Review: Starslayer #1

Starslayer #1 cover
Cover by Mike Grell

Starslayer #1
Published by Pacific and © Mike Grell, February 1982

Title: “Starslayer”
Synopsis: Celtic warrior Torin Mac Quillon leaps into battle against invading Romans – and lands in the distant future!

Writer: Mike Grell
Penciler: Grell
Inker: Grell

Review: Rising to comics stardom with DC’s Warlord, auteur creator Mike Grell flips his winning concept for new publisher Pacific Comics. As with Warlord, the success of Starslayer lies not in the material itself but in Grell’s  passion for that material; his love of Edgar-Rice-Burroughs-inspired pulp fiction is contagious. This debut, set mostly in the past, is fairly routine, but the Arthurian connection and sci-fi-themed cliffhanger offer nice twists. Grell’s art is a bit rough in places, and the package is marred by subpar lettering. But it’s still a lot of fun, and gets a “plus” for its early, indie cool.

Grade: B+

Cool factor: Early PC books all have a bit of a cool factor.

Notable: First appearance Torin Mac Quillon. … According to Grell, this series was originally planned at DC, but fell prey to the DC Implosion. … Includes an ad for  the debut of The Rocketeer in Starslayer #2. … A “Director’s Cut” version of this series was released in 1995.

Character quotable: “Perhaps I have a destiny as well … .” – Torin Mac Quillon, future Starslayer and master of understatement
A word from the creator: “(Starslayer) was a counterpart, a direct opposite of my first comic-book creation, the Warlord. The Warlord deals with a modern-day character in a primitive society. Starslayer features a Celtic barbarian in the far-flung future.” – Mike Grell, on the genesis of Starslayer, from the “Procreation” intro essay in this issue

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on Jan. 8, 2016.

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