Saltire: Book 1 & 2

by Sean Tonelli on November 09, 2013

Saltire: Book 1 & 2
Let’s face it, if comic book heroes existed, North America would be protected. Heck, if any baddie thought of going anywhere near New York, they’d have at least 50 heroes to deal with. Even Canada’s got Captain Canuck. Well thanks to John Ferguson, Scotland is now protected by its very own superhero; an immortal by the name of Saltire. The first two books are collected in a set simply entitled Saltire, but is he the hero Scotland needs?   
Saltire serves as the immortal guardian of Scotland. Created by the 12 clans as a way to protect them from the encroaching outside world, the big-blue-wonder rocks two giant diamond-steel swords and isn’t afraid to use them in the name of freedom. The first book, Invasion, serves as an introduction to Saltire as he goes face to face with a Roman legion. Book two, Inception, delves deep into the mythology surrounding our hero and essentially sets up the rest of the upcoming series.
John Ferguson has created an interesting mythology that showcases surprising depth. I found myself completely enthralled with the mysticism that’s a healthy mix of Lord of the Rings style fantasy and Game of Thrones style politics. While the mythology is engrossing, there are some faults with the story itself. Saltire himself is visually appealing, but he’s still one-dimensional. Ferguson’s dialogue can be a bit hockey at times and the dated use of thought bubbles tires quickly. Inception, being the stronger of the two tales, shows definite sign of progress however that makes me optimistic for the future of the series.
The art unfortunately is a mixed-bag. Some splash pages are beautiful and the load split between the two artists offers very negligible difference. However, some of the sketch lines can still be seen through the colouring, giving the book more of an unfinished appearance as opposed to a style.
Saltire may not be perfect, but its engrossing mythology is enough to keep you coming back for more. If the series can fix its minor faults, Saltire may become a household name sooner than you think.  

Saltire: Book 1 & 2
Writer: John Ferguson
Art: Tone Julskjaer & Gary Welsh
Publihser: Diamondsteel Comics

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