COMIC REVIEW: Sláine - Books of Invasions 1
Non-stop battles and blood...
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Sláine: Books of Invasions can best be compared to a blockbuster movie sequel. Where Sláine: The Horned God (read our review HERE) had the obligatory task to establish the tale's epic background and characters, Invasions has the relaxed freedom to dive right in to the action. It's like Marvel creating a film about Iron Man's origin just so he can later duke it out in The Avengers.
Books of Invasions Volume 1 kicks off with a bang, opening with Sláine at a pub and being confronted by numerous Sea Devils, mutant amphibious creatures with an inclination for pain and suffering. Fifteen of the vile monstrosities prove no match for Sláine and his axe... the violent encounter acting as an excellent prelude to the main story to come. Titled "Moloch," the first half of Invasions deals with Sláine's bloody battle against the thousands of Sea Devils invading his homeland. Led by the sadistic Moloch, all appears lost for Tir Nan Og... until Sláine is unchained (literally) and his Hulk-like "warp spasm" takes over. "Golamh" continues with a new aquatic threat - the "five-limbed ones" called Quinotaurs, humans physically attached to - and enslaved by - crustacean-like Sea Demons. These aren't just any ordinary human slaves, however, the Sea Demon hosts in this story are warriors from a long lost civilization: Atlantis!
Back on writing duty is 2000 AD and Sláine creator Pat Mills. Where the vast, sweeping story of The Horned God was more serious in tone, Books of Invasions 1 loosens up with a lighter and more focused look at a couple of Sláine's key conflicts. You can tell Mills is much more relaxed with his creation, the painful labor of childbirth traded in for the joy of raising a child. Like The Horned God, Invasions is immensely imaginative (parasitic Atlantean Sea Demons?!). Unlike The Horned God, Invasions is packed from cover to cover with non-stop battles and blood. Those seeking action will love this book, Invasions truly lives up to its name.
Bringing these fantastic stories to life is the fantastic art of Clint Langley. While Simon Bisley's art practically defined Sláine to a generation, Clint Langley's style takes the Celtic hero into the 21st century with his unique blend of fully painted art and digital manipulation. At times photo realistic, others expressionistic and surreal, Langley's take on Sláine is jaw-dropping in detail and gorgeous with his use of color. In particular, his work for "Golamh" truly stands out, the Quinotaurs oozing in eye-melting Lovecraftian insanity and the Princess Scota popping off the pages with her unique hieroglyphic tattooed sex appeal.
Released late last month, Sláine: Book of Invasions 1 continues 2000 AD's mission to enlighten North America with its brilliant brand of sci-fi/fantasy. It has certainly opened my eyes... I had no idea Sláine could be this cool. I'm extremely envious of my British peers who had the chance to read this way back in 2006 with its original release, but hey, better late than never. Find out why 2000 AD is the "Galaxy's Greatest Comic," grab your copy of Sláine: Book of Invasions 1 priced at $19.99 and available at all major U.S. bookstores.
Review By Jeff Saylor
Art and Review Sample Courtesy of 2000 AD