Book Review 58 // Path of the Seer by Gav Thorpe

It's weird to think my first ever book review was Path of the Warrior of by Gav Thorpe and now 57 reviews and two years later we are at Path of the Seer. If you need a quick recap of what is going on with this series head over and re read my first review (It's what I did!).

Book Details

Title: Path of the Seer

Author: Gav Thorpe

Publisher: Black Library

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 401

Commercial Fluff: The second book in the best selling Eldar series by Gav Thorpe.
The ancient eldar are a mysterious race and each devotes their life to a chosen path that will guide their actions and decide their fate. Thirianna abandons her simple existence to embark upon the mysterious Path of the Seer. She will tread a dark and dangerous road that leads her to the otherrealm of the warp, where daemons are made flesh and nightmares are manifest. For only there can she realise her psychic abilities. After unleashing her powers in battle and communing with the spirits of her craft world, Thirianna turns her skills to discerning the future amidst the myriad strands of fate. Her visions reveal a great threat descending on Alaitoc, and both the living and the dead will march to war to defend it.

Review

It's nice to be walking through the halls of Alaitoc and this holy of craftworlds. Back in 2nd to 5th edition Alaitoc was my Craftworld of choice (had a liking for rangers). So being able to explore the craftworld through Mr. Thorpe's work is truly fun. It has also added some more terms, locations and character names to the Eldar Encyclopedia (once I've typed them in).

The main highlight of this book is finally being able to explore the inner workings of the seer path. This book did not disappoint on this front, it helped me to better image the warlocks and how they inner act with the Shrines, it made the skein seem more understandable, the reasoning behind rune craft and how a seer can become trapped on the path. This alone is worth the price of admission.

Another great highlight is the fact this is set in the same time frame as the first book, so we knew a bit of the character already and understood what was going on around her. This allowed Gav the ability to grow the character more organically and not having to ram details down our throat as we due what was happening to a certain point.

Lowlights for me were very few which is great. Though I understand it is a differing view point of what is happening, I feel I would have preferred to push the timeline forward a little more. I also would have loved even more on the different psychic paths - like the bonesingers, the spiritseers, warlocks, etc. I know their must be more options and it would have been fun to learn more about this.

Ultimately Gav Thorpe once more proves why I enjoy his tales. I really must try and pick up some of his non black library books and see if I enjoy those just as much.

Until next time feel free to drop me comment below.

Comic Review 62 // Judge Dredd: The Cape and Cowl Crimes

If you hadn't notice I am hitting up a lot of Judge Dredd Graphic Novels of late. The reason being my local Library (yes I use a library still), recently received about ten graphic novels. The theme for this one is the comical portray of superheroes in the MC-1 world, so with this in mind let us jump in.

Fairly Hyperman: Judge Dredd is approached in seedy bar by a muscle bound fool, declaring himself as Fairly Hyperman. With a crazy array of fairly super powers, this would be hero starts fighting crime in MC-1, braking multiple laws as he goes and seriously pissing off Judge Dredd himself.

Highlight: Seems like the Justice department has dealt with super heroes before (or at least read some DC comics), as they seemingly have a "fairly" well stocked rare mineral supply. Allowing Judge Dredd to take down this superhero, with specially crafted bullets. Overall this is a funny tale but ultimately seems a bit of a filler piece, though very was well done.

Bat Mugger: In a future were money is hard to obtain legally, some very intelligent people will do stupid things to fund their passion. So what you are failing artist when you are incredibly skilled at mugging and bat gilding.

Highlight: This is a great Judge Dredd tale and for a while it seemed like the main villain would get away with his criminal activity. But as is always the case he gets greedy and ends up on Judge Dredd's radar. Love a good bat-glider character and this one hits it out of the park.


The Juve Mutated Kung Fu Kleggs: Orphaned during the reign of Chief Judge Cal. Four baby Kleggs are raised by a Kook (crazy man), who looks to turn these killers into a crime fighting force. Unfortunately when his way to control them breaks (it was a ballerina music box), the Kleggs revert to their killer ways and are soon lose in MC-1. Which means only one thing....lots of dead citizens.

Highlight: The theme (ie. Ninja Turtles) is of course a great highlight and the artwork by Dermot Power really helps to bring it all together. It is highly detailed, with a dark moody back drop this is a thing of beauty.

Chicken Run: When the local gang from Ozzy Osbourne block gets bored, the John Major Block geeks best beware. The gangers cover up their gang markings and go on a Chicken Run. The objective is to cause as much trouble and violence as possible before escaping and avoiding the law.

Highlight: One of the Ozzy Osbourne crew has a specially augmented jaw and chomps on the head of the batguilder. Feels like the story writer was an Ozzy fan.

Marauder: Ex-Justice Department Cadet Falcone has dropped out of the academy of law, due to an inability to follow orders, control his anger and flirting with the female Judges. Now free of the tight grip of law and back in his old hood. Falcone desires to take down the corrupt Judge who killed his mother. He will soon become known as the Marauder and manages to obtain some Hellbender Armour, the ultimate stealth and combat suit. Officially band on Earth!

Highlight: Skorps - The Wildest Street Gang in the Mega City One (according to this tale). They take their name from the Cursed Earth Rad-Scorpions that they get specially grafted on to their backs. Fusing their two minds into a single consciousness. This leads the gangers to gain an increase in violence and strength.

Codename: Weasel: A light hearted filler tale. After Judges discover one of Ex-Chief Judge McGruder's black ops sites. Dredd and a team are sent in to discover what happened at the site, instead they find the deadly and dangerous Weasel.

Highlight: Complete rip-off of the Wolverine movie. Quite comical and a worthy read.

The Adjudicators: A missing PR Judge and a ton of stolen Justice Central video recording equipment seems to be in the middle of a new vigilante group, the Adjudicators. Basically a MC-1 rip off of the Marvel Superheroes group Avengers. To make matters worst these costume freaks are making Judges popular with the citizens! Of course Judge Dredd is not a fan.

Highlight: A PR department of Judges!? Beyond Judge Pal, I did not know of this department. More investigation is needed. To Google!!

Mask of Anarchy: Sadly this tale seems like it is halfway through a bigger story? Basically an anti-mutant artist has become the next target of Anarchy, a vigilante who is trying to expose wrong doing by the rich and powerful. Wish I knew more but I really don't.

Highlight: The anti-mutant graphic novel artist is exposed as actually being a mutant! Of course this does not go down well with the anti-mutant crowd and is nearly beaten to a pulp by the enraged group.

Uncivil Partnership: Last tale. The two biggest movies of the year are releasing on the same night at the same cinema. To complicate matters the headlining stars were once romantically entwined. Now the fans have taken sides and it seems a riot is going to breakout!

Highlight: Cosplay. Love watching Judge Dredd beat up the cos-player fans. It's easy to get to wrapped up in the fandom of a film and forget something is just a movie. The artwork is so fun on this one too.

I have mixed feelings on this graphic novel, firstly it jumps all over the timeline and it feels a bit too squashed together and forced. I understand the need and theme for the book and that is great but I do feel it could have been done better. Overall a good evenings read.

Until next time Drokk heads!

Book Review 57 // Descent of Angels by Mitchel Scanlon

Pumping through these Heresy books like no ones business! It's almost scary how quick I am absorbing these books at the moment I am truly hooked. Now we are hitting a novel I have some bad reviews about but I am going in with a open mind, as it is about a popular Legion Dark Angels. I have enjoyed Gav Thorpe's 40k stories and all the mystery surrounding them. I just hope Scanlon does justice.

Book Details
Title: Descent of Angels
Author: Mitchel Scanlon
Publisher: Black Library
Type: E-book
Page Count: 416

Commercial Fluff: The next novel in the ground-breaking, bestselling series that tells the story of the Horus Heresy – the civil war that nearly tore the human Imperium apart, ten thousand years ago. This novel explores the early history of the Dark Angels Legion and their Primarch Lion El'Johnson. When news of Horus's treachery reaches Caliban, the loyalties of this proud and mysterious Legion are tested to the limit, with tragic consequences.

Review

Okay this book wasn't as bad as the reviewers made it out to be. It's definitely different from what has gone before, which could explain peoples strong opinion on this title. The first thing you need to understand is it is set prior to the previous novels. This is a creation story, a story of how the Dark Angels formed. It is also a book of two halves (a recurring set up with these novels it would seem).

The first half is all pre-imperium. We are introduced to Caliban a world that once knew technology but has since forgotten how to correctly maintain it. It is also a world that understands they came from elsewhere, they know Terra exists, they just have lost contact. This is different to most worlds of this period as many have forgotten they came from elsewhere and a lot believe they are the only world with humans on.

The planet of Caliban is something out of a King Arthur legend, rolling, deep forests, filled with monster and adventure. Isolated societies protected by Households of Knights, who themselves are viewed in a similar vein to Space Marines. Most of this part of the tale follows a young man becoming one of these knights and his progression within the order. It is also at this stage we meet Luthor and Lion El'Johnson - heroes of this era.

Then we hit part two of the book the arrival of the Imperium of Man. Now the knightly orders are forced to join the Astartes Legion, but only if they are long enough to accept the gene seed operations. Otherwise they face gene therapy or worst let get dismissed from the order. The knightly code is thrown out the window and life is turned upside down. Soon Caliban's forests are being cut down and the main characters are thrust-ed into space to wage war they nothing about 10 years prior.

It is here that division takes root. Some of the older members are unhappy with the route Lion El'Johnson is taking his knights and start looking to divided the new legion in two. Soon brother can no longer trust brother and lines are drawn.

This is actually a good read. Hard to read for sure following the earlier novels, due mainly to the change pace of pace and the fact that the early pages read like a fantasy novel. But as the divison starts to take root I find myself getting drawn in and wondering where it will take them. And who's side I would pick.

Drop me thoughts on this novel. Most people seemingly have a love hate view point on it.

Comic Review 61 // Judge Dredd Complete Case Files 10


Having jumped forward for my last few Judge Dredd reviews it felt natural to come back to my current timeline and get back into the Judge Dredd Case Files. So here we are at Case Files Number 10! No crazy life altering stories just straight up crime fighting fun with Mr. JD. Let's jump in.

The Law according to Dredd - Welcome to Radburg home to the careless consumer. A city like many to be found in the Cursed Earth, but this one is run by a mutant who has modeled himself on Judge Dredd. Here anything can be crime, but the sentence is always the same DEATH.
When the real Judge Dredd arrives on scene he is appalled to see this corrupted version of his justice system and is soon bringing everyone to Justice.

Highlight: The true highlight of this tale was the artwork and character design. I loved the muties especially spit.

Paid with Thanks - After a body falls from a city block, we get treated to flashbacks of Joe Dredd's day and the case that led to the falling body. Following his investigations Dredd finds a professional biller (some who charges strangers for writing a bill), has billed a recently deceased person and is now a victim of an unusual haunting.

Highlight: The artwork. The story is pretty weak due to it being a ghost story and I fill they can be hit and miss. I am personally a fan of Q. Twerks art so I am glad to see it once more.

The Art of Kenny Who - Kenny Who has traveled from the Caledonian zone to MC-1 looking for work. After a tough start with Judges on Border Duty, Kenny finds himself with 24 hours to convince the art company Big 1 to hire him.
After being turned down for a job Kenny is left hanging out in a bar when suddenly a Big 1 advert appears announcing a brand new art droid, conveniently drawing in Kenny Who's art style. Realizing that he has been cheated Kenny Who goes on a mad rampage with a fire axe. Now he just has to get the last train home before Dredd gets him.

Highlight: The whole tale. It is such a great read and you end up feeling for poor old Kenny, in a world of Droids what hope do you have of getting a job!?

You are Judge Dredd Spot the Perp - a sweet two page image of a standard MC-1 corner. Getting to play spot the perp is fun! Wonder why they didn't do these more often.


Russell's Inflatable Muscles - A sucker is born every minute in MC-1. When a new inflatable muscle brand enters the market you can guarantee trouble.

Highlight: The wimps are the true heroes of this tale.

The Dredd Syndrome - When an ordinary citizen commits an offence and doesn't admit it, it can lead to complete mental breakdown. The main hospital in MC-1 has a whole "Dredd" ward and we get to witness the affects first hand, and how Dredd's image has become the face of Justice.

Highlight: Bit of a filler piece so no real highlight.

Perp Aid / The Urge - Skid Mullard is a repeat offender, convicted 30 times for minor offences and has spent 12 years in total in a holding cell. Today is his last chance at freedom, commit one more crime and the Judges will lobotomize him. Lucky for Skid Perp aid is on hand to offer assistance, unlucky for Skid so is Dress.

Highlight: Bit of a harsh tale this one Skid is genuinely trying to better himself and Dredd purposely targets him and the help group. This shows the fascist side of the Justice system.

The Fists of Stan Lee - Stan Lee the best martial artist and assassin out of the Radlands of Ji, has been hired by the Fungs to deal with their rivals the Swedes. But as he is escaping he crosses paths with Dredd. Following a brief fight Stan Lee beats Dredd and escapes! Here starts a grudge match, that we now have to wait for the rematch.

Highlight: Dredd getting his arse kicked. Doesn't happen often but when it does it is a great read.

Atlantis -  Atlantis is the half way station between MC-1 and Brit-Cit. Here the two forces combine strengths in the fight against crime. This main stop between cities has grown to be quite the attraction, drawing visitors from both cities. Unfortunately whilst Dredd is there a murder is discovered. It is now up to Dredd and Gomery (Brit-Cit) to workout what is going on.

Highlight: The whole story. Artwork was stunning, but it was great to see first hand Atlantis and secondly get to witness Brit-Cit Judges in full kit and finally the different departments and how all the different Judges look.

Block Rite - An awkward tale set within the twin towers. The two blocks have felt a rising tension building, reaching a point of near block war. The rival block committees decided enough is an enough. Each block fearing a block war instead pick on member of their block to fight in a one on one fist fight. It seems to be the only way to defuse the tension and it seems Dredd agrees.

PinBoing Replay - Dredd's ex informant Max Normal has been taken prisoner at a local PinBoing stadium. It's now up to Dredd to rescue the Pinstripe Freak.

Highlight: Has to be Max Normal. I love the pinstripe loony and the fact he is always getting into trouble.

The Peeper - Watt Le Fung has a dirty secret, he's a peeper! For the last nineteen years he has peeped across the way, he has done it for so long he truly believes these people are his friends. After witnessing a murder, Dredd tracks down the peeper and drags him into the local Sector House. Here they discover Watt has been withholding over 700 arrest able offensives.

Highlight: Watt turning into a Justice Department informant. Not that he has a choice as he was facing 15 years in an ISO cube.

Attack of the 50ft women - It's Belisha Beck's birthday and her partner Frank has sent her chocolates. Unfortunately for Belisha they are actually growth hormones and after eating them all, poor Belisha is transformed into a 50 foot giant. Soon Dredd is on hand to take control.

Highlight: Dredd getting whooped (again! twice in one issue) and ending the tale head to foot in bandages.

The Dead Ringer - When the rich and powerful near death sometimes they fail to die. Some freeze themselves in hopes of a cure. Some use Stookie glands and hope to not get caught. Whilst some turn to the underworld for assistance, these desperately rich folks risk it all with a brain transplant. You just have to hope Dredd isn't on to you!

Highlight: The classic scifi/horror brains in a jar ending. Pretty obvious but that's what you need sometimes.

Phantom of the Shoppera - A local sector shoppera has an urban myth, the Phantom. A mysterious figure which most people have never seen, the Judges in true police state fashion play down the myth. That is until the Phantom kidnaps a sale rep.

Highlight - The phantom is a construction droid that has been missing for three years and gone haywire. Now in love with the human sales clerk the droid wants nothing more than to be married to his kidnapped victim.

Tomb of the Judges - Theodore Wen believes in God. But not just any God, José the insect God or was his name Steve? Either way the name doesn't matter what matters is Wen must die tonight. But before that can happen, his robot slaves must first locate three guardians to escort Wen to his god and who is better than a Judge?

Highlight- Anderson is back, if only for a sort while. The real highlight though is the artwork of Ian Gibson, just love it.

Hell's Packers - A gang equipped with hoverpacks is terrorizing a local juve club. It is up to Dredd and a specialized Justice Department squad to stamp down hard on them.

Highlight - The Flying Squad. Specifically trained for combat in air this jump pack equipped squad take no quarter and brutally deal with threats.

The Witness - Sometimes even Dredd and a a birdie can be fooled. After interrogating a witness to a murder, Dredd releases Prunella not realizing she is actually the killer. Soon Dredd is having to chase down the one person he believed was innocent.

Highlight - Believe something enough and you can even convince a Judge!

A Real Xmas Story - Lame filler Xmas tale and a really bad one at that. Let us ignore this lackluster story and move on.

Varks- Following a trip to an alien world, three Juves are infected by the Vrak. Vrak's are a vampiric creature that reproduces by over writing it's victims DNA. Soon one of these newly created beasts are lose in MC-1 and Dredd has to deal with this asap before the virus can spread to others.

Highlight- The artwork once again is the highlight. This time by Kevin O'Neill, truly great to view.

On the Superslab - The Superslab aka Megaway 500. A 12 lane super highway traversing all of MC-1 from North to South. Somewhere on this super stretch a criminal meeting of mobsters is taking place. Their goal, to end the blood shed and equally divide up the Superslab.

Highlight- The Superslab. Such a mess and so crazy I can actually imagine it happening in the states somewhere.

Slick Dickens - Slick Dickens is the smoothest, mastermind criminal out there loved by everyone. Turns out he is an imaginary character designed by author under arrested by Dredd.

Highlight - After admitting attempting all of the crimes first hand to write a more accurate tale. Judge Dredd convicts the author to another three crimes based off the books themes.

They Shoot DJs, don't they? - In the city of MC-1 most medical issues can be cured. Cuth Hartley for example suffered from headaches and black outs, now with his new implant he no longer has to worries, but why can hear a radio? Jump forward three months and poor Hartley is on a killer mission to bring down Johnny Cool.

Highlight - The idea you could never turn off the radio and it is stuck on one of the worst stations. I think any of us would flip.

The Taxidermist - Don Giovanni Lambretta has just lost his son to gang warfare. Now the mourning mobstar wants a poor old taxidermist to recreate a more heroic death for his son. Whilst the taxidermist works Don Giovanni ends up getting himself killed, leaving the Taxidermist the awful job of disposing the newly mad bodies.

Highlight - Dredd himself unknowingly destroying evidence in a public grinder for the aged Taxidermist.

The Beating Heart - Earl Lacwing local wimp has fallen unhealthy in love with Karine. Only problem is Karine loves Brad. Suffering a full mental breakdown, Earl kills Brad and cuts out his heart. Believing his rival to be defeated Earl takes the heart home with him. But why is the heart still beating!?

Highlight - Just a classic crazy killer tale. I love these as it's nothing too far fetched it's just a classic investigation tale.

The Comeback - Jaxon Prince was popstar then in 2009 he cytogenetically froze himself, leaving instructions to be awoken in 2109 and to perform a show on the same day! Sadly no one expected the brain deterioration, now barely able to hold a tune Jaxon will perform tonight but how will the crowd handle this comeback?

Highlight - Completely ripping into Micheal Jackson and Prince. Weird tale to read. Not sure how I feel. I can see it being funny when written, maybe it just hasn't aged well.

The Genie - Garfield Brose has inherited a lamp. This lamp is special for it contains a genie. For Garfield's first wish he asks for riches. Sadly in a city controlled by judges and welfare this is quickly noticed and soon Dredd joins in the action.

Highlight - Dredd wishing Garfield and the genie to serve sentences. Such a dull man is our Dredd.

The Shooting Party - From outside the rich and powerful citizens of Golum Heights live a very comfortable life. To comfortable to be honest which ultimately led to boredom. To stave of the boredom the citizens started a shooting club only problem is they hunt humans!!

Highlight - Dredd was actually undercover with a tracer, but when it fails he has to prove he is king of the jungle.

Navel Manoeuvres -Within MC-1 exists a monastery for the unseeing eye brotherhood. A cult that believes in the monks taking a vow of silence and blindness! To make matters worst they worship the great navel

Highlight - A filler piece but pretty comical. These short crazy tales do amuse me.

Night of the Ripper - A crazed time travel expert has completed a time machine and desires to bring Jack the Ripper to MC-1. Why? To discover his identity of course. Unfortunately for the scientist the Ripper does not wish to be discovered and kills his captor before fleeing into the streets.

Highlight - The attempt to explain why the ripper stopped attacking in real life. But who was he?

The Interrogation - The SJS smash into Dredd's Rowdy Yates apartment and drag him in for interrogation. Here they subject him to torture and questioning to discover what Dredd is guilty of.

Highlight - It was a scheduled random street judge test and lucky for us readers Dredd passed.

Blood Donor - Due to on going wars in the colonies MC-1 needs blood donors. So lucky citizens have been given a choice donate one pint of blood or go to the cubes. Unfortunately for our chosen citizen he hates the idea of blood giving and needles.

Highlight - In an attempt to escape, our poor cit crashes into the blood collection spilling thousands of litres onto himself and the judges.

Ten Years On - Remember Whitney and Devil Island? Nope. No surprise there neither does Dredd. This tale is exactly 10 years after Dredd issue 1. And his original prep is lose in the city looking for revenge.

Highlight - Nice return to an original tale.

What if Judges did Ads - A funny filler piece. Using multiple artists they create a very MC-1 selection of Adverts. Nice filler.

So You Want to Be A Judge - A great inside tale of how a child can choose to become a Judge and an educational video showing them the wonders of being a judge. It's truly ruthless.

Highlight - If a child or parent change their mind about joining after the video they are free to leave following a 100 cred donation to the Justice department.

And with that the case file is finished (there was one other tale but I covered that in the restricted files so I won't post it again). Overall for me this was a great casefile, the artwork was some of the best I have enjoyed so far and all the stories were short and quick reads, perfect for some one looking after a newborn.

Have you read this tale? Let me know below and remember to follow me using the links to side.

Book Review 56 // Fulgrim by Graham McNeill

If you haven't guessed by now I am currently off work due to parental leave. What this has meant is that I actually have some time to read and more importantly catch up on my blogging. I am attempting to get as much done as possible to give myself a head start into the winter period. I will also be attempting to build myself a nice little gaming/blogging/painting office, so expect blog updates on that as well. As always please hit the follow as it let's me know if I am alone!

Let us get into today's book review. I'm still lurking in the 30k verse of Black Library, reading the awe inspiring Horus Heresy Series. I am now on book 5 of about a hundred so we could be here awhile with these reviews. But we have finally hit one of my favourite titles in the series Fulgrim. Yep that is right the Emperor's Children are coming out to play.

Book Details

Title: Fulgrim
Author: Graham McNeill
Publisher: Black Library
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 512

Commercial Fluff: It is the 31st millennium, and humanity is at the peak of its powers. As the Great Crusade, led by Warmaster Horus, continues to conquer the galaxy, Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor’s Children, leads his warriors into battle against a vile alien foe. From the blood of this campaign are sown the seeds that will lead this proud Legion to treachery, taking them down the darkest of paths of corruption. Leading up to the carnage of the Dropsite Massacre on Isstvan V, this is the tale of Fulgrim's tragic fall from grace.

Review

Okay so I am once again left feeling sorrow once again for another fallen legion. This book hit some strings that is for sure. We start of the book being shown the Emperor's Children pre-fall. A near perfect fighting force, proud of their achievements but ready to achieve more. This is sadly the fault that would ultimately break them, their thirst for perfection. It is truly great to see the legion portrayed in such away as it makes their downfall more realistic and hurtful, as you can't believe these characters would devolve so much!

Like a lot of these early 30k novels the first part is slow moving. Though we are treated to some exciting pages, the whole point is to make us learn about and enjoy the main cast characters. Then the novel gains pace and you are now trapped on a rollercoaster that you know will end in a horrific crash and there is nothing you can do apart from hold on and wish it won't happen.

Highlights for me include; the characters, the creation of lifetime favourites like Fabius and Lucius, alongside tragic characters like the remembrancers. The birth of the noise marines is a horror inducing section of the novel, worthy of a Hellraiser film. And of course the story of Fulgrim and Ferrus Manus. Truly a heart breaking tale. Also some Eldar are in their which is always a plus in my readings.

Lowlights. Not many I would have liked maybe two books instead of one. Maybe a more standard building up to their fall (possibly ending with the destruction of Laer and sword), then the second being their fall from grace to the drop site Massacre. But that is really me just being picky.

If I was to ever get into the Horus Heresy game I believe I would have to go Emperor's Children. So dark, so broken, so proud and so much room to play with conversions. Great and inspiring read. 10 out of 10.

Comic Review 60 // Judge Dredd: Cold War

Welcome Dredd heads to another Judge Dredd comic review. After hitting up Titan in last review I decided to follow it up with Cold War. Why? I wanted to see what the fall out was from the Titan stories especially the fact that East Meg Two had taken a Ex-Chief Judge, so out of my own need for fulfillment I moved into these tales. Enjoy!

The Graphic Novel is broken into five tales. Get Sin the first was the follow up to titan, War Buds the second tale is a throwback piece to the Apocalypse War, Black Snow is a showcase of the West Spying on the East, Echoes is Dredd's past coming back to haunt him and Shroud is kind off his penance piece I believe. Hopefully it will all make sense at some point. I guess this is the issue with jumping a head in a story arc you miss somethings out.

Get Sin - A follow up piece to Titan. Dredd leads a crack team into the Ural Mountains of Siberia. Their mission to avenge the 500 ex-judges (prisoners) deaths on Enceladus and the kidnapping of former Chief Judge Sinfield. We are deep within enemy lines with this tale, and it is interesting to see how the nuke wars effected other territories outside of North America.

Highlight - Poor Sinfield had been tortured and hardwired into the Sov control system. PSI judge Anderson uses subfields brain to take control of the sov computer system. Using to release a psychic virus deleting files and destroying Sov software. Huge damage is done to the Sov empire.

War Buds - Wow a deep dive story here. We are rolling back the clocks to remember the Apocalypse Team (See case files 05 Part 3). The story follows the members that joined Dredd, Anderson and Hershey on a suicide mission to destroy East Meg One.

Sadly the other members of this heroic squad aren't doing so well and when one of their own is in trouble (earmarked for euthanasia) they embark on one last team mission to free him and escape into Texas City. Unfortunately for them Dredd is on this case.

Highlight - Quite a depressing tale. Even though we get a very rarely seen apology from Dredd, we still see a man who will always but the Law first.

Black Snow - A Soviet ore processing plant in Siberia has gone dark following a hostile takeover by the local tribal folk. Whilst Sov Judges are slow to react, MC-1 (who have been spying on the plant) rapidly send "assistance" with an armed task force lead by Dredd. Soon we have a three way battle with no true winners.

Highlight - The crazy paperwork Soviet judges have to comply with before an issue can be properly dealt with. It's hugely comical to read, not sure if it is based on fact?


Echoes - This story follows on from Black Snow. With Dredd's task force attempting to leave Siberia. Unfortunately for them a Sov Judge has planted a mine on the Manta Craft causing it to explode and crash in the old ruins of the nuked city East Meg One. Unfortunately for Dredd the ghosts of past aren't staying quiet.

Highlight - Reliving one of the Darkest stories of Dredd's past and discovering how he justified it to himself.

Shroud - The final piece and continuing the tale, started by Black Snow. Dredd has now been captured and is being held by Maul (who believes himself to be a manifestation of Chaos). Seemingly a Mutant/Alien who has discovered a wealthy income, but needs slaves to earn it for him.

Stupidly Maul tries to make an example of Dredd to the other slaves showing that he will be the one to break Dredd. Of course this stupid idea will not work and though trapped under a cloaked dome and heavily out numbered Dredd and the other slaves unite to over through this slave driver.

Highlight - Squidipedes - grud damn they are gross! Look like the "Them" from Fiefdom. A black carapaced multi limbed beast that can swim in frozen waters and eat a person whole!

With that we reach the end. A bit of a strange Graphic novel as they attempt to combine some of the more modern West vs East stories. I found the Sins tale a nice way to finish off Titan, I actually wonder why it wasn't included in the Titan novel (maybe a timing issue?). Then the Black Snow saga - Started off real strong, Black Snow and Echoes are great pieces. Shroud on the other hand let it down, maybe I am missing something but Shroud seemed disjointed to the other pieces. I am interested to heard if I did miss something vital, so let me know in the comments and as always thanks for reading.

Audio Drama 07 // Strontium Dogs: Down to Earth

It's felt like an age since I did an audio review, the last was back in July. I am continuing on the Big Finish audios as I really enjoy the production and of course the themes. This time it is not Judge Dredd themed but instead 2000 AD's second most popular character Johnny Alpha.

Name: Strontium Dog: Down to Earth (2000 AD Audio #3)
Author: Jonathan Clements
Cast:
Simon Pegg as Johnny Alpha, Toby Longworth as Wulf Sternhammer, Jacqueline Pearce as Elizabeth Weisser, Francis Clarke as Val the Bar Girl, Nicholas Briggs as Sick Squid, John Wadmore as Officer Jowett, Mark Donovan as Officer Tomlin, Mark McDonnell as Middenface McNulty and Patricia Merrick as Gronk.
Director: John Ainsworth
Writer: Jonathan Clements

Commercial Fluff: Times are tough for the Search/Destroy agents. With criminals in short supply, the bounty hunters compete for the left-overs. Johnny and his partner Wulf Sternhammer are down on their luck, and looking for trouble.

Sick Squid doesn't follow the bounty hunters' code. He looks after number one, even if it means ratting on a friend. When a private citizen posts a huge reward for the capture of Wulf Sternhammer, Squid turns kidnapper.

Johnny must find Squid before the trail goes cold. If he wants to save Wulf, he's going to have to break the law. He must risk his freedom… face his past… go back down to Earth!

Chronological Placement: This story takes place in 2176 AD, in the 'classic' Strontium Dog continuity.

Review

First up it has been a long time since I have read, heard or done anything with Strontium Dogs. Most of my actual experience comes from either a Middenface tale or Durham Red. I am serious contemplating the Warlord Games boxset, but before dropping to much cash I decided to read and listen to some tales to see if I liked it. Up first was this Big Finish Production Audio. I've enjoyed the Dredd cases I've heard so this seemed like a solid choice.

The tale starts off in what I believe is called the Doghouse - A place the Bounty Hunters discover new bounties and cases to work on. Whilst here the characters all talk and complain about a lack of jobs when suddenly a new bounty pops up. Looks like Wulf Sternhammer has pissed off someone and now has a bounty on his head! Suddenly Johnny Alpha and Wulf are ambushed by the collective group, whilst Johnny is distracted by the masses Wulf is attacked by Sick Squid and heads to earth with the viking Bounty Hunter.

Realizing he has been tricked Johnny Alpha is soon on Squids heels and tracks him down to Milton Keynes UK. Of course nothing goes to plan and so Johnny is in Jail. Here enters one of my favourite characters Middenface McNulty who pretends to be a lawyer and secures Johnny release. We are also reintroduced to the Gronk character and soon the team are back on Wulf's trail. 

They follow the thugs and Wulf into deepest darkest Essex. Turns out the mastermind behind the kidnapping was none other than Weisser the Splicer aka Johnny Alpha's Aunt Lizzie! Seems like Lizzie is a norm and has been connecting experiments to solve the mutant problem within Britain. She believes she can create a nano-virus that once spread would repair all the genetic damage caused by radiation in the atmosphere, all it needs is Wulf's brain and spinal column!  

Soon a fight breaks out, Wulf is freed and the bounty hunters are soon heading away from earth again very happy to escaping Britain.

I found the tale very easy to listen to and the acting and sound play was high quality as I've come to expect from Big Finish. I do wish I understood the storyline a bit more, so I am now eyeing up the collected volumes and plan to soon start reading these.

Have you read Strontium Dogs? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know below please.


Book Review 55 // The Flight of the Eisenstein by James Swallow

Well I didn't stay away for long. I am missing the hit of Warhammer and Space Marines. So what better way to get my thrills in than by enjoying the 4th book in the Horus Heresy Series the Flight of the Eisenstein.

Book Details

Title: The Flight of the Eisenstein

Author: James Swallow

Publisher: Black Library

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 416

Commercial Fluff: Having witnessed the events on Istvaan III, Deathguard Captain Garro seizes a ship and heads to Terra to warn the Emperor of Horus's treachery. But the fleeing Eisenstein is damaged by enemy fire, and becomes stranded in the warp. Can Garro and his men survive the depredations of Chaos and get his warning to Terra in time?

Review

Okay so this isn't as strong as the first three novels but that was to be expected. We can't constantly ride a wave it will have to dip now and again and this was a tiny dip. It was slow to start off as we had to view the first few books from the view of the Deathguard and what was going on with them. It was a lot of effort but definitely needed to help set up the rest of story.

Finally on the Eisenstein and now the story really hits the ground running! We get some epic space battle action happening, with great descriptions and an absorbing plot as we follow every shot fired, every movement and each deck tearing damaged report. With the ultimate flight of the ship into the warp risking the entire crew. The scenes throughout this section of the book are some of my favourites and really start to introduce the readers to the lifeforms that exist in that realm and how little they the view the human race. Then I can't really say to much without giving away plot so I will hold my tongue and head over to my final thoughts.


So how to review this tale, it is a slow burner. The momentum once it picks up causes you to not let go and you will find yourself devouring the book quite rapidly. Garro as a character is definitely and interesting one, involving a hero stuck between a rock and hard place. Do you just follow your leaders and be a good solider or do you blindly trust in your friends?

I am excited to see where the Garro character goes next, a quick look on Black Library relieves he has a lot more tales to go so maybe I will have to invest some time into listening to the audio dramas.

As always thank you for reading this. Drop a comment or hit up the follow button.

Comic Review 59 // Judge Dredd: Titan

Warning Dredd timeline anomaly detected.......

I am jumping forward in the Judge Dredd timeline with next review. I was lucky enough to get the following comic recently and decided to read it and review it. Why I hear you cry? Well the reason is I bloody enjoyed it. So let us dive in meatheads!

Title: Titan
Author: Rob Williams
Artist: Henry Flint
Page Count: 144
Commercial Fluff: THE KILLING MOOON!

On Saturn’s distant moon Titan lies the Mega-City One penal colony for exiled ex-Judges – the most corrupt, dangerous and desperate to ever once carry the badge of office.

Now the Justice Department of Mega-City One has lost contact with the Titan penal colony – a big problem considering that it houses over one thousand law-breaking ex-judges, many of which have a grudge with their old colleagues. Now Dredd, must team up with SJS Judge Gerhart – a man who holds him responsible for ‘Chaos Day’, and battle a formidable army led by one of the most dangerous ex-undercover Judge’s ever

Review

Titan was a roller coaster of a tale, which is why I love the Dreddverse. The first tale is of course Judge Dredd being sent to Saturn's moon of Titan to bring a prison revolt to end. The dangerous inmates have managed to overpower the guard force and declared themselves independent of MC-1 (Much to the embarrassment of Chief Judge Hershey). To make issues worst they are seeming lead by ex-wally Judge Nixon (see the Undercover Reviews for this amazing character). But of course Dredd could handle this alone, he needs aid. In steps a platoon of the Space Corps, trained for off world combat and believed to be some of the meanest troops out there. Long side this team we have a S.J.S member called Gerhart - who happens to have a grudge against Dredd due to Chaos Day.

Like most classic Dredd tales nothing is as it seems and it turns out this was all a massive trap to get Dredd. Soon 99% of the Space Corps are dead/dieing, Gerhart is horrifically damaged but is revealed to be mostly replacement machine parts and Dredd is captured. During his capture Dredd is continually beaten up and attacked before having his mind wiped and attacked again. Of course this doesn't last long and Gerhart against all odds is able to release and rescue Dredd. During their escape the final fatally wounded Marine activates plan b and starts setting off bombs to destroy the prison. In the ensuring choas Dredd and Gerhart escape back to MC-1, whilst the ex-prison inmates escape to the ice moon of Enceladus.

Highlight: Dredd is getting old. I am no were near these tales and I surprised at how he is viewing the world. I am excited to get this far into the tales and see what has happened to cause this.

Lowlight: Space Corps - best of the best! Dead in one panel haha.

The next tale is about the rebuilding of Titan and the lasting effects the mission has had on everyone. Dredd himself is seemingly broken and sluggish following this mission. Gerhart no longer trusts Dredd's ability to be an active Judge and is constantly monitoring him. The Ex-Judges on Enceladus are seemingly dead and gone (this does get explained). We then get treated to flash backs of Enceladus to see what happened to them, we also get an alien entirety that takes on the form of the deceased Judges and attacks MC-1 from the Black Atlantic, slowly covering the city in ice. We also get the return of Dirty Frank which is always welcomed.

Highlight: Beyond Dirty Frank and highlight has to be Dredd and PTSD that he is seemingly suffering. Dredd really seems broken but that doesn't stop him calling in a napalm strike on his position in attempt to kill the aliens (so badass, especially as it melts most of his back off!).

Lowlight: There is a cool scene of Dredd riding a horse through MC-1 following the napalm strike, but I have no idea where such an animal would have appeared from? Got an answer for me drop it in the comments below please.

The final tale is Melt. I have already reviewed this one before so won't go to indepth again here. But basically it is 2000AD twist on the Snowman cartoon that plays every xmas in the uk. A fun silly tale that makes you feel bad for the snow men.

Overall a great drokking collection! It has left me a lot of questions to be answered but I am a long off from this timeline, so we will just have to wait and see.

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...