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Comic Review: Helheim
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Helheim #1Helheim
Issues #1-4
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Joëlle Jones
Colored by Nick Filardi
Lettered by Ed Brisson
Covers by Joëlle Jones
Oni Press
Release Date: June 12, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

When witches go to war, no one is safe. Oni Press offers up a dose of bloody mayhem in Helheim, a new epic ongoing series from creator Cullen Bunn and artist Joëlle Jones. In issues 1-4, a small band of Vikings struggle against savage invaders and beast men alike, while the looming threat of two opposing witches strangle all with fear.

The Viking named Rikard has died. Using his death to her advantage, Rikard’s lover, Bera the witch, has revived him, creating a Draugr — a massive reanimated, grotesque monster forged with appendages from other dead creatures — to do her bidding. Now shunned by his entire village, including his warrior father, the new Rikard is sent out by Bera to kill the followers of her rival: an old witch named Groa; however, when Rikard meets a kind young girl who not only shows no fear of him, but actually talks with and teaches him as though he were a regular man, Rikard begins to take matters into his own hands — waging a new war against both powerful witches.

This is the first series that I’ve read of Bunn’s, but it surely won’t be the last. He’s created a thrilling tale that at first glance might just seem like a violent fantasy comic, but it is so much more. Helheim has depth with themes of devotion, hate, betrayal, and redemption. The characters are compelling and Bunn is able to capture the essence of the time period and the darkness of the plot through dialogue and emotion.

Jones’ art is visceral and poignant. Her artful use of perspective allows the reader to be sucked into the imaginary world as a miniscule piece of this grandiose landscape. Did I mention that she really knows how to draw nasty, bloody, mutated creatures? Well, she sure does!

I loved the first four issues of Helheim and can’t wait to see what comes next. I wholeheartedly recommend it as it includes something for the whole family: fascinating characters, necromancy, bloody death…okay, perhaps this one isn’t for the kiddie Vikings.

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