Alien Isolation Walk Through Part 6 - Lunchtime for the Xenomorph.

Last Blog Post of January 2022. For this ultimate post, we dive back into the world of Alien Isolation and spend another 30 minutes getting completely freaked out by all noises.


What the hell! I'm shaking and jumping from every noise. I am not sure I can go to bed tonight. I hope you are all still enjoying these, drop me a comment and let me know.

Until the next installment stop by my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AdventureswithPeps/featured and subscribe.

Alien Isolation the novel: Amazon link (yes I get a kickback, thank you).


Book Review 170 // Furnaces of Haeleon by Chris Dows


Hitting up another short story this week focused on Khârn the Betrayer. I hope it is as good as last week's Lost King. Here are the details:

Title: Furnaces of Haeleon (Part one of the Red Path Quick Reads series)

Author: Chris Dows

A brand new series begins, focusing on the infamous Khârn the Betrayer and his blood-soaked wars against the Imperium and his fellow Chaos Space Marines.

READ IT BECAUSE

Kill, maim, burn, kill, maim, burn, kill, maim, burn, Blood for the Blood God, skulls for the skull throne of Khorne! (Also, it's free, and it's about one of the 41st millennium's most ruthless and fascinating characters. What have you got to lose?)

THE STORY

Khârn the Betrayer wages bloody war across the Imperium, following the Red Path and leading his Warband of Khorne Berzerkers in greater and greater acts of battle and bloodshed against all-comers. Abaddon desires to yoke Khârn's strength and ferocity for his own ends. Still, the Champion of Khorne will not kneel quickly as his violent crusade brings him into conflict not only with the Imperium but also the Black Legion...

Review

I have been hooked to this character since seeing a 2nd Edition piece of artwork for Kharn in Codex Chaos. Unfortunately for Khârn, his backstory and lore suffered for years as he was viewed as a psycho killer, more dangerous to his own side than the enemy. Then books like the First Heretic and Betrayer came along; they made a character that was interesting, believable and slowly becoming broken by the Heresy. We had a chance to rewrite Kharns story to make him something more than a killer. Then I read this opening short for this series and realized the opportunity had been lost. Seems the author went back to the safe and sound psycho, who cares little for "allies" as long as the blood flows.

Everything reads a little safe, a little uninspiring and completely lacking purpose. It seems Kharn is trapped as a being who just fights and kills and never with a goal. The few characters we are introduced to are left flat and lifeless, maybe this changes later in the series, but I don't see why you would include characters that add nothing to the plot.

I feel disappointed and deflated. I don't see me wanting to read the rest of this series. To sum up, it is dull please avoid it.

Book Review 169 // Rico Dredd: The Titan Years by Michael Carroll


This book has sat for far too long on my bookshelf, which is a real shame. But I am finally righting that wrong and cracking open Rico Dredd: The Titan Years by Michael Carroll, an author who has been producing some great work in the Dreddverse, so I am excited to read this.

Title: Rico Dredd: The Titan Years
Author: Michael Carroll
Description:
Original fiction featuring the story of Judge Dredd's evil twin Rico's years on Titan finally revealed.

You know about me. I'm Rico Dredd, Joe Dredd's big brother.

I'm the clone that went bad, that brought shame on Judge Fargo's legacy.

I was a Judge, the best the Academy of Law ever turned out. The very best. But after less than a year on the streets of Mega-City One, I was brought down, taken in. It was Little Joe who caught me; second-best Judge there's been.

Broken, sentenced, stripped of office, I was shipped out to the brutal moon Titan to do my twenty years' hard labour. Yeah, you know about Rico Dredd.

But do you know what really happened? Why I did it? What it was like, out there on the edge of space, doing time in the Bronze?

Truth is, mister, you know stomm about me.

Buy your own copy here via Amazon: LINK.

Style: Paperback
Page Count: 480 pages
Publisher: Abaddon

Review

Rico has had a lasting effect on the fans in 2000 AD for such a short-lived character. He even managed an appearance in the Sly movie version! Much was left in mystery for such an iconic character, and now finally, we get some background.

The Titan Years is a book of collected novellas that follows Rico's twenty-year stay on Titan. The prison on Titan is full of some of the strongest, roughest and deadliest criminals from Earth. Here the inmates are expected to work on the Bronze (the surface of Titan), mining for a precious mineral. Ships rarely visit here, and outside the colony, there is no life, so no way to escape or at least that's what the guards want the inmates to think.

I enjoyed the writing style of these tales, with Rico taking on the role of narration, meaning we can't believe this is fact or his "fact" of events. We see how Rico justified his actions and the lengths he is willing to go to to get back to Earth. You end up feeling for Rico and actually hoping he will become a better man, even though you know what will ultimately happen. Rico knows he deserves to be on Titan, but throughout, he stands by his choices and thinks the system is broken and needs changing. You just can't help but agree with Rico's viewpoint on the world and how wrong the system is.

Ultimately a fantastic story that filled out Rico's back story and made me wish Rico survived in the comics longer than the one story he got back in the day. Well worth the read and deserves to be enjoyed by all Dredd fans. Would love to see this series become a graphic novel.

Beer Review 177 // Yummy! by Beyond the Pale

It's definitely lucky to be working for a brewery that is producing some great beer. I'm continuing with supporting my Local brewery (the one I work at lol). This week is the stunning and delicious Yummy! NEPA which they just launched as a permanent choice at the LCBO.

Here are the Details.

Beer Name: Yummy!
Style: NEPA (North East Pale Ale)
Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company
Location: Ottawa, Ontario. Canada

Description:
Now you'll be able to take it to go, fresher than ever and share the love of this hazy North East Pale Ale with everyone you know! Brewed with Southern Cross and Citra then dry-hopped with Mosaic, making this a unique and crushable juice bomb that delivers big flavour without being sweet. Very appropriately named, Yummy!

Review

On the pour, you are treated to a bold, bright yellow pour. Hazy is one way to describe this beer another would be opaque. There is zero chance of seeing through this! The aroma is juicy and tropical, mango, citrus fruit come crashing through. This combo continues as you sip. The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy, with the tropical fruit making this into a mouthwatering juice. The bitterness is gentle and what you expect from this type of brew, making your mouth want more, it makes you grab the glass for another sip, it makes you go yummy! It really delivers on the name, and it deserves to be in your glass this weekend.

If you are in the Ottawa area, go treat yourself to some cans before it sells out. Otherwise, cheers to you all and see you next week.

Comic review 171 // The Simping Detective by 2000 AD


One of my favourite 2000 AD characters is the focus of this comic, and it fills me with excitement to read this. Hopefully, I still feel the same at the end.

Title: The Simping Detective

Author: Simon Spurrier

Artist: Frazer Irving

Description:

MEGA-CITY ONE, 2129 AD. Simped-up private eye Jack Point is an undercover 'Wally Squad' Judge – ‘cos only a clown would want to walk the streets of Angeltown, the scuzziest part of City Bottom. He's got two friends in this world; one's long and hard and makes your ears ring after every shot; the other's his gun. In fact, Jack's got enemies on both sides of the Law, and he's never far from trouble.

Written by Simon Spurrier (Gutsville) with art by Frazer Irving (Storming Heaven), The Simping Detective is future-noir at its best!

Stories include:

Gumshoe, Crystal Blue, Innocence: A Broad, Playing Futsie, Fifteen, Petty Crimes and No Body, No How.

Review

The Simping detective delivers on the Noir Private Eye. Perfectly produced black and white artwork sucks you in, then with a bit of red, we are made to think of the Sin-City style artwork. I felt the red was unneeded as it neither added nor detracted from the stories.

Jack Point is part of the unusual Wally Squad (think Dirty Frank, Lenny Zero etc.); these Judges have quirks and can operate out the normal bounds of the Justice Department. For Point, he uses the ruse of being a Simp to hide in plain sight. Simp is a style of attire that is clown-like and foolish, and in Mega-City One, it is viewed as religion! Pair this clownish attire with a private eye, and Jack Point can blend into the background and investigate a crime at ease. Unfortunately for Judge Point, he has gained the taste for smoking, drinking and relationships (wheres the SJS?).

In these tales, we get to join Point as he delves deeper into Angeltown, one of the more downtrodden and seedier sectors of MC-1. We get to watch Jack Point get set up by corrupt Judges, raise an alien pet, become investigated by the SJS, be framed for murder and fall in love with Gallen Demarco. There is so much happening in one book, and I was thrilled. I loved seeing the return of the Raptaur alien from the 90's Dredd story and seeing this creature's story progress. It reminds me so much of a xenomorph. I also enjoyed the classic framed for a crime I didn't commit arc, which was portrayed perfectly and given the MC-1 twist along the way.

As I mentioned, this book is full of fantastic art, classic Film-Noir plots and dialogue. I loved the stories from start to finish, and if you are a fan of Judge Dredd, I highly recommend it.

You can buy a copy over at www.2000ad.com.

Hope you enjoyed it? Come watch me paint Jack Point over on Youtube: How to Paint Jack Point

2000 AD - How to Paint Jack Point

First fully finished figure of 2022. I started with a Judge Dredd figure, so I went with the most infamous Jack Point of the Wally Squad Division for this first miniature. The How-to video is a quick and easy-to-follow guide of how I went about painting this fantastic model by Warlord Games.


You know how to paint him; it is time for some fluffy background.

The strip name "The Simping Detective" comes from Point's habit of wearing clown accoutrements like a rubber nose and bow tie – in the fictional universe of Judge Dredd, "simping" is slang for dressing like a fool or simpleton. It is also a play on The Singing Detective. The name 'Jack Point' itself comes from the same name from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Yeomen of the Guard, who is a wandering jester.

Fictional character biography

Point's first significant case involved investigating the Crystal Blue drug, which led him into a conspiracy involving the corrupt new Sector Chief Daveez, a nun-run school for troubled juves (who were producing the drug), and the vicious alien predators known as the Raptaurs, whom the drug is manufactured from. He just barely managed to destroy all the Raptaurs and adopted the offspring of one - dubbed Cliq - as a pet and backup. He has since been involved in several cases alongside and conflicting with fellow PI Galen DeMarco and investigating a new incarnation of the mass-murdering Hunters Club. He made an ally and crush in the mysterious PVC-clad Miss Ann Thropé, who helped him on several cases; it turned out she was manipulating him to kill Cliq and gain a nest of new Raptaurs as a result, though only one survived and was adopted by Point as a new pet, Larf. She is currently trying to get him to quit the force and join her team of ex-Judge mercenaries.

In 2134, after Angeltown barely survived Chaos Day, Point was drawn into Judge Smiley's conspiracy (in the story Trifecta). After waking up with no memory, he accidentally killed a brainwashed Wally Squad judge who had been carrying a jester doll. Daveez, working with the corrupt Black Ops Division, attempted to blackmail Point by kidnapping DeMarco; Point saved her, preventing her from killing him by claiming he would arrest him "by the book," but then murdered the Sector Chief himself. Escaping Black Ops agents, he found he was now listed as a rogue judge. He turned to Miss Ann Thropé for help, and she steered him to a buyer for the doll, which turned out to contain stolen Justice Department data: Judge Dredd then burst in on the sale, revealing the judge Point had killed was Wally Squad chief Folger, and he was under arrest for treason. Point barely escaped, abandoned Larf to Black Ops, and tried to flee off-world. He eventually discovered that the whole thing had been set up as part of a secret investigation into Black Ops, in which he had been involved, and he rejoined Justice Department.

Here Jack Point's current timeline ends. I seriously hope Point is back soon as I love this character.

I hope you enjoyed this video and the introduction to Jack Point. Return tomorrow when I review his collected comic, The Simping Detective.

Want to learn more about 2000 A.D.? Why not start with the 2000 A.D. Encyclopedia (link is via Amazon, and I get a kickback). Thank you for reading, and if you want to chat more, come find me on Instagram.

Book Review 168 // The lost king by Robbie MacNiven


Hitting up some short stories from the worlds of Warhammer 40,000. It is easy to see what the account will be about; Space Wolves! Let us dive into the details.

Title: The Lost King (Legacy of Russ #1)
Author: Robbie MacNiven
Description:
Part 1 of the War Zone Fenris Quick Reads series

The Fenris system, home of the savage and feral Space Wolves Chapter, is overrun by the forces of Chaos. On planets and moons, armies of daemons manifest to enact a campaign of slaughter, and the Wolves are forced to defend themselves on all fronts. As the fighting escalates, all contact with Logan Grimnar is lost. Can the Space Wolves find their missing Chapter Master, or is he dead, as the daemons claim?

Fenris is besieged, and the Space Wolves – with some unlikely allies – battle daemonic invaders across the system. When contact with the Chapter Master is lost, are the Space Wolves doomed to destruction?

Review

We have part one of a new series here. Didn't realize this as I started it. Now, I will have to hunt out the other 7 stories (damn it). Then to add to the reading list, I discovered after reading this story that it follows on from Curse of the Wulfen by David Annandale. So it seems we need a space wolf session soon.

Now back to the story. This tale is set during the Fenris war, the embattled Wolves have faced off against the Thousand Sons and Magnus. But at the start of this tale, it feels like the main threat has been blunted. Now battles are waging over the system as the Wolves attempt to reclaim territory from the Chaos forces. In this time of confusion, rumours are running wild; some warn that Logar Grimnar has been killed, while others warn that the approaching Dark Angel fleet comes to boosettle scores with the Wolves rather than aid them.

As this is happening, you can't shake the feeling that something more dangerous is plotting away and setting up the board in a game no one realizes they are playing. We get to experience multiple viewpoints in a short page count, which is confusing as we jump from Wolf Lords to Dark Angels and then back again. MacNiven is attempting to set up a story that deserves more time. It does help create confusion and a fog of war across the sector; as a stand-alone tale, I am not sure it works but once read with the other installments, I am sure it will make sense. I will leave off a final judgement until I read them.

Hope you enjoyed this quick review. Cheers for stopping by.



Audio Review 63 // The Predator by Christopher Golden


Getting through some of the backlogs finally. Starting with the Movie Novelisation of The Predator. I reviewed the prequel about four reviews ago titled: The Predator Hunters and Hunted, I enjoyed that piece, and the movie was an interesting take on the franchise; it didn't blow me away, but I didn't hate it. I hope this title can add to the film and fill out parts.

Title: The Predator (Aliens / Predator / Prometheus)

Author: Christopher Golden

Description: The official novelization of the summer blockbuster The Predator, Shane Black's new movie with a screenplay by Shane Black and Fred Dekker

The official novelization of the summer blockbuster The Predator, Shane Black's new movie set within the universe of the previous films. With a screenplay by Shane Black and Fred Dekker, the film stars Yvonne Strahovski, Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Sterling Brown, Keegan-Michael Key, Edward James Olmos, Jake Busey, and more. Author Christopher Golden (Alien: River of Pain) will work closely with James A. Moore, author of the official prequel novel.

From the outer reaches of space to the backwoods of southern Georgia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black's explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe's most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before. And only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race.

Review

The author did an excellent job of converting the movie into a novel. They cover all the critical points with plenty of action, and the whole story moves along quickly. It did have some issues. Firstly it moved quicker than the film, the predator's arrival was fast, the main human villain's death was so quick I missed it and had to go back to find it. It lacked any additional material like you get added to a book like this, but sadly, this book is a straight-up script reading. It even felt like some parts were taken out. The characters came across a bit flat; it was hard to connect with them or care when they died. I would save myself the time and straight-up watch the film only if I could do a do-over.

With this in mind, I will not offer you a link to the novel; instead, go get the movie! Come over to youtube and say hi instead: Subscribe Now



Beer Review 176 // Clean Cut Inspired by Kolsch Unfiltered

I am so ready to go exploring; with my birthday rapidly approaching, I have the urge to travel, but with the world currently, how it is, it is hard to justify going somewhere when everything is closed. So instead, I kept my money and spent it locally, real locally; I spent it at work and purchased some Beyond the Pale beer.

This week's brew is a classic after-work beer for me called Clean Cut. This beer is inspired by German-style Kolsch. Traditionally filtered until transparent, BTP (Beyond the Pale) when they started brewing this didn't have the equipment needed, so they went with an unfiltered version. Jump forward a few years, and now Clean Cut is filtered, but at least once or twice a year, BTP releases the Unfiltered to see how far the brewery has come. Here are the details.

Beer: Clean Cut - Kolsch Inspired  - Unfiltered
ABV: 5%
Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company
Location: Ottawa, Ontario.
Fluff: To make a truly "inspired by" beer, you have to visit the people who make it the best. After shipping the brew team to Koln, Germany, they came back and created our Clean Cut recipe. Using 100% German malts and yeast, the brewers could produce our most on-style beer ever. Crisp, Clean and refreshing, this is a fantastic patio beer and perfect for sharing.

Review

Well, this beer delivers. The pour is a beautiful, strawlike yellow brew with a lively creamy white head that looks delicious. It settles lovely in the glass, with the head crisping up to line the inside of the pint glass as we drink it. Aromas are biscuity and bread forward, very gentle, but very welcoming. The taste is as described, super clean, crisp and refreshing. Due to the unfiltered nature of this brew, it has a bit more bitterness and a creamier mouthfeel, but it is so delicious. I usually have at least 4 cans of the filtered version in my fridge at all times.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by and reading. Why not start your own beer blogging adventure and keep a record of your drinks using this great Beer Journal (Link is to Amazon.ca and is an affiliate link). I personally like this one as it is clean, easy to use and prompts you on the key points.

Until next time Cheers!

Comic Review 170 // Aliens: Resistance by Brian Wood


Xenomorph fans rejoice! We have more Aliens content for you this week with Aliens: Resistance. I discovered this title in my local library (support and check out you're local), now I knew of its existence due to having completed the Aliens: Defiance Volume One and Two. I remember not being blown away by the characters or the writing, so I am nervous going into this. I am excited to see Amanda Ripley as I am seriously enjoying Alien Isolation at the moment on Youtube.

Here are the details.

Title: Aliens: Resistance
Author: Brian Wood
Illustrations: Robert Carey (Illustrations)
Page Count: 96 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Fluff:
An evil corporation's secret bio-weapons program puts all of humanity at risk. Ellen Ripley's daughter must fight the horrific xenomorph threat.

Following Alien: Isolation, Amanda Ripley is kept silent by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation about the xenomorph threat. Enter Zula Hendricks, an Ex-Colonial Marine, in need of Ripley's help to expose a sinister bio-weapons program. The duo teams up against the sinister corporation's upgraded arsenal as they journey through space from the research lab to a test facility designed to keep the darkest atrocities secret!

Critically acclaimed writer Brian Wood (The Massive, DMZ, Briggs Land) returns to Aliens to pen the strenuous efforts of Ripley and Hendricks to bring down the Weyland-Yutani weapons program. With hair-raising art by Robert Carey (Power Rangers, The Phantom).

Collects Aliens: Resistance 1-4 comic series.

Review


This comic series drops in after the Game Alien: Isolation in the grand timeline of things. It, of course, follows Amanda Ripley and reintroduces Zula Hendricks, an Ex-Colonial Marine. They are teaming up to expose Weyland-Yutani's bio-weapon program in this title. Image ragtag team vs the evil corporation.

This comic kind of has it all; we have space adventures, xenomorphs, androids and nuclear bombs; we also have colony ships full of soon-to-be victims and, of course, the puppet masters Weyland-Yutani.

But it turns out even with all the best parts, we have a bit of a dud. The writing is dull, leading to a failure to capture my imagination. The characters seem to not mesh or even like each other. Then combine this with xenomorphs that don't feel like a threat, and the story rapidly becomes dull. This was a real shame as I found myself zoning out as I read the story. With a weak story, you hope for incredible artwork to carry it, and sadly this failed as well. The planet that the story was set on was impressive at times and could make me pause for a moment, but the characters themselves seemed so plain and doll-like, faces lacked emotion, and for most of the comic, they seem 100% dead behind the eyes. 

Ultimately Aliens: Resistance, felt rushed and maybe it was? It just seemed like it was all thrown together last minute to fill a gap in the publishing schedule and attempt to cash in on some success from the game. It lacks in plot, direction and artwork. So I have to say this is a miss for me.

Typically I would link to Amazon now and a buy it links. But I'm not today as you deserve better. Instead, head to my Youtube channel and support me there.

Alien Isolation Walk-through Part 5 - Seegson Androids Part Two.


Alien Isolation gameplay, these damn Seegson Androids are everywhere; after watching the video come back and read more about these grey-skinned monsters. I am struggling to get past these Android menaces. Watch as I jump, sneak and attempt to avoid these Seegson Androids. The vent system is the key to victory.


Here is a little background blurp I found:

Working Joes, also referred to as Maintenance Synths, were a line of rudimentary androids manufactured and sold by the Seegson Corporation. They were encountered aboard the decommissioned space station, Sevastopol, in 2137 and later in 2202, on the surface of LV-895, by Amanda Ripley-McClaren and the Colonial Marine fireteam, respectively.

I want to make some of these for games of Alien or as Droids wandering the streets of Mega-City One. I hope to use some bolt action figures as the base and maybe make a crowd of these.

Book Review 167 // Alien Isolation by Keith R.A. DeCandido


Hopefully, you have been following my Alien: Isolation gameplay? If not for shame! Head over to Youtube now to watch. Okay, all caught up? This game has me hooked and scared in equal measures. While visiting my local library (support libraries, please), I discovered this title on the shelf and knew I owed it to myself to read. Definitely spoilers to the game in this book.

Title: Alien: Isolation 

Author: Keith R.A. DeCandido

Fluff:

The product of troubled and violent youth, Amanda Ripley is hell-bent on discovering what happened to her missing mother, Ellen Ripley. She joins a Weyland-Yutani team sent to retrieve the Nostromo flight recorder, only to find space station Sevastopol in chaos with a Xenomorph aboard. Flashbacks reveal Amanda's history and events that forced her mother to take the assignment aboard the Nostromo.

Amazon CA: Alien Isolation

Page Count: 336 pages

Review

As I already confessed, I am in the process of playing through Alien Isolation, and I have so far been really enjoying it. Such a scary game and sucks you in, so I was really hoping the book would do that too.

Firstly though a game adaptation, it would seem DeCandido was given space to fill out some back story. Allowing him to explain what happened to Amanda Ripley before we met her. Though interesting, they started to become rather annoying as we kept having "flashbacks," which for me ruined the flow of the story. These parts should have been combined to produce a prologue to the main story. That way, we still get the character's background without destroying the horror flow.

Thankfully the representation of the game is well portrayed and can create a lot of atmospheres and capture all the essential parts. He does well to showcase the environment as a critical part of the game; we read about the graffiti and posters that litter the station. We also hear about her creating items from scratch, another critical play point. These were very nice touches to help merge the two in my mind.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. It is an excellent adaptation; the author used the game and brought it to life. Yes, there are issues, but there will always be a computer game adaption. This excellent introduction to the Alien series and has enough horror to keep me hooked.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the review and will come back soon for my next post. Check out more of my Xenomorph adventures here. LINK.

Audio Review 62 // Deathfire by Nick Kyme (The Horus Heresy #32)


Diving into the Horus Heresy series once more, and we are at number 32 in the series. Deathfire by Nick Kyme continues the Salamander Story arc, and damn, is this a long story 15+ hours. Let us see how their role in the war evolves and get into the details:

Title: Deathfire (The Horus Heresy #32)

Author: Nick Kyme

Narrator: Saul Reichlin

Publisher: Black Library

Fluff:

Vulkan lies in state beneath the Fortress of Hera, yet many of his sons still refuse to believe that he is truly dead.

After a seemingly miraculous rescue by the Ultramarines, Artellus Numeon, once captain of the Pyre Guard, urges the other Salamanders on Macragge to leave Imperium Secundus and return their primarch's body to the homeworld of Nocturne - there to be reborn in the flames of Mount Deathfire. But Numeon grapples endlessly with his doubts and fears for the future of the Legion while their foes seek to carve out new destinies of their own...

Amazon link: Buy Now

Review

Well, that was long, worst yet was that it felt twice as long. What is going on with the Salamander arc? I don't think I have truly enjoyed any of them yet. I was initially excited when we had Ruinstorm travel, daemons and a fantastic chase happening, but then it started to fizzle out. We had a lot of "how many unexplained characters" can show up, "Why are some of the characters acting weird or out of character?", or why has this character gone from interesting to lame?

There are parts to enjoy in this book. Unfortunately, these points are buried under the noise, which is a lot. Like I said, the Ruinstorm chase, daemons, aka Sirens, and some of the Word Bearer action stand out for me, while being planetside on Nocturne was also intriguing and new to me as I've not read much on this Legion. Even that enjoyment was marred with downsides; the build-up of travelling through the Ruinstorm made it seem like we were going to have a horror of a time. Instead, they managed to jump in and out with hardly much issue. A lot of the characters were forgettable and played pointless roles. This also leaked into the Deathguard, who for scenes are super deadly, unbreakable wall of death killing all in their path, then they landed on Nocturne and become useless. Almost in a single paragraph, they are wiped out, and one of the main villains is instantly killed mid-sentence by a cheap shot? What the hell, Kyme?

Overall I think the flaws outweighed the pros. As a completionist, I need this title in my life but did it add to the entire arc or war? NOPE

Give this one a miss.

Beer Review 175 // Ball Dropper by Beyond the Pale Brewing Company Ottawa

Welcome to 2022 and another basic lockdown edition of me drinking. As I have mentioned in the past, Ontario has an indoor lockdown on dining, bars, cinemas etc. Meaning it is hard for me to explore new locations to grab new brews. Lucky for me, I work at a brewery that produces excellent beers. So though I would generally avoid promoting my job, I feel that this is the time to do it.

Today's beer is Ball Dropper and is released for the New Year's Eve crowd, and here are the details.

Name: Ball Dropper (BUY HERE)
Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company, Ottawa, Ontario. Canada.
Style: DIPA
ABV: 8.0%
Fluff:
"We didn't drop the ball this year!"

2021 deserves a big beer to help finish it off, so we brewed a DIPA loaded with Comet, Simcoe, Cryo Simcoe and Cryo Idaho7 hop. This combination has helped create a dank & resiny brew with Grapefruit, Pine and Tangerine note. This beer is a big, bold brew and will kick start your new year in style.

Grab them now!

Review

This is a big beer. It is an orange-hued brew on the pour with a beautiful, lively head. You get all the aromas of a classic American West Coast IPA. Pine, resins, citrus, grapefruit pith. It smells great and reminds me of all those traditional brews from 8 years ago. As you sip, you are greeted by the citrus again; there is also a little melon from Simcoe sneaking through, making for a pleasurable drink. I am taken by surprise by how easy this is to drink. At 8%, you expect a boozy hit in the end but are instead greeted with a gentle bitterness that makes you take another sip while completely forgetting that 8%. I did make the error of drinking too many in a row, but that is a personal mistake.

If you are in the Ottawa area, go treat yourself to some cans before it sells out. Otherwise, cheers to you all and see you next week.

Comic Review 169 // Alien: The Original Screenplay


I am so excited to review this comic book. I have read a lot of good things about this Aliens Original Screenplay. I really hope it delivers. Here are the details:

Title: Alien: The Original Screenplay
Notes: Collects issues #1-5
Illustrators: Cristiano Seixas, Guilherme Balbi, Walter Simonson & Candice Han (Color Artist).
Writer: Dan O'Bannon.
Fluff:
In 1976, Twentieth Century Fox bought a screenplay by Dan O'Bannon entitled Star Beast. Three years later, with Ridley Scott at the helm, Alien was unleashed on unsuspecting filmgoers.

En route back to Earth, the crew of the starship Snark intercepts an alien transmission. Their investigation leads them to a desolate planetoid, a crashed alien spacecraft and a pyramidic structure of unknown origin. Then the terror begins . . .

Writer Cristiano Seixas and artist Guilherme Balbi have attempted to stay true to the characters, settings, and creatures described in O'Bannon's original screenplay--without replicating the famous designs of Ron Cobb, Moebius, and H.R. Giger. A new experience, but still terrifying!

Page Count: 112
Buy Now: Alien: The Original Screenplay

Review

By now, you should all realize I am a big Alien fan, with the original film ranking in my top five of all time. I've been lucky over the last few years to get my hands on a lot of the Dark Horse comics and the old Bantham books. This has led to a reignition of my enjoyment for it, combined with the Gale Force Nine board game. So when I discovered via the web about an original screenplay, I had to go looking, and I am glad I did.

This version of the opening story was created using Dan O'Bannon's screenplay; this formed the base of the rewrite created by David Giler and Walter Hill. It is truly the first step into a series that has shaped my hobbies since I first saw it. It is hard not to try and compare it to the film, there is, of course, so much in common, and the script matches up at times as well, causing you to slip into the movie imagery before being grounded back into the comic. But these are rare moments as the comic artwork does a fantastic work of readjusting the known imagery. The plot though basically the same (crew find alien craft and shit hits the fan), is narratively different and exciting in its own way. One significant change is the gore. This comic has a lot! The film uses your imagination to create horror and fear; the comic instead just throw it at you? I can see how this version would not have worked in the cinemas at the time and the need for a rewrite.

The artwork is unique, but I can only imagine how hard it was for the art team to create. Imagine years of knowing "this is a xenomorph" before being told to 'change it!'. Overall, the Giger Alien wins. But let us be honest and state that this is a full-on bias opinion; how could I think otherwise?

 Once you are a few pages in, you forget the film for the most part as the artwork is beautiful, and I have to say the navigator of the comic creeped me out more than the film version. The comic version has this sense of otherworldly, cyclopean nightmare of a Lovecraft creation. It is so different and terrifying to look upon. Is the star head a helmet or its face?

Other keynotes are the crew, so many more characters to get killed off, and with the extra characters, we are treated to a more rounded view of how dangerous a Xenomorph is. The blood tears through crew and ship alike, causing them to react with more caution, which seems so much more believable than the film. This leads the comic team into attempting to capture the Alien rather than just shooting it. Opening up for the classic crawl through the vent system scene we all love.

Overall, this will be a classic case of you will either enjoy it or hate it. I can see hardcore fans/narrow-minded/gatekeepers hating it, stating that this is not their Alien! But for the open-minded, this is a view into what could have been. How different would our experiences be if this film had been made? All I can tell you is that I genuinely enjoyed this, and if you get the chance, pick it up and read it!

Thank you for stopping by and reading. If you are a fan of the alien series, you may enjoy my Youtube channel where I slowly build, paint and play the Gale Force Nine Game and play through the Alien: Isolation game. Here are some links:


Cheers!

Alien Isolation Part 4 - Working Joe Android Update.


Just as I was fearing the Xenomorph, it turns out more than one villain is moving around the station. Enter the Working Joe Android by Seegson industry. Their primary function is to aid and repair the station as Seegson slowly decommission it. But with the arrival of the Xenomorph, it would seem a new priority program has taken over, one that allows the model to injure and kill humans. These are creepy androids having a more limited cosmetic look about them; they stand 5'9" and have a rubbery grey skin. Don't get to close!


I hope you enjoyed Part 4 of my Alien Isolation series. Missed any episodes? Head over to my youtube channel and catch up. You could also drop me a follow which would be amazing.


Thanks for reading.

Book Review 166 // Silver Skulls: Portents by S.P. Cawkwell


Today is a title I didn't expect to review. I firstly didn't know it even existed, and secondly didn't ever expect to find it at a thrift store. This book was highly intriguing as I knew very little about the Silver Skulls Space Marines. I am definitely excited to learn more.

Book Title: Silver Skulls: Portents
Author: Sarah Cawkwell
Page Count: 362
Fluff: Combating an insurrection backed by the Traitor Legions, the Silver Skulls may be manipulated by the very powers they fight against...

They may be Ultramarines successors, but they're certainly not Codex-compliant... and the Inquisition wants to know why. How the Silver Skulls work and why it might just be their downfall is explored, with a series of shocking twists that will ensure that you never look at the silver-armoured Space Marines in the same way again.

The Silver Skulls Space Marine Chapter deployed on the world of Valoria Quintus to combat an insurrection backed by the dread forces of the Traitor Legions. Sent there by the visions of their Prognosticars, the mysterious psykers whose premonitions decree the path forged by the Chapter and the wars they wage, they expect victory to be swift and easy. But they have not reckoned with their own allies, the servants of the Inquisition who are interested in the Prognosticars, their importance within the Chapter and the possibility that the Silver Skulls may be being manipulated by the very powers they fight against...

Review

This story is all about the Silver Skulls and continues on plot seeds created in the Gildar Rift story. We have our main character Sergeant Gileas Ur'ten upfront and centre, and through him, we discover the culture and background of the Chapter.

The main plot is about the Silver Skulls having caught the eye of the Ordo Hereticus. They are now under investigation for heresy due to their reliance on the Librarians of the Chapter. To this end, an Inquisitor is sent to the Silver Skull's homeworld of Varsavia to seek out the proof to condemn this Chapter. They are called upon to wage war on a planet taken over by the Thousand Sons during this time. This was a significant part of the story, and I really enjoyed it. The Thousand Sons seemed deadly, while the flow of battle was well-paced and written.

Another aspect of the book that was rather interesting was the tribal/racial animosity of the people of Varsavia that seeps into the Silver Skulls Chapter. It would seem there is a North-South divide with the Northern tribe's men believing themselves to be better and nobler than the "feral" Southerners. This is unique and shows that a Chapter isn't necessarily a brotherhood and full of prejudices.

These twists made this novel such a joy. I rapidly consumed this novel and really enjoyed it; I am interested in finding more from this author and more Silver Skull novels.

Do you want to read this novel? Please use this link to purchase through Amazon and get me a kickback (hahaha): Kindle Edition.

Comic Review 168 // 2000 AD Prog 1330


Usually, Thursdays would be an audible review, but with the festive season, I have fallen behind on listening, so instead, we are having a second 2000 A.D. prog review. Prog 1330 was released in March 2003, and the cover hints straightaway at what to expect in the issue. We have Judge Dredd facing off against a Xenomorph horde. This is an impressive two-page wrap, but it is also fun to see Xeno getting his face blown off. Now to see if the stories impress.

Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus Part 10
. Mr. Bones has blown a hole from the Undercity straight into the Halls of Justice. With Xenomorphs pouring through the breach, the Judges are quickly on the back foot. Luckily Judge Dredd and the exterminators are on hand, and the rally to secure the halls begins. Elsewhere, the Med Judges attempt to remove a chestbuster when it decides not to go quietly and attacks the Judges!

Great opener for the issue, plenty of action, and I really enjoy this part of the story. I am ready for more action and possibly Mr. Bones to enter the fray.

Bec & Kawl: Eeevil.com. Urgh. I can't do it; these over-the-top computer references and pop culture comments are crap. At best, the story itself is weak, and I couldn't care less for the characters. Thankfully this is the end, and I seriously hope they don't return. Wow. I haven't hated a comic strip so much.

The V.C.s: Bystander Part 1. Finally, after a few one-off stories, we seem to be getting a series. I have no idea what is going on, if I'm honest. I hope that I will start working it all out with a complete story. But we seem to have an entire battle happening, and though our cast is receiving a beating, they seem to be winning. Then the final panel hits hard as a mysterious spaceship that is massive and dwarves the other crafts appear out of nowhere.

I am definitely intrigued to see where this will go. I have faith in the creative team on this one, so I am sure it will be good.

Tales of Telguuth: Pagrok the Infalliable Part 1. Enjoying these high fantasy tales, they feel Conan about them with the classic, what goes around comes around mentality. In this tale, we meet Pagrok, who seems to read the knucklebones and see the future. After being requested to locate a missing girl, Pagrok discovers a lot of wealth and attempts to find the girl to claim some of the money. But so far, it seems the journey will be dangerous and maybe more troublesome than it is worth.

Atavar II: Part 2.
 Seems strange to have Abnett working on two sci-fi battle adventures but here we go! The Voidshaker Spaceship is wreaking havoc on the enemy forces, but their numbers seem more significant than even this Godship can handle. After losing contact, the alliance believes the ship to be lost. In truth, the ship has survived and has made contact with Atavar.

I am sure the final panel would have meant more to me if I had read the original series. Instead, I am left wanting answers and have to move on to the next issue to find out what is happening!

Overall a good issue, it misses being a great issue due to Bec & Kawl, but with that finished, we can hopefully move on to something more exciting and fun. I hope you enjoy these quick and dirty reviews and don't mind me producing them?

If you would like to learn more and support the blog, please consider purchasing through these links (as I get an amazon kickback).

Reading on a Pixelbook using the 2000 A.D. app.
Want to learn more about the world of 2000 A.D.? Get in on the pre-order of the 2000 A.D. Encyclopedia.

Beer Review 174 // Lager than Life by Beyond the Pale Brewing Company

First beer review of 2022. Where to begin? Wanted to get going on some special brews but with the pandemic moving into a new phase I was unable to go off exploring once more in December and had to stay closer to home (ie. work). So to kick off 2022, I will be reviewing Lager than Life by Beyond the Pale Brewing Company here in Ottawa.

Beer:
Lager than Life.
Style: Lager
Format: Can 473ml
ABV: 5.0%
Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company (www.btpshop.ca) - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Fluff: A delicious new offering to add to the growing 'Flash Series' line. Lager than Life was created using the brew team's favourite German Pilsner Malt. Combining this malt with Saaz hopping has created a slightly sweet, crispy lager that they filtered to help pop.

Review

BTP have really been impressing me with the lager/Pilsner brews of late. On the pure you are greeted by a bright, clear, yellow brew, lively with carbonation and capped by a healthy white head.

The aromas is everything you expect from a pilsner style beer. Bready and a little sweet. The sip is refreshing and goes down easy. At 5% this is an very satisfying beer, the maltiness pairs with the sweet characters and with the carbonation on point the mouthfeel is clean and crisp. A really great brew to start the new year with. Hopefully this beer will be back soon.

Looking for an excellent beer drinker's gift? Check this out: Link to Amazon

Cheers to reading this review.

Comic Review 167 // 2000 AD Prog 1329


First comic review of 2022! I had to start strong, so we are diving straight in with a 2000 A.D. prog. Issue 1329 was released on the 25th of February 2003. The cover doesn't feel me with joy as it references Bec and Kawl, and I am genuinely over them. But let's hope for the best and dive in.

Judge Dredd vs Aliens: Incubus Part 9. A little filler piece, to be honest. We seem to be moving into the final stages of the comic story, with Mr. Bones ready to blow a hole in the justice department. Still a beautiful-looking comic, excited for the fighting to begin.

Bec & Kawl - Eeevil.com Part 2. Why does this bore me so much? I really don't enjoy this; we now have a matrix rip-off nerd group fighting the Anti-geek in a Ripley-style Powerloader. Absolute garbage.

The V.C.s - Tickover. It's a slow story for sure; we get an introduction to the team as they wait to see if they contact the enemy. What is going on with this issue? It is so slow this week.

Tales of the Telguuth - The Black Arts of Skrixlan Nort. A story following a Wizard who paints. It would seem that whoever the Wizard Paints he can summon, so many of his paintings involve demons and monsters. This comes in extremely useful as he has to combat a Necromancer!

It is a bit more exciting tale; it was nice to have a bit of fantasy in the comics.

ATAVAR II - Part 1.
 It is a sci-fi tale that I am unsure if there was a first season or not. Either way, we are dropped hot into a story of an intergalactic war. Seems like one race was pretty much wiped out and have become tactical advisors for another race. Together they have created a creature/weapon to turn the tide and have released it onto the galaxy. As it razes a world of the enemy, there seems to be an unknown issue arising, and we are left wanting more.

Interestingly enough, start a new series. Hopefully, this will improve and grow.

Overall a slow issue. Judge Dredd seemed to just be ticking over, Bec & Kawl is a full-on disaster, The V.C.s was also quiet, Tales of the Telguuth was a fun one-shot, and Atavar II has potential. So closer to an average issue all around. Seems a shame as the issues before have been relatively good. I hate to see it slide.

Want to learn more about 2000 A.D.? Why not start with the 2000 A.D. Encyclopedia (link is via Amazon, and I get a kickback). Thank you for reading, and if you want to chat more, come find me on Instagram.

Road to Badab Astral Claws Painting Guide


Fresh year, fresh start. Revisiting an out project of mine but modernizing. I am a big fan of the Badab War, and I enjoy the Forgeworld books. As you will see in the video, I wanted initially to make an Astral Claws force out of Primaris Space Marines. But with the announcement of the new Aeldari, I will not be pushing forwards at this time with that project. Instead, I will be making painting tutorials on the chapters involved in the war and doing up a fluff piece. So, where to begin? Where else than the Astral Claws.


History

The Astral Claws were founded during the mid-35th millennium as a Crusading Chapter to help stabilize the slowly crumbling Imperium during the Nova Terra Interregnum. Their founding Chapter is unknown, as most records of their existence have been destroyed in an Edict of Obliteration. However, speculation on their gene-seed stability and combat tactics point towards either the Ultramarines or the Dark Angels.

Before their downfall, the Astral Claws possessed a roll of battle-honours that would be the envy of many; after their performance in the Fifth Black Crusade, their Chapter Standard was placed in the halls of the Eternity Gate in the Imperial Palace on Terra.

According to the Apocrypha Kaali, the Astral Claws had "three sons" but only named one; the Tiger Claws. During the Badab War, Inquisitorial investigations found that the Astral Claws were hiding members of the long-thought lost Tiger Claws chapter within their own ranks, as well as illegally expanding their own numbers above Codex-approved norms.

After rebelling against the Imperium and being defeated in the ensuing Badab War, the Chapter's survivors fled into the Maelstrom, becoming the core of the Red Corsairs. As a chapter, they have been declared Excommunicate Traitoris, and any Chapter records are marked to be destroyed.

-Fin-

This chapter deserved better and was wronged during the Badab War (hopefully something we will delve into). Next up will be the Exorcists a chapter worthy of censorship!

Until enjoy the video and give me follow on YOUTUBE.

Search This Blog

Comic Review 198 // Star Wars Adventures, Vol. 10: Driving Force

Welcome back with the end of the Obi-Wan series. I find my Star Wars interest waning too. We had a good run on these titles, but I feel I ne...