This title from Image comics is off to a good start.
It’s the story of Prince Helgi, a Norseman who has come to possess the eye of Odin.
Legend says he must return it to its rightful owner or suffer a death “of boils and decay.”
The prince is convinced he must return the object to Mimir, the frost giant king.
Believing he is cursed, Helgi demands that he make the trek to the land of the frost giants alone.
But one-armed Stigr and Kadlin, who believes she’s a Valkyrie, insist on accompanying him.
The journey is dangerous as the three are beset by mythical creatures of all kinds.
Helgi wonders at the beginning of the story if the tales his father told him about the Norse gods and beings were actually true. His excursion proves to him they were.
“Beware the Eye of Odin” brings all of Norse mythology to life and promises to set ever-stronger enemies like trolls and giants against our intrepid trio.
Stigr says he promised the king to look after Helgi. He is also spurred on by the comment by a village woman about how he “used to be” a warrior.
Stigr also carries a chain connected to an anvil he created himself as a weapon.
Kadlin lightens the mood for the reader and offers critically sound advice to her fellow travelers. She’s also pretty good with a sword.
The three are also being watched by a multi-headed creature (troll?) and another being. They, too, wish to possess the eye and are not above killing (and eating) Helgi and party.
Questions that arise from reading the first issue include: why was a frost giant (who we see decapitated on page three) in the village to begin with? How and why did it have the eye of Odin?
Writer Doug Wagner and artist Tim Odland have a real winner on their hands. The pace is just right, the dialogue engaging (and funny in spots), and each panel is a joy to look at.
Colorist Michelle Madsen, letterer Ed Dukeshire, and designer Erika Schnatz have leant their considerable talents to this title, bringing the story to life. The back cover, by Rob Cooke, is also a treat to the eye.
The story isn’t just about an adventure. It’s about friendship, second chances, and the ability to travel your own path. And it’s just getting started.
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