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Portal Games announced the 51st State Ultimate Edition is coming soon to Gamefound and will included new content with the crowdfunding campaign The campaign launches in February 2022 with component upgrades, reprints of hard-to-find content, and a new expansion, No Man’s Land, designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek. 51st State was originally published in 2010, and was a breakout success for Portal Games. Set in the same universe as the fan favorite Neuroshima Hex , 51st State offered players a new way to fight for resources in the wastelands of America. The release of the 51st State Master Set in 2016 brought together the core game and both the original expansions, Winter and New Era in one box with an all-new look and improved gameplay. Three additional expansions have since been released for the Master Set, growing the line to a fan favorite. Portal Games wants to give players the definitive experience they deserve with the 51st State Ultimate Edition.  The 51st State Ultimate Edition coming

Featured Review and Preview: @TopCow The Darkness: Vicious Traditions @TopCowMatt @Ales_Kot @ImageComics


The Darkness: Vicious Traditions #1 - One-Shot


ALES KOT (ZERO, WILD CHILDREN) joins DEAN ORMSTON (Judge Dredd, Predator, Books of Magick) to deliver this special Tales of Darkness one-shot! The Roman Empire is on the edge of collapse. A part of its army is stranded deep within the Visigoth territory. The barbarian leader wakes up in a mass grave. He should be dead; yet he is not.




Preview




Review


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic


Cover & Solicit 4/5


This issues cover is drawn by Dale Keown and Matt Milla. It's a simple cover depicting The Darkness bearer from this issue. While not overly complex the imagery is vivid and really draws your attention.

Art, Colors & Inking 3/5


This issues art was done by Dean Ormstom (Judge Dredd, Predator, Books of Magick). I have no big complaints about the art here. It fits the story and the action sequences flow well. There are some times where the colors come off dark, and instead of using subtle shadows Ormstom just paints the entire area black.

Layout & Flow 3/5


This issue took a bit to get into. I understood it was a one-shot and therefore knowing anything about The Darkness wasn't required, and I appreciated that. But within the first few pages you don't get a clear understanding of what just happened unless you know something about The Darkness. I also had an issue with some of the grammar and language used. Again nothing big but it did cause me to reread a few word bubbles because it didn't flow.

Story 4/5


Ales Kot (Zero, Wild Children) takes on the writing duties for this one-shot. This issue starts with a dying soldier being taken by The Darkness. As I mentioned with the flow it was a little confusing at first what was happening unless you know about The Darkness' backstory. I would have liked to maybe see a little about why it was choosing this soldier before the opening pages. After this we find the soldier approaching a Roman encampment and killing he soldiers as he makes his way to Lagatus a Roman general. This is where some of the wording didn't work, I wasn't sure if they were trying to create a broken English effect for the barbarian or if it was just missing a few words. This was a minor gripe as the story itself wasn't bad. After a warning Lagatus allows the barbarian to leave. Kot then picks up where the war left off. This again confused me as the barbarian stated he didn't want bloodshed and both men said it wasn't their war. The war wages before our final confrontation between the barbarian and Lagatus. I was hoping for more of a backstory issue for The Darkness, but instead we were given a story of one man's war.

Verdict - 3.6 (7/10) (Buy The Darkness: Vicious Traditions) SAVE 10%


I enjoyed this one-shot featuring the early days of The Darkness. Kot and Ormston told a good story but I wish it had been more backstory for The Darkness instead of being about one man and a war for a tribe that he isn't even part of. Ormston's art was on par and Kot did tell a decent story. I'd recommend this issue to anyone who is a fan of The Darkness, but if like me you were hoping for a little more backstory you may be disappointed.

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