SLAYER Pat Mills. copyright May 2019
SLAYER (aka SCHLOCK) is a sinister ALIEN KILLER ROBOT. He has a humanoid body and face but no mouth or eyes. Horns/wings project out from the sides of his head.
His head is smooth, rounded, hard, cruel, metallic, expressionless, mysterious. There can be small indentations. Marks on it, suggesting he has lived for thousands of years.
His face and body are ‘burnished’ metal. He has NO angular, mechanical, robotic moving parts, indicating this creature is of alien origins.
When the light reflects off his burnished metal it can suggest eyes and even a cruel smile. Thus although his face is featureless, it is still possible for it to have some expressions.
Even though his overall mood is cold, ruthless, menacing, remote.
The nose of an aircraft and its wings (horns) are somewhat similar to Slayer’s head.
Schlock means TRASH. I will shortly feature SCHLOCK introducing one off stories called Future Schlocks.
The word Schlock also means SLAYER (according to the dictionary. And this is his name in this serial.
I explain this further in my earlier posts about Space Warp (see for example Monetisation). In summary, the successful artist will retain copyright on this story and this particular version of Schlock.
The logo could have the ‘Y’ of Slayer as Schlock’s horns. It might even have his silhouette.
The human empire featured in Slayer is based on religion and colonization, rather than the Force of Star Wars or the genocidal racism of Torquemada in Nemesis.
Western colonization of Earth always involved a religious element: Central and South America; Africa; The Deep South of the United States. Religion made the victims of colonisation easier to control. This is explicitly stated by the authorities in their enslavement of the Belgian Congo. It’s hard-wired into the colonial process, although it’s rare they admit their crimes.
‘Evangelize the niggers so that they stay forever in submission to the white colonialists, so they never revolt against the restraints they are undergoing. Recite every day – “Happy are those who are weeping because the kingdom of God is for them.”’
Letter from King Leopold 11 of Belgium to Colonial Missionaries 1883.
So if humans ever encountered Alien life-forms they would similarly exploit and enslave them and use religion to achieve this.
Our story can draw on the colonists of the past for visual inspiration. The Conquistadors who destroyed South American cultures. The Crusaders (Terry Jones of Monty Python exposed these knights in a documentary). And medieval knights who supposedly stood for a ‘code of chivalry’, and a Christian ethic, when, actually, they murdered, enslaved and oppressed the ordinary people – in sharp contrast to their bullshit Hollywood image.
In our future world, our science fiction Knights will similarly delude themselves that they are the good guys. They genuinely think they’re the heroes.
Cool armour for knights can be seen in films like Excalibur and Lord of the Rings.
So if those suits of armour can inspire a high tech and menacing look that’s the most likely way to go.
There are also numerous SF armoured warriors in comics and films. They feature in Warhammer, Nemesis, Broz, Requiem Vampire Knight (my French fantasy series) and Star Wars (Storm Troopers).
Our knights need to be equally powerful and suitably different to these existing series.
Regiments of Warp Knights include Missionary Troopers, Witch Hunters, Inquisitors and Crusaders, for instance. Although we will probably only see the Witch Hunters here.
But Crusaders have enormous potential and I don’t think they’ve appeared in any significant comic book series. As Terry Jones relates, the Crusaders’ cruelty is unbelievable. Apart from killing numerous children, they also boiled and ate their enemies.
So the cross as a sword featured by the Jesuits could also form a crusader sword (cross).
Perhaps Witch Hunters could have the sword (cross) too.
By emphasising the sword, we are taking it away from other meanings of the cross.
Our story will differ from others because I’m drawing on authentic sources and it is based on the statement of the Vatican spokesman that they want to convert any aliens they find to Christianity and save them from their original sins.
So the art needs to be different, too. We don’t want our readers to regard it as a knock-off of any existing comic series.
You could consider a steampunk style to make it visually different.
But I would ONLY recommend this if you’re a natural steampunk artist. There are other ways a different look can be achieved.
THE WITCH HUNTERS
‘Witch Hunters’ seek out heretics.
They conveniently see alien power as ‘witchcraft’, heresy and evil.
They should NOT have a puritanical 17th century look. Let’s keep away from Mathew Hopkins etc.
He is called MALLEUS MALEFICARUM – the Hammer of Witches.
And he is Superior General of all the Knights.
Malleus would also wear an impressive high-tech suit of armour. We will see him in a final image where he is bare-headed.
He is handsome and heroic looking – a classic knight. I see him as a handsome older man, rather like Pierce Brosnan or George Clooney. A silver fox.
His ultimate objective is to begin a new and final crusade against the unbelievers at the heart of the Galaxy. Just like the great Columbus, from whom he is descended.
(Columbus discovered America because he wanted its riches in order to finance a crusade to retake Jerusalem)
You may well have your own thoughts on his appearance, which I welcome.
Potentially he is a top villain.
There are clues that he has warp powers (like Agent Impossible – another Space Warp story) and he is about to be made a saint!
Overall, the knights call themselves KNIGHTS OF THE WARP.
This is because they used the Space Warp to leave Earth and colonize the stars.
So they will have the WARP SYMBOL on their arms, chests and cloaks.
This will be a simplified version of the Warp (seen in the featured image at the top of this page, and elsewhere as a recurring Space Warp motif).
And, if you look at the Knights of Malta and their symbols, you can see how effective this can be.
In fact, the Knights of Malta are also worth a look and may inspire your designs.
Originally, the Knights of the Warp were inspired by the Jesuits.
The Jesuit symbol is a sword (cross) and a radiating sun which is appropriate for an SF series.
Minus the ‘IHS’, we can retain this for the Knights of the Warp as an additional symbol on their armour.
SLAYER IN ACTION
I want to try some fairly unusual action ideas in this story.
Firstly, Slayer’s head and horns can move in incredible ways, because he is a WARP LORD, able to manipulate the power of the Warp across multiple dimensions.
His head can also take off (like an aircraft or a drone) and is a deadly weapon of execution.
This is one of those ideas that can work with some artists and not with others. It could even look stupid and young, if we’re not careful! But imagine it being drawn by some of the classic 2000AD artists? Like Kevin O’Neill? I think they could pull it off.
And we need unusual and exciting action to attract readers.
NOT a design to rush!
See, for example, this article below. Six (or fewer) blades might well emerge from Slayer’s ‘warhead’ and scythe down the knights.
(Slayer is also a master of alien martial arts. Capoeira can look pretty amazing and could be the basis of his martial art. That will feature in later episodes)
Secondly, Slayer is slaying so fast, so quickly, because time stands still for him. He can kill thousands in just one second of our time!!
So we would see the results of his slaying, but we won’t see him in the same picture because he’s moved on to his next victim/s.
As his victims are wearing armour and helmets, it can mean the death wounds he delivers aren’t too gruesome. About the same level as the original 2000AD.
It’s a sample ACTION SCENE featuring Slayer that I really need to see as this is central to the story. With plenty of movement. So the scenes on Earth at the Vatican Observatory are not as important at this preliminary stage.
They are purely for your reference.
TOP LINE on Page One of story:
Next to reduced Space Warp symbol:
‘I am the Enforcer of the Cosmic Law!’
(This page one could be made into a double page spread, provided you are familiar with how art can get ‘lost’ in the central gulley. That’s a common problem with new artists not used to spreads.)
This would mean the story could potentially be seven pages. This is something I can discuss later with the artist.
A terrifying Armada of war spaceships heading through the Warp and into interstellar space
The ships are all marked with the sinister Warp sign.
And the sword cross in fiery surround.
The design of the spaceships has to be your call. Clearly they should be in the modern style. They might look like futuristic GALLEONS.
Or like Cathedrals in space, with suitable terrifying additions. Some Gothic cathedrals (e.g. Strasbourg) have a sinister quality and have some spaceship features.
But it’s one of those ideas that will work for one artist and not another.
Or they could be rendered in steampunk style if you’re going down that road.
Below the ships: Imperial soldiers, from the Human Galactic Empire, in action. Enslaving and killing Aliens. Wearing cool armoured suits, some with faces visible, great high-tech weaponry, firing towards us.
The Aliens should be from Claretta’s tribe – see Page 3.
FURTHER POSSIBLE ADDITION
A view of the Mount Graham Observatory.
(If this was a single page I doubt there would be room for it.)
Text: (by the space ships)
“IF CIVILISATION WERE TO BE FOUND ON OTHER PLANETS AND IF IT WERE FEASIBLE TO COMMUNICATE, THEN WE WOULD WANT TO SEND MISSIONARIES TO SAVE THEM, JUST AS WE DID IN THE PAST WHEN NEW LANDS WERE DISCOVERED.”
Father Chris Corbally, Vatican Observatory, Mount Graham, Arizona. Deputy director of the Jesuit project searching for alien life: ‘The Fingerprints of God’.
Sunday Times 14th December 1997
(Here’s the background information for your interest: https://rense.com/ufo/
Text: (by the soldiers)
“PUNISHMENT DOES NOT TAKE PLACE PRIMARILY AND PER SE FOR THE CORRECTION AND GOOD OF THE PERSON PUNISHED, BUT FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD IN ORDER THAT OTHERS MAY BECOME TERRIFIED AND WEANED AWAY FROM THE EVILS THEY WOULD COMMIT.”
Directorium Inquisitorium battle orders to the Knights of the Warp
Text: (by the observatory)
THEIR TELESCOPE “CONSTITUTES A DISPLAY OF PROFOUND DISRESPECT FOR A CHERISHED FEATURE OF OUR ORIGINAL HOMELAND AS WELL AS A SERIOUS VIOLATION OF OUR TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.”
The San Carlos Apache Tribal Council 1993.
(I think this could work on a single page without showing the observatory until the next page)
Worth a look at this Youtube. It’s all for real!
And all the dialogue about the Apaches below is authentic.
1. External view of the authentic Vatican observatory. There is one particular view that is very dramatic and has ‘horns’, which remind us a little of Slayer.
See: Vatican Owned Infrared Camera Named Lucifer LBT Telescope On Mount … https://goo.gl/images/5TjNJk
VATICAN OBSERVATORY, MOUNT GRAHAM, ARIZONA. THE PRESENT DAY.
(2): IT CONTAINS THE INFRA-RED TELESCOPE LUCIFER, DESIGNED TO DISCOVER ALIEN LIFE.
VOICE (from within): DIRECTOR, ANOTHER PRAYER PROTEST BY THE APACHES.
(2): THEY SAY OUR TELESCOPES HAVE DESECRATED THEIR SACRED MOUNTAIN.
(3): THEY SAY IT’S THEIR CHURCH. THEIR TEMPLE.
VOICE (from within): INDIANS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE MOUNTAIN WITHOUT THE PROPER PRAYER PERMITS! CALL THE POLICE. HAVE THEM ARRESTED.
2. Interior. We see that the observatory is staffed by Jesuits. They all wear their dog collars. The Jesuit emblem could feature on a wall.
The younger priest is taking the concerns seriously. The older, silver-haired priest responds with a look of irritation on his face. He is the director of the observatory and is inspired by a real-life director.
The current director is Reverend Brother Guy Consolmagno. He is worth googling to get the visual feeling of these guys.
But OUR director should be different and FICTIONAL.
DIRECTOR: THE VATICAN HAS DECREED IT’S NOT A SACRED MOUNTAIN BECAUSE IT LACKS RELIGIOUS SHRINES. AND THEY HAVE NO WRITTEN RECORDS TO PROVE THEIR CLAIM.
PRIEST: BUT IT’S MENTIONED IN 32 OF THEIR SACRED SONGS HANDED DOWN THROUGH ORAL TRADITION FOR COUNTLESS GENERATIONS. AND THEIR GUARDIAN SPIRITS LIVE HERE.
3. Both of them. High tech background. The real life director actually said the words in the director balloon below.
PRIEST: THEIR SPIRITUAL LEADERS SAY IT IS A PORTAL TO THE SPIRIT WORLD. THEY BELIEVE LUCIFER WILL CAUSE A DISASTER UNLESS IT’S SHUT DOWN IMMEDIATELY.
DIRECTOR: NONSENSE! APACHE BELIEFS ARE A KIND OF RELIGIOSITY TO WHICH I CANNOT SUBSCRIBE AND WHICH MUST BE SUPPRESSED WITH ALL THE FORCE WE CAN MUSTER.
4. Their irritable director and the young priest continue. Another Priest, looking up from reading Lucifer data, alerts the director that something very strange is coming their way!
DIRECTOR: YOU KNOW THE INDIANS STOPPED US CALLING THIS THE COLUMBUS TELESCOPE?
PRIEST: YES. BECAUSE THEY DON’T THINK COLUMBUS WAS A HERO.
ANOTHER PRIEST: [HE SPEAKS TECHNICAL ASTRONOMY/ASTROPHYSICS JARGON I NEED TO FIND AND ENDS WITH] …SEE NEXT PIC…
5. The strange phenomenon hovers high in the sky over the laboratory.
See opening pic on the site below for a possible representation: https://www.pinterest.es/pin/
In fact, it’s high up and vast, but is caught in this view between the ‘horns’ of the laboratory.
It’s definitely ‘attracted’ to the observatory, which is the focus of its attention.
It’s a Space Warp, providing access to the stars, but it also functions as a time, reality and dimension warp affecting all the stories in Space Warp comic.
Thus it affects Hellbreaker bringing the dead back to life.
And Jurassic Man where dinosaurs from the Jurassic era invade our world.
And sub-atomic particles bombard Earth creating the Futants, including Agent Impossible.
This is the first story to show the Warp’s discovery!
PRIEST’S VOICE: IT’S SOME KIND OF… SPACE WARP!
(2): A STAR GATE!
6. Interior view. Director is in awe at the sight of the Space Warp which could bathe him and his priest colleagues in an eerie light. Suggesting that they are POSSESSED by the sinister forces within the Warp! A very Dan Brown moment!
PRIEST: A WAY TO SEND MISSIONARY SHIPS TO OTHER SOLAR SYSTEMS AND SAVE ALIENS FROM THEIR ORIGINAL SINS.
DIRECTOR: IT’S … THE ANSWER!
(Sadly, we have to leave Mount Graham just now but there is clearly more potential there for a Dan Brown, Da Vinci code-style story. Maybe we’ll come back to it.)
We turn over the page to:
1. A beautiful alien but humanoid female teenager is facing a laser firing squad of Witch Hunters. The officer in command is saintly, benign, smiling gently. The 16 year old alien has been gagged with a fairly sophisticated gag.
Her appearance and design is up to you. Someone beautiful yet clearly alien.
TEXT: 600 YEARS LATER. THE PLANET NAJAC.
OFFICER: HUMAN NAME: CLARETTA DE VOIX. SECRET NAME: CLARETTA DE VEAU, PROVING YOU ARE A WITCH OF THE COW GODDESS HERESY AND THEREFORE CANNOT BE SAVED.
(2): I GRIEVE FOR YOUR SINS, MY CHILD, AND WILL REMEMBER YOU IN MY PRAYERS. AND NOW IT IS MY UNFORTUNATE DUTY TO PRONOUNCE SENTENCE…
2. The firing squad blast their lasers towards us.
OFFICER’S VOICE: BURN THE WITCH!
3. But she repels the lasers as she spits out the gag and angrily curses us.
Claretta: YEMSHONAK MALLEUS MALEFICARUM ZAGRAR!
KNIGHTS’ VOICES OFF:
1) SHE’S REPELLING THE LASERS!
2) CURSING OUR BELOVED SUPERIOR GENERAL! WHAT’S SHE SAYING?
4. A Knight consults his hand-computer for an interpretation.
KNIGHT: I’M GETTING SEVERAL POSSIBLE MEANINGS, SIR.
(2): ‘MALLEUS MALEFICARUM, HAMMER OF WITCHES… MASTER OF CHIVALRY… GALACTIC PIN-UP BOY… DESCENDANT OF COLUMBUS… LYING THIEVING SOMETHING…’ WISHING HIM SOME –ER – HIDEOUS, UNTRANSLATABLE DEATH, SIR.
(3) THEN SHE CALLS ON SLAYER ‘TO AVENGE A PRIESTESS OF THE GODDESS!’
5. The Knight Commander smiles at the witch
KNIGHT: MALLEUS IS PROTECTED AGAINST YOUR WICKEDNESS, MY CHILD. HE IS A LIVING SAINT WHO NO WEAPON CAN HARM.
(2): WE KNIGHTS OF CHIVALRY WILL ALWAYS STAND UP TO YOUR FORCES OF DARKNESS.
(3): NOW INCINERATE THIS BITCH WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT!
6. A sinister back view of Slayer as he confronts them.
SLAYER: YOU HAVE ONE HOUR TO LAY DOWN YOUR ARMS AND LEAVE NAJAC.
KNIGHT COMMANDER: EXCUSE ME? ONE ROBOT? AM I MEANT TO BE IMPRESSED? WHO ARE YOU?
1. The Knight Commander sneers.
VOICE: I AM SCHLOCK.
KNIGHT COMMANDER: WHICH MEANS TRASH! WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE VERY SHORTLY.
VOICE: IT ALSO MEANS…
COMMANDER’S VOICE: I… I HAVE HEARD OF YOU! WH-WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH US?
3. Slayer’s head starts to metamorphosis. His usual horizontal horns start to recess into his head.
SLAYER: I AM THE WARP LORD.
4. New similar razor sharp horns are now pointing forward so he’s like a minotaur.
VOICE: HOW- HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! LIQUID METAL?
VOICE: OR A QUANTUM ANOMALY, COMMANDER, POWERED BY THE WARP ITSELF!
5. A bareheaded Knight is slashed across throat. We do not see his attacker. The actual decapitation isn’t shown, but there’s the strong implication. Or he can be wearing a helmet, in which case it can be a little more graphic. Either way it should be IMPRESSIVE!
SLAYER’S VOICE: I AM THE APEX PREDATOR.
6. The Knight Commander is gored, stabbed in the stomach by the horns that easily slash through his armour. BUT WE DO NOT SEE SLAYER DO THIS. We just see the two bleeding holes in the Knight Commander’s armour.
SLAYER’S VOICE: I AM THE PREDATOR OF PREDATORS.
COMMANDER: HE’S MOVING SO FAST! I CAN’T – UUUUH!
1.A helmeted Knight’s gun arm is cut off! Sliced through as the weapon is firing!
I AM THE ENFORCER OF THE COSMIC LAW!
KNIGHT: WHERE IS – ?
2. Another Knight is stabbed in the heart by unseen Slayer.
AND IT IS A COSMIC LAW THAT YOUR CRIMES MUST COME BACK TO YOU…
KNIGHT: HOW -?
3. A helmeted warrior is decapitated by unseen Slayer.
SLAYER’S VOICE: …THREE TIMES.
4.Humans retaliate – massive firepower aimed at us.
KNIGHT: DON’T LISTEN TO THIS ALIEN DEMON!
KNIGHT: BUT HE’S A WARP LORD! A MASTER OF TIME AND SPACE!
KNIGHT: A RENEGADE WARP LORD! THEY’VE NEVER TAKEN ANY INTEREST IN HUMAN AFFAIRS!
5. Back to Schlock. He’s almost back to ‘normal’ – his horns are going back into their usual horizontal place. A trickle of blood down his forehead where his minotaur horns recessed.
All their missiles and bullets have no effect on Schlock.
SLAYER: UNTIL NOW.
6.Now Slayer’s head takes off from his shoulders! (Horns still in horizontal mode.)
VOICE: KEEP FIRING! DARE TO STAND FIRM AGAINST THE MONSTER!
(2) FOR MALLEUS AND FREEDOM!
1 Schlock’s head hurtles towards the enemy. It’s a strange, lethal alien missile. Emphasized by its wing-like horns and aircraft nose cone
PANEL: FOR SLAYER, ONE SECOND OF HUMAN TIME CAN BE TEN SECONDS OR TEN MINUTES AS HE CAN WARP TIME.
SLAYER: TIME ENOUGH.
2. His missile head cuts down more of them.
But we DON’T see Slayer’s head achieving this.
Just the effect it has on his victims – legs, arms, hands, helmets, heads, armour sliced through as they’re firing, running, crouching, leaping.
And the SHOCKED expressions on the Knights’ faces. Schlock is TOO FAST for them to physically see him.
Thus we are having to IMAGINE how this mayhem came about which therefore draws us further into the story.
E.G. You imagine the path of the warhead with its horned blades and just don’t show it.
(Definitely NO action lines/action trail behind an unseen Slayer. It could look cartoony and comicky. Like Billy Whizz – if you know who that is.)
PANEL: IT’S AS IF THE KNIGHTS ARE FROZEN IN TIME.
SLAYER’s VOICE (no tail): I COULD DESTROY THEM ALL.
3.An entire panorama of hundreds of dead knights strewn across a complete battlefield!! The more fantastic the better. The more ridiculous the better. For the scale, google Orlando Furioso by Gustav Dore. It needs that epic quality. A mountain of corpses!! See also Slaine.
SLAYER’S VOICE: BUT I WILL BE MERCIFUL.
It is definitely NOT merciful!!
‘I will be merciful’ is his equivalent of Sláine’s ‘I didn’t think it too many.’ A potential teeshirt slogan.
4. Surviving Knights head towards their spaceship, evacuating the planet. Many of them with missing limbs, limping and on stretchers. Slayer – head back on shoulders – looks on with the Witch.
KNIGHT: HE IS SATAN HIMSELF! BUT MALLEUS WILL SHOW US HOW TO DEFEAT HIM.
KNIGHT: MALLEUS IS A WORTHY DESCENDANT OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS.
KNIGHT: AND HE HAS ALREADY PERFORMED MANY MIRACLES! THERE ARE PLANS TO MAKE HIM A SAINT – IN HIS OWN LIFETIME!
5. Claretta and Slayer.
CLARETTA: YOU WILL CARRY OUT MY CURSE ON MALLEUS, SLAYER? A SUITABLE DEATH FOR HIS MURDER OF MY PEOPLE?
SLAYER: OH, YES, CLARA.
(2): I WILL BE … MERCIFUL.
6..Just Slayer. Blood on his horizontal horns. With a dream view of the handsome, evil, yet possibly saintly Malleus behind him, possibly seated in an impressive throne.
Malleus wears a HALO which is a visible energy field to protect his head from aliens like Slayer blasting it off his shoulders. See Google images for Halos. It should look ‘the same but different’. Not religious, but still with a halo image.
SLAYER: BUT IT IS A COSMIC LAW THAT HIS CRIMES HAVE TO COME BACK TO HIM THREE TIMES.
(2): IT’S ONLY JUST BEGUN, MALLEUS…