clean Bandit single, but Iann Dior goes on the one-hit wonder list (for now). It’s basically a pop crossover take on 2020 rap, but it pulls it off. “Mood” is an international hit – top 10 in the US, number 1 in several other UK countries, including Germany and Sweden. It has a comfortable lead over the number 2 record, “WAP”, which is in decline now anyway.

Sep 24

Juggernaut #1 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Picking Up the Pieces”
by Fabian Nicieza, Ron Garney & Matt Milla

Juggernaut. The Juggernaut is Cain Marko, Professor X’s evil stepbrother, who became “unstoppable” after getting powers from a magical crystal. “Unstoppable”, in practice, tends to mean “gets zapped by a telepath” or “gets buried under concrete”, or “falls down a well” or some such thing – but he does always come back in the end. He debuted in X-Men vol 1 #12 way back in 1965, and this is his first miniseries, though he has had some one-shots over the years.

Although the book was included on the X-books’ reading list and it does come from the X-office, it doesn’t have the normal Krakoa-era branding.

Sep 23

X of Swords: Creation #1 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

“X of Swords, Chapter 01”
by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia

X OF SWORDS. Welcome to the big crossover event of 2020. It runs through every X-book for the next couple of months (aside from the Juggernaut miniseries), and this is one of several one-shots dotted along the way – the next one will be X of Swords: Stasis, due out at the end of October.

As with Powers of X, the title is a Roman numeral, and you’re meant to call it “Ten of Swords”. It’s a tarot reference, but we’ll get to that.

Sep 22

X-Men: Marvels Snapshots #1

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 by Paul in reviews, x-axis

“And the Rest Will Follow”
by Jay Edidin, Tom Reilly & Chris O’Halloran

The Kurt Busiek-curated Marvels line is difficult to keep track of, not least because so many of the books have such similar titles. As you might expect, much of it consists of well-handled character pieces written in the margins of past history; the original Marvels series was largely about revisiting the history of the Marvel Universe from a different perspective, after all.

This book – the cover says Marvel’s Snapshots X-Men, the digital copy says X-Men: Marvels Snapshots, and does this stuff really have to be so confusing? – takes a rather different approach. It’s an origin story for Cyclops.

Hold on a minute, you may be saying. Cyclops has got an origin story already. He’s had one since the sixties. And of course Jay Edidin knows that very well – he’s been podcasting on X-Men history for years. The thing about Cyclops’ back story, though, is that it’s not so much an origin story as a big pile of baggage that Scott is expected to lug around with him.

Sep 20

X-Men #12 annotations

Posted on Sunday, September 20, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 5 #12
by Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu & Sunny Gho

COVER / PAGE 1. Summoner with (presumably) some of the monsters that he’s summoned up. He seems to be crying black tears. Curiously, this issue doesn’t carry a “Path to X of Swords” logo.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. The recap is describing the events of X-Men #2. The title, “Amenth”, isn’t a word, and doesn’t seem to refer to anything pre-established. We’ll see later that it’s the name of the wasteland dimension in which Arakko was banished.

Sep 19

Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1 annotations

Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

by Jonathan Hickman, Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson

COVER / PAGE 1: Just a picture of Storm.

PAGES 2-4. Jean and Emma talk to Storm about her condition.

This flashback is picking up from Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey & Emma Frost #1, which came out way back in February (although that gap would have been shorter without the pandemic). That issue established that Storm had been infected with a techno-organic virus by the Children of the Vault, which was going to kill her. This obviously ties in to the recurring theme in Hickman’s early issues about the dangers (to mutants) of technology and the accompanying need for Krakoa to be free of conventional technology.

Sep 19

Charts – 18 September 2020

Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2020 by Paul in Music

Very, very quiet…

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

Three weeks, though it was fairly close this time around. The top four is static, and there’s not much going on at the top end of the chart aside from a bunch of minor climbers. “Looking for Me” by Paul Woolford & Diplo featuring Kareen Lomax climbs 8-5. “Take You Dancing” by Jason Derulo climbs 11-9, giving him consecutive top ten hits for the first time since 2016. “Tick Tock” by Clean Bandit & Mabel featuring 24KGolden climbs 14-12.

14. S1mba featuring KSI – “Loose”

Sep 18

Excalibur #12 annotations

Posted on Friday, September 18, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

EXCALIBUR vol 4 #12
“Verse XII: The Beginning”
by Tini Howard, Marcus To & Erick Arciniega

COVER / PAGE 1. Saturnyne plays chess with Excalibur as the pieces (a common motif with Otherworld rulers); she doesn’t realise she’s a piece in Apocalypse’s game in her turn. If you really want to nitpick, the chess board ought to have a white square in the bottom right corner.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits.

PAGES 4-6. Apocalypse addresses the High Lords.

“The Eternal Caldera, Krakoa.” A caldera is a cauldron-like cavity on an extinct volcano. The location, then, is presumably the extinct volcano on the Arak Coral from X-Men #2, which contained a closed portal to Krakoa’s sister island of Arakko.

Sep 17

Hellions #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Love Bleeds”
by Zeb Wells, Stephen Segovia & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1. Havok lashes out, with the Hellions lying defeated around him. Not exactly a scene which takes place during the issue. It seems to be a homage to the cover of Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #270 (the first part of the X-Tinction Agenda crossover), in which Havok was a brainwashed Genoshan magistrate.

PAGE 2. Once again, an epigraph from Nightcrawler. He seems to be addressing somebody (most likely the Quiet Council) and making an argument for the need to come to terms with past trauma.

Sep 13

The Incomplete Wolverine, Part 7

Posted on Sunday, September 13, 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
Part 6: Team X

This time, we’re covering a somewhat random collection of stories that bridge the gap from Team X through to Weapon X. As we saw last time, Team X seems to be locked to the 1960s, but Weapon X leads into the Department H material and the modern era. So, with sliding time, there’s an ever increasing gap between the two, to be occupied with stories that expressly follow Team X, or obviously aim to lead in to Weapon X, or which predate Department H while being too tied to modern timeframes or continuity to take place before Team X. Oddly, it’s a period that Wolverine: Origins entirely ignores, though we have to assume Romulus is hanging around in the background somewhere in all this.

During this period, Logan first meets Carol Danvers (later Ms Marvel, Binary and Captain Marvel). She’ll show up in Logan: Shadow Society, which we’ll come to later on, by which time they’ve known each other for “years. That creates a continuity problem during the Department H period, when they meet again, but we’ll come back to that.

We kick off with a couple of flashbacks that exist to set up minor present-day stories. Wolverine Annual vol 2 #1 has a brief flashback where Logan is randomly in the “far east”, battling criminal mastermind Chen Yu and his Dragon Warriors. Logan is helped out by immortal adventurer Adam Destine (from Alan Davis’s ClanDestine), who will call in the favour in the main story.