We thought Spacewarp readers would like to see how Slayer developed. These are James Newell’s early visions for the character. And no – those numbers don’t refer to the number of times he drew him! Although it WAS a long haul to get him right and full marks to James for his patience and perseverance. It’s worth adding that this ‘search for perfection’ is only viable on creator-owned characters. If an artist and writer are selling ‘all rights’, they simply cannot put in this amount of time on development. It’s uneconomic and unfair. But if you have a proper financial stake in the character, then it’s very different…
Prototype 387 was the first Slayer James sent to me and I was very impressed. But it was too organic and too decaying for an alien robot hero.
Prototype 581 was nearly there, but – because we had hooved Ultors in Hellbreaker – not to mention my 2000AD character Nemesis The Warlock having hooves, I felt we had to lose the hooves.
Prototype 901 was pretty much there. The art then went through a further development period of featuring him in action. Later still I decided we needed to see his eyes on occasion and James came up with an impressive number of optic variations.
Slayer is a Quantum Mechanic, a Repair Robot, and was conceptualised as a Robot Minotaur, servant of the Cosmic Cow Goddess. The human Knights sometimes refer to him as a ‘Karmic Cop’ because ancestral crimes, character epigenetics (now recognised by science) are important to him. We think of ourselves as individuals, but Slayer sees us as just a small branch of our family tree,’neither one nor many’, and sometimes the whole family tree must be cut down…
His reference book is ‘The Quantum Mechanics Galactic Handbook. Through Quantum Mechanics he can move through space and time and also deal with threats from his enemies,The Warp Lords, who can alter reality with a Wave Function Collapse.
His favourite expression is ‘I am merciful.’ He says it after he has ‘dismantled’ (killed) thousands of humans in a few minutes of our time.He may have a technical fault that makes him spare humans who should really be dismantled. His greatest enemy is the alchemist Lord Protector Drogeda who is also the Headmaster of the sinister Warpstar Academy.
This robot is also known as SCHLOCK – ‘trash’ – and that’s how his human enemies see him. But they should have looked more carefully at their dictionaries because Schlock also means ’Slayer’…
Here are some more of James’s Slayer prototypes. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Slayer is so cool, I can’t make up my mind which version I like the most!
They all have a lot of character, don’t they! Perhaps they’re Slayer’s less salubrious distant relatives…
And maybe we will see them crop up as their own versions on the future 🤞
Cool. Maybe there’s a Slayer multiverse where each of these versions exists?