Book Review 09 // Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan

Welcome to another book review. Unsurprisingly it's a Sci-fi piece, it's set once more within the Games Workshop franchise- Warhammer 40,000 and it is about the Aeldari (Eldar). If these topics are of no interest to you (Shame) then I recommend skipping this post.

Still with me....great! So this year I've been attempting to read a book month, which doesn't seem that hard, unless you are me. I love reading but I'm slow at it, hence I'm attempting a book a month, with next years goal being two books a month. Here are my entries so far; January, February, March, April and May. We have now hit June (really need to speed up my blogging). For this month's book I have read Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan.

Author: Gav Thorpe
Publisher: Black Library
Commercial Fluff:
The Phoenix Lords are demigods of battle, warriors whose legends span the stars. They are embodiment of the warrior nature of the eldar, and each walks his own path. The first, and greatest, is Asurmen, the Hand of Asuryan. Since he led his people from destruction at the time of the Fall, he has guided his children, the Dire Avengers, in defending the remnants of the eldar as they plan their rise back to galactic dominance. A superlative warrior and peerless leader, Asurmen is one of the greatest hopes of the eldar race.

The Phoenix Lords of the eldar are legendary, pure embodiment of their warrior nature, and Asurmen was their first. This novel presents a dual narrative – the founding of the Dire Avengers during the fall of the eldar, and the story of Asurmen as he now stands, fighting the forces of Chaos that threaten to overwhelm Ulthwe. This is a tale of heroism and the resolve of a warrior raging hard against the dying of the light.

First up I'm a Gav Thorpe fan, I personally enjoy the way he writes and I find them an enjoyable read (very important as I am dyslexic). This is the first of a new series of books entitled the Phoenix Lords and delves into their pasts, futures and ever intertwined fates of these unusual characters. This hugely excites me as I love lore and everything eldar and it helps to add words to my ever growing Eldar Dictionary.

The story unsurprisingly is the tale of Asurmen the first Phoenix lord. Showing us his interactions with other Aeldari members, Craftworlds and how he actually came into existence. For the most part you get a chapter set in Asurmen's present, followed by a chapter from his past. The past stories excited me more, as they are set pre-fall and help show how the Eldar civilization collapsed in on itself and how his choices led him down this path of salvation. It is great to read about the original exodites, early craftworlders and the cults of excess and I truly hope this is all expanded on in future titles.

The main story of the book revolves around how in an earlier battle, Asurmen failed to defend a Chaos artifact that has come back to haunt the Eldar race. After having his form resurrected by the Eldar of Ulthwe, Asurmen then begins his quest to find a pilot who can rescue a downed spaceship and take the fight to the enemy. The cast of characters are interesting and some what intriguing, especially the rogue Farseer who I hope to see more of. The battle scenes are intense and quick of pace and for me the tale ends to quick. Can't wait to get my hands on the next book to see this arc continued.

For me a 4 out 5 would just have loved more pages.

Brew Review 23 // Wild Beer Ninkasi


Another day another Brews Review, this time it's a trip back to the homelands of England. I was rather surprised when I found this beer in the local LCBO last year and would be seriously interested to know how they pick their selections, is it completely random or some actual thought put in it? A quick background search of the word Ninkasi show us that Ninkasi was a Sumerian Goddess of Beer (link), which is pretty cool. Let's see if it did her justice or will bring the Wrath of a Goddess down on us.

Details

Name: Ninkasi
Style: Belgian Style Saison
Brewery: Wild Beer Co. (website)
Country: Mallet, England.
Price: $11.65 - 750ml bottle
ABV: 9%

Commercial Fluff:

"Bubbles + Apples + Wild Yeast.Named after the ancient Greek goddess of beer, this is an equally divine Belgian-style saison with a copious amount of New Zealand hops, freshly harvested Somerset apple juice and wild yeast added to the mix. However, we like to take things just that bit further (it’s the Wild way!) — once bottled the beer undergoes a secondary fermentation with champagne yeast, giving it a brisk spritziness on the tongue. Serve chilled in a champagne flute to allow the bouquet of playfully aromatic notes to be fully appreciated. Take a sip to enjoy a further cascade of striking and sensuous flavours alongside the carefree champagne-like spritziness. The long, dry finish is both refreshing and complex."

Own Opinion
Sight: Once you finally get through the wax cover (a real pain in the arse), you are greeted by a lively beast of a beer! Pours out a hazy yellow beer with a great thick white head.

Aroma: Citrus hops pop straight away for me, definitely orange, passion fruit and melon. There is also a heavy hint of yeast and malt in there too. Smells great.

Taste: Apples. My brain is telling me I'm drinking a cider. There are peppery notes, apples and yeast which lead to a tart dry finish. And somehow I've lost the bubbles, must of escaped into the head, which is still going strong.

Would I buy it again? No.

Sadly for me this Wild Beer Co beverage is going on the ignore list. I found the flavour profile, to be all wrong for me. To much like a cider than a beer, which normally wouldn't be a problem but I didn't even want to even finish it. I fear I am most likely missing the point of Ninkasi and most likely not their target audience. If that is case drop me a comment below and explain what I'm missing.

It was great to find and try out a beer like this, but I would not buy it again. Thanks for checking out the review. Remember to click on the follower button to stay up to date with my nerdy life.

Comic Review 10 // Judge Dredd Complete Case Files 02 (Part 02)

Hey John here with part two of the Complete Case Files 2. If you missed the first part just follow this link. I've chosen to make this a two part edition because this book contains two sagas. The First was called "The Cursed Earth'' and this one is known as "The Day the Law Died". As you will come to see it shows how corrupt the Justice System can be and of course only Dredd can save the day. So I hope you enjoy.

Warning Spoiler Heavy!

The Day the Law Died

Story: Crime and Punishment- Dredd faces the Council of Five, his crime Murder! Having only just returned from the Cursed Earth, it seems like Dredd can't stay out of trouble for long.
Highlight: Judge Cal- Main villain for this epic saga, but he is so cool. Deputy Chief Judge and Head of the SJS, Judge Cal holds a lot of power within the Justice system and is rightly feared by a lot of Judges.

Story: Outlaw- Dredd has been found guilty of murder, his sentence 20 years on the Titan Penal Colony. Left with no choice Dredd hi-jacks his transport and attempts to escape and prove his innocence.
Highlight: The idea of Titan. A colony for only the scariest scum. To be able to live/work there you have to suffer a painful reconstruction of your face. Nose and lungs replaced with machines to help aid the criminal breath.

Story: Bring me the head of Judge Dredd- With Dredd on the loose, Judge Cal attempts to capture Dredd with a robot. The same robot Cal used to frame Dredd in the first place. After a showdown takes place, Dredd uses the robot to clear his name. Not knowing it was Cal you framed him.
Highlight: Max Normal Daddy-o! The Pinstripe freak is back and he is helping out Dredd.

Story: The Day the Law Died- The title piece story. Chief Judge Goodman is ambushed and stabbed multiple times, by the time Dredd arrives the old man is on deaths door. Goodman's last act is to hand Dredd an badge torn from the attackers, all it says is "SJS". Dredd also comes under attack be an assassin and is shot in the head, left for dead.
Highlight: Judge Quincy- Having somehow lost a button on his uniform (see above); Judge Quincy is forced to strip to his boxers by Chief Judge Cal. Cal sentences Quincy for breaking the dress code and forces him to carry out his duties like this for the rest of the series!

Story: The Tyrant's Grip- With Goodman dead, Cal tightens his grip on the city. Introducing news laws and a death penalty for speaking out against him. Dredd still recovering from his injuries is left facing the barrel of Cal's gun. As he faces death, only the quick thinking of Judge Giant can save him.
Highlight: Deputy Judge Fish- Having become Chief Judge, Cal has to chose his replacement. So who better than his pet Goldfish!

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd and Giant are on the run, with no where go their options are limited. But in their new hideout, help is on hand as the Academy of Law tutors join Dredd's side. Lead by the one eyed Judge Griffin.
Back at Justice Central, SJS Solcum comes up with a plan to save his officers from Cal's wrath but will it work?
Highlight: Judge Glass and Percy- Forced to dress in young girls clothes as punishment for let Dredd escape.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Cal's reign of terror continues with more crimes becoming punishable by death. The citizens fearing the new system, attempt to protest the Cal's rule. Cal answers their protest by brutally ending the protest through the use of SJS riot Squads. Dredd and the tutors seeing that the city is on the point of rebellion, decide to storm a broadcast station in an attempt to inspire the city to rise up against Cal.
Highlight: The SJS- A menacing arm of the Law. Decked out in pure black with a Silver eagle and skull motifs. These guys personify fear and are brutal when carrying out orders.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd with the aid of the Tutors has stormed a broadcast tower and is inspiring MC-1 to rise up against the SJS and Cal. Knowing ultimately that if the citizens are to storm Justice Central they need weapons, Dredd and Giant mount a daring raid on the Department Armory.
Highlight: Judge Cal sentences the City to Death, whilst having a bath :)

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd has Cal surrounded at Justice Central and is demanding his surrender. But it seems Cal won't be surrendering just let as he has one more card to play. Using alien mercs, Cal successfully beats the revolt and chases Dredd off. Now back in control of the city, Cal continues with his plan to execute the citizens starting with Aaron A, Aardvark.
Highlight: Kleggs- A race of reptilian Mercenaries. Lead by Grampus these cold blooded killers fight for the joy of killing and expect payment in meat!

Story: The Day the Law Died- The executions have begun! Citizens are dieing in their thousands, under the watchful gaze of the Kleggs. Dredd is left with no choice but to kidnap Judge Slocum and attempt to trick Cal into abandoning the executions.
Highlight: The death of Judge Fish. Using Cal's superstitions against him, Dredd has Judge Fish killed and frames it to look like natural causes. The time of death coincides with the first executions, making Cal believe they are linked. After stopping the executions Cal holds a massive state funeral to mark the passing of Duty Chief Fish.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Citizens have had enough of Cal's rule. Unable to revolt up against him they are left with no choice but to abandon MC-1 all together and risk the Cursed Earth! Fearing the lose of the citizens, Cal orders the Klegg's to force the exodus back into the city. With a corner population Cal decrees that a wall should be built to trap the citizens in.
Highlight: Following on from Deputy Judge Fish's death, Cal promotes the leader of the Kleggs: Grampus to the rank of Duty Judge.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd's days are numbered. Having finally annoyed Chief Judge Cal enough, Duty Grampus sends out kill teams to hunt down Dredd, Giant and the tutors.
Highlight: Klegg hounds- A weird mix of crocodile and bloodhound, these weird creatures lead the Klegg's to Dredd's base.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Completely surrounded and outnumbered Dredd and the tutors prepare to sell their lives dearly. But Giant is ready to give up let and has an escape plan.
Highlight: Klegg's war chant- Slicey Slicey, Oncey Twicey, Claw and Fang'll, Kill Dredd Nicely!


Story: The Day the Law Died- Following their escape attempt, Dredd and the survivors plunge from the destroyed road and smash straight through into the abandon undercity. Having declared Dredd dead Cal continues his rein of insanity. But it seems Judge Slocum and a few SJS judges have had enough.
Highlight: The Big Smelly- The heavily polluted Ohio River that runs under MC-1. Smells so bad that it can kill and believed by many to be un-survivable.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd and the tutors have washed up on the Banks of the Big Smelly, only to find themselves confronted by the locals. Whilst in the City Cal has declared happiness a crime and the sentence is Death!
Highlight: Fergee- King of the Big Smelly, Fergee is a simple man with a baseball bat and a horde of flies. Unfortunately for Dredd and Giant he has also has a dislike for them.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd faces off against Fergee: King of the Big Smelly. Following a brutal fist fight that ends with Fergee falling into the Big Smelly, Dredd finds himself a new smelly ally and holds a funeral for his fallen allies.
Highlight: Judge Cal holding auditions for a tv show to celebrate his life. He chooses a midget to play Dredd before sentencing the other actors to death.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Hiding out in Fergee's palace, Dredd and the team finally work out how Cal manipulated the entire Justice Force- Cal is using the Dream Machines to hypnotize the Judges.They formulate a plan and with the help of Fergee head back into MC-1.
Highlight: Fergee attempts to capture the annoying flies that follow him, by casting a net over himself. The flies flee the trap leaving poor Fergee in a tangled mess.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd and Fergee have made it back into MC-1. If they are to take down Cal, they first need help from a old friend. Sadly for Dredd Walter the Wobot has become a servant to some Kleggs.
Highlight: Dredd promotes Fergee to Judge!


Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd and Fergee rescue poor Walter from the Kleggs and hatch a plan to get close to Cal. But can Walter pull it off?
Highlight: A pretty straight forward filler story, no real highlight apart from the progression of the story.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Walter has convinced Cal that he hates Dredd and gets made a Judge. But as soon as he is alone, Walter begins his real mission: To un-hypnotize the Judges!
Highlight: Cal worried about Judge Slocum's worry lines, has Slocum medically paralyzed and pickled in a giant jar.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Cal's wall is nearing completion, but his own mental illness is worsting too. With the voices in his head worsting Cal decides it time for him and the city to die!
Highlight: Fergee gets his first letter and is so happy about it.

Story: The Day the Law Died- As the countdown to the City death continues, Dredd and his rebel team manage to infiltrate the Halls of Justice and undo Cal's hold on the Judges. As their numbers grow, Dredd leads a final attack on Cal, Grampus and the Kleggs, but are they too late?
Highlight: The Death of Grampus is actually a low point for the tale. Considering he was main villain and led his Klegg's in the killing of hundreds, his final scenes seemed lack luster. Grampus surrendered without a fight and was killed by bike cannon fire. Very disappointing.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Finale. As Dredd and his team storm the statue of Justice, Cal stands poised to push the dooms day button. Who will save the city?
Highlight: The death of Cal. With Dredd and the team captured and Fergee bleeding out it seemed like nothing to could stop Cal's madness. But luckily for the city Fergee is a stubborn man and refuses to lose a fight. Dragging himself to his feet Fergee springs on Cal and jumps off the Statue of Justice, taking Cal and 8 corrupt Judges with him! The outsider has saved MC-1.

Story: Aftermath- A short 2 page strip showcasing what happened in MC-1 after Cal's fall. First up the Kleggs are hunted down and destroyed by the now freed Judges. The damaged city is rebuilt, whilst under Dredd's direct orders statues are erected of Fergee: King of the Big Smelly and finally a new chief Judge is assigned: Judge Tutor Griffin becomes Chief Judge and Judge Tutor Pepper becomes his deputy. Dredd also pulls out a classic line 'My place is where it has always been, on the streets', cue walk off into the sunset.
Highlight: The recognition of Fergee's role in saving the city and the statues erected in his honor (side note may try to make one as terrain for JDMG).

Story: Punks Rule- Following the reign of Cal, some parts of the city are left under the rule of vicious gangs. One such area is Southside Sector 41; home to the Cosmic Punks lead by Gestapo Bob.
Highlight: Dredd single-handedly takes out the gang as an example to other law breakers. For their crimes the Cosmic Punks get their Citizenship revoked and are exiled to the Cursed Earth for 10 years.

Story: The Exo-men- Bank robbers using exo-skeletons design to aid in demolition lead Dredd on a merry chase through the sector. But whilst Dredd is distracted two members of the Citizens' Committee for Compassion for Criminals (CCCC) get involved and Mrs Marjory Blackshack gets kidnapped!
Highlight: The Exo-suits- Though they slow down the users speed, they increase their strength by tenfold allowing their wearers to rip open safes and wield wrecking balls like maces!

Story: The Exo-men Part 2- Mrs. Marjory Blackshack has been kidnapped and only Dredd can save her.
Highlight: The Kidnapper halfing his asking price just to get rid of her!

Story: The D.N.A man part 1- Dr Milton D. Frankenstein is working on the key life. Using his research he manages to clone himself, but the test ultimately fails and he is left with a sub-par clone of himself. Then when Frankenstein's lab assistant attempts to kill the DNA man, the pair over come the lab assistant killing him and dumping his body.
Highlight: Though it was a Dredd light story it seems to have a lot of potential. Will be interesting to see if it's a complete Frankenstein rip off.

Story: The D.N.A man part 2- Dr. Frankenstein's attempts at cloning seem to be getting worst! With 5 more failed attempts and Dredd sniffing around over the dead Lab assistant, Dr. Frankenstein feels trapped and sends his clones off to kill Dredd.
Highlight: Walter the Wobot bossing poor Maria about and being his normal pain in the arse self.

Story: The D.N.A man part 3- Dredd has beaten the DNA hit squad and is now hot on the trail of Dr. Frankenstien and Dennis, but can he catch them in time before they leave the city.
Highlight: Dennis- the first DNA man. Complete rip off of the monster from Frankenstein and ultimately kills himself and Dr. Frankenstein by throwing himself off the bridge.

And here ends the book. Wow what a long article, if your still here reading this then thank you! I hope you now understand why it had to be split into two. The second Epic 'The Day the Law Died' was a great read but seemed rushed at times which was a real shame. Especially how some of characters died, they could have added a few more pages in to do it all justice. Overall tho this part of the book seemed to run on the theme of taking from pre-existing literature ie. Cal is Nero/ Dr. Frankenstein and Denis is Frankenstien's Monster.

Hugely enjoyable and a good follow up to the Cursed Earth Tale. So I'm giving it a four Dredd Rating.


Sector 102 // Restricted Tek File- Lawmaster MKIII

First up just want to say this was shamelessly taken from Mongoose Publishing and if they are unhappy please contact me and I will remove. I will be posting a few of their articles mainly to allow me quicker access to the info. They no longer hold the rights to these so I don't see the harm in using them.

Lawmaster MKIII
As much a signal of the Judges’ ultimate authority as their uniform or Lawgiver firearm, the MkIII Lawmaster bike is a high adaptable vehicle. Heavily armoured to endure a great deal of punishment, heavily armed to destroy almost any other vehicle on the street and yet still fast enough to pursue any perp, the Lawmaster is perhaps the ultimate crime-fighting tool after a Judge himself.

The Mk III Lawmaster bears a Cyclops Phylon TX Laser Cannon and twin bike cannon as standard armaments, together with a holster for an auxiliary scattergun. The on-board bike computer is a multi-functional device that allows a Judge to access any Justice Department resource quickly and easily, while also possessing the capability, through the use of gyroscopic stabilisation, to actually drive the bike without a Judge on board, and even fire its weapons! Even the patented Firerock tyres are a triumph of design, for they are able to maintain a strong grip at all speeds, in all conditions, and yet are completely bullet-proof. Two storage pods slung either side of the rear wheel permit a Judge to carry a great deal of equipment with him at all times, but the Notron 4000 cc V8 KT23 engine can propel this heavily laden machine to speeds well in excess of three hundred miles per hour.

Engine

The Lawmaster’s Notron 4000cc V8 engine with ASB quad carburettors is the power behind the Lawmaster and generates enough energy to run virtually all the bike’s functions. The powerplant runs on Justice Department, special formula, non-explosive, minimal emissions, synthidiesel and a Judge can gain an entire shift’s patrol from a single tank. The fuel tank and engine are both protected by 12mm plastisteel plate.

Bike Cannon

Based on the heavy duty street cannon of other Justice Department vehicles such as the Pat-Wagon, the Lawmaster’s bike cannon are lethal weapons, fully capable of bringing a stop to the largest vehicle with ease. The two cannon, mounted below the fairing of the Lawmaster, are twin-linked. Each bike cannon stores 30 rounds within its magazine.

Bike Cannon Flare Round
Fired from the Lawmaster’s bike cannon, the flare round is used primarily to launch visual distress calls, though it has the secondary benefit of instantly illuminating any darkened space. Each bike cannon stores a single flare round within its firing mechanism, which may be launched on manual or verbal command, though as the bike cannon are twin-linked, both flare rounds must be launched at the same time. Flares will illuminate a circular area of 30 metres and last for 1 minute.







Bike Computer

The Synitron GK13 auto-pilot computer forms the heart of the Lawmaster, and is responsible for keeping a Judge on his bike and active, even in the most adverse of conditions. In order to achieve this, the bike computer’s gyro logic units make the entire vehicle both light to control and yet very stable as they constantly make corrections to the bike’s speed and position on the road. The bike computer is sophisticated enough to control the Lawmaster without a Judge’s input altogether. Linked into the Likron GS 4T telecommunications unit, the bike computer is also capable of connecting its Judge with virtually any resource of the Justice Department quickly and easily, with the minimum of interaction from the Judge himself. The Likron GS 4T has a maximum range of well over 160 miles. Just like the Lawgiver, the bike computer can accept verbal commands from its Judge, and relay information either verbally or on its high-resolution screen. The bike computer combines an automatic target acquisition system with fire control, allowing it to fire the Lawmaster’s weapons, also without intervention from the Judge.

Cable Winch

Mounted under the rear fairing just behind the wheel, is a Tikkra TT cable winch with 20 yards of line. Fully motorised, the cable is stressed for weights of over one ton, though the Lawmaster can realistically pull only half of this before losing stability.

Cyclops Laser Cannon

Generally considered to be the most powerful weapon, shot-for-shot, a Judge on the streets has at his disposal, the Cyclops laser cannon, centre-line mounted on the Lawmaster’s front fairing, is capable of punching through over a foot of armoured plastisteel plating. However, it draws an incredible amount of energy from the Lawmaster’s own power plant with each shot and takes a long time to recharge between each shot, making it a weapon to be used only in the most dire of circumstances. When used on a Lawmaster, a Cyclops laser will take a full minute to recharge its over-sized capacitors before being able to fire again.

Headlamps

The Lawmaster has a very distinctive front end, dominated by a large plastisteel eagle and its array of five headlamps. The main headlamp is perched between the handlebars and, at full power, is capable of illuminating targets over a mile away. The secondary headlamps are automatically switched on by the bike computer when travelling through smoke or fog, or when the Judge requires as much light as possible

Code 99 Red Emergency Call
Mounted behind the bike computer on every Lawmaster is a quick release emergency button. Upon activation, this will send out a Priority One (Code 99 Red) Judge in Distress call to every Justice Department unit within 5 miles.

Siren
All Lawmasters carry a high-powered siren to alert citizens of a Judge in hot pursuit of a perp. The maximum power setting of a Lawmaster’s siren is deafening, having a clear range of about a mile, though this is of little discomfort to a Judge wearing his helmet. Senior Judges are sometimes permitted to alter the tone and frequency of their sirens so as to create a distinctive sound, allowing perps to know just who is tracking them down.

Armoured Saddle
The saddle is fitted with 12mm plastisteel armour, and made from memory foam, which contours to the Judge’s frame and offers maximum comfort for the long hours spent on patrol.

Scattergun
Holstered on the side of the fuel tank, this shotgun-like back-up weapon is pump-action and fires either standard 12-gauge plastisteel shot, plasteen baton rounds or stumm gas rounds. The Scattergun can hold up to 12 rounds in its magazine and different rounds can be mixed in the same magazine or individually loaded into the breech.

Well hope you enjoyed this? Drop me a comment below and let me know.

Book Review 08 // 2000 AD Sweet Justice various Authors

Welcome back for another Bookshelf review. Today we are reviewing Sweet Justice, a collection of Short Stories from the 2000 AD archives (ebook).

Background

This is an e-book from the local library, so I won't discuss price or quality of the print etc as it didn't cost me anything. The book itself contains nine short stories from 2000 AD and Judge Dredd annuals. The cover for the e-book is drawn by Barry Kitson, showing us Judge Anderson from her Debbie Harry days, riding a Lawmaster. The cover is in black and white, gives nothing away about what the stories might be about. I actually found this book by random and due to this I found no commercial blurb before reading.

Review

The e-book includes 9 Stories, each will be reviewed separately just like the comic reviews to make life easy.


Judge Anderson: The Scream by Peter Milligan, Judge Dredd Annual 1987.

Story kicks off with Anderson having a nightmare psychic flash. The city is smothered by fear as the Alphabet killer is on lose. Racking up a body count of large proportions. How is Anderson's visions linked to the case?

The story progressed well and quickly. Had a few twists to keep it interesting and was a great quick read.  3/5

Diary of a Mad Citizen by Alan Grant, 2000 AD Annual 1986.

This is a great little story into the life of a Citizen. As the story progresses we see how the day to day problems, affect the writer. And soon we are joining him down the rabbit hole and experiencing his Future Shock disorder.

Stories like this are great as we get to experience MC-1 from a different view. I would love to read more like this. 4/5

Judge Anderson: Exorcise Duty by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Judge Dredd Annual 1991

Judge Anderson is with some new recruits on the Spook squad (specialized team of PSI Judges). An earlier adventure is retold, to explain why Judge Anderson is visiting a locked away perp. A sad tale that shows off just how human Anderson still is. It shows how her choices effect her and how she attempts to make amends. 4/5

I Was a Teenage Perp!  By Alan Grant, Judge Dredd Annual 1983.

This must of been the prequel to Diary of a Mad Citizen. Once again taking a view point of a citizen, this time a fourteen year old. The story revolves around how he lost his temper and ended up in the Juve Cubes. I found it to be funny and fast paced. It really helps to flesh-out what a better off block is like and how one action can change your life forever. 4/5

Judge Hershey: Sweet Justice by Neil Gaiman, Judge Dredd Annual 1988

The title of the book, so I hope it's good! The tale follows Judge Hershey as she tracks down Sugar dealer Clute. Un-beknown to Clute his sugar is bad and is killing his users. As the bodies pile up, Hershey tracks Clute to Brit-Cit and soon we are treated to a trip to Brit-Cit. Visiting locations like Scotland Yard, Hyde Park Car Park and speakers corner. Overall a great story that held my interest the entire way. Brit-Cit and their Judges are some of my favourites. The story was quick and I feel would make a great comic too. This has made me wonder why Hershey never got her own strip, maybe a memories/flash back strip, now that she's Chief Judge. 5/5

Judge Anderson: Dear Dairy by Peter Milligan, 2000 AD Annual 1988

A week in Anderson's shoes. The dairy is a funny tale to read, due to Anderson's pre-cog abilities. She would see the day before it happened and then describe what actually happened the next day. In all a fun story, but for me it lacked any really focus or punch. 2/5

Radical Cheek by Peter Milligan, Law in Order: Judge Dredd Annual 1990

The first line of this tale lets me know it's going to be a winner. Max Normal- The King of Kool, the Chap with the rap a.k.a my favourite Judge Dredd character ever! Not sue if it's the pinstripe suit, the pencil moustache or the bowler hat, but this is one cool character. Set during the height of Max's fame, our hero has a chain of stores selling his style to the kids of MC-1. But some Normals (Max's fashion followers) are robbing banks and spoiling the fun for everyone. So it's up to Max to solve the case before Dredd bands flared trousers for life! 5/5

Judge Anderson: The Most Dangerous Game by Mark Millar, Judge Dredd Yearbook 1992

Wow. I haven't got much to say on this story. It was bad, it felt forced, it read slow (if that makes sense) and it was uninteresting. Based solely on something that must have popular in the early 90's, this story just seems like a waste of paper. It made it seem like there is a block that even Dredd wouldn't enter, which would never happen. And also brought in the idea that C-list celebrities have been cloned too. Bad, bad, bad. 0/5

Roll on Justice by Ian Rimmer, Judge Dredd Annual 1990

A nice fun story to finish the book on. What happens, when a young mechanic with a love for Lawmasters, finally gets a chance to work on one? The greatest joy ride of his life. The story moved at comfortable speed and the character was very likeable, making it easy to put yourself in his shoes and understand why he did it. The ending was classic 2000 AD. Leaving me with a great parting image of mechanic. Overall nice read. 3/5

Final Thoughts

Well there we have it Sweet Justice; short stories from the World of Dredd. I have to say for the most part it was an enjoyable read. But I would comment that you need to be a fan of Dredd, to understand the humor and setting. It was great to have no real Dredd focused stories, with him playing more of a support role instead. It was also a good way to flesh out settings and even get a view from the perps side. Definitely worth reading but glad I didn't buy. 

It contained nine stories in total, that I rated out of five. So out of the maximum Forty-five points it scored Thirty. So not bad, go check out your local library for more Dredd.

30 out of 45 or 3.3 out of 5


Until next time Dredd Heads, here is a Max Normal pic



Brew Review 22 // Death Valley by Brasseurs RJ


Welcome back to another review. This is a beer I reviewed last year, I'm finally sorting through my older pictures and tasting notes. Hailing from Quebec, this beer is by Brasseurs RJ and is called Death Valley. The label really inspires images of Death Valley and has a creepy ass Vulture taking center stage. I fear this vulture is about to leap off the branch and eat my liver. I also like the theater of this beer with it's caged cork. 

Details

Name: Death Valley
Style: Imperial IPA
Brewery: Brasseurs RJ
Country: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Price: $5.60 CAD 750ml
ABV: 8%

Commercial Fluff:
"Hop lovers, rejoice! Here is Death Valley, an unfiltered dry-hopped ale with three varieties of hops: Bravo, Saaz and Amarillo. A celebration for your taste buds!"

Own Opinion

Sight: Pours a cloudy golden yellow in colour. Settling with a thick looking white head.
Aroma: Good bold citrus aroma hit you straight away, followed by spicy pepper notes which I can only assume is from the Saaz hops.
Taste: A strong bitter orange strikes straight away. There is also a slight peppery sting-heat on the tongue. The bitterness does linger afterwards.
Would I buy it again? Most likely no. It was easy and fun drinking but it lacked a come back draw for me. Having shared it with @nonabakes we both agreed it was a great representation of an Imperial IPA. The Saaz really brings some character to this beer, reminding me of some German/Czech beers I've have tried over the years.

So have you tried this? Would love to hear your thoughts on this beer, so drop me a comment below. Thanks!

Sector 102 // Character Fact Files- Chapman Pincher

Welcome to my first own Sector 102 Character Fact File. Before I get into my lore about the character I wanted to talk about the model. It was produced in 1985 by Games Workshop to go ago side their Judge Dredd Role Playing game. Apart from being given the name "Chapman Pincher", I struggled to find any other links to a 2000 AD story line. So who is this Chapman Pincher and where did he come from? If you have more info on this character please share with me by dropping a comment below. The only link I could find to him was the Chapman Pincher Block that appears in the block wars story arc so I believe this model is meant to represent one of the block's residents?

So I'm making up my own fluff for the model so here goes.

++ Attention all Judges ++
++ Chapman Pincher the Ghoul seen near waterfront of Sector 102. Approach with caution, wanted in the connection with a brutal murders and links to cannibalism ++

Not much is known about Chapman Pincher or his past. This could be down to two reasons.

  1.  Chapman is an illegal immigrant from the Cursed Earth, possibly sneaked in on boat through the lower city waterfronts. Though the lack of noticeable genetic mutation suggests it's not this. 
  2. Chapman is from the Undercity, this is possibly more likely due to Chapman's preference for night time killings. Some suggest he escaped during the Block Wars and fled to the Undercity still inflicted with Block Mania and has now finally returned (ref. Chapman Pincher Block).

Where ever he is from Chapman is trouble. First spotted by spy cameras, looting victims bodies following the last Water Rats gang fight. It is possible Chapman was just taking the opportunity of the violence or maybe he's a perp for hire. Either way Chapman has since gone on to murder and rob five more perps and citizens. Worst yet he seems to be eating the ears of victims. Extremely dangerous and unhinged Chapman is to be approached with extreme caution.

Rules for JDMG

Chapman Pincher

Merc for Hire: Citi-Def (undercity guide), Street Gang (hanger on), Ape Gang (hanger on), Mobster (hanger on), Fatties (food savager), Cursed Earth Desperado's (Mega-City Guide), Apoc War Resistance Unit (Block Mania inflicted), Zombie Horde (just blends in).

Credits: 25

Type: Infantry Minion
Move: 5"
Agility: +0
Shoot: +0
Melee: +0
Melee Dice: 2D
Will: +0
Armour: +0
Hits: 1
Weapons: Club (Dam: 1 AP: 0 Smasher)

Review

Ultimately a weak character, Chapman is good for just filling out on some extra bodies. Use him to support you guys as shield and add weight of numbers if you can get him into combat. Chapman has had a sad life that can only end quickly now that he is on the Streets of MC-1.

As always drop me a comment below and let me if you it or not and if you find out anymore info on him let me know.

Brew Review 21 // Tom Green Milk Stout by Beaus


It's got to be beer o'clock time somewhere! So with that in mind let's get on with a beer review. With Craft Beers or Independent Brewery Beers gaining such popularity, it should come as no surprise that bands and celebrities want to embrace the movement. Sometimes it can produce great results like this beer I'm about review, whilst other times it's a a bit meh... Looking at you Iron Maiden (FOR SHAME!). Though that beer is a topic for another time. For today's review we explore a collaboration beer between a local Ontario brewery and a local Ottawa celebrity: The Tom Green Milk Stout.

For those who may not of heard him Tom Green is a Canadian actor, rapper (hahaha), writer, comedian, producer, director, talk show host, and media personality. He was once married to Drew Barrymore and has starred in a lot of comedy films. He is local here in Ottawa and is big fan of the local craft scene and has helped Beaus on numerous occasions with festivals and shows.

As you can see from the label it's all about Tom Green. With his face dominating the label and it definitely helps the bottle to stand out on the shelf.

Details

Name: Tom Green Beer
Style: Milk Stout
Brewery: Beaus All Natural Brewing Co.
Country: Ontario, Canada.
Price: $5.25 CAD 600ml Bottle
ABV: 5%

Commercial Fluff:
"Milk Stout collaboration with actor Tom Green.
This is The Tom Green Beer It's not Tom The Green Beer This is my favorite beer Because it is my beer.
Opaque, dark brown colour with thick foam; intense aromas of roasted malt, espresso bean and chocolate; full bodied, good carbonation and resonating roasted flavours from the nose that linger on to the long finish."

Own Opinion

Sight: Pours a rich deep chocolate colour, with a thin tan head. Looks delicious, the sort of beer I would drink all day.
Aroma: Exactly what you would expect from a Milk Stout. Roasty aromas with some sweet milk chocolate notes. Smells sweet but the roasted aromas really help balance it.
Taste: Creamy milk chocolate mouth-feel, coats the tongue nicely like whole milk. It has a slight hint of coffee and a solid finishing taste of roasted malts.
Would I buy it again? Yes.

Overview

Once again Beaus have produced a solid beer (have let to have a bad one). It looks great and standout on the shelf, pours beautifully and has a great taste and aroma. I would like it to have a bit more body though. Would also be interesting to see what it would taste like if barreled aged. Maybe I should shoot an email off to Beaus about it.

So what are thoughts on this beer, get in contact and let me know.

Craftworld Iyanden 04 // Dire Avenger Sable Helm Shrine Part 03


John here with another Sable Helm Dire Avenger Shrine update. I've finished the five metal 2nd Edition Avengers, After painting these I really appreciate the plastic ones more now. As far as painting goes I went for a basic tabletop scheme.

Exarch Teal'c and unit one.
I really like the scheme as they standout against the guardians. Just need to get some Falcons now! Here are some photographs of the models separately.


Then some group shots.

 And finally the bases.

Well hope you've enjoyed and thanks for looking. I hope you like them and if you do drop me a comment below.

Meg Review 201 // 2000 AD Judge Dredd Megazine 201


Welcome friends to the first Megazine review. This section of the blog will just be looking into the monthly magazines. As my regular readers must know by now, I am a big Dredd fan. I enjoy all things Dredd related, so it was truly only a matter of time before I start back up with the Megazines. Why 201? It's the earliest one I can get on the 2000 AD app, originally published in January 2003, so let us go back 13 years and relive some great tales:

The Cover

The cover for 201 is drawn by the talented Chris Bylthe and shows Judge Dredd in his usual stern pose, whilst in the background we have Devlin Waugh the cheeky, lovable fan favourite rogue. When I first saw this imagine, I assumed we are getting a Devlin/Dredd crossover. Sadly I was wrongly mistaken. What we do get is a Devlin heavy meg, involving a new Devlin short story, comic and an article. 


The Meg

So for those new to the Judge Dredd Meg here is a quick lowdown. It's a spin off from 2000AD and the idea behind the original meg was to allow for more exploration of the Dredd universe. So most if not all stories hail from that theme. You normally get two Dredd tales at least and then the rest can be from anywhere. In Meg 201 for example we get two Dredd comic strips 'Phartz!' and 'War Crimes', along with a written tale called 'A Nativity Tale'. We a get a single strip about Kleggs (an alien merc race from Dredd), a comic and story involving Devlin Waugh (hailing from futuristic Vatican City) and also a comic set in the near future city of Odysseus (not sure if it will link into Dreddverse or not let).

The Stories
    Judge Dredd- Phartz!- Script: John Wagner. Art: Carlos Ezquerra

    This is a comical tale produced by the original creators. The story follows a bunch of gas based aliens, who have took control of the MC-1 Aeroball squad. Their mission is to use the hosts as a means to smuggle themselves into Mega City One, in search of their missing queen. There is a side effect of the process though and that is a sulfurous fart smell.

    Overall a very light hearted tale, showing off the more comical side of life in the Big Meg.

    The Kleggs- Script: Ian Edginton. Art: Mike Collins

    Last seen during the 'Day the Law Died' saga. Kleggs are a mercenary humanoid crocodile race (yep you read correctly). Who work for meat and the enjoyment of the fight. This tale opens up on a Klegg Warfleet attacking an alien library in the Byblios system. Their mission is to find out the location of a planet destroying weapon. During this one off tale, we get introduced to the internal power struggle of Klegg families and just how silly and clumsy kleggs really are.

    Tho it is another comical tale, I really liked reading about the Kleggs again and I hope the characters introduced in this tale come back again.

      Dredd A Nativity Tale- Short Story Written by Gordon Rennie. Illustrations by Adrian Salmon.

      A Christmas Tale of hope and joy starring Dredd (strange sentence to write). With most of the meg settling down for Christmas day, we join a young pregnant couple as they attempt to leave Sector 502 for good. Only problem is Sector 502 is separated from the main city and so they have to travel across 'The Link' (think crazy big multi lane highway). This is when things take a turn for the worst as their car breaks down midway. Add to this a jailbreak, a punishing radstorm and the onset of birth and this poor couple are in real trouble. Lucky for them Dredd arrives on scene.

      A really nicely tale, with a good tempo and a light hearted ending. Nice to see Dredd in a softer light having to rely on others to bring a newborn into the world.

      Devlin Waugh- Red Tide Prologue- Script: John Smith. Art Colin MacNeil.

      Set shortly after the Aquatraz escape. The Bahamas has set a business revolving around the hunting of the escaped Vampires. Attracting tourists from across the world to Fangland! A vampire safari resort. The tale opens with a family from Texas City wanting to bag their very own Vamp. As they board a glass bottomed boat and set sail for adventure, something stirs beneath the waves, so what could possible go wrong?

      A great intro piece for the upcoming Devlin tale. The artwork was stunning to all it lacked was Devlin himself, but I'm sure he will arrive soon. 

      Devlin Waugh- Body and Soul- Short Story by John Smith and Illustrations by Sean Phillips.

      This tale is seeming also set after Aquatraz, possibly at the same time as the above tale. The story sets us up in Cote d'Azur with a team of Undercover Brit-Cit Judges. Their objective to protect an aging film star from a crazy stalker. Only problem is this Stalker knows how to raise demons to his aid! Lucky for the star Devlin Waugh Occult specialist, is enjoying a snack at the local casino.

      Good amount of action and some humorous parts, would like to see more Devlin action this way.

      Family Part 1- Script: Rob Williams. Art: Simon Fraser

      This tale I'm not sure if it's part of the Dreddverse or not. It is definitely set in the future in a City called Odysseus (not heard mentioned before in Dredd). But there is no Judges which makes me believe it's not a part of that world. The story opens on two cops as they attempt to arrest a 'Family' member. The Family seem to be this city's version of the mob. Just as the sting is about to go down, a long thought deceased member of the family appears and blows up the warehouse!
      Later that same day we visit one of the police again, as he drinks alone at the bar. Unbeknownst to him, that he would soon end up in the arms of the daughter of Family leader.

      I like it, it seems like it might be a supernatural tale of some sort and I look forward to reading more and seeing where it goes.

      Judge Dredd War Crimes- Script: Gordon Rennie. Art: Lee Sullivan.

      After getting herself arrested for illegal literature, Dredd hears the woes of a terminally ill old lady. She believes her son was wrongly accused of being a traitor during the Sov War. Now I'm sure if Dredd feels guilt for these acts of brutality (having dealt with traitors himself) or if he can just sense that the lady is telling the truth. Either way he decides to investigate.

      Overall a heart warming tale, were Dredd attempts to right a wrong before it's too late.

      Overview

      A great read, no heavy hitting story arcs in this one. But a solid start to the new year of 2003 with most stories being light hearted or heart warming. Highlights of this comic for me have to be Phartz! and the Kleggs. Their tales had me giggling and set me up to enjoy the rest of the meg. As this is my first meg review I will try to restrain my score as I know the tales will get epic at some point, so I will give this a solid 3 out of 5.

      Craftworld Iyanden 03 // Dire Avenger Sable Helm Shrine Part 02


      John here with another update on my Dire Avengers Shrine: The Sable Helm. Now if you haven't read the earlier post go see read it HERE. So today's update is all about the bases and showing off the colour scheme on a model. So lets get started.

      Bases

      For this project I started off with 15 fleshly stripped, 25mm bases. Basically the ones that came with the models. I also had a sheet of cork tiling, broken into roughly stone shapes. PVA glue and some brown paint. The corking, pva glue and paint all came from a dollar store (costing less than $5) and I have enough supplies now for my entire army.

      As far as basing goes it's pretty straight forward:

      1. Pick pieces of cork for the bases.
      2. Stick them on the base with PVA glue.
      3. Once dried, paint them brown.
      4. Finished....for now.

      For my own project I'm going for a ruined landscape feel, either a rocky world or world of ruins (think Osgiliath). This simple basing method would also work well for concrete or lava rocks or swamp basing.

      There are the basic bases. All I need to do is finish them and stick the Dire Avengers on. As you may of noticed some are designed with a gap in the middle. These were purely built for the 2nd edition metal Avengers. The idea being I can use the tabs for extra support! I feel they work well. Just need to put some filler in to smooth them out.

      The Test Model

      So now onto the test model. I choose the Exarch as a test model, as he had the most opportunity for colours. Having now took photographs of the model, I see I need to do some more white highlighting and another highlight on the yellow plume. But I'm liking how the base looks and can see real potential.

      So what do you think? Let me know below and hopefully I can get a squad finished by tonight.

      Brew Review 20 // La Chouape Double Chat Chat


      Hey drinking buddies, today I am turning my attention to La Chouape brewery and their Double Chat Chat, Belgian style beer. For the sake of honesty this beer was chosen by my better half and you can find her on Instagram @nonabakes (she makes some amazing pies, so check her out!). Why did she pick this beer...simple it has a cat and cats make everything better.

      <<<< Our very own Chat Chat (RIP) in the background

      Details

      Name: Double Chat Chat
      Style: Belgian Dubbel
      Brewery: La Chouape
      Country: Canada, Quebec.
      Price: $3.99
      ABV: 6.7%

      Commercial Fluff:
      "Rousse and warm, this dual type of beer caresses the palate with plum and cookies on a final sweet herbs and spices."





      Own Opinion

      Sight: Dark reddish brown, with a good head on pour.
      Aroma: Sugar sweetness, raisins and dark berry aromas.
      Taste: A bit sweet for my taste, some fruit taste kind of like a Christmas cake. Has a banana/ester taste and overall quite light.
      Would I buy it again? No.

      My reasoning for the no result is that for a Belgian style dubbel, I would rather go get the real thing. Like a Rochefort 10 or Chimay. This beer just seemed to lack the body, that I would expect from a beer of this style. It was also a bit too sweet for my palette, so if you have a sweet tooth you may just like this.

      Plus side it was a very well produced beer, with a clean finish and a great look to the beer. Tho I may not have enjoyed this beer, I do look forward to trying some of their other beers.

      So what's your thoughts on this beer? Let me know in the comments below. 

      Book Review 108 // Redemption by Darius Hinks

      I'm still riding that Necromunda short story wave, and this time we reach Redemption by Darius Hinks. Now from the title alone, it is ea...