Total Reroll NSCU: Episode 29 – Do Dwarves Have Blood?

Welcome to the episode 29 of Total Reroll NSCU, our Dungeons and Dragons podcast series. We are members of the Neverwinter Special Crimes Unit, brought in to investigate strange goings on in the city of Neverwinter and to uphold the law!

We just saved the city from a literal hell. Surely now we’ll get some time off?

Download this episode (right click and save)

New episodes are out every other week on alternate Fridays to The Weekly Rapture pop culture podcast. If you enjoy the episode, please let us know on Twitter or Facebook, give us a 5* rating on itunes, or share with anyone you think may enjoy it!

Our intro and outro music is ‘Winter’s Howl’ by Ed Curry.

Enjoy!

Fancy supporting the site? You can pick up all of the 5th edition D&D books from Wizards of the Coast using our Amazon links below, and we’ll get a cut with no extra cost to you!

Dungeon Master’s Guide

Player’s Handbook

Monster Manual

Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

Starter Set

Tales from the Yawning Portal

Comic Review – Domino: Hotshots #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“So much for the whole Boromir pledge” Domino

Cover by Silva & Woordward (Marvel Comics)

Marvel have released a new run on Domino aka Neena Thurman, the luck-based mutant super spy and assassin. It’s written by Gail Simone, whose writing is consistently outstanding throughout her work – I strongly recommend picking up Clean Room, and her runs on Batgirl and Red Sonja. I’ve read a little Domino over the years and enjoyed Gail’s solo run on the character. This issue is pulling in a wider team for Neena to interact with.

This issue is bought to us by:

  • Writer – Gail Simone
  • Artist – David Baldéon
  • Colour Artist – Jim Charalampidis
  • Letterer – VC’s Clayton Cowles
  • Cover Artist – R.B. Silva and Nolan Woordward

A meteorite crash-lands in a distant frozen desert on the Antarctic Coastline. After being picked up by a researcher and it having some kind of super-natural effect on them, leaving them with Darkseid-like powers, Domino and the Hotshots are commissioned by Black Widow to find the meteorite and make sure it doesn’t fall into a single country’s grasp. The central team, the Hotshots, are made up of:

Outlaw – a super-strong cowgirl; Black Widow – … the Black Widow; Diamondback – demolitions prodigy; White Fox – secret agent living anime; and Atlas Bear – exiled Wakandan who can apparently see the future.

As you’d expect from Gail Simone, the character interactions between the team are key to the plot and each of their personalities shine through. The tensions become clear as well, with many loyalties and individual agendas of the hotshots called into question during the issue. This looks to be an ongoing theme providing a central tension to this series. The issue could have done with more time exploring these, however it appears that’s what the series will be for.

Art by Baldéon, Charalampidis & Cowles (Marvel Comics)

Baldéon’s work is very strong here, with the image where the meteorite takes effect on the researcher in particular really jumping out of the page. Charalampidis’ colour brings it all to life, providing an integrated tone, from the alien to the emotional really emphasising and complimenting the story, combining well to portray a world that feels dreamlike.

Cowles’ lettering is simple but effective, Cowles happened to be the letterer for my previous comic review and is proving to be flexible and skilled in his work with the dialogue-heavy scenes not detracting from what is happening on the page.

Final Verdict

This story left me wanting more. Domino is not a character I grew up with or am that familiar with through film and TV, however I certainly want to get to know her more during this run. Simone has a talent for really picking out what really makes a character tick and I look forward to seeing her take on the cast, including the last minute addition on the final page, in future issues. The team is promising compelling conflict and insight into characters, new and familiar to me as well.

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 130 – Space Jesus Send Me Drop Pods

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

This week we chat about the latest Nintendo Direct, including The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake and Super Mario Maker 2 on Nintendo Switch, the huge layoffs at Activision Blizzard, the cancellations of The Punisher and Jessica Jones (after Season 3) on Netflix, and the latest Aladdin and Frozen 2 trailers.

No Screentime this week!

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam The Final Empire (Mistborn Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson and Dreams Before the Start of Time by Anne Charnock/Sex Education and The Umbrella Academy on Netflix and The Expanse Season 3 on Amazon Prime/Resident Evil 2 Remake, Dead Cells and Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition on PS4
IanDawn of Night (Erevis Cale Book 2) by Paul Kemp, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, and Rat Queens Volume 4 by Kurtis Wiebe and Owen Gieni/The Dragon Prince Season 2 on Netflix/Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! on the Nintendo Switch

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Total Reroll NSCU: Episode 28 – Winterflame

Welcome to the episode 28 of Total Reroll NSCU, our Dungeons and Dragons podcast series. We are members of the Neverwinter Special Crimes Unit, brought in to investigate strange goings on in the city of Neverwinter and to uphold the law!

Someone just murdered a holy woman and plunged the entire city into darkness. Normal Friday then.

Download this episode (right click and save)

New episodes are out every other week on alternate Fridays to The Weekly Rapture pop culture podcast. If you enjoy the episode, please let us know on Twitter or Facebook, give us a 5* rating on itunes, or share with anyone you think may enjoy it!

Our intro and outro music is ‘Winter’s Howl’ by Ed Curry.

Enjoy!

Fancy supporting the site? You can pick up all of the 5th edition D&D books from Wizards of the Coast using our Amazon links below, and we’ll get a cut with no extra cost to you!

Dungeon Master’s Guide

Player’s Handbook

Monster Manual

Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

Starter Set

Tales from the Yawning Portal

Comic Review – Savage Sword of Conan #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars… Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jewelled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.” – The Nemedian Chronicles

Cover by Alex Ross (Marvel)

When I was looking for a new series this week, the brutal cover art of Savage Sword of Conan caught my attention. My main memories of Conan are of Conan The Adventurer, the 1997 TV series that was on when I was a kid. I don’t remember too much of it, other than Conan being tough as nails about 98% muscle. I definitely enjoyed it as an 11 year old, but who knows if it will hold up 20 years later.

This comic is bought to us by:

  • Writer – Gerry Duggan
  • Artist – Ron Garney
  • Colour Artist – Richard Isanove
  • Letterer – VC’s Travis Lanham
  • Cover Artist – Alex Ross

Conan is sitting in a life of luxury, a beautiful woman beside him, a feast before his eyes, drinks a plenty and a roaring fire… except something is wrong, the smell and the taste are most foul… Conan is actually awash at sea, shark meat in his mouth, at the whims of Crom, perhaps the front runner for least sympathetic god I’ve come across in comic books. The tone of the comic book is absolutely reminiscent of the TV show I remember. It sets up the story for a brutal adventure that will take all of his strength and fortitude to survive. Conan is thrown right into the deep end, finds himself with literally nothing yet turns the situation around in no time, only to face harder and harder challenges.

Art by Garney, Isanove & Lanham (Marvel)

The dark tone of the comic is emphasised by Garney’s masterful artwork. There is a fantastic two page spread where Conan is close to death and recovering slowly, in and out of consciousness. The panels alternate between chilling artwork and black panels with simple text between them. This array in the comic shows off the skills of Duggan’s story writing, Garney’s art, Isanove’s rich colours – his shadow work in particular building the grungy, darker tone and Lanham’s lettering very effective in its simplicity. When the story gets more monstrous Garney and Isanove work well together to bring the beasts to life.

Final Verdict

If you want a change from the regular super hero comics, that still feels properly epic in scale with high stakes then Conan fits the bill perfectly. The adventurous tone of the comic book makes it a fun, if dark at times, romp. The series has the classic feel of sword and sorcery and feels a lot like a solo player DnD campaign. The art is also outstanding and is set to be a real highlight of this series.

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 129 – I’m Rick Grimes B***h

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

This week we chatted about Black Panther and Into the Spider-Verse’s Oscar nominations, the shelving of the World War Z sequel, the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, and the trailers shown at the Super Bowl including The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3, Us, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, this bizarre Bud Light X Game of Thrones thing, Hobbs and Shaw, Captain Marvel and Avengers Endgame.

No Screentime this week!

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing (there were a lot!)

Adam The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time Book 3) by Robert Jordan, Vicious by V.E. Schwab and The Final Empire (Mistborn Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson/Titans Season 1, The Punisher Season 2 and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 4 on Netflix, Tomb Raider and Young Justice: Outsiders/Resident Evil 2 Remake on PS4
IanTwilight Falling (Erevis Cale Book 1) by Paul Kemp, Borne by Jeff VanderMeer and Provenance by Ann Leckie/Russian Doll on Netflix, The Great Wall and The Mummy/Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! on the Nintendo Switch and Shogi on his phone

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Comic Review – Age of X-Man Alpha #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“It is the age of perfection” – Narrator

Cover art by Phil Noto (Marvel Comics)

With a new X-Men series kicking off I took the chance this week to return to the team to see how they are holding up. This is an ‘Age of’ series which means we are talking alternate timelines/realities and the majority of the team will have some kind of presence. This one will be the Age of X-Man Alpha, so we can assume that Nate Grey, aka X-Man will be pivotal to everything that is going in this run. In my experience the plots to the ‘Age of’ runs can contain fascinating concepts and alternate takes on characters so this was well worth a look.

This comic is bought to us by:

  • Writers – Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler
  • Artist – Ramon Rosanas
  • Colour Artist – Triona Farrell
  • Letterer – VC’s Clayton Cowles
  • Cover Artist – Phil Noto

The world is a utopia, where mutant-kind has come back from the brink of extinction, mutants and homo-sapiens live in a fully integrated society where the stigma of the X-gene seems to be completely gone (It’s interesting to see no mention of Inhumans however). The X-Men play a critical role in keeping people safe and many of the team have taken a step out of the super-hero life to bring up and educate mutants in this new world. The steps that bought about this world, where peace and harmony has finally been achieved, are yet to be explained, although it is apparent that many of the original A-listers have unfortunately passed away to bring this about. It’s only at the end of the issue where it becomes clear that this world and peace is not what it seems. It does bring about the question, yet again, as to if the dream of Professor X is ultimately achievable at all. Nate Grey himself plays a role in the issue, but no more than the other characters, if this is to be his story his role is not totally apparent yet.

Art by Rosanas, Farrell & Cowles (Marvel Comics)

Rosanas and Farrell combine well to portray a world that feels dream-like. This does seem to be Professor X’s dream fully realised, so the light touch line work from Rosanas and light colour pallet from Farrell really help create that atmosphere. The contrast towards the end of the issue, where the twist is revealed, in the change in pallet and use of light emphasises the uncertainty as to what is really going on.

Final Verdict

We don’t know much about the world of Age of X-Man Alpha yet. It’s clear that not everything is what it seems, though I doubt there would be much of a comic if it was. The issue did drag a little to begin with for me, though it’s clear the world building was trying to be set out.

My one major issue is less to do with the story itself, but the huge number of tag lines saying “Find Out Why This Character Is Picking His Nose in The Amazing Nose Picking Mutant #1” or at least something to that effect. At times this felt less like a first issue and more like a run of adverts. I am curious to see where the plot goes and what is really going on here. Hopefully outside of the first issue there won’t be so many of these though.