Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: A Comic A Day In May, DiamondSteel Comics, Gary Welsh, John Ferguson, Saltire, Tone Julskjaer
Billed as “Scotland’s First Superhero” DiamondSteel Comics brings us Saltire: Invasion…..a two-story book featuring our central character……but is it any good?
While my Scottish heart would yell out YESSS to that question…..the comic book fan in me has to take a more structured view on this release. Two stories make up this first release by Saltire creator John Ferguson and artists Tone Julskjaer & Gary Welsh with our first tale, Invasion, focusing on a Roman attack on Scotland. This sees the clans rally round with a hefty cast built up before we get introduced to the legend that is Saltire. Saltire himself is summoned like a god to take on the Romans head-on but the Romans also have their own gods to summon and we’re soon in the midst of a one-on-one, god-vs-god battle to the death…..and thankfully Saltire is triumphant. A battle that triggers the building of Hadrian’s Wall to mark the edge of Roman territory and the beginning of Scottish land.
Inception, our second tale tells of the realm where Saltire resides and his creation as a messenger and guide for the clans of Scotland. Mixing more mythical creatures and ethereal surroundings to give that real feeling of history and myths that seem to mix throughout the first issue.
There is some great work here but there are some key elements that seem to puzzle me……I can’t think why the stories were released in this order…..if anything I would have thought an origin for a new character would have been the place to start and across the first story in the release there is a sea of new characters across the pages before we even get to meet Saltire himself. Not a big deal by any means but I think it would just flow so much better that way round. The writing is solid throughout though and that helps maintain the interest in the mythological elements and the everyday Scots that appear…..but i wouldn’t class it as a Superhero comic. It doesn’t have that vibe when I read it…..more a mix of Game Of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and maybe 300 with it’s Roman element…..it just doesn’t seem to match the billing for me.
The artwork could do with a bit more consistency too…..there are a few panels in there which have a sketched feeling to it and that’s only noticeable when compared against some of the other pages which are glorious to look at…..scaled well and coloured fantastically. All in all the art suffers from those few dips in quality….although not enough to stop me looking ahead to the next issue. Two stories, solid writing, mixed artwork but a lot of potential here too make this something to consider and look out for.
Catch-up on this and keep tabs on the next release over at the DiamondSteel Comics website
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