Review: Vikings Vs. Unicorns #1

vikings-vs-unicornsNo, you read the title correctly.

This comic is called Vikings Vs. Unicorns. Does that sound like an insane concept with an attention grabbing title? I think it’s probably meant too. Y’see I haven’t even read the comic yet as I write the opening paragraph, but when the comic hit my inbox I knew I’d be writing about it… I mean vikings and unicorns? I immediately pictured a cross between My Little Pony and the TV show Vikings, and dropped everything to read this comic. Except my cup of tea because that would be a waste of tea and I’d probably get burned quite severely as I had only just made it.

But I digress.

With the comic (and my tea) finished, and yes this is written a few hours after the introduction paragraph, it’s time to settle down for the review proper.

As you may have guessed by the title, this comic is outlandish. Billed as an alternate mythology, Vikings Vs. Unicorns gives us a very unique take on the unicorn. Normally portrayed as a gentle, mythological creature who is the epitome of gentle magic and dreams, the unicorn is often synonymous with the very idea of fantasy.

If I told you a unicorn was in a comic, you’d probably assume it was a gentle creature; not always, granted, but more often than not. Well in this comic they are most certainly not the gentle animal you’re familiar with. No, they are violently unstable beasts with such ferociously hilarious names like Sprinkles the Impaler.

This comic tries to turn the stereotype of the unicorn upon it’s horned head, and for the most part it succeeds very well. I say for the most part because while I found 90% of the comic very funny, I can easily  understand why others wouldn’t find it as amusing as I did, but then I did go in expecting the comic to be pretty ridiculous in it’s subject matter and story. Although with a name like Vikings Vs. Unicorns you can’t really expect any else; there’s definitely an audience for this comic, and it deserves to be read because it achieves what it aims for very well. It’s an outlandish thrill ride that really does what it says on the tin. If the name and cover of this comic don’t at least make you smirk then you may not find the contents within to be that thrilling, either.

If, like me, you do? It’s worth picking up. There’s a brilliant style to the art that’s a combination of hand drawn pencil lines and digital colours – the effect when combined with the runic  borders to the pages is very fitting to a comic about vikings, and he spectacular rainbows that fill the screen as the unicorns bleed is also very well done – and actually quite jarring, too, to be honest.

That said, there was one off colour joke (which is actually acknowledged as such within the comic), which I could have done without, but overall said joke was really the only one that really pulled me out of the story. Whether it’ll bother you, honestly, I don’t know, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that it wasn’t as funny as the rest of the comic for me personally. Your mileage may vary.

What it comes down too, honestly, is that this won’t be a comic for everyone, and it’s going to have those who love it and those who think it was written by an acid tripping sleep deprived writer. If the title intrigues you at all then give it a whirl; if you think the title is stupid then there’s not much within that’s likely to change your mind. If you do give this a chance, and I hope you do, then this is a comic that tells a story unlike anything from Marvel or DC, and that’s refreshing.

Story: Jim Tramontana Art: KC Anderson
Story: 8.25 Art 8.25 Overall: 8.25
Recommendation: Buy if the cover looks half interesting to you

Egghead Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

2 comments

  • Ok I have to ask as viking and comic book scholar – how much viking content that is relatively worth while?

  • Honestly, you could switch out vikings with pirates and the story wouldn’t change that much. It’s worth reading, but not if you’re looking for an absolutely authentic portrayal of Norse culture circa the Viking Age.