Dark Horse Review: ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA: SONG OF GLORY #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Martin Tunica
Colours: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Richard Starkings, Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory #3: As the rival Vikings retaliate, the King of Stavanger and his people are vulnerable with both of their champions seeking glory elsewhere. Eivor’s prize is within her reach, but will she choose the power it could bring or does her destiny lie with her kingdom? And back at the merchant’s castle, Sigurd faces off with the Assassin for a more personal treasure!
With Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory #3, Cavan Scott’s prequel to the Ubisoft game comes to its conclusion. Reading this series was something of a unique experience for me. I went into the first issue blind, as I had not yet played the game. The characters, settings, and event were totally new to me. With issue #2, I was partway through the game, and started getting some sense of how this story relates to the game’s story. When I picked up this issue, I had played through the entire main story, giving me a clearer picture of the comic’s full context.
In this issue, we learn how it is that Sigurd comes to the attention of Basim and the Hidden Ones (the precursors to the Assassin Brotherhood). Basim seems particularly interested in the mark on Sigurd’s neck. This might be lost on many readers, but those who have reached the ending of the game will understand the significance.
Another notable thing that happens is that Eivor nearly gains possession of an Apple of Eden, a powerful artifact first introduced in the original Assassin’s Creed game. If Eivor had gotten her hands on the Apple, her life’s story would have taken a much different path. Presumably, possessing this artifact would have brought her much earlier to the revelation that comes at the games ending. She would have learned her true nature then and there.
And the relic would have given her power enough to make her later settlement of Britain unnecessary, which would have likely had a significant effect on history as we know it.
And this leads Eivor to the decision that sets off the events of the game – perhaps the greatest decision of her entire life. Eivor must decide to stay and fight Gull to gain possession of this powerful artifact or return and help the people of her village fight off an attack.
Eivor makes the heroic choice, putting her people’s welfare over her own quest for power and glory. This is true to the character as she (or he) appears in the game. Eivor fights many battles, explores many lands, and rights many injustices. But in the end, Eivor’s primary goal is to keep her people safe and prosperous. Regardless of the decisions you make in the game, good or evil, Eivor holds true to that ideal.
I also have quite enjoyed Martin Tunica’s art on this series. Tunica does a good job of keeping the characters and settings recognizable from the game. But he does not let that constrain his creativity. This allows him to express his own style while still staying in line with that of the game.
You might get the impression from what I’ve said so far that you need to play the game to properly appreciate the story. I do believe that you will get a much deeper appreciation of this series if you have also played the game. However, I would venture to say that it holds together as an entertaining tale that is worth reading on its own. Even if you never have and never will play the game, you can still appreciate Scott’s exciting tale of Viking adventure.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Song of Glory #3 is a fantastic conclusion to this prequel to the game. This series is a brilliant supplement to the game, adding extra dimension to the story. However, it works admirably as its own standalone story. Whether you’re a fan of the game or of Viking stories, I heartily recommend checking out this series.