Monday, November 26, 2007


Northanders #1
As soon as I heard that Brian Wood was doing a story about Vikings, I knew I'd have to order it. I'm a bit of a fan of Vikings, and have been since I was a child. I studied under a Norse specialist in college, and if my life had gone slightly different I might have gone into that field myself. An aside, my ability to learn languages is lousy, so history held no appeal for me... as primary sources in everything I was interested in tended to not be in English.

I was slightly surprised when I got previews (lettered, no color) of the first two issues of Northlanders. I haven't been much of a comic book reviewer lately. I thought I'd dropped off all the lists. Not that I'm complaining! This was a delightful treat for me. While you can't read the full two issues right away, you can get a nice preview of the art that will show you what to expect.

My really short review: If you like Brian Wood's other works, pick this up. You'll love it. If you don't know Wood's efforts, but want a gritty look at history, pick it up and give it a try. If you want your history sanitized, this book is not for you. This is not a fluffy bunny look at Vikings.

Longer thoughts: The story revolves around Sven, the ultimate insider and outsider. Sven makes his own way because of his status, and has a chip on his shoulder the size of a viking god. He's not likable, but his story is fascinating... and trying to figure out why he's such an outsider in his own home will make for intriguing reading. Two issues in, and I'm already wanting issue three. Like DMZ, the book is satisfying in each issue, but definitely leaves you wanting more. The artwork takes some getting used to, but works so far. I think it'll work better in color, where Sven's differences will probably be more noticable.

All told, this is a good start, and I don't regret ordering it at all. Give it a look and see what you think.