Starslayer issue #1.
Published by Pacific Comics in 1982.
Story Written and drawn by Mike Grell
The Story :
A Celtic hunter is teaching his son how to hunt, they pursue a wild boar. The boy uses a spear to make the kill and
learns from this, his first kill. As they return home they here a sound, the sound belongs to what what they
find in a clearing, a group of Roman soldiers. The Celt attacks them, telling his son prior that Rome only
wants to conquer them and their home. The Celt kills the groups swiftly. They return to their home village, their
they cry the alarm that Rome is invading, as beside the group of Roman soldiers, they had seen a group of Roman
ships coming. The Celt is named now, Torin MacQuillon, by Hadwin, his chief. They argue about Roman, Torin warning
that Rome only will take want they crave and give only death to the Celts. Torin and his family leave with a friend
for the deeper forest, as Hadwin and the village prepare to meet wiht the Romans for trade. Torin and his group
spot more Roman soldiers, preparing to attack Hadwin and the village, their the Roman leader demands Hadwin bow
to Rome's rule, Hadwin refuses. Torin has wis wife and child go to hide as he goes to the village to help fight
the Roman attackers. A huge slaughter begins, only Torin is left, his one eye now gone. A storm has begun and
Torin is cornered by the Roman soldiers. He leaps at them screaming, but then in a flash of light, just before
the Roman spears find him, he disappears. A dark haired woman looks at Torin suspended in the air, behind her
sprawls a future world.
The Review :
This was the first in what would be the miniseries that would spark the ongoing to later come. It was an interesting
flipside to Mike Grell's other famous work at the time, The Warlord. This time, instead of a modern man finding
himself in a barbarian world, a barbarian found himself in the far future. What can I say, I was already a fan
of Grell and his art plus was a regular reader of The Warlord. So I was hooked, but I have to say, this was some
of Mike Grell's best work and I think it still is.
The story was a typical fare from Mike Grell, nothing to heavy nor too light. Just a good first chapter explaining
how our hero would get to the future, but still leaving the "why" for the nex issue. There are a few more cute scenes
involving an old man living deep in the forest and narations for Torin's thoughts. Beyond this, we don't really get
what the story will be other then what the cover art shows or the preface text gave.
The art was beautiful then and still is now. I really think this was part of Grell's best period for my tastes. True
he seemed to base Torin on Tom Selleck, but it worked as did the autumn like colouring the issue had throughout.
His inks were a little rough but still had a polish to them, not so much as his work prior and I can't help but think
that this style worked best for him and the story. I supose you could say that it was a half way point in comparing
his present day art style and his beginings on the Legion of Super-Heroes and Green Lantern at DC.
I still really enjoyed it as I had back then when I first got it as a Mike Grell fan. It's still holds up, I think,
compared to many titles out there today. It still has a good pace with some great art that works together. If you like
sword adventures, then check it out. If you like Mike Grell's artwork, get it. If you've never read Grell's stuff,
you may wish to check it out as it's one of his best in my opinion.
For more info on Starslayer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starslayer
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