ONI Press 2014
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Joelle Jones
Coloured by Nick Filardi
Years have passed since Rikard stood in defiance against the witches Bera and Groa. In defeating the spae-women, Rikard saved his people but lost his life. And yet he cannot rest. Denied the promise of Valhalla, the warrior is condemned to wander the living world as an undead draugr.
Here’s a perfect example of why we love comics and the people who make them because someone like Cullen can write so many different genre’s for different companies. Cullen is a phenomenal storyteller and here with Rikard he gets to flex those mind muscles with Norse mythology and bring to the many people’s attention stuff they might not know. Plus it’s been fun to see how Rikard has evolved and become a mixture of the man he was and the monster he’s been made into.
Joelle really has gotten her claws into this and bringing the characters to life and the wings on the Valkyrie and her hair in contrast to Rikard’s hard cold body are the first example in this issue of just how vivid and delightful her imagination can be.
Kadlin is a character I’ve grown to love and seeing her throughout this issue on her little journey where she kinds of cracks up a bit talking to herself was actually endearing and sweet. Plus the accent, okay the English writing of the accent, you couldn’t help be read aloud so you practice it yourself. When she walks in on Raevil, Brea and Groa well it’s nice to see Joelle isn’t afraid to showcase nudity even on these old decrepit beings. The fact that Raevil’s goatee is so long and braided and the eye follows it to his penis well it’s just an image you won’t forget.
You know we are getting to the climax of this story as all the players are finally getting to be in the same place at the same time. In all ways this really is a groundbreaking series infused with magic, mythology and human drama that showcase how regardless of where we are from the internal struggle we all have to reconcile our actions with how we want to live our lives. This is a wondrous depiction of a world and a time that doesn’t get much attention but is so full of awe and wonder.
Cullen has managed to bring us into this world beautifully and Joelle breathes life into it with such aplomb. This is the kind of historical fiction which based on myths and legends that begs to be read.