Saturday, 10 October 2015

New home for our blog!

by Rae

Our efforts to improve our online presence are continuing! One of the strongest elements of our web presence has always been the Proud Lion blog, where we are able to offer news, reviews, and announcements for our readers and customers. We are aware the blog has been quiet of late, largely due to time constraints and a lack of resources.

We will now be pushing the blog back to where we think it should be. The first major change will be integrating the new blog into our webstore, rather than a separate site. The previous blog hosted here will still be available for perusal, but will be largely used as an archive. All new content will now be located at the Blog section of If you follow us through RSS, you will need to update your feed readers.

The second change is an influx of new writers! In addition to Matt Puddy, who will continue to write comic reviews for us, we will be adding Ian Blakeman, Cyril Bunt, Becky Marsh, and Lewis White to our team of writers. Check out some great new content from our writers at the blog's new home!

Rae may be staring at screens a little too often these days.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

All New, All Different Marvel! - order form and more

by Ben Fardon

"When Everything Ends, There Is Only Secret Wars..."

These ominous words have dominated the Marvel Universe over the past few months. Thanks to shipping delays Secret Wars is set to rage on into October, but the same week that Secret Wars #8 ships, Marvel also begins it's much hyped All New, All Different relaunch!

Starting with the new Invincible Iron Man #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez, Doctor Strange #1 by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo, the globetrotting new Amazing Spider-Man #1 by returning Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli, Avengers #0 (an anthology one-shot featuring All-New, All-Different Avengers, Squadron Supreme, A-Force, New Avengers, Ultimates and Uncanny Avengers) and several more, Marvel have cannily spread their relaunch across two months making it slightly more affordable than the onslaught that was the New 52.

In order to help a little bit more, we're offering the following price promotions to all customers (subject to change and whilst stocks last):

  • Avengers #0 - only £3.00
  • Doctor Strange #1 - only £2.50
  • Invincible Iron Man #1 - only £2.00
  • Amazing Spider-Man #1 - only £3.00

Purchase all four of these together and pay only £10!
(saving you an extra 50p on top of these already discounted prices)

Once again we are matching a few titles to previous orders on Reservation Service pull lists. This is primarily where the creative team remains the same (or at least the writer), ensuring that customers who only come in every couple of months will not suddenly find they've missed the next chapter of an ongoing saga like Jason Aaron's run on Thor.

Here's the full list of what we've matched - if you had the former, we've automatically added the latter on to your pull list:

Old Title New Title (All New, All Different)
All-New Hawkeye Hawkeye
Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel Now) Amazing Spider-Man
Ant-Man Astonishing Ant-Man
Deadpool (Marvel Now) Deadpool
Guardians Of The Galaxy (Marvel Now) Guardians Of The Galaxy
Howard The Duck Howard The Duck
Legendary Star-Lord Star-Lord
Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
Ms Marvel (Marvel Now) Ms Marvel
Nova Nova
Silk Silk
Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman) Spider-Gwen
Spider-Man 2099 Spider-Man 2099
Spider-Woman (Marvel Now) Spider-Woman
Thor (Avengers Now) Mighty Thor
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

If you're unsure, please email me to request a copy of your pull list and I'll send over a pdf copy. You are welcome to instantly remove any title we've automatically added to you up until you've purchased the first issue, then you are bound by our usual terms and conditions regarding notice periods for removing a title from your order.

Please remember that the FCBD All New, All Different Avengers showed that while there will be some significant changes (like the introduction of Miles Morales and Old Man Logan into the main Marvel Universe), the majority of Marvel continuity remains intact. This is not a major reboot akin to DC's New 52. For example, Bendis has stated his run on Iron Man will build on Kieron Gillen, Greg Land and Dale Eaglesham's Secret Origin of Tony Stark from Marvel Now.

You can view the full All New, All Different Marvel range in the free All New, All Different Preview magazine, available free from Proud Lion or digitally here.

If you'd like to order anything from the upcoming Marvel relaunch, please use the following order form:

Create your own user feedback survey

Orders made via this form must be submitted by midday on Friday 11th September. Orders after that can be placed by emailing

Ben is really looking forward to seeing how this new chapter of the Marvel Universe will unfold!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Big Game Hunting: Beta Games Night!

by Rae

Last year we invited local tabletop enthusiasts to bring their own ideas to the table and introduce us to their very own games. We had a selection of unreleased games in various stages of development available to play on the night, giving players a rare opportunity to be beta testers for these brand new ideas.

We're pleased to say that, one year later, we are repeating this fantastic opportunity! Proud Lion will once again be hosting a Beta Games Night for local tabletop designers to test out their ideas, get some feedback, and network with other tabletop creators and players. This will take place at our normal board games evening event on Saturday 12 September at Boston Tea Party from 6:30pm until 9pm.

To make this possible, we do ask a few things of our creators and players. For those of you interested in playing these games, we will ask you to sign a basic non-disclosure agreement (NDA) when you arrive at the event. This is purely in the interest of protecting the designers' creations and prevent them from becoming publicised. Please note this is only required if you wish to take part in the beta evening. (Creators please be aware you will also be asked to sign the NDA.)

If you want to showcase your game, we have a few rules that must be followed to ensure the event goes as smoothly as possible. We ask that you email with the following information about your game: title (working title is fine), brief description of the gameplay, current state of your game (alpha stage, beta stage, working prototype, professional prototype, etc.), and how many players it can hold. We have no problem with people having only initial paper prototypes, but please ensure your game is fully playable. Furthermore, all games must be your own creation, and must have been tested by yourself prior to attending the event.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Rae has too many games in her head this week, so naturally wants to add a few more...

Monday, 3 August 2015

New staff appointments!

by Ben Fardon

As many of you will already be aware, Proud Lion recently began looking for a part-time staff member. I am happy to announce this position has now been filled. Maya Rose has joined the team as our new Retail Assistant. Please give her a warm welcome whilst we proceed with her training.

I would also like to announce that our resident game guru Rae Hurley has become our Assistant Manager. In addition to her full time employment elsewhere, she will be available at the shop on a part-time basis, and will continue to run our schedule of Proud Lion events. She will also be managing many aspects of the website, which will be relaunching very soon.

The team is growing, and we're excited to see where the next chapter of Proud Lion takes us. Stay tuned for more details about the new Click-And-Collect webstore coming soon.

Ben Fardon is getting caught up on emails after a welcome couple of half days off last week! A rare treat!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Big Game Hunting - AvP: The Hunt Begins

by Rae

It's time for Big Game Hunting! This is a monthly gaming event that takes place on the second Saturday of every month. Players will get a chance to learn and play featured games all day long. Each month one or two different games are selected, and all participating players will also receive a voucher for 10% off the featured game(s). This month we're featuring AvP: The Hunt Begins!

AvP: The Hunt Begins is a tabletop skirmish game where one or more players can play as Aliens, Predators, or Marines from the popular Alien and Predator franchises. Each game comes with highly detailed models of all three factions, dozens of room tiles to make multiple configurations, and a rule book packed with scenarios to play.

The scenarios in the book can be played in order to create a narrative, allowing players to build the characters in the factions they play. This enables each faction to gain new skills as they progress through the storyline.

For those who would rather play a straight-up skirmish, that's fine - there's a free-for-all mode that allows players to do away with the scenarios and simply play a head-to-head game. These modes include Last Man Standing, Capture the Flag, Defend the Post, and more.

During the day, we will be running open demos from 11am to 5pm. Feel free to drop in at any time, we're happy to teach you how to play! We will make every effort to have two game sets available, with two small demo games ready to play, to give as many people as possible a chance to give it a go.

Rae discovered the game Acquire this week, thanks to Ben, who may be regretting that decision!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Proud Lion will be closed Thursday, 30 July

by Rae

Proud Lion is working hard this week to bring you all a better experience when visiting our website at In order for us to continue this, we need to complete a full stock take for the store, to make sure our products and information are as up to date as possible.

As a result, Proud Lion will be closed Thursday, 30 July to take stock of our products. The store will be open as normal from Friday 31 July.

Rae still adores Funko Pop! Vinyl, no matter what Jean-Luc has to say!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Proud Lion needs writers!

by Rae

As part of our ongoing mission to improve our online presence, Proud Lion is now actively seeking additional writers for the store's blog. We are looking for people who are skilful at writing reviews of new comics, graphic novels, tabletop games, and TV/films.

Articles written for our blog would be a combination of assigned and free choice reviews, though all chosen subject matter must be approved before submission. Articles are expected to be approximately 500 words in length. Payment for writing is 1p per word, up to a maximum of £5 per article, payable in store credit only. Writers can expect to be assigned, on average, 1 article per week.

If you think you would be an excellent addition to our writing team, please submit a 500 word review in one of the above topics to by Sunday 9 August. Please also include a description of your particular knowledge strengths and previous writing credits (if any). All submissions will be reviewed and all writers will be contacted to let them know whether they have been successful.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Improvements coming to - but first, last chance to grab a bargain!

by Rae

If you fancy a geeky bargain, this weekend will be your last chance to grab reduced items from our online outlet store! Customers have until midnight, Sunday 26 July, to take advantage of reduced items currently for sale online at!

Proud Lion Outlet Store currently provides end of line items that have been reduced to clear, with the option of paid shipping or free collection in store. While this has provided some of our customers with another avenue of shopping with us, we wish to expand the webstore to provide more functionality. In order to achieve this, we need to make some improvements to, which will require a small amount of downtime.

From Monday 27 July, the webstore will be temporarily under maintenance. Once this essential work is complete, we hope to provide you with an improved online shopping experience. More details will be released once the maintenance is finished and the refreshed webstore is ready!

Rae has a few too many RPG ideas floating around in her head this week.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Carrier bags and charity - Cheltenham Open Door

by Ben Fardon

Hi folks,

The last financial quarter finished a last week, the end of the carrier bags for charity schemes fifteenth full quarter and together we raised a whopping £41.39.

Last time we donated to Comic Relief and the Disasters Emergency Committee's Nepal Earthquake Appeal. This time a local charity was nominated by one of our customers, Joe S.

Cheltenham Open Door supports vulnerable, disadvantaged and lonely people. They work to relieve poverty, hardship and social or emotional distress by offering them hospitality, warmth, food and somewhere to relax. Cheltenham Open Door  rely solely on donations to provide the services they do.

They accept donations of food, clothing and money and the ways you can donate can be found here.

The next carrier bag donation should be in early October. If like Joe, you have a charity you'd like Proud Lion to support, please email me at

Saturday, 20 June 2015

FUNKO POP! OFFER Three for £25!

FUNKO POP! OFFER Three for £25!Buy any three £12 Funko Pop! for £25!25% off all other Funko Pop!Offer valid on Saturday 20th June.
Posted by Proud Lion on Friday, 19 June 2015

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Free RPG Day 2015 @ Proud Lion!

by Rae

In addition to our normal gaming events scheduled throughout the month, this June sees the return of Free RPG Day! On Saturday 20th June, Proud Lion will be hosting sessions of D&D Expeditions, followed by an evening at Boston Tea Party where we will also be running Dread and Star Wars: Edge of the Empire.

D&D Expeditions is the perfect way to get a taste of 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. Each Expedition is only a few hours long – perfect for a quick adventure! We will be running two different Expeditions on the day. The first will run from 10:30am until 3pm. The second will be a split session, running in store from 3:30pm until 5pm, then continuing at Boston Tea Party from 6pm until 9pm.

There will be a maximum of four players for each Expedition, and to ensure Expeditions are balanced, pre-generated characters will be made available - no custom characters will be allowed. Tickets are free, but must be reserved via Ticketsource in order to play. Please note this is not a drop-in, drop-out session – please only reserve a ticket if you will be staying for the complete session!

Our evening offerings at Boston Tea Party will also be free but will again require tickets via Ticketsource. Our first, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, is based on the adventure contained within the Beginner Box, and serves as an excellent introduction into this science fiction RPG. Our second evening game will be Dread, a horror RPG that is centred around a classic game of Jenga. Both games will run from 6pm to 9pm at Boston Tea Party and can support up to four players. Again, both games will be using pre-generated characters for all players.

In order to reserve your space for one of these games, please follow the link below to our Ticketsource page, where you can select which game you wish to play and claim a spot.

In order to ensure as many people as possible get a chance, we are limiting each player to playing only one of the above games on the day.

However, that doesn't mean you can't bring your own games! Feel free to grab your friends and run an RPG of your own along side us in the evening. We'd love to see more people getting involved and trying out different RPG systems! We'll see you all on Free RPG Day!

Rae has a lot of RPG stories in her head this week!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Big Game Hunting: Splendor Demo-Tournament

It's time for Big Game Hunting! This is a regular gaming event that takes place on the second Saturday of every month.  Players will get a chance to learn and play featured games all day long. This month we're doing something a bit different, and offering what we think of as a demo-tournament, featuring the fantastic Splendor!

Splendor is a brilliant strategy game which has players collecting gems and purchasing mines in the hopes of gaining power and influence. If one is able to acquire the right combination of mines, a noble will visit them, bringing that player even more influence. The winner is the player with the most influence points at the end of the game. The rules are wonderfully simple and easy to learn, making this game incredibly accessible yet difficult to master – especially if another player manages to snag that mine you've been saving up gems for!

So how will this demo-tournament work? We will, as usual, be teaching the game all day between 10:30am and 5pm. However, unlike other Big Game Hunting events, there will be an entry fee to play as many games of Splendor as you like for £4, paid on the day only. The reason is, for this event only, we are able to offer a chance to win some fantastic gaming kit to take home! Take a look at what you could get:

  • An alternate gem token with every game played, to a maximum of five.
  • A sixth Golden Jack gem token for earning a complete set of five tokens.
  • A pack of four alternate noble cards for the first fifteen players.
  • A full copy of the Splendor game (RRP £25) and a dedicated play mat for the overall highest scoring player over the day (to be drawn randomly in the case of a tie).
  • A full copy of the Splendor game (RRP £25) and a dedicated play mat for one randomly drawn player from the day (highest scoring winner not eligible).

Players will also get their usual 10% discount voucher off Splendor (may need to be ordered, depending on availability). Please note that players will only be allowed to play consecutive games if there are no other players waiting to join in. Gem tokens and noble cards are only available while stocks last. The highest scoring player will not also be eligible for the random draw prize.

See you Saturday 13th June!

(We are sorry to say we will no longer be offering games of Krosmaster for this event as previously advertised. This is due to stock issues at supplier level. Krosmaster events will be scheduled in future, check back soon for more details.)

Rae can't believe it took her this long to get her own copy of Splendor!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Big Game Hunting Live - Colt Express and Takenoko

by Rae

It's time for Big Game Hunting Live! This is a monthly gaming event that takes place every month.

(Please note that May's Big Game Hunting Live has been pushed back a week to accommodate for Free Comic Book Day at the beginning of the month, and will be taking place on the 16th May.)

Players will get a chance to learn and play featured games all day long. This month we're featuring two excellent games: Colt Express and Takenoko!

In Colt Express, you play as a bandit, determined to become the richest bandit the Old West has ever seen. But you're not the only one who's decided this here train is yours to plunder, and you'll be competing against your fellow bandits to get the most loot! This game features a 3D train which allows players to run on the roof, move through the cars, and punch or shoot their way through opponents in an attempt to gather the most wealth from the passengers. Players have to watch out for the Marshal, though, who will make that task even more challenging!

In Takenoko, players are caring for the bamboo garden of the Japanese emperor. Not only must they ensure that the three types of bamboo continue to grow by irrigating and cultivating plots of land, but they must also look after the sacred panda who inhabits the garden. The panda will help itself to its share of bamboo, so it's up to the players to ensure the panda's appetite is steered in the right direction.

During the day, we will be running open demos from 10:30am to 5pm for both games. Feel free to drop in at any time, we're happy to teach you how to play!

See you Saturday 16th May!

All participants will receive a voucher that entitles them to 10% off Colt Express and Takenoko.

Rae thinks there are too many board games and not enough time to play them all!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Free Comic Book Day 2015!

by Rae

Tomorrow will see Proud Lion taking part in Free Comic Book Day! This annual event takes place the first Saturday in May as a celebration of comics, allowing readers to delve into familiar favourites or discover something new. As in previous years, Proud Lion is pleased to say we will have a fantastic selection of free comics for you to pick from!

Many of you will remember our previous Free Comic Book Day events, and will already be aware that our supply of free comics tends to disappear very quickly. Last year in particular saw our tables emptied within an hour! We want to ensure everyone who visits the shop on the day gets a chance to pick up a free comic, so to allow them to last a little longer, we are changing the rules slightly from previous years.

For this year's Free Comic Book Day, every visitor to the shop will be able to take up to five free comics. This means you can pick up one copy of up to five different titles you think you'd like to read! All our available titles will be on offer from 10am, and it will be first come, first served. If there's something in particular you'd like to get your hands on, try and get down early to make sure you don't miss out!

FCBD 2014, photo courtesy of @OldManRupee
Here's a list of the free comics we will have on offer:

  • 2000 AD Special
  • And Then Emily Was Gone #0
  • Bobs Burgers
  • Bongo Comics Free-For-All!
  • Boom Studios 10th Anniversary FCBD Special
  • Dark Circle Comics #1
  • Dark Horse Fight Club The Goon The Strain
  • DC Comics Divergence FCBD Preview
  • DC Comics Teen Titans/Scooby Doo Team-Up
  • Doctor Who Special
  • Legendary Comics Sampler
  • Marvel’s All-New, All-Different Avengers #1
  • Marvel’s Secret Wars #0 FCBD
  • Motorcycle Samurai
  • Neil Gaiman’s Lady Justice
  • Perfect Square Presents Pokemon
  • Savage Dragon Legacy
  • Sonic The Hedgehog Mega Man Worlds Unite Prelude
  • Spongebob Freestyle Funnies
  • Steampunk Goldilocks
  • Street Fighter Super Combo Special
  • Stuff Of Legend Call To Arms
  • The Tick
  • TMNT Prelude To Vengeance
  • Transformers Robots In Disguise #0

We will have guests Jon Lock and Lucy Brown in store, with a selection of books from Big Punch Studios. Don't forget to pick up your free copy of the FCBD special edition of Big Punch Magazine! (This does not count as one of your five free comics.)

In addition, we will be offering the first 100 attendees an opportunity to choose either FCBD 2015 CBLDF DEFEND COMICS or FCBD 2015 OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE as an extra free comic, sponsored by True Believers Comic Festival 2016! The first 50 customers to make a purchase in store will also receive a free True Believers 2016 badge.

If there are more than five comics you're interested in, we will be re-opening the free comic tables from 3pm for readers who are looking to pick up extra titles. Please note this is only while stocks last!

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Rae and Ben will be up bright and early in the morning to make all the final preparations for FCBD.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Carrier bags and charity - Red Nose Day & the Disasters Emergency Committee's Nepal Earthquake Appeal

by Ben Fardon

Hi folks,

With all the major works going on behind the scenes last year, we've fallen behind on telling you about our charitable donations from the carrier bags, but the scheme is still going on!

The months of October-December 2014 were our 15th full quarter and together we raised £42.30.

The months of January-March 2015 were our 16th full quarter and together we raised £36.44.

Last time we donated to the United Nations System Response to the Ebola Outbreak. This trust was set up to unite efforts of the UN to stop the outbreak, treat the infected, ensure continuity within affected countries and prevent outbreaks in countries currently unaffected.  Our contribution will provide vital support to the United Nations as it works to halt the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and treat the thousands of people who have been infected with Ebola virus disease. Thanks to our contribution, the World Health Organization will be able to procure vital supplies, such as personal protective equipment and chlorine, as well as provide crucial technical assistance to the governments of Ebola-affected countries.

For the 15th quarter, we've donated that £42.30 to Comic Relief, an organisation that needs no introduction!

For the 16th quarter, we're donating that £36.44 to the Disasters Emergency Committee's Nepal Earthquake Appeal. As the DEC only takes donations in whole numbers, I've taken the liberty of rounding the donation up to £40.00.

On Saturday 25 April a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. It severely shook the lives of at least 5.3m people and left many homeless.  Nepal’s major cities, including the capital Kathmandu, have been badly damaged and rural areas near the epicentre have been completely cut off by avalanches.

Already over 3000 people have been confirmed dead and the figure is likely to rise significantly in the coming days. Even those whose homes are still standing are sleeping in the streets because they are terrified by regular aftershocks.

DEC member agencies and their partners are working urgently to provide emergency shelter, food, clean water and blankets.  Once immediate, life-saving needs are met they will work with individuals, families and communities to support them to rebuild their lives.  You can help by making a donation now. - taken from the DEC website

The next carrier bag donation should be in early July. If you have a charity you'd like Proud Lion to support, please email me at

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Delayed delivery this week

by Ben Fardon

I'm sorry to say folks that we've just had the following email from our comic supplier:

Dear Retailer,

Due to an unforeseen error a large number of deliveries were not picked up last night. The problem has now been rectified. Unfortunately due to this some retailers will only receive their delivery on Wednesday.

We wish to apologise for this unforeseen issue and for any inconvenience that this may cause. 

Unfortunately we are one of the affected retailers and won't receive our comics until Wednesday.

Comics will be available as soon as possible on Wednesday, but it's unlikely to be before 1pm.

UPDATE: So we had four boxes arrive after all (with about ten more still outstanding) which has most of our new release comics so they'll be available from 10am tomorrow.

The comics that remain missing until tomorrow afternoon are:
2000AD, Borderlands, Drones, Galaxy Quest, Godzilla Rulers Of Earth, Hinterkind, The Names and Zombies Vs. Robots.

Stay tuned to our social media feeds for more news on the day.

To compound the issue slightly, we will be closed on Thursday 23rd April for annual leave (aka Ben and Rae have a rare day off together and go and see Avengers: Age Of Ultron whilst the Munchkin is at school and before anyone spoils it for us!). Apologies for any inconvenience but we will be open Friday and Saturday as usual. 

Ben Fardon is now dreading tomorrow. Thank goodness for a break on Thursday!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

PREVIEWS MAR-APR15 - Marvel's Secret Wars

by Ben Fardon

I can't lie folks, this has been a tough one to put together. After the chaos of Convergence, I was very excited by the prospect of Secret Wars, until we actually began to see the vast array of new titles and the uncertainty that came with it.

Thankfully in the last few weeks, details have begun to emerge about April's Secret Wars titles and Marvel have gone on record as to which titles are ending as Secret Wars kicks off. This makes things much easier!

I think we can now divide Secret Wars into several distinct sections. Firstly we have the main Secret Wars title and a couple of ancillary anthology titles. Secondly, there are a series of interesting titles revisiting classic Marvel events from the last few decades. Finally we have a long list of new titles that expand the new Secret Wars' Battleworld setting in a variety of ways.

But what is Secret Wars? Well simply put, Secret Wars spins out of the recent Jonathan Hickman Avengers titles as the main Marvel Universe as we know it collides with the Ultimate Marvel Universe in what is being called the final incursion. The good news is you don't need to have been reading Avengers or New Avengers over the last couple of years to get into Secret Wars, as the collision of these two realities has created a brand new world in which most of the characters have no idea that this isn't the way things have always been.

The titular Secret Wars miniseries itself is the main event. Written by Jonathan Hickman, this is the spine of the whole event. If you read nothing else, read this book. 

This is accompanied by Secret Wars Battleworld - a title akin to the Vs. miniseries during AvX - featuring all the knockdown, drag out fights that are probably just to crazy to feature anywhere else during this event.

The final part of this initial section is an anthology series called Secret Wars Journal where every issue will feature a couple of short stories jumping around and highlighting different, small but significant parts of the Battleworld.

Both Secret Wars Battleworld and Secret Wars Journal feel to me like ones for completists and not essential if your looking to save the pennies for other titles on the list below.

After that we have an array of titles re-visiting classic storylines and events from Marvel's past including beloved adaptations such as the 1992 X-Men animated series. A lot of existing Marvel titles are ending to make room for these - in fact some are direct continuations or analogues of previous titles now shaped to fit in with Secret Wars. More on those later.

Finally, there's a bunch of Marvel titles that aren't coming to an end, but are instead telling Last Days stories detailing the final adventures of the features characters before the final incursion. These titles include Black Widow, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers, Loki: Agent of Asgard, Magneto, Ms. Marvel, The Punisher and Silver Surfer.

Confused yet? Well, let's see if a quick look at the full list of titles (revealed so far!) helps a little. Here you go:

Secret Wars: Battleworld
  • Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies
  • Ghost Racers
  • Inhumans Attilan Rising
  • Korvac Saga
  • Marvel Zombies
  • Master of Kung Fu
  • Red Skull
  • Runaways
  • Secret Wars: Battleworld
  • Secret Wars Journal
  • Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde
  • Thors
  • Ultimate End

Secret Wars: Warzones
  • 1602: Witch Hunter Angela
  • 1872
  • A-Force
  • The Age of Apocalypse
  • Armor Wars
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows
  • Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders
  • Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps
  • Civil War
  • Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars
  • E Is for Extinction
  • Future Imperfect
  • Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX
  • Guardians of Knowhere
  • Hail Hydra
  • House of M
  • Inferno
  • Infinity Gauntlet
  • M.O.D.O.K. Assassin
  • Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos
  • Old Man Logan
  • Planet Hulk
  • Secret Wars 2099
  • Siege
  • Spider-Island
  • Spider-Verse
  • Squadron Sinister
  • Weirdworld
  • Where Monsters Dwell
  • X-Men '92
  • X-Tinction Agenda
  • Years of Future Past

Secret Wars: Last Days
  • Black Widow
  • Captain America and the Mighty Avengers
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard
  • Magneto
  • Ms. Marvel
  • The Punisher
  • Silver Surfer

For more details on each group of titles, click on the header to take you to the explanations!

In the hopes of making life easier for everyone, we've taking the liberty of creating a matrix - a list of everything that was coming out, followed by a list of the Secret Wars comics we'd recommend you get as a replacement. I've taken the liberty of automatically signing our Reservation Service customers up for our recommended titles, but these can be removed without our usual notice period up to the point of release. I've been trying to take the time to talk to you all about these new titles when you pop in, but if I don't see you before Secret Wars kicks off, please do email me for a pdf copy of your current pull list and then we can make alterations where required.

I hope that all makes sense!

Here's a look at that matrix (apologies for the jpeg):

If there's anything else I can do to help with Secret Wars, please do get in touch. I'm really excited for this event, I think it's going to be a whirlwind tour through some of Marvel's greatest moments before leading into the new status quo for the House Of Ideas. I hope you'll join us!

Ben Fardon was very, very happy with Daredevil on Netflix. Roll on AKA Jessica Jones.

Friday, 10 April 2015

TableTop Day 2015 [Gather Your] Party! Exhibition Games

by Rae

At this Saturday's TableTop Day evening event at 2PIGS, we will be running three exhibition games (in addition to all the other awesome games available). These are Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Trek: Attack Wing, and D&D Attack Wing!

Star Trek: Attack Wing – Borg vs. DS9
In this oversized mission, players will be taking sides with either the Oversized Borg Cube or the DS9 to see which team will be the last one standing! Players are asked to bring a 60-point fleet of one or two ships following the standard fleet-building rules. Both the Borg and DS9 will be balanced against the opposing number of players to ensure an even match. The winner (by player ballot) will win a Tactical Cube 001!

D&D Attack Wing – Tiamat, Dragon Queen
Players will be faced with their greatest challenge yet – Tiamat herself. Bring a 80-point legion following standard legion-building rules to team up against the queen of dragons! But be warned, Tiamat may not be alone, and her own army could be more than one bargains for. The winner (by player ballot) will win an Young Bronze Dragon!*

Star Wars: X-Wing – A Podrace in Space
In this game variant, players will not be duking it out over a star map; instead they will be racing around our Pitchcar track in a Deathrace-style showdown! Players will complete one of three laps of the course, picking up random one-use secondary weapons as they move over bonus tokens on the track. The first one to the finish line will win a Han Solo alternate art promo card!

Players are invited to bring a single fighter ship and manoeuvre dial. All ships must have a small base, and cost no more than 30 points. No upgrades are allowed, and all primary weapons, boost, and cloaking abilities will be disabled. Ships with shields will not be able to perform any manoeuvre higher than a “4”. Please bring any required tokens and manoeuvre templates with you.

Doors for [Gather Your] Party! open at 6:30pm, with games set to start at 7pm. Tickets cost £3 in advance, or £5 on the door. See you there!

* The prize for D&D Attack Wing was previously listed as an Aarakocra legion. This was in error, and has now been amended.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Big Game Hunting Live - TableTop Day 2015 Schedule of Games

by Rae

In just a week's time, we'll be inviting you all to come and play games with us from 10am to 11pm for International TableTop Day! On 11 April players can get involved in tabletop games in three different locations during the day and potentially win some awesome gaming kit in our prize draw. You can also get yourself a ticket to our special evening event, [Gather Your] Party! To get more details, check out our previous posts for the daytime events and the evening party.

Here at Proud Lion, we've got a full day planned of several different games. For those of you who want to plan your day to get as much gaming in as possible, here's a look at our current game schedule!

10am-11:30am: Small games (Batman Love Letter, Age of War, Where Art Thou Romeo, Council of Verona, and more)

11:30am – 12:30pm: Munchkin, Fluxx

12:30pm – 2pm: Dark Seas, Dead Man's Draw

2pm – 3pm: Castle Panic/Munchkin Panic, Forbidden Desert

3pm – 4pm: Alhambra, Geek Out

4pm – 5pm: Terror in Meeple City

For small games, we will be able to sit up to eight people. For all other games, we will have space for up to four players, running multiple games where possible. While we do want to encourage people to just turn up and play, if there is a particular game you have your heart set on, you can claim a spot at the table in advance by sending an email to (Please note that if you book a spot and do not arrive by the game's start time, your spot will be given to another player.)

In addition to this, we will have a few all-day games and spot prizes to award in store. You will be able to guess how many dice are rattling around in our dice jar, find the hidden Lost Legacy, and get your hands on some vouchers and gaming promo stuff!

If you're planning on coming in, feel free to let us know on our Facebook event (or click here for the[Gather Your] Party! event). Until then, play more games!

Rae is looking forward to a full Easter Sunday of friends and gaming.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

New Beginnings - Red One #1

by Matt Puddy

What happens when America’s greatest superhero is a Russian spy?

Well it’s certainly an interesting question to ask and the exact one that this week’s comic poses. Red One, by relative newcomer Xavier Dorison, is set back in the Seventies at the height of the Cold war. Opening in America at a controversial movie screening, the scene is set with the outrage and affront to moral decency that the film's release has caused. As a result of it all the leading lady is singled out and attacked by a shadowy figure simply referred to as the Carpenter. His actions are fanning the flames though and the more he strikes the more that he inspires for the cause.

Around the world several months later, a young Russian agent is seen putting young recruits as well as older agents to shame with her prowess, and to a degree her attitude. If anything in the contrary to the stereotypes many people have about Seventies, Russia she has a very liberal lifestyle. All of that has to come to an end though when she is summoned to find out her new and highly secretive mission.

To infiltrate the United States.

Armed with a Walkman (which cunningly hid a receiver), some rather revealing clothes and her can-do attitude, Vera heads for the States with a mission to emulate the quietly rising popularity of comic book icons such as Batman by using her physical attributes in more ways than one. This is a point which is highly emphasised when she finally meets her contact in the United States who provides her with a uniform (of sorts), which is apparently a little revealing, although that’s not something Vera is afraid of. With the first part of her infiltration well on the way to being a success, the only way is up.

The Dodsons provide the artwork for the series with some fantastic work. I earlier reviewed Princess Leia which also featured the Dodson’s artwork, but somehow even though it’s the same artist and colourist paring, the work here feels cleaner and better. Lines are neat and fresh, and the colour work matches and shifts with the environment creating a real feel for the different locations we see people in.

There is one thing that did irk me a little though, and that is the premise of the whole comic is based around a Russian spy imbedded in the American system, but in this first issue we just haven’t got there yet. This is an incredibly fun comic to read, but it might have been better if it had started in media res, jumping right into the heart of the action. That said it will be good to see this develop and the hijinks that Vera finds herself in as she adjusts to Western capitalist society. Along the way there is also the idea that she has to win the hearts and minds of the American public by being a hero too, which could put her in direct opposition to the Carpenter. Will she manage it? Will it be a bust? And who will she fight it out with? Only future issues will tell.

Matt Puddy is intrigued to see how this miniseries pans out.

New Beginnings - Southern Cross #1

by Matt Puddy

Image has always been an interesting publisher for me. Aside from the all-star line up of partners and founders that they have (Kirkman, Silvestri, McFarlane et al), I’ve often found that they take a slightly different approach to comics outside of the stereotypical masks and capes approach that the mainstream and first identified publishers such as Marvel and DC.

This week’s comic is a good representation of this. There’s nothing super, nothing powered and nothing mystical (so far) to push it along. Instead we have a story driven by a normal woman on the path to find out what has happened to her sister. When working in admin, it’s not that life threatening a role to play, even in a science fiction setting.

The opening to the series, by Becky Cloonan, is very akin to a murder mystery and quite reminiscent of something I would expect to see Hercule Poirot bobbing around in. This is a scene and pacesetter for the entire run right from the word go. The tone, both visually and literally, is created and there is an awkward rough feel to the story which is perfect for Alex Braith making her way to Titan surrounded by the roughnecks and workers bound for the refining station on Titan. There are a number of contradictions presented to you as well as you would find in life, which aid the story to feel more realistic, even though it’s set in the future. The mix of personalities which bond and clash is akin to the everyday relationships that everyone finds themselves in. From a wider perspective the claustrophobic feel of a close-quartered tanker, combined with the simple enormity of the ship itself is another great example of this.

As Alex moves through the ship she meets people who will no doubt shape her tale in more than one way. The doctor, the captain and her bunkmate for example. But everything takes a twist later on in this first issue. Whilst on a routine walk around the ship she is shown the gravity drive. Something takes her away. Did her mind drift or did she really see her sister calling out for help? Something is awry and only the inquest she is on will resolve it.

Working with Becky Cloonan is Andy Belanger on pencils. As I mentioned before the artwork is befitting the story. Lee Loughridge’s colouring certainly adds to this as well. Thoughout the issue there is a great level of detail in the surroundings which is fantastic, even when you get to the end and find an advert for positions on the crew along with schematics of the ship and station. The geek in me loved these extra little touches at the end. This is quite possibly due to my love of the Sulaco and Nostromo, but even so I thought they were great.

The visual characterisations are a little basic for my preferences, but even so there is a lot of interaction displayed and passed on by them. Overall the tone is further supported by the colouring. Individually the different aspects have varying merits but all together it works well.

As a first issue it has enough to keep you reading and asking questions. For a stop outside of the normal it’s a good one.

Matt Puddy is continually delighted by the variety Image are bringing to the shelves.

New Beginnings - Princess Leia #1

by Matt Puddy

Further celebrating the reacquisition of the Star Wars license by Marvel, their next offering is the first issue of a miniseries centred around Princess Leia.

The series is written by Mark Waid who seems to have written a bit of everything in his illustrious career so far with the exception of Star Wars, meaning that it is also a new beginning of sorts for him as well.

As with the other titles that Marvel have brought to the shelves for Star Wars, Princess Leia fits into the wider plan to create a new continuity after Episode IV A New Hope. However, what we also get to see is a slightly different perspective on things. Commencing immediately from the ceremony at the end of the film, Leia is still addressing the Rebel pilot and troops in the ruins on Yavin 4, but not all is going across well. Her strong feelings of duty mean that she doesn’t always come across as caring as could be, and thus she has already earned herself the nickname of the Ice Princess.

This creates a rift between her and almost everyone around her. The Empire are tracking the rebels down as they speak and a mass evacuation is required.

From a reader's perspective there is a great bit of levity added when you see Admiral Akbar becoming more and more frustrated with proceedings not being as quick or as smooth as he'd like. This scene definitely featured the funniest line in this first issue for me, as he shouts at a human for only looking at one thing at a time.

At a loss of what she can do – now that there is a 10 million credit bounty on her head – she begins to get frustrated. Avenues are closed to her by one of the heads of the Rebellion, as she is such a high priority target now. But that won’t stop her. Before she goes stir crazy on the base she finds a way to get out, and she embarks on a self imposed quest to find the remaining surviving Alderaanians.

Partnering Waid on this is Terry Dodson, an artist with an almost as impressively long list of accolades to his work. His style is probably best described as soft edges, with easily identifiable characters presented in a very pleasing way. There aren’t harsh lines and this makes it a nice easy read with as your eyes effortlessly dart across the pages.

This is supported further by a very simple and sombre colouring by Terry’s wife Rachel Dodson. It’s not all muted though, and things like the bright orange jumpsuits and the occasional flashes of red make the frames pop without being too over-the-top. It all blends together very well.

As an issue there is a strange feeling of Leia being a Rebel without a cause or at worst a slightly petulant princess not allowed out. There’s also the odd non-friendship towards the end which cuddles a touch of animosity up to smiles and admiration, adding an odd couple dynamic to the mix.

For me this made for a slightly lacklustre issue. However, this is also dictated by the way that there wasn’t a giant amount of action. If you’re a fan of it there was a lot of politically driven talk, and we got to see a lot of people with it getting a little sneaky towards the end which certainly picked it up for me as well. Setting the scene in one issue is always hard, but the greater universe has been opened up for our gallant princess.

Matt Puddy notes that Ben felt this was an issue full of great character development, but to each their own!

New Beginnings - Spider-Gwen #1

by Matt Puddy

If you’re looking for positive affirmation that the chaps and chapesses at Marvel take notice of their fans then look no further than Spider-Gwen. Born from the love of a character design that became a prominent part of Spider-Verse, this is Gwen Stacey reborn.

As a character, Gwen has had an impressive development and evolution. In her early days it would be fair to say that she fell well into the realms of a generic female character there to support or drive the main male protagonist and that her death was ultimately the equivalent of Kyle Rayner finding his girlfriend dead and stuffed into his fridge, thus providing the impetus to strive to be a better Spider-Man for one Peter Parker. Over the years that has somewhat changed with her taking more of an active role culminating in her position now.

In true Spidey fashion though this isn’t straight forward, and although there are no clones or time travelling involved this Gwen is from another world – Earth 65 to be precise – with the salient difference being that she was the one bitten by the spider in this reality whilst Peter pushed himself and took Dr Connors’ role in becoming the Lizard. Also in the true vein of all things Spidey it was that “death” of Parker that has Spider-Gwen vilified in the eyes of the public by none other than (yup you’ve guessed it) J Jonah Jameson.

As a quick side note other version of notable Marvel characters do make a quick cameo, such as Officer Ben Grimm and Detective Frank Castle, but for the whole most of the normal portrayals are on point aside for a little artistic license.

Jason Latour’s story opens with a bit of a recap and retcon on her backstory, as well as a slight nudge in the right direction for those who didn’t read her main story in Spider-Verse. In a bold move she unmasked herself to her father thus changing the dynamic in a way that “our” Peter never did.

Shifting straight into the story we find that the Vulture is stalking the city and you know that Gwen is going to be dragged into it all at some point. Admittedly there is also some Parker-esque personal troubles too, such as her career with the Mary-Janes, the egotistically-named all-girl band in which Gwen was once their drummer, as well as discovering that someone out there had put a hit on her father.

We all know where this is going; there’s going to be a showdown which is only hastened by the police posting the Vulture's address for all to see. Gwen tries to track him down but instead gets found herself culminating in a fight between the two as another age old question rears its head and turns into a cliffhanger. Can spiders fly?

Robbi Rodriguez is the artist for this new series and it’s fair to say he certainly has his own style. Spider-Gwen herself is very lithe and feminine, much like all the other female characters. The male depictions felt a little overemphasised though. Frank Castle has a strong male frame with wide shoulders and big chest, for example, but also a bit of a small face. It makes for an interesting mix as I found myself loving some of it but not all of it.

Fans will no doubt flock to get this issue, whether they are the newly minted Gwen fans or if they are Spidey fans who have continued on from the Verse. I enjoyed it but wasn’t as wowed as I would have liked to be. Still a great start to a title that is likely to go far.

Matt Puddy is just getting warmed up...

Friday, 13 March 2015

Big Game Hunting Live presents TableTop Day 2015 [Gather Your] Party!

by Rae

For this year's International TableTop Day, Proud Lion are proud to present the TableTop Day 2015 [Gather Your] Party! Join us from 6:30pm until 11pm at 2PIGS in Cheltenham for an epic evening of board and party games! We will be playing host to an assortment of games, including:
  • Cash 'N Guns tournament, where players will compete for a place at the top table, the Mafia Don Showdown!
  • exhibition-style Star Trek: Attack Wing, where players are invited to bring a 60 point fleet (one or two ships) to join forces with the Oversized Borg Cube or help defend the DS9! *
  • Star Wars: X-Wing "Podrace In Space", where players are invited to bring a single ship (points TBD) and speed through two laps to be first to the finish line! This is just a bit of fun for TableTop Day! *
  • D&D Attack Wing custom scenario, where players are invited to bring a 80 point legion to combat each other over hand crafted tabletop scenery! *
  • late night game of Cards Against Humanity, minimum age 16 - please be aware this game can be considered offensive and may not suitable for those of a sensitive disposition!
  • Dead of Winter (TableTop Edition), a new and very popular post-apocalypse game where humanity is struggling to survive a zombie infestation, but a betrayer hides amongst them...
  • Pints of Blood: it's Shaun of the Dead in board game form. Seriously. We may even put the soundtrack on!

Several more games will be available to play, but feel free to bring your own as well! Every ticket purchased includes one entry into the Cheltenham TableTop Day Prize Draw. More details about the prize draw will be available soon.

* Please contact Proud Lion to reserve a slot for the Star Trek: Attack Wing, Star Wars: X-Wing, or D&D Attack Wing games. Participation is open to all ticket holders.

A free buffet will be available to all ticket holders in the venue, and drinks will be available for purchase from the bar.

So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets now!

Tickets are available for ages 14+. Children under 14 are free when accompanied by a paying adult (maximum two children per adult). Advance tickets will be available for purchase until 5pm on the day. Tickets purchased online will incur a 50p booking fee. Tickets on the door will be available from 6:30pm for £5.00.

Rae is starting to wonder if she can clone herself and play all the games.