Review: Norse Mythology #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell
Letters: Steve Wands
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
In Norse Mythology #2, Loki must atone for his scandalous prank against Thor’s wife. But since Loki can’t ever do things directly, he pits two groups of dwarves against each other in a test of skill.
Issue number one in this series. did an outstanding job of establishing the legendary world of the Norse gods and the tree Yggdrasil which sustains all. By the end of that issue, readers delved into a story about Loki shaving the gorgeous blonde locks of Sif, the wife of his brother Thor. Thor sends Loki to the dwarves who have the crafting skill to stave off his punishment.
It should be noted that Thor has promised to break every bone in the body of Loki every day until he solves this problem. Thor estimates it will take approximately one hour on the first attempt. But that with practice the God of Thunder can get it down to an efficient 15 minutes.
Loki wants to guarantee he gets the best work by pitting two sets of dwarf brothers against each other. But the two named Brokk and Eitri up the ante by requiring Loki’s severed head if they are successful. Loki becomes a fly or at least an insect that looks like a fly. He can see and bite or sting. On three attempts he strives to sabotage the gifts.
Positives — Gifts
Instead, each one is more magnificent than the last. It is from these stories that readers learn about the legendary tools of the Norse Gods. The first is the spear Gungnir given to Odin. It never misses its mark. Then there is the replacement hair for Sif. The golden locks are perfect.
Next, is Skidbladnir. The ship that unfolds from cloth to become the biggest ship imaginable. Then, it is folded back into a cloth again. Odin receives a golden ring that drips 8 gold rings every ninth night. Freya is given a golden boar to pull her chariot.
The last and fairest is Mjolnir the lightning–maker the unbreakable Hammer of Thor. Some details that are not always included in stories about Thor include how the hammer can grow in size. Or shrink until it is small enough to be hidden inside of Thor’s shirt.
A great twist comes when Loki is required to settle up his debt. But because of the law of Odin, Loki’s neck cannot be cut. Instead, an alternative punishment is created. It is both fitting and memorable.
Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell have scripted a beautiful chronology of Norse mythology. The art by Jerry Ordway, Mike Mignola, and Russell and the colors by Lovern Kindzierski and Dave Stewart make these once ancient stories feel bright, fresh, and new. Together with the uncluttered dialogue the clear beautiful colors and lines come to life on the page.
When it is done this will be a beautiful collection. Any reader or collector we’ll have a gift that can be shared with fans old and young. If Gaiman can turn his attentions to the myths and legends throughout the world the wonders we can discover and catalog would rival Alexandria. Humanity should be so lucky.