Review – Clankillers # 1 (AfterShock Comics)

 Smells Like Teen Spirit in Clankillers #1

In Clankillers #1, the ultimate teenage rebellion story begins in a mystical, medieval Ireland. Finola is the daughter of Padraig the Grotesque, a mad king under the control of the madder goddess Balor. With a very teenager-esque attitude, Finola is “over” her father’s greed and the general tyranny of her world. Thus, she enlists her childhood friend Cillian and crafts a plan to end all the clans…including her own.


Clankillers #1 (AfterShock Comics) cover by Antonio Fuso
cover by Antonio Fuso

Sean Lewis pens Clankillers #1 and it is warming up to be a good read. I say warming up because most of this first issue focuses on painting the stage. 

However, that is not a bad thing. Firstly, it does feel like we are given the gist of things so that coming issues can jump right into Finola’s journey. Secondly, the story feels like an old Irish folktale in the best way possible. Thirdly, there is some well-written dialogue in the case of Finola and Cillian.  There is a nice juxtaposition of their youth and the grittiness of their world. Finola’s monologue about her father’s actions is profound. Yet, it is profound in a way that reminds you of “woke” kids from your high school years. Finola is like that blonde who discovered liberalism or that goth kid lecturing about how black resonates with his/her soul. Finola is aware that things need fixing, but there is some learning to do and possibly some bubbles to pop. It’ll be interesting to see how her journey progresses and things develop from here.


The art of Clankillers #1 is done by Antonio Fuso. I like the use of sharp lines here. The scratchiness of the art gives it a kind of whimsy. Also, the blend of dark shadows and soft coloring is gorgeous. All in all, it makes the story itself feel like dream (or nightmare) and supports the general oddness of what is happening. Fuso also uses some experimental panel shapes that communicate the emotion of different scenes nicely.

However, the art of Clankillers #1 does have a slight issue with panel arrangement and posing. Some of the panels are not dynamic enough for my taste. There are moments where actions do not have the sense of impact. For example, the king cuts an enemy’s head off early in the comic. The panel for this scene felt cramped and I did not feel the force of that sword swing. The action may have been stronger with a less close view wherein we could see the head fall a distance or the full swing of the sword. There are a couple of instances of this in the comic and they stick out. Otherwise, the art can be quite pleasant and a treat to look at.


Clankillers is off to a good start. Finola and Cillian are fun characters. The kingdom that Finola is a part of is a dark one and I am curious how it measures up to the other clans’ lifestyles and beliefs. With black arts and mystical creatures like sirens already appearing, I am also excited to see some Celtic folklore introduced. I am little worried about some of the panel cuts, but the art is cool.

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About the author

Camille McIntyre

By day, Camille is an animal caretaker at a museum. By night, she is a prolific explorer of the fantastical. Whether it is built with ink, pixels, or hyperbole, she visits new worlds with feverish persistence and a keen eye for detail. If needed, Camille can be found in a place far, far away on a dark and stormy night, asking all the wrong questions as she finishes her journey there and back again.

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