Review – Slaine: The Brutania Chronicles Book 1 (2000AD)

Untitled111Publisher: 2000AD/Rebellion
Script: Pat Mills
Art: Simon Davis
Release Date: 15th January, 2014

There’s a real back to basics feel about the latest Slaine saga. After Clint Langley’s lavish computer and photographic work, Simon Davis’ take on the strip is a massive change in tone. His art looks like it’s been carved out of solid rock, bringing a gravitas to the strip that perfectly complements Pat Mills’ grizzly scripting.

Billed as a perfect jumping-on point for new readers, The Brutania Chronicles Book 1 sees Slaine grudgingly embark on a quest to rescue a maiden from his ancient enemies, the evil Slough Lords and their Fomorian Sea Devil lackeys.

With echoes of the classic Bride Of Crom storyline from 30 years ago, A Simple Killing is aptly named, as it’s a simple story, simply told. The beauty of Pat Mills’ writing is just how much mileage he gets from even the most basic of plots.

The contrast between Slaine’s gnarled dialogue contrasts beautifully with the florid language of the Sloughs, while the build-up to his eventual retribution (to be addressed in a further volume) is peppered with increasing acts of grim heroism.

It’s the arrival of Davis that really sets this book apart though. Each and every page is breathtaking, with the artist drawing on a rich colour pallets of earthy greens and aquatic blues. Slaine’s violent world is depicted here as a place of harsh beauty, with even the most horrific of scenes a feast for the eyes.

Davis’ Slaine is miles from the handsome fantasy warrior that previous artists have depicted, instead his intense and brooding nature is brought to the fore. More than ever, he looks like the brutal tribesman he has always been meant to be. This is not a man you want to get on the wrong side of, something the Sloughs are about to find out.

2000ad weren’t wrong when they said this was an ideal jumping-on point. Everything you need to know is here, hewn in the face of Slaine Mac Roth.

Rating: 4/5.

JULESAV The Writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle
Jules tweets from @Captain_Howdy

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