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Jul 19

The Incomplete Wolverine, Part 3

Posted on Sunday, July 19, 2020 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1 – Origin to Origin II
Part 2 – 1907 to 1914

We’ve reached World War I, which is… untapped territory, for the most part. Not entirely, though. Wolverine: Origins #17 tells us that Logan fought in World War I as part of Romulus’s “Devil’s Brigade”, some sort of black ops or mercenary squad who fought alongside the regular troops. Daniel Way seems to have picked this up from Alpha Flight vol 1 #33, where Wolverine mentions in passing his service with the Devil’s Brigade. In reality, the Devil’s Brigade was the nickname of the First Special Service Force, a US/Canadian commando unit that existed between 1942 and 1944 and is regarded as the forerunner of modern US and Canadian special operations forces. Maybe Daniel Way didn’t get the reference, or maybe he was suggesting that that unit was also part of Romulus’s conspiracy.

Flashbacks in WOLVERINE vol 3 #57-60
“Logan Dies, parts 1-4” by Marc Guggenheim & Howard Chaykin
November 2007 to February 2008

22 April 1915. Logan is fighting with (apparently regular) Canadian forces. At the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans use chlorine gas for the first time. Everyone else dies, but Logan survives to see a mysterious figure with a sword. Being Logan, he promptly fights and kills the guy, who immediately reappears alive and well and says they will meet again. This is Lazaer, an angel of death. (Yes, it’s an anagram of “Azrael”.) The nagging sense that he has defied the order of nature leads Logan to fall into a depression, to the point where he attempts suicide – but evidently he comes to terms with it over time.

Jul 17

Charts – 17 July 2020

Posted on Friday, July 17, 2020 by Paul in Music

I suppose we’re coming out of lockdown season now – but this is another lockdown singles chart, in which not much would be happening if it weren’t for a single major album release.

1. Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo – “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)”

Three weeks. It needs one more week in order to match 2015’s “Want to Want Me” as Derulo’s longest-running number one.

“Head & Heart” by Joel Corry featuring MNEK climbs 15-3. That makes it the highest placed single for both artists. Both had previously peaked at number 4 – Corry with his previous single “Lonely”, and MNEK with his debut hit “Ready for your Love” back in 2014.

9. Juice WRLD & Marshmello – “Come & Go”
11. Juice WRLD & Halsey – “Life’s A Mess”
15. Juice WRLD – “Wishing Well”

Jul 16

iWolverine 2020 #1 annotations

Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

iWOLVERINE 2020: This is a two-issue miniseries ostensibly tying in to the Iron Man 2020 event. Albert debuted in Wolverine vol 2 #37, by Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri, and he was a recurring character throughout Hama’s Wolverine run alongside his partner Elsie-Dee. The back story is that Donald Pierce came up with a convoluted scheme to assassinate Wolverine which involved making a robot duplicate of Wolverine, and a little girl robot with a bomb inside. The girl was accidentally given superhuman intelligence, broke her programming, and upgraded the Wolverine doppelganger at the same time, naming him Alfred. Since then, they’ve basically been wandering adventurers.

Jul 15

Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

And before anyone asks, I haven’t read the Free Comic Book Day story, which isn’t available digitally. From the sound of it, it’s basically a bunch of cryptic teasers for X of Swords.

COVER / PAGE 1. Magneto, in shadow, looks at the camera.

PAGES 2-4. Magneto arrives at Mykines and asks to buy it from its owner.

Mykines is the westernmost of the Faroe Islands, which are about 200 miles north of Scotland. It does indeed have a lot of puffins. In real life, there’s a small village on the island, including a guest house for the small number of tourists (who are acknowledged in this scene, and who can reach the place by regular ferry and helicopter services). Most of the houses are now second homes; according to a BBC article about the Faroes written in 2018, the current permanent population is nine. The Greek-sounding name is thought to be a corruption of a Celtic term for “pig island”.

Jul 12

The Incomplete Wolverine, Part 2

Posted on Sunday, July 12, 2020 by Paul in Wolverine

For part 1, see here.

In part 1, we were going through stories that were mostly designed to be read in sequence. We left off with Logan in New York in 1907, at the end of Origin II. Now we’re entering a rather more haywire phase, since writers tend to assume that Wolverine’s history between Origin and World War I is simply a bit of a blank. It isn’t, but it’s a scattershot period with a lot of travelling going on.

Flashback in WOLVERINE: WEAPON X #10
“Love and the Wolverine” by Jason Aaron & CP Smith
February 2010

Shortly after Origin II (“it wasn’t long after I first come down outta the wilderness”), Logan wanders to California and becomes an agricultural labourer, where he loses his virginity to a Mexican migrant worker (whose name he doesn’t know). And that’s the whole thing.

Jul 10

Charts – 10 July 2020

Posted on Friday, July 10, 2020 by Paul in Uncategorized

Another album maxes out its singles chart allowance…

1. Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo – “Savage Loved (Laxed – Siren Beat)”

Two weeks. That’s as far as Jason Derulo usually gets, but he did manage four weeks with “Want to Want Me” in 2015. Of course, the typical length of a run at number one has been creeping up since Jason was last having regular number ones.

The top 6 is completely static, and our highest new entry is…

7. AJ Tracey & Mabel – “West Ten”

Jul 8

X-Force #10 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

PAGE 1 / COVER. Black Tom Cassidy in attacking mode. This is another issue which doesn’t call for much in the way of annotation since it’s mainly the climax of plot threads from X-Force itself, but we’ll run through it quickly anyway.

PAGES 2-5. Wolverine, Domino and Kid Omega enter a Terra Verden temple and get separated by the evil plants.

Wolverine and Domino discuss her apparent decision to be restored to life without traumatic memories. Regular readers will know that this isn’t what happened – in issue #8, the dying Domino specifically told Colossus that she wanted to “remember everything” when she was revived. Colossus clearly lied about her instructions. Wolverine does, however, remember her expressing a different opinion previously – but whether he’s suspicious about how this came to pass, or simply doubting the wisdom of the decision from someone who must have been changing her mind frequently, is less clear.

Jul 5

The Incomplete Wolverine, Part 1

Posted on Sunday, July 5, 2020 by Paul in Uncategorized, Wolverine

Because you can’t spell “quixotic” without an “X”.

So the Moira thing went well, but it goes without saying you’d be completely insane to do the same thing for a character like Wolverine. Still, we had a long gap this year with no new comics coming out, and so I thought I might go back and read Wolverine’s pre-X-Men back story in chronological order to see if it made any kind of sense.

And so in this series of posts, we’re going to go through Wolverine’s history in more-or-less chronological order – some of this stuff just can’t be placed precisely, but there are certainly clear phases of his life where appearances have to go. Obviously there’s got to be a cut-off point somewhere, but we’ll cover at least his history up to joining the X-Men and see where we go from there – I’ve read up as far as Uncanny X-Men #200 at time of writing, which is around the point where he’s fully developed into the familiar character. It’s also “Incomplete” because I can’t be 100% confident I’ve caught anything, but also because it’s clearly going to stop somewhere. Once the ongoing comics are coming out again, these will probably settle into a less frequent schedule than the Moira posts – the current material takes priority.

Jul 4

Charts – 3 July 2020

Posted on Saturday, July 4, 2020 by Paul in Music

We’ve had busier weeks, but at least this week’s four new entries are somewhat eclectic.

1. Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo – “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)”

Climbing to number 1 in its third week on chart. Producer Jawsh 685 joins the list of pure one-hit-wonders (one number 1 single and nothing else). Most people who achieve that do manage to get off the list – other than Jawsh 685, the most recent name on the list is Bradley Cooper, thanks to his duet with Lady Gaga in 2018 – and since he’s not principally a singer, he probably is going to stay on the list.

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Jul 3

House to Astonish Episode 184

Posted on Friday, July 3, 2020 by Al in Podcast

After our foray into the abyss that is the 1993 Marvel annuals, we’re back with a regular episode, talking about Denny O’Neil and Joe Sinnott, the recent wave of allegations of impropriety and harassment in comics, DC quitting Diamond, Marvel’s new Warhammer line, the culling of the Empyre crossover and the return of Bill & Ted under Evan Dorkin and Roger Langridge. We’re also reviewing Ash & Thorn and All-America Comix, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is full of both jeepers and creepers. All this plus Big Pando, two sickly ponies and a movie from 1997 about a chimp that wins the lottery.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page. And as always, we have our swish t-shirts available, should you be in a position to actually leave your home, and these are for sale over at our Redbubble store.