Review: Norse Mythology #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
Letters: Galen Showman
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
When Odin believes that Asgard needs a wall, the King of Gods is greeted by a man who promises to do exactly that. But the terms include a payment of the Sun, the Moon, and the queen, Freya. When Loki sways those in attendance to agree to the terms a calamity of events is set in motion.
The quality of art cannot be overstated Pyotr Kowalski draws lines that are simple and true. But like any line in the hand of a master artist, the simple strokes belie exquisite execution. Colors by Lovern Kindzierski are rich and luscious. Emotions are bright when fiery and dark when subdued. Sunsets, sunrises, and the beautiful layers of color are folded in between the panels.
Stories from the past are powerful. Great stories speak to moments in the present with ease. Odin believes that danger is always present. Thor is off fighting trolls. Fear lurks in the past and the present.
Asgard must be prepared for the time when an attack comes and Thor is not available to defend it. So driven by this idea are Odin and his Council that they are even willing to be convinced by Loki. Kings and councils who trust a trickster court folly.
This book does a wonderful job of showing just how crafty Loki is. Both convincing the council to agree to the terms of the visiting master builder and then making it seem like it was everyone else’s idea. But the wonderful moment here from Neil Gaiman is how he uses that same suggestion of wonder to leave readers with a beautiful cliffhanger.
Freya is perhaps the most enjoyable character in the story. The master-builder is a wonderful mystery with quiet dogged persistence. Odin is always troubled.
But Freya is a seething Fury that every once in a while pops. Like the moment when she explodes with an elbow that cracks Loki upside his jaw. The strike and watching the trickster fall to the ground are rich material for a chuckle.
Not all books require negative criticism. This book shines. Criticizing it is like picking a fight with a pacifist. It’s crude. And everyone watching knows it.
Once again, Neil Gaiman has taken the beauty of the intimidating Norse mythology and made it better. The artists bring it to life with vibrant colors. Brilliance begins with Gaiman’s words. It is matched by an outstanding artistic team.
The collection of stories will not only enhance the wealth of a reader’s collection or the quality of stories that they can share. It is easy to picture a fan taking this book off the shelf. Then watch them sit down. Turning pages and sharing each story with a new reader.
It is just as easy to picture the new reader. Eyes wide. Staring, listening, and watching with wonder. At once awed at the beauty and reveling in the majesty each page reveals.