Graphic Novel Review: Northlanders Vol 3: Blood In The Snow
(Titan Books, �10.99)
Writer Brian Wood, various artists
WHEN you think of vikings, is your first impression that of Hagar the Horrible? Hairy men with horns on their helmets raping and pillaging in sudden raids from longboat warships? If you’re a comics fan perhaps you’ll be drawn to Marvel’s Shakespearean-speaking Thor the Thunder God and his Asgardian comrades in arms? Maybe it’s time to think again.
Northlanders has done to vikings what TV’s the Tudors did with the England of Henry VIII, Spartacus is trying to achieve with the Roman Empire, and Deadwood managed so well with the Wild West – taking a period of history and injecting it with a contemporary feel through dialogue, character interaction and parallels to modern society.
It also differs from many comic books by avoiding a central cast, instead focusing on different groups and individuals and reflecting their lives in the harsh world of the Dark Ages.
This latest volume includes the stories Lindisfarne, where a young Christian boy witnesses the Viking invasion of the infamous coastal village first hand; The Viking Art of Single Combat, which offers an in-depth commentary on Viking warfare and tactics through the simple narrative medium of a duel; and The Shield Maidens, which explores the role of women of the period as three Danish widows face down an invading Saxon army.
The final story plays against type, as Sven The Immortal revisits the character from the original Northlanders story arc, 20 years after we last encountered him…
- 1 Range Rover stopped towing ‘insecure trailer’ on A1(M) in Stevenage
- 2 'Jobs will be lost' if Stevenage TK Maxx fails to relocate
- 3 Police called to concern for welfare after 'youths' seen on Stevenage roof
- 4 Iceland offers over 60s discount on shopping bill every week
- 5 Man wanted in connection with police officer assault could be in Hitchin
- 6 Plans to demolish riding stables to make way for housing
- 7 Lloyds Bank in Letchworth to shut as closures announced across the UK
- 8 7 great places to get a bottomless brunch in Hertfordshire
- 9 Crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Letchworth and Baldock
- 10 Former pub owner admits to food hygiene offences
A remarkable piece of post-modern fiction in any medium, Northlanders stands head and shoulders above much of the usual comics output, and deserves a long and healthy run.