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2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prog 859 30/10/93

There are some thrill runs from 2000 AD that I am surprised to have completely forgotten and Slaine Demon Killer is one of them. It’s fully painted by Glen Fabry who, for many, was the definitive artist on the character before Simon Bisley came along. (Although, for me, the definitive Slaine artist will always be Mick McMahon.) I can’t believe I have no recollection of his return to the character.

Fabry’s art compares favourably to Bisley’s. In fact, it looks altogether more considered, detailed and substantial. It certainly benefits from the improved reproduction of 1993 compared with when Slaine the Horned God originally ran in the weekly. Interestingly, this prog’s final episode is painted by new guy, Dermot Power, due to, according to Tharg, Fabry having recently got married. (Art robots are allowed to do that?). Had it not been pointed out, I wonder if I would have noticed the difference as Power seems to do an extraordinary job of mimicking Fabry’s style from earlier episodes. In fact, this is where we are now with Slaine; Thanks to Bisley’s interpretation, all subsequent versions are obliged to be fully painted and refer to his heavy metal influenced designs as a template, even if, as in the case of Fabry, the artist predates him. This is so unlike the early strips which alternated between Belardinelli’s short spiky hair Slaine and McMahon’s long hair tipped with caked mud version.

In Demon Killer, Slaine and Ukko the Dwarf are sent forward through time by the Goddess to aid Boudica in her battle against the Caesarians and Elfric. It’s a story, written exclusively by Pat Mills, that doesn’t really get its hooks into me, if it has any hooks at all. This probably explains why it had completely slipped my mind.

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