Friday, November 18, 2011

Northlanders #46

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Declan Shalvey

I'm going to miss this comic when it's gone.  Wood has consistently given us a fascinating look into Viking culture, and this Icelandic Trilogy has been one of the best arcs of the title yet.

In this issue, Brida Hauksson, leader of her clan in her brother's continued absence, has to respond to the provocations of the rival Belgarsson clan, and to their new relationship with the Christian church, who previously had very little hold on Icelandic society.  Wood has often made good use of this period between paganism and monotheism, as some members of the society have embraced the new approach to life, while others have clung to the old ways.

The character of Brida is fascinating.  She is not constrained by the usual roles of women, yet cannot be completely in charge either.  Wood shows her frustration with her limitations, but also shows her as a strong and proactive leader.

Declan Shalvey's work on this book is great.  He's using a much cleaner approach than he has when working on Marvel's Thunderbolts, with the effect that his work fits within what could be considered the Vertigo 'house style'.

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