Monsters, Mythology, And A Patricidal Revolution: Clankillers Volume 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!

From writer Sean Lewis (Betrothed, The Few) and artist Antonio Fuso (James Bond, G.I.Joe) comes a revenge thriller that HAD to be told at AfterShock!

Clankillers doesn’t mess around with a whole lot of exposition straight off. We get a crash course in Padraig the Grotesque’s rise to power over the clans of ancient Ireland, and then we get thrown right into a royal coup spearheaded by one of the despot king’s own daughters. A few orgies, some beheadings, monsters, a few royal tantrums, and off we go!

Princess Finola has decided she must unseat her father, the mad monarch, and to that end has enlisted her strange friend Cillian. The pair set off collecting mystical, magical allies for their upcoming war against all the established clans of Ireland, and ultimately, her dear old da’ himself, The Grotesque. As far as Paddy himself goes, he’s bound to chase down his little darling and end these shenanigans once and for certain.

Sean Lewis does a fair job bringing some of the lesser known (outside of Ireland anyway) Irish mythology into his period(ish) mini epic. I do take issue with some of the language throughout the book. If this story takes place when I think it does, “feck” wouldn’t even have been used in Ireland. It’s period Scottish slang that, at the time, had a completely different meaning. Used to mean “a lot,” as in “I hae been a devil the feck o’ my life.” If we’re inserting modern Irish speech patterns and slang into the piece, it still doesn’t quite hit. “Feck” doesn’t quite have the punch of its naughtier hard “u” cousin. I know it’s nitpicky, but if I’m looking this hard at the kids’ swearing in the book, it means most of the other elements are hitting.

Antonio Fuso and Stefano Simeone bring a dark, esoteric quality to Clankillers that works really well for the period and nature of the script. The scratchy, throwback feel to Fuso’s linework and Simeone’s muted palette hearken back to older newsprint 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. Interesting cast, rich setting, insane levels of action, dark humor, monsters and mythology, and a revolution in the making. Takes a minute for that first big pop, but once the seal is broken, wastes no time knocking heads and getting the claret flowing.

Clankillers Volume 1: God Kill The King TPB, AfterShock Comics, released 27 February 2019. Written/created by Sean Lewis, art/cover art/logo by Antonio Fuso, color/cover color by Stefano Simeone, letters by Dave Sharpe, variant cover by Juan Doe.

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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