Comic Review 202 // Sláine: The Grail War by Pat Mills


Powering through the Slaine stories at the moment! We have reached book 8, The Grail War, by Pat Mills. Slaine is still travelling through time and has reached the era of the Crusaders! This should be a good one.

Title: Sláine: The Grail War

Author: Pat Mills

Illustrators: Steve Tappin, Nick Percival & Massimo Belardinelli

Fluff: Sláine MacRoth – Celtic warrior and High King of the tribes of the Earth Goddess Danu, continues his journey through time. Sláine arrives in thirteenth-century France, where he comes face to face with Crusader Simon De Montfort, the sworn enemy of the Cathars. While searching for the tortured reincarnation of his lover Niamh, Sláine is compelled to join forces with De Montfort to seek out the Grail Stone. The quest won't be easy, however – Sláine will have to defeat the dark forces of El if he is to stand any chance of saving Niamh's soul!

Collects:

- The Demon Hitchhiker (Prog #1032)

- King of Hearts (Progs #1033–#1039)

- The Grail War (Progs #1040–#1049)

- Secret of the Grail (Progs #1090–#1099)

- The Battle of Clontarf (2000 AD Annual 1985)

Format: Digital 176 pages

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Review

This title kicks off with King of Hearts, which sees Slaine paired up with William Wallace as he joins the Scots to fight off the English. We get to witness the defeat of Falkirk and William's retreat to his home. Here he communes with the ancient spirits of Scotland as he awaits to battle with the English again. As he prays, Slaine answers the call and becomes William's Champion due to the bonds between Ireland and Scotland. This helps to set up the Stone of Destiny story and introduce the Knights Templars as agents of the Cyth. So evil and brutal that I love it.

The rest of the book is, of course, The Grail War. We finally leave the shores of the British Isles and head into mainland Europe. Slaine has arrived in medieval France and joins forces with Simon De Montfort as he wages war on the Cathars. This is an exciting twist as up till now, Slaine has always fought against the Christian Church, but in a twist of fate, it turns out that Slaine's enteral love, Niamh, has been reincarnated as Simon De Montfort. The story has strange twists and turns as we have dragons and Lovecraft-style demons from space. I found that there was too much going on to remember it all, and I found myself rereading pages to remind myself.

The art, as with nearly all the Slaine books, is stunning, each artist is different, but all add a great depth to the story. They definitely added to the fantasy aspects of the story while still keeping us grounded in the darkness and gore. Pat Mills did an excellent job on the storytelling, but a little less religion/folklore would have helped me out no end. But for fans of Slaine, this is a great read.

As always, I appreciate you reading this far, and I hope you will check out the graphic novel using my link above. Looking for more fun? Head over to my Youtube page for more adventures (CLICK).

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