Throughout history there have been certain perfect combinations: peanut butter and chocolate, sex and leather, super-heroes and secret identities. Well, now it looks like another pairing can be added to that list: Vikings and werewolves. Or, I should say, Vikings versus werewolves. That's the basic concept for WOLVES OF ODIN, the new one shot from SuperReal Graphics.
The story here is pretty straightforward. In ancient Norse lands a band of werewolves have been roaming the countryside, decimating village after village, leaving almost no survivors in their wake. No one can stand against them except for a small group of Viking warriors, and even they are facing what seem to be impossible odds. At first read the story seems every bit as bit simplistic as the basic concept, but as the book continues certain elements are revealed that add a layer of creepy mysticism to the tale. WOLVES OF ODIN takes great advantage of the trappings of its genre and plays not only on the combat aspect of Viking history and fiction but draws much from the religious folklore of the period as well. Thor, Odin, and even a certain trickster half-brother all play a major role in the book even if they themselves are not actually physically present. As a result WOLVES is elevated beyond just being a hack and slash horror tale with a twist.
Creator Grant Gould does a great job of delivering an impressive package with WOLVES OF ODIN. The art in the book is very well done and Gould has an obvious talent for setting up the perfect atmosphere in a particular scene with his use of color. While I thought some of the actual figure drawing looked a bit rushed in places, Gould more than makes up for that with his coloring skill and his direct storytelling ability. ODIN is a book that has a unique and gloomy look to it--a look that is perfectly suited for the story being told.
With this latest publication, SuperReal Graphics puts out another winning book. Much like their previous comic, GNOME, this book takes me back to days gone by. This time, though, WOLVES OF ODIN reminds me of the hours upon hours of time spent at a tabletop rolling dice with my D & D friends. Those were good times and any comic book that can give me the same old feeling I had when I was rolling a twenty sided die to fend off a marauding gang of orcs is a great comic book indeed.
Review by Kristian Horn - AICN LInk