Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Comic Review 69 // Aliens: Defiance, Volume 1

Wow I have gone down the rabbit hole with reading these xenomorph comics. This time I move onto a series call Defiance, the first volume I am about review, which contains the first six issues. I have no prior knowledge of this series so I am going in blind.

Details

Title: Aliens: Defiance, Volume 1

Author: Brian Wood

Type: Graphic Novel

Page Count: 160

Commercial Fluff:
Colonial Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks is battling demons from her past while fighting for her life in the company of Weyland-Yutani synthetics. In deep space she is forced to question her strength and loyalty when the discovery of an insidious alien species on a derelict hauler sends her on a dangerous journey across the stars.

"The New York Times" best-selling comics writer, Brian Wood pens an epic space odyssey filled with gritty, fearless art by up and coming artist, Tristan Jones. Aliens Defiance #1-6.

Review

As already mentioned I have gone over the edge and have fully delved into the xenomorph Alien franchise. From what I can gather and have read the series is set between the first and second movies. First up I have to say like many xenomorphs comics this doesn't add anything new or even attempt to surprise us. It instead attempts to provide the readers with solid piece of story telling that's sole job is to entertain.

Early on you are introduced to the main character a Zula Hendricks, an AWOL Colonial Marine who's once promising career is brought to a rapid end, after sustaining a back injury in her very first combat mission. They pair this strong female character with an android called Davis 01, who is seemingly going rogue with his programming. This unlikely duo have managed to discover plans by Weyland-Yutani (classic villain of the Alienverse) to recover some xenomorph dna/bio sample. So they do what any normal human/android combo would do; they set out to stop the corporation and kill the Aliens themselves.

This comic is definitely an action comic, with to no surprises or suspense. It just seems to jump from action to action. Which really isn't an issue for me as it helps keep me interested. The artwork fits perfectly with the movies and is extremely dark, moody and scary. It really adds to story.

Overall this is solid read and I am already tracking down Volume 2!

Friday, 27 December 2019

Audio Review 08 // Judge Dredd: The Killing Zone

Welcome to a long over due Audio review. The last one was the Strontium Dog: Down to Earth, but for the last Judge Dredd audio book we have to go all the way back to July for it. So this story follows on from Dredd or Alive and actually introduces a character I really enjoyed from the comics; Judge Janus!

Here are the details:

Details

Name: Judge Dredd: The Killing Zone.
Author: Dave Stone
Cover Artist: Henry Flint
Cast:
Toby Longworth (Judge Dredd / Legal Disclaimer / Slorley)
Holly Chant (Judge Janus / Door Unit / Mommy / Kid / Alert Voice)
Stephen Greif (Efil Drago San)
Nicholas Briggs (Nix / Demon)
Mark Donovan (The Commentator / Goran / Reporter / Auto-Pilot)
Jeremy James (Sikoryak / Solan / Carter)
Regina Reagan (Enigma Smith / Madwoman)
John Wadmore (Traven)

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Commercial Fluff: Bodies have been found throughout the city, each bearing the signs of being a victim of the Killing Zone - the illegal snuff-sport which has taken Mega-city One by storm. Half a billion people are watching this holo-vid slaughter - and with the Judges unable to stop these deadly games, the Justice Department's reputation is at an all-time low. The man behind it is turning the Law itself into a laughing-stock - and the Law must be seen to be served.

Now Judge Dredd is forced to resort to unorthodox methods and allies: a low-life Wally Squad operative with an attitude, and an erratic Psi Judge with an attitude even worse. Can he rely on them? Just how far can he trust them as they take him down into the dark?

Chronological Placement: This story takes place in July 2124

Review

I really enjoy a Big Finish Production audio, just have a great way of bring the Big Mega to life. The sound effects, the news reports they just work great at sucking you into the world. The main story is pretty straight forward; Efil Drago San (a main villain from the Armitage series) has left Brit-Cit behind and is making waves in MC-1. Using his connections Drago is able to create an illegal holo-vid show Killing Zone. Basically a death trap maze filled with killers and dangers beyond compare, the viewers are then able to gamble and watch to see who will win out. But with most shows the thrill starts to wear off so Drago ups the anti by getting Dredd into the game.

Dredd on the other hand is working with a zany Wally Street Judge who doesn't use a gun, to discover the location of the Killing Zone and try to shut it down. Dredd knows he is up against it and also brings in the help of PSI Judge Janus to also help. In classic Dredd fashion, soon gunfire consumes all and the body count rises.

Highlights:

Efil Drago San - He is personally for me a great villain and crime lord, he rarely if ever wins but he manage to drag out a draw quite often.

Judge Janus - One of my favourite side characters. I remember when she had her own strip in 2000AD. Wonder what actually happen to her. Guess we need to catch up on the progs I've missed.

Sound - Big Finish do it again. Great sound effects drags you into the story and keep you there. No other studio has made MC-1 seem so real.

Lowlights:

Story - A bit weak to be honest. Maybe just to straight forward and no real twists.

Janus/Dredd - Dredd is meant to distrust psychics and is even described as being slightly resistant to their powers. So I find it strange to have him so willingly allowing Janus to use her powers on him.

Wally Judge - Maybe it was the lack of background for him, but I found the character a little one noted and dull. Shame as I have a real soft spot for Wally Judges...Looking at you Lenny Zero and Dirty Frank.

Overall I found the piece a worthwhile listen and though other tales so far have surpassed it, it is still worth spending the time and listening to it. Now on to the next one.

As always I would love it if you dropped me a comment or hit follow. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Beer Review 75 // Cosmic Latte by Beyond the Pale

Christmas is over and it is time to get moving on these beer reviews. I have so many to get through and share. This weeks beer is actually from my work, so I will try to be as honest and neutral as possible.

Details

Name: Cosmic Latte

Style: Blonde Stout/White Stout

Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company

Country: Canada

ABV: 5.5%

Artwork: Me and canva (HA)

Commercial Fluff: Cosmic Latte- Don't let the colour fool you, this beer is committed to the Stout Life. Brewed like a traditional stout but using only the malts you would expect to find in a Blonde Ale. To this base we then added copious amounts of Oats to give it a smoother mouthfeel before steeping it with Full Bean Ethiopian Limu coffee and finishing with Cacao Nibs.

Own Opinion

Label: Well I created it. It's a bit rough and was never meant to be the final piece, was meant to go to the designer for a clean up. I like it though!

Pour: A darker golden almost orange pour with a nice fluffy white head. The foam hangs around for a while, which I am a big fan of.

Aroma: Hello coffee! It's there early on with a gentle chocolate hint sneaking in through the back.

Taste: Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, with the coffee hitting straight away (fear I will now be awake all night). Once you become use to the coffee you start noticing the chocolate notes and the beer really all comes together and starts really tasting like a stout.

Would I buy it again: Yes. Sadly for me this is a seasonal, but when the brewery has it on tap it is my go to after work drink. If you are ever in Ottawa stop by the brewery and say hi! As always comment and follow the blog. Cheers.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Comic Review 68 // Fire and Stone: Prometheus

Well it looks like the Ottawa library will be keeping me busy for a little a little while with its amazing selection of graphic novels. Can't believe it took me this long to realise that they had such a good selection.

Key note to my followers goo check out your local library, you'll be surprised how well stocked they are.

Details

Title: Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1

Author: Paul Tobin

Type: Graphic Novel

Page Count: 126

Commercial Fluff: When the Prometheus never returned from her fateful journey to LV-223, the questions surrounding the origins of man went unanswered. Now a new team of explorers seeks to uncover the dark mystery that holds not only the fate of the original mission, but possibly their own damnation. This is the first volume of Prometheus in a blockbuster crossover event featuring Aliens, Predator, and Prometheus!

Review

First up this isn't a stand alone graphic novel but in fact part of a trio. Crossing all three franchises - Prometheus, Aliens and Predator. As the title suggests we start with Prometheus.

We join a scavenger vessel as it heads towards an uninhabited moon to salvage a downed research vessel. But in classic alienverse tales plotline the crew are aren't being told the whole truth. The truth is the downed craft was believed to have carried the now deceased Waylon. And if they can discover the truth behind his disappearance they could become rather wealthy.

Jump forward in the time and the world has been flipped onto it's head. Starting with the completely inhabited, uninhabited world. That's right the world is teeming with life, life that wants nothing more than to kill the crew. Then to make matters worst there seems to be a bald, giant stalking the jungle and let's not forget the black goo!

As all good xenomorph tales go this has a high body count and some interesting twists. Is it mind blowing? No. Was it a fun sci-fi horror tale that filled 30 minutes? Hell yes. It was also interesting enough for me to want to keep reading. So expect part two soon.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Book Review 65 // The Quartz Zone Massacre by Rebecca Levene

Delving back into the futuristic war zone of Nu-Earth and heading back to the front lines with Rogue and his bio-chips. If you are interested in reading more of my reviews please follow this link.

Book Details

Title: The Quartz Zone Mazzacre
Author: Rebecca Levene
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing Limited
Type: E-Book
Page Count: 256

Commercial Fluff: Rogue Trooper: genetic infantryman; sole-surviving member of his unit, cut off and hunted remorselessly by enemy forces. Rogue is hot on the trail of the Traitor General who sold out him and his buddies, three of who accompany him as sentient life-chips stored in his high-tech weaponry. Novelization of the sci computer game title.

Review

First up you need to realise this is not the comic version of the story. Though the tale takes a huge amount of inspiration from the comics, it does go off on it's own course and I would describe it as an alt version of the tale. What it does for the reader is help fill out the main character of Rogue and gives you a valid reason for the whole revenge script. Rogue actually comes across as a more like-able character, as we get to experience some real human traits from him, like fear of failure and comradeship with his bio-chip. But what really impressed me by far was Levene's brilliant ability to describe battle scenes and makes the Nu-World landscape come to life.

I feel no book can be perfect, so where does this book fall flat? It's too short and rushed. I would have loved some of the characters to have been longer and truly feel this could have been a trilogy.

For a computer game tie in this is a solid read and worth the low cover price.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Beer Review 74 // That's a Paddlin' by Mikkeller

This beer had me excited when I discovered it in the LCBO. It was a beer that I had maybe over a year ago and it wasn't it's best so to get a true fresh version had me excited. Let's crack open the can and get into it!

Details

Name: That's a Paddlin'

Style: Double New England IPA

Brewery: Mikkeller - Ontario by Brunswick Bierworks

Country: Canada but Mikkeller is Denmark.

ABV: 8%

Artwork: Keith Shore

Commercial Fluff: New England style DIPA, featuring Falconer's Flight, 7 C's, and Rakau


Own Opinion

Label: A complete ripoff from the Simpsons, but beautifully done and love it. Really helps it stand out on the shelves.

Pour: Beautiful yellow pour capped by a stunning white head.

Aroma: Tropical and citrus notes rise from the glass, this is great aroma and is making me thirsty.

Taste: Rather sweet hoppy notes, leaning hard into a tropical and grapefruit flavour note. With a soft bitterness that leaves you wanting more.

Would I buy it again: Yes. It is a great pick up beer and was a pretty good price compared to some IPA's on the shelf. Well worth picking up.

Have you had it? Let me know in the comments below and remember to follow the blog.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Comic Review 67 // Aliens: Dust to Dust

The xenomorphs are back and they are taking over the blog slowly! Today's bit of terrifying space horror comes in the form of a graphic novel titled Aliens: Dust to Dust.. Scary right? Well let's jump into the full details and go from there.

Details
Title: Aliens: Dust to Dust

Author: Gabriel Hardman

Type: Graphic Novel

Page Count: 96

Commercial Fluff: A terrifying coming-of-age story by master storyteller Gabriel Hardman.

A mother and son bound by a shared terror--separated by an implacable alien force! A spaceship that should carry them away from the fear becomes a deathtrap from which escape seems impossible!

The Trono colony on LV-871 is under attack. Emergency evacuations are ordered. Twelve-year-old Maxon and his mom face the most terrifying creatures in the galaxy . . . Aliens!

Review

It really seems like the writers struggle to move away from the classic story arc. Colonists meet facehugger, destroy colony and survivors flee whilst slowly being eaten/killed/captured one by one. But maybe that's actually what I want from a xenomorph story? This tale like so many others, sets us
up on world suffering from a xenomorph takeover. The real scary part is that we are viewing it all from the view point of a twelve year old. That's right a twelve year, who wakes to find his mum's face covered by some weird crab like creature, whilst his city is filled with gun fire and burning. Imagine how fucked up you would be.

Overall the story though predictable is tense and scary, but if you get into the twelve year olds mind set it truly becomes terrifying.. The action is full on as the survivors go on the run. And it is all brought to life by the grim, dark and gritty artwork. Is it the best comic of my year....nope. but it is a solid worthwhile read.

Have you read it? Drop me a comment or become a follower to stay up-to-date with my postings. Thanks for reading.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Miniature Monday // Warlord Games Judge Dredd - Street Judge Day

A new project I am very excited for. My favourite comic 2000AD has teamed up with Warlord Games to produce some new tabletop games. I've already written about Strontium Dogs last week, so this time I will do Judge Dredd. This post won't be an unboxing but instead a quick look at the first model I wanted to paint the street Judge. This street judge will ultimately become my gaming persona aka Judge Day. Using this model I will create a multiple set of rules to represent this character across the new Judge Dredd game, the older Warlord/Mongoose game and then finally the GW RPG. I feel it will be a fun post once I get to it. But now to the painting.

This will be a sort post as I will try and use this as a step by step process. First step is base coat.


This first step is not the most exciting but rather important. I took the strange grey, resin plastic and stuck it to the base. I will be honest to say I wasn't sure if I should cut off the base or not (leave a comment below), this time I kept it on but I'm really not sure on it. Then I base coated in grey and sanded the base for now. Once the grey was dry I used a GW contrast Black Templar paint and applied over the whole model. You can see the result and it has now given me a great base to work off. Step two which I hope to post next week will be me blocking the non black areas in white before moving on the yellow sections ie. Shoulder pads, chain, badge and the belt buckle.

Is anyone who reads this playing the game or planning to pick this up? I would love to hear from you.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Book Review 64 // Sharpe's Tiger by Bernard Cornwell

A slightly different tale than normal this week as my book of choice. This story heads back into earth's own history and focuses on a unlikely hero called Sharpe. Why did I pick up this book? Firstly I have fond memories of the TV series with Sean Bean, secondly is due to Geeky Jack and how passionately he enjoyed the story. So let us dive on in.

Book Details

Title: Sharpe's Tiger (Sharpe #1)
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Publisher: Harper Collins
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 384

Commercial Fluff: Richard Sharpe avoids the tyrannical Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill and endeavours to rescue a British officer from under the nose of the Tippoo of Mysore.

But in fleeing Hakeswill, Sharpe enters the exotic and dangerous world of the Tippoo. An adventure that will require all of his wits just to stay alive, let alone save the British army from catastrophe.

Soldier, hero, rogue – Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

Review

This is my first Bernard Cornwell book and it sure will not be the last! Richard Sharpe is a down trodden solider in the British Army. Growing bored of the constant marching Sharpe dreams of escaping the army and starting a fresh life else where. Sadly that isn't going to happen in this book.

Cornwell created a character you can't help but like. He is a classic anti-hero with valid reasoning behind his actions. Sharpe is also willing to do anything to get the job done, even if it means leaving a loved one behind. But no main character can act alone and lucky for Sharpe he has some amazing supporting characters. Up first is Obadiah Hakeswill, a lowly educated psychopath who will betray everyone to progress in the army and stay alive. Then we have the British Officers who lord it over the common man and who seem to be more of a villain than the actual villain. Finally we have the Tippoo of Mysore, a completely ruthless dictator who refuses to stand down in the face of the British Military. He is an amazing character and has some of the best sidekicks in the book, who wouldn't love men eating Tigers and killer strong men.. Yep smashing nails completely through a mans skull is disgusting!!

Overall an amazing start to the series and I highly recommend it. I am excited to see how Sharpe travels from India and the Rajah Wars to the end of the Napoleonic wars. So watch this space and make sure you follow my blog to stay up to date with what I am up to.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Unboxing 02 // Warlord Games Strontium Dogs: The Good the Bad and the Mutie.

This one I have been excited for a long while. Strontium Dogs by Warlord Games - This game is set in an Universe designed by 2000 AD. For those not in the know Strontium Dogs is a skirmish tabletop battle game for two or more players set in the Strontium Dog universe defined by legendary comic creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. In it, Mutant Search/Destroy agents – the Strontium Dogs – are bounty hunters in a dangerous universe full of outlaws, pirates and corruption.
Players take control of a small team of bounty hunters or the outlaws, criminals and renegades they hunt in gun battles, chases and showdowns across the galaxy.

The box was pretty nondescript and thin brown card box. Inside was the game and a special edition version of Johnny Alpha. Of course I had to get the game opened and have a look inside.

The box itself is pretty thin and weak and to be honest will just become a display for me. The goodies inside will ultimately find new homes in carry cases. But what is actually inside?
  • 112 page full-colour A4 softback rulebook
  • 12 page scenario booklet
  • 8 x metal miniatures
  • 2 x plastic tokens sprue
  • 36 x game cards
  • 6 x character cards
  • Laser-cut MDF Solar Farm
  • 2 x six-sided dice
  • 8 x 2000AD combat dice
So where to begin? Up first the rulebook it is a beautiful book, nicely coloured and written. Features some new gameplay styles I am not use to and will ultimately showcase in a future post. The main rules seemingly fill maybe ten pages, whilst the rest is gang designing, scenarios, playing a campaign and a lot of fluff pieces. We will ultimately come back to the book in a later post.

We then have a 12 page scenario booklet, to let you replay the story of Johnny Alpha versus Max Bubba. This story arc in the comic series was a big one and I want give away spoilers but it did upset a lot of readers when it happened and it broke my heart when I read it. But it basically starts of small and builds in complexities as you go along. These missions will be also showcased on here as I play my way through them so remember to check back.
The miniatures. Now this is the important part, 8 beautiful miniatures are included in the game whilst a ninth comes free with the game. The first character of note is Johnny Alpha the main man himself. Now when you purchase the game you get the one in the set and the bonus special edition one. The game edition is a classic looking Johnny armed with two pistols and wearing his classic get up. This model will be a joy to paint, only negatives I have about this model are 1- the guns are rather thin and prone to bending 2- the bases are rather thick, am I meant to cut them off? They seem rather thick for that.

Then the special edition. This Johnny Alpha is ready to get down and dirty. Helmet is gone and his electro knuckles are drawn and ready to beat the bounty into submission. Once again it is a beautiful model with amazingly crisp details. The only negative I have to say is that this model doesn't have a different rule set compared to the above one. I would have liked to have seen a different set of rules for him. Maybe make him more aggressive and combat focused. But nice to have an option over what mini to use.


Then we have Johnny's side kicks. Up first the Gronk a tiny non violent alien who for game purposes sucks at fighting but makes for a great medic. From what I've seen you have to guard the Gronk in return for characters that will always stay in the fight. Then we have Wulf Sternhammer, a rare case in the Strontium Dog story. Wulf is not a mutant, but instead a time travelling viking stuck in the future. After a quick glimpse of the rules Wulf is seemingly a beast in combat and I think painting him up will be quite fun.


The Max Bubba crime gang! Five members in total meaning that to equal Johnny and Wulf they needed an extra three models. Up first is Bubba (bottom left), armed with a face like butter and a cannon that an eighties movie hero would be jealous of. Bubba is no Johnny but is an equal to Wulf, he will be fun to play, as I imagine he would sacrifice his gang to get away. Then we have Skull (bottom right) pretty straight up pistol welding merc and that he seems to be there to up the numbers. Low Down (top right) is a weird ass looking model with a shorter than normal torso, making him harder to hit, definitely going to be a strange painting experience. Then the last two models one of which is by far my favourite - Impetigo Jones (hat) he just looks like a classical wild west character with his wide brim hat and trench coat, stat wise a bit on the weaker side but I feel like he will pop some long range damage on the heroes when given the chance. Then finally Brute Mosley my favourite model in the box after Alpha. He is a god damn warthog with a blaster! To make him even more epic he is blue. Which will be an absolute blast to paint.

After the models we are left with an array of dice, cards and tokens. All which you will see when I start showcasing games on the blog. The final piece of the box is the terrain, this is a really big bonus to set and makes the box worth it's weight. The kit is ultimately made of laser cut mdf and is glued together using standard pva glue. First thing of note is the smell, damn the smell is strong. A real hit of burnt wood as the plastic is took off. For the most part the kit is super easy and apart from one piece it all went together beautiful. The hard piece to build is the generator rig, the annoying wind turbine on top had some of the thinnest pieces I have ever seen and sadly they broke in the process of pushing out the pieces, so you be careful!


As you can see it built a small house/building, a generator, a watchtower and four solar panels. These are a great starter set and I fully plan on converting these up some more before painting. I want these to blend seemingly between the realms of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dogs. I want these to look a bit more scifi and far less modern day.

With these final pieces the unboxing is complete. Please do keep tabs on the blog as I wish to do some character profiles, painting posts and actual gaming posts. Let me know if you play below in the comments as I would love to find more players. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Beer Review 73 // Sweet Spot by Left Field

Starting to love Wednesdays. It is just a great excuse to enjoy a brew and then attempt to describe how great or bad it is to you guys. I hope you are all enjoying as well? So as I explored my local LCBO I discovered Left Field had a triple xmas pack going so it seemed rude not to partake. The first can out of the box was Sweet Spot.

Review

Name: Sweet Spot

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Brewery: Left Field

Country: Canada

ABV: 6.2%

Artwork: Unknown

Commercial Fluff: The beer formerly known and loved as Sweet Jesus.
To create this tasty mocha-inspired treat, we developed a sweet stout recipe and added lactose, marshmallows, roasted, crushed cocoa nibs and coffee beans during conditioning. The result is a rich and decadent blend of chocolate, caramel and vanilla topped off with a toasty, sweet and creamy marshmallow.

Own Opinion

Label: Pretty standard for this brewery. Not the most stand out design or colour palette.

Pour: Beautiful dark brown almost pitch black pour, with brown cap of foam that just forms wonderfully on top.

Aroma: To be honest I'm getting a big hit of sweetness. It's kind of like when you open a bag of sweets and all the sugary aromas pound out at once. Though once the beer warms up a mocha, coffee hint does start to arrive on scene.

Taste: Sweet and a little thin. Not what I was expecting. Pretty easy drinking if you have a sweet tooth with the coffee adding a tiny bit of bitterness. Surprisingly easy to drink for a 6.2%

Would I buy it again: On the fence leaning more towards no. Though it is a pleasant brew and nice easy drinker, it just didn't deliver to the tasting notes. I feel others do it better (looking at you Evil Twin or Omnipollo), which is were I feel I would send my money if I was looking for another brew like this.

Have you tried this beer? What are your thoughts. Let me know below and let's get a conversation going!

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Comic Review 66 // Batman: Arkham knight Books 1,2 & 3

Taking a quick break from Judge Dredd comics to jump into the Batman verse. I happened to be in my local library when I noticed they had the entire Arkham series sitting on the shelf. So I took the opportunity to grab them all and read them back to back. Due to the fact that it is all one story I thought I would just combine them into one post. So sit back and enjoy. If you wish to follow hit up the link to the left or drop me comment below.

Arkham Night One

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrator: Viktor Bogdanovic
Pages: 144

Commercial Fluff: The Joker is dead. Arkham City is closed. As a new day begins, Bruce Wayne finds himself in devastating pain, recovering from his injuries and questioning whether his role as Batman is still necessary to the city's survival. But as the sun rises in Gotham City, dangerous new threats emerge from the shadows...and the Arkham Knight is just beginning. Don't miss this in-continuity prequel comic set prior to the events of the brand-new video game Batman: Arkham Knight!

Review

Quick story overview to start us off.

The Joker is dead! Big spoiler if you don't the games but it had to be said. Whilst the victorious Bruce Wayne is struggling to run his job and be Batman (no surprise there). Following the death of Joker a void has been created in the criminal world and everyone is trying to claim their part. Foremost among these is the Penguin, aided by Mr. Hammer and Captain Sickle the Russian clowns.

Along side the Penguin, we also get appearances from Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and Kid Shark. Then to round out the action we have a random mystery character dressed in some high tech armour would enjoys killing criminals - not completely sure who this is but I can only assume he will play a bigger role in the other comics.

The story itself for me is pretty dull, the artwork is nice but if I didn't have the other comics I doubt I would have picked them up.

3 out of 5

Arkham Knight Two

Commercial Fluff: The prequel to the best-selling video game continues!

The Venom-fueled super-villain Bane has broken out of Gotham Stone Ridge Penitentiary, and this time he’s amassed an army of followers ready to overrun the city and install him as ruler of Gotham. To defeat him, Batman will need an army of his own, and he’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with allies and enemies alike to fight for their city.

But Bane isn’t the only threat facing the Dark Knight. While Jim Gordon runs for mayor as part of Bruce Wayne’s “Gotham Reborn” city revitalization plan, Harley Quinn and the rest of the Suicide Squad are after the billionaire’s head, as ordered by none other than the Penguin himself! And through it all, someone new is watching from the shadows.

Review

The story continues and I would hope improves....spoiler - it does not. Following on from the first tale Bruce and Barbara spend a large amount of the comic convincing Commissioner Gordon to run for Major of Gotham. Though everyone knows he will do well, Gordon himself has constant doubts which verge on the edge of annoyance.

We then get a metric ton of villains dropped into the story - Bane steps up first being broken out of Gotham Stone Ridge Penitentiary. Then we get a Penguin and Harley mini adventure and we finish up with the entrance of Poison Ivy. This seems like a complete overkill but I can only assume all these characters end up in the computer game.

Then the comics go weirder, introducing the Suicide Squad to the mix in the form of Deadshot, Boomerang and Killer Croc. It then all becomes pretty complicated with double crosses, blackmail, bike theft and the Arkham Knight stirring up shit.

As a newbie to the Batverse in comic form this is all a bit to much to take in. I'm over half way through the series and this is now really dragging for me.

2.5/5

Arkham Knight 3

Commercial Fluff: The prequel to the best-selling game BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT!

Back on the streets a mysterious enemy lurks in the shadows of Gotham, the Arkham Knight. Gathering super-villians like Harley Quinn, the Scarecrow, Bane and Two-Face, Batman must prevent a catastrophy and save Gotham.

Review

I'm really struggling with this now. I am finding myself switching off and not actually caring anymore. The artwork is great but the story is a meh at best. Got to be honest I didn't finished this one. They lost me completely on this series and could be with ease one of the worst stories I've read this year!

1/5

Final Thoughts

Complete garbage. Seriously regret picking these up and reading them. I feel like I like Batman, but these comics did him zero justice. It even made me not finish a comic, which is completely unheard of.

From what I can tell it added nothing to the computer game lore at all and it also seemed to move completely from any lore I know. So basic what I am trying to say is don't bother with this it is dull. Feel free to disagree below and thanks for reading.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Miniature Monday // Aeldari W.I.P

Welcome back to the start of the week. This time I wanted to showcase some of my upcoming projects that I am working on. Now of course it had to Aeldari related and of course some Iyanden Craftworld. Before I list off everything let us get a picture up.


The current to do list contains:
  • Two Farseer.
  • Autarch.
  • Succubus.
  • Six Rangers.
  • Five Wraithblades with Axes.
  • Wraithlord with Twin Brightlances.
  • Six Harlequins.
  • Converted Storm Guardians for Killteam.
  • Back up Shuriken Weapon Platform.
Now the big question is do I side line some of these for Ynnari? It wouldn't need to be much to add some red in on them (helmets, robes, parts of armour), but is it going to be to much with the whole Yellow, Red and Blue. I know the good old eldar was viewed as the rainbow army but does that still stand now? I would love to hear your thoughts so please do drop me a comment below.

The non-craftworlders I am planning the following for- Harlequins I want to become the Veiled Path, they seem the best fit for a multiple reasons. Up first they love to meddle in everyone's affair, be it the Imperium, Drukari or Iyanden. Secondly it's the scheme, yellow, green and some brown will definitely blend into the overall colour palette of the forces.

Succubus - She is going to be a test scheme on what I may end up doing. I am looking to build a Wych Cult force with strong ties to Iyanden and will be called Cult of the Fallen Flame. The plan is for this cult to have been founded by an ex-persona of Yriel's past. Possibly a spurned lover you fell to her emotions. More on this to follow.

Then finally comes the Killteam, these are a long work in progress the ultimate goal is for these to represent Eldritch Raiders of the modern times. Even though Yriel is now High Admiral of Iyanden once more, it doesn't mean he still hasn't got his Raiders out in force searching for artifacts.

Let me know your thoughts what interests you and what would you like to see completed first.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Book Review 63 // Aliens: Female War by Steve Perry

Told you I was picking up Female War straight after Nightmare Asylum. As I mentioned in the previous review there is just something special about the Alienverse and I just want to keep exploring it.

Book Details

Title: Aliens: The Female War (Book 3)
Author: Steve Perry
Publisher: Bantam Books
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 293

Commercial Fluff: A stunning novel based on the extraordinary universe as portrayed in the Aliens movies. The Female War features Ripley as a leader of humanity's forces against a new invasion where aliens have overrun the Earth--and the human population has been abandoned to alien appetites

Review

Just like the previous title this continues the story of Billie and Wilks (ie. Newt and Hicks), sadly Bueller is now gone and has been replaced by the infamous Ripley. Without giving away to much I will give a quick run down of the novel.

The story kicks off on the lunar rescue station, with multiple people (inc. Billie and Ripley) reporting dreams of an alien queen. Ripley soon declares her plan of using these dreamers as a tracing device to locate what she believes to be the queen of queens. We are then treated to some great well thought out supporting characters who truly add to the story telling and genuinely have you concerned about them and whether they would survive. So what is the plan you ask? Well here is were I feel the storytelling goes a bit overboard. The plan has the dreamers locating the Queen of Queens and they go scoop her up before bringing her to Earth. Once her presence is felt all xenomorphs would be attracted to her and once all massed together they could be wiped out in one go.


So Ripley, Billie, Wilks and the ragtag Dreamers (new band name), hijack a military fuel ship and head off to find the Boss Queen. The Queen's homeworld is a weird planet for sure, covered in a strange liquid and home to giant sized Drones. Drones that though bigger in size, fail to be anymore able to kill a person than a normal one. Seriously these drones get shot up and don't seem to hurt anything with their acid blood. We then get a nerve wracking chase/fight scene as Ripley lures the Queen on to the ship. Before all heading to the cyro sleep chambers and heading back to earth.

Here classic problems arrive for the heroes. Bombs don't work, aliens arrive sooner than planned, one of the main characters disappears to rescue a young girl. This is properly the worst section of the book due to it being rushed through. I feel the book should have ended at the time the Queen was captured and then given themselves more time on this section. But overall this is an okay book, the plot maybe a bit far fetched and rushed but it helps to continue the Wilks, Billie adventures. I now fear to say that this seems to be the end of Wilks and Billie saga, the next book has a new author and is set a whole generation later.

Personally I will be taking a short break on xenomorph front as I have a few Discworlds to get through but please realize there are a lot more to come! As always thanks for reading and if you have the time please hit the follow button or drop and comment below.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Unboxing 01 // Lost Patrol by Games Workshop

Welcome to the start of something new. Un-boxing blog posts. Yes I know not that original when it comes to blogs, but what will be special is that these are exclusives, in fact these are games that have been around for ages. But if you are like me and money is tight, you are possibly looking at the second hand market and it is nice to know what you are getting into before handing over cash. With that in mind I will attempt to go over sets I currently have or enjoy and let you know my thoughts on them. Good or Bad!

Up first for this new section is Lost Patrol by Games Workshop (2nd edition of the game). I hope you enjoy and if you do please hit the follow button. It only takes two seconds to do but I love it!

Lost Patrol

Commercial Details: Lost Patrol is the second publication in a series of mini-games by Games Workshop. In this two-player game you choose either Space Marine Scouts or Genestealers.

The board is created with hexagon tiles as the scouts travel through the dense jungle. The scouts' mission is to reach the downed dropship before the Genestealers eliminate them. As the scout team explores further, the jungle divides into many sections, and some of your teammates might even get lost (never to be found again).

Published: 2000
Game Developer: Jake Thornton
Artists: David Gallagher, Neil Hodgson, Nuala Kennedy, Stef Kopinski, Markus Trenkner.
Publisher: Games Workshop
Players: 1-6 (Works best as a 2 player)
Time: 20-30 minutes
What you get:

12 Genestealers
6 Nests
3 Rippers (not used in game)
3 Scouts - basic set up scouts either bolter, bolt pistol and sword or Shotgun.
1 Heavy - Heavy Bolter only
1 Sergeant - Bolt pistol and Chainsword
30 Jungle Tiles
3 Green Dice

Review

Wow this game can play quick! We have run through it five times recently and the Scouts have died every time. It is a pretty straight forward game of tactical choices and a bit of a choose your own adventure. The game is definitely harder as the Scouts, as you have to split forces and make tough decision, whilst the jungle works against you. In the early games we thought divide and conquer would win it, but ultimately it just lead to gory deaths and the 'stealers running rampant.

With this we then attempted the grouping tactics, in order to gain combat bonuses and cover one another. But all this did was make the pace slower, ultimately making you think you are making progress, but really you watch your Marines die just as quick and you realise this is not going to end well...

Highlights for me is the theme, scouting a jungle being killed by alien hunters, you really can't get a better theme. You can't help but envision Predator or some other creepy Jungle horror film. The fact that the tiles are completely random each time is also a great feature and adds to the play ability.

Lowlights sadly is the game mechanics. The scouts are at a full on disadvantage, I honestly can't image them winning. I'm not sure if it is due the high die rolls to kill or if their just isn't enough scouts? We found they could just get overwhelmed too quickly. I am thinking you using their actual 40k stats and trying out a game like that.

Final Thoughts

Worth the money for sure and is a fun pick up and go game, able to play a couple times and put away game. I am looking forward to painting them up (currently the scouts are becoming Astral Claws) and playing it properly with the painted figures. Let me know your thoughts below. Do you own it? Have you played it? How did you paint the figures? As always drop comments below and thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Beer Review 72 // London Fog by Beaus

Welcome to this weeks beer, as is quite common with my reviews I found this one in the LCBO. I believe it was a late summer, early autumn beer release. This means the chances are high it is now gone from the shelves. So let us dive in and look at this weeks brew.

Details

Name: David's Tea London Fog

Style: Spiced beer or Tea Infused.

Brewery: Beau's All Natural in collaboration with David's Tea.

Country: Canada

ABV: 5.4%

Artwork: They have a very talented in house team.

Commercial Fluff: London Fog is brewed with an infusion of DAVIDsTEA Organic Cream of Earl Grey tea blend. We’ve added rich vanilla and organic lactose (milk sugar) to create the creamy, comforting experience of an earl grey latte… in a beer! Go ahead and treat yourself to a mug of this full flavoured, decadent golden ale.

Own Opinion

Label: Very Beaus looking, showcasing a street scene. I am surprised they didn't play up to the whole London Fog name tag. A lot of silver on the can as well which does help it to stand out on a shelf.

Pour: An orange tinted pour with a bright white cap. Not as murky or cloudy as I would expect for a lactose brew.

Aroma: Slight hint of earl grey herbiness. To be honest smells like lug tread their lager.

Taste: Slight milky earl grey taste. It is not screaming London fog, more sweet lager.

Would I buy it again: No. I think it tastes like lug tread but with sugar and vanilla. It isn't really a combo I enjoy and can quite happily not have another. Was interesting to try out but a miss for me.

Have you tried this brew? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers for reading.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Comic Review 66 // Judge Anderson: The PSI Files Volume 3

Like the other PSI Files the Anderson stories cover a larger time frame compared to the Dredd stories. The tales come from the following 2000ad Progs 1045-1061, 1076, 1087-1089, 1090, 1102-1103. Judge Dredd the Magazine 2.74-2.80, 3.01-3.07, 3.14. 2000ad Annual 1988, 2000ad Winter Special 1988, 2000ad Annual 1990, Judge Dredd Annual 1991. So that's the facts out of the way let us get into the stories:

Recap
In the last PSI files; Anderson suffered some large emotional loses and as a way of coping with the pain she found relief in religion. But during an altercation which ended with her striking Judge Goon, she found her newly formed beliefs destroyed and debunked. Anderson reeling from all this, quits the Justice Force and decides to explore the galaxy and find herself again. On one remote world Anderson rediscovered her own Hope and headed back to a cold welcome home in Mega-City one.

The Strips

Something Wicked- Anderson is getting re-assessed for active service, by Dredd himself. It won't be easy, as Dredd feels betrayed by how easily Anderson turn her back on the Law. During the re-assessment Anderson receives psi flashes leading her and Dredd to chase down Something Wicked.

Zoltan the Prophet - A sideshow crystal ball reader is predicting a meteor will hit Mega-City One. So with the aid of a multi billionaire Zoltan, they hope to lead there followers to nuTopia, a paradise world. But it seems their heads are full of demons.

Satan - An asteroid code named Icarus, has collided with the newly launched nuTopia ship (see Zoltan the Prophet), sending it straight on a crash course with The Cursed Earth. But was it an accident or on purpose and what else could be hiding out on Icarus? Can Anderson be the Champion of Mega-City One and stand before the might of Satan!

Real Highlight: Has to be the artwork. It is truly amazing and detailed. Satan looks imposing without being comical. Great work that really helps the story along.
The Protest - People are committing acts of self immolation across the city and it's up to the newly reinstated Anderson to work out why? I really enjoyed the way Judge Volt dealt with the problem by lifting the law against owning a Goldfish. Allowing each household to own a single fish without a permit. Such a Mega City One solution.

Wonderwall - Anderson has been back on the job for one week and unfortunately for her she reconnects with Judge Goon. Goon is process of dishing out his style of street justice on a gang of Juves. But hidden among the Juve is a girl called Layla. An abused and mentally broken child, Anderson has to enter her mind if she is to have any chance of saving the other children. The inside of Layla's mind is protected by the stories of Alice in Wonderland. My favourite page has to the full page spread of the White Rabbit tied up and gutted. Completely brutal but great image!

Crusade - Still reeling from the effects of the Alice Case, Anderson is struggling to believe how poorly the kids of Mega City One are being treated. But salvation for the MC-1 kids is at hand. When from the Cursed Earth a PSI force is released, showing images of Golden Angels above the city; the Juve crime drops by 80%! Kids are becoming pure again and Anderson starts to fear the worst and she is right to do so. Soon the kids are rising up and heading off into the Cursed Earth in search of salvation and love. As is the justice department's way they over react to the scenario and seen a hit team lead by Judge Goon to deal with the problem. Ultimately Goon and his team are killed, but not before he has caused more pain and suffering.

Danse Macabre - We are back on the streets with Anderson as she chases down a perp called Deek Chewsits. Deek chooses to hide out in the Danse Macabre Discotek Memorial. The artwork was too Manga for me, for the artist let down the strip in my opinion. For example, Anderson had massive over the rop eyes in this tale, like something from sailor moon and considering how deep and meaningful the last two stories were, this was a bit of a let down. Even if it is only a filler tale it could have been done with a bit more thought.

Witch - Anderson visits the Home for Retired PSI's to celebrate her old tutors 40th birthday. But what she didn't realize was that the two of them would help a witch die with grace 500 years ago in the past. Back to great artwork again which I'm thankful for. Highlight of this tale for me is Anderson's mentor Mishka Wallace. Having served her city during the Apocalypse War, she is now treated like an outcast and with utter contempt by the citizens she tried to help. Shows a sad lonely existence for PSI's and opens Anderson's eyes to her own future.

The Great Debate - Wrestling meets Philosophy in this all new TV show. Only problem is it is highly illegal to produce or watch as it is a fight to the death! Judge Anderson is using her PSI abilities to track them down and finally shut down this blood thirsty sport. I really enjoyed the character 'Big Daddy Plato'-Philosopher supreme whose values underpin all Earthly Civilisation. Winner of Thirteen straight fights and user of a laser sword. He is a massive fat guy with a white beard, in a toga (it just makes me laugh and I'm of making him for the mini game).

Lawless - During the annual 'A Dress the Citizens speech', Chief Judge Volt and his entourage are covered in what appears to be blood! It's up to Anderson to track down the protester known only simply as Lawless before he can pull anymore stunts. I quite enjoyed the scene when Lawless uses a sound system and holographic device, to bring alive the Eagle of Justice and make it proclaim: 'I am a symbol of Fascist oppression!' Great stuff.

Bonus Strips
Dear Diary - A written account from Anderson's diary. About how a criminal attempts to get revenge on Anderson. Though the story itself was fun and interesting, it sadly lack artwork and what artwork we did get was painful to look at and too child like. I understand what the artist was attempting, but I think I would have preferred just a good old script.
Confessions of a She Devil - Anderson is haunted by a dream of a Man-Pig. Following her hunches, she heads to a Male only club. Where the embodiment of Mother Earth is raining down vengeance on all of MANkind. The idea of male only clubs in the city of the future, seems amazingly outdated. But I guess in a World of no jobs, people get bored and revert to bad ideals and self serving beliefs. Interesting tale, but not one you'll remember in a hour.
Exorcise Duty - In this we strip we get to experience a different branch of the PSI department. As Anderson joins a team of exorcise Judges and attempts to stop a demonic summoning. It great to see Exorcists in action, I found them intriguing as a branch of the Justice Department and just wish there was more tales about.

With that last tale we come to a close with Volume 3.

Review

Overall a great addition to the Anderson story line. The Satan stories were hands down the best strip in this edition. Made even better by the great artwork. I also enjoyed the whole Children arc and how it has affected Anderson and look forward to seeing how that progress. On the negative side, I feel like a couple of the single tales lacked depth and were quite forgettable sadly. Satan, Wonderwall and Crusade are the real highlights of this volume and are worth the cover price alone.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Craftworld Iyanden 22 // Bonsinger Yhtill

In the long abandon Ghost Halls of Iyanden few are untouched by the ghost warriors. Some have become accustomed to the death walking once more, some attempt to avoid them as best as possible and some believe the act to be of pure necromancy. Yhtill of House Ulthanash is a bit of pariah even among his own kin. Following the death of a love one Yhtill became obsessed with death and the art of the ghost warriors. Yhtill believed that if the body can inhabit a wraith body then why not a cloned form. Hidden away in an abandon dome, Yhtill experimented with clone and the transferring of a spirit into the new body. The experiment failed catastrophically causing Yhtill's love ones spirit stone to crack and crumble to dust.

The council of Iyanden sentenced Yhtill to exile and many believed that would be the last they saw of him. Unfortunately with the arrival of the Great Rift the Iyanden Council needed to recall as many of it sons and daughters as possible as it's seers saw only war in their future.

With the summon of Iyanden, Yhtill has returned, but he was forever changed. There are tales of his dealings with the Haemonculus of the Drukari and some have even mentioned much darker tales involving a Clone Master of the Monkeig. Whether these are true or not no one is sure. As Yhtill rarely speaks to anyone and is normally found in the Ghosthalls of Ulthanash, surrounded only by the most aggressive Wraithblades. Though never really trusted the autarch's have come to appreciate his aid in battle as it seems his guidance has led to his wraithblades being more agile and aggressive than any others.

Here ends the tale of Yhtill. A bit of a darker character than I would normally deem to make but I love the model and it needed this dark soul. The model comes from a 1980's Lord of the Rings Mouth of Sauron by Games Workshop. It was a true joy to paint and I hope you have all enjoyed reading his back story and hopefully I can get him on a tabletop soon.

As always drop me a comment and follow the blog. Thank you for reading.

Book Review 75 // Legion by Dan Abnett

With this forced leave from work I am finding time to start working my way through some of the bookshelves of shame. It's crazy to th...