Witness The Rise Of Padraig The Grotesque In Clankillers #1

by Brendan M. Allen

Like the demented stepchild of Game of Thrones, Braveheart and Mark Millar’s Kick Ass, Sean Lewis (Betrothed, The Few, Coyotes) brings readers into an ancient Ireland filled with clans, mystics, warriors and monsters of mythic proportion!

Finola has a problem—her father is losing his mind. All the old king cares about is power…and Finola thinks power is stupid. Finola thinks her vicious older sisters are stupid. Finola thinks the royal court is stupid, and above all she thinks the clans across the country are stupid. So she makes a plan with her good friend Cillian: Let’s kill all the clans. And then, we go for dad.

Filled with countless twist and turns, Clankillers promises to be a wild ride!

Clankillers #1 doesn’t waste much time getting the ball rolling. We get a crash course in Padraig the Grotesque’s rise to power over the clans of ancient Ireland and witness the inception of a royal coup spearheaded by one of the mad monarch’s own daughters. A few orgies, some beheadings, monsters, and a tantrum or two thrown in for good measure.

First issues can make or break a series. Clankillers is off to a solid start. Sean Lewis introduces the major players, gives the lay of the land, and introduces the conflict in this first book, and it all still flows surprisingly well. Not sure who the babyfaces are, or if there even are any. So far, everyone is flying their heel banners.

I do have one issue with the language. Not that it’s too vulgar. Actually, quite the opposite. There are a few places where “feck” is used that really seem like they should have said “fuck.” I’m not sure if feck is even period correct for Ireland, but in my experience, “feck” is the milder, less offensive cousin of “fuck.” “Feck” is almost family friendly, used playfully, so “Feck your beliefs,” almost sounds like a punchline, whereas the same sentence with one letter changed becomes the punchier insult I believe was intended.

Antonio Fuso’s artwork fits the themes of Clankillers well. The scratchy, throwback feel to the linework and muted palette hearken back to the old newsprint adventure titles. The intense depravity, chaos, and uncertainty of Padraig’s reign are expressed through the visual dissonance of some of the panels and gutters. This is an interesting book to look at, and there are hidden gems to be found on second and third passes.

Clankillers has all the tools to become epic. Interesting cast, a rich setting, insane levels of action, mythology, dark humor, and a revolution in the making.

Clankillers #1, published by Aftershock Comics, released 18 July 2018. Written by Sean Lewis, art by Antonio Fuso, letters by Dave Sharpe.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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