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Sep 1

Hellions #15 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Don’t Look Back Part III: Fire and Brimstone”
by Zeb Wells, Rogé Antônio & Rain Beredo

COVER / PAGE 1: Just a straightforward picture of Psylocke with the rest of the cast behind her.

PAGE 2. Our opening quote comes from Tarn. The idea that Amino Fetus cannot be allowed to eat was established when he debuted in issue #6, and the rest of the Locus Vile have always been very keen to stop him doing it. The reasons haven’t been explained until now.

PAGE 3. The Right approach Krakoa.

These are the Right’s ZETA Team, who were introduced in issue #13, and were described by one of their own colleagues as “psychopaths”. They’re meant to be looking for the rogue AI that Nanny picked up from the Right in issue #8. They’re named here as Cobb (apparently the leader), Barker, Martinez and Susan. Susan appears to be a religious zealot, which Cobb (at least) doesn’t share.


Aug 31

Children of the Atom #1-6

Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 by Paul in x-axis

#1-2 by Vita Ayala, Bernard Chang & Marcelo Maiolo

#3-6 by Vita Ayala, Paco Medina & David Curiel

Here’s another one, then, for the list of recent X-books that read like they’ve been guillotined. Children of the Atom had long pre-release delays as well, perhaps pandemic-related. And after all that, it runs for six issues, five of which are spotlights on the individual team members. It’s not a gathering of the team arc as such – they’re already together right from issue #1 – but it’s a careful focus on each team member in turn, all very clearly intended to set up characters and relationships for the future.

Now, it’s certainly possible that we’ll come back to these characters. Carmen in particular seems like a natural fit for New Mutants. And it looks like some sort of revamp is  coming after Inferno, so who knows, maybe the Children resurface then. That could explain some of the very obviously dangling plots, such as how they stumbled into a spaceship and found their equipment, or how one of their friends got super powers from being treated by Arthur Nagan of the Headmen, or… well, anything at all to do with poor Gabe, who never really gets around to do anything in these six issues, aside from getting introduced in issue #2.

But then there’s the sudden rush in issue #6 to tie up the romance angle that had been established with Gabe, Buddy and Carmen in earlier issues. That feels like something you only do if you have no choice but to cut to the chase.


Aug 27

Charts – 27 August 2021

Posted on Friday, August 27, 2021 by Paul in Music

Ed Sheeran continues to sit atop a becalmed singles chart.

1. Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits”
5. Ed Sheeran – “Visiting Hours”

“Bad Habits” has now been number 1 for nine weeks, and it’s still not growing on me. Still, that matches “Drivers Licence” as the longest running number 1 of the year. Ten weeks and he overtakes her; eleven weeks would match Tones & I’s “Dance Monkey” from the tail end of 2019.


Aug 26

Cable: Reloaded #1 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition – with a caveat that we’ll get to at page 22.

“Call in the Big Gun”
by Al Ewing, Bob Quinn & Java Tartaglia

This is a one-shot published as part of the Last Annihilation crossover. It could arguably count as Cable #13 or S.W.O.R.D. #7.5, and certainly contains plot points that are relevant for S.W.O.R.D. readers.

COVER / PAGE 1. Cable posing. Note that he’s carrying both the signature big gun and the Light of Galador sword that Kid Cable was carrying around throughout his recent solo run. Cable kept it behind in Cable #12 when his younger self returned to the future.

PAGE 2. Cable sets the scene.

Graymalkin II, the second version of Cable’s space station, was first seen in Cable vol 4 #11.

The Breakworld was an alien planet introduced in the 2004 Astonishing X-Men run by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. It’s one of those alien planets locked in constant war.

PAGE 3. Cable prepares to dive.

Belle, the AI which appears as a “tattoo” on Cable’s arm, was introduced in Uncanny Avengers and showed up again in the last couple of issues of Cable.


Aug 25

Wolverine #15 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 by Paul in Uncategorized

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #15
by Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert & Frank Martin

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine fights Sevyr Blackmore. The exposed metal is presumably meant to reflect Sevyr’s acid attack, but it looks more cyborg-like. At any rate, nothing like that happens in the issue, so let’s call it symbolic.

PAGES 2-6. Flashback: Sevyr raises Solem.

Logan points out on page 8 that Sevyr is not a reliable narrator, but it seems likely that we’re meant to take all of this at face value. The gist is that Sevyr wiped out Solem’s village when he was a child, but was impressed enough by Solem to take him prisoner, and (after his skills became apparent) make him a pirate. Solem grows to become a rogue and trickster figure, and eventually avenges himself by cutting off Sevyr’s nose and stealing his ship. All this is new information.


Aug 24

Charts – 20 August 2021

Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 by Paul in Music

Gosh, this is late. Let’s hope it’s a quiet week.

1. Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits”

Eight weeks. To give the sales a boost, this week adds a remix with Tion Wayne and Central Cee. The midweeks have it sticking around for week nine.

6. Digga D featuring ArrDee – “Wasted”

Not quite Digga D’s highest placing single – “Bringing it Back” got to number 5 earlier this year, but that was a collaboration with equal billing for AJ Tracey. ArrDee gets his second hit after “Oliver Twist” reached number 6 earlier this year; Radio 1 was still playing it to death the last I heard. The midweeks have this sticking around at 9.


Aug 23

House to Astonish Episode 193

Posted on Monday, August 23, 2021 by Al in Podcast

We’ve got a busy news week for you this time round, with discussion of Jonathan Hickman stepping away from X-Men, the Great Substack Migration of 2021, Scott Snyder’s Comixology Unlimited slate, Brian Michael Bendis transplanting Jinxworld to Dark Horse, and DC signing with Webtoon. We’ve also got reviews of Eat the Rich and Kang the Conqueror, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is bugging out. All this plus the Kid Colt of Comixology, supervillainous chunky knitwear and Groo/Aliens.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page. And shirts? You want shirts? Huh? Shirts? We have shirts. That’s it though, podcasts and shirts.


Aug 21

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 annotations

Posted on Saturday, August 21, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Dial M for Wanda”
by Leah Williams, Lucas Werneck & Edgar Delgado

This is a five-issue miniseries following on from the murder of the Scarlet Witch during “Hellfire Gala”.

COVER / PAGE 1. The body of the Scarlet Witch with Magneto in the background. To avoid spoilers, the solicitation art showed a chalk outline in place of Wanda.

PAGE 2. Opening quotation. The Scarlet Witch is talking about immortality being a curse, the irony being not just her own death but the pride that the Krakoans take in their resurrection technology. Note that over in Way of X this week, we’re also being told that resurrection has a major downside (specifically, it provides a route in for Onslaught).

Although the quotation is said to be from “years ago”, as far as I know it’s original.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits. Wanda’s body was found in X-Factor #10.

The small print reads “murder investigation – trial of X” in the top left, and “Who killed Wanda?” in the central bottom. The choice of characters to highlight in the cast section more or less presents this as X-Factor #11.


Aug 20

X-Corp #4 annotations

Posted on Friday, August 20, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“A Carrot on a Stick”
by Tini Howard, Alberto Foche & Sunny Gho

COVER / PAGE 1: Selene and Mastermind. By the way, that mock-pharmaceutical branding is already starting to look a bit odd considering that it only took three issues before the series moved on to broadband.

PAGES 2-3. Mastermind covers for the failed launch.

“It looks like we’ve got some intruders on board.” This scene plays as if the failure of the demonstration is something to do with Noblesse intruders, but that’s not what happened in issue #3. In that issue, Madrox just made an error in his calculations. At first glance you might think that Madrox is simply lying to cover his tracks, but we’ll see the intruders later in the issue. But they have nothing to do with the previous issue and they contribute nothing to the plot. See also pages 6-8 below.

Mastermind is using his illusion-casting for PR exactly as foreshadowed in issue #2 – though surely this only works for people who are actually in the room. Does X-Corp not do streaming?


Aug 19

Way of X #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“The Fall”
by Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn & Java Tartaglia

COVER / PAGE 1: Onslaught marches forward, dragging Nightcrawler behind him. This is pencilled by Giuseppe Camuncoli, but it really reminds me of Adam Kubert.

PAGE 2. Professor X is resurrected.

Legion and the Xorn brothers annihilated Professor X and a whole bunch of surrounding customers in the Green Lagoon last issue, when Onslaught started to manifest there. The first panel is Onslaught, in the “Patchwork Man” guise where he’s appeared as a bogeyman figure on Krakoa.

Resurrection requires a telepath to restore the memories from backup. Normally Professor X does this, but it’s all hands on deck here, so Emma Frost, Jean Grey and even Exodus are all visible joining in. Oddly, they’re all drawn with their own Cerebro helmets, and I’m pretty sure there’s meant to be only a limited number of those in separate locations.