30 Years Of Sláine - Prog 1000: The Bowels Of Hell - Jim Murray
After a brief interlude for the box of delights,which was recent 30th anniversary retrospective, Book Of Scars - featuring contributions from original series artists, including Mick McMahon, Glenn Fabry and Simon Bisley - we continue our chronological history of warped warrior, Sláine MacRoth.
Having reached roughly halfway through Sláine's adventures thus far, with the celtic hero becoming the Lord Of Misrule (see previous posts), we come now to landmark Prog 1000 (12Jul’96): The Bowels Of Hell.
On a mission for the Earth Goddess, Danu Sláine and (not-so) trusty sidekick, Ukko the Dwarf find themselves at the Gates of the Underworld and discover a sacred ritual being defiled by unscrupulous priests to bilk wealthy citizens out of their fortunes.
Using an elaborate rouse involving an enormous, freakish three-headed hound, frightening imagery, unearthly wailing and a noxious brew to keep their terrified victims suitably disoriented, these supposedly spiritual conmen would then present the unfortunate mark with a “vision" of a deceased relative who would then encourage their loved one to donate half of their wealth to the wise holy men who had brought them there!
Enraged by this abasement of the Goddess, her sacred rituals and hallowed places, Sláine's legendary warp spasm is brought on, turning him into a raging beast - a thing unheard of!
The priests quickly fell to his savage power, all of them cut down by his mighty axe, ‘Brainbiter' (he didn’t think it too many) and Sláine calms, although his patience is tested when Ukko suggests they stay to continue the ingenious scheme being practised by the now-dead avaricious priests!
The pair continue on toward the real River Styx, to their next mission through time, in the epic search for… the Treasures Of Britain!
Cover art (top): Milestone Prog 1000 (26Jul’96) - Jason Brashill