A new hero has risen
Please note that this review might have some minor spoilers to names, objects and places from this issue.
I bought this comic on my last vacation to Scotland. I was looking for 'local' comics that would - perhaps - be hard to find anywhere else and I found many. It surprised me that there was such a great number of them, it shows that the comic business is alive and doing well in Scotland.
I was immediately taken by the cover. Now I don't usually go for bulky, half naked men on comic covers but the artwork was too stunning to ignore. The issue contains two stories: 'Book One: Invasion', and 'Book Two: Inception'. Between the books are some sketches and storyboards.
Book One: Invasion
The story almost immediately thrusts us into an epic battle with little explanation as to the origins of all the key characters. The guardians are named in two stunning pin-up pages which did help to quickly show who's who. The story is laced with Scottish history, like Hadrian's Wall, combined with some supernatural creatures and godlike characters.
Book Two: Inception
After reading the first story I was really ready for this one. The origin of Saltire and the forging of his weaponry are told within the pages of the second half of the comic.The artwork is again brilliant. I love it when you can see the original line work in the art. I kept looking at some of the pictures, like one would at paintings lining the walls in museums, seeing new details every time I glanced at them.
The stories are good and well structured, although stacked with much (perhaps even too much) information. There are many character names thrown at us in a very short time which makes getting to know any one of them near impossible. Though I think that is not uncommon for a first issue with characters we've never seen and set in a whole new world and I expect that we will get more in-depth knowledge of certain key characters in future stories and I'm really looking forward to that. If this first issue is only a glimpse of what's to follow then we're in for a very well written and drawn comic book line.
I'm really looking forward to learning and seeing more of Saltire and the clans, because I really got into the artwork. What I like is that Saltire can be called upon in any time in history which really opens up a lot of possibilities. I give the issue four stars because I think the story was stacked with too much information, although I don't think it could have been avoided because so many characters were involved in the origin of Saltire. If it is toned down slightly next issue we could be looking at a solid five stars, but for now there is room for growth. I think Saltire and his Diamondsteel Blades could be to the Scottish people what Thor and Mjolnir is to the Norwegians.