Don’t Miss: ‘NORTHLANDERS #1’ by Brian Wood and Davide Gianfelice

As you plan your pull list for this week, I thought I would remind you that Brian Wood’s new series, Northlanders #1 is coming out this week, published by Vertigo/DC Comics.

This series is a curious one, as it seems to be a bit of a departure from the typical type and genre of comic book that Brian Wood is usually known for writing. While some of his work has been dystopian science fiction (Channel Zero, Supermarket), intensely personal (Local) or politically charged (DMZ), Northlanders is about vikings, in the year 980 A.D.

When I first heard the pitch on Northlanders, I think I literally blurted out “Vikings? Really?” I didn’t really expect that from Brian Wood, but the more I looked into it and read about the book, the more my curiosity has been piqued. If you head over the the comic’s site, you can see the extensive amount of research at Wood has done in the writing of this book. After seeing that I paused, and thought that this comic just got a bit more interesting.

In the solicitation, Vertigo/DC positions the book by highlighting the main themes of Northlanders:

  • Christian/Islamic conflict
  • Technological revolution
  • Fear of the end of the world

Themes that aren’t dissimilar from the questions and challenges we face today, and themes that also aren’t too unfamiliar from Wood’s previous works which often touch upon politics and technology. But the juxtaposition of putting those themes and topics into the past, specifically badass Vikings? Sounds like a compelling ad creative approach.

There is a seven page preview of the first issue available for viewing on Vertigo’s site which highlights the art of Davide Gianfelice. I was impressed with the clean lines of the art, and how that will play out in a setting that I would have thought would have seen more of a sketchy/rough art style.

Given that Wood is coming off a hit with DMZ, which works very strongly with what we would expect from him, I’m interested to see in how well this comic is both created and is received. I could see a Nordic tale amongst Vikings as something that would leave comic fans with their heads scratching. Given that it appears, based off the preview, that the dialogue will be written with a modern flare (i.e. modern slang and curses) and not overly dated or hard to read/understand. I could see this as a way to make the comic more accessible but I could see it working in the opposite direction and the language anachronism working against it.

No matter what, I’ll be picking this up this week, so we’ll see. Are you going to buy it? What do you think of this different type of book by Brian Wood?


  1. I’m definitely buying it. I remember Wood posting something on Live Journal over a year ago to the effect of “Do you think I could convince someone to pay me to do a Viking comic?” and thinking “that would actually be really interesting, too bad it will never happen.”

  2. I couldn’t be more excited. Late 900’s Europe is a favorite period of mine

  3. Sounds like a trade I will buy for someone else (and read before giving it to them :).

  4. Been on the pull list since I read the preview.

  5. I’ve already been following DMZ, was curious about Local (thanks iFanboy) and picked up the series a few weeks ago. Wow. Now as I hunt down Demo, Couriers, and Channel Zero, all I can say is bring it on Mr. Wood, if you’re writing it, I’ll be reading it.

  6. I was going to pick this up because with Vertigo, like with Image, I usually pick up the first couple of issues of a new series. The preview looks pretty awesome.

  7. Why not. I’m in.

  8. Just give in, Ron. You’re a Vertigo junkie, and it’s totally unavoidable.

  9. I have no idea why but for some reason I was thinking about 300 at the beginning of the preview but I’m gonna buy it for Wood’s writing

  10. While I’d love to read this in trade, I can’t wait…I’m on issues for this.

  11. I’m with AlexG on this. I think this will make a great read in trades, but I don’t think I can wait. I have to pick it up in issues. Really looking forward to this.

  12. I hate waiting for trades.

  13. Totally in! Just added this to my pull list. Waiting for trades is a pain, even though sometimes trades make for better reading, but dammit I can’t wait for this!

  14. I actually really liked this- even though I thought I wouldn’t. Definitely picking this up monthly now (for those who recognize the name, I’ve gotten over my OCD and don’t need to add Marvel books anymore)