What did the
So Egil and Finn want to be renowned Viking raiders and they have big plans on making an impact on the whole raiding scene. The first sequence of the book – an elaborate poop joke – is an intro to the main characters (the brothers Egil and Finn) and their motivations . Oh, and there’s something about killing a serpent. Very funny and entertaining start. Cut to
“King Bram the Quiet” who shows what he’s made of. Switch to an eel fishing trip to meet Finn and Egil’s Granpappy and their little brother, Ketil. Grampa urges caution while Ketil glorifies the raider lifestyle. Then a harsh transaction in a market introduces Bork, the drunk glutton of the story. Now we move back to King Bram and his daughter, Annikki who encounter a bear on the forest. Annikki is somewhat of a tree hugging hippy and doesn’t want the bear to be injured or killed. Odd, she just killed a bird with her impressive archery skills. The scene is fun and illuminates the characters’ feelings elegantly. The last scene is the cherry on top that shows the repercussions of the opening sequence. Plus, it gets you to buy the next issue.
Brandon does a good job of laying everything out rapidly but not hurriedly. A highlight is the humorous dialogue which comes across as archaic in it’s structure but not forced. It did take me a few pages to get used to it – English is my second language – but I adjusted my mental filters and I understood everything with ease. The characters are arguably the strongest aspect of this story. Everyone is distinct and fills a very unique role in the story. Very strong script all over.
The art is sure to please many. The penciling style is sketchy and the character designs stay consistent throughout. The colors give everything a painted look, but not like you might expect from Alex Ross or those guys. The pages have texture and “eye-feel”. Reminds me of Jonathan Hickman’s coloring technique in it’s splatter-y-ness but with half tone dots too. I sometimes had a hard time figuring out the geography of the scenes due to the jerky switch in camera angles but it might’ve been a stylistic choice to express the chaotic nature of the Viking world. Also of note is the lettering which utilizes ragged word balloons to fit with the art style. Good call.
For $3 this is an excellent buy! Oversized format, good paperstock, full story and three pages of extras. That alone makes this my POW. But add a hook-y story with cool characters, fun dialogue and sweet art and you have a proposition I can’t refuse.
Art: 4 - Very Good