Beer Review 135 // Feed Your Gods by Blood Brothers Brewing


This is a fun, exciting beer. When I saw it on the Blood Brothers Brewing Website, I knew I had to buy it. The idea of a Banana, Coconut, vanilla and lactose in a beer, really intrigued me. Let's look over the details:

Imperial Fruited Ale w/ Banana, Coconut & Vanilla • 8% ABV

A new look in the Feed Your Gods lineup. We brewed a soft and pillowy ale with a touch of lactose and conditioned it on banana, coconut and vanilla. Let's just say it's deep and delicious.

This beer was a beautiful pour, a rich orange, thick liquid that caps the beer with a white, full fluffy head. The aroma is sweet candied bananas, with the smell reminding me instantly of Banana yogurt, which for me is actually a pleasant aroma. On the first sip, the banana taste is front and centre, no way to dodge it and completely unapologetic. Then coconut starts appearing in the back end, mixing with hints of vanilla, to produce a pudding cup flavour. Crazy moreish and delicious, but is this actually a beer or is it actually just a booze-fueled smoothie? Overall a great beer, glad I tried it and would recommend everyone to give it a go.

Have you tried this one? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts? As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you will give me follow on either here or one of the many social media platforms I hideout on.

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Comic Review 130 // Predator Omnibus 04


We've made it! After three subpar omnibuses, we are finally on the final tales. I got to be honest this has been a real drag. I love Movie Predators and novel Predators but Dark Horse Comics has really dampened my mood for them. How did they get so many stories wrong? The amount of dead Predators has left me wondering how they ever manage to kill a xenomorph.

But let us dive into this final Omnibus, eyes and heart open in the hopes for a better finish.

Across the centuries, humanity's capacity for violence has marked time as surely as the movement of the stars. And from those very stars have come an invisible participant in our history, the extraterrestrial Predator, who has used Mankind's own penchant for murder and mayhem as a shadow to cover its own bloody tracks, as a hunting blind from which to take down its human prey. But the Predator has not passed through the ages unnoticed, and despite the alien killer's strength, cunning, and advanced technology, there are few things more certain than how far men are willing to go when it's time for a little payback!

Predator Omnibus Volume 4 concludes the complete presentation of these never-before-collected classic Dark Horse Predator tales.

* This volume collects Predator: Primal #1-2, Predator: Nemesis #1-2, Predator: Homeworld #1-4, Predator: Xenogenesis #1-4, Predator: Hell Come a Walkin' #1-2, Predator: Captive one-shot, and "Predator: Demon's Gold" (from DHP #137)

Let's get going!

Primal: Set in Alaska during a hot summer a pair of Park Rangers end up on the wrong side of a Predator that is hunting bears. During one combat the stupidly clumsy Predator miss fires his gun starting a Forest fire that starts to tear through the surrounding area. This story is above average and watching a Bear kick a Predators ass is pretty fun.

Nemesis: Before diving into the story the artwork is a huge step up from everything before. This is due to it being done by the talented Colin MacNeil. The story itself is rather good. Set in Victorian England, an ex-army veteran is hired by a secret society to track down a killer in London. During his investigations, he realizes he has faced this killer before in the Jungles of India. As the hunter becomes hunted the foggy streets of London become extra creepy. This was one of the strongest stories in the full series. The Predator is only defeated after the mud of the Thames sucks him under and the secret society, fearing all-out war with Predators instead dumps the alien ship in the ocean rather than explore the craft for personal gains. This seems like the most realistic scenario to actually happen.

Truly a good start so far.

Homeworld: Urgh. Just like that, it flips back to being crap. The artwork on this one is painful and the story itself is too human-centred. It follows the retelling of two civilians, the first a naturalist and the second a combat photographer. Between them they experience an ancient and veteran Predator, tracking and hunting down three younger Predators who have gone kill-crazy. Left under impressed and disappointed by this one.

Xenogenesis: Nope, nope, nope. We are ending poorly it would seem. Set far in the future mankind has created a task force designed to react to Predators coming to Earth. Unfortunately for them, they make themselves prime targets for the hunt. The idea behind this is clever but then it is hugely let down by two issues:

1) An almost immortal character, who continues to live long after he should be, by consuming the hearts of the Predators he kills.

2) The art style is hugely influenced by Manga and it really does not work.

I can see why this was almost the death knell for the franchise and that it didn't recover for almost 10 years!

Hell Come a Walkin': What happens when you throw a Predator into the American Civil War? Well lucky for us the story gets answered in this comic. A solid story, well-drawn, showing how only when united can mankind stand up to the Predator threat. It was also fun to have Jesse James in this before he heads off to become the infamous outlaw.

Captive: A billionaire has managed to capture himself a real-life Predator, but who is truly in danger? A fun tale of cat and mouse did the Predator actually get caught or was it all an act in an attempt to experience a great danger during its hunting trip. Solid story and nice artwork once again. Not a bad story.

Demon's Gold: The final tale. It's a strange one to finish on, set during World War Two, we join a treasure-hunting group of Nazis as they seek out a legendary treasure. Lucky for everyone involved they get slaughtered by a Predator, leaving one survivor a young child from a local village. This is a classic predator action strip. Lots of gore, action and nazi killing, can't go wrong with that.

This is the end, I can say with confidence that we ended with a solid omnibus. But that isn't saying much when compared to the series as a whole. This had two really poor stories at the midway point, but once past that it was smooth sailing. Stand out tales for me; Nemesis and Hell Come a Walkin'. I hope you enjoyed the rundown and if you disagree with anything I have said please do let me know in the comments below.

I think I will be diving into some different comics for a bit, but I hope to dive into Aliens vs Predators very soon. Until then thank you for reading and use some of these links to help support the blog.

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Hard to find Omnibus 4

Miniature Monday // Strontium Dog: Wulf Sternhammer


Hello, Old Cucumbers! Welcome to another installment of Warlord Games Strontium Dog miniatures. Slowly but surely I am working my way through the full introduction set; The Good, The Bad and The Mutie.

So far I have completed Johnny Alpha, The Gronk, Max Bubba, Brute Mosely, Skull and Impetigo Jones. With Wulf Sternhammer completed I can move onto Lowdown O'Phee and start playing some intro games (excited). After this set is complete I wish to move onto the Mutant General Pack, closely followed by Durham Red. But let's get into Wulf's back story.

Real name: Wulf Sternhammer

Relatives: Olga Sternhammer (mother); Kenton Sternhammer (son)

Place of birth: Scandinavia

Place of death: Smiley's World

History

Wulf Sternhammer is a character in the Starlord and 2000 AD comic strip Strontium Dog. A great flaxen-haired bear of a man, he was a Viking whose life was saved by the mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha, who had travelled back in time to Wulf's era (793 AD) in search of the sadistic criminal Max Bubba and his gang. Wulf was accidentally transported back to 2175 AD (or thereabouts; accounts vary) by the time bomb Johnny used to capture Max. Because Johnny had saved his life so many times Wulf swore lifelong loyalty to him and became his friend and partner.

The two worked together for fifteen years, with Wulf's good-humoured nature and tremendous strength proving invaluable to the formerly lonely Alpha in his harsh existence. Wulf could work hard when necessary but also knew how to enjoy life, so he was constantly ready with a smile and a joke when things got tough. With the creds they got for capturing Xen the Brainwraith on the planet Burrito, the pair retired to Smiley's World and built a cabin on Moondog Mountain. They then rescued Eleanor Keeble's husband and three children from interstellar slavers for no fee after Johnny took pity on her.

Wulf was eventually murdered by Bubba and his gang when they returned to exact revenge on him and on Johnny; Bubba had the pair staked out under a blazing sun, but Wulf broke free only to die in a hail of bullets.

Powers and abilities

Abilities: Proficient fighter and bounty hunter; can repair robots.

Strength level: Wulf has "the strength of ten" (according to Starlord #9). Ten of what is not specified.

Weaknesses: Ale.

Equipment: Anti-grav chute.

Transportation: His longboat Dragonbreath; Morks; spaceships; skipdip (amphibious vehicle used to navigate swamps).

Weapons: Wulf carried an enormous war hammer which he referred to as his 'Happy Stick', and was also proficient with various weapons from Johnny Alpha's era, such as a Vebley custom hand blaster (with infrared night sight) and thermo bombs.

Notes: Curiously, Wulf, who spoke a kind of mangled English, had a habit of referring to people as "old cucumber."

I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and as always thank you for stopping by.

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Audio Review 26 // The Eagle's Talon by John French


It's been a couple of weeks since listening to the Iron Corpses. This happened to be a follow-up tale to The Eagle's Talon, so it only felt right to go back and find this introduction tale to listen to. I am intrigued by it especially as it has Imperial Fists front and centre. Here are the details:

The ravaged world of Tallarn now plays host to the greatest armoured conflict in the history of mankind, with the bitter and vengeful Iron Warriors leading war hosts of tanks and Titans across the befouled plains. In desperation, a covert team of Imperial Fists resort to seemingly unthinkable measures in order to regain the upper hand - but will their mission to seize the macro-transporter Eagle's Talon ensure victory, or merely spell doom for their loyal allies on the surface below?

This audio recreates a tense boarding action via a series of linked 'found extracts' of Imperial Fists vox-communications. This unique take on the Black Library audio drama makes for an immersive and gripping listen.

  • Performed by Annie Aldington, Sean Barrett, Luke Thompson and Saul Reichlin
  • Running time 39 minutes
  • Directed by Samuel Gunn
  • Music by Simon Slater
  • Produced by Heavy Entertainment for Black Library

First up this is a nice short listen, I was able to enjoy it during my morning coffee and walk to work. John French once again delivered a fun and captivating listen. The standout point of this story is how it is portrayed, it is based on the reports and recovered vox messages of a group of Imperial Fists attempting to infiltrate a craft called The Eagle's Talon. We get sections where an unknown narrator (maybe an Imperial Fist leader) explains key elements to an unknown listener. I feel like it is definitely being played to someone on the loyalist side, possibly Malcador or a Primarch (which is unclear), as it comments on how rare it is to see Imperial Fist attempting an infiltration mission and that they should not underestimate the Imperial Fists moving forwards (which means it is not Dorn listening). The ending message to destroy all information of the mission and those involved seems hugely shifty (ie. huge cover up). Which just adds to the mystery.

The story itself was intense and the missing mission statements just leads you to try and imagine what is going on. It also shows a slight rift in the Imperial Fist's view point on the war, with two ranked marines discussing their views on the tactics they are about to employ. One believing that this is a Space Marine war and normal humans should be left out of it, this one to me seems to be the real hero, whilst the overall commander seems to be a colder individual declaring all the lives on the planet as being dead already. It is this that truly intrigued me as I feel this spilt is something I did not expect from the Imperial Fists.

Overall a great short story loved it!

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Book Review 123 // The Purging of Kadillus by Gav Thorpe


I am continuing the break from the Horus Heresy series for a little while longer. I am going to attempt to read a few Dark Angel novels, in hopes of finally inspiring myself to finally start a Space Marine army. So with the plan set let us dive into the first novel; The Purging of Kadillus by Gav Thorpe.

The Dark Angels battle the might of an ork Waaaagh!, led by the feared warboss Ghazghkull Thraka.Faced with an ork invasion of Piscina IV, the 3rd Company of the Dark Angels believes the threat to be minimal. As enemy numbers continue to increase, their commander, Captain Belial, insists that his Company is strong enough to resist. But Scout-Sergeant Naaman knows just how dangerous this foe can be, and when a renewed greenskin offensive takes the Dark Angels by surprise, the orks swarm towards Kadillus Harbour. Little do the Dark Angels know of the technological power available to the Xenos, and the true scale of the threat they face. Belial, Naaman and their fellow Astartes fight a desperate siege at Kadillus, knowing that they must hold out until Imperial reinforcements arrive or the planet will be lost.

411 pages of fun reading. We get to read the recreation of a second edition Warhammer 40k campaign that happened in White Dwarf another lifetime ago. For this novel, we see the Dark Angels assisted by the Piscina Defence Force, face off against two of the biggest Ork Warbosses of the Age - Ghazghkull and Nazdreg. The story's chapters are built around key characters and the aspect of the war they are engaged in. The Orks having landed in force on the planet, have managed to take key locations like the harbour and powerplants. The only issue is no one knows how they got here or where their ship is located.

Most of the book focuses on Naaman the senior Scout Sergeant of the 10th Company. We join him and his squad as they attempt to discover the origin of the Ork invasion force. It is during this time that Naaman discovers that the orks are using a teleporta system to get troops down onto the planet. It's during their attempt to escape that they are outmaneuvered and killed to a scout, with only Naaman surviving to return the news to command.

From here on in it becomes more of a straight-up battle, full-on action every chapter from here on in. We get last stand shoot-outs, main characters killed and Deathwing terminator assault actions. This is a solid read, with some interesting side tales, especially the way they interact with standard soldiers. This has definitely sparked my interest in Marines and has actually lead to the purchase of the Codex, so watch this space.

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Youtube // Unboxing Aeldari Craftworld Guardians

Welcome to another shameless plug of my Youtube channel, cleverly called Adventures with Peps.

This week's video is the unboxing of the Aeldari Craftworld Guardians (if you are reading this via email follow the links to watch the video). This box of Aeldari will be used for my Craftworld Project blog postings. So far I have completed six Craftworld schemes. Now I fully understand this is an old kit, but I hope you enjoy it!


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Beer 134 // Delicious by Beyond the Pale Brewing Company Ottawa


Thirsty, thirsty Wednesdays. Love it or hate it Wednesdays have become my day of relaxing and drinking. This week I stay local and enjoy a brew that my job produces. Delicious by Beyond the Pale Brewing Company Ottawa, part of their Flash Series brews (meaning one-off or experimental beers). A 5.5% IPA, based on their popular brew Yummy! This beer leans heavily into a hop combination of Simcoe and Idaho 7. It's the second time brewing this one and I feel this tastes even better than the first.

The pour is a beautiful hazed yellow, as you can see in the photo, with a stunning foamy head. Big aroma of stone fruit coming of this beer. In the taste, it is also juicy stone fruit but backed up with some gentle floral grass in the finish. This beer is so damn juicy, my mouth is watering as I sip and it makes me want more.

I highly recommend this beer to anyone in Ontario and Beyond the Pale also ships their brews so you have no excuse to not buy some.

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Comic Review 129 // Predator Omnibus Traderback 03


Right, it's been a while since I read a predator comic. Yet's be honest they haven't been great so far, let's actually be brutally honest, they have been piss poor. I took a break to enjoy some Strontium Dog but it is time to push on with Omnibus 3. 

Bad Blood

Not a great opener to the omnibus. The story starts out interestingly with a Predator that has gone wild/rogue killing its own pack mates. Now hunted by other predators the ship becomes damaged and crashes in America. Here the story becomes seriously bad. Did not enjoy the story at all after this point, was glad to finish it.

Kindred

A young boy watches his father get killed by a Predator, years later the boy now has his own family but still suffers from nightmares of that time. His home is located in a middle of nowhere town, that has its fair share of issues: drunks, sexist men, gun-wielding rednecks, small-town mindset. Soon the town is thrown into chaos with the arrival of not only a Predator but also a bunch of escaped convicts (whose story arc is unbelievable at best). Better than the first story but I wouldn't say that is much praise.

Hell and Hot Water

A Predator ship makes what seems to be an uncontrolled landing in the Chilean ocean. Special Forces from the USA travel south to investigate. Under the ocean they discover the Predator ship has open a chasm into a prehistoric micro eco-system, filled with creatures from your nightmare. Soon the team realise that the predator is using the humans to discover the fighting traits of soom tentacle/worm like creature. Soon the predator is picking the team off one by one, but it seems to have forgotten about the natives. This was a more interesting story, it actually held my interest and the artwork was fun. Hopefully a turning point for this omnibus.

Strange Roux

The whole story is based around the idea that Cajun's will eat anything, a trio become unwilling prey of a predator and through mostly luck, one of them manages to outsmart the Predator and trap it quicksand, the final panel is the survivour cooking up the Predator in a Gumbo. A weird tale but definitely interesting.

No Beast so Fierce

A very short story, set in an unknown jungle. A widow leads a team of hunters to trackdown the lion that killed her husband. In the ensuring hunt, the hunters become the hunted and soon only the Predator and the lion are left. A fun short story, abit of action and a bit of predator. This seems to be the only style of predator story dark horse can manage.

Bump in the Night

Three kids on an edge of a swamp are exchange horror stories, one then annouces that they have seen an Alien ship! To prove he is not lieing the boy leads the other two into the swamp to investigate. Upon seeing the ship, the kids are amazed to see a predator hanging out. After spying for a while, the kids run home excited beyond belief, but they left a clue for the predator to follow.  The story ends with the predator stood over their tent. A great tale, great artwork and the perfect ending.


Overall a 2.5 out of 5. The longer tales are really poor and the shorter ones more interesting. Only one book left in the series and I am excited to be finished with them. Wish me luck!

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Hard to find Omnibus 3

Miniature Monday // Strontium Dog: Skull

Member number 4 of the Max Bubba gang is now complete. Simply known as Skull this is the weirdest of the characters in my opinion. Here are some official details:

History

Skull was a member of Max Bubba's gang. He took part in his plan to wipe out humanity, travelling back in time with Bubba to Iceland. He was killed in a fire-fight with Johnny Alpha towards the end — he was shot in the chest several times and stumbled back into a volcanic crater behind him.

Sex: Male
Eyes: White
Unusual Feature: Horned Skull as head
Occupation: Criminal
Known for: Killing people.
Location of Death: Iceland
Weaknesses: Blasters, volcanoes
Paraphernalia/Weapons: Blaster, Time-travelling machine.

Notes:
From the photographs in the Warlord Games rulebook, Skull is painted in Green and Yellow. A very similar colour palate to Johnny Alpha. Now personally I am not a fan of the colour choice, especially as I want Alpha to stand out on the tabletop. I decided to go a different route, with Skull being a part of Max Bubba's gang, I thought a similar yellow to his coat would work. So with yellow being the dominant colour, I choose red to act as the secondary. This is a colour scheme I really enjoy pairing so expect to see it a lot. With Skull now completed I am left with two models left to paint Wulf Sternhammer and O'Phee. Hopefully, I can have these painted soon and start to do some battle reports!

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Audiobook 25 // Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Sometimes something special happens and it changes your plans for the better. This month I have been gifted a copy of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, performed by Jodie Comer.

Listening time: 3 hours and 28 minutes.

A nonsense classic of its time.

A compelling narrative to sweep you away, from a legendary Victorian children’s author. Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland in order to entertain a friend’s daughter on a boat trip—and so generations of children have flown away on his wild imaginations.

On a sunny afternoon, Alice discovers a bottle that says ‘DRINK ME’. Unable to resist, she follows the label’s instructions... and immediately shrinks to tumble down a rabbit hole into an adventure where nothing is as it seems. From The Mad Hatter to the White Rabbit, the grinning Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts, Alice meets a cast of characters who are both eccentric and memorable.

But will Alice survive her nonsensical adventure... and can she get back home? She must face the challenges of eccentric puzzles, verses and riddles, with the help of intriguing new friends, in order to find the way back home. The first of four books, this is a children’s classic that promises to both entertain and charm.

For fans of The Chronicles Of Narnia and Peter Rabbit, a children’s fantasy like no other.

What a fun classic, enjoyed listening to this during an afternoon of spreadsheets. I have fond memories of reading this in my high school years for an art class. Well, I'm an adult now, I get to be lazy and just listen to someone else reading it to me. Jodie Comer was a great narrator and though sections were skipped it didn't overly affect my enjoyment.

It's as good now as it was back then, the weird characters, the unusual humour and a setting that just sets my imagination on fire. This has ignited the need to read the book once more and watch the Disney movie. Which in my mind is the best compliment I can give, go read a classic!

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Audible: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Book Review 122 // Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Felt like I needed to have a refresh from Horus Heresy novels, so I picked up the next book in the Discworld series - Guards! Guards! This is the eighth title in the Discworld series and the First in the Nightwatch series. At 353 pages this was a title I did not want to end. But before we dive in let's get the commercial fluff out of the way:

This is where the dragons went. They lie ... not dead, not asleep, but ... dormant. And although the space they occupy isn't like normal space, nevertheless they are packed in tightly. They could put you in mind of a can of sardines if you thought sardines were huge and scaly. And presumably, somewhere, there's a key...

GUARDS! GUARDS! is the eighth Discworld novel - and after this, dragons will never be the same again

This novel was written way back in 1989, making it 32 years old! It is set in the main city of Ankh-Morpork and follows the downtrodden City Watch, whose main job is at midnight them yelling "All's Well". They also never catch anyone, as running too fast, can lead to trouble and even an arrest (God forbid)! Then one day a six-foot dwarf called Carrot joins the force (it is worth pointing he was adopted by a dwarf family and is in fact a human) and all that changes.

The novel is full of corrupt officials, secret societies and dragons! But this is Discworld so nothing is normal - we discover the power of books with the help of the Librarian and get to watch how summoning a dragon is maybe not the best plan. The comic value of the story is on point, it caused me to laugh out loud plenty of times but in true Pratchett style, he also manages to bring in real-world criticism that is all too on point, even 32 years later.

I highly recommend this novel to Discworld fans and new readers alike. It's light, humorous and a great jumping-on point. If you don't fall for one of the characters I will be shocked! Thanks for reading.

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Guards! Guards! - Kindle Edition

Youtube // Sarissa Precision Terrain Hab Zones

Welcome to a long-overdue video for my Sarissa Terrain Hab zone. This was one of my first videos over on my Youtube channel. It also formed the starting point for the Kidney Hut, so I hope you enjoy and if you do please give me a like and follow!


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Beer 133 // Yuzu Pale Ale by Radical Road


Booze cruise Wednesday. Went on a rare visit to the LCBO this week and picked up a few beers that caught my eye. Among the many was Yuzu Pale Ale by Radical Road Toronto.

Here are the details:

Size: 473 ml Can.

Price: $3.20 plus tax

Commerical Review:

The Radical Road Brewpub located in Toronto's Leslieville neighbourhood. The Yuzu Pale Ale is brewed with the addition of Yuzu, an Asian citrus fruit. This amplifies the citrusy character of the ale, providing lemon-lime flavours on a foundation of sweet malt. The finish is dry, with palate-refreshing carbonation.

Cracked straight from the fridge and served cold into my favourite BTP glass. The pour was a clear golden yellow, with a solid white head. The clarity is quite stunning, I had become used to hazy brews so seeing one so clear is beautiful. Aromas float off the brew with ease, there is a straight-up tropical fruit front and centre. The aromas are then backed up by a floral perfume that nicely rounds it all out. The sip bursts with citrus flavours, it is bright and surprisingly sweet. This flavour soon turns into a bitter finish and the body is lacking, causing the beer to taste more like a non-alcoholic beer.

For 5% this beer is easy drinking, rather light and the citrus helps cleanse the palette. I would really enjoy this on a summer day, whilst on a cold March evening, I have been found wanting. Always worth a try but may wait till summer to try again.

If you are from Ontario, go treat yourself to a can. Cheers to Wednesday and checking in, be sure to say hi in the comments and feel free to sign up to get future notifications and use any of these links to support the blog.

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Comic Review 128 // Warhammer 40,000 Marneus Calgar Issue 5


Boom! The series is complete, we have now hit issue 5 of the series and the end of the story arc. Having headed back to where it all began, Marneus Calgar arrives on the moon where his best friend died and his companions turned to Chaos. Here he discovers that the forces of chaos are trying to unbury a fallen Wordbearers Spacecraft and repair the destroyed Khorne shrine located in the region.

Of course, Marneus can't let this happen. Hugely outnumbered Marneus heads to the tunnels to help narrow the numbers of attackers. The rest of the issue cleanly wraps up the story with a bow and we are left not wanting or needing more.

The series as a whole was an okay introduction to the 40k verse. It is designed to interest new people in the 40k game system and I can see it working for sure. It was fun to read Blood for the Blood God and Skulls for the Skull Throne. It seems silly but made me smile so was worth the price of admission. Another highlight was Marneus Calgar declaring that "Space Marines do not run, they withdraw", this gentle humour helps to breakdown the grimdark and keep the story light, compared to all the violence and blood happening on every other page.

It will be intriguing to see what the next topic for marvel will be, I would love to see Orks making an appearance. Let me know who you want to see in the comments below.

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Aeldari Craftworlds // Altansar

Welcome to the first of the non-major Craftworlds. I am pretty excited, to now be diving into the lesser-known factions of the Aeldari race and I hope you have all been enjoying the adventure as well? Now to learn some lore.

Altansar was a small Asuryani Craftworld that survived the Fall of the Aeldari but was caught in the Eye of Terror, its only escapee being the Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra. Ten thousand Terran years after the homeworld of Maugan Ra was swallowed by the Eye of Terror, Abaddon the Despoiler launched his 13th Black Crusade from within its depths in 999.M41.

The nightmarish realm vomited the legions of Chaos into the material universe, leaving a gaping rift between the material universe and that of the Warp. Whilst the Eye was still open, Maugan Ra undertook a perilous quest into its malignant reaches in search of the remains of his people.

Maugan Ra eventually found the remains of his Craftworld and guided what was left of it out of the Eye of Terror, and led them against the forces of Chaos. However, there was no celebration or welcome from the other Aeldari Craftworlds at the return of their lost counterpart.

The shadowy Aeldari of Altansar were treated with open suspicion and hostility, for it was believed that no Aeldari could remain untouched by the predations of Chaos for so many millennia.

Altansar is known as the sister Craftworld of Ulthwé, due to its close proximity to the Eye of Terror. The world-rune used by Craftworld Altansar is known as the "Broken Chain" -- not only in reference to the escape of Kurnous and Isha from the dungeons of Khaine in the Aeldari myth cycles but also to the shattering of the links that bound Vaul to his anvil.

The symbol has taken on a deeper meaning since Altansar's mysterious escape from the Eye of Terror. The broken infinity loop above the world-rune has only been adopted by the Craftworld as its new sigil since its narrow escape from an eternity of damnation.

History

When Slaanesh surged into existence, many Craftworlds escaped the deadly metaphysical pull of the Eye. Altansar was one of the Aeldari Craftworlds that survived the Fall of the Aeldari species. It rode out the psychic shock waves that destroyed the ancient Aeldari Empire following the birth of the newest Chaos God but were subsequently caught in the gravity well of the newborn Warp rift now called the Eye of Terror.

Although the Aeldari of Altansar struggled valiantly against the encroachment of Chaos, their doom was inevitable, and within five hundred agonizing years their Craftworld was swallowed by the Warp. Amongst the entirety of Altansar's population, only the Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra escaped the Craftworld's consumption by Chaos.

Ten thousand years later in the 41st Millennium, Abaddon the Despoiler emerged from the insane reality of the Eye of Terror, at the head of the 13th Black Crusade of the forces of Chaos. The Chaos Traitor Legions' intrusion into reality left a rift that bridged the material universe and the universe of the Immaterium. Through this opening, Maugan Ra undertook a great odyssey into the Eye of Terror in search of the remains of his people.

Leaving a silvered trail of soul fire behind him, Maugan Ra eventually found the remains of his lost Craftworld. He found that the Asuryani of Altansar had indeed survived ten thousand years within the Eye. Maugan Ra guided the remnants of his Craftworld out of the Eye of Terror and against Abaddon's forces to deny him ultimate victory.

However, there was no celebration or welcome from the other Craftworlds. Since their reemergence, the people of Altansar have been distrusted by their kin. Some whisper they are tainted by their ordeal, others that they entered a dread pact with Ynnead. Perhaps the rumours are based in truth, for it is said the Asuryani of Altansar never remove their helms, and speak only in whispers.

The 13th Black Crusade

During the 13th Black Crusade, the Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra led an elite force of Asuryani Dark Reapers and Black Guardians from the Craftworld of Ulthwé into the Eye of Terror in search of Altansar. It was during this pilgrimage that he found the Belial Hex System and the Crone World of Belial IV, located deep within the Eye of Terror.

Despite several early victories and the aid of the Harlequins, a daemonic counterattack forced the Aeldari back. As they reeled from their losses, the Craftworld Altansar drifted into Belial's orbit, proving that it still existed and had survived ten millennia within the Eye of Terror.

The Asuryani of Altansar then joined their brethren from Ulthwé, defeating the daemonic forces and helping the Aeldari to reclaim one of their lost Craftworlds.

Maugan Ra then led the Craftworld back through the bridge between the Warp and the material universe and used his remaining troops to help battle the forces of Chaos and bring an end to the 13th Black Crusade.

Currently, Craftworld Altansar is somewhere close to Terra, although how it has managed to get that close to the heart of the Imperium without Imperial retaliation is unknown.

Notable Altansar Eldar

Maugan Ra - The Phoenix Lord and founder of the Dark Reapers Aspect Warriors shrine, Maugan Ra is known as the "Harvester of Souls." Maugan Ra came from the once-lost Craftworld of Altansar, following the birth of the Chaos God, Slaanesh. Altansar rode out the psychic shock-waves that destroyed the Aeldari realms but was subsequently caught in the gravity well of the Eye of Terror. Although the Asuryani of Altansar fought valiantly against the encroachment of Chaos, they were unable to escape their inevitable doom, and within five hundred Terran years of the Fall, their Craftworld was swallowed by the Warp. Nothing remained of Altansar except for Maugan Ra, the mightiest Exarch of Altansar's Shrine of the Dark Reapers. Millennia later, during the 13th Black Crusade, Maugan Ra was responsible for the creation of the Ulthwé Strike Forces. Maughan Ra and the elite Black Guardians fought across every sector against the forces of Chaos by the cunning use of the Webway. He ultimately led the Asuryani to victory even in the heart of the Eye of Terror and, after repelling the innumerable hosts of Chaos, guided his former homeworld back into realspace. It is believed by many farseers that the reappearance of the shadowy Craftworld of Altansar and its ghost-like inhabitants was purely due to the iron determination of the Phoenix Lord to locate and redeem his once-lost brethren.

Appearance




Eons spent adrift in the Eye of Terror have forever altered the warriors of Altansar. The stained reddish-purple of their armour evokes the seas of bloodshed by their people in the Craftworld's defence; the white the bones of their ancestors.

Warriors of Altansar also wear the colour black in honour of Maugan Ra -- first of the sinister Dark Reapers -- for it was he who found them within the Eye of Terror and freed them from its perilous grip.

And with that, the tale is told. This was an interesting model to paint and I hope to have a painting video up soon.

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Comic Review 127 // Macragge's Honour by Dan Abnett

Normally Saturdays are my Audiobook adventure days, unfortunately, this week I failed to finish anything. Work has been ramping up and with that no real quality listening time. But I managed to read an additional comic this week so I am going to post about that instead.

Originally published in 2014 and was 128 pages long, this is the first Horus Heresy Graphic Novel I believe. Let us read the commercial fluff and get into the review.

In the aftermath of the Word Bearers’ attack on Calth, the wounded Kor Phaeron flees aboard his battle-barge Infidus Imperator, intent on returning to the war that now rages across the entire galaxy. But the Ultramarines First Chapter Master Marius Gage – under orders from Roboute Guilliman himself – has taken the mighty flagship Macragge’s Honour in pursuit, and the battle to come will surely be remembered for all eternity. Cut off from their Legions and with no hope of reinforcement, the crews of the two vessels stalk one another to the very edge of reality... and beyond.

Let's get the obvious out of the way first. This is a follow-up short story to Know No Fear by Dan Abnett. For those who may not have read the full story, the book has three lines that sparked the imagination.

"The Word Bearers battle-barge Infidus Imperator turns in the debris-rich belt of Calth nearspace, ships dying in flames behind it. It engages its drive and begins a long, hard burn towards the outsystem reaches.

As it accelerates away, raising yield to maximum, the Macragge's Honour turns in pursuit, its main drives lighting with an equally furious vigour.

It is the beginning of one of the most infamous naval duels in Imperial history."

Well, from this Black Library decided to create it in a graphic novel format which was a strange choice, to be honest. The book handles the initial chase between the ships, the boarding action, daemons, cultists and the classic heroic moments. Which is a lot of action to cover in such a short comic.

Unsurprisingly Abnett creates a solid script for Neil Roberts to bring to life. I feel the story would have been more epic if it was written rather than drawn but that is the only real fault I have with the piece. Roberts' artwork is packed full of detail and every page is a stunning piece of artwork. I later found out that each panel is hand-painted! I can only imagine how much work this took to complete. The ships looked stunning, the marines looked like the cover art of the novels and large battles looked chaotic and awesome.

Overall I feel this was a solid 4 out of 5. A hard story to portray in comic format but this was a good attempt. I can assume that the lack of more graphic novels must mean this fell on its face in popularity, as they haven't made any other tales into graphic novels.

As always thanks for coming over and reading my ramble.

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Book Review 121 // Shadows of Treachery

Shadows of Treachery is a collection of short stories and is novel number 22 in the series. Let's first check out the official write-up of the book.

From the battlefields of Phall and Isstvan to the haunted shadows of Terra itself – the greatest war in the history of mankind rages on. While the traitor Legions continue their campaign of terror across the galaxy, preparations are made for the defence of the Imperial Palace and the final, inevitable reckoning that must yet come between Horus and the Emperor...

About the book

This anthology spans the entire Horus Heresy, with short stories from Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill and Gav Thorpe, as well as two brand new novella-length tales. Learn the fate of Rogal Dorn’s fleet originally sent to Isstvan III in ‘The Crimson Fist’ by John French, and descend deeper into the darkness of the Night Lords Legion in ‘Prince of Crows’ by Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

The Crimson Fist - John French

The Dark King - Graham McNeill

The Lightning Tower - Dan Abnett

The Kaban Project - Graham McNeill

Raven's Flight - Gav Thorpe

Death of a Silversmith - Graham McNeill

Prince of Crows - Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Review

Seven titles in total and I am that I recognize a couple. A few titles I have read before or in some cases listened to on audible, like The Lighting Tower. Overall the these are seven strong stories and some really entertaining reads. I will review each story separately, enjoy!

The Crimson Fist - John French

It's an amazing opening story. It follows the retribution fleet of the Imperial Fists, lead by Alexis Polux. The fleet is becalmed in the Phall system and is ambushed by the Iron Warriors. Leading to some amazing combat action scenes. The twist is heartbreaking and being torn by duty and honour seems to cut Alexis deep. Amazing start to the book.

The Dark King - Graham McNeill

A Night Lords classic. This story and the Lighting Tower are some OG stories. It shows Curze as the complex and broken character that he is. Wracked by his visions of the future Curze attacks Dorn in a brother-on-brother battle, that is hugely atmospheric and helps move the lore along. Completely captivating.

The Lightning Tower - Dan Abnett

The second half of this 2007 collection. We get to follow Dorn, as he deals with the realization that he will have to pull down his fathers' work and re-build the palace into a fortress. A tale of deep dread and a foreboding. Written 14 years ago and the first steps into the heresy, hard to believe Dorn is still waiting for the end.

The Kaban Project - Graham McNeill

An Adeptus Mechanicus tale and a long overdue one. The Kaban Machine is a banned A.I unit made real. When the threat is discovered by a low-level adept, he attempts to flee the forges and warn the allies of the Emperor. But who can he trust? Great story and some amazing characters and locations. Great story.

Raven's Flight - Gav Thorpe

Comically this is set before Deliverance Lost a novel we have already passed in the reading order. The story explains why the rescue team disobeyed Corax's orders and head off to Isstvan to save their Primarch. This seems like it would have been a great story if read in the correct order, here it feels disjointed.

Death of a Silversmith - Graham McNeill

A great foreboding tale. We follow a silversmith, plucked from Terra at the request of Malcador, to join the crusade fleets along side the Luna Wolves. Master of a dieing art he proves popular among the space marines and is tasked with creating two works. The first is a set of rings each showing casing a moon at different cycles for the mournival and the second a crude set of coins embossed with a wolfs head. The story is written with the power of hindsight and fore tells what will happen in the coming Heresy to follow. A very well written story and great lore.

Prince of Crows - Aaron Dembski-Bowden

As discussed in my audible adventures Aaron Dembski-Bowden is the master story teller of the Night Lords. It is actually the story that leads to The Long Night tale. The lead like before is Sevatar, the first captain of the Night Lords. The Night Lords have just been defeated by the Dark Angels and their Primarch lies dieing in the medbay, leaving them leaderless and alone in the darkness. As the surviving Captains plan revenge and going out in a blaze of glory, one amongst them rises to take charge (Sevatar) and no one can stand in his path and survive. A beautiful story that ultimately leads to Sevatar's captures and imprisonment, but this character is so amazing that I need more stories about him..please!

And with that the stories are complete. This is a true highlight novel and well worth the cover price highly recommend this book. With this title complete I plan to take a short break to read Terry Pratchett's Guards! Guards! to give myself a refresh and reset but until then thank you for reading.

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Unboxing Video // Mutant Sky Raiders


Following some postings of Strontium Dog Mini's, Warlord Games kindly sent me a Mutant Sky Raiders box set. This was a complete surprise and I am so happy and impressed they did this. In the video, I am reviewing this box set.

Everything is my own opinion and though gifted, I still give an honest review. Enjoy! 

As always drop me a comment, like, subscribe and I hope you enjoy the video.

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Beer 132 // Double Galaxy by Hill Farmstead


Digging into the vault for this week's post. I was lucky enough to drink this just before the COVID shutdowns. For this post, we will visit a Vermont renowned brewery, Hill Farmstead, to enjoy a stubby can of Double Galaxy. The descriptor is short, sweet, and to the point:

A double IPA bittered, flavoured, and dry-hopped exclusively with Galaxy hops. 

As I crack the can, the aroma fills the air, big tropical notes hitting the senses. The pour, is a thick-looking chalky yellow colour, with a slight white cap of tight foam. Going in for a big sniff, the tropical notes make way for traditional citrus notes and a nice classic resin aroma. The first sip causes the mouth to water, it is bursting full of tropical, citrus flavour. As your tongue adjusts, you start to get a little pine and a fresh malt finish, it is very moreish. An amazing brew, which as soon as the borders have reopened and I have my vaccines, I plan on visiting this brewery for a restock.

Have you tried this beer? Let me know in the comments or by reaching out on social media.

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Comic Review 126 // Warhammer 40,000 Marneus Calgar Issue 4

Feels like we have been away from the Calgar series for ages! The last review was back in December, well it would seem Marvel is over their break and the issues are coming in fast. Here we are the second to last issue of the newly launched Marvel/Games Workshop Collaboration.

THE MAKING OF A SPACE MARINE! Young MARNEUS CALGAR has passed his Space Marine Aspirant testing...but that means the real trial is only just beginning! As Marneus undergoes the rigorous training, excruciating organ implantation and strenuous physical augmentation, he will have to prove that, against all odds, he has what it takes! And in the 41st Millennium, the assault on CALGAR ESTATES reaches a deadly climax!

Titled - Making the Marine, the cover artwork shows Marneus becoming a fully fledge Space Marine. I have high hopes for this issue, so let us jump in.

Starting soon after the ending of issue three, we head to the Calgar Estate which is now in the full throws of open warfare. Marneus is leading the charge and crushing all foes before him, it is during this battle that we get a flashback. During this Marneus meets the other aspirants and begins his training, we follow the trails and see the number of aspirants wither away, soon only Marneus is left standing and heads off to join the Ultramarines. We then get to experience his time as a scout, this section I really enjoyed and truly wish they had spent more time on this period but sadly it was not meant to be.

The issue finishes with Marneus heading to the possible location of the chaos forces. His craft is shot down and when he appears from the downed craft he is surrounded by the forces of Chaos and some old friends seem to be apart of the party.

Only one issue left and I am not sure what can happen in that issue. The highlight of this issue was the scout section, whilst the lowlight was Marneus just single punching a Dreadnought off a building. That whole scene needed to be more epic. I am also left a bit meh by the final revel, it wasn't needed to be honest.

Come back next week for the final issue in the series.

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The Wargame



Miniature Monday // Strontium Dog - Impetigo Jones

Here we are with the third member of the Max Bubba gang. Impetigo Jones will soon be causing mayhem alongside Max Bubba and Brute Mosely. Wonder how he will die in my games, compared to the comic?

History 

Impetigo Jones was born a mutant, he was the principal henchman of the villainous Max Bubba, and assisted him in his attempt to destroy human history by going back in time to the Viking era and killing people. His murderous ways eventually caught up with him, but not before he had been complicit in the murder of time-displaced Wulf Sternhammer, earning him the undying enmity of Wulf's friend, Strontium Dog Johnny Alpha, with predictably fatal consequences. Impetigo Jones following being wounded By Johnny Alpha died on a beach being eaten alive by an alien crab lifeform.

Powers and abilities

Abilities

Breaking the law; having a jolly good try at erasing all of post-Viking history including his own birth.

Strength level

Peak human male.

Weaknesses

Won't win any beauty contests; doesn't think things through.

That's three down, two left then Wulf Sternhammer. Once done this I can finally play the actual game. Until then thanks for checking in and if you wish to help support the blog feel free to check out and use the following links:

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Audio Book 24 // Iron Corpses by David Annandale

I enjoyed last week's audiobook so much that I felt that I needed to continue on that path. Here enter Iron Corpses by David Annandale. Here is the Black Library official write up:

The ravaged world of Tallarn plays host to the greatest armoured conflict in the history of mankind. The bitter and vengeful Iron Warriors led entire divisions of tanks and war machines across the befouled plains until the macro-transporter Eagle’s Talon plunged to the surface and ended a million lives in a heartbeat. Stranded upon some unnamed, toxic battlefield that now resembles nothing more than a graveyard of Titans, Warsmith Koparnos knows that he has precious little time left – will he find salvation amidst the dead god-machines, or quickly succumb to violent madness?

Narrated by Sean Barrett

Performed by Saul Reichlin, Annie Aldington

Directed by Samuel Gunn

Music by Simon Slater

Produced by Heavy Entertainment

Running Time 39 Minutes 47 seconds

Now the important aspect of the tale is the fact that the story is from the viewpoint of an Iron Warrior. It is enjoyable to see how they regard their new role as the traitor. In this tale we follow Warsmith Koparnos of the Iron Warriors, set soon after the devastation of the detonation of the Eagles Talon. This lone Iron Warrior is left fighting for his life as the newly irradiated, toxic landscape attempts to kill him. As his body attempts to heal, Koparnos has to find a safe space to cleanse himself of the pollutants. Then once healed he can continue his war against the false Emperor.

As he wanders the wastes, Koparnos discovers a titan Warmachine powered down due to the devastation. After breaking inside and purging the poison, Koparnos goes on to corrupt the loyal titan crew. It was almost heartbreaking to listen to the outcome.

The story kept me on my toes and guessing from the start. The story had great pace and considering it is set in the aftermath of a conflict it had plenty of action. Well worth a listen.

Have you listen to or read this story? Let me know your thoughts below in the comments and if you have the chance give me a follow. Thank you for stopping by, to show support and feel free to use these links to start your own adventures. I get a kickback if you use the Amazon link, so thank you in advance.

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Audible: The Iron Corpses by David Annandale

Book Review 120 // Fear to Tread - Horus Heresy

Here we are at book 21 of the Horus Heresy series. With this book, we get the long-overdue arrival of the Blood Angels. I've always been a fan of the Blood Angels, ever since I saw the box artwork for the second edition 40k game. Now I finally get to read some lore about them and see how the Crusade has affected them.

The book itself is 508 pages long and is a true beast of a novel. Written by James Swallow, here is the official Black Library write up:

Since the earliest days of the Great Crusade, Sanguinius – angelic primarch of the IXth Legion – was ever among the closest and most loyal of Horus’s brothers. But the Blood Angels have long kept their true nature hidden from the rest of the Imperium, and when the Warmaster hints that the key to their salvation may lie in the ruins of a conquered world, the sons of Sanguinius race to claim it. Now, as the revelation of their betrayal dawns and the traitors’ hand is revealed, the Blood Angels must face all the warp-spawned armies of Chaos, as well their own personal daemons, upon the blasted plains of Signus Prime...

Straight away I discovered this book was going to rewrite my knowledge base of the Blood Angels. For a while, I had been lead to believe like many that the Black Rage was a curse brought on by the death of their Primarch. When in fact it was a genetic error in the Blood Angel's make-up. It is this secret that Horus discovers and decides to use against his brother.

In the story, the original plan is to send the Blood Angels to the Signus Cluster, where they would face-off against a combined force of Khorne and Slaanesh daemons. Their goal is to tempt the Black Rage with the Angel and convert him into a champion of Chaos. Now unfortunately Horus fears that if Sanguinius falls to the lure of chaos the Gods may start to favour him instead, and so Horus sets in motion a plan to kill Sanguinius instead. It is this indecisive and cloak and dagger action that leads to the plan ultimately failing. There is a lot to enjoy in this novel, but it is a hard title to write about without spoilers. It is descriptive about the warp, the Blood Angels come across as true heroes, and some of the Black Rage moments are mind-blowing.

Fear to Tread did an amazing job of showcasing the Blood Angel Legion's strengths and weaknesses. It also finally introduced the Red Angel (not Angron), a character I had seen multiple times in artwork and it turns out he is even cooler than expected, but I can't tell you much without causing spoiler issues beyond repair.

The series seems to be on a high at the moment, these titles have really invigorated my reading and I am excited to dive into the next title Shadows of Treachery.

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Unboxing Video // Judge Dredd by Warlord Games

Hey! I was pretty excited when this package arrived. For a while now I have been collecting the Warlord Games - Judge Dredd series and to my shame, I had never got the actual Judge Dredd (Shame, shame, I know your name). Well no more, I have received JD and even done an unboxing video. I am in no way sponsored by anyone so all opinions are my own (until I become sponsored ha!). Enjoy and as always thanks for stopping by.


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Beer Review 131 // Jelly King Raspberry and Blackberry by Bellwoods


Is there anything more exciting than finding out one of your favourite beers is now sold at the LCBO? The answer is no unless they start selling that beer with added fruits! Welcome to this week's beer review and today I am drinking Bellwoods Jelly King - Raspberry and Blackberry edition.

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Right first up the bottle. I personally love Bellwoods art styling, it really is eye-catching and would look great as a wall print. The label colouring is very relevant as it actually matches the beer. The beer is a beautiful plum red in colour, with a lively pink bubbly head. It looks amazing! On the nose, you unsurprisingly get raspberries and an acidic sourness. The taste is like a tart mixed berry compote and it is stupidly delicious. The berries meld together and it makes me think of a delicious fruit crumble and causes the mouth to water the entire time. A highlight for me is the fact that the fruit tastes like fruits, something I love Bellwoods for, they don't cut corners and I appreciate that (nothing worst than lip balm raspberry). But it is not all good, I am disappointed in myself for not picking up one sooner, but hopefully, this delicious brew will be around for a while.

If you are from Ontario, go treat yourself to a bottle or go place an order and get it delivered. Cheers for checking in, be sure to say hi in the comments and feel free to sign up to get future notifications and use any of these links to support the blog.

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Comic Review 125 // Strontium Dog: The Final Solution

We have reached the final book of the original Strontium Dog series. As I reach this issue I am left feeling a little sad that it is going to end. I know that more stories have been made and that the adventure continues but for now I am reaching the end. It has been fun reading these all back to back and I am happy to have completed the set now.

Strontium Dog: The Final Solution

A short book when compared to some before, it has a total of 160 pages. But where this book differs is the fact that it is one long story. It continues on from the final tale in last week's omnibus. In that final tale, Johnny Alpha aided in the recovery of a relic, which happens to be a magically infused skull that acts as a gateway to 'Another World".

This device has now become a tool for the New Church, which is violently taking over Great Britain, with its military strength. They are also able to manipulate the population with their popular viewpoint on the mutant problem. This priesthood has created the 'Final Solution', using the relic to open a gateway to another dimension and offering the mutants a new life on the other side. The issue is no one actually knows what is there as no one has ever come back. Of course, the mutants aren't keen on being explorers and soon they are being herded up by the military and forced through the portal.

During these round-ups, one mutant manages to get a message off to Johnny Alpha and with the aid of Middenface McNulty, they go to investigate. Here they discover the young mutant called Feral who tells them what is going on and that it is all being lead by Sagan. A 'Norm' who holds a strong grudge against Alpha (for reasons that are a big spoiler). Soon Alpha and Feral are captured and forced to go through the portal and discover first hand what is on the other side. Here they discover a Chimera style monster killing the mutants and it is up to Alpha to make the ultimate sacrifice to get his fellow mutants back to Earth.

Whilst on Earth McNulty manages to escape and alert the other Strontium Dog's to what is happening and together they lead the mutant populas against the Church in all out war.

The story itself is very enjoyable if different, the artwork is a bit off putting and jarring at times and I really miss the cleaner styling of the earlier books. It is actually hard to tell who is a mutant and who is a norm at times due to the art style. I can definitely see why this story upset a lot of people and why they have attempted to the right the wrongs caused by this story.

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Audio Review 53 // Horus Heresy Shorts - Serpent/Riven/Veritas Ferrum

Tripleheader today! I am slowly working my way through a load of Black Library Horus Heresy short audiobook/dramas, I have collected over th...