Friday, February 14, 2014

Booknote: Helheim, Vol. 1

Cullen Bunn,, Helheim, Volume 1:  The Witch War. Portland, OR: Oni Press, 2014. ISBN: 1-62010-014-2. (link to publisher website)

This is another volume published by Oni Press, and I really liked it. Vikings and dark magic combine in this story of a viking warrior, Rikard, who is seduced by a witch, Bera. Bera uses her powers to rise the dead, take their parts and use them to build giant warriors to serve her, known as Draugr's. Bera is in a feud with another witch; that other witch has the power to summon demons. Their feud has devastated the land. When Rikard dies in battle, Bera brings him back as a Draugr so he can go hunt and kill her rival. However, Rikard is angry, and he may have an idea or two of his own.

This quick read collects the first six issues of this series. The series is by Cullen Bunn, author of Oni Press' series The Sixth Gun; I recently reviewed the volume The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun (link to review). Fans of that series will probably enjoy this one as well.  I can say that this is an author that I will keep an eye out for now. The story draws you in right away into the feud. There is no need for a lot of exposition; once you start reading, you get into it. It is a gory horror tale of viking warriors and undead creatures and demonic beings. The art by Joëlle Jones is gritty and gruesome with good use of two-page panels on the battle scenes. I will add as a small side note that the layout may not look as good on an e-reader (can't fit them as well on the screen), but I am sure the two-page panels look great in print. And then, there is the ending. All I will say is that horror readers may find it rewarding. Keep in mind, this is volume 1, so I am looking forward to the next one. Overall, this was a good and entertaining tale.

I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars as it was a title that I really liked. It is a title that public libraries with graphic novel and comics collections will want to get. It is due out for publication in March 2014.

Disclosure note: This is where I tell you that I read this as an e-book provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes. The idea was for me to provide a fair and honest review. There has been no compensation. There, we keep The Man appeased once more.

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