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Nov 7

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1994

Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2021 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

Following a frantic couple of years, with Wolverine making guest appearances all over the place, 1994 is a remarkable change of pace. There are a few reasons for that. One is that the early 90s speculator bubble has burst, and Marvel’s line is shrinking. In particular, Marvel UK and its firehose of guest stars is now behind us. But also, Wolverine has lost his adamantium, and he’s going to respond to that by spending most of the year going off to find himself. And, for the most part, the rest of the Marvel Universe leaves him to get on with it.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #77
“The Lady Strikes”
by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Mark Farmer, Mike Sellers, Mark Pennington & Steve Buccellato
January 1994

When we left off, Wolverine was visiting Heather Hudson, and learning that he was going to die without his adamantium because his immune system didn’t work without it. Then, Lady Deathstrike showed up to attack. So this is a fight issue, with the payoff coming when he uses his bone claws and she find out that he doesn’t have his adamantium any more.

Lady Deathstrike’s whole motivation as a Wolverine villain is that she believes his adamantium skeleton was given to him with technology stolen from her father, and she feels obliged to avenge that theft even though she knows Wolverine had no say in it. The loss of his adamantium, in a story that she wasn’t even involved with, makes her whole agenda futile, and means that she gave up her humanity for nothing. But at the same time, she’s  freed from her perceived duty, albeit in the least satisfactory way she can imagine – so she just leaves in order to figure out what she’s going to do with her life instead. There are murmurings about giri and honour.

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Nov 6

Charts – 5 November 2021

Posted on Saturday, November 6, 2021 by Paul in Music

Ed Sheeran has an album out, but fortunately we’ve heard most of the hits already.

1. Adele – “Easy On Me”

Three weeks. That matches the run of “Hello”.

4. Ed Sheeran – “Overpass Graffiti”

This is the release-week single from his album “=”, which naturally becomes his fifth number one. All of his albums since 2011 have reached number 1 – that’s “+”, “÷”, “x” and “No 6 Collaborations Project”. The two previous singles, “Shivers” and “Bad Habits”, rebound to 2 and 3 respectively, so no doubt if we didn’t have the three-song rule, he’d be swamping the charts. I’m slightly surprised that the final single didn’t get a number one, but I guess it’s diluted somewhat by the release of a whole album of material.

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Nov 3

Housekeeping

Posted on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 by Paul in Uncategorized

No annotations this week, because… well, there’s nothing to annotate. The only X-books out this week are X-Men: Legends and X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic (and they’re both in mid-storyline, so they’re not due for a review either).

So… yeah.

On Sunday, though, it’ll be time for Wolverine in 1994.

Nov 1

Charts – 29 October 2021

Posted on Monday, November 1, 2021 by Paul in Music

I’m starting to wonder if people have given up on releasing new singles.

1. Adele – “Easy On Me”

Two weeks. Adele’s longest-running number one was “Someone Like You” (five non-consecutive weeks in 2011). So that’s a way off. But it heads up a static top four, with two former number 1s making up the rest of the top 3 – and the rest of the top 10 is just records that have passed their peak shuffling places around. It’s not like the challengers are queuing up.

15. The Swedish House Mafia & The Weeknd – “Moth to a Flame”

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Oct 31

Marauders #25 annotations

Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS #25
“Night of the Comet”
by Gerry Duggan, Phil Noto & Cory Petit

This will be very short. They show off their powers and then there’s a fight. It’s not an issue that cries out for annotation.

COVER / PAGE 1. Emma Frost with knuckledusters. Which seems a bit unnecessary when you can turn to diamond, but okay. The “Hell Fire” on the knuckledusters echoes Kate’s “Kill Shaw” tattoos.

PAGE 2. Opening quote. I think it’s original, but it presumably comes from the period when Ogun was training / brainwashing Kitty as a ninja in the Kitty Pryde & Wolverine miniseries.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits. “Night of the Comet” was a cult sci-fi/horror film from 1984, with female leads.

PAGES 4-12. The Marauders combine powers to save themselves.

Iceman isn’t bothered by cold or lack of oxygen, since he doesn’t breathe when his body is turned to ice, but traditionally he does need a source of water with which to make ice. Let’s assume that’s changed, or at least that he can draw on a much wider range of materials. After all, he seems to transform his own body.

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Oct 30

Inferno #2 annotations

Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

INFERNO vol 2 #2
by Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1. Emma Frost, in diamond form, holding the helmets of both Magneto and Professor X.

PAGE 2. Once again, the opening quote comes from Omega Sentinel. She’ll actually say it on page 25, but more generally, it refers here to some of Mystique’s impostures being exposed.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits. The individual issues of Inferno don’t have separate titles.

PAGES 4-6. Flashback: Mystique retrieves a Cerebro back-up from Island M.

This is a repeat of a scene from pages 32-33 of issue #1, with the added revelation that it was Mystique, not Magneto. The art is new, but the three panels of Magneto reaching for the helmet directly copy the layout of the original, presumably to make sure we recognise it as the same scene. It’s not entirely obvious why Mystique actually needs to pose as Magneto, since nobody seems to be around, but to be fair, she didn’t necessarily know the place would be empty. Nor is it immediately obvious how she got past whatever security systems Magneto has – surely he doesn’t just keep this important object in an unlocked room? Again, maybe posing as him helps with that.

(Note: As Douglas points out in the comments, Prestige uses her “chronoskimming” power in X-Men: Trial of Magneto #2 to see Magneto apparently removing his Cerebro helmet from its cradle. That might be intended as the same scene, though it seems to be – incorrectly – set in his Krakoan home the House of M, rather than Island M.)

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Oct 29

Wolverine #17 annotations

Posted on Friday, October 29, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #17
“Message in a Bottle”
by Benjamin Percy, Lan Medina, Cam Smith & Java Tartaglia

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine and Maverick as a playing card riddled with bulletholes and claw marks, showing them as intertwined opposites (or just partners).

PAGE 2. Jeff Bannister monitors Delores Ramirez.

We last saw Bannister in issue #8. His narration in this issue is apparently the letter to Logan mentioned on the closing data page, since its opening line is repeated there.

We last saw Delores in issue #10, where she met with Maverick in a diner. That scene took place in New York, though, and this is Baltimore – so apparently she’s meeting someone else here, or at least it’s a different meeting with Maverick. (It’s also drawn differently.)

“Ever since she tried to take you down in Madripoor”. Also in issue #10.

PAGES 3-4. Jeff returns to the diner.

We last saw Bannister’s daughter in issue #3. Oddly, she still doesn’t have a name. Her short hair is presumably due to her leukaemia treatment, though honestly, it was longer in issue #3.

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Oct 28

S.W.O.R.D. #9 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

S.W.O.R.D. vol 2 #9
“Friends in High Places”
by Al Ewing, Jacopo Camagni & Fernando Sifuentes

COVER / PAGE 1. Henry Peter Gyrich holds Abigail Brand, Manifold and Frenzy in a globe, with the Orchis symbol behind him. Don’t worry, it’s purely symbolic.

PAGES 2-4. Guardian and Gyrich talk.

Guardian. We last saw Guardian in issue #6, leaving the Hellfire Gala. He was overwhelmed by the terraforming of Mars, and Henry Gyrich was moving in to recruit him for Orchis. It’s interesting that Gyrich chose to make his pitch in the name of Orchis, rather than in his official capacity as commander of Alpha Flight. It’s still not exactly clear how much Guardian knows about Orchis, or what he’s been told about their agenda – we know from issue #3 that aspects of Orchis’s organisation are internally confidential and that even Gyrich has only seen a redacted version of their organisation chart.

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Oct 24

Way of X

Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2021 by Paul in x-axis

WAY OF X #1-5 / X-MEN: THE ONSLAUGHT REVELATION
by Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn & Java Tartaglia

Another short-run series, then – six issues, in practice, despite the rather odd and arbitrary branding of issue #6 as an X-Men one-shot. (It isn’t.) But this ends by explicitly promising a sequel in the new year, and it’s not a gathering-of-the-team arc so much as a coming-up-with-the-premise-in-the-first place. It makes a certain sense to present like this, as a separate story in its own right.

Nightcrawler has been on the Quiet Council since the Krakoan era began, but prior to this series he had actually done very little, beyond serving as a Council member who readers could definitely trust to be sensible and decent. One issue of X-Men, clearly the set-up for this book, had him wavering about newly-coined rituals like Crucible and the casual approach to resurrection, and talking about setting up a mutant religion.

Which wouldn’t have made sense. Kurt is religious already; it’s one of his core traits. He’s hardly going to show up on Krakoa and jettison those beliefs in order to contrive a syncretic religion for purposes of social control.

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Oct 22

Charts – 22 October 2021

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2021 by Paul in Music

Now this is something different.

1. Adele – “Easy On Me”
25. Adele – “When We Were Young”
34. Adele – “Someone Like You”

Adele hasn’t released anything since 2016, and her last single, “Water Under the Bridge”, reached number 39. Admittedly, it wasn’t exactly heavily promoted. Still – five years is a long time, and you could be forgiven for thinking that fourteen years into her career, Adele might become an elder statesman on the album chart.

Quite the opposite. A new Adele single, it turns out, is huge. The previous weekly streaming record was 16.9 million; “Easy On Me” shatters it, at 24 million. The other two Adele singles in the chart aren’t B-sides or tracks from the album (which isn’t out yet). People have just been inspired to go out and listen to her back catalogue. They aren’t the obvious choices, either – “Someone Like You” was a number 1 in 2011, but “When We Were Young” wasn’t one of her biggest hits; it got to number 9 in 2015.

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