DP9's Gear Up reminds me of what White Dwarf should have been. Not only does it have advertisements for new products and previews of upcoming supplemental books, but it has exclusive content like special characters, sample armies (complete with things like suggested strategies on how to best utilize each Combat Group and extra TV to use how you see fit), but the Pod has also seen fit to include step-by-step instructions (including photos) on how to utilize new tactics for new armies (like SIN Clusters).
The first issue even includes a Field Test section in which the Pod looks at changing Defense modifiers so that each Gear or Strider is more balanced, breathing life into long-time-iconic-yet-practically-under-performing machines like the Mammoth.
Oh, and I have to mention the art. DP9 has recently contracted a new artist (who did the cover among other pieces), and she's great. The art of Heavy Gear has always been awesome, but she's just upped the ante. The regular artists make their usual contributions as well, making this one of the best-looking supplements I've seen.
Oh, and speaking of art, there's a new one-page-per-issue comic included. If you've ever wondered about the Prime Knights and what they have to do with the history of Terra Nova, you might want to tune in. Revealing stuff.
Gear Up Issue 1 is probably the biggest clue as to the Pod's new direction under new management, as it shows a bigger focus on making Heavy Gear Blitz! more player-friendly. And that includes the fact that it's FREE.
(Beat THAT, Games Workshop!)
[5 of 5 Stars!]