Brides of Helheim tells the ongoing story of the undead Viking Rikard. Those that might have read the first issue and thought that there was not enough of Rikard will not be disappointed with this issue. After a small group of townspeople located the behemoth in the previous issue he is now on his way towards facing the foes that he has been set against. Once again as with the first issue, this one thrives on numerous factors. The character is compelling, the supporting characters are fleshed out and the art as provided by Joelle Jones only supports the entire reading experience.
As opposed to the first issue which had a small action sequence involving Rikard fighting a bear, this issue deals with the plot and then moves firmly into action mode, in a somewhat over-the-top action sequence as Rikard “goes Viking” (their term, not mine) which nonetheless does not feel out of place in this fantastical world. In fact, in what is likely to a recurring comment towards this issue and this series, the writer and artist work well together here in terms of pacing and fluidity of the action, while also making it feel like a relevant part of the story.
This second issue has a different overall feel from the first. The search for Rikard in the first issue seems to be somewhat of an easy way to reintroduce the character to those that had not read the first series, but the writer is still clever enough here to give us some remnants of this search as Sigrid, the young girl from the search party continues to play a role in the plot, although at least for the moment she is of secondary importance. Instead a background story is explored detailing some of the unknown magical forces which control the realm, and it is these magical forces that Rikard aims to face off against. Really there is very little to be critical of in this issue, as this series stands out as one of the best surprises for me since returning to this medium as a regular reader. The only critique which I could imagine that some might come up with is that this is not a comic about superheroes and that some might not like it just because of the content and genre, but for those that enjoy a holistic experience of the medium, there isn’t likely to be much better than this.
Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Joëlle Jones
Story: 8.8 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Oni Press provided Graphics Policy with a free copy for review.