Droid Icons: Clint Langley - (Pt.3): Sláine
To be completely honest I was initially sceptical of the decision by creative droids, Pat Mills and Clint Langley, to use the artist’s new digital technique on the character they had chosen for their next series; one typically submersed in tradition, from an era of swords & sorcery, witches & druids, and of course mighty barbarian heroes.
We’re talking of course about everyone’s favourite Celtic warrior - Sláine.
Surely there were better choices for this new computer-enhanced technology, utilising the fairly recent Photoshop phenomenon?
However, I don’t think there was one loyal Squaxx dek Thargo who was not at least a little impressed, if not totally blown away, by this radical new direction..
THE AXEMAN COMETH!
Books of Invasions [vol.1] Moloch (Progs1322-26,8Jan-3Feb’03) Golamh (Progs1350-55,23Jul-27Aug03).
This first eye-popping series introduced a brand new villain, perhaps the deadliest foe to face Sláine to date: Moloch, ‘of the many swords’.
With a pierced eyeball, a shield worn on his back bristling with the swords of his fallen enemies, a skeletal appearance, and a mouth full of sharp pointed teeth, this high-ranking Formorian Sea-Devil, cut quite a fearsome figure..
Moloch becomes a real thorn in the side of Sláine, especially when he finds the barbarian’s weakness: the mother of his child Kai, first and eternal love,and fierce warrior-wife, Niamh (pronounced Neeve!). But can our hero save his one true love, from this merciless killer?
THE INVASION HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN!
Books of Invasions [vol.2] Scota (Progs1371-76,7Jan-11Feb’04), Tara (Progs1420-25,5Jan-9Feb’05).
The battle continues for Tir Nan Og, the Land of the Young, and Sláine is struggling to turn back the hellish tide of the Fomorian sea devils. But help is at hand in the form of an unlikely alliance with Scota and the Atlantean tribe. However, even together their might may not be enough, and Sláine finds that he must go to the highest power there is… Danu, the Earth Goddess herself!
THE FINAL BATTLE BEGINS!
Books of Invasions [vol.3]Odacon (Progs1436-42,27Apr-8Jun’05), Tara (Progs1469-75.4Jan-15Feb’06), Carnival (Progs1469-75.4Jan-15Feb’06 & Prog2006,14Dec’05)
Sláine has returned from the Other World to rescue the besieged city of Tara, the energy of the Goddess warping him as he wades into battle. The Tribes of the Earth Goddess and the Atlanteans unite in an epic battle as the sea demons are driven back beneath the waves. But Lord Odacon will not surrender so easily and soon Slaine will face an even greater menace as Odacon spreads his evil once more through the Land of the Young!
GAME, SET AND AXE!
The WandererThe Gong Beater (Progs1635-38,13May-3Jun’09) The Smuggler (Progs1662-65,18Nov-9Dec,09) The Exorcist (Progs1709-12,3-24Nov’10) The Mercenary (Progs1713-14,1-7Dec’10) & Prog2011,15Dec’10).
Back in his beloved Tir Nan Og – the Land of the Young, a mystical place of myth and legend. Celtic warrior Sláine, the first High King of Ireland and Ukko his (un)faithful dwarf sidekick, return to his homeland, now free (for now!), from the bloody yoke of the Fomorians. But there is ever work for Slaine’s bloody battle axe, ‘Brainbiter’, and as the Celtic warrior comes home he encounters everything from evil magicians and demonically-possessed maidens, to the bloody roots of modern day football, as they roam their world in search of adventure!
Book of Scars
The Book of Scars is a special anniversary story which sees Sláine return to the most pivotal moments of his life where he has to face off against his greatest foes – all beautifully rendered by Mick McMahon, Glenn Fabry, Simon Bisley, and, Clint Langley, the artists who secured the character’s name in the annals of British comics history and who returned for this special one-off story.
Along with his odious sidekick Ukko the Dwarf, Sláine has endured 30 years of trials across the ages as he has served the Earth Goddess, Danu, both as High King of Ireland and as a time-travelling warrior.
A fitting tribute then to three decades of the Celtic hero’s adventures - “He didn’t think it too many!”- held together by the artistic talent of Clint Langley, ably standing in for the late, great Massimo Belardinelli on black/white inks, and also on his own breath-taking CG covers.
It’s a phenomenal body of work, that has stretched for a whole decade, and has more than held it’s own with some of the master droids mentioned above.
Slaine has returned to a more traditional art style for the most recent series: The Brutania Chronicles, fully-painted by classically trained, award-winning portrait artist, Simon Davis, and it is beautifully rendered.
However, the Langley droid, in this humble blogging droid’s opinion(!), saved his best work for seven heroes, tasked with bringing peace to a planet, and preventing a war between forces on Earth, a band of robots known as the Mek-nificent 7, determined to ‘increase the peace’..
“Spread The Word!””
Stay tuned for our final look at the dynamic digital drawing of art droid, Clint Langley!