Audio Review 67 // The Devine Adoratrice by Graham McNeill

Back on the audible train again. Following the death of my work PC, my listening time faded away, but a new PC means a unique opportunity to start listening again. I had fallen behind on my Black Library, Horus Heresy list, so I thought it was time to fix that. War without end is book number 33 in the series and contains 18 short stories. Some of these will want their own reviews, while others need to be bundled together. The opening tale is over 1 hour long and rightly deserves its own post. Without further waffle, let's dive into the book's opening by Graham McNeill.

Title: The Devine Adoratrice (The Horus Heresy #Short Story)

Author: Graham McNeill

Buy it: Amazon.ca (Audible: War Without End)

Fluff: Decades before Horus's civil war sunders the Imperium, Raeven Devine, ruler-in-waiting of the world of Molech, prepares for his Becoming, the rite that will elevate him to the rank of Knight and bond him with the mighty war machine that will be his steed for years to come. But traitors within the Sacristans have other ideas, and a shocking act of betrayal sets the stage for one of the bloodiest battles of the Horus Heresy…

This story is a prequel to Graham McNeill's epic Horus Heresy novel Vengeful Spirit, and first, it appears in The Imperial Truth.

Review

First off, I must point out that it is disappointing to get a prequel to a book already read. If I had read this, then Vengeful Spirit, this would have all hit home a lot harder. But I guess that is the joy of short stories released at events/xmas whenever.

The short story focuses on Raeven Devine and his rise to power within his knight household. We discover through this tale that he is the "disappointment son" of the household. Born to Cyprian Devine, he is the second son, with his half-brother set to inherit everything. The only problem is Raeven is very ambitious and feels held back by his father and brother. His sole goal is to rule, and it would seem no one will stop these goals. As the focal point character, Graham McNeill does a fantastic job bringing him to life, with lots of flaws, quirks and character traits that just bring him to life. He reminds me of the villains you always end up like in a story; springing to mind straight away is the marvel version of Loki, always on the outside looking in and just can't stop being a bad guy/

For a short story, we get to explore a lot of the Molech Nobility. The household of Devine is living in a self-built fantasy world. They believe themselves noble and lordly when they are no better than Raeven. The only difference is the fact that he has embraced it. By the end of the book, the plot twist writes this out plain for us all to understand, and the ending alone is worth the read. This is a great listen full of action, character development, knightly betrayal, and romance.

I just genuinely wish I had got to it before Vengeful Spirit, as this would have added to the experience of that tale. Go get it already and enjoy!

What are your thoughts on this opening story? Drop me a comment and let me know.

Comic Review 187 // 2000 AD Prog 1337


Getting into the flow of reading these progs now. Expect more 2000 AD content coming your way in the upcoming weeks. For now, here is Prog 1337.

Absolute stunning cover image showing Hammerstein of the ABC Warriors directing his fellow droids as a crazy pyramid-shaped tank smashes through the wall. Seems like that storyline is about to get action-packed. But before that, we have other tales to talk about. Up first:

Judge Dredd - The Trial of Orlock // Part 2. Judge Dredd has been called to the stand as Orlock's defence council attempts to get the death sentence removed. Though a bold try was tried to save the East-Meg assassin's life, it ultimately fails, and Orlock is sentenced to death.

A sad end for such an iconic character of the strip. Though the true highlight of this strip is the executioner Judge, never seen these Judges before, and now I am intrigued.

The Caballistics are back with a new story titled; Caballistics, Inc. Breaking Out // Part 1. Some eco-friendly activists have broken into a lab they should have left well alone. During the break-in, some freaky-looking creatures escape, and I can only assume the team will be hunting them down in future issues. It would also seem Mr.Ravne is up to something as he drugs a down and out, forcing him to take a unique medicine and talk to the dead.

This ending is very hard-hitting; I was not expecting that.

We follow up with another new tale called Interceptor // Part 1. Hmm not sure on this one. An alien posing as a human is rushed into a hospital before being chased down and killed by what looks like a random group of humans. The alien/human passes on a device to the doctor next to him, giving her the ability to see aliens disguised as humans.

For an opener, I found this a dull or overused plot idea. But hopefully, I can be proven wrong.

Now the cover art story ABC Warriors - The Shadow Warriors // Part 2. The ABC Warriors act as a Peacekeeper force during a civil war on Mars. The team is sent into Getty City to explore the damage done during a Confederate attack. Inside they discover a dead city, but worst yet, the sound of silence grows and grows as they move further in. Too late, Hammerstein realizes what is happening, and the team is ambushed by Behemeks. Giant pyramid-shaped tanks create a wall of silence and are invulnerable to all but the heaviest artillery. The next issue is going to be a good one!

The final tale of the issue is the counter-terrorist story Snow/Tiger - Pax Americana // Part 2. As the team continues to track down the stolen Ebola Virus, they discover the actual group responsible and head to Kentucky to take them out. Ultimately this story is what it is. Personally not a favourite for me, but I can understand the appeal.

Overall another solid 2003 comic. Wow, 2000 AD was on a rollback then. The true highlight was ABC Warriors this issue and I am excited to see where it leads. As always thanks for reading.

Comic Review 186 // Return to Vader's Castle


I had so much fun last week with Tales from Vader's Castle that I had to dive into the following collection. Cleverly named Return to Vader's Castle.

Title: Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle

Written by: Cavan Scott

Illustrators: Francesco Francavilla, Megan Levens, Nicoletta Baldari, Kelley Jones & Charles Paul Wilson III.

Fluff: Return to Vader's Castle for a spooky spin on your favourite villains from a galaxy far, far away...

This exciting graphic novel explores the hidden corners of the Star Wars universe. It features a wretched hive of scum and villainy, including Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Jabba the Hutt, Grand Moff Tarkin, Asaji Ventress--all under the shadow of Darth Vader!

Fans will be excited to discover these creepy stories by fan-favourite writer Cavan Scott, with art by the greatest talent from across the galaxy, including Nicoletta Baldari, Nick Brokenshire, Francesco Francavilla, Kelley Jones, Megan Levens, and Charles Paul Wilson III!

Buy Now: Amazon.ca

Format: Paperback, 120 pages

Review

I like that this is a straight-up sequel to Tales from Vader's Castle. It jumps straight into the sideline story of the first and sees us join the Rebel Thom Hudd in a torture chamber, having been captured by Vanee - the servant to Lord Vader.

The artwork is very similar to the first book, which is excellent, and the flow of the stories is also very much the same. This time though, it is mostly Vanee telling them, and they focus on the "bad guys" of the Star Wars universe. I loved that we got Darth Maul, Jabba the Hutt, Asajj Ventress and Tarkin stories. It is nice to see their viewpoints of the war now and again.

Though I understand the formula needed to stay the same, it felt a bit flat in this title. The excitement, I guess for me, had been used up. The thrill of exploring Vader's Castle had disappeared as we instead watched Hudd attempting to flee and the stories themselves lacked a valid link to the plot. A lack of "moral" was missing in the stories' scenarios.


Darth Maul's tale was definitely a standout piece. It was great to see him in his insane spider format in the garbage world. I had only ever witnessed this stage of his character in Clone Wars, so it was great to revisit again. Tarkin's was a close second, though very much revenge of Frankenstein it made a good chase for how ruthless Tarkin is how he will let nothing stand in his way.

Overall an enjoyable read, but just not as good as part one. But maybe that is my fault for going back to back with these titles. Maybe with a gap in reading, I may have had a different opinion. Ah well, power of hindsight.

As always, cheers for reading along!

Colonial Marshals! Alien Isolation Walkthrough Part 11


Time for some more Alien Isolation Gameplay. This time I am discovering the Colonial Marshals that have managed to survive so far on the station. If you want to catch up on this series or give me a follow, use this link:

Youtube

This episode followed up on a good run, and we start to discover what is happening on God Damn station. The only problem is that they seem lazy AF and send me off to repair the transit system. This will be very challenging with Xenomorph, security systems, and Working Joes all along my path.

I seriously appreciate all the support of late. Thank you for taking the time to become a subscriber.

Book Review 178 // The Aberration by Jake Ozga

Let's continue on the 2021 Warhammer Horror week series. This time is the turn of Book 3 in the series and once more has us delving into the Vampiric World of Age of Sigmar. I am still not sold on the new setting, these stories are helping, but I do miss the Old World (stubbornness is slowing me down, lol).

Title: The Aberration (Warhammer Horror Week 2021 #3)

Author: Jake Ozga

Fluff: A Vyrkos vampire attempts to persuade a mortal guest to join them in the darkness for all eternity.

Learn how seductive the power of vampires can be for the average citizen of the Mortal Realms.

A young woman finds herself the guest of a vampire from the Vyrkos Dynasty bloodline. Will her dark romance lead her to take the Blood Kiss? Or will she resist her host's supernatural attraction?

Buy Now: Amazon.ca

Review

This is a good title, not groundbreaking, not 5 out of 5. Just a good solid read. It gave me the creeps, and that is all I want from a horror title.

The Aberration is a very well-written title. The author attempts no tricks but offers an excellent start to finish, fully contained story. The psychological well-being of the main character is truly the draw in this piece, and we get to ride along as she is seduced by a Vampire lord.

I found the plot to be very straightforward but nonetheless unnerving. It is like watching a car crash; you know the result but can't look away. I would recommend this read; it doesn't add lore, doesn't bog you down with any factual AOS information, and is a very straight-up Vampire tale. Well written and enjoyable for $5. Try it out, and let me know your thoughts.

Audio Review 66 // The Bookkeepers Skull by Justin D.Hill

This title is pretty new for me, lol. After enjoying Justin D.Hill's Necromunda title, I knew I had to get more from him. And when I saw this horror-themed title pop up on audible, I knew I had found my next listen. The image looks sinister and foreboding, and I am definitely excited to hear it.

Title: The Bookkeeper's Skull (Warhammer Horror)

Author: Justin D. Hill

Fluff: Follow in the footsteps of Rudgard Howe, an enforcer cadet who, while on their first mission and embroiled in an embittered succession battle back home, uncovers a heinous sanguinary cult…

On the capital world of Potence, young enforcer cadet Rudgard Howe is caught up in a bitter internecine feud to inherit his father's position of Chief Enforcer. As the tithe fleets approach, he is sent on his first mission to ensure that the planet's distant agri-facilities fulfil their quotas to the God-Emperor. Farmed with serfs and managed by ex-Militarum soldiers, the agri-facilities are places of shocking brutality and hopelessness. But when he is sent to the outlying farmstead of Thorsarbour, Rudgard discovers a community where the crops are left to rot as the inhabitants indulge in the bloody ecstasy of a sanguinary cult. As Rudgard imposes the strict Lex Imperialis upon the farmstead, he begins to uncover a place where sanity is rapidly slipping. Just a single step into his nightmarish mission, though, a series of cruel deaths threatens to dismantle everything he has ever known about the Imperium, his faith in the Emperor, and the strength of his very soul.

Buy Now: Amazon.ca

Review

At just under 5 hours long, we are treated to a quick, hard-hitting, dread-inducing story. The title character is the heir to the Chief Enforcers role (aka Police Chief). Still, to accept this, he must first travel the outer settlements and deliver Judgement over the criminal (sounds like a Judge Dredd story, right?). Soon the tour is coming to a close, but at the last moment, a new stop is added, Thorsarbour.

Thorsarbour is as far away as possible, and we travel there with the characters, you start to feel the atmosphere build. The township is at a fever pitch with serfs following a mysterious cult leader, who you can't help but feel is the villain. As the story progress, your brain jumps from cultist murders to rampaging creatures all the way to witches and demons. And I loved being left to guess what it was.

No space was wasted in this tale, with every chapter squeezing more and more info into the story and building a world that seemed exciting and scary. The characters are interesting and believable, and you are left worried about who may survive this encounter. Also, the mention of Valgaast was intriguing as it is the city where the House of Night and Chain was set by David Annabelle. It seems like this may be the link between the 40k horror series, something similar to Arkham in the Lovecraft lore. 

Overall a fantastic tale and well worth the listen. I can only assume the book is even better. Seriously please go treat yourself!

Comic Review 185 // 2000 AD Prog 1336


This issue is going to be interesting. With three all-new tales inside, we get to see the return of some fan favourites, like Orlock and The ABC warriors. It did feel weird only having three stories as it felt short even though the stories were longer.

Up first. Judge Dredd - The Trial of Orlock // Part One. Orlock, the master assassin, has been captured and stands trial in Mega-City One. Unfortunately, it would seem the trial is afore gone conclusion and is just a show to prove justice is done. While the prosecution has a senior Judge working the case, the defence only has a junior Judge. But even with the game stacked against him, the junior Judge will do his best and attempt to defend this mass killer.

Great start to In this new series, I don't see how Orlock will Survive this one.

ABC Warriors - The Shadow Warriors // Part One. The return of the ABC Warriors to my reading is very much welcomed! Beautifully portrayed in the Black and White artwork Carlos Ezquerra and written by Pat Mills, we are in for a treat. Now I personally am way behind on the ABC lore, so I am going in a bit blind to what is happening at this time. But we join Joe Pineapples as the droid travels across Mars on the Fargo Supercoach. During this travel, poor Pineapple is stored in the cramped Robot bays, which is lucky for the human passengers as the coach is boarded by the Dogs of Gore. A robotic band of mercenary pirates, soon Pineapple is all guns blazing in an action-packed opening script. I am one hundred percent behind this story, give me more!

Snow/Tiger - Pax Americana: Part 1.
 This story took me by complete surprise. Never heard of it, nor expected it. The story seems to follow an anti-terrorist squad as they deal with a hostage situation at the CDC. One seems to be a negotiator always looking to save everyone, while the other is a hotshot wannabe action hero. I can kind of see already how this pair will play off against each other. The story seems pretty straightforward, with the villain being a right-wing rich Texan trying to make 'Merica great again. Like I mentioned a pretty straightforward story, but enjoyable enough.

Overall a terrific issue, and this is a fantastic jump on point for anyone wanting to start up. Who else is reading 2000 AD currently? Ever go back to earlier issues and re-read?

As always, thanks for reading and joining in this adventure.

Comic Review 184 // Tales from Vader's Castle


Continuing on some great finds at the library. Star Wars Adventures is a series that seems aimed at a younger crowd, but it does a great job at storytelling. I found this title recently and had to give it a go. I had heard of Vader's Castle but knew very little about so I am excited to get into this title and the follow-up.

Title: Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader's Castle (Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader's Castle #1)

Authors: Cavan Scott

Illustrations: Derek Charm, Chris Fenoglio, Kelley Jones, Corin Howell

Fluff: How do a band of rebels distract themselves when sneaking into the creepiest place in the galaxy? Tell scary stories, of course!

Follow Lina Graf, Crater, and friends as they sneak--and fight--their way into the terrifying castle of Darth Vader! Along the way, they'll trade spooky stories featuring the most terrifying villains and creatures in the universe! Your favourite characters, like Obi-Wan, Han and Chewie, Hera Syndulla, and the Ewoks, face classic creeps like ghosts, monsters, witches, and more... all with a signature Star Wars twist!

Collects the five-issue series.

Get a Copy: Amazon.ca

Format: Paperback, 120 pages

Review

As mentioned earlier, this is definitely meant for a younger audience. It follows a new bunch of rebels who following some damaged have to make an emergency landing on Mustafar. As they watch their ship sink into the lava, they are left, heading towards an unknown castle guard by Imperial Forces. To help distract themselves from the dire situation, the team tell each other war stories they have heard during the conflict.

These stories are very much like a goosebumps episode, so not really scary. But they are all fun reads, my kids so far have enjoyed them (4 and 2), and I always take that as a good sign. You get a lot of fan favourite characters in the series like Chopper, Count Dooku, Han Solo and even an excellent tale for the Ewoks.

This was actually a real fun read, is it for diehard "adult" fans most likely no, but if you enjoy Star Wars for what it is and going into it wanting a fun read than you will enjoy. The big thing to remember is these are short one shots joined by a sideline story to link them all. This is not an epic tale of adventure, but every short story does have a highlight that brought a smile to my face. The final issue really built up the side story with the arrival of Darth Vader and I can see all ready how the next collection will build of this start.

Standout tales for me include the Chopper story and the Count Dooku. Dooku is a favourite character of mind and to see that story play out was a lot of fun. This collection definitely amused me throughout the read and I can't ask for more than that. A little comedy within a realm of serious action is always a welcome refresh. The artwork though kid friendly was perfectly presented with the side story done in dark shades plenty of Red, Blacks, Blues, whilst the shorts are all different artist bringing a refreshing style change.

You will either enjoy it or pick holes within, I personally full into the enjoyed and I hope a few of you will to.

As always I appreciate you stopping by and reading and join me next week for the next dose. 



Judge Dredd - Demo-bots

Had a lot of fun with this Warlord Games, 2000 AD Judge Dredd - DemoBot. This is one of the larger models in the 2000 AD line, but wow, is it a stunning model. It definitely had a weak point with the chain, which, unfortunately, my two-year-old could break, but after a little bit of superglue, I was able to repair and create an exciting look model.

I hope you will enjoy the video and give me a like and a follow over on Youtube.


Some Rule Pointers

DemoBots are designed to knock down buildings, and it's too bad if any 'fleshy ones' are buried in the rubble. They are also incredibly slow, with their Ponderous Special Rule ensuring they cannot perform Sprint double actions. Not only that, but when using a DemoBot to charge an opponent, players must roll two D6 and add the lowest result to their Move stat.

Their Rivet Guns can offset this lack of speed (maximum range 12", Power 5, Aimed Fire only). Still, with a +5 modifier on their Demolition Hammers and the Piercing and Rending special rules on their Power Drills, a DemoBot only truly shines in melee.

I can't wait to get this on a table, killing fleshy ones. I hope you enjoyed the video and will come back soon for the next update.

Cheers


Book Review 177 // Eric by Terry Pratchett


Felt like I had overlooked the Discworld series for too long. So when I was lucky enough to get an Amazon gift card, I knew I had to treat myself to the next book. Turns out it was an illustrated edition up next titled Eric.

Title: Eric (Discworld #9)

Author: Terry Pratchett

Fluff: Discworld's only demonology hacker, Eric, is about to make life very difficult for the rest of Ankh-Morpork's denizens. This would-be Faust is very bad...at his work, that is. All he wants is to fulfill three little wishes: to live forever, to be master of the universe, and to have a stylin' hot babe.

But Eric isn't even good at getting his own way. Instead of a powerful demon, he conjures, well, Rincewind, a wizard whose incompetence is matched only by Eric's. And as if that wasn't bad enough, that lovable travel accessory the Luggage has arrived, too. Accompanied by his best friends, there's only one thing Eric wishes now -- that he'd never been born!

Buy Now: Amazon Link

Page Count: 176 pages

Review

Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this one. It reads very unfinished/rough. Considering it is the 9th Discworld novel, it feels very disjointed. It attempts to be a Pratchett version of Faust, but I think it misses the mark or I miss understood what was happening. A lot of time in this short story is spent building up to "something," but that something never comes? We also get to visit a fantastic array of characters, but none are never fully rounded out and are left flat and two-dimensional.

But of course, it is a Pratchett book meaning plenty of British wits and inside jokes, along with dated references. I feel it misses the mark too much, and I was left grinding my way through the story hoping for the Ah-ha moment.

The artwork though fun, was very distracting and added the thought that it was just there to increase the page count. I hope this isn't the case, but we would have been in a short story terrority rather than a novel without it. 

Definitely do not start with this title if new to Discworld, but if, like me, you are must read all types, then sure, give it a go. I wish I had a better review to share. But they can't all be winners.

Thanks as always for reading and hope you will join me again soon.

Audio Review 65 // Wrath of N'Kai by Joshua Reynolds


A long overdue audiobook review. This time I dip my toe into the worlds of Arkham Horror. I have been meaning to get this series of titles for a while but just have never found the time. But when I saw this new title was by Joshua Reynolds, I knew I was in safe hands. His Fabius Bile story was great. So without too much more waffle, here are the details.

Title: Wrath of N'kai (Arkham Horror #16, why start #1? haha)

Author: Joshua Reynolds

Fluff: The first in a new range of novels of eldritch adventure from the wildly popular Arkham Horror; an international thief of esoteric artifacts stumbles onto a nightmarish cult in 1920s New England.

Countess Alessandra Zorzi, an international adventurer and thief, arrives in  Arkham pursuing an ancient body freshly exhumed from a  mound in Oklahoma, of curious provenance and peculiar characteristics. But before she can steal it, another party beats her to it. During the resulting gunfight at the Miskatonic Museum, the countess makes eye contact with the petrified corpse and begins an adventure of discovery outside her wildest experiences. Now, caught between her mysterious client, the police, and the society of necrophagic connoisseurs, she finds herself on the trail of a resurrected mummy as well as the star-born terror gestating within it.

Listen Now: Audible

Book: Paperback

Review

What a great reintroduction to the Arkham/Lovecraft lore. I have reviewed previous stories but have only recently stepped into the newer created fiction. After listening to this, I wonder why I waited so long.

This title is set in the classic realm of Arkham, deeply put into the 1920s. America is full of gangsters, bootleggers and pulp-style detectives. We are introduced to Alessandra Zorzi, who portrays herself as a Countess but is, in fact, a procurement specialist (aka thief) of forbidden lore and artifacts. Not sure if this is her first outing, but she is a strong and powerful lead, backed up by an equally strong companion called Pepper.

Zorzi has been hired by the classical "mysterious man" to steal the mummy. This mummy was strangely located in middle America, completely unknown for mummies. But as she is set to steal the piece, a criminal trio beats her to it. The story then progresses into an excellent pulp detective tale as Zorzi finds the mummy. While this is all happening rival groups move within the city, each hoping to regain the mummy for their own weird purposes and who to trust becomes a real issue.

Once again, Reynolds creates a setting with fantastic skill. I feel sucked into the era, and as the narrator describes the scene, I am there in the 1920s, be it spoken language used or the description of the dives of Arkham. Overall, if you enjoy a whodunit title with a hint of the otherworld, this is great. It doesn't go too far down the rabbit hole of Lovecraft lore as the lead isn't that interested in it; instead, we are dropped breadcrumbs to research ourselves, and this is so engaging! If I have to pick a fault and I feel I do as no title is perfect, there are a few too many characters. Sometimes it could be a bit misleading, but Arkham is a big, little city, so it makes sense to have a lot of important characters.

Wrath of N'kai, as mentioned, was a great reintroduction to the lore of Arkham Horror and has very much reinvigorated my interest. But which title next? Please drop me your thoughts and let me know.

Comic Review 183 // Batman Earth One Volume 3


Another great library find. Batman Earth One Volume three is the final title in this series for Batman. I've read and enjoyed the first two volumes so I am excited to dive into this one. Here are the links to other reviews:

Volume 1

Volume 2 

Title: Batman: Earth One, Volume 3 (Batman: Earth One #3)

Writer: Geoff Johns

Art Team: Gary Frank (Penciller) & Jon Sibal (Inker).

Fluff:

Harvey Dent is dead. Or is he?

A gang of thieves thrusts Gotham City into a state of fear when they are mysteriously well-armed with military-grade weapons: flamethrowers, grenade launchers, and even tanks.

And this gang claims it is funded by none other than former district attorney Harvey Dent.

Balancing his two lives, Bruce Wayne must find the truth by tapping his growing network of agents, including Alfred Pennyworth, Jim Gordon, Waylon "Killer Croc" Jones, and the savvy new Catwoman.

Bruce is distracted by the seemingly impossible return of another figure believed dead: his grandfather Adrian Arkham. He must also comfort his longtime friend, Gotham City mayor Jessica Dent, who is scarred both physically and mentally from her experience with the Riddler, which resulted in the gruesome death of her brother.

But is Harvey back, plotting revenge on a city he proclaims to be guilty?

When Batman discovers the truth behind these many mysteries, his entire world unravels...

Buy online: Amazon CA

Format: Hardcover, 160 pages

Publisher: DC Comics

Review

Not the greatest way to finish this series sadly.

We continue to follow Bruce Wayne as he continues his early adventures as Batman. In this volume, we have him teaming up with Croc, whilst similarly pushing Alfred to the sidelines for some reason. As the story progresses the plot becomes more obvious and unexciting. I was disappointed at the appearance of Adrian Arkham, it seemed unneeded and added the annoying Waynes/Arkham mystery past arc which I feel is unneeded.

It is an okay story, but I am disappointed as we moved away from the "real world" story into the DC universe "Hero World". Meaning the story became a bit of a fantasy plot. Art was the real saviour of the book and is beautifully drawn, but even this had issues. The main part is Catwomen. She looks comically stupid, something between a twitch streamer and the Cheshire cat! Her outfit looked so out of place for a "real world" thief.

The two-face arc should have been the true focus of the book (as it was described) and given more time to build out as we saw a detective Batman working a case, rather than a gungho, punching machine. We saw him working with his team and a had real-world building story. Sadly it was lost within the noise of the unimportant. Also, how can this be the last book? The final panel is way too much of a tease to end it there, with us seeing Robin, Batgirl, Ragman (think that's his name) and of course The Joker!

Seems like a flat note to finish the series this way. I hope more will be coming. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Comic Review 182 // 2000 AD Prog 1335


Oooooo excited for this epic double Judge Dredd alien feature. With two cover options! The main cover is by Jock and is the blog post's main image above. It features Judge Dredd shouting while an alien Queen roars in the background. This is portrayed in a stunning orange pallet and really stands out. Then the follow-up image below is by Chris Blythe and shows Dredd about to be swarmed by xenomorphs in a more relaxed colour scheme. Both are very visually striking, and I think Jock's piece takes the win just. I am honestly hoping for an epic finish to the tale.


Okay, straight into the thick of it with Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus Part 15. It has been a wild ride, lots of action to the series, and this issue does not let up. We get a great scene where Dredd has accepted his fate and gunslinger-style attacks the Queen Alien. This, of course, pisses off the entire nest, it is at this point Judge Giants' team arrives, and we get a Mechanismo vs Queen punch up! The droid loses big time, losing the Nuke it was carrying. With little choice left, Dredd attempts to purge the nest with lava, and it is at this point that I will stop with spoilers. Go read it yourself! It is an excellent ending to great series, and I really hope the follow-up stories stay strong as this was an epic way to reintroduce myself to the prog formats.

Unfortunately, we follow up this incredible story with V.C.s Charon. I can't get into this series! Luckily this is also the last tale for them and has the team attempting to slingshot the Gravity of Pluto's Moon Charon. Unfortunately for the team, their ship is hit, and they plunge into the planet's gravity before disappearing. I assume there is book three, but I am not sad to this end. It is a definite miss for me.

Atavar II Part 7. After attempting to find the Wosk, Atavar and Worldbeaker are left playing chase as they seek out the Wosk who believe their God has arrived to save them. Turns out the giant mass at the core of Rim space is anything but Godly! Turns out the Wosk has invited the bringer of death to all things organic! Great way to end this series. We have gone from searching for an ally to discovering the end of all! After a rough start with this series, I ultimately have grown to enjoy this. Hopefully, Book 3 isn't too far away.

And just like that, we reach an end. A solid book; sad to see the end of the Alien crossover and Atavar but delighted to say farewell to the V.C.s. Let me know what you think of the comic. I love hearing your thoughts.

Until next time cheers for reading!

Doesn't seem safe? Alien Isolation Walkthrough Part 10

Doesn't seem safe? Alien Isolation Walkthrough Part 10. Watch more gameplay here: Youtube

I had the confidence knocked out of me on the last playthrough. In this section, I avoid survivors as I attempt to reboot a Seegson Working Joe. The same type of droid that keeps attacking me. Along the way, we discover multiple safety issues in this station and wonder just who exactly is running H&S? Seriously appreciate all the support of late. Thank you for taking the time to become a subscriber.
Blue Yeti Nano Sony Alpha ZV-E10 Social Links DISCLAIMER: This video and description contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Book Review 176 // Lorgar: Bearer of the Word by Gav Thorpe

I couldn't stay away from Warhammer 30k for long! One of my favourite "Bad Guy" Primarch in his own story. Though this could have been a Kor Phaeron tale instead. Read on to discover the truth (of sorts).

Title: Lorgar: Bearer of the Word (The Horus Heresy: Primarchs #5)

Author: Gav Thorpe

Commercial Fluff: The fifth title in The Horus Heresy: Primarchs series, delving into the story of Lorgar, primarch of the Word Bearers Legion and the first of the Emperor's sons to fall to Chaos.

Most devoted of all the primarchs, it was Lorgar who first fell to the lure of Chaos. Once known as Aurelian, this golden son of the Emperor of Mankind found himself an outcast because he worshipped his father as a god. Humbled before the ruins of Monarchia, chastened and brought low, Lorgar yearned for deeper meaning. He found it in the power of Ruin and thus began the descent into heresy. His fate had not always been so. On Colchis, his adopted birth world, Lorgar was not always the zealot, though his path would be nurtured by one: the priest Kor Phaeron.

Want to own a copy? Use this link to support my blogging adventures: Amazon CA.

Format: Kindle, 256 pages

Review

As with many Horus Heresy titles, this is a hit and a miss. But this title mainly swings into a hitting category. Lorgar is primarily set pre-crusade, set on the unusual world of Colchis. A planet of desert wasteland ruled by religious zealots and tribal nations. The tale kicks off with a rogue Prophet called Kor Phaeron (yep, him) and how he discovers a youth among the tribes who completely stuns him. Soon he is tutoring the boy in the Colchis religion, which happens to be the Chaos powers (how did the Big E miss this?). We then follow the pair as Lorgar creates a cult to the One (i.e. Emps) and unites the planet, while Kor Phaeron secures his position to become the high priest and keep the old faith alive.

A well-written story, which explains a lot. It shows how Lorgar always had "father" worshiped even from a young age, and through this fault, he was able to be corrupted. It also showcases Kor Phaeron as the true evil rather than a moustache-twirling villain. The planet is a fascinating location and deserves more time; Tatooine meets Mad Max and meets Dune.

But it had some flaws. Firstly a lot of Kor Phaeron and this title could have easily been; Kor Phaeron: The Heretic. Not a bad thing, but I would have preferred more insight into Lorgar instead. Not experiencing the uniting of Lorgar and the Emperor, how did it happen, how did the Emperor not see the corruption etc. How did Lorgar convince the Legions to accept the Chaplains?

Though a lot of questions were answered, many more questions were created. What are your thoughts on this book?

Recipe // Custard Toast


As many of you know, I am over on Tik-Tok. Love it or hate it. I have been personally enjoying it over there. I have found the community of gamers to be very welcoming, and some of the content there is inspiring. While mindlessly swiping away, I saw a baking channel discussing Custard Toast.

Custard Toast is basically a sweet breakfast treat to enjoy now and again. I was definitely unsure about it as I started prep as it only contains three ingredients: Greek Yoghurt, Egg and Maple Syrup. Once this is prepped, you have to add to bread, top and bake. Simple!

Ingredients
  • Bread - Sliced. Bread equals toast, lol. Softer works bests.
  • Egg. For the custard.
  • Greek Yogurt. Plain or flavoured. I start with plain.
  • Maple Syrup. To sweeten or honey. This is purely for taste so add as needed.
  • Optional. Add as needed purely for taste.
    • Vanilla Extract.
    • Cinnamon.
    • Nutmeg.
    • Powdered Sugar.
    • Toppings. Whatever you want. I went with more yogurt and blueberries.
To Make

Time Needed: Seven Minutes
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F
  2. Make custard mixture
    • In a small bowl, add an egg, yogurt and maple syrup. Whisk together to form a liquid custard
  3. Prepare the bread.
    • Using your fingers, a back of a spoon. Press into the centre of the bread to indent without breaking through - this avoids leakage.
  4. Spoon the custard mixture into the indented well and add your toppings on top.
  5. Time to cook.
    • Place bread on an oven tray with baking paper and put it in the oven for 8-12 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!
Bonus Tips
  • The softer the bread, the better. Makes it a lot easier to indent to help hold the mixture.
  • The custard mixture can make between 2 - 3 slices of bread. It will really depend on the size and thickness of your bread.
  • Make sure to whisk the custard well. It should look like a smooth, runny custard texture. You don’t want any clumps.
  • Keep an eye on the cooking time. They can burn quick.
  • Once the custard is set or caramelizing, then it is most likely ready.
I hope you give it a go. Let me know if you did and as always, enjoy!

Army Painter Brushes - Are they worth it?

After a year and a half of using an Army Painter Regiment brush, I decided to splurge and purchase the entire brush set. Army Painter Brushes - Are they worth it? Come stop by and see my channel: Youtube.


Sony Alpha ZV-E10 Cutting Mat DISCLAIMER: This video and description contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Comic Review 181 // Alien Vol. 1 Bloodlines by Philp Phillip Kennedy Johnson


I just can't stay away from the Alien franchise. This time we get to enjoy Marvels' first outing with the series. Will this be a success or suffer a lot like Dark Horse did over the years.

Title: Alien, Vol. 1: Bloodlines

Author: Phillip Kennedy Johnson

Artist: Salvador Larroca

Commercial Fluff: The iconic cinematic terror makes its Marvel debut! Gabriel Cruz gave his life to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation — almost literally, thanks to an alien attack that he barely survived! Recently retired, Cruz is trying to patch things up with his abandoned son with the help of his friend, a Bishop-model android. But his re-entry into civilian life is not going smoothly…, and his encounters with the deadly Xenomorphs are far from over! Now, Cruz has only one chance to save his son from the horrific fate he barely escaped. The clock toward total collapse is ticking. The aliens are loose! Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Salvador Larroca team up for an all-new tale of the sci-fi/horror titan that has terrified audiences for decades. No one is safe. No one is innocent. And no one can hear you scream.

Format: 144 pages, Paperback

Buy Now: Amazon Link

Review

Going, to be honest, and straight-up say it wasn't that bad! Yes, it has issues, but it is not worse than Dark Horse Comic versions. Like most Alien tales, the story is generic; of course, we have the "evil" company, Androids and loose Xenos. There are also a few good plot twists that better people will realize before I did. But ultimately, there is nothing new, and to be truthful, I didn't care.

I found it interesting that they added an Apex alien instead of using the Praetorian class alien? But the real standout piece was showcasing new hybrids; the goat-style one was cool and extreme Headbanger metal of them. But like many people, I don't truly understand the idea of this humanoid xenomorph; I am hoping it will all be explained, but it seems forced in when a classic Queen Mother could have the same effect. The design seemed wrong to me, but I am willing to see what they do with it.

The human and Android characters were pretty throw-away for me and, for the most part, flat apart from Bishop, who always makes me smile. I'm not really sure where volume two will take us?

So, where do I sit on this title? Above average, worth reading and wasting a lazy Sunday on but not a go-to must recommend. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

How many times can I die? Alien Isolation Walkthrough Part 9

How many times can I die? Alien Isolation Walkthrough Part Nine. Watch more here: Adventures with Peps Youtube

I was so confident going into this playthrough. I knew what I was doing, where I was going; I'd already completed that section once. Damn, was I wrong? A map selection that I should get through in less than 10 minutes takes 40 minutes and five deaths. Oh, the shame!

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Book Review 175 // Blood Drinker (Warhammer Horror Week 2021 #4) by James Brogden

Following last week's Warhammer Horror Short comes another title from the series. This time we jump from the Age of Sigmar into the Galaxy spanning warzones of Warhammer 40,000.

Title: Blood Drinker (Warhammer Horror Week 2021 #4)

Author: James Brogden

Commercial Fluff: Lost to the Black Rage, an Adeptus Astartes warrior of the Blood Drinkers Chapter runs rampant on a drifting spacecraft. An unlikely duo team up to subdue the soldier by attempting to help him tackle the visions that have driven him mad.

Want a copy? Black Library Link

Format: ebook, 36 pages

Review

Once more, we have an exciting and intriguing location. Set on a spacecraft that has been beset by the warp and now drifts through space. This setting is by far the best part of the novel as it seems the ship has gone from horizontal to vertical, and the corridors and hallways have become giant chasms and pits. No one alive seems to remember what has happened on the ship, and as the generations have passed, the knowledge has become folklore. A great example is the worshiping of Saint Gellar, who saved them from destruction, which would mean their Gellar Field saved them from some disaster.

The survivors seem to be living in the upper decks, while the lower sections have succumbed to a warp breach that has corrupted the crew, who through breeding has become a mutated variant called Creepers. This was an absolute highlight for me, such a unique local to play host to a story.

Unfortunately, the monster/villain of the piece was a letdown. It was basically a Blood Drinker Space Marine who had succumbed to the Red Thirst, making him super aggressive and craving human blood. Once this is explained, the short becomes a bit flat for me. I enjoyed the start and middle, which makes it a worthwhile read. Will definitely be looking for more titles by James Brogden.

Let me know your thoughts on this title or what I should be reading?

Comic Review 180 // 2000 AD Prog 1334


Sad news, everyone; as I write this piece, I have discovered my beloved Pixelbook 2017 edition Chromebook has died. Sadly the motherboard has fried, and replacement parts are stupidly expensive. Luckily, I still have my gaming P.C. and an old Lenovo tablet, but I will miss reading my comics on such a beautiful system.

This week's prog review replaces my audiobook slot as I have struggled to find time to listen to anything. But it does allow us to continue through the year 2003, we have reached April 2nd, and we have a V.C.s cover image; it gives us no real hint as to what may be inside, I am also finding the series a little dull, so this doesn't fill me with joy.

As always, we start with Judge Dredd VS Aliens: Incubus Part 14. Wow, this series just keeps going! Judge Dredd and Sanchez have escaped the Alien resin and are lost in the nest. While this is happening, Judge Giant's extermination team is ambushed by the mutie gang hanging out in the ruins of the old world. A pretty exciting action pack start. It was also great to finally see the Queen appear!

Though I am enjoying the series, I miss the fear of the earlier issues. The xenomorphs have lost the edge and have become nearly non-threatening.

The new story up next is a Future Shock tale called Head. It is a bit of a silly adventure involving an art critic who gets his comeuppance and ultimately becomes a piece of art himself. These Future Shock tales make me think of Black Mirror. A nice little filler piece, I highly recommend this one.

The V.C.s E & E. Really not enjoying this series. I feel it is just too on the nose for a sci-fi adventure. In this week's story, the team loads up and attempts a rescue mission. The odds are heavily against them, and they soon discover a plot that could change the war's course. This is too much WW2-style adventure comic for me, I am sure this has a lot of fans, but sadly I am not one.

Tales of Telguuth: The Iniquities of Snedron Part 2. Sylvana flees her father and heads to the local tavern for help. Here she finds a rogue who is willing to kill her father in exchange for a night with her, but first, he needs her to steal her father's talisman of protection. Of course, all is not as it seems, and the twist is evident to workout, but such a fun and comical piece. Lovely artwork and storytelling.

Then to finish up the week, we have Atavar II Part 6. While searching the abandoned Wosk World, Atavar discovers a sole inhabitant. The Wosk is an unusual-looking creature with both Bat and Mouse features. While dealing with this creature, we question how advanced they are. They seem highly spiritual and lack their own weapons. When pushed about the missing population, our Wosk responds that they have left to see "God." Soon Atavar and Worldbreaker are gearing up and leaving the planet searching for this new being.

A fun enough tale. I found the Wosk annoying, and I am also confused about the scale. I thought Worldbreaker was a massive ship, but it seems at most the size of a small house? How can this be? Help me understand.

With the end of Atavar, we reach the end of issue 1334. Overall an enjoyable issue; even though I am not enjoying V.C, it is still a solid tale, and I can see the appeal. What are your thoughts? I hope you have been enjoying this series of quick reviews. As always, I appreciate you all and hope you have a fantastic week.

Beer Review 182 // The Darkness by Beyond the Pale Brewing Company


It's the stout season here on the blog, with last week's Imperial Stout Dark & Picante and now this lovely little number from Beyond the Pale (disclaimer I work for them, but views are still my own). What is everyone else drinking?

Beer: The Darkness
Style: Stout
ABV: 5.6%
Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company. Ottawa, Ontario. Website
Commercial Fluff: No lineup at a brewery is complete without a solid stout. The Darkness recipe has been brewed and sold since day one of Beyond the Pale. Using rich chocolate malts, roasted barley and a gentle hit of hops, the brewers have managed to produce a robust, full-bodied stout. Expect bold roasted coffee and dark chocolate flavours, perfect for a cozy Sunday after a long week.
Amazon Link: The History of Stouts

Review

Look at my poor well worn BTP glass, the top of the skull is fading away. Will have to retire it soon. The pour is a super dark almost blackish brown colour. The foam is a light chocolate mocha and is full of life, capping the beer beautifully. Aromas are unsurprisingly similar to the tasting notes. Full of chocolate and roasted notes. The first sip makes me think of all the classic stout flavours but without being heavy or overpowering. The livelyness of the brew lift it's from your tongue allowing you to enjoy every sip. I personally enjoyed this while in a cottage at the lake, covered in snow and this truly tasted delicious and warmed my soul. 

What's your favourite stout? Let me know in the comments below.

Comic Review 179 // Slaine: Warrior's Dawn


Well, it's happened. Warlord Games is releasing their version of a Slaine miniature skirmish game, and of course, I have signed on for it. But my knowledge of Slaine is exceptionally lacking. I've only read snips in progs and never really got beyond that. With this weighing down on me, I decided to fix this before the game arrived. Here enters Slaine: Warrior's Dawn.

Title: Slaine: Warrior's Dawn (Slaine #1)
Author: Pat Mills
Illustrator: Angie Kincaid, Massimo Belardinelli, Mike McMahon.
Commercial Fluff: TIR NAN OG – THE LAND OF THE YOUNG – IS A VIOLENT WORLD, HOME TO WARRING TRIBES WHO WORSHIP GODS BOTH BENIGN AND MALEVOLENT. In this first collection ofSláine's adventures, we meet one such tribe, the Sessair, brave warriors of enormous skill, and the best of them is a young barbarian named Sláine Mac Roth. Sláine is, among other things, a master of the "warp spasm'' – channelling the mystical power of the Earth through his body to become a mighty, monstrous berserker!
This classic sword-and-sorcery series is written by the 2000 AD founding editor Pat Mills (Savage) and features art by Angie Kincaid, Massimo Belardinelli (Ace Trucking) and Mike McMahon (Judge Dredd).

Format: 2000 AD App
Page Count: 208 pages

Review

As I mentioned earlier, my knowledge of Slaine is limited, sadly. Growing up as a teenager, I was absorbed with sci-fi. Meaning Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, and ABC Warriors ruled my 2000 AD reading, leaving Slaine on the outskirts. Warrior's Dawn collects some of Slaine's earliest stories and works as a great introduction to the characters and setting.

Now we are pretty lucky to be in the safe storytelling hands of Pat Mills, who uses Celtic and Irish legends to create this character. The adventures begin following the outcasting of Slaine from his tribe, and with his companion Ukko the Dwarf, they go in search of adventure in the Land of the Young. What I love about these one-off stories is the fact that Mills can create a series of stories that makes sense and grow and progress the characters. A problem a lot of one-off story arcs fail at. As we read through the adventure, we are slowly introduced to the world of Slaine, learning its history and its people. We discover that it is a world of grey with all sides being of good and evil. The "evil" bring order and stability to the land, while the "good" guys are willing to bloody and messy to achieve their goals; this leads to an array of characters who seem really believable.

The main characters of the book are:
  • Sláine MacRoth – Mighty black-haired Irish warrior, exiled from the Sessair tribe for an affair with the chief's fiancée Niamh. He loves fighting and often beats up Ukko. His favoured weapon is the stone axe Brainbiter, and he first experienced the Warp Spasm as a child. Warp Spasm, by the way, is when Slaine gets mad he experiences Hulk-style muscle growth and burns hot - One villain stops this from happening by using cold water.
  • Ukko –Sláine's dwarf sidekick and chronicler, named after the Finnish storm-god Ukko. He is lecherous and greedy; like most fantasy dwarves, he loves gold and has a business mind centuries ahead of the human characters. When Sláine becomes king, Ukko is appointed his "Royal Parasit" - his jester.
This unusual duo makes for a great pairing. Having different viewpoints on the world at large and in equal measure get each other into and out of trouble. The stories are definitely varied, and for the most part, there are no epic tales until the end; this allows the reader to just enjoy the ride and not get too bogged down on villains or plot hooks.

Now, of course, the easy thing to say "it's a Conan ripoff," and of course, yes, it is very inspired by Pulp-era fantasy like Robert E.Howard'ss work. Still, Slaine is a free spirit and highly unpredictable, whereas Conan follows a strict moral code. This leads to Slaine making choices I didn't expect. If he was a D & D character, he would be Chaotic Neutral, leaving you unknowing if he would help you or kill you, haha. The land is high fantasy but in an unique way, taking heavily from the lore of Europe and the old beliefs. This helps to a tale that is completely out there and deserving of respect.

The art is all classic black and white line art, with plenty of details to keep you hooked. And between the three artists, we are really treated to some beautiful storytelling. For me, the book ends on a high, and I am excited to start the next book, Time Killer.

I hope you enjoyed the review and check out more of my content.

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Book Review 205 // The Lords of Silence by Chris Wraight

I've been attempting to enjoy the Horus Heresy via the audible app, thus freeing up my time to read other novels. But it seems even my H...