Northlanders, Issues #1-8

August 28th, 2008 by

The first issue of the next Northlanders arc came out today, and I decided not to get it.

As those of you who have been paying attention will already know, we chose Northlanders for our very first Comic Book Book Club. This was several months ago now, and just after the sixth issue of Northlanders had been released. I had somehow neglected to add Northlanders to our pull list, so it wasn’t until today that I finally had issues #7 and #8 to finish up the story.

Read on for a spoiler-filled analysis of the series so far, and especially the last two issues of the first story arc.

So, I guess my first thought is that I’m glad I had both issues #7 and #8 to read through at once. All of the fighting happens in issue #7, and #8 is reserved for burying the dead sex-slave Thora, abdicating his “title” to Hakkar, the guy who killed everyone he ever loved, and finally emigrating to another island with the witch-woman Enna that he’s come to know and love. Both issues together were a decent conclusion, but if I’d waited for the last issue, I might have found that one to be disappointing by itself.

As we predicted in our book club, Issue #7 starts with Sven uniting the two viking tribes, (it doesn’t show how he does this, though–presumably the Saxon threat is enough). After pages of battle, Sven finally kills Gorm, (feels almost like an afterthought at this point), and then Thora appears, and begs Sven to kill her as he “promised”. We talked briefly in the podcast about the contrast between Thora and Enna. It’s interesting to note that if Enna represents a “modern” or “empowered” woman, she clearly “wins out” in contrast with Thora, whose story is snuffed out abruptly in Issue #7. We speculated about ways that Thora’s character could have been continued and made even more interesting, and unfortunately we were wrong in predicting she wouldn’t just get “killed off”.

Enna, of course, lives on to the final page, where we have the viking version of riding off into the sunset: basically just Sven telling his one-year-old son that he’ll protect him with his life, walking with his arm around Enna over a barren hill through an icy and desolate wasteland.

I can’t help but wonder whether the next story is about Sven’s son, and some part of me does want to read the next part of the series. I think I’ll probably wait though, and pick it up in TPB.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.