Review: Norse Mythology II #5
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Story and Words: Neil Gaiman
Script and Layouts: P. Craig Russell
Art and Colors: Matt Horak
Letters: Galen Showman
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
Norse Mythology II #5 puts a spin on the mythology of apples. Apples were the downfall of Adam. Eve, and the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.
Idunn is a wonderful example of how a character in mythology can become as important if not more important than the legendary figures like Thor, Freyja, Odin, and Loki. Idunn supplies the Aesir with immortality. In a box that she carries are golden apples. Imagine if there was a type of food like apples or pomegranates that suffused the limbs with immortality.
When the Norse gods feel the passage of time wearing on them and the years taking a toll, they seek out Idunn and her golden apples. It might seem like this would be a tightly held secret. Somehow, a giant eagle named Thiazi learns of the secret.
Thiazi is crafty enough to outwit Loki. He teaches Thor, Hoenir, and Loki how to cook the rare cattle near the border of Jotunheim. When Thiazi steals the meat, Loki gives chase and is quickly entrapped. Loki’s only way to get free is to agree to bring Idunn to the eagle.
Loki baits a trap for her by challenging the quality of Idunn’s apples. When she nibbles, he sets the hook and suggests they journey into the woods for a comparison. The eagle is really a Giant who changed his shape. He steals her away and with her the golden apples of immortality.
Loki leaves believing that there is no way anyone will connect him to her disappearance. Why do men think like this? History and even news headlines will suggest otherwise.
After receiving a sound pummeling by Thor, Loki agrees to find her rather than face torture at the hands of his countrymen under the direction of Odin. Loki once again borrows Freya’s falcon-feathered cloak and sets off to rescue
This updated version of a classic tale contains no negative content.
There are numerous examples of brilliant writing and art crammed into every panel of this series. Neil Gaiman knows how to bring the stuffiest tale to life with wit and insight that would bring a smile to the crustiest of old bards. There is nothing but magic flowing from the pens of Gabriel Hernandez Walta.
Meanwhile, P. Craig Russell’s cover feels like a stained glass window illuminated by the sunlight of an endless afternoon. Letters bring the annoyance of Odin, the child-like temper of Thor, and the self-serving priorities to life with every word. In many instances, old tales can feel and sound like a musty tome pulled from the shelves and dryly recounted in a voice of rasping disinterest. Norse Mythology II breathes new life into these tales with the dry wit of Gaiman’s storytelling voice. It is present in the narration, the dialogue, and every stunning panel.