Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Audio Drama 03 // Thief of Revelation/Hunter's Moon by Graham McNeill & Guy Haley

This is a two for one review today, these two tales are combined on one CD so it was very easy to blast through the two tales. With them being short tales it seemed silly to review separately. I listened to this in an afternoon at work so here are my notes.

Black Library presents The Horus Heresy: Thief of Revelation by Graham McNeill and Hunter's Moon by Guy Haley



Thief of Revelation by Graham McNeill

Commercial Fluff: The Thousand Sons – a Legion whose destiny was irrevocably altered at Prospero, and yet who now seem to dance only to fate’s tune. Ahzek Ahriman and Magnus the Red cast their psychic sight over the galaxy, seeking any clue as to what the future might hold and where their true allegiance should ultimately be placed.

A Horus Heresy audio drama written by Graham McNeill.Running time approx 35 mins

Review: First thing of note is that this tale follows on from Graham McNeill's novel A Thousand. Seems like he had so much fun with the novel that he felt the need to follow it up. I have read A Thousand Sons but it was a long while ago (and will be revisiting it).

This story of course has Ahriman in it, as he continues to rescue his brothers from the dreaded Flesh Change curse. Which fans of 40k know leads Ahriman down a dark path and to the infamous Rubicae action, which is now classic lore. We have Ahriman pleading with his Primarch for help in finding a cure, following another failed attempt. Most of the tale is Magus telling Ahriman that too much knowledge is dangerous and is the reason why the legion fell and was ultimately ruined by the Wolves. I feel I am missing a lot of the plot hooks here as I really need to reread A Thousand Sons. I also feel that after 35 minutes nothing has been accomplished, Ahriman just seems set to go down his dark path and Magnus has just gone full moody and emo. Could easily skip this tale and not be worried about missing out.



Hunters Moon by Guy Haley

Commercial Fluff: As sanctioned executioners, the Wolves of Fenris were tasked with rooting out treachery at the heart of the Legions... but would they be capable of carrying out a death sentence upon one of the Emperor’s own sons? Now, a stolen Alpha Legion dropship crashes on the primitive oceanic world of Pelago, bringing news of a terrible war that has erupted out among the stars. Will the pursuing traitors, thirsty for vengeance, reach the lone survivor before his own battle-brothers can?

A Horus Heresy audio drama written by Guy Haley.Running time approx 35 mins.

Review: Weirdly for a Horus Heresy story this tale is told by an average human on some half forgotten world that through no fault of his own gets caught in the middle of a battle between Space Wolves and Alpha Legion.

Most of the tale is leading up to the Marines and helps us to understand that most of the newly formed Imperium is completely unaware of the fact Horus has rebelled! Better let it shows that some worlds are so lacking in importance, that they need not pick a side and get to just sit back and ignore anything else happening in the larger galaxy (for better or worse).

Guy Haley makes a stunning job of creating an interesting world and an environment that is completely different to what we are use to. In this case it is an ocean heavy world, with fishing boats and sailors the main resource of this world (not much help in the void). In the short 35 minute runtime Guy manages to squash in a lot details. I feel this tale could have been longer and really could have been enthralling. I hope to read some Guy Haley heresy soon and I hope he will continue at this level for me.

Overall

Overall Hunter's Moon is the highlight tale of this disc. Full of action and intriguing story I just wish they have given them the other 35 minutes of the CD to make the tale more epic. As always let me know your thoughts below and if you preferred the Thief tale let me know what I missed and explain the plot to me please.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Comic Review 39 // Judge Dredd Anderson PSI Division

Continuing with my laptop clean up we come to IDW's Anderson Psi-Division. 101 pages of Judge Anderson written for a North American market. I really hope they mess it up.


The cover is already annoying with the artists version of Anderson partly unzipped and with a standard fingers against the skull in a psychic pose (turns out there are more similar pieces with the zip getting lower and lower). Then we hit the actual tale The King of the Six Sectors and Anderson is drawn finally in a wonderful, professional way, why didn't this artist get given the cover?

The King of Sector Six starts with an Anderson's birth tale. Slightly different to the classic tellings as it follows the IDW universe rather than 2000 AD and has Anderson born during the Year One Tale, when Juves across the city became psychic. Heavily leaning into how she got her powers, jump forward 24 years and Anderson is now a PSI Judge.

Whilst sleeping she gets a vision of a local museum coming under attack and heads over in an attempt to foil the crime. During the action a mutant PSI uses their powers to knockout everyone and everything in the block (at the cost of their own life!?). Only Anderson's unique powers are able to save her from the blast and she is left standing alone versus an armed gang of Robbers. Following a short gun fight (maybe a page and a half) most of the gang escapes, except one now dead perp. Using what little time is left Anderson is able to probe their dieing mind and realises something is up in the Alabama Morass.

Soon Anderson is headed to the Alabama Morass (a massive swamp corrupted during the atomic wars) via Texas City and has a new partner for a few pages a Texas City Judge called Degroot (kind of a cool character but their role is small so no point linger on it). During this section we get crocodile gunfights and scorpion death traps, before discovering a mutant settlement completely wiped out. As the Judge search it seems all the settlers are dead, all save one mutant child called Rami. Through this child's memories, Anderson learns of the name Ashberry and of the five men responsible for the murders of the settlers and the robbery. With this information we are soon zoomed back to MC-1 and a quick cameo by Dredd. From Dredd we learn Ashberry was somehow involved with the 2080 Juve riots. The two cases are starting to link up and it seems we may get a team up? But then out of the blue, weirdly Dredd doesn't seem to care and disappears into the city, leaving Anderson to solve this on her own. Very weird to bring him in like that and then kick him out so abruptly?

For the next little bit we discover Ashberry seems to be a ghost, a criminal boogieman of sorts. And we follow Anderson as she starts shutting down operations in Ashberry's 6 territories, hoping to flush him out. This soon brings results and Anderson is getting Ashberry's full attention with a full PSI hit squad after her. It is also revealed that Rami (the mutant child) is aiding Anderson from Texas City to help discover the whereabouts of his clansman (Poorly explained).

Now knowing Ashberry is onto her and is possibly supported by a corrupt Sector Judge, Anderson tracks down Ashberthry's lair to Tomassi Industry; a large benefactor to Justice Central specialising in Weapons, Vehicles and Defence Solutions. No wonder this guy seems untouchable!

For the final chapter we are then treated to a classic James Bond movie ending. The villain is revealed, villain does not kill the hero for no reason, villain then explains his plans, villain is caught out by the hero escaping and revenge is dealt out. The ending came way to quick and way to obviously.

Overall it lack a story you should care about and though the art was pretty, it is not enough to save the tale. A bit of flop for me.

If you read this tale. Let me know your thoughts below. Cheers for reading. 

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Book Review 48 // Judge Dredd: Deathmasques by Dave Stone


Well as my comic reviews are proving I am massively back on the Judge Dredd reading schedule. I haven't read a full Judge Dredd novel since Savage Amusement, so I am excited to jump back in and what tale is better than Deathmasques which is set in Brit-Cit (ie. the UK) and plays host to Armitage one of my favourite 2000 AD characters. Let's see the details.

Book Details

Title: Deathmasques
Author: Dave Stone
Publisher: Virgin Books
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 264
Commercial Fluff: Travelling to Brit-Cit on the trail of a bloodthirsty, body-hopping alien, Judge Dredd is forced to work with the local Detective, Judge Armitage.

Review

As mentioned it is always fun to read Dredd, but this novel is extra special as it is set in Brit-Cit. We get to visit a different city and deal with a whole load of new stereotypes. Throw into this mix mega corporations, body jumping aliens and Armitage and you end up with a fun sci-fi novel.

At times this book does fall into a classic 80's buddy cop movie, as Armitage and Dredd play off each other. But it works well showcasing the similar let very different views on justice. Like most Dredd tales the body count is super high and bloody, but unlike most Dredd tales, old stone face does take a bit of a beating. I love some of the locations especially the Dragon pleasure zones and the sky hook. It did suffer a little from a rushed plot but ultimately was a fun quick read.

Have you read this one? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Comic Review 38 // Judge Dredd Deviations by IDW

Recently I've been reading a lot of collected comics. Though fun to go through and hugely enjoyable to read I sometimes miss being able to read and comic and review it in thirty minutes. With this in mind I am going to try and get through a backlog of IDW strips and do some quick and dirty reviews. Starting with:

Deviations Judge Dredd by IDW

I got a lot of IDW strips via Humble Bundle and they have sat on my laptop judging me for way to long. Time to clear the mess and I'm starting with this one-shot. Written by John McCrea the idea of this is to deviate from the main tale. In this scenario, original Dredd cured Mega City One's Werewolf problem and was himself cured of a bite he had taken. Whilst in this one shot, Dredd after being bitten becomes a werewolf and the Judge responsible for the cure never succeeded!

But even as a Werewolf, Dredd can't stop being a Judge and through pure will power manages to contain the wilder wolf side. After a telepathic connection with Anderson it is discovered Dredd wishes to take the Long Walk rather than being caged in an ISO cube. Like most things in MC-1 a new craze forms around Dredd with citizens dressing as wolves to protest Dredd's freedom (Quite the enjoyable panel). Soon Chief Judge McGruder has no choice but to allow Dredd to take the long walk into the Undercity (where he was originally biten).

Down in the Undercity Wolf Dredd teams up with another long walk Judge and together they track down and end a group of renegade Robots. In the combat Wolf Dredd's newest ally is injured and losing blood fast. In order to save him Dredd bites the Judge and together they become a pair of Werewolf Judges and here endeth the tale.

Not sure what I think. It was a good 'what if' tale, fast, to the point, with good enough (not great) artwork. The ending seemed corny and rushed and the appearance of Anderson seemed a bit forced. But like I said quick and easy, just like this review.

Cheers for stopping by!!

Friday, 17 May 2019

Beer Review 66 // Hofbrau Original by Hofbrau Muenchen

Heading for a classic brew this fine Friday evening, as we head into a long weekend. As I crack a bottle of this next beer open. I am instantly transported back to my holiday in Munich, on a birthday retreat. I have fond memories of drinking this halfway up a snow covered hill, as we headed for the Swan Princes castle. For this review I am using that photo I took on that day and living in the past, if only for a while.

Details

Name: Hofbrau Original

Style: Helles

Brewery: Hofbrau Muenchen // Brewery Munich

Country: Germany. Munich.

ABV: 5.1%

Commercial Fluff: Hofbräuhaus is a symbol of Munich’s hospitality and the Bavarian gift for creating a snug and cosy atmosphere. Beer-lovers from all over the world come here to enjoy its famous beers.
More than any other, Hofbräu Original embodies the special atmosphere of the beer-making capital of Munich, and exports it to the four corners of the globe. Its refreshing, bitter flavour and alcoholic content of around 5.1% volume have made it famous worldwide. A Munich beer with character.

Own Opinion

Label: It's outworldly, it's original, it is Germanic and it's pure. Blue and yellow the classic colours of this beer that has outlasted most beers and will be around longer than any of us.

Pour: Super clear golden pour, sharp bubbles rising forming a crisp white head that doesn't linger. It is just a text beer.

Aroma: Maltly, bready, grass, soft fruit. This just grabs me and drags me back to Germany. They know how to make a great a brew.

Taste: Soft gentle bready malts, a little hint of grassy and herbal notes. A bitterness that leaves you wanting to drink more. Very easy drinking and hugely enjoyable after a week of hazy IPA.

Would I buy it again: Yes. It's a classic and for good reason. It's crisp, it bitter enough, it is sitting on a patio and enjoying life type of a beer. There is a reason Munich is a beer destination and this it. Cracking this bottle has brought back so many fond memories of trip taken long ago and that is what beer should be about...Fun and making memories.

As always leave me a comment below.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Comic review 37 // Judge Anderson PSI FILES 02


Welcome back Dreddheads for another trip into another MC-1 comic book review. This time it's all about Judge Anderson and the PSI Files Volume 2. The first volume which I reviewed earlier can be found here and is worth a read, so follow the Link. Also if you are currently not a follower please do hit follow, it makes me feel important! Now onto the review.

Just like the previous books, this volume covers a large amount time in the Dredd verse. But for those who need the facts the stories come from Progs 700-711 and Magazines 2.08, 2.10-11, 2.14, 2.22-2.24, 2.27-2.34, 2.37, 2.50-2.60 and 2.73. Also included in here is Judge Dredd Annual 1985, 1986 and 1988 and 2000ad Annual 1987.

So without further ado lets begin like all books at the beginning.

Story: Shamballa // Judge Anderson is still suffering from Cory's death (see Psi Files 01) and to make things worst Demonic black creatures are stalking the World. Only by teaming up with East Mega City Two- PSI Judges and travelling to Tibet can they hope to uncover the real truth of Shamballa.
Highlight: The artist representation of the globe in Dredd's timeline. Seeing these always helps bring the world to life. I love seeing these and getting nerdy over them.

Story: Blythe Spirit // Noel Coward Block seems to a have a spirit on the lose. Can Anderson solve the case and workout why there is a chicken?
Highlight: Judge Gittis, his complete incompetence to follow Anderson's commands, nearly gets them killed. How did he even become a Judge?

Story: Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 1) // Anderson visits the Undercity and Old New York. Her mission is to seek out the Vampire and kill him before he has a chance to breed.
Highlight: The Vampire is hiding out in a cathedral and the full page image of the Vampire dropping from the ceiling looking like a fallen angel is truly inspiring.

Story: Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 2) // Anderson stops Judge Goon from using excessive force. Convincing the citizens that he would stand trial for this. But sadly it doesn't go to Anderson's plan.
Highlight: The liberal side of Anderson coming to the foreground and how she is starting to split from the ideals of the Department of Law.

Story: The Witch? Report // Judge Anderson takes Cadet Corann and Lesley (see Volume 01) out along with Cadet Ronica. It's Halloween and were better to go then the 24 cartoon cinema.
Highlight: When Corann and Lesley combine powers to save Anderson.

Story: The Jesus Syndrome // Jon Baptiste is gaining a massive following with his Christian revival movement. So it's up to Judge Anderson and Judge Goon to seek out the truth and find out if Jon is whom he seems to be.
Highlight: After mind probing Jon, Anderson is confronted by Goon and a fight breaks out. Anderson ultimately wins but shows how the past effects are affecting her mental well being. PSI- Chief Shenker has no choice but to suspend her from the case and reassign her to Mars to help clear her head.

Story: Childhood's End // Anderson has found religion and after striking Judge Goon during an interrogation, is sent to Mars to clear her head. Now she heads to Eden (the largest city on Mars) with thoughts of Christianity and humanity weighing on her mind. Her Mission to join a research team and travel through a portal with the hopes of finding an alien race which inhabited Mars more than 10,000 years ago.
Highlight: So many in this story. First Adam the talking chimp. And the surprise return of a familiar villain and Anderson quitting the Judges System!

Story: Voyage of the Seeker // After having her newly formed religious beliefs crushed. Anderson is searching the galaxy for answers about her soul. Can the known center of the galaxy give her the answers she seeks?
Highlight: Without a doubt the highlight of this story is the beautiful artwork by Mark Wilkinson.

Story: Postcards from the Edge (1) // Anderson attempts to reach out to Dredd with a postcard. She's taken up a job as a starship security officer and is currently heading off to a watch a Supernova go off in space.
Highlight: The fashion of future. The main villains outfit is amazing has to be seen to be believed.

Story: Postcards from the Edge (2)// Another postcard story line, this time to Karyn. Anderson has been sacked after just one day following the Supernova trip. Jobless and money-less, Anderson attempts to find a way off the planet.
Highlight: Child of the Universe- A Biorg. A Biorg if I can get this right is a human who has given up their humanity to become one with a machine. In this story the Biorg is a Space Pilot and replaces the Space jump mechanism. Now just a head surrounded by wires she and Anderson share the joy of the Space Jump.

Story: Postcards from the Edge (3) // Anderson is lost in Space on Blassey's World and is enjoying the freedom that comes with it. Following an accidental trip, Anderson is given free tickets to a big wrestling competition.
Highlight: Towards the end of the story we find out Anderson has sent another postcard. This time to Judge Goon. Included in the message is a cheeky joke that goes along with a photo. Nice humorous ending.

Story: Postcards from the Edge (4) // Continuing on the postcard stories this time it's the turn of Coranne and Leslie. After betting on the big fight. Anderson has raised some funds and is on a passenger ship to Xxanadu. But sadly the craft has broken down. So as they wait 8 hours for a tow, the passengers amuse themselves with past stories.
Highlight: Didn't really enjoy this story. It just continued to show how Anderson is still unhappy about her life and how things might be different if we showed off our beautiful side more often.

Story: Postcards from the Edge (5) // After the Mars Mission Anderson has somehow become linked to Orlock. The downside to this is that she feels his emotions. And when she receives his invite to Zerbia she has no choice but to go.
Highlight: Seeing how the Mars mission has affected Orlock. He's no longer purely a killing machine and Orlock is now attempting to right his wrongs. I know this won't last but it's nice to see.

Story: Postcards from the Edge (6) // Having escaped Zerbia, Anderson now heads to Tartini-9. Where a dying Sun interacts with a statue of the Devil playing a Violin, to bring it to life once a day. Unsurprisingly this has become a tourist hot spot and with PSI powers Anderson is affected more than others.
Highlight: Having felt the affects of the Devil play, Anderson decides to give away her only way off planet, to a beggar and her child. She plans to set up camp nearby and continue to hear the Devil play.

Story: Postcards from the Edge (7) // After trapping herself on Tartini-9 Anderson Mediates by a tree and soon a crowd forms around this strange Earth woman. A local doctor introduces himself to Anderson and tells her the tale of the last witch.
Highlight: The twist in the tale and how it all links to Anderson. Don't want to spoil it so go read it.

Story: Postcards from the Edge (8) // Anderson has entered the desert to find the last witch. With the heat reaching 111 degrees this will be no easy task. What will the witch offer Anderson and what secrets might be unlocked?
Highlight: During her visions Anderson sees an Eagle being attacked by a pterodactyl which is then in turn attacked by a bat! The bat and the eagle then chase off the pterodactyl, leaving only the symbols of the Justice department, the Dark Judges and Batman.. Was this the hint at the cross over that was come?

Story: Postcard to Myself // Following the PSI vision Anderson has requested to return to the Justice system. But the return comes with a price. She has to pass some strict tests to be allowed back in.
Highlight: Dredd- He is not happy about the way Anderson left and he is definitely not happy with how she is returning. He even agrees with Goon's thoughts on the matter! Other highlight is that it's the end of the postcard series (Thank Grud).

Bonus Stories

Story: The Mind of Edward Bottlebum // Edward Bottlebum's brother Spug has committed murder and kidnapped his mother. The only way to find the mother is too find Spug. Unfortunately Spug only exists in Edward's mind.
Highlight: This is an early tale for Anderson and as such some terms hadn't been fully formed let. Like the word Grud. So it's funny to see a Judge say Thank Dok! Not sure what Dok stands for seems to close to Drokk, for me.

Story: A Fistful of Denimite // A creep has killed a night watchman and the only clue left is a scrap of his Denimite shirt. Using her special gifts Judge Anderson tracks him down to Funtazia Amusement park.
Highlight: Loving the artwork on these two earlier pieces. For me Ian Gibson summed up the Dredd world for me. Stylized black and white artwork with a crisp finish. A joy to look at.

Story: Golem // A group of kids have found a spell book and out in Sector 123 wasteland they attempt to raise a Golem.
Highlight: Weirdly my highlight of the tale is a low light....Anderson's hair. Yes you read that correctly her hair. It's white! Not sure what the colourist was thinking. It made her seem older than what she is and I hope this is the only time we see it.

Story: A Soldier's Tale // Anderson gets a psi flash of a soldier intent on killing. Can she catch the prep before any really damage can be done?
Highlight: The first page for me is the highlight. As it shows a quick insight into the psi division and the different abilities that make up it's charges.

Review

This comic was a book of two halves. The first seemed about a voyage to find happiness. Either through love or through religion. This ultimately leads to her leaving the Justice System and losing hope in her existence and her whole way of life. The second half, is all about the journey to regain lost hope and self belief in her choices. It definitely has it's highs and lows. The stories that made this volume great were Shamballa and Childhood's End; these stories really helped to build up the Anderson story line and gives her a real humanity, to play off against Dredd. The Postcard series though, left me feeling a bit deflated and I was happy when it was over.

It was good to finish the volume with a couple of short standard judging story lines as it helped to purge the postcard series from my mind. An average volume with possibly the best Anderson story, so very mixed on this.

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Comic Review 36 // Judge Dredd the Complete Case Files 09

Must be hitting spring as I am getting into full Judge Dredd reading mode! I have to admit this is going to be a volume, as based on titles alone I we get re-introduced to Chopper and see Chief Judge McGruder standing down. So I am going to shut up and jump straight into the highlights.

Story: Midnight Surfer // Marlon Shakespeare aka Chopper aka Midnight Surfer is honing his skills in preparation for Supersurf 7, the illegal world Power Board Championship. All that stands in his way is Judge Dredd.
Highlight: Supersurf 7- One of the world's craziest crazes. 57 surfers start the race, only two finish the course and one of those dies. Soon Chopper is alone and champion of Supersurf 7. Can't wait for more Chopper tales he is just such a cool character.

Story: Nosferatu // A victim of an unusual attack has been discovered in Sector 78. The victims insides have been melted and then eaten!
Highlight: Creature Nosferatu - Hailing from Garlokk the eighth planet in Callisto. An intelligent, predatory race who look and feed in a similar way to a spider.

Story: West Side Rumble // The Zits have created an ambush for the Sharks their rivals. Tonight was going to be an epic Juve rumble, one for the books.
Highlight: Loving all the characters in this tale, I believe I have a few of them in 1980's GW figures so many the Zit gang will rise again.

Story: Back on the Streets // A pretty straight forward open and shut Armed Robbery. A filler tale but a fun little adventure.
Highlight: Showing off the lawgiver and it different settings, kind of a fun reintroduction to Judge Dredd.

Story: Get Smart // Otto Sump is back with his trick to get rich. Otto's Sump Smart Sweets, dumb as plank then eat these sweets.
Highlight: The smart sweets, nothing illegal in them and nothing in them that will make you smarter.

Story: Something Abnormal About Norman // The Mark 1 Norman service droids have a defect. Their chip that makes makes them realise right and wrong has a bad habit of burning out! Now Dredd has investigate.
Highlight: The original Norman being discovered whilst bathing it's strangled it's owners, then calmly telling his story as if everything was normal...creepy.

Story: The Man Who Knew Too Much // Fisher Wildman is a reporter and unfortunately is about to learn too much about the Justice Department and MC-1.
Highlight: Due to the secret being so important Dredd issues the 'Security of the City' act and forces Wildman to choose between Solitary Confinement for life or Brain Surgery to remove his memory. Love this total control that the Judges have, it's so crazy!

Story: The Magnificent Obsession // Tony Tubbs is soon to be the fattest man to ever stalk the earth and this his tale. His goal is to win the first Fat Show since the end of the food shortage all he has to do it hit two tons!
Highlight: During the show the stage collapses under the weight and 14 world class fatties are crushed to death by their competition.

Story: Mega-Man // Looks like MC-1 has it's own cape crusade. But who is this man and how is Dredd going to react? Well it turns out MC-1 has laws against vigilantes and it falls on Dredd to enforce them.
Highlight: Dredd shooting Mega-man's jetpack leading to the helpless hero bouncing off walls in a small apartment.

Story: Death of a Politician // Remember when an orangutan became MC-1's Mayor? Why now we get a catch up story. What a short turn, by the second page poor Dave is dead! But why are the Mob Blitzers going after Dave in the first place?
Highlight: After questioning the rival political groups over 1500 arrests are made none of them for Dave's murder. Sounds like our current political parties to use some Judging too!

Story: Love Story // Bella Bagley is rescued by Dredd from a mugging and unfortunately for Dredd becomes completely obsessed with him!
Highlight: After Dredd rebukes her affections Bagley attempts to jump of a bridge, lucky for her Dredd is there to once more rescue her.

Story: The Lemming Syndrome // Over a 1000 Foont Block Citizens random decide to start jumping en-mass from High up. 747 die before Judges are able to stop it. But what caused it?
Highlight: No real highlight for me this is a very filler piece.


Story: The Squadron That Time Forgot // Six world war two german fighter planes have randomly appeared in the skies of MC-1 and it is up to Dredd to bring them down.
Highlight: The pilot freaking out over the batgliders and opening fire on them. Also love the giant floating Pie in the Sky Restaurant, only in MC-1 would you ever see something so crazy.

Story: The Ugly Mug Ball // Sector 160 is playing host to the Ugly Ball this years, unfortunately it is also playing host to an escaped criminal.
Highlight: The artwork is amazing in this strip. Love the detail put into every panel.

Story: A Day at the Block Wars // Every Cadet class from the academy of law spends a few days out in the field. Lucky for this class today is Block Wars.
Highlight: A cadet dares to ask why the Judges don't just try to make the citizens happy. In response he is asked if he is a liberal.

Story: The Lurker // A story following a street scavenger who believes he is about to get 10 million creds all he has to do is get the case open before Dredd gets back.
Highlight: The discovery it is Isotopes giving off 10 million Rads! Poor Lurker.

Story: Merry Tale of the Christmas Angel // It's Christmas time in MC-1 and Ed Flymo has a killer christmas gift for everyone. Whilst in a block next door Mean Machine Angel is released into a penal rehab program with Mr and Mrs Puddock. What can possibly go wrong.
Highlight: Mean Machine of course. After being lobotomised the passive Mean is constantly reminded of Dredd and soon his hatred over takes his medical condition.

Story: The Warlord // Shojan - Warlord of Ji has decided to make MC-1 his home. Shojan is Psi-Mystic of the tenth Dan and is known for using his powers to cause explosions and murder people. Shojan soon makes it onto Dredd's naughty list, but how will Dredd stop him and who are the seven Samurai?
Highlight: Judge Omar of Psi division has to use a psi-amp to tackle the threat knowing all to well it will mean his death. For her error in Judgement Chief Judge McGruder steps down from her position!

Story: Beggars' Banquet // Judge witnesses a vagrant being kidnapped by Old Town Ghouls and is soon chasing them into the undercity. There he discovers a nest of cannibals and is quick to deal out justice.
Highlight: The undercity - love tales set down here,be it ghouls, werewolves or vampires it's a great place to sneak in a classic villain.

Story: A Chief Judge Resigns // Chief Judge McGruder resigns following the Shojan case. With news hitting streets fast, a new council of five is soon chosen. Alongside Shenker comes Veteran Judge Grimlet, Judge-Tutor Silver, Tek Judge Brufen and Judge Hershey.
Highlight: Seeing how harsh McGruder judges failure in people, she is very much like Dredd. No grey just black and white.

Story: The Secret Diary of Adrian Cockroach // a very weird filler tale following a day in the life of a roach inside a restaurant Dredd is about to close down.
Highlight: The actual story - don't think I've ever witnessed a tale told from a roaches viewpoint...It's weird.

Story: Last Voyage of the Flying Dutchman // The Flying Dutchman of MC-1 is a pleasure cruise ship using Anti-Grav motors to travel through the Cursed Earth and into MC-1. But why aren't the rich travellers on deck enjoying the view? Soon Dredd is aboard and swabbing the Decks.
Highlight: The artwork for the muties they really look gross!

Story: Letter From a Democrat // This tale revolves around a letter from Hester to Gort, explaining why she has join the Members of the Democratic Tendency and why she felt the need to hold an entire studio hostage during the breakfast show.
Highlight: The Judge Raid- though shown via a quarter page panel it conveys the violence and unrelenting abilities of the Justice Department.

Story: The Falucci Tape // Following a tap gang attack a tape is discovered with a dark secret on it. A Judge is having a secret relationship!
Highlight: The tap gang get greedy and try to blackmail the Judge not realizing that the Judge would prefer to commit murder than get caught!

Story: Gribligs // Furry creatures from the planet Plexus. Smart, able to do tricks and breed like crazy. After arriving in MC-1 they start breeding and after a cleaver escape they become one with eco-system. Just make sure you never take them home!
Highlight: The escape route down the toilet, in genius and gross.

Story: The Big Sleep // When a hired gun makes an error it doesn't take long for the law to catch up. But who has set Flip Marlowe and how low can he survive with two of Dredd's bullets in him.
Highlight: A perp story. It's fun to see MC-1 life from a perp's view point. Great filler.

Story: It Pays to be Mental // In this tale we follow a citizen of MC-1 who is classified as Mental by the justice department. What this means is he is free to get away with a certain level of crazy. But how much crazy can Dredd forgive?
Highlight: The crazy breaking the fourth wall and talking straight to the reader even in front of Dredd.

Story: Rumours can Kill // Rover Johnson has been stoned now it is up to Dredd to workout why? But what rumour could have caused this?
Highlight: Rumours - Something so small rapidly grew out of control and led to 44 citizens stoning their neighbour! How on earth can this happen?

Story: Zombies // A Bio lab has created a creature similar to a human but not as intelligent and supposedly impervious to pain. What the Bio lab hadn't planned for was Thomas Zedd.
Highlight: The artwork. The zombies look gross all infected with different diseases, it is understandable why Thomas Zedd does what he does.

Story: The Exploding Man // Nobel was your normal citizen of sector three. Then the Apoc War happened and the entire sector was wiped out by nukes. Four years later and Nobel is a changed man. Now with unique powers, Nobel's only goal in life is to destroy the nearest sector house.
Highlight: After Empath Cory discovers his past, Dredd orders the local sector house to be emptied and allows Nobel to destroy and vent his rage out. It's strange to see the Judges just roll over. It's also good to see Judge Cory back.

Story: Riders on the Storm // Weather control for Sector 58 has broken down causing a freak thunderstorm to move in. Whilst the gangs take advantage of the chaos and biker gang long believed dead reappears and starts taking out their rivals. But can ghosts be real?
Highlight: The Richfellows Club. A bunch of old wealthy white men recreate the biker gang in hopes of dealing with the local Juve problem.

Review

Standout story of this issue has to be the Midnight Surfer, Chopper is an amazing character and I can't wait to read more of his tales that I know exist out there. Other standout tales include West Side Rumble, The Squadron Time Forgot, The Warlord, The Big Sleep and Zombies. Though there was a fair share of filler tales this ultimately was fun read and really helped flesh out the city more. I like the Case Files when they aren't 20 prog epic tales, I also enjoy the villain the view point tales as well.

Time to move onto the next collection but until then let me know your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for reading.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Comic Review 35 // Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 08


Coming in hot and fast with another comic review. I am feeling the Judge Dredd vibes once more so I am attempting to keep the rhythm going and jumping straight into the Complete Case Files 08. The tales found inside this comic are from progs 376-423 and in the Dredd timeline follow 2106 till 2107. So stop being a Drokker and jump on in!

Story: Many Unhappy Returns // C.J. Rexel is celebrating his 100th birthday when suddenly his birthday blimp is shot down killing all the guests. But who shot it down?
Highlight: After receiving a tip off from a concerned citizen about the killer, Dredd decides to investigate them too and discovers they are shop lifters.

Story: Dredd Angel // Judge Dredd is traveling into the Radlands north of Texas City and needs a guide. So who better than Mean Machine? Using hi-tech surgery the Judges rewire Mean Machine to believe Dredd is in fact his PA!
Highlight: Part of Dredd's mission is to rescue a priceless collection of Liberace relics.

Story: Gator // Dredd is chasing two known criminals in to the MC-1 Sewer System. But no one expected to find life larger than a rat down there. Soon Dredd is chasing down the cause of the gators but with the Jimmy Tarbuck block survival club down there too will Dredd be able to save them in time?
Highlight: White Gator - Completely blind and averaging five meters long. These are a real beast and even Dredd struggles to handle them. Love the idea of these and will have to find some crocs to paint up!

Story: Question of Judgement // The annual Apocalypse Day Parade is taking place, among the crowd stands Judge Dredd talking to Judge Morph the guy who gave him his full eagle.
Highlight: Tight Boots - start questioning your judgements, in that chase start wearing a boot size smaller and your fears go away. Nice to see Dredd being a little bit human and questioning issues.

Story: Error of Judgement // Dredd is accused of assault and is facing a disciplinary hearing when he declares he is in fact guilty! Could Dredd be heading to titan?
Highlight: Dredd punching Judge Accountant Winslow in the face. Love it!

Story: A Case for Treatment // Following the last two stories it has been decided that Dredd checks out for Psychiatric Examination to determine if he is still fit to be a Judge.
Highlight: Dredd is having some real human emotions, he almost seems to be a real person rather than the cold heart Judge we know and love. Fearing Dredd is on the edge the Chief Judge reassigns Dredd to the Wally Squad!

Story: The Wally Squad // When undercover Judges start acting shady a Senior Judge is called in to monitor the Judges. This time the job falls on Dredd to decide if Fast Pino and Silvan Shea have gone rogue.
Highlight: Seeing how even a Judge isn't infallible Fast Pino had been living the Low Life for so long he didn't realize he had gone native. Sad end to his career.

Story: City of the Damned // MC-1 science teams have managed to create the first time traveling machine named Proteus. Now it is "time" for Dredd and Anderson to move forward to 2120 and discover if Judge Feyy's prediction of disaster is either true or false. What they find will completely change them and MC-1 forever.
Highlight: In the future of 2120 the Judges have all become Vampires in the thrall of the Mutant including Dredd's friend Hershey. We also see Dredd losing his eyes at the hand of some lizard monsters, leading to his bionic replacements.

Story: The Hunters Club // When people get bored in MC-1 (common problem) weird groups can soon form. One such group in the Hunters Club: randomly selecting a citizen out of the directory to be hunted, this group then draw lots as to whom will kill the citizen.
Highlight: After a failed hunt, the Judges are finally moving in on the Hunters Club. But it would seem the club are aware and have measure to cover their tracks. I feel this will be a story we one day come back to.

Story: Monsteroso // A Class "Big M" series construction droid has gone haywire. Now calling himself Monsteroso, the droid is now laying waste to MC-1 and can tear down even the tallest city blocks.
Highlight: Poor Judge Virgil after just avoiding being crushed under foot the heroic judge climbs on board and attempts to scale the construction droid. Unfortunately for Virgil the droid straightens it leg crushing the Judge under a knee joint.

Story: Spugbug // A bit of a filler story, with the theme being prank phone calls and the trouble they can cause. In this case death!
Highlight: Won't say there is one. Pure filler, nothing bad, just nothing stand out.

Story: Juve's Eyes // Primo and his family are new arrivals in MC-1. Unfortunately for Primo he is also a psychokinetic. It doesn't take long for the kid to start causing trouble and death a plenty.
Highlight: Primo - after dealing with the scum gang members, Primo turns his power upon himself a commits the most painful suicide I could imagine.

Story: Sunday Night Fever // Every Sunday night the Judges face Happy Hour. That time of the week when the unemployed realize they have no reason to wake up on Monday. With boredom and depression running wide these people turn to crazy life threatening activies.
Highlight: Perps in a Rhino suit. Attempting to raid a van whilst wearing Rhino outfits. Of course it does not last long for Dredd to arrive.

Story: Hagatha Smeld // Someone has killed Hagatha but they are all remaining closed mouth about it. Maybe resurrecting Hagatha might help?
Highlight: Mega-City  Necropolis the expensive resting home for the dead. This is the only way to avoid being sent to resyk.

Story: Aftermath Ron Reagan // The Dark Judges are lose and have struck the Ron Reagan block a home for the aged and infirm. With 217 dead this is going to keep Dredd busy for a while. But why is a local thug visiting the crock farm with 40 million?
Highlight: A local crime family in an attempt to escape justice, get their faces and bodies altered to blend in with the local old folks. Unfortunately for one member of the family the Dark Judges have exposed their crimes.

Story: Thirteenth Assessment // Cadet Brisco at the academy of law is undergoing the thirteenth assessment. During this test they control the actions of a senior Judge. Guess who Brisco got!
Highlight: Eldster gangs - it's not just the youth you have to watch out for in MC-1. Also seems to be an on going theme with the last few strips.

Story: Casey's Day Out // The story starts at ISO-Block 101 and Casey has just finished his 20 year sentence and is leaving a free man. Only problem is the man he attempt to kill 20 years ago has not forgot.
Highlight: After being free for only a few hours Casey decides he can't live a life under constant threat and punches Dredd, forcing the Judge to arrest him and send him back to the safety of the cubes.

Story: 99 Red // Code 99 Red means Judge Amok. Judge Sleever has snapped and attacked a citizen. Worst let he hit Dredd with his bike. Now the full Justice force is hunting down this rogue Judge.
Highlight: After being caught Sleever is off the psycho wing for some laser surgery and with luck will be back on the streets by the weeks end!


Wow bit of a weird collection this one. stand out tales include Judge Angel, Gator, wally Squad and City of the Damned. There just felt like a lot of filler combined with a lot of jumping back and forth with art styles. I also find it odd to mention Dredd questioning the system and writing it off as his bots needed to be tighter! And what gives mentioning the Dark Judges but not showing them. I want Dark Judges.

Overall an average collection.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Beer Review 65 // Super Size Hilma by Omnipollo

Trying to get better at putting up my beer reviews on here, especially when you consider beer is in my blog title. So with that in mind we start back up with a truly tasty beer - Super Size Hilma by Omnipollo.

Details

Name: Super Size Hilma

Style: Imperial India Pale Ale

Brewery: Omnipollo

Country: Denmark (brewers home) but brewed in the US.

ABV: 8.5%

Artwork: Karl Grandin

Commercial Fluff: Vanilla, Burger Bun, Crispy Fries, Imperial India Pale Ale. Double dry-hopped, double vanillad, double burgered and double friesed. Beer everything. - Henok

Own Opinion

Label: Such a shiny label! Classic Omnipollo styled art that Karl Grandin is famous for. Really stands out on the shelf.

Pour: Super hazy but a beautiful bright yellow pour and a crisp white cap.

Aroma: This beer is amazingly well hopped, you get a big face full of tropical hops slapping you about as you crack open the can and pour.

Taste: In taste it is full of Pineapple, citrus, grapefruit and Danky hops. With a sweet vanilla middle that finishes with a saltiness on the tongue. This beer went down so easy and so enjoyable.

Would I buy it again: Yes. I doubt I will ever find it so easily again though. I feel I got very lucky arriving the day after they got supplied and being able to buy the last two cans. I do wonder what flavours the fries and burgers actually brought to the mix but when it tastes this good who cares?

Have you tried it? Let me know below and please hit follow to support the blog.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Comic Review 34 // Judge Anderson PSI FILES 01

I'm starting to get through some of the comics piling up finally, this time we reach the first collected tales of Judge Dredd's occasional partner Judge Anderson. These stories come from 2000ad Annual of 1984 and Progs 416-427, 468-478, 520-531, 607-609, 612-622, 635-647, 657-659, 669-670, 712-717 and 758-763, plus an additional story of Judge Corey from 2000ad Special 1989)

As you can tell from the above info, these stories are collected over a large period of Judge Dredd time. Whilst your reading this please keep in mind the timeline; because if we were doing the books in sequence it would slot in at around the complete case files number 7 and then into number 8.

It collects all of Anderson's tales from 1984 to 1991.

Anderson was a fan favourite supporting character in Dredd's stories. Meaning it was only a matter of time before she got her own strip. As you will come to notice, Anderson is almost a direct opposite to Judge Dredd and shows emotion, even empathy towards victims and preps. Which makes a nice change to old Stone faces totalitarian outlook on life.

Enough intro now on to the stories.

Review

Story: Four Dark Judges - Judge Anderson is conned into travelling back to Dead World. Were she unleashes the 4 Dark Judges. Now it's a race against time to stop them and save herself from a one way trip to Titan. Can Anderson, Judge Dredd and the Justice system stop another rampage by this this fearsome foursome?
Highlight: The Dark Judges! Can't beat the foursome on a killing spree, these are some of my favourite villains ever. Their logic though twisted is correct, crime is only committed by the living.


Story: The Possessed - A cult has kidnapped a Juve in hopes of opening a gateway to a demonic world. Can Anderson save the kid and close the gateway or will she have to resort to hard ass tactics.
Highlight: The Mega City cultists. I found them to have a comical presence as well as for-filling the classic horror movie get up.

Story: Hour of the Wolf - An East-Meg Psi hit squad has critically injured Anderson. Whilst the pre-cog is in medbay she is plagued by vision of a wolf destroying the city. But who is the wolf?
Highlight: There is only one really highlight of this tale, but if I tell you then it will ruin the story. I know such a lame cop out.

Story: Contact - Anderson is out in deep space and is making first contact with an alien race that can only communicate via telepathy.
Highlight: Anderson convincing a fellow Judge to believe that the aliens are in fact giant, poisonous, man eating mutant alien maggots!

Story: Beyond the Void - Abbot Costello the great Mahatma has searched out Nirvana and crossed over into the void. But not all is as it seems and someone or something is waiting for him. Can Anderson find the monk in time to stop her arch nemesis from returning.
Highlight: That's right good old Judge Death is back and still chilling out in limbo. He adds the right mix of creepy and comedy to this tale. Whilst making sure we know that he will be back!

Story: Helios - Dr Helios is out for revenge and once more party girl Anderson is on the scene. I fine it weird how PSI Judge get free time and the ability to go clubbing. Just doesn't sit right with me.
Highlight: Mutated psi slaves full of rage and murder!

Story: Judge Corey: Leviathan's Farewell - A little Judge Corey filler. Judge Corey is an empath (unlike Anderson's Telepathy) and this causes her to feel all the pain and suffering of others around, which seem to be taking it's toll on her. Her case leads her out to sea where she meets the last of the humpback whales and psychically connects with the animal. The experience is all to much for Corey being next to the last Humpback whale as it died.
Highlight: Judge Corey, originally a sidekick for Anderson. It was nice to see her getting some love and a fuller back story, shame it was her last tale.

Story: Triad - Three Juves are all linked by their dreams, but someone is manipulating them to commit acts of psi-terror on MC-1. It falls to Anderson to work out what is really going on.
Highlight: The Blockness monster arriving in a block park lake to terrorise the residents.

Story: The Prophet - Call me Bill is the Prophet robot and is calling for the end of the fleshy ones. But something doesn't seem right about Bill, why is his fluids red like the fleshy ones?
Highlight: Call me Bill's wife pretending to be a TV!

Story: The Random Man- In a city of little choice how much damage can fate and a dice cause? What would happen if you let dice decide your every move, would you follow blindly?
Highlight: The artist of this strip Carlos Ezquerra, is by far my favourite Mega-City artist.

Story: The Screaming Skull - Eb is being haunted by his past mistakes and is indeed of help. Soon Anderson is on hand but can the dead really haunt the living?
Highlight: Kalvin King- A fun underwear sales rep, mets a grisly end, but proves life is worth living especially in MC-1.

Story: Engram - Whilst out in the Cursed Earth Anderson suffers a fall and experiences a moment which will alter her future.
Highlight: Anderson reliving the past that made her into a Judge, this is a pretty dark tale to be honest and definitely not what I expected.

Story: Bonus Strip: The Haunting- Dr Levin has been possessed by the Demon Dahak. So it's now up to Anderson to go in and clean house.
Highlight: Anderson's psi image entering Levin's mind, it is just like riding a slide!

Review

Really enjoyed the Anderson Psi Files. Having only read about her via Dredd. It's nice to see how the PSI department actually operates and runs in MC-1. I also like how they have transplanted Orlock over into her stories and making him into her long running nemesis alongside Death. I'm excited to get the next book and start reading as they are all new and fresh stories to me. So how to rate a new series and how it made me feel.....Well it's easy in this case it is fun, interesting and well rounded. This is a character that has had some time spent in it's creation, I feel they learnt from Dredd and made sure they had a realistic character to build stories from.

Until next time thanks for stopping by!

Audio Drama 03 // Thief of Revelation/Hunter's Moon by Graham McNeill & Guy Haley

This is a two for one review today, these two tales are combined on one CD so it was very easy to blast through the two tales. With them be...