- Paperback: 104 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books Ltd; New edition edition (27 Sept. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1840234776
- ISBN-13: 978-1840234770
- Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 1.3 x 29.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,200,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Slaine: The Horned God Part One (2000 AD Presents) Paperback – 27 Sep 2002
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It may seem odd to describe anything featuring Pat Mills' barbarian warrior Slaine as a feminist parable, but this is exactly what The Horned God is. This is Conan rewritten in the light of Robert Graves' The White Goddess.
Slaine is pretty much your standard barbarian hero, cunning, lusty and jaw-droppingly violent. In this last department he has the advantage of "warp-spasms", in which he channels Earth-power through his body--the first indication of the ecological and mystical interests which often underlie Mills' work. Having hacked and slashed his way through an assortment of previous adventures, Slaine has become king of his tribe, and now plans to rid the land of the demons that oppress it by gathering an assortment of magical items imbued with the power of the Earth Goddess.
So far, so fantasy-by-numbers. But there's more at work here--Cathbad, the druid who supposedly serves the Goddess, opposes anyone talking to her directly, and the demons' earthly base is on Tory Island--the elements of satire against church and state are clear. And when Slaine communes with the Goddess only to be told that he and his heroic ilk are, on the whole, a boorish disgrace, and that rather than destroy the! Horned God of his enemies, he must instead become his replacement; it becomes clear that the trappings of heroic fantasy are here to be subverted as much as celebrated. Which is not to say there's no room for ludicrously muscled axe men and enormous dragons to get thoroughly brutal with each other, and it's that balance that renders The Horned God so enjoyable. --Alex Sarll
About the Author
Pat Mills has written countless comics stories, many for 2000 AD, including Judge Dredd, Slaine and A.B.C. Warriors. He also created Marshal Law. Simon Bisley has worked on 2000 AD stories ranging from A.B.C. Warriors to Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham. He is a regular artist for Heavy Metal magazine and is currently hard at work on Wrestling Wars for Cool Beans World.
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Sláine gave Pat Mills the opportunity to write the traditional axe-wielding barbarian but to tinker with the stereotype a little. He took the muscle-bound Conan type and gave him a sensitive side.
This book is often cited as the quintessential Sláine epic but it's not the best work Mills has produced; it never really excites as much as Mills was capable of.
The real reason that The Horned God endures is due to Simon Bisley's magnificent art. 2000 AD gave Bisley his start and its right that he should have given them his finest work to date, on both Sláine, and ABC warriors (also written by Mills).
His influences are easy to spot. He's heavily inspired by Frank Frazetta and Gustav Klimt, and even throws in some HR Giger from time to time. It's fully-painted throughout with a very specific palette. Fully-painted work is so very rare these days that it's a joy to revisit a time when it received the love it deserves. This is Bisley's masterpiece. There are a number of full-page pieces which are simply stunning.
If the quality of the story matched the quality of the art, The Horned God would get full marks but unfortunately it falls a little short of perfection.
I think it's good value for money and well worth picking up if you like graphic novels.
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Most recent customer reviews
Bought for the art I remembered, Seems a bit more contrasty than I remember but maybe due to reduced size.