Review: Norse Mythology #6
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Story and Words: Neil Gaiman
Script and Layouts: P. Craig Russell
Art and Colors: Jill Thompson
Letters: Galen Showman
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
Norse Mythology #6 continues Loki’s quest to find his brother’s missing hammer Mjolnir. The revelation that an ogre has stolen it and will only return it as a trade for the hand of Freya in marriage produces an unexpected series of events.
Hell hath no fury like the anger of a Norse goddess who is also a witch and raised by witches. Freya unleashes a tirade of furious demands when Thor and Loki propose the idea of marriage in exchange for Mjolnir. One of the more delightful moments of dialogue from Neil Gaiman is the line from Thor who says, “Freya is beautiful when she is angry… ”
Loki is known for his trickery and imaginative schemes. But when he is stumped and brings he and Thor’s trouble before Odin and the court Heimdall steps forward as one of the most clever. Perhaps it is because he sees all and knows all Heimdall feels as dangerous if not more so than the trickster god.
The solution is memorable and a delight for fans of Norse mythology. The Aesir dresses Thor in a bride’s attire to resemble Freya. Once the ogre is satisfied and the hammer returned Thor plans to reveal himself and bring an end to these games. Loki changes his gender and attends Thor as the handmaiden of Freya.
Thor’s expressions are brilliantly rendered by P. Craig Russell. They are comedic, furious, and childish. Few things were as delightful as Thor’s eyes burning behind a veil. Loki’s response to Thor’s betrothed that this is the fiery passion that Freya burns with is worthy of a chuckle and a guffaw. Second, only to the moment when Thor tells Loki that Freya will not agree to the Ogre Lord’s bargain.
Freya’s anger is wonderfully stated. Less is more and it is pitch-perfect. But, it would have been fun to see her toss around Thor and Loki while they cringed in fear. If there are extra panels available in a later edition of this story fans will cheer with delight.
Norse Mythology #6 could easily be a tired retelling of a classic myth. Neil Gaiman unlocks the keys to doors and doorways where imagination lurks. The game of hide-and-seek comes to an end when Gaiman draws out the human foibles that continue to plague the Aesir. The collaboration with a magical team of creators displays the shared intention of the series.
Russell knows how to strike a bold line and where to layer softer impressions. The images are bold and fluid. Each one reflects the rainbow of colors contributed by Jill Thompson. Galen Showman captures the deception of Loki, the menacing threat of the ogre, and the violent fury of Freya’s anger to life with letters that feel etched by their emotions. There are brilliant legends and then there are the storytellers who make them indelible with their legendary renderings.