Comic Book Review – Slayer ‘Repentless’ #1

By Andrew Bansal

In the year 2017, there are numerous bands that have sustained themselves successfully for three decades or more, but very few can claim to be more than just bands. Some go on to become brands, broadening their horizons beyond mere music to produce and sell various types of merchandise. Slayer is, without doubt, one such entity, and in addition to everything else they stand for, they are about to venture into a whole new territory: comic book land. Yes, Slayer is putting out a series of comic books via Dark Horse. ‘Repentless’, based on the band’s latest full-length release of the same name, and more so on the music videos created in support of the album, is a graphic story told through a trilogy of issues. Issue #1 is set to hit shelves worldwide on January 25th 2017. The album itself was a mixed bag, to say the least, but the corresponding comic book seems to be an entirely different animal.

In Issue #1, artist Guiu Vilanova depicts the story in a manner that very much resonates with the vibe of a typical Slayer record, the album ‘Repentless’ in particular. Bleak, ominous and unabatedly expressive in a way that perhaps corresponds to the loud, fast and abrasive nature of Slayer’s musicianship, the comic keeps you on the edge of your seat, and you find yourself turning over to the end of this 22-page issue within no time.

Page 1 of ‘Repentless’ #1 (click to open hi-res version in new window)

Music invariably paints a landscape in the mind of the listener, and if the mental images accompanying a listening session of the ‘Repentless’ album were to be put in graphic form, this comic book would probably be very close to an accurate outcome of it. But more than just a mere pictorial representation of the album, the comic takes the story to the next level and stands strong on its own, even to pure comic book lovers that have nothing to do with the band whatsoever.  Slayer fans will undoubtedly find instant appreciation for this issue, but so will enthusiasts of dark noir movies and graphic novels. The story, of course, does not come to a conclusion here, and leaves it intriguingly poised for further development in the remaining issues of the series.

All in all, Slayer and Dark Horse have hit a home run with Issue #1 of the ‘Repentless’ series, as it is nothing short of gratification guaranteed for Slayer fans, metalheads and comic book nerds alike.

Rating: 9/10

Release Date: January 25th 2017

If you like what you’ve read, make a donation of any amount and help keep Metal Assault running full time!