Books and Comics

Helheim#3 – 8GPP

by on 22/05/2013

Cullen Bunn (Author) Joëlle Jones, Nick Filardi (Art)


Oni Press


Fantasy with a neat twist. Crisp and clean art. Brutal action.


If you like your good guys and bad guys to be clearly defined this isn't for you.

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In the frozen wilderness Rikard battles with the forces of Groa after being sent from Bera’s camp, phantom variant #3

whilst his father Kirk tracks his path of carnage determined to lay his son to


 A narrative monologue begins this issue as Groa the mentioned but unseen until now enemy of Bera makes

a point of Bera’s magic being weaker than hers and relying on Rikard’s love for her to linger in his

servitude following his death rather than binding him with magics to her will.

 This is a fundamental difference that comes into play this issue, as Rikard is questioning his orders to slay the hag Groa

and all who cower in her shadow ‘men….women….children’.

 A brutal fight takes up several pages of this issue and playing the lumbering brute force and might of Rikard against a group of the smaller empowered warriors of Groa makes for a good contrast. A panel of the hulking Rikard trudging through the wilderness is followed by a close up of his head as he takes an arrow in the eye, only to pull it out with a look of contempt as he turns on his  opponents. It’s a great start which shows the otherwordly resilience and power of Rikard in his Draugr state.

 One of the best developments in this issue is Rikard encountering a young girl called Kadlin by a lake washing her clothes, covered in wounds from the fight and clutching the severed heads of his enemies the girl’s response is ‘Might be you want to stop staring after me and come on down here to clean your wounds’.

Rikard fights it out with Groa’s demonic hunters

 Rikard silhouetted at the top of a hill looks a menacing figure and there are definite shades of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as the monstrous looking Rikard accompanies the young girl who rather than being scared sees the confusion and sorrow in the shambling draugr’s eyes and she recounts the story of the battle between the witches.

 This fills in some of the details behind Groa and Bera’s rivalry with one being able to control ‘the night creatures…the demons’ whilst the other can ‘churn up the very grave soil and raise an army of…’ The cost of this rivalry is also made clear when the little girl reveals that the decimated village they are walking through is the remains of her former home and her family along with everyone else is dead.

Kadlin meets Rikard.

 Meanwhile Kirk continues to track the thing that was his son across the wilderness despite Shad questioning what they’ll do if they actually find him.

 Cullen Bunn (Currently writing one of Marvel’s best offerings in The Fearless Defenders) and artist Joëlle Jones,who continues to impress with some great compositions (and I am the only one who wants to see what she can do with Red Sonja?), continue to conjure up a frostbitten Norse fantasy with intelligence that should appeal to anyone with a taste for more down to earth fantasy.