Brides of Helheim #2 (Comics Review)
Last month Cullen Bunn kicked off the second stage of his Helheim saga with the release of Brides of Helheim #1 which takes a look at the main character of Rikard some time after the events of the previous series as a young Viking girl by the name of Sigrid searches him out to exact vengeance for her father’s death. It was a pretty great issue, in terms of both the art and the story and I loved it, which is why I wanted to read more and even went and got the first mini-series, though I haven’t had a chance to read it as yet.
This past week’s Brides of Helheim #2 continues the story of Rikard and Sigrid even as the writer gives us some background on the spae witches who have been Rikard’s enemies, along with their distant master who is emerging into the world once again. Cullen Bunn packs the issue with some astounding moments of character and action, even as Joelle Jones and Nick Filardi render them quite beautifully. The second issue is as good as the first one, and as the mysteries and story deepen, things look set to get better and better on all fronts.
After all the tense and heart-pounding action of the previous issue, this time we get some background on Rikard and also the spae-witches who were his enemies then, before he stopped them for good. But not everything ended with them and now, in this issue, we see Rikard confront their dark master, the sorcerer who corrupted the women and turned them into witches in the first place. I loved all this background stuff since it helped me understand where Rikard was coming from and what made him what he is. That’s essential I think. People who have read Helheim might be a bit turned off with this, but for new readers like me, this works out to be a much better thing.
We don’t get to see much of Sigrid this time around, which was a bit disappointing. She was mostly just there to gently the push the reader into getting interested in Rikard’s story, and I’m fine with that. She was an ancillary character from the start and she got some good knocks in with the first issue. This time, we get to see some good moments out of her too, though they could have been more, I’m thinking.
While the first issue introduced Rikard, this one delves deep into an understanding of the man who became a draugr, an undead thing living only to get his just reward of being awarded a place in Valhalla alongside other great heroes. This is pretty much Rikard’s primary motivation, what drives him the most, and to see it unfold is quite a cool thing. The secondary characters chime in to tell his story and it is good stuff for sure. I remember that after finishing the first issue I wanted to go back and read Helheim, but I’ve never managed to do that as yet. The key thing however is that this issue too makes me feel like that.
Quite natural, considering that Brides of Helheim is a sequel series, but even still, Cullen Bunn’s writing is totally on point here with all the characters, even the evil sorcerer Raevil, and I can’t wait to find out how the showdown between him and Rikard ends up going on, especially since the hero confronts the villain in his own lair. A rather dramatic move that.
The melancholy and gruffness that characterised Rikard last time is back in full-force this time, but it is also tinged with a little humour, and I thought that that was a nice touch by the writer.
Joelle Jones, Nick Filardi and CRANK! are back as artists for this issue, and they do some right incredible stuff here. Whether it is the flashback scenes dealing with the spae-witches’ origins, or Rikard fighting other undead monsters or even his particular mode of sea-transport, one thing remains that the artwork is darn beautiful. It starts off a little rough but the artists are back in their groove almost immediately and the rest of the ride through is great indeed.
Great sequel issue. Want more!
More Brides of Helheim: #1.
Posted on November 17, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Age of Vikings, Brides of Helheim, Comics, Comics Review, Crank!, Cullen Bunn, Draugr, Fantasy, Helheim, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Joelle Jones, Monsters, Nick Filardi, Oni Press, Review, Review Central, Rikard, Viking Fantasy, Vikings, Women in Comics, Women in SFF. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.