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Slaine: Book of Invasion Vol. 1
Pat Mills, art by Clint Langley
Simon & Schuster/Rebellion, 96 pages

Pat Mills
Pat Mills is the creator and first editor of 2000 AD. For the Galaxy's Greatest Comic, he is the writer and co-creator of ABC Warriors, Finn, Flesh, Nemesis the Warlock, Slaine, Mach 1, Halrem Heroes and Savage. He also developed Judge Dredd and wrote one of the early Dredd serials.

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A review by Sandra Scholes

Balor and his evil demon warriors want to take over the Land of the Young, and Slaine, the first High King of Ireland along with his wife, Queen Niamh, have to battle them in order to keep their land safe from the invaders. During the battle, once it looks like Slaine and his men have won, a cruel demon lord, Moloch, offers to make a deal with them. If Slaine spares his miserable life, then his Formorian men will never set foot on Irish soil again. Slaine wants to kill him, but the high council tell him he must let him live for, if he kills him, he will only encourage the wrath of the Formorians and they will send more of their men to lay waste to their land.

What happens later in the graphic novel is the basis for the entire story, and ends up being one man's quest (Slaine) to destroy the demon who did him wrong. Slaine is a long running comic book series that mixes illustration with computer graphics, and does a great job of bringing the reader into the whole Slaine pantheon. This is not a book for children; it is gory, bloody and deals with adult situations. Slaine Mac Roth by the end of this tale becomes the former king of Ireland due to his going off alone to kill the demon Moloch. His decision, makes the council see as putting their land at risk from the Formorians, yet the council are to blame for not allowing him to do battle, and they all feel the pain of their decisions too.

Slaine is a powerful but likeable rogue; he cares about his wife and son, and god help the ones who come between them. He is a fighter who has tried his whole life to keep his people free, and his land without the threat of enemies, but many whose sole purpose is to take Slaine down and make his people their slaves have a need to cause chaos. His wife here is his rock, and is also a great queen and powerful warrior woman who looks out for him like his men do on the battlefield. Slaine's tragedy is personal to him, and only he can defend his honour, and his people from the hoards of demons that will come. Though he finds that when one set of demons have been defeated, there is always another bunch waiting to come out and threaten their lord.

The novel is filled with intense battles that end with flying limbs, blood, gore and retribution. It is no wonder that the series was as popular as Slaine is different to mainstream comic books that are around today.

Copyright © 2012 Sandra Scholes

Sandra has had her work published in many magazines, on websites and blogs, and never tires of her writing; Active Anime, Love Romance Passion, The Zone and Fantasy Book Review are just some of the magazines, both online and otherwise she writes for.

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