Comic Review 153 // Marshal Law: Fear and Loathing by Pat Mills


Now I'm sure long-time readers will know I love 2000 AD the British comic. One of the most influential writers from that team has to be Pat Mills, having written Judge Dredd, Slaine, Nemesis and ABC Warriors. Well, I had the opportunity to borrow one of his non-2000 AD stories for a read so I had to pounce on it! I am pleased to introduce Marshal Law.

Title: Marshal Law: Fear and Loathing
Author: Pat Mills
Illustrator: Kevin O'Neill
Fluff:
The big one destroyed San Francisco and the rebuilt city is now called San Futuro. Into this city of genetically altered superheroes comes Marshal Law who is searching for heroes but he hasn't found any yet.

Get a Copy via my Amazon Link: Paperback
Page Count: 192 pages

Review

The story arc is a simple one to follow. It is the anti version of the Super Hero genre, think Watchmen, think The Boys, think a little bit of Batman and think Judge Dredd. The heroes aren't real heroes, they are in fact simply humans with crazy powers and abilities, and when given power, they will ultimately fall to greed, lust, pride.

This is proven in this story, where we see hundreds of people medically altered into Super Soldiers. The reason for this is to fight in a war (of course). Sadly these veterans upon returning to the states, struggle to find work and ultimately become warlords and gang leaders, with most of them gravitating to a post-earthquake San Francisco. Which has a huge no-go area in the city which looks like something from a Mad Max/post-apocalyptic film. These heroes are feared by the average human and prey upon the weak, wanting to highlight their awesome powers.

Into this mess comes Marshal Law, also an ex-super soldier who towards the end of the fighting becomes jaded with it all and with the aid of his girlfriend realizes he has the ability to stop these heroes preying on the weak. Soon Marshal Law is known as the Hero Hunter and works for a covert agency that wishes to police the superhumans. His look is very S&M and he takes down heroes like nobody could ever imagine, but in this tale, his nemesis is Public Spirit (aka Homelander), a much-beloved hero with a Darker Side.

The story is pretty well explored and thought out. Pat Mills has created a very strong theme and world for the characters to live in. This is then brought to life by the talented Kevin O'Neill. But it sadly isn't all good news, at points, it lost me and I found my interest waving and got misted eyes as I auto-piloted some pages. That said the story has a lot of backbone and isn't scared to punch hard at an overdone superhero genre, it has also aged really well. I would highly recommend reading it!

I hope you enjoyed it? Feel free to comment below or seek me out on one of the many social platforms I hang out on. Here is a quick LINK (Solo bio link) to my details. Cheers to reading this.

Sector 102: Dan Abnett Block

It's been ages since I did a building update on the Dan Abnett Block. The original Post is from January 2020. It is real bare-bones and it sadly stayed that way for far too long! COVID hit and work got crazy, eating up more time than it ever had before and absorbed all my free time. Step forward to now as things seem still crazy but a little more organized and I have once again got time to grab a glue stick.



As you can now see, a second floor has appeared, along with an air filtration unit, a memorial fountain to Judge Dredd vs Death, a shop front, along with computer terminals, tables, hedges and billboards. Now to get a slap of paint on it and start gaming!

A very quick update but I hope you enjoy it! Support my blog by using the link below.

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Beer 159 // Damien Thorn by Blood Brothers Brewing


Here we go! The weather is cooling, summer is winding down and we are entering my favourite time of year...Imperial Stout season. Yep, I am all about the Stout Life. I can happily enjoy a pint of stout in the summer, it is definitely a lot harder to knock back an 11% beast. But as the nights close in and September 22nd draws closer I hear the call and the stouts are coming!

Today's beer is by Blood Brother Brewing from Toronto and it is a beast of a brew. Here are the details:

Name: DAMIEN THORN (From the Omen)

Style: Imperial Stout w/ Maple Syrup, Coffee & Hazelnut 

ABV: 11.9%

Fluff:

We've made some changes to amp up this decadent stout. We've brewed at a higher gravity for a fuller mouthfeel and bumped the ABV to an Ontario 11.9%. We used bourbon barrel-aged coffee from Good Morrow coffee, dark maple syrup, and a touch of hazelnut to round out the edges and complement the roast profile.

Review

First up let us discuss the can, classic Blood Brother-style, black, gold, stunning central image. I believe the central image is a representation of the child from the Omen film and it gives me the creeps just thinking about it.

As it pours you can't help but be captivated by the dark pour, the head is thin and dissipated quickly which would be my only complaint. But as it sits in the glass it looks stunning. The aroma is also loud and proud and definitely excites me. The first sip seems to overload the senses, but as I sip more the flavours mellow out as my tongue is covered by the beer. The coffee aspect offers up hints of sweetness and a lot of bitterness. The maple adds a sweetness to help combat the coffee but I sadly lose the hazelnut aspect completely. I feel it needed more Hazelnut, but that would have made the beer hugely expensive in my mind so I get the less is more approach.

I really enjoyed this beer and would buy it again, I am sure given another run Blood Brothers would kill it!

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And if you are ever in Ottawa come to say hi!

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Book Review 149 // Verntropa by E L Clarke


When we dream, where do we go? 

It’s time for my first real #bookreview #ad. I recently joined @lovebookstours #booktour and received my first #gifted book in exchange for an honest review. Hopefully, I will be able to use this new resource to broaden my reading and discover new reads and authors to watch out for. Let me know if you are interested in doing this well and I will tell you how. Enjoy.

Title: Verntropa (The Balance) Part 1.
Author: E L Clarke
Format: Gifted Kindle
Page Count: 426 Pages
Fluff: 
When we dream, where do we go?

Olivia Merton has only ever known Earth after the shift. For fifteen years there has been no sunshine, little rain…and resources are scarce.

A recurring dream provides an escape from her troubled monochrome life and leads her to a vividly coloured landscape, populated by four distinctive societies.

This world is Verntropa.

Her attempts to describe her dream memories are met with distrust and she fears for her grasp on reality - until she discovers that Earth is in danger and a mission on Verntropa awaits her if she is to fulfil her destiny.

Does Olivia have the prophesied power needed to strengthen the balance between her two worlds, or will it, and she, be damaged beyond repair?

As Olivia’s fate unfolds, she is thrown into a fast-paced adventure where she discovers the meaning of trust and true friendship. One thing is certain – her life will never be the same again.

Review

Verntropa is a book that is ideal for those who love gentle fantasy/sci-fi settings. It explores where we go in our dreams and how the two places are linked. The cover is eye-catching and colourful, which is great for the target audience which is young adults. It features the title character Olivia, asleep, heading to the hexagonal city of Verntropa. A simple cover, but it gives the reader all the information needed to understand the setting and the base of the plot.

The pacing of this story was good and about a third of the way in, the story builds and interest is peaked and held on until the end. The main plot of the book simply jumps back and forth between Verntropa and Earth. This is achieved by having each chapter set in a different world. Which also aided to form a clear distinction between, “awake” and “asleep”, making it an easy read.

The actual setting of Verntropa is one described as full of life, colour and activity. This is why I was left a little disappointed that it wasn’t explored in more depth, especially with such a large page count. It wasn’t just the setting that suffers from this, but also the characters, a few of the main cast lacked description, leaving a lot up to the imagination (not always a bad thing). I just hope that the follow-up titles will delve more into the different societies and lifeforms of this new setting.

Overall there was also a lot to like about the title, which was full of political intrigue, spying and a big mystery that was fifteen years in the making. The area in which it fell short, was the actual world-building. This series has a lot of potential and has made me want to see what will happen next. I really would love to see themed books for each of the societies and some more time spent fleshing out the new world. But I am excited to see and read what E L Clarke writes next.

As always I hope you enjoyed and will support my blog by using the link below.

Treat yourself to the story: Amazon Link

Miniature Monday // Medic Judge


Got a newly painted model everyone! It's the Warlord Game Med-Judge, an under-explored archetype in the Judge Dredd verse. Even on the Fandom pages, there aren't details. Here is what I've found.

MED-JUDGES

Med-Judges are the Department's paramedic wing, brought in to heal both citizens and Street Judges to patch up themselves. They are run out of Med Division.

History

The first appearance of a Med Judge appears to be in prog 534, where a Judge with red cross shoulder pads is examining one of PJ Maybe's victims and then, later, he and a colleague are taking the body away. (Prog 500 had introduced a "Forensic squad" but this was a different uniform again)


The first explicit claim there was an entire division of Judge paramedics was Mega-Special 1989, which placed a Med-Division and Med-Judges (who outrank "civilian med services") as part of the Justice Department rank setup.

Since then, Med-Judges have been a sporadically occuring presence in strips and are presented as predominantly non-combat. An exception was Judge Morinta, who enjoyed modifying weaponry and was first seen involved in a covert raid on a Sov Block gulag; she appeared in several Gordon Rennie stories from 2004-07 and is the only recurring Med-Judge so far.

Exactly what a Med-Judge uniform looks like is completely dependent on the artist (and sometimes the individual artists aren't consistent either).



There you go, short and sweet. This is something I love in lore as it gives me the freedom to do as I pleased. If you watched the video, you will see me struggling with choosing white or yellow for the helmet. It sounds silly now I think about it, but at the time I really felt I had to do white and I was left questioning my decision right up to the end. Now with it finished, I am so happy with the yellow.

I hope you enjoyed the video? Write me a comment and leave it below. As always I hope you enjoyed and will support my blog by using the link below.

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Alien Isolation Playthrough Part 1


Something a little new for me, some gameplay action.

I am also tweaking my new mic so hopefully, this sounds okay (definitely louder, but a strange tinny sound??). Let me know in the comments with any advice as well.

Alien Isolation Walkthrough Gameplay Part 1. This Alien Isolation Gameplay Walkthrough will include a Review, all Story Missions, Scary Moments, Bosses, Weapons, Collectibles, Characters and the Ending of the Single Player. It will also include swearing, me pooping my pants and death, lots of death.

Alien: Isolation is a first-person survival horror stealth game. If you are sensitive do not watch. I have warned you! The game is set in 2137, 15 years after the events of Alien and 42 years prior to Aliens. The game follows Amanda, who is investigating the disappearance of her mother Ellen Ripley. Amanda was transferred to the space station Sevastopol to find the flight recorder of Nostromo. However, an Alien has already infested the station. So of course, shit hits the fans! 

Wish me luck.

Amazon links.
Buy the Game: https://amzn.to/3gIerXL 
Buy the Novel: https://amzn.to/3Bi23Wa 

Book Review 148 // Aliens vs. Predator: Prey

Having finished the first Aliens vs Predator Omnibus, I was super intrigued to see how the book compared. I had to treat myself to the novel Omnibus (Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3h57VdP) to find out. The omnibus is made up of Prey, Hunter's Planet and War. Which in theory is the Machiko Noguchi saga. But let us begin with Prey.

Title: Aliens vs. Predator: Prey
Author: Steve Perry
Fluff: Machiko Noguchi accepted the assignment of supervising the ranching colony on Ryushi as a challenge. Little did she know that not only would she have to run the colony, but she'd also defend it with her life.

First, the carcass of a spiderlike alien is discovered. Then a rancher's family is massacred. Finally, a creature unlike any ever seen before is brought to the colony medical center, near death. It soon becomes clear that not one but two strains of alien life have landed near the settlement of Prosperity Wells. One kind -- beetle black with shells hard as steel -- has been spawned as the prey in a deadly hunt. The other kind -- upright like humans but infinitely stronger and just as smart -- are the Predators. Between them are the human colonists, unarmed and vulnerable. With the entire colony at risk, Machiko Noguchi must choose between death and survival -- and may find her greatest ally in a Predator ready to kill her...

Page Count: 262 pages.
Style: Paperback.

Quick overview of the story, humans colonize the planet Ryushi. Completely unaware that it is actually the hunting groups of the Yautja race a.k.a Predators. Who happens to turn up and seed the world with Xenomorph eggs! Soon chaos reigns supreme and everyone is fucked!

Overall I really enjoyed this title. It is definitely one of the better written in the Aliens / Predator / Prometheus series. Which doesn't surprise me as it is a Perry novel. It does a great job at making the Yautja alien but very human in their ways and plot twists though easy to spot were well written and played out. This should and could have been an amazing 80's movie.

The main character Machiko Noguchi is great and we see a real transformation take place from a cold corporate drone into a lethal killer. I was however left a little underwhelmed by the xenomorphs capabilities as they didn't seem to act in a very lethal manner. Instead of preferring to swarm a target and get killed in quick order, maybe this is due to an abundance of prey?

Overall a surprisingly strong outing from this first story, I am excited for Hunter's Planet. As always I hope you enjoyed and will support my blog by using the link below.

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Beer 158 // Mosey by Slake Brewing

All new to the blog brewery, sound the alarms we are going in!

Slake brewery is located in the heart of Prince Edward County and is brewed on a farm. They offer up some interesting beers with super cute artwork and designs. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Mosey, so time to review.

Name: Mosey
Style: Pils
ABV: 4.8%
Style: 355ml Can
Fluff: This Pils is made with 100% Ontario malt that is malted locally by Barn Owl Malt. It has a light straw and bready flavour with a hint of sweetness that finishes with an appropriate bitterness. We take our time with each batch by lagering it for six weeks and carbonating it naturally.


As you can see from the picture. Mosey pours are darker, malter straw yellow. It had a lovely white-capped head that helped to convey the bready, malty notes to the nose. The flavour was refreshing and stupidly easy to drink, with a nice, solid crisp finish. It is a stand-up refreshing beer, that I could easily see myself drinking a few during a backyard BBQ. Such a great introduction to this brewery.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And if you are ever in Ottawa come to say hi!

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Comic Review 152 // Brit-Cit Noir by John Smith 2000 AD

Finally diving back into some 2000 AD. I needed a refresher and felt they were the team to do it. So I went and purchased the download of Brit-Cit Noir. As a long-standing Armitage fan, I was excited to revisit the homelands and see what is happening on the shores of the UK. As always I appreciate you all stopping by for a read and those who have started following me on YOUTUBE.

Title: Brit-Cit Noir

Author: John Smith, Leah Moore, John Reppion.

Illustrator: Colin MacNeil, Tom Foster.

Fluff: The British equivalent of Mega-City One, Brit-Cit is a crowded metropolis that sprawls across southern England, the future Scotland of Cal-Hab and the South Welsh Peninsula. Buttressed by its own 'Cursed Earth', it is a bizarre vision of Britain old and new. Even before the Atomic Wars, Britain had more ghosts and ghouls per square miles than anywhere in the world - and now Brit-Cit is the focal point for an abundance of weird, occult occurrences.

Buy using my Amazon Link (I get a kickback): https://amzn.to/3teGnHV

Style: Kindle, 96 pages

Well, that was definitely needed. So great to be back in the worlds of Judge Dredd and 2000 AD. There is just something so wholesome and enjoyable about their comics, it must be the British humour. But back to the comic, this is of course a Brit-Cit-themed comic meaning it is set in Britain (duh), which gives the authors some room to play. The forces of Brit-Cit are closest to normal cops as you will find, they are corruptable, paid, allowed to have relationships and a bit more open to mutants. They also have a system where you can buy your promotions so a lot of the higher-ups are useless (a bit too on the nose there 2000 AD).

The book is actually two short stories combined, to create a more out there book. Following the stranger side of future law enforcement in a Brit-cit world. It followed a similar process of Judge Anderson, showcasing cases not handled by the standard force and instead, needing specialists. The first title tale shows a creepy department headed by the horse-faced Inspector Strange, whose job is to look after the mythological creatures of the world. It was a fun intro story to the team, set in Wales and playing with folklore stories. It was fun if short read and has me hoping two things:

1) 2000 AD has more of them coming?

2) Warlord Games will make the figures for their game.

The 2nd story though longer, didn't hold me as much as the first. Still not a bad tale, but lacked what I wanted after the first. Overall an enjoyable graphic novel, but need more stories!

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will help me out by using the links. Cheers

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Miniature Monday // Warlord Games Street Judges


Welcome to Miniature Monday. This week I am unboxing the Warlord Games Judge Dredd Street Judges. Want to own the kit? Please use this link to purchase and help support my blog: LINK

Street Judges are the product of many years' training and psychological conditioning. Training, which takes place in the Academy of Law, generally begins at age five. The Judges recruit promising children and grow their own clones. Judge Dredd is himself a clone of the Judges' founder, Chief Judge Fargo.

The Judges themselves are not above the law – a violation that would earn a citizen a few months in an Iso[lation]-Cube earns a Judge a twenty-year sentence, of as hard labour on Saturn's moon, Titan, after surgical modification to enable the convict to survive Titan's atmosphere.

The Judges are led by a Chief Judge and a Council of Five. The Judges have their own domestic intelligence division (the Public Surveillance Unit), and their own medical facilities. There are several specialist divisions within the Judges, notably the Psi Division, which consists of psychic judges used to predict the future and read minds, and the Tek Division, made of forensic scientists and engineers. The SJS (Special Judicial Squad) monitors and police the Judges internally.

In Judge Dredd's future history, the Judge System originated in the United States (see History of Mega-City One), but spread around the world. In most of these nations the Judges control all aspects of the government; but differ in customs: the Judges of Ireland, for example, are allowed to drink and smoke, or be married, whereas MC-1 Judges have virtually no private life. Corruption is endemic amongst the Judges of Brit-Cit, and bribery is often essential to progress through the ranks.

Judges also hear civil cases in each City Block, where they try compensation claims, libel, slander, divorce, alimony, and small claims matters.


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Audio Review 49 // Alien: Covenant Origins by Alan Dean Foster


Something a little different for us all today. It's an Alien review ha!

In all seriousness, I get a little obsessed with the series, and currently, I am all about the Alien series. Movies, books, games, I am hooked. I am attempting to pace them so I am not just purely doing the same thing. But I can't resist for long.

Today's title is Alien: Covenant Origins. Cased as a prequel to Covenant and book 0.5 in the series with Covenant being 1. Here are the details:

Title: Alien: Covenant Origins
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Narrator: Tom Taylorson
Fluff: The Covenant mission is the most ambitious endeavour in the history of Weyland-Yutani. A ship bound for Origae-6, carrying two thousand colonists beyond the limits of known space, this is a make-or-break investment for the corporation and for the future of all mankind. Yet some would die to stop the mission. As the colony ship hovers in Earth orbit, several violent events reveal a deadly conspiracy to sabotage the launch. While Captain Jacob Branson and his wife, Daniels, complete their preparations, security chief Daniel Lope recruits the final key member of his team. Together they seek to stop the perpetrators before the ship and its passengers can be destroyed.

An original novel by the acclaimed Alan Dean Foster, author of the groundbreaking Alien novelization, Alien: Covenant Origins is the official chronicle of the events that led up to Alien: Covenant. It also reveals the world the colonists left behind.

Buy via my Amazon code: https://amzn.to/3zBmoW3
Style: Audible Audio
Listen Time: 8h 31min

Review

A strange one is this. What we have here is a well-written, world-building novel to give Alien fans something to buy. It showcases the Earth that everyone wishes to leave, one full of pollution and decay. One lacking hope, one controlled by the corporations. If this interests you (like it does me) then you will enjoy the book. But if you are looking for Xenomorphs and horrors you may as well move on.

I liked the idea of Weyland-Yutani being unpopular due to this new colony mission, I like the idea of corporate sabotage, I disliked the idea of the Prophet. For those who care, I will attempt to withhold spoilers. But basically, the Prophet is having visions of demons and in an attempt to not draw their attention he creates a cult that attempts to stop the launch of the Covenant. This is where I have issues. As we know he is right, xenomorphs, predators, engineers, there are definitely demons out there. But we also know they fail as we have the film. Leaving us with kind of a pointless story would be perfect in a short story collection but as a stand-alone tale, it is lacking.

What we do get is a crime/action/mystery tale. Plenty of criminal activities, a couple of kidnappings and some solid gunfights. It kept me entertained on my walks to and from work and that is all I can ask for from an audible book. It had a lot of space to give us something more but it just fell short. Overall I love this series and I am happy to have it in the collection, but it also would not be missed.

I hope you enjoyed the write-up and leave me a comment below. As always I hope you will support my blog by using the link below.

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Book Review 147 //Aliens: Berserker by S.D Perry


Unfortunately, I have struggled to find the Bantam the Book series in order so I have dangerously jumped forward by four books to number nine in the series. Now I have read the comics so I know what is happening and understand that the stories are written to be stand-alone pieces so there are no real spoilers to worry about.

With this in mind let us delve into the horror of Berserker.

Title: Berserker
Author: S.D Perry
Page Count: 230
Style: Paperback
Fluff: It is called a Berserker team - reckless, desperate volunteers recruited by the Company to destroy alien infestations. Based on the spaceship Nemesis, it consists of three brutal ex-cons who do all the grunt work and the Berserker itself, code-named MAX: an armed and armoured exoskeleton powered by the living brain of what was once a human, configured into an unstoppable killing machine.

When the Nemesis is sent to a massive space station, D.S. 949, the team finds an alien hive, the largest in history, with nearly a thousand hapless humans cocooned and incubated. The team mission: to destroy the aliens while leaving the terminal intact. The mission seems like suicide to the bug hunters and their small support staff. And that is perfectly fine for the Company... which wants no witnesses left to the terrifying secret of D.S. 949.

So firstly, let us get the important stuff out the way. Yes, we have seen this story before in comic format. It was a Dark Horse comic called, Aliens: Berserker. It was written by the legendary John Wagner of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog fame. He was assisted by Paul Mendoza and Andy Mushunsky.

The novel adaptation does the comic proud. In this story, we find out about the Berserker squad. Made up of baiters, people whose job is to be captured by the xenomorph to be taken to the nest. Some specialist weapons experts to assist, and the armoured killing machine named MAX. Once the baiter is captured his suit becomes a tracking device allowing the MAX suit the ability to rapidly find the Queen and kill her. The MAX suit is full-on future tech, anti-acid armour, flamethrowers and a giant-sized pulse rifle, all of which allow it to destroy a nest. But the real twist is the squad being made up of felons who can reduce their sentences in exchange for completing missions. Real dark shit. 

Having completed a mission the team is expecting some RnR when they are forced back into action, following the communication blackout of a research space station near their location. Following a quick detour, the team finds themselves facing a space station overrun by the Xenomorph. Needless to say soon the shit hits the fan and the mission goes awry. Leaving only three members of the team alive at the end.

Perry did a great job bringing the comic to the written page. We bounce between characters in a well-executed manner, that moves the story along in easy to understand way. This was an enjoyable entry to the series and I am so glad to have read it.

Now to get back to finding the other novels. As always I hope you enjoyed and will support my blog by using the link below.


Beer 157 // Sol Juice by Skeleton Park Brewery

New brewery alert! This is not a drill. Today (July 29th), I was gifted a brew by a co-worker who happens to know the owner of Skeleton Park Brewery. I have to be honest and say, I have never tried this brewery before. So fingers crossed.

Here are the beer details:

Name: Sol Juice
ABV: 6%
Style: IPA
Tasting Notes: Dry as a bone and juicy as all get-out. Expect a big citrus aroma and flavour, coupled with delightfully subtle notes of lychee fruit. Bitterness is bold, yet not overpowering, making this a truly enjoyable India Pale Ale.

The pour is slightly on the darker side of golden. This is accompanied by plenty of white, bubbly, foam head. It looks solid enough, but I personally, miss clearer-looking IPAs. It is giving off big, bold, citrusy notes on the first whiff. This is a great sign and fills me with the classic IPA feels. The first sip is intense. And it luckily smooths itself out as you continue to drink it. A good hit of citrus. Which is quite heavy on the bitterness with the finish, it makes me want to have more and the beer flows rather quickly.

Overall this is a good beer for hot summer nights, patios and lazy afternoons. I do feel one can is enough. I couldn't see myself having more than one in an evening. But this is a good intro to the brewery and has me interested in trying some more, so that is a win for me.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And if you are ever in Ottawa come to say hi!

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Comic Review 153 // Marshal Law: Fear and Loathing by Pat Mills

Now I'm sure long-time readers will know I love 2000 AD the British comic. One of the most influential writers from that team has to be ...