Tag Archives: brides of helheim

Preview: Brides of Helheim TPB

Brides of Helheim TPB

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artists: Joëlle Jones with Nick Filardi

Years have passed since Rikard’s victory over Bera and Groa. In defeating the witches, Rikard saved his people. And yet he cannot rest—he is still denied the promise of Valhalla. The warrior is condemned to wander the living world as an undead draugr. Now, new challenges lie before Rikard, as the draugr is sent to claim a Blood Debt from the mad warlock who taught the witches their dark arts.

Brides of Helheim TPB

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday! What did everyone read and enjoyed?

Around the Tubes

Publisher’s Weekly – 13 Great LGBTQ Comics – Some great suggestions.

DC Comics – Download the Official Bat-Mite Photobomber App – This got me to laugh.

Calgary Herald – Artists come to comic book shop owner’s rescue after thieves break in and steal merchandise – Fantastic to see this happening.

iO9 – Finally, A Hulkbuster Toy That Can Fit An Iron Man Figure Inside Itself – This figure is awesome.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Action Comics #41

Comic Vine – Airboy #1

The Beat – Airboy #1

Comic Vine – Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1

Comic Vine – Armor Wars #1

Comic Vine – Batman Beyond #1

The Outhousers – Brides of Helheim #6

Comic Vine – Darth Vader #6

Comic Vine – Green Lantern #41

Comic Vine – Justice League #41

Comic Vine – Secret Wars #3

Talking Comics – Secret Wars Journal #1

Comic Vine – X-Tinction Agenda #1

Comic Vine – Years of Future Past #1

Review: Brides Of Helheim #6

boh006This is the final issue of the second series featuring Rikard as the undead Viking warrior.  After being turned against by the Valkyrie, the two made an alliance (and more) as they teamed up to battle the evil warlock Raevil along with the help of the others in their party.  In this last issue of the ongoing saga there are a few unexpected twists and turns, which says enough as the series has taken some strange tangents in its story telling.  Although the final battle ends in a gory enough fashion it still leaves a few unanswered questions which is where we will presumably find the heroes once again after the story wraps up here.

About a half of this final story focuses on action sequences, be it the witches battling one another, or Rikard battling the undead bear, and while there are a few relatively slower moments in the meantime, it is only the last third of the issue which helps to wrap up the overall story.  At times in this series the pacing gets a bit truncated in order to put in action sequences, but here the action is well used, especially as always with the amazing artwork by Joelle Jones.  It is not just Joelle that makes this issue shine though it is the well conceived and executed plot as told by Cullen Bunn.

It is perhaps best to describe this series as one which always left the readers guessing even though the plot seemed fairly basic.  There have perhaps been a few strange choices along the way by the creative team, but with this issue as reference, they all work well together in retrospect as they built towards the setup for the following series.  This series is one which has flown under the radar for a number of reasons, but really any fan of the medium that can handle a bit of gory violence should be reading anything that these two put together for this group of characters.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Joelle Jones
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Preview: Brides of Helheim #6

Brides of Helheim #6

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Joelle Jones with Nick Filardi

The final chapter of Brides of Helheim unfolds! Rikard, Sigrid, and Kadlin stand together against the demonic forces of Raevil, the mad warlock. What is the Black Womb, and what plans is Raevil hatching to ensure his dominance over it? The shocking ending of this tale of Viking-era terror will leave you breathless!


Review: Brides of Helheim #5

helheim005This 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


Preview: Brides of Helheim #5

Brides of Helheim #5

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Joelle Jones with Nick Filardi

The battle between Sigrid and Rikard has ended in the most unexpected of ways. Now, the hunt for Raevil must begin, before the warlock unleashes a wave of terror that will make the Witch War look like a pleasant day in Valhalla!


Review: Brides of Helheim #4

boh04bSo far this series has fulfilled all expectations and surpassed them.  It has been strong enough on character development even if not particularly overwhelmed with dialogue, and its action have been fun and engaging.  With the last issue the series took a somewhat strange turn, with the local town girl seeming to have a crush on Rikard, and then her transformation into a Valkyrie.  While this is likely not where most people would have thought that the series was going after the first or second issue, the direction was at least logical if not necessarily built up correctly, and it therefore fell to this issue to ensure that everything was in place for a coherent story.

It is to the credit of the creative team, that while this story took a sharp turn in its theme and story telling that it still manages to make sense here, even if the readers will not be sure that they are reading the same series.  The characters though lacking a bit of focus still get what they need to make the story more grounded, and the story takes on some deeper themes such a death, which also gives it more gravity, even if the premise is somewhat unlikely.

By the end of this issue things get even weirder, and readers might even end up shaking their heads to see if what they are reading is the same story.  At the same time it ties in concepts not entirely foreign to deeper themes, showing not only the focus on death but also the enduring power of love.  It is an unconventional story, but it is also still a standout in terms of its quality and the novelty in the story telling.  Readers who only look as far as Image for their reading from the independents are missing a good series here, and really this is yet another series that too few people know about.

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



Review: Brides of Helheim #3

boh3In the middle of this five part series, the story seems to take a moment here to catch its breath and to reflect on the developments of the previous issues.  Rikard is with Raevil in the belly of the marine beast, and they discuss the plan going forward, with Raevil bargaining for his life.  Meanwhile on land Sigrid impatiently awaits the return of Rikard.  As opposed to the previous two issues, the action sequences here are both more reserved and also less relevant, almost acting as filler.  Instead this issue relies on a reliable bait-and-switch type of plot device as the reader is lulled into a state of complacency throughout before a decent twist at the end.

The story here focuses much more on Sigrid than has been led into.  First introduced as a macguffin-like secondary character, she is instead used more prominently here, with most of this issue focusing on her and even questioning what could almost be a strange kind of love for Rikard.  Ignoring all except his return, she is obsessed with him to the point of not recognizing other things evident to her.  This is used here to show a bit of tension between the characters, but by the end of the issue also proved to be the source for some good foreshadowing.

As opposed to the first two issues, the story here is a lot slower, as it focuses on what was previously a secondary character, now thrust into a leading role.  While the actions of Rikard force the plot forward, the payoff here for anyone that has read the first two issues is in the last two pages, both with the plot twist and the gorgeous artwork by Joelle Jones.  It is a bit slower and a bit more sedate than fans of this series will be accustomed to, but by the end this issue stands alongside the others in terms of quality, and this leads into the following issue better than the previous two issues have done.

Story: Cullen Bunn  Art: Joelle Jones
Story:  8.3 Art: 8.8  Overall: 8.3  Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review.  

Review: Brides of Helheim #2

boh2covBrides 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.

boh2This 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.  

We Talk Brides of Helheim with Joëlle Jones

boh1Brides of Helheim is the second series to feature the realm of Helheim and its main character, the resurrected Viking Rikard.  It is about Vikings so it draws heavily on Nordic influences, but there is definitely an aspect of fantasy there as well with witches and other baddies.  In this series, we find a duo of hesitant heroes on their way to find help from the undead Viking warrior against an unknown threat to their village.

We had a chance to talk with Joëlle Jones, the lead artist for the first issue, and someone that had been to Helheim a few times already herself.  We talked about Vikings and a little more!

Graphic Policy: Upon reading the first issues of Brides of Helheim I was struck immediately by the very organic feel to the characters and the setting. Did you have to do a lot of research for the setting?

Joëlle Jones: I did basically little to no research on this book. I was a huge fan of the Viking genre going in and borrowed a little from things I loved but since the basis of the book is fantasy I wanted to just let my imagination do its thing.

GP: Braids are one of the common stylistic features of Nordic heroes.  They kind of look hard to draw though, or am I wrong?

JJ: Braids aren’t really hard to draw just time consuming but I count myself lucky, if I was doing The Sixth Gun (Cullen Bunn’s other amazing book) I would be stuck drawing chains and that’s way worse.

GP: So drawing a braid is easier than braiding your own hair?

JJ: Braiding my own hair is way harder!

boh2GP: The Nordic world is stereotypically a very masculine one, with bare chested Vikings fighting others. That is present in this issue, but the female characters that you draw maintain a strong feminine appearance despite their role in this rugged world. How do you find the balance between the two influences?

JJ: The balance was there in the writing mostly. Cullen has a really good sense for character and I think he made that really easy for me to translate visually.

GP: It is not as common for an artist to handle both the cover art and the interior art, but in the case of Brides of Helheim #1 you drew everything. Do you find that the cover is more representative of the interior in such cases as you are part of the creative team throughout?

JJ: I love doing the covers but the interior art is what I enjoy most. Covers have to try to get attention from a reader across the room so with a viking book you can’t really go too subtle, well this viking book anyway.

GP: Your experience in comics has tended more towards stories with supernatural elements. Is this just a coincidence or is this one of your favorite genres and atmospheres?

JJ: Total coincidence. I really make an effort to try different genre so that I can continue to grow as an artist and not get stuck doing the same thing all the time. I think the reason I do so many supernatural books is that that is just the trend for fiction in general at the moment.

GP: Are there any other genres that you would like to get the opportunity to get a shot at?

JJ: I would like to try my hand at some straight up horror

GP: Success among the independents is sometimes hard to come by, but this is now the second Helheim series and you have been involved throughout. How does it feel to be part of a team that is making their own recognizable characters in the comic industry?

JJ: I am having a really great time working on this book! I love the absolute freedom I have to draw the most crazy thing I want and at the end of the day if I can back it up with a reasonable argument they say go for it.

« Older Entries