Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Northlanders #48

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Danijel Zezelj

It really is a shame that there are only going to be two more issues of Northlanders.  I like how Brian Wood has used different time periods and locales associated with Vikings to tell stories that really explore human nature.

The Icelandic Trilogy, three three-issue arcs that examine different generations of the same family, has been a good example of the type of story that Wood excels at.  The first story was about how the Hauksson family established itself as one of the first to settle Iceland.  The second story showed how the family worked reacted to the Christianization of their culture (not well, in the case of Brida, the heroine of the story).

Now, with this opening chapter of the final tale, Wood returns to the beginning, with a story of filial ambition.  Godar Hauksson has led the family through a period of relative peace, as he did not want to seek out violence.  He preferred to consolidate his holdings, and write the family's history.  His son Oskar, however, is an angry and warlike person, chomping at the bit of familial power.

Wood is joined for this final arc by Danijel Zezelj, who has been a favourite artist of mine since he drew Vertigo's Congo Bill mini-series many years ago.  I've never understood why he hasn't been given more regular, or higher-profile work, and I am very happy to see him working on this comic.  His thick lines and ink-heavy pages work well to underscore the bleakness of life in Iceland.

It's going to be a shame to see this comic end, but I like that Wood is going out with the same level of quality that he started the series with.

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