The players that have long become silver screen staples grace the pages of this comic penned by Neil Gaiman and his loyal interpretation of Norse Mythology. Joined by a creative team of Piotr Kowalski (The Steam Man) on art and Lovern Kindzierski (Agents of Law) tackling the colors of the comic, this issue stands on its own rather than shadowed in the Marvel movies that preceded its release.
In Asgard, Thor, away from his throne, has left the kingdom vulnerable to the violent attacks from his people's greatest enemy – the giants. While familiar characters such as Odin, Loki, and Freya struggle to pick up the pieces in Thor's absence, a mysterious man enters their halls with a proposition; he will build a wall to keep them safe in exchange for three things:
- The sun that shines by day
- The moon that gives light by night
- Freya's hand in marriage
Loki attempts to mastermind a scheme once the Asgardians realize that the mysterious Builder and his horse, Svaðilfari, may actually build the wall fast enough for them to have to honor his three wishes. Simultaneously, Odin and Freya realize that they've trusted their fate to the trickster God Loki and may have doomed their blissful existence in Asgard for a meaningless bet.
Although this is a well-known Norse myth, Gaiman and his artistic team manage to create a visually striking comic with engaging visuals to match in a fresh way. Kowalski's drawings paired with Kindzierski's colors don't elevate the issue into a level of mastery that will be known the world over, but it does merry well with the content and gives an old school Prince Valiant-vibe in its simplicity with color and overall line consistency. The depth in the panels and details in the background also lends to the atmosphere of this issue, giving something new to adsorb through every read through. Kowalski also manages to create enough characters in this issue who look different from one another and not falling into the issue of all their characters looking the same.
Norse Mythology releases monthly to local comic shops for a standard $3.99 per issue for 32 pages through Dark Horse Comics. It doesn't fit in the with characters movie fans are used to seeing but is a great way to absorb Norse Mythology and learn about the stories less popular in mainstream comic circles.