Review: Brides of Helheim #5
This under-the-radar series is one of the best of the past year, but it has told its story in an unconventional way. The most radical change of direction came at the end of the previous issue. Sigrid, the farm girl turned into Valkyrie by the evil wizard had the opposite effect than trying to kill Rikard, and instead now serves as his romantic companion. For those that haven’t read the previous issues, the first pages of a undead zombie-like Viking in a post-coitus scene with an angelic Valkyrie will probably come as a bit of a shock and even perhaps as a reason to put the book down. For those that have been following along though, this development is a strange interlude in the continuing search for those that aim to do harm to this area of Nordic lands.
This issue gets back on track from the confusing direction of the previous few issues primarily by focusing on Kadlin. She is Rikard’s estranged partner, but although she has been looking for answers of her own, she has mostly stayed to the shadows. She has acted as a sometimes mouth of reason for Sigrid, but mostly has kept to herself with her own plans. Those plans become all the clearer here, while also coincidentally getting confused once again by the arrival of an unexpected guest. At the same time Rikard and his new sidekick arrive to impose a justice of their own.
Generally speaking, stories that combine iconic characters tend to veer towards parody, but the Zombie Viking manages to present itself seriously. More so, the story doesn’t revolve around these elements as much as play to them, giving it ground in which to be use the best of both inspirations for something better. The series does seem to be off course at times, but the success of this issue proves that the bigger picture holds more fantastic results. The setup is thus there for a memorable conclusion to this series, and the track record so far would indicate something fun and amazing.
Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Joelle Jones
Story: 8.7 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy
Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review