Review – Slayer: Repentless #1

Slayer: Repentless #1 – 
Dark Horse Comics
Written b Jon Schnepp
Art by Guiu Villanova & Mauricio Wallace
For over three decades now, Slayer has been one of the gold standards of metal bands.  Their intense and badass sound has always been entertaining, and now it’s sending a message.  Like many other bands, Slayer is now bringing their sound to the page with a little help from Dark Horse Comics.  Repentless tells more of the story based on the Repentless videos from the new album of the same name.  Time to enter the brutal and unforgiving world.
The story centers around brothers Adrian and Wyatt, who have taken on two decidedly different paths later on in life.  They both suffered the same tragedy early on, then followed a dark path that only one of them would diverge from.  As we’ve seen in other stories, and in some cases art imitating life, you can’t simply walk away from the “cause”.  The tension in this first issue, from the brothers alone, is at an extreme fever pitch.  Speaking of extreme, there is some off the charts brutal scenes in this issue.  There is someone that Adrian calls upon later in this book, and let’s just say, this is the absolutely last guy you want to run in to.  What brings it to that point is a very crucial “point of no return” moment in the middle off this issue.  As we head to the final pages, it’s more than just brother versus brother or even brotherhood versus brotherhood.  It’s all out war of epic proportions.
While this book did have some jaw dropping moments, I have to say there were a couple of problems with it.  There were a couple of moments where I felt the book really skipped ahead.  I actually would go back a couple of pages to make sure I didn’t miss something, only to find out that I didn’t.  I realize this is a companion piece to the videos, but there were gaps that I feel could have been filled simply with a few extra panels.  Beyond that, this story goes much deeper than you will expect upon reading it.  No matter what your belief system is, this book will stir something up in you and make you want to keep reading.  You have characters you can sympathize with, characters you’ll hate and even characters that, despite their brutal nature, you will even route for.  Hate can be a risky theme, but the way the story is told, really sheds light on what hate can do and is capable of.  This is a limited series, so if this book can find a bit more structure and flow in Issue 2, I think Dark Horse may really have something special here.

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