Dark Horse Comics 2017
Written by Jon Schnepp
Illustrated by Guiu Vilanova
Coloured by Mauricio Wallace
The ultimate thrash juggernaut, Slayer has dominated stages and destroyed audiences for over thirty years, with their latest album, Repentless, showing no signs of slowing down or showing mercy. Based on the brutal Repentless videos, this expansion of the video story lines drives deep into the darkest heart of America, a raging road trip down a bloodstained highway, a tale of the doomed, the damned . . . and the repentless!
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t seen these videos or even listened to Slayer so coming into this blind in that aspect I have to say was interesting. In this day and age with so much going on in the United States a story about white supremacy and how that affects two brothers is pretty strong. I like that we see this is a story about Adrian and Wyatt and what happen when one finds life’s experiences change who he is and leaves the teachings of his family behind.
This is definitely not for those who have sensitive sensibilities but if you want a powerfully written and gripping tale than this is something you want to read. The way that Jon opens up this story with the life of the two brothers and establishing their relationship growing up to now is beautifully done. We see the one incident that changes the way Wyatt thinks and then Adrian’s obsession that his brother either come back to the fold or pay the consequences. There’s no way to tell why Adrian can’t just let his brother go and live his life but for whatever reason that’s just not possible.
The interior artwork here is so strong and full of great attention to detail. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and those all important backgrounds really bring the reader into the story. There’s a lot of emotion coming through the artwork here that ranges from rage and anger to those rare candid softer moments. While a lot of this is seen as unapologetically violent it’s necessary to the story and it helps to tell the reader who these people are. The characterisation that the art provides works in concert with the writing extremely well.
I really am impressed with how this story has been structured and if the following two issues follow this then it should be one hell of a story. It’s fast paced and full of both information and characterisation that never seems rushed or glossed over. I also very much appreciate that Jon pays as much attention to Adrian and his people as he does Wyatt and what he’s going through here. You get a complete picture of the world two brothers inhabit and the actions they are forced to take because of the other.
This is a world that we know exists but don’t want to acknowledge to it’s fullest, scary, real and full of such firm belief in what they are doing is right this is the kind of story that should make you sit up and take notice.