Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Comic Review 79 // Insurrection Liberty

Welcome back to the first comic review of the isolation period. I hope everyone is do well, feel free to chat to me in the comments and say hi! In a rare turn of events I was actually able to read the two volumes of Insurrection comics, back to back which is quite nice. If you haven't read the first review please follow this LINK.

We left the team sparking rebellion in the outer rim and causing so much aggro for the SJS. Now we are to find out how it all concludes. I was pretty excited heading into this.

Insurrection: Liberty

Page Count: 96
Written By: Dan Abnett
Artist: Colin MacNeil
Commercial Fluff: MEGA-CITY COLONIAL SPACE, 2135 AD. Mining colony K Alpha 61 renamed itself Libertyafter cutting loose from the Big Meg. Furious at this dissent, and in a bid to stop the revolt spreading to other colonies, the SJS launched a blistering attack on Colonial Marshal Karel Luther’s forces. Now, the alien Zhind have stepped up their attacks on the colony worlds causing an uneasy alliance to form between the SJS and the insurrectionists...

This thrilling conclusion to Insurrection was written by Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) with art by Colin MacNeil (Judge Dredd).

Review

We are introduced to Gateway a beautiful well protected colony world in the outer rim. Here we meet Colonel Judge Gallows, who is welcoming his family to the planet. Unfortunately the Zhind lead a surprise attack on the planet. Normally the stationed fleet would deal with the problem but due to Luther's uprising the fleet has been called away, leaving the planet open to attack. Gallow along with a large core of the fleet fail to follow commands and stay back in a failed attempt to save Gateway, in doing so they too become rebels.

After locating Luther's forces on an ice moon, Gallows reports the location to the SJS. Of course the SJS come with overwhelming fleet strength and it looks like the end for the Insurrectionist. That is until the Zhind once again invade Mega City Space, leading to a sixteen week long campaign. During this time the Insurrectionists join forces with the SJS and actually lead the last assault again the Zhind command bunker. Here I will leave the review as I hate to many spoilers the ending is pretty epic and heart breaking, so go read it yourselves.

Amazing tale, amazing art and left ultimately sad at the thought of no more. Great work by the entire team on this. 5 Star comic for sure.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Miniature Monday // The Judge Child - Owen Krysler

The Judge Child - photographed in front of a WIP planter.
For this Miniature Monday I am showcasing a classic 1980's Games Workshop miniature from the Judge Dredd RPG games. The Judge Child aka Owen Krysler - This model is pretty small, not as small as The Gronk from last week, but not far off. Made from classic lead metal the details are quite flat on the model, with the only real texture coming off of his robes. I went for quite a simple paint scheme of a heavy flesh wash and then yellow for his robes, I feel I want to go back and do a little more highlighting on the skin, and fix the eyes as I now realise he is  but ultimately pretty happy with 30 minutes of work.

If you are only here to look at pictures feel free to scroll through and drop me a comment below, but if you would like to read more about this character then carry on....


The Judge Child aka Owen Krysler

Owen Krysler was a 2000 AD villain also known as "The Judge Child". He would show up in several early Judge Dredd story arcs and is one of the better known members of Dredd's rogues gallery.

Appearance

Krysler was a young child in his early teens, although he was a mutant he looked nearly normal past his pitch black eyes and eagle shaped marking on his forehead.

Personality

Krysler showed very little emotion not even shedding a tear when his parents were lynched in front of him (though it could be argued that this was because he had already known it would happen, and so was prepared). However he was cocky and arrogant often mocking others and calling names, and sadistically enjoyed forseeing others deaths. After his abandonment on Xanadu by Dredd, his hatred for the Judge grew and grew.

History

Judge Feyy, a dying member of Psi Division, has a precognitive vision that Mega-City One will be destroyed unless the Judges can find the "Judge Child," a boy called Owen Krysler with extreme telepathic and precognitive powers. He also a birthmark on his head shaped like the Judges' Eagle. Krysler is destined to rule Mega-City One in its direst hour. Judge Dredd is sent after the boy and tracks him across the Cursed Earth to Texas City where the Judge Child falls into the hands of the Angel Gang who escape from Earth. Dredd uses the ship Justice One to pursue the gang and the Child across a number of star systems and through various strange encounters with alien worlds. Dredd becomes convinced that only by using Oracle Spice will he be able to find the Child, and after further dangerous adventures he gains the Oracle Spice on the planet Necros. Oracle Spice gives precognitive powers to whoever takes it (similar to and possibly a rferance to the spice from the Dune saga), but is very dangerous to the inexperienced user. Dredd orders a member of the Justice One crew, Judge Lopez, to take the Oracle Spice. This kills Lopez, but not before he reveals that the location of the Judge Child is known by the 'Jigsaw Man,' whom Dredd traces to the planet Ab. The 'Jigsaw Man' is a human called Prosser who had been the pilot of a spaceship hijacked by the Angel Gang, who are heading to the free robot planet of Xanadu. Prosser's nickname stems from the fact he is a victim of the alien wasting disease known as "Jigsaw Disease", which causes the victims to vanish piece by random piece. Just before he dies he tells Dredd that he believes the Judge Child is evil, because it was the Judge Child who caused him to catch the disease in the first place, apparently intentionally.

Dredd begins to doubt the mission but continues to Xanadu where he confronts and kills most of the Angel Gang, who had also begun to suspect the boy had been manipulating them. However the last of the Angel Gang is killed by the Judge Child himself. Finally having hold of the Judge Child, Dredd looks into his eyes and sees that he is evil. Believing that the ruler of his city has to be pure and uncorrupted, and that Owen Krysler is unfit to rule, Dredd abandons him on the planet and returns home.

For deliberately failing in his mission, Dredd himself had to be judged, in the story's epilogue Block War in prog 182. This story introduced another major character, Judge McGruder, who thought that Dredd had exceeded his authority.

In a sequel called Destiny's Angels, the Judge Child was executed for attempting to assassinate Dredd in revenge for depriving him of the opportunity to rule Mega-City One. In McGruder's eyes this vindicated Dredd's earlier judgement of him, and she authorised the execution herself.

Hope you enjoyed reading about The Judge Child. As always drop me a comment to say hi. Or if you feel generous give me a follow in the top corner of the blog. Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, 27 March 2020

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 think it was 18 books ago that I read Descent of Angels, shame on me for leaving it for so long.

Book Details

Title: The Horus Heresy - Legion

Author: Dan Abnett

Publisher: Black Library

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 416 (damn weighty book)

Commercial Fluff: A Great War is coming, and it will engulf the Imperium of Man. The Space Marines of the Alpha Legion, the last and most secretive of all the Astartes brotherhoods, arrive on a heathen world to support the Imperial Army in a pacification campaign against strange and uncanny forces. But what drives the Alpha Legion? Can they be trusted, and what side will they choose when the Great War begins? Loyalties are put to the test, and the cunning schemes of an alien intelligence revealed in this latest instalment of the ground-breaking SF series by Dan Abnett, as the fate of mankind hangs in the balance.

Review

Okay some truths I'm big Dan Abnett fan, I have a lot of novels by him and his Sinister Dexter Comic strips for 2000 AD are just a pure joy to read. So far the Heresy Novels have produced some great stories, but I feel this one is in my top 3 (with Fulgrim & Flight of the Eisenstein).

What was a real stand out part of this story was the view point it was coming from. For once we followed the action through the eyes of humans! The main character of the tale from my view point was John Grammaticus, a constantly reincarnated human spy working for a Xeno group known as the Cabal. The Cabal seem to be a group made up of Elder races, with named members being an Eldar Autarch and a Xshesian. They collectively have seen the coming war and are attempting to show the Alpha Legion the dangers of Chaos in hopes of swaying the legion to their cause. They do this by manipulating the Nurth Culture into completely falling to Chaos and manipulating the Alpha Legion to be in position to aid the Geno Five-Two Chiliad.

With the forces in place the Cabal start rising the stakes, but soon seem to lose control of forces in play. Soon the plan unravels and the future is left hanging in the balance.

I found this book an interesting read as it was more a spy/espionage novel. With plenty of manipulation and intrigue going on. It also hints at the whole which side of the war are the Alpha Legion actually on (which still no one really knows, just like the Dark Angels)? This book can easily be read alone from the series, as it is set apart from the series. But for me it is a true masterpiece in the series so far.


Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Beer Review 87 // Paradise Lost - Soursop Lychee by Blood Brothers

Well as I write this post the isolation has kicked in. Myself and my family are healthy and well and slowly working to the new way of living. I am hoping it will increase my output but no promises as the kids are absorbing the time as they should :)

Up now though is a Blood Brother brew, it's been awhile since my last review and when I drank this last night I knew I had to blog about it straight away.

Details

Name: Paradise Lost - Soursop Lychee

Style: Sour

Brewery: Blood Brothers

Country: Canada, Ontario. Toronto.

ABV: 6.9%

Commercial Fluff: This beer is straight out of the 2020 cruise wear line. Golden body, bright acidity and aromas of citrus and white wine. The combination of soursop and Sabro give the body smoothness and a touch of coconut on the palate. Right when you forgot about the lychee, it comes around the corner and finishes late on the palate.

Own Opinion

Label: Beautiful pale blue, oil effect label with the classic palm tree image from the Paradise Lost series. Nice effect for sure.

Pour: Hazy, hazy, hazy, nice bright yellow with a clean white head.

Aroma: Fruity lychee aroma, smells sweet and makes the mouth water. Very excited to drink this one.

Taste: Fruity and mouthwatering sharpness, bold citrus flavours similar to pineapple I think. Then you get a finishing note of Lychee and Coconut. Extremely drinkable.

Would I buy it again: Yes. Very tasty brew and I am so happy I purchased it. By the time this goes live they should still have bottles available so go treat yourself.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Miniature Monday // Strontium Dogs - The Gronk

Welcome to an actual Miniature Monday! That's right it is a Monday and I have a painted mini. Not a WIP but an actual painted mini. But the shocks don't stop there I actually have two minis...I guess all I needed was isolation to get some hobby done.

So what did I paint.......THE GRONK.

What is a Gronk? Well here is the official history.

The Gronk is a character from the Starlord and 2000 AD strip Strontium Dog. Gronks are a timid life-form from the planet Blas in the Gallego system. Mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha first encountered and befriended a Gronk, later named as Gloppus, fairly early in his career, on the astro-liner Sondheim. The creature promptly keeled over and died of a heart attack caused by the shock of being hijacked by space pirate Papa Por-Ka. Alpha's partner, Wulf Sternhammer, took the Gronk's pelt to wear, in deference to the traditions of the Gronk's home planet.

Shortly afterwards, on the planet Paprika (a windswept outpost on the far reaches of the galaxy) Alpha and Sternhammer met another Gronk masquerading as a female human fortune teller called Madame DesirĂ©. This Gronk recognized Wulf's pelt as having belonged to his brother. (All Gronks are identical — to the casual non-Gronk observer, anyway — and apparently have no names, although the second Gronk said that his brother had been called Gloppus. A nickname, perhaps?) The Gronk insisted on joining Alpha and Sternhammer in their adventures as their medic, despite the perils of such an occupation and the tendency of Gronks to suffer heart failure at the slightest sign of excitement.

Eventually, when Johnny Alpha's father Nelson Bunker Kreelman took over the Strontium Dog's orbital HQ, the Doghouse, in order to seek revenge on his son, the Gronk suffered several near fatal heart attacks after discovering his plans. He did, however, manage to free Alpha from his father's torture machine. Following this, the Gronk ceased to accompany Alpha and Sternhammer on missions and, indeed, it was assumed by many that he had died.

According to one account which may or may not be true, following the destruction of the Doghouse and Johnny Alpha's apparent death, the Gronk suffered another heart attack which resulted in a hitherto unsuspected aggressive and fearless side to his nature coming to the fore, and he took up Johnny's badge and, alongside the mutant Feral Jackson, travelled to the homeworld of the Lyran sorcerers in order to release Johnny's soul. In an emotional scene, the Gronk seemingly killed his friend again in order to free him from everlasting torment — a fate worse than death — before declaring of the Lyrans that "nobody gets out of here alives", and apparently destroying them all. NB: This story may be apocryphal. Since new information concerning Alpha's fate has since come to light, it's probably best to regard the entire 'savage Gronk' storyline as not canon.

There you have it, The Gronk. Now you know all about him/it/them let us move onto my painted versions.

As mentioned before I have painted two Gronks the first is a very old metal model made by Games Workshop about 1984. This was back in the time when Games Workshop had the rights to 2000ad and even had a Judge Dredd Roleplaying game (how cool was the 80's). What I don't understand is why they made this as they had no rules or a game to play along with unless someone knows different.

This is most likely lead judging by the age of the model. It was also crazy tiny! It is about the size of my wedding ring. It was a very simple paint job, base coated black, then brown, then dry brush grey and finally white. Of the white I did pallid flesh on the skin and then finally Gulliman Flesh Contrast on this. I then attempted to pick out the eyes and clean up some errors. Definitely not super pretty, but great for table top.

Then we move forward to 2019 and the Warlord Games Gronk. Warlord Games (currently my favourite game producers) managed to pick up some licensees from 2000ad and started producing the Strontium Dog figures before moving onto Judge Dredd. The Warlord Games Gronk shows exactly how far miniature design has come, still made from metal but this time user friendly and not lead. He is also carrying a cool little first aid kit. I love the expression as well, it is full of character and life. I painted it exactly the same way as the Games Workshop one.

Between the two minis I spent about 30-40 minutes tops on these from start to finish and they were truly a joy paint. Now I'm itching to paint more. I am eyeing up a Wulf Sternhammer at the moment so watch this space.

As always I hope you enjoyed this and drop me a comment and if possible hit that follow button! Until next time.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Book Review 74 // Warhammer 30,000 - Primarch: Roboute Guilliman by David Annandale

Been on quite the Judge Dredd trip of late so I am attempting to move away from that and back into the realm of Black Library. I was lucky of late and got my hands on a Humble Bundle e-book deal. In that collection sat Primarch: Roboute Guilliman by David Annandale.

Now the Ultramarines seem to sit in the love them or hate them category due to GW using them for everything. Personally I don't mind them and have on many occasion come close to building an army of them. I am genuinely excited to see how this book plays out.

Book Details

Title: Warhammer 30,000 - Primarch: Roboute Guilliman.

Author: David Annandale

Publisher: Black Library

Type: E-book

Page Count: 192

Commercial Fluff: Roboute Guilliman, the Battle King of Macragge, leads his Legion, the mighty Ultramarines, in conquest of the galaxy as part of his father's Great Crusade. Faced with an alien empire, all his dreams of a shining galaxy of peace threaten to fall into ruin...

Long before the coming of the Imperium, the realm of Ultramar was ruled by Roboute Guilliman, the last Battle King of Macragge. Even after learning of his true heritage as a primarch son of the Emperor of Mankind, he strove to expand his domain as efficiently and benevolently as possible, with the XIII Legion Ultramarines as his alone to command. Now, facing a rival empire on the ork-held world of Thoas, Guilliman must choose his weapons carefully – otherwise his dream of a brighter future could be lost forever.

It's the start of a brand new series of 18 books focusing on the greatest of heroes, the primarchs themselves. This volume kicks it all off with a tale of Roboute Guilliman at the height of his powers, leading his legion into battle at the apex of the Great Crusade.

Review

Straight up lets get passed the obs point...yes it is a book all about Guilliman. The point of this series is to give us a closer look into the Primarchs who tore the galaxy apart on the eve of unity. If you don't know about the Horus Heresy then read up on it first. If you don't want to do that (shame), then no worries all you need to know is that this is set in a time before that. When Guilliman and his sons marched for war under the banner of the Great Crusade!

The book though almost 200 pages in length is only split into nine chapters. Before you start each chapter we are given one of Guilliman's treaties. Of courses these little captions, hint at what is going to happen in the chapter so they are worth a read. It also allows us to delve into the mind of Guilliman as he expands his art of battle, using this to build his pre-cursor to what would become the codex of warfare for the Space Marine Chapters of 40k.

Out of most of the Primarchs I only know his tale from the 40k side. Having not let reached him in the Horus Heresy novels. All I really know is he is a great leader, political genius and the creator of the chapter system. I also know most of his brother primarchs find him annoying as he is almost too good at everything, especially empire building (which I believe gets him in trouble in the 30k story arc). But in this tale we have him as a true Primarch, a fighter, a leader and a killer. And who better for him to fight against than the xeno filth of the galaxy.....ORKS.

What surprises me is the link to Lorgar (his brother) and the Word Bearers. It is due to their feud that we get some of the most interesting sections and plots of the book. We see through Guilliman's eyes his pain at the behest of the Emperor to destroy Monarchia (a city built by Lorgar), in order to teach his wayward brother that the Emperor is not to be worshipped as a God. Because of this destruction we end up with a Guilliman seeking to prove the Ultramarines are builders and not destroyers. This is a theme that comes into play in the book, as rather than orbital cleansing the ork world as his brothers would, Guilliman instead makes planet fall in the hopes of preserving the world for a future colony.


The story itself is a simple one. The Ultramarines are busy getting rid of an ork empire on the edge of the Ultramar system (their homeworld). They are seemingly on the verge of completely removing this empire from the galaxy, when they discover an infested world that once held a human civilisation. Though the humans are long gone there history and architecture remains. And with the guilt of Monarchia still hanging over him, Guilliman decides to make land fall and fight the orks rather than destroying them and the ruined civilisation from space.

The great thing about this novel is Guilliman's interactions and his personality portrayal. You get to experience his way of battle, his leadership and how pragmatic he can truly be. We even see him disliked by some of his "sons" and have doubts over his decisions! This actually gives us a character who is realistically flawed and not as sure of his actions as we are lead to believe. He is truly a human in a godlike form (lol). What this does, is to showcase him as an individual that does care about what is left to be claimed once the fighting finishes.

I have to say no big revels, it is a pretty standard battle for the Space Marines aka Marines find orks, orks get their asses kicked. It is a great way to start the Primarch series with the next book being Leman Russ which I will have to purchase very soon. Down side to this is the urge to create a Ultramarine force! Maybe I can do a killteam?

As always drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Or better yet hit follow.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Audio Review 12 // Horus Heresy: Dark Compliance #52

Welcome to another 30k audio book, this time it falls under #52 Herald's of the Siege. By now the Horus Hersey is in full swing, the galaxy is being carved in half by the traitorous forces and the march to Terra is underway. This is just one story of many and I am sure I will revisit the other tales soon so expect more at some point.

Title: Dark Compliance
Number: #52
Written by: John French
Running time: 64 minutes.
Performed by: Gareth Armstrong, Ramon Tikaram, Jonathan Keeble, Matthew Hunt, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Melvyn Rawlinson, Penelope Rawlins

Commercial Fluff: For more than two hundred years, the armies of the Emperor of Mankind fought to reconquer the galaxy – led by the superhuman primarchs, the Space Marine Legions brought countless worlds back under the rule of ancient Terra. Now Horus, once honoured Warmaster and favoured son of the Emperor, has been corrupted by the whispered promises of Chaos. At his command the Imperium is torn apart by a terrible and bloody civil war, the likes of which the galaxy has never seen... As Horus’s rebellion gains momentum, more and more worlds flock to his banner. For some, it is through fear of annihilation; for others, it is out of malicious desire. Any that consider resistance are given one chance to swear fealty. To do anything other is to court disaster and worse. Accazzar-Beta is one such defier, but in bringing this heavily-fortified Mechanicum world to heel, just how far is the Warmaster willing to go and what truly is the meaning of a dark compliance? As two fleets engage across the gulf of the void, Accazzar-Beta will find out.

Review

A rather simple tale, even though it is only a filler, it does a great job of portraying what is happening in a galaxy wracked by civil war. The tale begins with a planetary system that is refusing to bend the knee to Warmaster Horus. As the Planetary Governor faces off against Emissary Argonis of the Sons of Horus, he is informed of the demise of Accazzar-Beta, a planet that was brought to ruin in one day by the forces of Horus. Why this important? Accazzar-Beta was heavily fortified world and if it can fall so quick, how can anyone hope to survive?

This is basically a fear mongering tale taken to the extreme. Designed to bring systems into the fold without a shot fired. It shows a Horus wanting to preserve troops and resources for the final push on Terra. But it also shows he isn't an out of control killer, he is still the skill tactician and diplomat.

After the 64 minutes comes to an end I feel satisfied by the tale. Did it move the story arc forward? Nope. Does anything special happen? Nah. But as stated above it does show a side of the story we haven't seen for a while but does happen behind the action packed scenes and was well worth listening to.

As always drop me comment or even better hit the follow button!


Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Beer Review 86 // Pink Fuzz by Beyond the Pale Brewing Company

Wednesday one of my top seven days of the week! Time to unwind, relax and crack a beer. Once again I am visiting my work (Beyond the Pale) for another taste of a beer. This time I am supping on the mainline beer Pink Fuzz.

Details

Name: Pink Fuzz

Style: American Wheat with Grapefruit Zest (A style I don't really enjoy normally).

Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company

Country: Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

ABV: 6%

Commercial Fluff: Not your Bavarian grandfather's wheat beer. Rather than adorn the glass with a fresh slice of citrus we choose to brew the entire batch with a veritable orchard of grapefruit zest. This American style wheat beer uses a west coast american hop bill to emphasise the use of citrus in the brewing process. Move over mimosa, this town ain't big enough for the both of us.

Own Opinion

Label: Beautiful label, tells you exactly what you need to know. This beer has grapefruit, so the label is dominated by it.

Pour: Nice golden yellow colour, with a beautiful white cap. The beer itself is hazy due to the unfiltered nature and the wheat body.

Aroma: A bit hit of citrus, mainly grapefruit which is no surprise.

Taste: This is nice and refreshing. The grapefruit, citrus hits the tongue and is so fresh. Whilst this beer also finishes with a strong bitterness. Pretty easy drinking.

Would I buy it again: Yes. But not to often. Though this is a tasty beer, it is not one I could drink constantly. It is pretty bold in flavour so one of these is normally enough. But it is a beer that is easy to find in Ottawa and well worth drinking when you have the chance.

As always hit follow or drop me a comment below.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Comic Review 78 // Insurrection 2000 AD

Welcome back to another comic review. This graphic novel I first read about three or four years ago and had completely forgotten to review it, so I now I am finally reading it again and correcting my errors with this review.

Let us dive into Insurrection.

Insurrection

Page Count: 131
Written By: Dan Abnett
Artist: Colin MacNeil
Commercial Fluff: Mega-City One mining colony K-Alpha 61 has declared independence from the ‘Big Meg’ and renamed itself Liberty. This act of defiance has angered the Justice Department’s Special Judicial Squad and in a bid to stop further colonies from rebelling, war is inevitable...

Set in the Judge Dredd universe, this high-octane space adventure is written by best-selling Warhammer author, Dan Abnett (Horus Rising, Legion, Prospero Burns) with art by 2000 AD stalwart Colin MacNeil (Chopper, Strontium Dog, Fiends of the Eastern Front).

Review

This comic is split into two parts the first is Insurrection, which is where we will start. Originally published in the Judge Dredd Megazines 279-284, this story lasted five issues. Our main character is one Karel Luther a Colonial Marshal on K-Alpha 61. For the last two years Luther and forces on K-Alpha 61 have been fighting an alien force called the Zhind, in order to defeat the alien forces Luther granted the mutant, droids and uplifts a citizenship status (ie. equal now in rights to humans). Once the threat of the Zhind had been dealt with MC-1 attempts to regain control of the world ordering Luther to revoke the offer of citizenship. This Luther can not do and instead claims Independence from MC-1 and names the world Liberty.

Of course MC-1 doesn't take it lightly and sends the SJS space fleet to deal with the issue and bring Liberty to heel. Soon Liberty is back on a war footing and fighting for their lives. It sadly becomes apparent they can't win and the hard choice is made to flee and continue to build a rebellion in the outer colonies.

Highlight

The C.A.T mounts. C.A.T stands for Combat All-Terrain Transport a four legged mount with built in anti tank weapons. Now these are bad ass and I seriously hope Warlord Games create one of these for their game.

This is an amazing opening story. With plenty of characters to enjoy and a classic underdog story arc. I am excited to see where it goes and for how long the group can survive the wrath of MC-1.

Insurrection II

Insurrection II orginally written and published in Megs 305 -310 we once again have a five part story. Unsurprisingly it follows on from the first tale with the leaders of the new formed Rebellion on the run. But before they can continue the good fight they have to save Freely from the hands of the SJS. A daring rescue is completed Simeon and his gang of Uplifts, but unknown to them they are assisted by the Sinister Judge Syren who hopes they will lead him straight to Luther.

Turns out Judge Syren was right and is lead straight to Luther! In the ensuring fire fight Luther is thrown out of a high rise factory window, horrifically burned and believed dead. In the lower factory levels the rebellion leaders retrain the droid populous to become a fighting force to strike back against the SJS. During this period of conflict the droid Handcog discovers a way to strike a blow to MC-1, if they do it they will set mankind back by ten years, if they don't it will disenfranchise the non-human elements of the rebellion.

Here ends part two, with Luther's finger resting on the button!


Highlight

Judge Syren - A SJS Psi Judge/ Psi Hunter. A completely eerie character, who doesn't verbally talk, has unknown powers and is always accompanied by a cyber dog that can fire flames from it mouth! I really hope this character is seen more in the follow up tales, there is something so sinister and evil about this character.

Final Thoughts

Great opening two stories. The idea of a disenchanted colony uprising is a great theme. I also like that it is set after Judge Dredd, into the future of MC-1. Meaning the writers and artists had some freedom and the ability to play with things like technology.

The characters are likeable, especially the villains. Who end up caring for all them but I feel Simeon could well be my favourite.


Have you read this comic? What are your thoughts on it all? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Book Review 73 // Judges - When the Light Lay Still by Charles J. Eskew

Here is the third short novel in the 2033 Judges series, ie the Genesis of Judge Dredd. So far I have enjoyed the previous two tales Avalanche and Lone Wolf, so with When the Light Lay still I will have completed Volume 1.

As far as this series goes we have dealt with small town America and big city America and how the Judges system is affecting everyone. We have also seen how it is affecting the newly formed Judges, who seem to be a lot more human than their future counter parts. But anyways less chat and more reviewing!

Book Details

Title: When the Light Lay Still

Author: Charles J. Eskew

Publisher: Abaddon Books

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 137

Commercial Fluff: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2038 A.D.

Ezekiel Jones was a cop, and proud of it—until his partner shot a kid and covered it up. Ezekiel testified against her, but the inquiry went nowhere, leaving everything he’d believed in ruins. He joined the new Judges programme the next day.

Moulded and shaped to be the first of the new breed of law-makers, Jones hits the streets again. But as a new weapon gets into the hands of radicals and the tension rises, both Jones and those he serves have to decide where their loyalties lie.

Review

Hmm where to begin. First up that title When the Light Lay Still, what on earth? I don't get it, what is the point of such a wordy title? It seemingly is not referenced in the story or has any links to it. I find this annoying among many other aspects.

This is the third tale in the opening volume and by far the worst. It had some big problems in the writing that really ruined it for me. I was very happy to be finished of it and it sadly left a bad taste in my mouth for the series.

Problems for me included the constant swearing (not needed) and the weirdly forced racial and political commentary that was just overbearing and confusing. Then the biggest issue overall was the writing style, it spent a lot of the story in the first person, making it hard to understand who's point of view we were actually reading. Add into this mix a lot of time and place hopping and it's completely a mind fuck, that constantly lost me.

Ultimately this story just didn't read or feel like the other two and it really did not appeal to me. I highly recommend avoid it.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Audio Review 11 // Judge Dredd: Get Karter

Time for another Big Finish Judge Dredd Audio. With the licensee on these completely gone, these discs are becoming harder and harder to find. IF my any miracle people out there have some and want to trade please send me a message and lets chat!

For this disc we are listening to Get Karter. A follow up adventure to The Big Shot! and the closing story arc for Judge Steel.

Details

Name: Judge Dredd: Get Karter

Author: David Bishop

Cover Artist: Henry Flint

Cast:

Toby Longworth (Judge Dredd / Driver / Adam Steel)
Clare Buckfield (Judge Amy Steel)
Jeremy James (Blake / Dispatch / Tannoy)
Trevor Littledale (Detective Judge Armitage)
Hannah Smith (Eve Karter / Judge Dalton / Computer / Ms Wynters)
George Telfer (Payne / Chief Justice Willink / Intercom)
Steven Wickham (Harry Karter)

Director: John Ainsworth

Duration: 66 minutes

Commercial Fluff: Judge Dredd is heading for Brit-Cit on a revenge trip, after crime boss Harry Karter sent the assassin Erebus to murder Mega-City One's toughest lawman. A precog said Dredd would cause problems for Karter in the future - now Dredd wants to make that prophecy come true!

Judge Amy Steel also has a score to settle with Karter. She believes he is responsible for the murder of her father thirteen years ago - but she could never prove it. Soon after Karter married Steel's mother. Amy joined the Judges to escape her step-father and later transferred to Mega-City One. Now the young judge is returning home to confront her step-father. Steel wants to find proof that Karter killed her real father and she will stop at nothing to get the evidence.

Chronological Timeline: This story takes place in October 2124.

Review

This audio drama follows on from Judge Dredd: The Big Shot! And focuses on Judge Steel.

Here is a quick recap of The Big Shot! episode. Whilst Judge Dredd protected a celebrity from Brit Cit, an assassin was sent after them. The Judges initially think it was the celebrity the assassin was after, when in fact it was Judge Dredd. With the help of the newly full eagle Judge Steel, the assassin is thwarted and the trail leads to the renown Brit-cit Crime Boss Harry Karter.

At the start of this drama, it is discovered that Karter will become a future problem for MC-1 so Judge Dredd is sent on an exchange to Brit-cit to covertly (ha) investigate Karter with the help of my favourite grumpy character Armitage! At the same time it is revelled that Judge Steel is in fact the step daughter of Karter and possibly thirteen years ago Karter killed Steel's father.

This audio drama is more focused on Steel and though a great follow up and conclusion to her arc, I would have loved more Armitage and more Brit-Cit in general. This tale is great though and even has a few twists and turns to it that will leave you thrilled to have listen. As always the Big Finish production on these is fault less and I hope to find more on ebay soon to listen too.

As always thanks for reading. Please hit follow in the side bar to show your support.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Beer Review 85 // Pale Sour by Ommegang

Been slowing down on the beer drinking of late which is good for multiple reasons, but it does mean I can catch up on the beer blogging! This time we have a Belgian beer via Cooperstown New York, via LCBO so not the freshest, but it is a sour so the flavour should stand up.

Details

Name: Pale Sour

Style: Sour

Brewery: Ommegang

Country: USA though technically Belgian as it brewed at the Liefmans blendery.

ABV: 6.9%

Commercial Fluff: Gently tart, delicately sweet and completely refreshing, this incomparable ale is crafted exclusively for Ommegang by Liefmans, our sister blendery in Belgium.

A mixed-culture fermentation in open copper vats is followed by months of aging in stainless steel. Master blenders regularly mix new batches with older ones to achieve the ideal combination of flavors and the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Pouring a bright gold with a brilliant white head, Pale Sour drinks like a fine white wine.

Own Opinion

Label: A pretty dull label, I can see they are trying to invoke classic Belgian breweries labels but it misses the mark for me. I also feel the name has had no effort put into it. I know a name really means nothing but the straight forward bluntness is dull.

Pour: Bright yellow with a fizzy head that disappears before you can even finish pouring.

Aroma: A pretty fruity flavour coming of this almost a sweet apple.

Taste: Hmm. Flavours remind me of cider, a little tart sharpness, sweet and dry finishing. I know the mention wine, but in my head it is aiming me towards cider.

Would I buy it again: No. Perfectly drinkable but more a case of dullness. This seems like a base beer. Something that a brewery would build off either with fruit or a dry hopping. Glad I tried it but once is most likely enough.

Have you tried it? Drop me a comment and let me know.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Comic Review 77 // Judge Anderson PSI Files 04

It's been a while since a PSI File issue (PSI 03), so I best do a little recap. Judge Anderson lost her way in PSI Files 02, leaving the Justice System and exploring the galaxy and was a pretty great story arc. After finding herself she came back to MC-1 for PSI Files 03, facing Judgement by Dredd himself and taking on Satan as well (what a comeback).

For me personally the tales have been taking a dark turn and I really hope this theme continues into this collection so let's jump in.

Story: HORROR STORY - Written by Alan Grant, Art by Steve Sampson. Opening tale is about Rookie Evayne who is on final assessment with Judge Anderson. During this final assessment the name Nikodemus arises, an old foe of Anderson's.

Turns out Nikodemus was a powerful psi criminal caught by Anderson and imprisoned. Facing heart failure, Nikodemus chose to suffer a time stretch sentence rather than imprisonment. It was during this that he was able to jump from his body into someone elses. Using this new means of body jumping Nikodemus is able to take over Evayne and cause some chaos.

Highlight: The final Anderson twist. Don't want to give it all away but it was great and a honest opening that continues on the dark path of story telling. The artwork of Steve Sampson is also eye catching and beautiful in it's brutally.

Story: SEMPER VI - Written by Alan Grant, Art by Steve Sampson. Whilst Judge Anderson is driving around Sector 11, she receives a PSI Flash of a gang creating torture vids of toys being destroyed. Soon Judge Anderson is tracking them and taking the gang permanently out of business.

Highlight: After seeing his entire gang brutally killed by Judge Anderson the Leader of Gang questions the whole Justice System and for his trouble he just gets a half ass comment. Not a big fan of this story, seemed poorly thought out and a real filler. Great artwork once again by Steve Sampson.

Story: R*EVOLUTION - Script by Alan Grant, Art by Arthur Ranson. Judge Anderson is visiting Vernan D'Arque a man made filthy rich by mining asteroid fields at the edge of our Solar System. He has an alien piece of technology that allows him to absorb other human minds into his own, making him a very successful being. Whilst visiting D'Arque in space Anderson is tasked with discovering the tech and if possible stealing it away for the Tech Judges to play with. But as always nothing goes to plan.

Highlight: Anderson mind along with D'Arque and seven others are transferred into the mind of Kong an uplifted Gorilla, who is then forced to work in an abattoir. It so strange I could never in my right mind think up this story. Love it!

Story: HALF-LIFE -Script by Alan Grant & Tony Luke, Art by Arthur Ranson. Such a weird and strange tale. The big issue is this tale follows on from one not in this PSI File. It would seem Anderson will face off against Judge Death and end up in a comma. Whilst in this comma Anderson is astral projected in the realm of Judge Death back to when he was just Sidney and Anderson sees Deadworld and the rise of Death through the eyes of a young juve.


Highlight: Any reason to experience Deadworld is a Highlight. I love this story, I just wish I understood the beginning more. But Arthur Ranson's artwork is beautiful and eerie in equal measure.

Story: WMD - Script by Alan Grant, Art by Arthur Ranson. A team of five specialists (PSI's) use a special machine to enter Anderson's Mind in an attempt to destroy a PSI virus that has attached itself to her mind. One of of the Judges is from the rare Witch branch of the Justice System and is treated with disdain by the other Judges.

Highlight: Gistane - A Judge Witch. A weird branch of the Justice System that practices witchcraft in all it forms. Gistane is distrusted to all and it seems they have good reason to fear this unusual Judge.

Story: LOCK-IN - Script by Alan Grant, Art by Arthur Ranson. Anderson is back in training following her Half-Life ordeal. But when the PSI Block enters lock Anderson's training becomes a lot more hands on. What is causing the dead to rise?

Highlight: Judge Anderson is 50 years old! I understood they aged every year in the comics but damn 50 and still fighting crime.

Story: CITY OF DEAD - Script by Alan Grant, Art by Arthur Ranson. The Half-life virus has been passed into nano bugs and is now rapidly spreading throughout MC-1. The virus seems to have one of two effects. One - You become a murder. Two - You commit suicide! It's up to Anderson to discover a way to stop it, before MC-1 becomes a City of Dead.

Highlight: I'm really liking the Witch branch of the Justice Department. I wish they would explore this more. I know I feel inspired by it. I also love the dark as fuck final panel showing the Resyk full of the dead.

BONUS STRIPS

Story: THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME - Text Story, Script by Mark Millar, Art by Dermot Power: Every year Mega City One plays host to the Charades games between rival blocks. But this year following a murder, Judge Anderson is brought in to investigate.

Highlight: Not a big fan of the story. Seemed rather dated, but did have some classic Judge Dredd tongue in treat moments.

Story: BABY TALK - Script by Alan Grant & Tony Luke, Art by Russell Fox: A new drug is being tested on the down and out. It's name Atom Seed. Unfortunately one test victim is a pregnant lady who's child has a PSI gift. The gifted child manages to reach out to Anderson but can the Judge save the child in time.

Highlight: A pretty dark and depressing tale. Great black and white artwork adds to the story telling.

Story: GEORGE - Script by Alan Grant, Art by Russell Fox: George is a Satanic Tapeworm and making his human host murder on demand. Lucky Anderson is on hand to deal out justice!

Highlight: George has to be the highlight. A Satanic Tapeworm with a thirst for murder. What is more Judge Dredd!!

Final Thoughts

I great volume of Judge Anderson stories. I really enjoyed these tales all of them which is a rare thing to write. The standout stories for me all happened to have the same artist Arthur Ranson. His art work is so detailed and let grim dark it helped to enthral me into the stories. I am actually so interested in his artwork I am going to try and get a hold of Mazeworld which he was the sole artist for so watch this space.

Ultimately I can only score this a 5 out 5 it is great. To finish this post I am leaving you with a Gorilla gunning down some Judge. Thanks for reading.



Beer Review 94 // Happyness by Superflux

The last of my Superflux beers is now drunk. It is always fun trying new beers and this was no different. I won't waste any time so let ...