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Aug 7

The Incomplete Wolverine – 2003

Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2022 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
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984 1985
1986 | 1987 | 1988
 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991
1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997
1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002

When we left off, we were in the middle of a mob storyline, though we’d taken a diversion to deal with some guest appearances. And now, back to the main story.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #183-185
“…And Got Yourself a Gun” / “When in Rome…” / “Sleeping with the Fishes”
by Frank Tieri, Sean Chen, Tom Palmer & Edgar Tadeo
December 2002 to February 2003

As per his deal with Freddo, Logan starts going after the operations of rival crimelord the Roman. The Roman turns out to be a gang leader who publicly feigns insanity, dressing as an ancient Roman. He does things like feed annoying henchmen to his pet lions. It works better than you’d think; he feels like a Silver Age Batman character who’s wandered into an otherwise straight crime story. Anyway, being a moron, Freddo is so delighted with Logan’s work that he tries to offer him a permanent job, despite sensible underboss Delcavvo trying to warn him off it. When Logan turns him down, Freddo starts scheming to force Logan into working for him. Meanwhile, the Roman and Delcavvo both try to have Logan killed, and get absolutely nowhere with it. In the end, Logan kills the Roman, but winds up striking a deal to hand over Freddo to Delcavvo, who has him killed.

Issues #181-185 are the peak of the Tieri run; they have dry humour that actually lands, and they don’t have the repetitive sadism that plagues a lot of his run. This is a largely forgotten arc because it has no wider impact, but it’s really pretty good.


Aug 6

Legion of X #4 annotations

Posted on Saturday, August 6, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

Cover of Legion of X #4LEGION OF X #4
“Pillow Talk”
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: Jan Bazaldua
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer & production: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1. Hmm. Well, that’s Nightcrawler and Zsen in the foreground. Standing over them are Mother Righteous in the middle (who doesn’t appear in this issue), Loki to the right, and… presumably another trickster god component on the left, though I don’t recognise him. And in the background is the silhouette of Galactus, which has nothing to do with the content of this issue at all. It’s quite an odd cover. The actual solicitation text seems perfectly consistent with the published issue, though.

PAGE 2. George Pérez obituary.

PAGE 3. Switch is rescued.

We’re not told who his rescuer is, though since he has purple skin and custom speech balloons, he should be pretty hard to miss.

Switch’s psyche was trapped in this jar last issue. Considering how important he is, it seems odd that Switch has been entrusted to Paulie diCosta, who has no experience in this field at all and doesn’t particularly want to be there himself.


Aug 5

X-Men Red #5 annotations

Posted on Friday, August 5, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN RED vol 2 #5
“The Hour of Uranos”
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1: Cable, still with a twinkle in his eye even in adverse circumstances.

PAGES 2-3. Destiny’s warning is relayed to the Great Ring.

The lead-in for this scene is on page 9 of A.X.E.: Judgment Day #1, where Magneto, Cable and Nightcrawler decided that they would relay Destiny’s warning about an imminent Eternal attack to the Great Ring, while Storm joined the Quiet Council meeting on Krakoa. Abigail Brand wasn’t seen in that issue, so presumably Magneto and co went out of their way to alert her – partly because of the seriousness of the problem, and partly because this whole affair is completely unrelated to any of her schemes.


Aug 4

Immortal X-Men #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Meditations on the X”
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Michele Bandini
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Exodus in action above Krakoa (with what looks to be one of the Hex visible on the ground below). Obviously, it’s Exodus’s turn for his spotlight issue.

PAGES 2-3. Flashback: Exodus has a vision of the Phoenix in the desert.

Black Knight: Exodus. The flashbacks in this issue heavily reference the 1996 one-shot Black Knight: Exodus by Ben Raab and Jimmy Cheung, because it’s Exodus’s origin story. In the original story, the Black Knight (Dane Whitman) and Sersi attempt to return to the mainstream Marvel Universe from the Malibu Ultraverse. They wind up stuck in the time of the Crusades, with Dane possessing the body of the period Black Knight, Eobar Garrington. (I’ll come back to that.)


Aug 3

House to Astonish Presents The Lightning Round Episode 10

Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 by Al in Uncategorized

It’s the big 25th issue spectacular, and there are 25 supervillains just waiting to make the Tbolts’ lives harder (because they’ve been having such an easy time of it up until now), so we’ve got an extra-big bumper special episode for you, as we take on issues 24-26. Waffle Christ cereal! Mark McGwire vs peeing the bed! Me not connecting the mic properly so I sound like I’m talking through a megaphone from across the room!

The episode 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 hey! Has there ever been a better time to buy a House to Astonish t-shirt at our Redbubble store? I don’t think there has, and I’m the guy who asked the question, so you know I’m not biased!

Jul 31

X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #42-43

Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2022 by Paul in x-axis

“Cypher in the Cryptolect”
Writer: Alex Paknadel
Artist: Damian Couceiro
Colourist: Felipe Sobreiro
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Editor: Lauren Amaro

X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic, by far the longest running of the Infinity books, has settled into a role as a quirky diversion for X-completists. Is that the sort of material that draws people in to Marvel Unlimited? Maybe it is. Maybe the audience for an archive subscription service (albeit one that covers pretty much the entire Marvel line on a three-month lag) is the hardcores and what you need to offer them is something, well, if not essential, at least additive.

So here’s a two-part Cypher story. Doug’s prominent in the Krakoan era but it’s not all that often that he actually gets to do anything – which is fine, since it has more impact when he actually does. Still, this is an actual Cypher story, written by Alex Paknadel, who was also responsible for the recent Maggott arc. Either he likes playing with underused characters, or this is just what’s available on X-Men Unlimited.


Jul 30

Charts – 29 July 2022

Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2022 by Paul in Music

Hey, activity!

1. LF System – “Afraid to Feel”

Not here, admittedly. That’s four weeks. It’s way past its peak so in theory it’s vulnerable to challengers. Speaking of which…

2. Central Cee – “Doja”

Mmm. Well, that’s… not for me. More of a fragment than an actual song (it’s 1:37), it’s still Central Cee’s highest placed single to date. His previous peak was number 4, with last year’s “Obsessed With You”. The sample is from “Let Me Blow Your Mind” by Eve featuring Gwen Stefani, which is now over 20 years old (it got to number 4 in 2001). It’s (presumably) the first single from his next album, even though the previous one only came out in February.


Jul 28

X-Men vol 6 #6-12

Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2022 by Paul in x-axis

X-MEN vol 6 #6-12
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Pepe Larraz (#6-7  & #11-12), Javier Pina (#8 & #10), C F Villa (#9)
Colourist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Jordan D White

There’s something about this book that doesn’t click for me. It’s certainly not the art, which is excellent. Pepe Larraz, the book’s primary artist, is just excellent. He makes Cyclops look like Superman while doing completely banal cat-rescuing; that Captain Krakoa costume is just ludicrous enough for the idea to work. The Martian landscapes are great; the detail in Dr Stasis’s lair is perfect.

True, he only draws four of these seven issues, but the other artists keep the book looking consistent; holding on to the same colourist obviously helps. Javier Pina delivers a joyfully ludicrous MODOK; CF Villa does a solid job on a relatively non-visual issue of meetings. It’s a good-looking book with a classic superhero feel that mirrors what Duggan’s X-Men are apparently trying to do – re-establish the X-Men as proper superheroes, in order to be cultural ambassadors from the isolationist nation of Krakoa to the outside world.


Jul 27


Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 by Paul in x-axis

No annotations this week, because… um, well, because there isn’t anything to annotate. The only X-books out this week are two flashback minis, Wolverine: Patch #4 and Gambit #1. I’ll probably do some reviews over the next few days.

Jul 23

Charts – 21 July 2022

Posted on Saturday, July 23, 2022 by Paul in Music

If we keep doing this then something’s going to happen eventually, right?

1. LF System – “Afraid to Feel”

That’s three weeks. The top three is static, with “As It Was” by Harry Styles – the number one before last, mind you – still hanging around at 2. Number 3 is George Ezra’s “Green Green Grass”, which is at least on the way up.

25. Steve Lacy – “Bad Habit”

This week’s highest new entry comes with one of the cheapest videos I’ve seen in quite a while, and it takes some effort these days to make a conspicuously cheap video. It’s the first UK hit for Steve Lacy, though he’s the guitarist in the Internet, who got their last album to the dizzy heights of number 39. There’s a parent solo album out this week, but it misses the top 40. Quite good, this.