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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Review: Wolves of Odin

Wolves of Odin
So I totally forgot that I ordered SuperRealGraphics' latest offering, Wolves of Odin, last month, and now that I have it in my hands, I’m starting to appreciate Brand's Essence of Chicken a little bit more. But enough about that…I bet you’re itching to know what I thought about the book! Well, in case you’re not, I’m doing it anyway!

The rise of Christianity amongst the north-men has frustrated Odin, Father of the Norse Gods. Out of jealousy and anger, he has transformed three of his most loyal berserkers into unstoppable beasts, and set them loose upon his traitorous ‘followers’. Thor, God of Thunder, takes it upon himself to challenge his father’s madness by aiding a loyal warrior of his own: the Viking Tyr. Along with the help of a witch and two strangers, Tyr must face the wolves and realize his own destiny.

Let’s get one thing straight: the introduction above is probably the closest you can get to a set-up of the story. Wolves of Odin hits the ground running from page one, going straight to the meat of it all, if you will, and it doesn't stop running!

Writer/artist Grant Gould expands upon the simple premise of vikings versus werewolves pretty well, painting a viking tapestry of double-crosses, mysticism and violence using the blood of innocents. Wolves is pretty hardcore, with all the blood and decapitations...the hero Tyr is one badass viking warrior, taking on Odin's werewolves like it was just another Wednesday. I could have sworn I was hearing Dragonforce in the background during all the action scenes! Gould also packs a lot of action, drama and story in such a slim comic, and while some might think that all these 'awesome thing' versus 'awesome thing' stories have been run into the ground, there's just enough depth to this story that it becomes its flavor instead of its raison d'etre.

The art is simple and a bit cartoony. Gould seems to be channeling his Clone Wars style of art to great effect. Although I do have a problem with the inconsistencies in the art, where it would be detailed and fleshed out one moment, then looking sketchy and unfinished the next. But again that's probably Gould's style, and it doesn't distract all that much from the story itself.

All in all, Wolves of Odin is a satisfying read, a done-in-one story that delivers on its promise and premise. Gould has done a pretty good job, and I can't wait for whatever he has in store for us comic book fans next.

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