So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.
I am also friends with David on Facebook, although thats probably more about him connecting with fans than him being my best bud!
I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.
Also I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.
What is Marvel
Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!
The Dark Avengers were a iteration of the avengers which contained several members who were supervillains disguised as stablished superheroes.
In this iteration, we have Mac Gargans Venom as Spider-Man, Moonstone as Ms Marvel, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Daken as Wolverine and the superheroes, Ares and The Sentry. The team is lead by Norman Osborn who wears a Stark armour which is known as Iron Patriot.
So I will start off by saying that this is a book in which you really do need a bit of knowledge of the Marvel universe to really get on and enjoy it, because its not a book that explains the characters and background in a great amount of detail.
But if you have a the basic understanding of the universe, you are gonna really enjoy this book.
This story is set in the aftermath of the Secret Invasion storyline, when Norman Osborn has seized control of S.H.I.E.L.D. and reformed it into H.A.M.M.E.R. and rebuilt the avengers with psychopaths. maniacs and killers.
The story revolves around a plot by S.H.I.E.L.D. loyalists to steal a secret list of potential replacements for the Avengers known as the Patriot List, which involves a plot to embarrass Norman Osborn a man with a real obsession with his public image.
So Osborn releases the worst of the worst to prevent any threat to his leadership of the world security.
This is a very good story, its high octane and filled with amazing dialogue that sassy and at the same time a little horrifying.
The action scenes are frankly some of the best I have ever read, just well written and balanced.
The character dynamics are a highlight, and each of the teams members are given their own chance to shine, with everyone getting a reasonably equal bit of time to show themselves off.
As well as being a very good action novel, it also has an amount of depth as it also focuses on the mental health of the Dark Avengers, because as you can imagine, the villains have their own daemons to battle.
I really enjoyed that for the antagonists, David has gone deep into the Marvel lore and brought up some superheroes/villains from deep down that you rarely see, and perhaps may not know about at all.
The Dark Avengers are a pretty nasty bunch, some more so than others, but David really has got you rooting for them and wanting them to win, and given the way he doesn’t hide what they really are, that’s not a mean feat.
This gets a solid 5 out of 5 stars from me and frankly is a near perfect Marvel novel.
The eBook is out now and the paperback hits bookstores on the 25th November.
This week I had my birthday, and it wasn’t what I hoped for.
My sister in laws cat went missing, and I have some medical stuff to deal with.
So Fosfos, Emma’s cat went missing on Sunday night and it’s not like her to wander, so Monday Emma was busy leafleting in Blyth where she lives.
Tuesday, Lindsay and Megan went up to help her, but she was still no where to be found, thankfully she returned home at 2am Tuesday and woke up Emma for cuddles.
So that was a huge relief.
Tuesday night we went out for Nando’s for my birthday, which I really enjoyed, haven’t had a Nando’s since the day before the first lockdown and I really enjoyed it.
Present wise, Lindsay and Megan bought me the Evil Comes Prepared expansion for Disney Villainous and the Orruk Warclans Battletome, and I bought myself the Stormcast Eternals Battletome and the Charadon terrain box.
At the weekend we were meant to have some of our nephews staying but Gandalf our arsehole of a rabbit developed an ear infection, so he had to be rushed to the vets and needs hand feeding for a bit, so that was not a good environment for the boys to stay over as they are very active.
He is slowly getting better, but he really does fight us when it comes time to give him his medication.
What I Am Modelling
I started off by painting the Negavolt Cultists and Rogue Psykers for Blackstone Fortress.
The Rogue Psykers were finished first.
Followed by the Negavolt Cultists.
I then painted up three Assault Intercessors and a Primaris Captain from Imperium.
After which I turned my attention to two squads of Stormcast Eternals Judicators for the Celestial Vindicators.
So what’s planned for next week then?
Mechanicum Magos Macrotek Enginseer & Servo-Automata x 4
Stormcast Eternals Judicators x 10
Ork Nobz x 6, Painboy, Warboss & Grots x 3
Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Squad x 10
Legio Custodes Caladius Grav-Tank x 2
Blackstone Fortress Spindle Drones x 6 & Guardian Drones x 2
On Thursday #Cans happened, for those not from Newcastle upon Tyne, this was the end of a long running saga, last nearly two years in which the local football club, Newcastle United, my team, were sold.
To give some background, for the past 14 years the club has been owned by Mike Ashley of Sports Direct fame, under whose watch, we have seen the lowest recorded attendances at the stadium since the formation of the Premier League and its expansion, two of the clubs six relegations, and the lowest net investment of any club in its team in Premier League history.
He was not a popular man, he was aloof, rarely spent any money on the team and say an overall decline in all aspects of the club.
To put it bluntly, the squad is threadbare with almost no injury cover, the academy is all but decimated, the training facilities need to be demolished and rebuilt they are in such bad contrition and St James’ Park is Felapp dated and in serious need of maintenance.
The club has been a zombie of the game and in perpetual crisis, within a few months of his arrival, he had sacked two managers and alienated club legends like Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer.
Our ground has become not only potentially the tattiest ground in English football, but has basically become a cheap advertising board for Sports Direct.
So to summarise, the club is glad to see the back of this awful man, and I honestly hope he never sets foot in the city again.
However there is a big but, our new owners are a consortium of the Reuben brothers, who are some of Britains richest men and have actually been investing a lot in the city these past few years. One of the sons, Jamie will sit on the board.
Amanda Stanley owns another 10% and she has been trying to buy the club since early 2017 have fronted a number of bids and put together a few consortiums to try and prise the club out of Ashley’s hands.
She was also a broker in the sale of Manchester City so she has a track record of football wheeling and dealing. And she is relocating her main residence from Dubai to Newcastle so she can be on hand to run the club.
The remaining 80% is owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, a state owned investment group that invests the counties oil profits.
That makes us the richest club in the world.
But it also means we are owned by a regime which restricts the lives of women, murders journalists and LGBT folx, and routinely suppressed Shia Muslims and Baha’is.
And of course there is the involvement in Yemen, which to be honest is such a bloody complex situation with no actual good guys that I am not even going to try and explain that one.
We are being used to sports wash, you would have to be a fool to not see that, but frankly, we fans get little choice in the matter.
Are they the idea owners, of course not, but when we look at who else has been allowed to own Premier League clubs, it would be hypocritical to make a special case for Saudi Arabia, after all Manchester City has been own by people with questionable human rights records twice and are also used to sports wash.
The crack is, we fans have a chance to use our club to show the Saudis that they need to change how they do things at home, we can protest their crap during games with chants and signs, and these will be broadcast into the Kingdom for all their citizens to see, and I highly doubt beIN will be in any mood to censor that.
Look I know it’s not perfect, but right now, I am glad to see the back of Ashley, as for the Saudis, that’s something we have to figure out, the club lost its soul long ago, for all the bad they have done, The KSA has given us that back.
I am conflicted, I doubt it will ever sit easy with me, but my club is more than the ground, players, infrastructure and owners, it’s the fans, and we must remember that owners come and go, but the fans are what make the club.
In trying to do battle reports, I have lost sight of what I wanted to achieve, and thus I have decided to go back to basics and focus on what I want to do, which is concentrate on the narrative aspect.
So here is a report from my Crusade battle report from a game I played on Tuesday, its simple, and just looks at the game itself and not each individual dice roll.
I really should have wrote a proper script rather than just notes, but I will for next time!