Tag Archives: 2000ad

Underrated: Slaine: Time Killer

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Slaine: Time Killer.



slainetkSeveral years ago when I was over in the UK I was searching for a graphic novel or trade paperback to buy that originated in Britain. I ended up in a comic shop without much selection in that area, so picked up the only trade they had, which was Slaine: Time Killer, without knowing anything about it. Once I got back to Canada, the TPB still unread, I popped it on the bookshelf without thinking and promptly ignored it for the best part of five years. Yesterday I decided to read it, and today I decided to write about it. So what’s the story about? Well according to the blurb on Goodreads…

“2000 AD’s ever-popular Celtic hero returns in a deluxe collectors’ hardback edition Before the events of ‘The Horned Go”, a group comprising of Slaine; Ukko, his faithful((if evil-smelling) dwarf; Nest, a trainee priestess who knows the secrets of the Land of the Young; and Slaine’s vast, voracious dragon steed, the Knucker, wander Tir-Nan-Og in search of the fortress of the Ever-Living Ones, arch-druids who may hold the key to the final defeat of the evil forces oppressing Slaine’s people. But a chance encounter with a demonic alien race who are besieging the fortess, hurls Slaine and his allies through time… to ever-greater battles, threats, and challenges.”

The Pat Mill‘s scripted stories in this TPB  originally appeared in the weekly British magazine 2000 AD in three separate serialized runs. Dragonheist (with Massimo Belardinelli providing the art), in 2000 AD #361–367 from 1984, and The Time Killer  (with art by Glenn Fabry, David Pugh and Bryan Talbot), in 2000 AD #411–428 and 431–434 from 1985. Those original stories were all black and white, and that’s how they’re reprinted in the 172 page collected edition, which means that the art has a high level of detail and line work packed into each page.

time_killer_02 page

The compact nature of 2000 AD‘s publishing style (anaverage of three to five pages of the story are in each issue of the magazine) mean that the story moves at an incredible pace, with something interesting happening every other page or so. When it comes to a story published nearly thirty five years ago in a weekly anthology style magazine, it’s surprising how well it continues to hold up. The nature of the short bursts of story across multiple weeks means that there are very small recaps at the beginning of each of the reprinted weekly stories mean that there’s never, ever, a danger of losing what’s happening. Unfortunately, the preview text on the back also dictates almost the entirety of the first half of the book (which I have kindly placed up above for you with slightly different wording).

So why is this underrated? Have you ever heard of the character, let alone this specific trade?

Don’t go into this expecting a deep and soul searching journey. This is a Conan the Barbarian style yarn mixed with some fantasy science fiction and a lot of rather gruesome action. The science doesn’t always work, and there are some flaws along the way, such as some hastily explained concepts mere moments before or after they occur in the story. But the second person narrative from Slaine’s companion is enjoyably dry, and the visuals show just how good black  and white art can be (and remember, these strips were published weekly).

That’s all I have for this wee, but next week there will doubtless be another movie, series, comic or comic related thing discussed that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

I’ll see you then.

All Four Members of the Classic Anthrax Lineup Will Contribute to the Among the Living Graphic Novel

Last fall, Z2 Comics announced an upcoming graphic novel inspired by Anthrax, the titans of thrash metal’s landmark 1987 album. The Among the Living graphic novel pulls together a who’s who of names from around comics and music for a track-by-track storyline inspired by one of heavy metal’s most iconic albums. All four members of the classic Anthrax lineup will contribute to the upcoming graphic novel, with Frank Bello writing a chapter, and Joey Belladonna penning the foreword.

An anthology narrated by longtime mascot “The Not Man” newly designed by Greg Nicotero, Among the Living unites bandmembers Joey Belladonna, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, and Scott Ian, with writers Brian Azzarello, Grant Morrison, Jimmy Palmiotti, Brian Posehn, Rick Remender, Corey Taylor, Joseph Trohman, Gerard and Mikey Way, and Rob Zombie, with more to be announced. Artists include Roland Boschi, Maan House, Dave Johnson, Scott Koblish, Darrick Robertson, and Erik Rodriguez, and more, with covers by Charlie Benante, JG Jones, and Eric Powell. As previously announced, Scott Ian will contribute an original story inspired by the fan-favorite anthem “I Am the Law,” featuring the legendary comic book antihero Judge Dredd, in partnership with 2000 AD. This will make official the decades-long connection between the character and the band, rewarding comic book fans and metalheads alike.

Among the Living

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Samurai Grandpa #1

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

AfterShock Shock Vol. 2 (AfterShock) – The anthology comic has entries from RL Stine, Garth Ennis, Jim Starlin, Larry Stroman, Szymon Kudranski, Marguerite Bennett, Jill Thompson, and more… like a brand new Flaming Carrot stroy by Bob Burden!

Ascender #3 (Image Comics) – The series is a fantastic follow Up to Descender and instead of taking on technology, this one focuses on magic. It’s an interesting opposite side of the same coin.

Canto #1 (IDW Publishing) – There’s been a lot of hype around this six-issue miniseries. An enslaved people have had their hearts replaced with clocks and Canto must brave the world to get a girl back her heart.

The Goon #3 (Albatross Funnybooks) – The Goon is an amazing mix of humor, action, and horror, and its return has been fantastic. So much fun with every issue. It’s a horror-ish Popeye and a must for comic fans.

Marilyn Manor #1 (IDW Publishing/Black Crown) – The President’s daughter throws a rager at the White House in 1981… yeah, we’re in for this one.

Operation Overlord #1 (Rebellion/2000AD) – The graphic novel series is translated into English for the first time. It’s four tales set during the Normandy landing on D-Day. Sounds really interesting and really good timing for release.

Road of Bones #2 (IDW Publishing) – The first issue was amazing as prisoners attempt to escape a Russian gulag and the infusion of horror makes it something else.

Samurai Grandpa #1 (Source Point Press) – A retired samurai must wield his blade again to save his granddaughter. It just sounds fun and the cover looks fantastic.

Steel Cage #1 (AHOY Comics) – Three comic stories enter and one leaves! Fans can read this comic and then vote as to which story they want to become a series after!

Transformers/Ghostbusters #1 (IDW Publishing) – Both properties are celebrating 35 years this year and coming together for this miniseries. The concept sounds silly but we’re in to see where it goes.

Underrated: Slaine: Time Killer

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Slaine: Time Killer.



slainetkSeveral years ago when I was over in the UK I was searching for a graphic novel or trade paperback to buy that originated in Britain. I ended up in a comic shop without much selection in that area, so picked up the only trade they had, which was Slaine: Time Killer, without knowing anything about it. Once I got back to Canada, the TPB still unread, I popped it on the bookshelf without thinking and promptly ignored it for the best part of five years. Yesterday I decided to read it, and today I decided to write about it. So what’s the story about? Well according to the blurb on Goodreads…

“2000 AD’s ever-popular Celtic hero returns in a deluxe collectors’ hardback edition Before the events of ‘The Horned Go”, a group comprising of Slaine; Ukko, his faithful((if evil-smelling) dwarf; Nest, a trainee priestess who knows the secrets of the Land of the Young; and Slaine’s vast, voracious dragon steed, the Knucker, wander Tir-Nan-Og in search of the fortress of the Ever-Living Ones, arch-druids who may hold the key to the final defeat of the evil forces oppressing Slaine’s people. But a chance encounter with a demonic alien race who are besieging the fortess, hurls Slaine and his allies through time… to ever-greater battles, threats, and challenges.”

The Pat Mill‘s scripted stories in this TPB  originally appeared in the weekly British magazine 2000 AD in three separate serialized runs. Dragonheist (with Massimo Belardinelli providing the art), in 2000 AD #361–367 from 1984, and The Time Killer  (with art by Glenn Fabry, David Pugh and Bryan Talbot), in 2000 AD #411–428 and 431–434 from 1985. Those original stories were all black and white, and that’s how they’re reprinted in the 172 page collected edition, which means that the art has a high level of detail and line work packed into each page.

time_killer_02 page

The compact nature of 2000 AD‘s publishing style (anaverage of three to five pages of the story are in each issue of the magazine) mean that the story moves at an incredible pace, with something interesting happening every other page or so. When it comes to a story published nearly thirty five years ago in a weekly anthology style magazine, it’s surprising how well it continues to hold up. The nature of the short bursts of story across multiple weeks means that there are very small recaps at the beginning of each of the reprinted weekly stories mean that there’s never, ever, a danger of losing what’s happening. Unfortunately, the preview text on the back also dictates almost the entirety of the first half of the book (which I have kindly placed up above for you with slightly different wording).

So why is this underrated? Have you ever heard of the character, let alone this specific trade?

Don’t go into this expecting a deep and soul searching journey. This is a Conan the Barbarian style yarn mixed with some fantasy science fiction and a lot of rather gruesome action. The science doesn’t always work, and there are some flaws along the way, such as some hastily explained concepts mere moments before or after they occur in the story. But the second person narrative from Slaine’s companion is enjoyably dry, and the visuals show just how good black  and white art can be (and remember, these strips were published weekly).

That’s all I have for this wee, but next week there will doubtless be another movie, series, comic or comic related thing discussed that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

I’ll see you then.

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and more comics hit the shelves yesterday. What’d everyone get?

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – Salt Lake Asks Court to Cancel Comic-Con Trademark – Hopefully this happens.

Penn State – Lecturer’s graphic novel takes a ‘heartbreaking’ look at infertility – Interesting.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – A Town Called Dragon #1

Comic Vine – Aliens: Fire and Stone #1

Comic Vine – Armor Hunters #4

Comic Vine – Booster Gold: Futures End #1

Comic Vine – Cyclops #5

Comic Vine – Deadpool #35

Comic Vine- Ghostbusters #20

Talking Comics – Low #3

Comic Vine – New Avengers #24

Talking Comics – 2000AD #1900

ICv2 – The Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation Into the Kennedy Assassination

Talking Comics – Wayward #2