Sunday, February 16, 2020

When the Music's Over (turn out my lights...)

For some serendipitous reason, the start of 2018 was an amazing year for music.
Specifically, it was amazing year for ME to see LIVE music - a lot of my absolute favourite bands of all time, including Manchester Orchestra, the Foo Fighters and (of course) Biffy Clyro, came to Melbourne in that short period, and I had A Really Nice Time (TM).
Natasha was then diagnosed in August 2018, and our live music experience understandably dropped off somewhat. And then, as noted in my last post, Natasha tragically passed away last November. That was a Very Bad Time.
Now I don't know if it's serendipity or something else, but some of my remaining favourite bands have now started touring, and I'm really getting back into it (it's actually one of the few things really helping me get through this). I've already got tickets to see Tool, Baroness, the Pixies and Faith No More (which happens to be the first band I ever saw, way back in 1990).
So I thought I might share just some of the videos of my amazing 6 months of music from back in 2018 (actually from late December 2017 through to May 2018), and if I remember I might post some of my soon-to-be amazing 2020 live music, too, once I've got them under my belt.
Natasha appears in some.
And you should watch them all*.

Mick Thomas at the Caravan Club, 24 December 2017, playing "Step In, Step Out" 

Fatboy Slim at St Kilda Foreshore, 20 January 2018

Weezer at Etihad Stadium, 30 January 2018, playing "Say it Ain't So"

BONUS: Weezer at Etihad Stadium, 30 January 2018, playing The Pixies' "Where is my mind"

Foo Fighters at Etihad Stadium, 30 January 2018, playing "The Pretender"

BONUS: Rivers Cuomo and Foo Fighters playing KISS's "Detroit Rock City"

Manchester Orchestra at 170 Russell, 2 February 2018, playing "Pale Black Eye"

Mogwai at Golden Plains Festival, 10 March 2018

The Avalanches at Golden Plains Festival, 10 March 2018, playing "Frontier Psychiatry"

Rocket Science at Golden Plains Festival, 11 March 2018, playing "Burn in Hell"

Mastodon at Download Festival, 24 March 2018, playing "Steambreather"

Prophets of Rage at Download Festival, 24 March 2018, playing "Killing in the Name"

NoFX at Download Festival, 24 March 2018, playing "Bottles to the Ground"

The Dean Ween Band at the Palais, 15 April 2018, playing Ween's song "The Mollusk" (with special guest Les Claypool)

Primus at the Palais, 15 April 2018, playing "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers"

Biffy Clyro at the Forum, 27 April 2018, playing "9/15ths"

Biffy Clyro at the Forum, 27 April 2018, playing "Many of Horror"

Augie March at the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine, 4 May 2018, playing "Just Passing Through"

Grant Lee Phillips at Memo Music Hall, 11 May 2018, playing "Fuzzy"

The Mavis's at the Prince of Wales, 11 May 2018, playing "Cry"

* Or don't. I won't know.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

"It's not getting easier. It's not getting easier."

In my last post, I indirectly referred to something that I finally had a genuine reason to rant about, but which I'd been struggling to do, because it was SO important and raw. That thing was the fact that my wife had been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in August last year, at the age of 42, and which we had been fighting ever since.
One week after I wrote that post, my wife unexpectedly passed away – exactly one month ago today, actually. I realise it's weird to say it was unexpected when she had Stage IV cancer, but the timing was completely sudden. We both honestly thought we'd be spending Christmas together. We had so many plans, still, so much still to do.
I could go on, but I've instead taken my cues from another (excellent) blog I've been reading – (which is written by a woman who lost her husband last year in Washington DC, and which has nothing to do with DC comics or movies, despite how that would create ultimate synergy with my blog...) – and I'm simply going to publish here my eulogy for my gorgeous wife at her untimely funeral at St Kilda's Memo Music Hall earlier this month.
Lahko Noč, moja ljubica. 
My eulogy for the one and only Natasha
Some of you might think of me as a funny bugger, and may have even seen me speak at Natasha’s Dad’s funeral back in 2015, where I managed to sneak in some Slovenian swear words and get some laughs. I’m not sure I can manage that today, though. 
I’ve actually been dreading this for a long time. Basically, since the day that Natasha received her terribly cruel diagnosis, and if not that exact day then definitely that first week, I’ve lain awake at night, time and time again, wondering about what I might say at her funeral should she pass away. And now here we are, a little over 15 months later. 
My thoughts ran the gamut from just angry ranting, to hysterical crying, to just focussing on the positives, to everything in between. I think today we’ll get a mix of all of those. 
I should start by saying that we shouldn’t be here. She was only 43. 
And apologies in advance to anyone who has survived cancer or who is even just over the age of 43, because I keep thinking: why do you get to live and she didn’t? And that includes me, I’m the sweet age of 46. Here’s an actual example of this thought process from yesterday: why is Moby alive? Nothing against him, by why him and not Natasha? I know Tash wouldn’t want me to feel like that, but she was much nicer and better than I. It’s just not fair. She should still be alive. 
But her cancer was horrible, more horrible than I think we realised. In retrospect, I can now see that this was almost a certainty to happen, but we tried to keep hope alive, to try to ensure that she could be with us for as long as possible. And as it turned out, that was nowhere near as long as we expected. None of us, not her, I don’t think even her medical team, expected her to go last Tuesday. Only two days beforehand, on the Sunday, she’d told me that she wasn’t going to die this year. 
But it looks like it WAS her time to go, and as I’ve noted in a pretty distressing post on the Tash Tribe on Facebook, she went relatively peacefully, probably unaware of my desperate attempts to revive her. And many people have reassured me that, if she had to choose a way to go, as opposed to the timing, it was almost perfect. She was in her bed, having just had her first shower in days, warm under a blanket in her dressing gown with the love of her life looking over her, caring for her. Her last words were in response to Declan saying “I love you”, and she whispered back “I love you, too”. 
And then a few minutes later, she was gone, and all of a sudden, it was just me and the kids left. I must say that, if I didn’t have the kids, I don’t know what I’d do, because there’s a big Natasha-shaped hole in my life, that can never be filled. I’m so lost. I keep wanting to tell her stuff, or watch a TV show with her, and then remember that I can’t. I still can’t believe she’s gone and I bawl my eyes out every day. And it’s only been a week. How can I do this for the rest of my life? 
A life that used to be pretty great – only a year and a half ago – and which is now just miserable. 
But, there is some light, because Natasha gave me you three beautiful creatures. And even with that, it seems like she was planning ahead and looking after me – which is very Tash. Y’all may not know this, but Xander has been comforting me, quickly coming over and giving me a hug whenever he sees me tearing up, and Elektra and Declan have been wonderful as well. But it’s my job to look after you guys, and that’s what I’ll do. I just worry I’m not going to be as good at it as she was, or anything else she did for that matter. But there are a lot of people in this room who have offered to help me, too. 
SO, apart from my kids, I struggle to find any positives in this, but here goes. 
The main positive is – she’s no longer in pain. Ever since the chemotherapy started, she required pain medication, and the pain only got worse towards the end. She was willing to endure it to be with her family as long as possible, but now, thankfully, she’s no longer suffering. 
Another weird positive is that, once she was diagnosed, I had to step up and do all of the things she used to do, which was an astounding amount. And taking the kids to their dermatologist one day led to discovering that I had a small skin cancer in my scalp – it was benign, but could have got a lot worse. If Tash hadn’t been diagnosed, I wouldn’t have gone to that appointment, and I wouldn’t have had that skin cancer cut out, and then who knows. 
Also, thanks to her diagnosis and treatment, I got to spend pretty much every minute of every day for the last 15 months with her, and a lot of time with the kids, too. Much more intense time than we would have had otherwise. And I must thank my work colleagues for being so flexible with us and giving me that opportunity – I don’t know what I’d do without you guys. 
And that brings me to another positive, not of her death, but her life - we all got to be with her at some point during her 43 years on this planet. And I think we can all agree that makes us very lucky, because she was amazing. 
I guess that makes me even luckier than most, as I was with this incredible woman for 23 years – half of my life, and more than half of hers. 
For those of you who don’t know the story, Natasha and I got together 23 years ago in around November 1996. We had passed each other on the stairs in the Union Building at Monash Uni, our eyes had met, and we knew straight away there was a connection. We later chatted at a Union Night, trying to work out if we’d met before, but there was nothing we could pin down, so it just must have been destiny. 
And then Natasha introduced me to her friend, Jade, and Jade told us that she had actually had to pull us apart at the Chocolate Ball at the Palace, here in St Kilda, many months before. So it was either destiny, or a drunken pash that neither of us remembered, but it turned out that we had fortuitously each found our respective soul-mate. 
She was my wife, lover, travel companion, fellow music aficionado, partner in all things and, most of all, my best friend. We did pretty much everything together and I can confidently say that pretty much every good thing I’ve ever done and every good memory I have – she was there. 
I loved everything about her – the obvious stuff that you all loved – her kindness, her smile, her thoughtfulness and generosity. But I also loved weird stuff – I loved her taste and her smell. She used to complain sometimes that she hadn’t had a shower and thus would smell, and I honestly told her numerous times that she had never smelt, never had an unpleasant odour, EVER. I meant that very seriously. It’s a pity the feeling was not mutual… (Let’s just say that she didn’t think my natural, aluminium-free deodorant from Byron Bay was very effective.) 
Another thing I loved: her voice. Not just her singing voice which some of you may have heard – she sang like an angel. But her regular voice – I told her that I loved listening to voicemail messages she left, because hearing her voice just gave me a little thrill. 
And I loved her feet. Not in a fetish-y way. But her nerves were a bit damaged from the chemo, and something she really appreciated was her feet being rubbed. So I would volunteer every night to massage her feet, and she looked surprised every time, and then happily thrust her feet at me, nearly kicking me in the face, and I would massage her feet and calves for an hour while watching one of our many TV shows that we mutually loved. Because we didn’t have as much alone time together, it was something I looked forward to. 
Also, she was super-hot, but we all know that. 
Another thing we all know is that Natasha was the nicest person you could ever meet, and so thoughtful. Even when going through the worst things personally, she would think of others. 
As a very weird example, she kept suggesting women I could be with after she died, who would be good for me and the kids, and maybe even put up with my comic book movies. Some of her suggestions are in this very room! But I had to beg her to stop thinking like that, and pimping me out to her friends – I was married to her, and I didn’t want that to end, or to even have to think about it. But she was still just trying to look after me. 
In that respect, the timing of her passing also seems like she planned it. In particular, she completed her magnus opus – the renovation of our house. She had been driving that for almost two years – getting permits and dealing with heritage issues and so forth, so when she was first diagnosed she asked me, if she died, would I complete the renovation. And I said “no”, because I’m an idiot. But she just went “Right!”, and decided to get it done. And for most of the last year, while she was dealing with everything else, we’ve been living in our partially renovated home. But it was finally completed so that we were able to move back in in late in October. And she loved it, and got to enjoy it for her last month, referring to it as her legacy, while snidely remarking that my next wife had better appreciate it. 
She also stuck around just long enough to teach me most of what she knew about running the house and raising our three beautiful kids. 
The first day that I drove the kids to a school thing after last Tuesday, Xander said to me “Dad – it’s lucky we’re all so used to you doing this for us”. 
So that’s small comfort, but more importantly, the kids also got to have the best Mum ever. She devoted herself utterly to them. She fought tooth and nail to get them into their school, to help them with any health or other issues, to encourage them and drive them to whatever activities they were interested in. She was so proud of you all, even though she might ask you to play outside, or clean up your pig-sty room, you were still her pride and joy. OUR pride and joy. You three are truly greater than the sum of your parts – you’re like Mum, you’re like me, and ultimately you’ll be better than both of us. 
There are so many other things I’d like to talk about, if I could go all day. Her love of books and the fact that we were hoping to one day to open a book bar for her to run. Her love of photography – she was so talented. Her love of travel, of course – she’d famously been to 56 countries. Her connection to Slovenia and Australia’s Slovenia: Tasmania. I hope she would appreciate that her coffin is hand-crafted Tasmanian Blackwood. Her dog, Indy, who gave her so much joy. And, of course, her many, many friends. She has SO many friends, and many of them have written very touching tributes to her online and on Facebook. A common thread with all of them is that Natasha made everyone she spoke to, everyone she dealt with, feel special. Because she thought you were special. 
So when it came to organising today, I honestly found it too hard to pick even a few friends to speak – it would just always leave someone out, some group out, which is why I basically just went with Myshell to talk about Natasha pre-Riley, and me to try to cover everything post-Riley. But know that she loved you all, individually, and cherished the time she spent with each and every one of you. 
Everything about this has been hard, so I want to just quickly thank some people who have helped me and our family through this. (I then went into some personal thank-yous...)
And that brings me to possibly the hardest thing about this service: choosing photos for the upcoming Tribute. How could I fit her life into 80 photos? She’s in so many AND looks great in all them. In the end, I just had to pick a selection from the ones already on my computer, so I know it’s not representative of her whole life. There are numerous trips around the world that are completely missed. But fortunately the booklets you’ve received today include some of those photos plus many others. 
Also, I deliberately chose not to have any photos from the last month and a half, when she really started deteriorating. 
These photos remind us of Tash in her prime. Such a beauty, such zest for life. A shining star. 
I also want to explain the two songs accompanying this Photo Tribute. They’re both by Biffy Clyro, a band Natasha and I saw many times and which we even managed to take the kids to, back in 2014. The first song is called Folding Stars, and it was written by the lead singer when his mother, Eleanor, lost her battle with cancer. It’s very on point and will likely make you cry (the title of this blog post is taken from lyrics from this song). The second song is Mountains. This song is a bit more uplifting, but also has a special connection to me and Tash. She bought this picture here for my birthday a few years ago, with some of the beautiful lyrics from Mountains on it. “Nothing lasts forever, except you and me. You are my mountain, you are my sea. Love can last forever, between you and me. You are my mountain, you are my sea.” 

Natasha was my mountain, she was my sea, and I was hers. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Joker Begins ... my DC movies viewing order

A quick aside before we get to the heat of the meat: longtime "readers" of this blog may have noticed that I’ve gone from ranting about minor, inconsequential things like the St Kilda Schoolgirl and Global Warming, to mainly just setting out my versions of viewing and listening orders of some of my favourite things. The main reason for this is that something happened a little over a year ago that I genuinely have every right to rant about ... for once ... but it’s actually so distressing I just can’t (at least, not yet), and so instead I’m just putting my head down ... and putting stuff in order. 
Which brings me to this month’s dumb post: Something that can distress everyone - The DC movie universe (also called the DCEU (or "DC Extended Universe") and "The Worlds Of DC" (pronounced "TWO-D(i)C", according to my bois at The Weekly Planet)). 
I finally watched the Joker movie recently, like a billion other dollars, and it was fine. And then I went home and watched a good Joker movie – The Dark Knight (apart from being a sick burn, that really is a cracking movie and is, in fact, what got me into this Batman guy in the first place (prior to that I was a paid-up Marvel geek)). 
This beer is also a bit better than the Joker movie...
The main problem with the Joker movie is that, although it’s a good character study of a particular person having a breakdown and dressing up like a clown and lashing out because society, it’s not really the Joker. 
But Heath Ledger’s Joker is a GREAT Joker. 
A great Joker's good, but an amazing Joker - now that would be great!
Still, I actually think these movies can work together, if we assume that Arthur Fleck’s Joker is a “proto-Joker”, who gets the ball rolling, and then later on Heath Ledger’s Joker also dresses up like a clown but knocks it up a notch like Elzar (and is much more menacing, chaotic and, importantly, anonymous). 

So, although, it’s been explicitly stated that the Joker movie is stand-alone, separate to any other DC movie properties, I think it works as a semi-prequel to the Dark Knight trilogy. And THEN, the Dark Knight trilogy works as a semi-prequel to the later DCEU. 
Again, there are minor inconsistencies (different Jokers, slightly different Wayne murders*) BUT Joker has a young Bruce Wayne, the Dark Knight trilogy has a Bruce Wayne coming of age and then “retiring”, and then the DCEU has a much older Bruce Wayne (who must have decided to come back to Gotham at some point, and reverse his second “official” death). And I know that some say (like, um, Zack Snyder...) that the Dark Knight trilogy's gritty and realistic Nolanverse can't be in the same fantastical universe as that of the DCEU, but Man of Steel makes it clear that the world was kind of normal before Superman is outed from the alien closet (despite hints that maybe there are other metahuman goings-on that people were previously unaware of). Plus Christopher Nolan is an executive producer on Man of Steel! Not to mention the fact that including the Dark Knight trilogy lifts the average quality of the whole DC franchise...
So, without further ado, here is my DCEU movie viewing order (with some spurious explanations where necessary). Note that I haven’t included the prequel comics, etc, because you don’t care. 
Feel free to ignore it along with my MCU and X-Men viewing orders!

The official and only DC movie viewing order 

Joker (Note: the only real problem including this here is that this movie’s Thomas Wayne ends up looking IDENTICAL to the senator in The Dark Knight Rises, but otherwise this pretty much works. Oh yeah, and Thomas Wayne can't be that much of a dick, Arthur must be mistaken...) 
Batman Begins 
Gotham Knight – This is definitely in the Nolanverse, taking place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (e.g., it includes Detective Ramirez, the beginnings of Captain Gordon’s Major Crimes Unit, and the gang war between ‘The Russian’ and Sal Maroni). It also includes Jonathan Crane (who hasn’t been seen since the Arkham breakout in Batman Begins), Killer Croc (who was being experimented on by Crane – and this does not appear inconsistent with Suicide Squad), and Deadshot**. 
Gotham Tonight – TV series on The Dark Knight blu-ray special features – 6 short episodes like a news/entertainment show in the 5 weeks leading up to The Dark Knight, giving a bit of an introduction to the characters and themes that show up in The Dark Knight. Includes some of the actual characters (played by the actors) being interviewed, including Sal Maroni and Harvey Dent. 
The Dark Knight 
The Dark Knight Rises 
Green Lantern *** 
Man of Steel 
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition only, please)
Suicide Squad (refers to events in B v S)
Wonder Woman – The start and end take place in the present, but the majority takes place around World War I (but I still like it here). Also, there's a bonus epilogue on the blu-ray, where Etta Candy has a mission to recover a Mother Box hidden under a World War I battlefield (likely the one hidden by the humans centuries ago, as then seen in Justice League). 
Justice League 
Aquaman – very brief references to the events of Justice League (when Mera talks to Arthur about him defeating Steppenwolf). 
Shazam – Includes an almost-cameo by Superman, and Freddy has an honest-to-goodness Batarang (along with many other references to the other superheroes of the DC universe, including merch). Also, the ‘Superhero Hooky’ motion comic (on the blu-ray) is a new story post-Shazam. 
After that, we'll soon have (among others) Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), which I'm really looking forward to, Wonder Woman 1984 and, of course, the new The Batman movie, which might throw all of this out (especially if there’s a black Jim Gordon and Catwoman) but let’s cross that bat-bridge when we come to it…

* It could be assumed that every depiction of the Waynes getting murdered (e.g., in Joker, Batman Begins, Batman v Superman, etc, etc, ad infinitum) is just someone's possibly flawed memory (a child, a Joker) that may or may not be entirely correct! 
** One of the main problems with including the Nolanverse with the DCEU seems to be one important element of this slightly-canon piece, since this Deadshot certainly appears to be a white guy (though I just explain it away due to the lighting … and the fact that it’s a cartoon …) 
*** Wait, wait – hear me out! I know this is technically not part of the DCEU, but it still fits easily here (and the Lanterns have been canonically teased in Justice League). It includes Amanda Waller (and could even serve as a bit of her origin, including shots of her (dead?) husband and son, and the reasoning behind why she might want a taskforce to take down alien threats…), and the Parallax climax (Climarallax?) could have been explained away by the authorities as a weather event? Waller says that finding Abin Sur’s body is also the first proof the humans have of alien life (meaning it has to be before Man of Steel). Plus Taika Waititi's in it! Scott Mendelson also reckons it works well as part of the DCEU, and means the next Green Lantern movie (e.g., Green Lantern Corps) can get straight to business and not re-hash things...

Monday, September 30, 2019

This series has X's in its eyes (and it's drawing flies)**

Back in June I put together my viewing (etc) order of the X-Men movies and related media, but now that Fox's X-Men universe has officially come to an end with the airing of the season finale of the fantastic Legion last month (give or take a New Mutants movie...), I thought it was high-time to update my viewing order and provide my DEFINITIVE LIST (it's a thing I do...)
You should watch this, but don't tell me I didn't warn you (I haven't warned you...)

WARNING: The next paragraph assumes you are familiar with the weird timey-wimey shenanigans of the X-Men universe...

I initially hoped to have Legion pre-Days of Future Past, and then wiped out (so we could all ignore any and all of Charles Xavier's attempts to get jiggy), but then after Dark Phoenix I thought it could still fit into the 90s after that, and before Logan (at least as part of a Viewing Order, if not a strictly correct Chronological Order), assuming that David was born in the 60s or 70s, so he could be in his twenties in the 90s (i.e., post-Dark Phoenix). It would have involved yet another reset before Deadpool (and then Logan still coming after, reasoning that Legion could potentially still fit in the Logan timeline, assuming Charles didn’t know anything about David (or had forgotten)). 

But I liked Deadpool following Dark Phoenix too much.  Aaaand now that the finale of Season 3 has come out, it's very clear it can't go there (ummm....spoilers ahoy*!)

In fact, in light of the ending of Legion, I think it can really only go in two possible places (and I know it's meant to be in its own universe, but I'm trying to put together one cohesive viewing order, ya galah). 

And those places are:
  • right at the beginning (i.e., before X-Men: First Class) - which I think makes the most sense chronologically (because there's a reset (spoilers*!) that then allows the rest of the chronology to mostly work), but the least sense if we want first-time viewers to actually get into the X-Men and actually watch the rest of the things (even the biggest Legion fans should admit that it's not the most viewer-friendly introduction to the X-Men); OR 
  • right at the end - which makes less sense chronologically (though I think if we turn a blind eye, this MAY work), but I think makes total sense from a viewing perspective.
So that's where I've put it - at the end, after Logan (despite Logan being a perfect ending to the movie universe). A really nice thing about having it there is that we get to see a young Charles post-Logan, too. AND they get a do-over*! 

But here is where I explain this decision to all the nerds: As a starting point, the décor and setting throughout Legion is all retro-futuristic, and the period in which it occurs is deliberately ambiguous. If you were to ask me outright ("Outright? OUTRIGHT?!?"), I'd probably say that it's meant to take place sometime in the 70s … ish … but that's already wrong, and I'm not going to stick to that.

In terms of specific references regarding when it takes place, I can only really think of two: 

1. In Season 2, Melanie tells Oliver that Bombay is Mumbai now – implying that Oliver was frozen while it was still Bombay. This name change happened in 1995, so in theory, the series needs to be after that (putting it in the 90s). 
2. However, it also appears that David's parents (Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Heller) got together just after World War II (and Xavier fought in it?) but that can’t be right, because that would mean Xavier was born in, like, the 20s (which has never been a thing, although Charles and Gabrielle meeting in an institution post-war (in the 60s) definitely has been a thing). So with that scene, either he was in someone else’s head who was in the War, or it’s a different war that looks the same (or the X-Men universe has no correlation to our universe, but we nerds will not accept that). In terms of the war timing, Legion creator and showrunner Noah Hawley addressed this thusly: "When we meet Professor X in this season, he has been a soldier in a war--a war that probably feels a bit like World War II, I guess I would say, though we never commit to what it is".

So, it should be post-1995, and I think we can ignore the war thing. But I think it could still take place post-Logan, chronologically, if we ignore some things – in particular, we need to assume that Division 3 (and the Summerland peeps) were also very secretive, and possibly in a completely different part of the country, which is why we don’t hear about them in the X-Men movies (the X-Men Prequel: Rogue even has a secret government-approved anti-mutant facility). We also need to assume that Charles and Gabrielle did indeed meet after a war and had a child at a time when he had the use of his legs (maybe after Dark Phoenix, meaning David can be in his 20s or 30s post-Logan?). Finally, we need to assume that time travel works differently in DoFP, Legion AND Deadpool 2! And why not? IT'S COMICS PEOPLE!

But, even if it’s not in the same timeline (and it's in, say, the 70s or 90s), it still works well to watch post-Logan. Plus, it really is the last X-Men thing that Fox made before Disney took it over, so it works well as a final capstone. 

In terms of time travel, note that the below timeline (ironically) now includes at least three distinct instances of time travel, all of which change the timeline in different ways:
  • The time travel in Days of Future Past, which involves the biggest change to the timeline;
  • The time travel shenanigans in Deadpool 2, which don't alter the main timeline too much (though they do involve bringing Cable's family, Deadpool and Vanessa all back to life in some way, not to mention killing Weapon-11 and actor Ryan Reynolds (and Hitler?)); and
  • The time travel in Legion.
Oh, and I've also now included the Wolverine podcast series in the viewing (listening) order, because I recently finished that, and it's cool, and it doesn't involve any of the mental gymnastics necessary for Legion (it just fits (as explained below), so we're done here).

So, just to reiterate, what I've tried to do is put together a coherent viewing/reading/listening/playing order (depending the medium), rather than a strict chronological order. Ignore it as much as you like/can!:

Note that, in the below "viewing" order, the movies are in bold (but I'm not sure that's apparent - trust me, they're bold), everything else is in italics (e.g., comics and TV shows), the ones with an asterisk have basically been ‘erased’ as a result of the time travel in Days of Future Past (although similar events might have then happened again…), and most of the links are to Amazon/Amazon Prime. 

X-Men First Class – The High Hand (prequel digital comic)
X-Men: First Class (in the 60s) 
The Bent Bullet: JFK and the Mutant Conspiracy (a short video on Youtube, I think as part of the marketing for Days of Future Past (DoFP))
X-Men Origins: Wolverine* (in the 70s and 80s. Note – there's an accompanying game which is not exactly canon, but pretty fun...) 
X-Men Prequel: Magneto comic
X-Men Prequel: Rogue comic
X-Men Prequel: Wolverine comic
X-Men(in the 2000s)
X-Men 2 Prequel: Wolverine comic* (incidentally, this confirms that the Sabretooth from the first X-Men movie is Victor Creed (who has also been experimented on by the Government and ALSO then got amnesia!)) 
X-Men 2 Prequel: Nightcrawler comic* (fantastic prequel comic (finally!) – leads directly into X2, and includes a wonderful story about Kurt and his circus, and also includes Stryker and Deathstrike). 
X2: X-Men United
X-Men: The Official Game
X-Men: The Last Stand(this happens in 2006, according to below))
The Wolverine* – I'll be watching the Unleashed Extended Edition.
The Gifted TV series* (I reckon this fits well in the 'old' timeline, especially since it includes a young Blink just developing her powers, who shows up in DoFP below, too…)
At this point, it's good to check out, which runs through 25 moments involving mutants in history from 1962 to 2018, including most of the above events, as well as some that are revealed in DoFP below...  
X-Men: Days of Future Past (starts in the future, then mostly in the 70s, but the end is back in the present time, having rebooted the franchise thanks to time travel) – I'll be watching the Rogue Cut...
X-Men: Apocalypse (in the 80s) 
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (in the 90s) 
Deadpool 2 (and/or Once Upon a Deadpool!) 
New Mutants?
Wolverine: The Long Night (podcast). Wolverine is in Alaska on the run from Weapon X. I think this works OK in this timeline, as we don’t see Wolverine after he escapes from Alkali Lake in Apocalypse. Note that the Sentinels are slightly different than we’ve seen before (but that’s still OK). 
Wolverine: The Lost Trail (podcast). After the events of The Long Night, Logan went to Russia, Japan and elsewhere, but ends up returning to New Orleans, still on the run from Weapon X. Includes Gambit (who refers to some business with Mr Sinister in Massachusetts in episode 6 (again works post-Apocalypse), and also to their mutual X-Men activities). Very much works in a Logan-world, not so much in a Deadpool-world, though…but that's still OK...
Logan (set in the year 2029, possibly not in the same timeline but whatevs). I'm also tempted to watch Children of Men beforehand (it’s in the UK in the year 2027, and with very similar themes). 
Legion TV series (if it's going to go anywhere*...)

And that's that! As I noted in my previous post, once you've watched them you can then free up space in your brain and just forget them all, as Disney is almost certainly going to completely reboot them all when incorporating the X-Men into the MCU in a few years!


* SPOILERS! Legion Season 3 finale ends with everything being reset thanks to time travel (where has that happened before?). Importantly, the Shadow King will not infect David as a baby, and Charles will take a more active role as a father...for a bit. This also works exceptionally well here, since Disney will be rebooting everything anyway!

** Soundgarden FTW.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Hardcore History Addendum ... Addendum ...

Long time readers (you know who you both are!) will know that I like putting stuff in chronological order (because it's fun and impresses the ladies).
So a couple of months ago I finally finished my labour of love of putting Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcasts into some kind of chronological listening order. But, of course, Hardcore History is itself an ongoing labour of love, and I knew I would need to update my list as new episodes come out.
Aaaand the latest Hardcore History Addendum episode recently came out - Caesar at Hastings, necessitating this update!
It's a cool little episode, very much in the Addendum vein of Hardcore History (i.e., weird stuff - this time a 'what-if' of Julius Caesar's army fighting William the Conqueror's at Hastings in 1066).
Fortunately, I happened to be going back and listening to everything in chronological order again, and was up to Thor's Angels (I think) when this came out - just in time to slot a 1066 story soon after. 
Thus, upon listening to that and the surrounding episodes, I've conclusively established that this episode should be listened to after Episode 10 ('The What-if's of 1066'). Ep 10 gets into a bit of the background of the Battle of Hastings, focusing especially on the English side of things, and Caesar at Hastings then builds on that, focusing a lot more (obviously) on the Norman army, as well as Caesar's army as it would have been a thousand years earlier when Julius Caesar crossed from Gaul (as briefly looked at in Episode 60: The Celtic Holocaust). 
So...yeah! A great episode, slots in nicely - get on it already!

The Hardcore History of the World according to Dan Carlin (Addendum)!
Note: Rather than include my notes about why I've put stuff in this order (which you can still read here), I've just listed them all below (with the newly inserted episode in bold) - linked to the actual episodes at