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2020 the Highlights

Well, it's easy to think of all the bad things that 2020 brought us and be stuck in those dark thoughts. For many of us, 2020 has been a chaotic, eye-opening and generally scary year. I like many, have taken stock of what I appreciate and enjoy, and how everyone should be welcome and included. This blog is one such space that as I build I hope others can enjoy and openly talk about their passions. There is a lot of work to be done, but it has begun.

This post is a review of my year and my hopes for next year. I hope you will read to the end and leave a comment. If not no worries and thank you for stopping by.

Miniatures

2020 saw me paint the most figures I have painted in a long while. Though the number was still lower than I wanted I am proud of what I achieved. I really enjoyed painting my Warlord Games figures this year, but my favourite posts have to be the Genestealer cult paint guides for the Blessed Wormlings. This is a force I plan on revisiting in 2021, along with continuing my Warlord Games adventured.

Paint Guide to the Blessed Wormlings Part One

Paint Guide to the Blessed Wormlings Part Two

Beers

2020 saw me review 47 beers. My standout beer for 2020 has to be Agamemnon by Omnipollo, which was basically a melted desert with alcohol, big, boozy, delicious and amazing beer. I will be continuing my beer adventures into 2021, but one thing I will be changing up is the amount I drink weekly. I will be cutting back, only enjoying a drink on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I will also resist the urge to buy every new beer I see and attempt to empty the fridge before buying more. No more than 10 beers in the fridge at one time. Wish me luck.

Books

I had a solid reading year. 45 books read and reviewed on this blog. My goal for 2021 is one a week, read and reviewed. Not going to be an easy task, but I like the challenge :) The top spot book of 2020 has to be: The House of Night and Chain by David Annandale. A Black Library novel (no surprise there), set in their newly forming horror arc. This story absorbed me, even to the point that I bought the audiobook to enjoy on my walks to work.

The House of Night and Chain - David Annandale

Comics

I had a great comic reading year, with 51 titles being read and reviewed. Highlights include completing the Judge Dredd: Lawman of the Future series, the Aliens: Omnibus and starting the Marneus series. With a massive array of titles, it is hard to choose one to stand above the rest. But for me, I have to go with Red Razors. Psycho ex-gangster turned Soviet Judge, who also takes on Judge Dredd! Sign me up. Read my review here: Red Razors. What does 2021 mean for my comic reading? Firstly I wish to continue the Judge Dredd volumes, with some Strontium Dog, Rogue Trooper and Predator thrown in. It's going to be a big year, I also want to get back into the Judge Dredd Magazines, so expect more of them as well.


To finish up I thought I would share the most popular post and page for 2020 and some affiliate links (click and buy something and I get a cheeky kickback). I hope you have enjoyed reading? If you have, why not drop me a comment and give me a follow.

My most popular post of the year was Aeldari Names. Caught me by surprise with this and I will have to see how or what I did to make it popular? Maybe you all just like made-up names?

My most popular page happens to be no surprise at all, it is the Aeldari Encyclopedia. Started way back in 2017 this page has grown and grown and I am excited to see what new adventures it will inspire in 2021. One such project will be the Craftworlds, which I will officially announce in January, so check back in.

And with that, the highlight reel of 2020 is over. 2021 promises much and I hope I can rise to the occasion, interested in me reviewing or blogging about a certain topic in particular? Then tell me by dropping a comment below. Thanks for reading and continuing to support the blog.

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Miniatures: Genestealer Neophytes.

Book Review 111 // Scar Crossed by Nick Kyme


Romeo and Juliet reimagined for a new generation of Necromunda fans.

The story starts off in a down and out bar in the underhive. The zealots of House Cawdor are on a purging spree and praying upon a drunk in the corner. In an attempt to save his life, the drunk offers to tell a story of love in exchange for his life. The story involves the Scar-Kings of House Goliath and the Razor Queens of House Escher, who have been in a bitter war for years. In this mix of rivalry, we have a loving couple. After being caught they knew their time was up and attempt to escape, but to make it out they need cash. Here enters a lost archotech horde, a ton of backstabbing, deaths, gunfights and betrayal. Before a heart-wrenching ending.

This was a rare and unique story for Black Library, considering it is a love story. Nick Kyme definitely sucked me into the tale and had me wishing it was longer than 20 pages. Now the real question is how long can I hold off not buying a Necromunda gang?

I would love to read your thoughts. Have you read this story? Do you prefer Goliaths or Escher? Let me know in the comments and if you wish to support the blog hit subscribe or use one of the following links:

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The Novel Paperback: Underhive

The Necromunda Rulebook: Necromunda

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Beer Review 122 // Passion of the Spice - Paradise Lost by Blood Brothers

Look at the colour! Paradise Lost - Passion of the Spice - A colourful, sweet & spicy sour, brewed with passionfruit, dragonfruit and Carolina Reapers. This was brewed by Blood Brothers in Toronto as a part of their Paradise Lost series. This is a series I love trying out whenever I get the chance.

Straight up the bottle looks great, a nice 80's, tropical theme with gold highlights. Fits the theme of their beers perfectly. The pour is bright, bright red, capped with a light pink foam. It looks stunning and tasty. On the opening sip, it is tart, face screwingly tart. Plenty of fruity notes are proved by the passionfruit and the jackfruit. But hot damn! The Carolina Reapers. Those Reapers are hot, the spice kicked in on the back of the throat and then moved to the tongue and then hit the lips. I'm not great with heat and spice and so this kicked me hard. Not in a bad way, just in a way that I should have shared the bottle.

Overall a great if slightly over a spicy brew, I would recommend this to others for sure. Have you tried this beer? Let me know in the comments, then hit the follow button to the side.

Blood Brothers Website: https://www.bloodbrothersbrewing.com/

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Comic Review 116 // Aliens Omnibus Volume 6.

Finishing the year on a high. The entire Aliens omnibus collection is now read, reviewed and published. This has proven to not be an easy read. Though I love the franchise, this series has suffered from a lot of poor stories. Sadly, volume six falls into this category as well, a lot of stories in this issue should have been left on the editor's floor.

With thirteen stories to get through, we will move quickly and sweep those corners.


Apocalypse
 - A recurring author in the talented Mark Schultz and artwork by Doug Wheatley. The artwork is beautiful in this story and it is a great opener for this book. We have a return to LV-426 with Alecto Throop a strong powerful, female lead, who is hired to find Dr. Lucien. As the body count rises, the story gets Lovecraft creepy, with once more a deranged scientist, trying to find ways to control the xenomorph. Great story, great artwork, read it!

Once in a Lifetime - Mark Schultz once more with writing assistance from Phil Amara. Artwork by Rick Leonardi. Another Geholgod themed story, these guys are as bad as Weyland Yutani! A scientist is sent to investigate a world with xenomorphs that never grew from humans and see how they differ from human born ones. She seems to think the aggressive nature of the xenomorph may come from the genes of humans. An interesting idea, but a little rushed and not overly exciting.

Xenogenesis - Written by Tom and Mary Bierbaum and drawn by David Ross. Set further into the future, xenomorphs are a well-known threat. The companies are bored of them and now have specialist kill teams for extermination jobs. To be honest this is a poorly written story even in the xenomorph franchise. Teenage me may have liked it but he had terrible taste. Just skip it and move on.

Headhunters - Written by Mike W. Barr and drawn by Gene Colan, tells the story of xenomorph hunters attempting to claim some bounties on the death of the aliens. Pretty straight forward, basically a filler piece. Nice pencil artwork.

Tourist Season - Written by Beau Smith and drawn by Gary Morrow. A what I assume is a theme park-style planet, designed to represent the Wild West is under siege from Xenomorphs. Enter stage right the town sheriff for some gunslinging action. Basically, a tale to draw some cowboys - Yawn.

Pig - Script by Chuck Nixon and drawn by Henry Flint (amazing Judge Dredd artist). The story is about a bunch of space pirates attempting to loot a crashed spacecraft. The only problem is the planet is infested by Aliens. To solve the problem they decide to nuke the nest by strapping bombs on to a pig, nothing goes to plan for our pirates but it is one hell of a fun ride. Great story, fun artwork, love it.

Borderlines - Darko Macan and Tommy Lee Edwards team up on this tale. A weird soldier's tale of why we fight the aliens, the best line is "Their hunger of today or ours of Tomorrow". A non-offensive filler piece. Nice moody black and white artwork.

45 Seconds - Darko is back this time with the B & W artwork of Frank Teran. Great artwork on this one. 45 seconds is a tale of a colonial marine who has set bombs to go and blow up the Xeno nest. With only 45 seconds to get out the fear has his control. The ending is great and this is a solid piece. Very enjoyable.

Elder Gods - Story by Nancy A. Collins and drawn by Leif Jones. A lazy merging of Lovecraft and Xeno. Had the opportunity to be good, instead fell a bit flat by leaning too heavily into the Lovecraft theme. ie. Instead of Lovecraft, we have Loveless, instead of Cthulhu we have Tuulituu. Shame.

Purge - Script by Ian Edginton and Phil Hester on the artwork. A weird tale involving a science lab located on a remote planet. The lab specializes in the effects of alien impregnation on lepers. Turns out the defective human gene affects the alien to the point that they never leave the host. And actually, enhance their host in a positive way. Into this mix throw an android with DNA of a xenomorph gene and you are asking for trouble. A weird tale that I am not sure if I enjoyed or not, I find the android angle weird and annoying but the leper angle was definitely a fun spin. I wonder if we will ever meet these characters again?

Glass Corridor - A rare one in the sense that it is written and drawn by the same person, David Lloyd. Following a hitman called Frank, we join him after he fails a hit. Frank stows away on a transport ship with the hopes of escaping, unfortunately, it turns out there is a Xeno onboard. This is a story of redemption and Frank becoming a hero. A nice story.

Stalker - Seems we have a bus scenario happening, we suddenly have a second written and drawn by the same person, David Wenzel. Basically a story of Vikings vs Xenomorphs. A fun story with beautiful artwork. The story ends with a colonial trooper armed with the blade handle of his Viking ancestor, about to board a Xeno infested colony.   

Wraith - The final tale by Jay Stephens and drawn by Eduardo Risso. What happens when your campfire story turns out to be true. This is the theme of this tale. I have to honest this was not a great ending tale it felt and read I a weak-ass Creepshow story. It tried to be scary and then when you felt everyone was saved the twist kicks in. Below average at best.

Final thoughts for this omnibus is an above-average outing. Seems weird to think I've completed the range and I feel proud that I pushed through. Overall from volume one to six, the series has been all over the place. We have had highs like the initial story arc, then we also have had super lows (some even unreadable). But the one thing that has carried us through the entire series is the xenomorphs, I just love them. I also love the continuing threat of Weyland Yuntani, I wish they actually featured more. So where now? I feel it is time to move back to Judge Dredd and 2000 ad, maybe even Strontium Dog? Let me know what to read next in the comments below.

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Aeldari Sentences - Aeldari Encyclopedia

The continuing project of cleaning up the Encyclopedia page continues. This time sentences or phrases. As always these terms are taken from Black Library books, fan sites and other works of fiction. In no way official and free to be used by anyone.

"The time for using the knife to remove this cancer is long gone. Bring forth the torch" 

- Exarch Quaillindral


Shea nudh Asuryanish ereintha Asuryanat

May the Blessings of Asuryan protect the children of Asuryan from abomination.


Da gceilfi an fhirinne, b'flieidir go neosfai breag.

If the truth were hidden, perhaps a lie would be told.


Bhi se chomh dorcha gr cheapamair go raibh an oichie tagtha.

It was so dark that we thought night had come.


Llith'amtu Khlavh

The Knife that Stays the Blade.


Well, a little short post today. Hope you enjoyed and thank you for stopping by.

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Book Review 110 // Once a Stimm Queen by Robbie MacNiven


You know the drill. I'm stuck in the underhives of Necromunda, and my only way out is by reading these short stories. Today's tale, Once a Stimm Queen by Robbie MacNiven. These are the official details.

A Necromunda story.

On a job for some Goliath clients, the juves of the Stimm Queens fall foul of the Enforcers, Necromunda's vicious lawmen. As they scramble to survive, things look bleak…

READ IT BECAUSE

It's a tale of desperate survival against impossible odds, and the bonds forged in diversity.

THE STORY

No job in the underhive ever goes smoothly. Whether it's a rival gang taking petty revenge, an attack by mutated wild creatures or the perils of the crumbling hive itself, trouble lurks around every corner. So the Stimm Queens, on a job for some Goliath clients, never really expected it to run smoothly. But when the Enforcers, Necromunda's black-armoured lawmen, join the party, things look particularly bleak. A handful of juves try desperately to survive, clinging to vain hope and each other as darkness descends.

My Review

At twenty pages, this was an easy read. Very early on, MacNiven gives us a likeable character called Jannix, who as a Juve had a run-in with the Necromunda Enforcers and loses her friend Sy. With a backstory set, we jump forward in time, now Jannix is a full ganger, involved in a parley with the local Goliath gang. When the Goliaths fail to show, the Escher know this is a set-up. Soon Enforcers, are storming the building and the body count starts to rise, but who is leading the local Enforcers squad?

A great short tale, double-crosses, lost friendships and who is really the criminal in the underhive? I almost felt this tale could fit multiple genres and is a rehashing of multiple other tales. This is the only fault I had with it and ultimately I enjoyed the story. The writing was good, the pacing fast, a small easy to remember cadre of characters and my personal favourites; Goliaths. Well worth a 4 out of 5 ratings on Goodreads.

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Ottawa Food // Mike Holland Cake - Tres Leches

 


Welcome to this week's cake. As always, I'm enjoying another Mike Holland creation. Tres Leches is a Vanilla cake soaked in milk. To this, he used condensed milk for the icing and then capped it with a shot of whipped cream.

This unsurprisingly was a delicious cake, light, flavoursome and moreish. As always, drop me a follow or comment. I do appreciate all feedback, comments and if you wish to support the blog, hit subscribe or use one of the following links:

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Beer Review 121 // Grandma's Boy with Shiro Plums (2018) by Bellwoods.


Time for a beer. Hope everyone reading has had a good December so far? For today's brew, we are enjoying a Bellwoods special. This fantastic brewery in the heart of Toronto has been producing some delicious wild and sour beers. One series of beers they produce is Grandma's Boy, a wild ale series involving the blending of ales before ageing them in Oak Foeders. The ageing process lasts for about a year and hopefully imparts notes of the oak into the beer. To make this brew extra special they added Niagra Shiro Plums.

Cracking the bottle and pouring we are greeted by a bright and lively yellow pour. This is capped by a fizzy head that dissipates leaving just a slight covering. The aroma is funky, guessing a bit of brett has snuck in. On the first sip, the face puckers up, but the tongue soon gets used to it. Once you are past this phase the plums start to shine, offering juicy fruit flavours that leave the mouth-watering.

At 5.8% this is super easy to drink and is gone too quick. If you are a fan of Jelly King I highly recommend this brew!

Have you tried this brew? Do you enjoy fruit beers or wild ales? Let me know in the comments. If you wish to support the blog hit subscribe or use one of the following links:

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Comic Review 115 // Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar Issue 3


Well, well, looks like we have hit issue three of the five-part series titled Marneus Calgar. In my mind, we are now halfway through the series, the story has been set, the opening is finished, and a goal for the series needs to be set.

But first, let us get some bookkeeping out of the way, I would love a follow, plus a comment below, just to let me know I am not alone. If you haven't read either Issue one or Issue two reviews, you now have the links (your welcome).

Right with that crap done. Time to review issue three.

At the end of issue two, we discovered that the moon is in fact home to a chaos shrine devoted to Khorne the Chaos God of Skulls, blood, war and rock music. We also had a plot twist completely unexpected of Marneus being killed off, and his servant/friend - Tacitan, taking his name to honour the fallen friend. But now Tacitan is stuck in a cave to fight the followers of Khorne alone. Whilst, in the modern story arc, Marneus is preparing to fortify the Calgar estate and face off against the forces of the Despoiler.

Issue three, where to begin. I personally enjoyed it. It's still full of gore and violence, there is still a back and forth in the timelines, and there is still an annoying tech-priest sidekick (why is he in the story?). Starting with the modern story arc; Marneus leads his demi company into battle against the largest chaos cultist faction on the planet. This was a great few pages, getting to see a 40k agriculture machine was impressive, then watching Marneus pulp cultists is terrific and finally, Marneus reaches the control room his call for aid was priceless (how can you control anything with giant fists?). We then discover Marneus had purposefully announced the fact that the Calgar estate was unguarded, to tempt all the forces of Chaos to that one point so he could utterly crush it! This arc then finishes with the forces of the Ultramarines arrayed for war (just needed epic music in the background - drop a suggestion below, I'm thinking Bad Boys).

Now the important arc, the origin story set in the past. We pick up from the soul-destroying death of the original Marneus Calgar (RIP). Now alone, the young Tacitan has to start making some hard choices and seeing how much of the training stuck. After managing to lure the blood god's cultists out of the cave and killing a couple, Tacitan heads back in and sends off an emergency broadcast for help. Knowing nowhere is safe, Tacitan grabs some explosives and heads to the blood shrine. Now, of course, the cultist's leader expected this and attacks Tacitan. As all seems lost, a Space Marine Sergeant with a glowing power sword enters the fray and rescues Tacitan. Throughout the combat, bodies explode, blood follows and the shrine activates, opening a warp rift and ending that section for this issue.

With both timelines now complete, the issue is finished. Pros for me include fun art, gore, the wider experience of the 40k verse. Whilst cons continue to be a safe story, a bit dull and a stupid tech-priest.

I would love to read your thoughts. Have you tried this comic series? Do you enjoy Ultramarines? Who else deserves a comic series? For my own preference, I would love to see a Yriel series, with him as a Corsair lord. Let me know in the comments. If you wish to support the blog hit subscribe or use one of the following links:

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Miniature Monday // Warlord Games - Strontium Dogs - Build A Mutie


New Youtube video today! Tried my hand at unboxing a Warlord Games - Strontium Dogs - Build A Mutie boxset. A fun box full of enough parts to build five mutants with an assortment of weapons. I got through the initial opening and building, and then plan on doing a second video for painting once I have the chance.

The five mutant combinations I went with:

  1. Tentacle armed, nose on the forehead with an axe.
  2. Vampire/bat head, chainsaw.
  3. Two-headed, big nose, horn, tall, pistol and mantis arm.
  4. Lumpy head and blaster.
  5. Bullhead, pistol and club.
I just need names for them all, got a suggestion. Drop them in the comments.


Have you played the game or built any of the figures? Let me know in the comments. I do appreciate all feedback and comments and if you wish to support the blog hit subscribe or use one of the following links:

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Other Strontium posts:

The Gronk

Brute Mosely

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Book Review 109 // Emp-rah’s Eye by Guy Haley

I seem to be stuck in the deep, dark hive domes of Necromunda. The lore is intriguing and the setting just so grimdark. Written two years ago and 25 pages long, this story is taking us into a section rarely visited by the Necromunda lore - The Ratskins.

We learn of Two Tails, the "Story Singer" of the Five Hands tribe. It would seem Two Tails is dying of old age (which is hinted to be his late 20's!). As a part of the tribe's tradition, five ratskin braves must head out into the hive and travel outside the walls of Necromunda! The one who survives the test will return in triumph and replace Two Tails as the Story Singer.

To aid them in this endeavour, Two Tails tells of his journey into the dark in hopes of offering aid to the young braves. This was a brilliant tale, as it not only made the Ratskins a believable part of Necromunda but it also finally explained how and why the Rat is so important to them (at least I didn't know that part). The author Guy Haley made great use of the page space to make a wonderful and yet still very alien backdrop for our younger version Two Tail to travel through. One of my favourite sections has to be the desert dome, covered in thick hot dust, this dome is devoid of life and water, making for a serious challenge to a young brave. It makes me realize that it is not all gantries and tunnels in Necromunda and that you can actually have some real fun in the setting.

For $4 USD you will be hard-pressed to find a more impressive tale of Necromunda lore. I have included a link below if you wish to purchase.

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Beer Review 120 // GO-AHEAD by Leftfield Brewery

Sometimes you find a beer that you just keep going back to. Go-ahead by Left Field Brewery is such a beer. When I first purchased, I was not expecting much, as I had experienced rather a few bad raspberry beers in my time. But when I cracked open this 5.2% raspberry and hibiscus infused sour, I knew I was onto something special.

The aroma coming off the beer was actual raspberries, not chemical fake smelling raspberries, like the ones found in bad tasting lip balm. Real honest raspberries! On the first sip, you get all the flavours you would want and need. The raspberry flavour starts the show, tasting fresh and juicy, then as the flavours build, the hibiscus start to join in. The hibiscus adds notes of lemon, giving us a tartness that emboldens the raspberry flavouring. Then the final kick of salt hits the tongue, first up giving the drink a very refreshing finish, whilst also making you thirsty more.

An all-around amazing brew that is well-deserving of a spot in anyone's fridge during the summer months. If you have not yet tried one and you are from Ontario, please do the right thing and order some today.

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Comic Review 114 // Aliens Omnibus Volume 5


In space, no one can hear you scream! Lucky for us no one can hear my hit and miss reviews of these Alien comics. Well, we have hit number five in the six-volume series so our time is nearing completion. If you wish to read the other review please do follow this link.

Omnibus Volume Five opens with the creepy-ass cover. A drooling xenomorph, coloured in cool blues, purples and blacks. It feels very neon and 80's inspired, not sure that was the desired effect but I love it. The artwork is by Richard Corben, who I can only assume will be illustrating one of the ten tales inside. Yep, ten tales make up this volume, with over 370 pages this is a big book!

As always we will start at the beginning and deep dive into the graphic novel. If you haven't already please click the follow button or subscribe for updates, thank you.

Alchemy


The open tale is by John Arcudi and drawn by Richard Corben (guess I didn't need to wait long for him to reappear). Another story based on region. This world was founded by a colony ship that fell of course, after a terrible virus was released killing all the adults. The world that grew around the crashed ship was built by children and their android babysitters. As the generations passed, info was forgotten and in time the people reached a medieval-style system. Now it would seem a cult has arisen and found the old android. Using his information the cult is growing xenomorphs and calling them the first father. It is up to the local police to solve what is going on and kill the monsters once and for all.

Not hugely taken by the art style of this piece, it felt lacking in detail which is a shame when you think back to the amazing cover.  Overall an okay tale.

Kidnapped

This story was written by a team of two, Jim Woodring and Justin Green and the art is provided by Francisco Solano Lopez. Well, I can safely say this was a fail for me. The premise is some goons are attempting to collect xenomorph eggs for a scientist. During the egg scoop, they collect one infected with a virus that can even kill a xenomorph. The scientist realizing the danger to earth tells the goons to burn the egg and destroy it, but of course, they can't and so they head to an outer rim pleasure planet. Soon an infected chest buster is free and infecting the populous with a killer virus. Upon realizing what is happening a company man nukes the pleasure city to cover up the disaster.

For me everything was poor. The story was weak and dull, the artwork childish and sexist. Truly a waste of page space.

Survival

Hopefully, this can turn us around as we are failing so far on this comic. Written by James Vance and drawn by Guy Davis. Survival finally a good tale. We join a lone survivor in an escape pod and get to relive his story through hallucinations. Thompson is a Xeno - archaeologist and part of the crew sent to mine an outer rim world. During the flashbacks, we see how everything unravels and leads to Thompson's entomb in the escape pod. A sad tale of how the company manipulates the general workforce and how Thompson's final act wrecks the chances of humanity finding a safeguard against the xenomorphs.

Great story as I am sure you have guessed and the artwork is dark and gritty a style well suited to the story. This is what I want more of, please!

Cargo

Script by Dan Jolley and Drawn by John Nadeau. This story follows ex-smuggler Gerald Coile and is set on Earth. Finally, mankind has outlawed Xeno-zip, but this has lead to the new underground drug trade. Coile, making quick money running the drugs to and fro has learnt that his boss Vasco is to be hit by the FEDs. Feeling the tides change, Coile sides with the FEDs and feeds them info on Vasco's hauler. With one finally, delivery to complete Coile arrives on the hauler to discover it abandoned and running on low power. In the hold is a recorded message - announcing the fact that he knew Colie had betrayed him, with the message was a gift, a full-grown Xenomorph!

Another great tale. This could have had a lot more pages given over to it as we watch a cat and mouse scenario take shape on the ship. Instead, it all happens a bit fast, the ending though was a true joy and I highly recommend this one.

Alien

This tale is created by John Arcudi the writer of the opening tale and is drawn by Paul Mendoza. Finally hitting a rhythm. We are on an unknown world that is home to a tribal community, plighted by a xenomorph. The brave tribal leader collects some brave warriors and an unblooded to hunt the monster down. As in all classic Alien tales the shit hits the fan and soon only the unblooded brave and a badly wounded chieftain remain. They take shelter in a crashed spaceship and soon the unblooded discovers the source of the xenomorph and discovers a second Alien lifeform - Man. The newcomer fully armed and armoured ultimately kills the Xenomorph. When this man fails to share the trophy the unbloodied kills him, taking his helmet and his gun, before triumphantly returning to his village.

A really fun tale and hugely enjoyable.

Earth Angel

A double-headed feature for John Byrne, set in what would seem to the 50's or 60's. A young couple discovers a crashed craft in the woods and pulls out a pilot wearing an unusual mask. Turns out the unusual mask is in fact a Facehugger! The pilot underneath is an alien of unknown origin and soon a chest buster is on the scene. In classic horror/sci-fi film plots, multiple members of the town start to disappear and only the doctor fully understands what is happening.

This was a fun tale and great artwork. The only thing that slightly annoyed me was making the town doctor a Ripley ancestor. No real need for it and made the tale fall flat at the end.

Incubation

Tale seven is by Ron Marz and Bernie Wrightson. Once again we are visited by other aliens dealing with Xenomorphs but this time the story is told by a third party. Turns out the narrator is a scientist dealing with a crashed alien vessel in the Southern American jungle. Inside he discovers the alien bodies and the truth behind their deaths. Now he is alone leaving a message of hope, the hope that whoever finds the tapes will kill the Xenomorphs before they spread across the world.

Great story, a great lead up to what I think is a Batman vs Xenomorph tale. Another enjoyable tale.

Havoc

The script is by Mark Schultz and has 43 artists working on it. What on earth am I about to witness. A weird tale of a body-hopping dead scientist, who assists the rescue team to survive the monsters. A strange tale interestingly told. Every time the scientist jumps host the artwork changes, sometimes this is a great experience, sometimes it is horrible, but overall an excellent story.

Lovesick

Story by Thierry Gagnon and Richard Forgues, whilst the artwork is by Thierry Gagnon and Randy Stradley. A rather lame filler tale, mostly about a creepy preteen who has the hots for his cousin! Childishly drawn and with a rather weak plot. This is worth ignoring.

Lucky

The last tale of the book. Lucky is written by Mark Verheiden and art by Mark A. Nelson. We follow the downfall of a salvaging ship as it picks up a derelict craft. Unfortunately, a greedy crewman fails to follow procedure and releases xenomorphs onto the ship. Soon the vessel is overrun and the only survivor is the greedy and cowardly crewman who caused all the problems. In classic self-serving behaviour, the crewman blames the whole thing on the first mate and is safely returned home. I enjoyed this one. It is not a long tale but it was very good at showing how the xenomorphs aren't the real villains it is, in fact, mankind that is the monster.

With Lucky, the book ends. I have to say this was a rocky one with a lot of sub-par stories that are just worth ignoring completely. But the tales that were good made up for the rest. So if you are a fan of the Alien franchise you may as well treat yourself and enjoy some otherworldly horror. As always thanks for sticking around to the end. Use any of the following links to help support the blog, cheers!

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Aeldari Artifacts of Myth and Legends


"And all that is lost shall be found" - unknown Inquisitor

Artifacts of Myth

In no way a complete listing, as the race of the Aeldari is fractured and destroyed. More artifacts lay hidden in the dark places and corners of the galaxy. Do you know some? Let me know in the comments below.

Akiliamor: They consisted of a core of dark matter with a number of warheads capable of detonating with enough force to devastate entire worlds. They caused a chain reaction that would release their contents across the surface of the target planet, stripping the surface bare, causing massive electrical storms in the atmosphere, and bringing about the emergence of great volcanoes; all of which left a planet barren and uninhabitable.

Anaris: The sword Anaris is a special Eldar sword, said to have been the last (and mightiest) of the 100 swords that the Eldar God Vaul forged in his pact with Khaine in order to release Isha from Khaine's dungeon. Khaine used The Hundred swords to fight Kaelis Ra and the Yngir, but nearly lost the battle due to one of the swords being imperfect. When Khaine found out about it, he realized that Vaul had cheated him on one of the hundred swords. Vaul reforged that blade to Anaris, but Khaine fought and eventually crippled him, taking Anaris for himself. When Khaine later battled Eldanesh, Eldanesh used Anaris which was brought to him by Faolchú. Khaine defeated Eldanesh and re-claimed Anaris for himself, but when Khaine finally got shattered by Slaanesh, Anaris also got shattered into shards.

Anaris is not to be confused with the Wailing Doom, which is the weapon of the Avatar of Khaine, not Khaine himself.

Asurentesh: Know also as the Heart of Asuryan. A Phoenix Lords Vision Orb (away for the Lords to see their paths).

Asuryan's Fury: Are a type of Eldar Shuriken, that has been made famous by being wielded by the crews of Fire Prisms, that serve as part of the Sunstorm Squadrons formed in Asuryan’s name. Any enemy under-estimating an Eldar wielding a Asuryan’s Fury in battle, often becomes nothing but charred remains left to be recovered.

Asu-Var: Sword of Silent Screams. One of the Croneswords of Morai-Heg. It once resided on Biel-Tan. Absorbing its foes life essence to make the wielder stronger. Now wielded by the Visarch of the Ynnari.

Banshee's Keen: The Banshee's Keen is a deadly and feared Power Spear that has been wielded by many Exarchs of the Howling Banshee aspect.

Blade of Whispering Death: Yriel's original blade.

The Blazing Stars of Vaul: Shuriken weapons that were created by the famed Bonesinger weaponsmith Keáirde, before the Fall of the Eldar. These weapons are infused with his peerless spirit and they can fire shuriken so rapidly, that they appear to leave contrails of light in their wake. However, few of these weapons now remain and no Eldar has been able to duplicate the quality of Keáirde's work

The Breath of Ynnead: An Eldar Ranger Long Rifle and those who have witnessed this weapon's results reported hearing no more than the sound of a gentle sigh and a rustle of leaves before a comrade fell lifeless.

Burnished Blade of Eliarna: A Craftworld Biel-Tan sword that is wielded by its greatest warriors and is composed of some unknown metal that makes it gleam like a star. According to the Eldar's legends, the Blade was forged at the request of the hero Eliarna, so that she could combat the Ork menace that beset many of the Eldar Empire's kingdoms at that time. This legend appears to be true, as when the Burnished Blade of Eliarna is in the presence of Orks, it begins to hum with power and seems to still thirst for their blood.

Celestial Lance: This crystal lance was once used by Drastanta, a tempest of starlight and Phoenix Lord of the Shining Spears. In the centuries since the Phoenix Lord's final recorded battle, the Celestial Lance has passed from shrine to shrine and Craftworld to Craftworld

Chaoseater: A Witchblade and a relic of the legendary lost Craftworld of Ctho. Feared by the servants of Chaos, its angry spirit is said to thirst for their blood and seeks revenge against the Ruinous Powers for the Fall of the Eldar. The Chaoseater is capable of dealing devastating damage to Chaos Space Marines and has the chance to send any Daemons struck by it, screaming back to the Warp.

Corag Hai's Locket: The ancient Priestess who died at Ynnead's emissaries birth.

Crown of Woe: Believed to have been forged from a piece of Khaine, an aura of dread surrounds the wearer.

Cup of Criel: Khaine caught the blood Eldanesh in seven cups. Now lost to the galaxy (maybe)

Darith' Reaper: A blade rumoured to carve through any armour.

Deathsword: A sword that actually fed on the soul of its victims and its wielder drunk on their tainted life essence. As such, the Eldar viewed it with revulsion and that any wielder had lost their purity by making use of it. Those that wielded it held it as if they were holding a venomous serpent with some arguing that it should never have been made.

Debilitating Witchblade: An ancient Witchblade used by Farseers, that saps the strength and eventually the life essence of its target.

Doom of Sorbak: An Eldar Ranger Long Rifle, that has been instrumental in winning countless battles since its creation, decades after the Fall of the Eldar. Created by the Bonesingers of the Craftworld Iyanden, it has served numerous Outcasts from that Craftworld; the first being the Ranger Eladen Longstrider. In his hands the Doom of Sorbak killed the Dark Apostle Sor Bakphal during the Horus Heresy, allowing the Imperium to take back the planet Lakaph from the Word Bearers. After Longstrider's death the Doom of Sorbak was passed down to Outcast after Outcast down the centuries, striking down the enemies of the Eldar. Most recently a Ranger wielding the Doom of Sorbak, dealt a harsh blow to Warboss Grak Bigtoof's Waaagh! killing the Warbosses's pet Weirdboy; and closing the Warp portal the Weirdboy was opening, that nearly destroyed the Craftworld Ilmaren.

Doombringer: A type of Singing Spear that improves a Farseer's abilities.

Eye of Ak-Aelron: A magnificently crafted Eldar Fusion Gun that was the favourite personal sidearm of the legendary Autarch Ak-Aelron. It is said that Ak-Aelron was so skilled with this weapon that he never had to look at a target to hit it

Fireheart: World destroying device owned by the Drukari but needs psykers to power.

Fist of a Hundred Blades: Long scythe-like blades, that can be attached to the armour that covers an Eldar’s forearm. A boon to any Eldar that prefers a bloody fight in close quarters, the blades extend a warrior’s reach and effectiveness in hand-to-hand combat. These lethal blades are even more deadly when wielded by the skilled Striking Scorpions.

Fuchain Falchior: An Eldar Witchblade, that once born by the venerated Farseer Eon Kull, of the Dolthe Craftworld, and twitches with anticipation of battle when enemies are near.

Gauntlets of Isha: Named for the Eldar harvest goddess and channel psychic energies, which allow the Farseer wearing them to quickly recover their psychic power and health

Gem of Thuasytha: Sapphire gem, communication device.

Guardian Helm of Xellethon: Amplifies the presence of the wearer's soul, enlivening Ghost warriors.

Hungering Blade: Seeks Aeldari to feast upon.

Kha-vir: The sword of Yvraine, turns its victims into ash.

Kiss of Alaitoc: An Eldar Ranger Long Rifle that is said to have belonged to Solcar, one of the most gifted Pathfinders of Craftworld Alaitoc. The rifle still retains some psychic memory of the Ranger, and those who have fired the weapon swear it never misses its mark.

Kurnous' Bow: This Shuriken Pistol was made in honour of the ancient bow supposedly used by the mythical Kurnous when he hunted prey across the stars. When loosed from his bow, these slaying missiles would seek out the weakness in their targets, finding gaps in defences to reach the soft flesh beneath. In the same way, the psycho-sympathetic ammunition of this shuriken pistol reacts to the vulnerabilities of the foe, turning a shot that should have wounded into a killing blow.

The Laughing Stave: A weapon used by Farseers. The psychic energy that rolls from this staff is tainted by a will foreign to its wielder, which bounces and rattles its foes with every blast.

Lost Shroud: This cloak was woven from the silken threads of an ectoplasmic by-product that wisped from Craftworld Biel-Tan’s ravaged Infinity Circuit after the great daemonic intrusion that took it to the brink of catastrophe. The seers of the Eldar consider it dangerous in the extreme, for it may still harbour a link to the daemonic – one brave enough to don the cloak will soon find their companions giving them a wide berth indeed. It may just be worth it, however, for, within its shimmering weave, the deathless blessing of Ynnead is exceedingly powerful.

Maugetar: A massive weapon wielded by the Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra.

Maugan Ra found, in his studies of warfare, that a weapon can be used as carefully as a scalpel, be it a blade or a ranged weapon. As such he created Maugetar (literally, "Harvester"), an ancient Shrieker Cannon with a built-in Executioner. The Maugetar fires "shrieker" discs of unusual ties towards its foes. Maugan Ra undertook a great quest on a Crone World to construct the weapon, battling a Keeper of Secrets, sacrificing an Exarch, and battling through hordes of Slaaneshi Daemons to gather the necessary materials for the weapon. He then constructed it with the aid of the Bonesinger Kaeleth-Tul before crippling him so he could never make another.

The Moon Sabre of Thilienn: An ancient power sword handed down from generation to generation in Yrrthilien Mournsong's family. It was one of the few things Mournsong saved after his Craftworld Muirgaythh was destroyed by the forces of Slaanesh. The blade of the sabre is long and curved, not unlike a scimitar. This additional weight and length makes it nigh on impossible to use on foot but makes it a highly effective weapon when riding a jetbike. The faster the jetbike travels, the more potent the Sabre becomes. As the jetbike gains momentum so does the Sabre, until the jetbike reaches its top speed and the Sabre is seen only as a streak of electric blue light.

Mirrorgaze: Made from the broken shards of Crystal Mirror.

Moonstone of the Hidden Ways: A guiding device for Webway travel.

Novalance of Saim-Hann: Appears like any other Laser Lance, yet upon impact, the release of pent-up energy burns brighter than a sun. A single blow from this fabled weapon has shattered battle tanks and toppled Dreadnoughts. However, to earn the right to bear the Novalance, a warrior of Craftworld Saim-Hann must win the Clan challenge known as Tionchar.

Orbs of Despair: Can reduce a man to a gibbering wreck.

Pistol of the Doomseer: A Shuriken Pistol, that includes stones and runes which allow a Farseer to fire a roiling blast of psychic energy damaging enemies in a wide area.

Pistol of the Skyseer: A Shuriken Pistol, that includes stones and runes which allow a Farseer to lift enemies around them into the air; incapacitating their foes before throwing them to the ground.

Pistol of the Warseer: A Shuriken Pistol, that includes stones and runes which increase a Farseer's strength reflexes and speed.

Rose of Isha: Opens a portal to the realm of Chaos.

Seed of Rebirth: Should the bearer ever fall, the seed's energy will bring them back to life.

Song of Ynnead: The whispering hiss of the monomolecular discs that shoot from this Shuriken Pistol rises to a deafening roar of triumph when it claims a life. Those nearby are assailed by terrible hallucinations, as vengeful spirits clamour within their minds with their grave-cold claws clutching and raking at their sanity.

Soulshrive: An Eldar relic-sword. At the heart of the sword lies an ancient Spirit Stone which holds the essence of a malevolent soul. Only a warrior of the strongest will can wield the weapon, for the spirit within feasts on pain and spurs its wielder on to acts of violence. The sword has an infamous reputation of driving its wielders mad through bombarding them with tormenting whispers, causing them to kill friends and family in a fit to end the voices. Despite its danger, it is still used by the Eldar of Iyanden out of the desperation of their current situation

Soulsnare:  Eldar artifact. This large, rune-inscribed orb is filled with the psychic gossamer of Ynnead’s all-constraining net. When hurled at the ground, it bursts open in a cloud of glittering thread. Much as the monofilament wire of a Warp Spider Aspect Warrior’sdeathspinner slices effortlessly through armour, flesh and bone, the shining filaments of the soulsnare cut through the animating spirit. Those standing nearby collapse in crumpled heaps, their bodies no more than lifeless clay as their spirits howl in anguish. Truly it is said that to stand in the path of the Ynnari is to risk an eternity of pain

Spear of Khaine: An ancient artifact located on the world of Acheron. Described as a relic of catastrophic power, the spear was the central focus of the struggle between Gorgutz, Gabriel Angelos, and Macha and their respective forces during the campaign on Acheron. However, it was eventually revealed that the prophecy regarding the Spear was a trap to free a Bloodthirster, unleashing a Daemonic tide on the planet after the relic was claimed by the Autarch Kyre. Ultimately the three forces on Acheron were forced to unite to defeat the Daemon, destroying Acheron in the process. After the battle, the Spear was claimed by Gorgutz.

Spear of Malan'tai: An Eldar force spear that contains within it the few surviving spirits of the doomed Craftworld Malan'tai; they sing for vengeance against the Tyranids.

Spear of Shadows: A Singing Spear of the Eldar Farseer Kalrimon, who was killed by the Thousand Sons Sorcerer Ahriman. After Kalrimon's death, Ahriman claimed the Spear of Shadows and later desecrated it to create his Force Weapon, The Black Staff of Ahriman.

Spear of Teuthlas: The weapon of the famed Spiritseer Adrallanar of the House of Teuthlas, its very origins are shrouded in mystery and were already a relic of the house. When the House of Teuthlas was consumed by Hive Fleet Kraken, the Spear of Teuthlas has since been carried by Iyanna Arienal. The weapon has since become synonymous with the famed Spiritseer.

The Spear of Twilight: The Spear of Twilight is an ancient Eldar weapon. Previously locked in stasis by the Farseers of Craftworld Iyanden, the weapon is of such awesome power that it eventually burns out the life-force and immortal soul of any who wields it. The weapon is currently wielded by Prince Yriel, who claimed the weapon during Iyanden's hour of need against the Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken. He was convinced to take up the weapon by the Harlequin Shadowseer Sylandri Veilwalker of the Masque of the Veiled Path. Of such power is the Spear of Twilight that it was able to slay a mighty Hive Tyrant in a single blow.

During the closing days of the 41st Millennium, it was revealed by Yvraine that the Spear of Twilight was in fact one of the Crone Swords. Yvraine reverted the Spear to its true bladed form and used it to resurrect Yriel after he had fallen against Nurgle Daemons.

The staff of Isha: An Eldar Wraithbone staff that is studded with several powerful spirit stones known as the Tears of Isha.

The staff of Kelmon: An Eldar force staff that once belonged to the Farseer Kelmon Firesight before he died defending his home, the Craftworld Iyanden, against an invasion by the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken.

The staff of Ulthamar: is a priceless force staff carried by Farseer Eldrad Ulthran. It is made of purest Wraithbone and holds the spirit stones of the first Seer Council of Ulthwé. The staff forms a hyper-spatial link to the Infinity Circuit of the Craftworld, giving Eldrad an enormous supply of psychic energy to channel with his unsurpassed psychic ability. In addition to its psychic might, the Staff of Ulthamar was also an incredibly formidable close combat weapon, capable of carving through even Abaddon the Despoiler's ancient terminator armour during their titanic clash upon Andante IV.

Storm of Blades: An Eldar Shuriken Catapult, which is said to have been crafted by Tethesis, brother of the first Phoenix Lord Asurmen. The weapon unleashes an endless torrent of shuriken, but in spite of this its ammunition core mysteriously never seems to vanish.

Storm of Silence: An Eldar glaive-like weapon that can slice through even the thickest adamantine armour with ease. It was named after Jain Zar, the Phoenix Lord of the Howling Banshees and is said to contain some vestige of the lingering spirit of Morai-Heg, the Eldar Crone Goddess.

The Sword of Asur: An Eldar Diresword wielded by Asurmen. A massive power blade of ancient origin imbued with psychic power, it can be wielded in one or both hands, permitting its user the option of fighting with two weapons or inflicting a single devastating attack. The sword contains the spirit of Asurmen's brother Tethesis.

Sword of Dawnlight: An Eldar weapon that legend holds was one of those swords forged by Vaul. before the Fall of the Eldar. It was wielded by the Smith God and his mortal champion Eldanesh in their duels with Khaine. Whether this is the actual Anaris or not, it is undoubtedly a blade of unparalleled quality.

Sword of Vaul: Refers to one-hundred mythical blades forged by Vaul, the Eldar smith-god, in his desperate bid to free Isha and Kurnous from the fiery torments of Khaine. Agreeing to deliver the blades one year hence, when the time came for Vaul to hand over the weapons he still had one unfinished blade. To conceal the shortfall, he took an ordinary mortal blade and mixed it among his own works. Succeeding in freeing Isha and Kurnous, only when they had escaped did Khaine realize the deception. Roaring with anger, he began a long struggle with Vaul that eventually culminated in the War in Heaven.

Sword of Wrath: This is a powerful weapon rumoured to be one of the swords forged by the Eldar God Vaul. Thunder rolls forth from this blade, while lightning dances along its edge. It is a hurricane barely containable by a mortal fist. Enemies are often paralyzed with fear at the mere sight of this awesome weapon, and few can stand the force of its blade. The Sword of Wrath is a blade of righteous fury; its destiny is to rend the enemies of the Eldar. It was last wielded by an Exarch of the Dire Avengers in ages past on a forgotten Crone World but was later discovered by Craftworld Iyanden on the Maiden World of Davinuus.

The Uldanorethi Long Rifle: Uldanoreth was an outcast whose wanderlust drove him to tread the stars, and he survived a thousand worlds with only his wits. For his most promising students, he forged an exquisite series of Ranger Long Rifles, and a handful of these weapons have survived to this day.

Uliowye: ("The Kiss of Sharp Stars") was an ancient Shrieker Cannon and the personal weapon of the venerable warlock Eon Kull. Just before commencing the battle on Monthax, Kull gifted the weapon to his chief bodyguard, Muon Nol. Knowing that he would be occupied with trying to seal the Webway Gate on the planet, he declared that "she" would not take kindly to remaining silent during the coming battle.

Ulthran's Pistol: A Twin Shuriken Pistol that often lands killing shots. It was originally created for Farseer Eldrad Ulthran on Craftworld Ulthwé, but was used by Farseer Caerys when she led the Craftworld's forces in the Kaurava Conflict.

Wailing Doom: Or Suin Daellae is a weapon carried only by the Eldar Avatar. It is a massive weapon capable of manifesting in several different forms; a spear, axe, and sword. It is easily capable of slicing through thick armour, whether it is a lowly flak jacket or the thickest tank armour and it can also fire a searing blast of burning psychic energy at short ranges, making it a justly feared weapon. The blade is not a mortal weapon and so is effective against daemons. It earns its name from the wailing sound it makes as it strikes a target.

Web of Skulls: An ancient Eldar weapon, which consists of three crystal skulls linked together by lengths of chain. The weapon is grasped by the chain links and cast like a spinning bolas, returning automatically to its user. The Web of Skulls can also be used in hand to hand combat like a flail.

Wyrmfang Spears: An ancient Eldar specialized weapons, that were once widely adopted by Jetbike riders. The Spears are typically passed down from generation to generation, but the weapons (and their artisan creators) have become increasingly rare.

Vilith-zhar:  The Sword of Souls — The largest and most powerful blade. A shapeshifting blade forged in burning souls. Recovered on Belial IV and now wielded by Yncarne.

The Wraithforge Stone: Allows for Wraithbone to heal faster even in battle.

And with that our story is complete. As always drop me a comment and remember to follow my adventures.

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Book Review 108 // Death’s Head by Josh Reynolds

The fourth week in a row of these Necromunda shorts. I can feel myself being absorbed into the lore of Necro, it maybe time to take the plunge and read some rulebooks soon. But whilst I attempt to avoid the lure of the spook dens, here is another short story titled Death's Head by Josh Reynolds.

Sitting at nineteen pages, it was a joy to sit down and read in an evening, whilst enjoying a re-run of Friday Dinners. The cover gives away that the story will involve the Goliaths which is unsurprising as the book came out with the game release. Whilst the tale itself is a simple one, Reynolds manages to give the reader two great characters to invest in, the lead of the story is Topek Greel, who has recently joined a Goliath gang and to become fully-fledged he must prove himself by seeking out Lother Hex. Hex is a famed killer and ex-guilder assassin and poor Topek has to bring him back to his gang leader for a chat. Failure to do so would result in his death, but to face off against such a famed killer will also be a fatal choice, what is a young Goliath to do?

Ultimately I enjoyed the tale for the simple fact that you only really have two characters Topek and Lother. It also lacks any real action beyond the opening pages (which are great) and allows you to deep dive into the Topek character and his history. I enjoyed the fact that Reynolds' made Topek an educated Goliath (a rare breed), a muscle-bound brute who actually has a brain. Until now most Goliaths in the stories have hardly been better than an Ork, so this is refreshing. This then allows Reynolds the freedom to create a true dialogue between the two characters. The story has a great plot twist towards the end, which brought me a smile and is hard to talk about without ruining the tale.

I highly recommend this short story, if you have read it drop me your thoughts in the comment and hit subscribe in the sidebar.

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Beer Review 119 // Scoop by Left Field Brewery

Not going to lie today. I am super excited about this Scoop - Tartufo Dessert Stout by Left Field Brewery. Sitting at 7.1% I am happy to see it in a stubby can, it means I don't have to share!

The pour is almost black with a subtle edging of brown and capped by a mocha head, that fades quicker than I expected (boo). The aroma is milk chocolate, some sugary cherry and a sweetness that I connect to lactose/milk sugars. The taste is mostly chocolate, with the sweet cherries hidden in the background that gain confidence as the brew warms up. Once your pallet is used to the chocolate, the roasted malts start to shine through. This beer is very smooth with a cream-like tongue covering effect.

Overall considering it is based on an Italian dessert it does well. It is a solid stout, but personally, I am not a huge fan of lactose, I found my tongue felt covered in a film that wouldn't shift about have way through drinking the glass. Interesting beer but for me a future pass.

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Comic Review 113 // Aliens Omnibus Volume 4.

I am really enjoying these Alien comics. For better or worst, these stories inspire my imagination. The cover is a thing of nightmares, just imagine opening a storage door and facehuggers pour through! This tome is massive, clocking in at 376 pages. The omnibus contains the following stories: Music of Spears, Stronghold, Frenzy, Taste, Mondo Pest and Mondo Heat. Set in the far future most of these tales involve madmen who hope to control the xenomorphs and ultimately fail! I am excited to start, so like all stories let us begin with the opener.

Music of Spears: Written by Chet Williamson and drawn by Tim Hamilton. The plot is a classic madman scenario, in this case, we follow a composer, Dean Eddington. This character is truly obnoxious and it is hard to find a valid reason to care about him. Eddington is attempting to create a new form of music by using the screams of a xenomorph. In the classic plot route, the xenomorph escapes killing a lot of people before itself is killed. The story has a weird ending, with the killing act, being recreated nightly to entertain the masses.

Ultimately a good enough story and a solid opener to the book.

Stronghold: Written by John Arcudi and drawn by Doug Mahnke. Set in a remote scientific world, this lab is not your normal research station. Inside is a full alien nest, which is maintained by a squad of Androids. Following a routine security inspection, it is discovered that the lead scientist is selling xenomorph eggs on the black market. Then the expected happens the aliens break loose and the death starts happening.

The highlight of this piece is the xenomorph android, Jeri. Designed to blend in with the xenomorphs, Jeri is constantly scaring the main characters, but when he gets a plasma gun his cool factor goes through the roof!

Frenzy: Written by the Legend John Wagner and drawn by Paul Mendoza. Now we have specialized eradicate teams (made up of ex-marine convicts), who get sent in to destroy hives. With some of the team members acting as bait, they allow themselves to be captured and taken to the Queen's lair. Once this happens MAX is released. A new hi-tech robot suit controlled by a convicted Marine this suit is a one-man army. The downside is the suit will ultimately kill the host. The story is fairly straightforward and is mainly about covering up the Companies errors. Expect robots versus robots.

Taste: Written by Edward Martin III and drawn by Mark Nelson. A rather short story focusing on an egg and the Facehugger inside. The story seems to build to the Hugger launching itself out of the egg. Then the plot twist. Turns out that in the wider universe there are bigger, scarier creatures out there, that enjoy frying Facehuggers for lunch!

Mondo Pest: Written by Henry Gilroy and drawn by Ronnie Del Carmen. Escaped psych ward marine turned merc, accepts a call for assistance from an outer rim world with seems to have an alien problem. Feels like a bad 80's film made into a comic. Lots of fighting, lots of action and a small bit of traitorous greed. A nice solid tale.

Mondo Heat: Seems like a doubleheader, Mondo our escaped psych ward turned merc is back. Still written by Henry Gilroy and Ronnie Del Carmen. I'm sorry but these Mondo tales seem like they were written by a teenage boy. But the high and low of the tale is a rich colonist who has lost his daughter and her friend, in a world infested with aliens. To make things worst it would seem the brother is jealous and was the reason the aliens are here!

With the end of Mondo, we have reached the end of this Omnibus. I enjoyed the escapism I got from this issue but just like the last omnibus, this is a huge hit and a miss. I enjoyed the Music of Spears and Taste, Stronghold and Frenzy were okay and the Mondo tales suck. So once again an average comic to help past the time.

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Comic Review 120 // Predator Omnibus Volume Two

And like that, it is the last comic of January. Wow, this month went by quickly. I hope you are all doing well and staying safe during this ...