As a lifelong comic book reader and a bunch of decades deep in the Metal fan I love when the larger than life figures on the stages of the world head onto the comic book pages because it’s usually something rather interesting. Now we’ve seen both KISS and Alice Cooper appear in titles over the years and there was even a “Cryptic Writings Of Megadeth” at one point and now it’s Slayer’s turn with “Slayer: Repentless” that come care of Dark Horse Comics. I grabbed the first issue off the stands the other day and am here to give you a quick, hopefully non-spoiler overview of the issue.
I should stress that this is NOT a superhero comic in any way shape or form, and is instead more of a super gritty, super violent tale that makes the doings seen on both “Oz” and “Sons Of Anarchy” placed into a comic book. The tale comes care of scribe Jon Schnepp who did the “The Death Of Superman Returns” film (which you should really watch) and artists Guiu Villanova and Mauricio Wallace and it follows the traumatic life of Wyatt who was raised in a hateful place of neo-Nazi, White Supremacy and is fighting to get out of that life in the best possible fashion. His former family hates him and hunts him but Wyatt is no stranger to this life of violence and hunts the hunters back with deadly skills and suffice it to say this is not a comic book that you want the younger reader in your family breezing through.
It’s not so much a tale about the band Slayer who we do meet towards the closing act of the first issue and they are not on a stage performing before getting involved in the story. We do get lyrics of one of their tunes as its played overhead where we meet them which was interesting. How they play intothe larger tale will need to be discovered in issue #2. The awesome cover is done by Glenn Fabry who did a lot of “Hellblazer” and “Preacher” issues. There. I didn’t spoil anything right? I just covered the basics. Cast intro, violence, more cast, vengeance is mine and oh “hello there” Slayer.
PiercingMetal Thoughts: The issue kept my attention and like I referenced above was some grim stuff to digest. It’s a very bleak tale with lots of blood and violence against your fellow man and woman which is not for younger readers and I think that Dark Horse Comics shouldhave placed a “for mature readers” label on the cover to avoid little Johnny from picking up a copy. Traditionally, I’m not typically a “crime drama” comic book reader and instead prefer my pages to feature the colorful spandex costumes. Sure, I loved “The Punisher” but that is a little bit different from a straight-ahead grit like this one. At $4.99 a copy, unless you are an absolute diehard for the band and their first appearance in the comics, then perhaps you should wait for a collected edition. The entire series will only be three issues and will surely be put together before the year is out. I’ll ask my retailer to save me issue #2 when I go to pick up my weekly titles and toss a few more thoughts here. Congrats to Slayer for making the pages, they are badass and oh before you ask, this is the Slayer of the now and that means Tom Araya, Kerry King, Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph. Maybe we will get an homage to the late great Jeff Hanneman somewhere and see Dave Lombardo as one of the dispatched baddies.