Lewis and Barravecchia charge forward with a mythic second chapter of their story of the unending evil of empire.

Review: BEAR PIRATE VIKING QUEEN #2 – Vengeance of the Conquered

Writer Sean Lewis (Bliss, Above Snakes) and artist Jonathan Marks Barravecchia continue their chaotic story of conquest and retribution on the open sea with Bear Pirate Viking Queen #2. This issue focuses in on the comic’s true Viking protagonist as he sails towards those who took his land from him – with only blood on his mind. With a ponderous and inventive script and more of Marks’ staggeringly unique visual work, Bear Pirate Viking Queen #2 is a gripping follow-up to a thunderous first chapter.

“The Viking has taken control of the boat, and through the tempest, he heads to England. It’s a land he has ancient history with, and a land whose queen is dressing for war with him. With the Bear, he stalks its streets destroying British soldiers. Until he finds a home—and a whole other story to take out on the British flag.”

Writing & Plot

Sean Lewis elaborates on our new protagonist and his ocean-faring tale of vengeance in Bear Pirate Viking Queen #2. After killing the pirate captain that led most of the first chapter – one of the best opening comic issues I’ve ever read, mind you – the Viking sails for Britain, the land that conquered his own home and so many others. Aiding him are a pair of witches he has enslaved in his own conquests, and together they head for a battle with the very Queen of England herself. The brazen madness Lewis presents us with in the first issue is sharpened to a fine point here in part 2. He shows readers where the Viking came from and just how powerful a figure he once was in his own society. The most effective sequences in the comic come from the opening, where we get the Viking’s origin (we get his name too, but that’s a spoiler if you know anything about mythology), as well as a part in the middle where he basically gives his manifesto. The Viking speaks of conquest and glory as a savage right of passage and power while using child’s toy ship as a physical prop. Lewis poses the Viking’s brutal, simplistic view of conquest against the Imperial takings of the British, and the comic begins to come to the correct conclusion – that these are one and the same, but on a different scale.


It’s a bit funny seeing the Queen of England as some fearsome monarch and not the useless prop we know they are now. In context though, at the time this comic takes place, the head of the British Empire may very well have seemed like some ineffable threat to those subjugated by their forces. Lewis posits in this issue that the thing empires fear most is their past and the desperation the British show once the Viking show up demonstrates this perfectly.

Art Direction

As with the first issue, Bear Pirate Viking Queen #2 is brought to visual life by the insane talent of Jonathan Marks Baravecchia. His thin pencils and watercolors combined with this collage-esque sequential direction make for a comic that is best described as well-conducted chaos. The drawings of the Viking towering over the British he’s “visiting” make him appear like some sort of invading god, especially while walking astride a bear. Barravecchia presents him in an all-white aesthetic, making him shine like a beacon against the backdrop of industrial England. Certain beings are contorted into monstrosity, with a sort of scrap-paper Dave McKean style to make them seem more inhuman. While this issue lacks the monsoon of thunderous entropy that the opening chapter does, Baravecchia’s artistic style is still utilized to its fullest in more subtle ways. His intricate character models make the conversational pieces in this issue really stand out, which is especially impressive since most of the visuals are in the realm of fever dreams. His lettering is just as much a part of the art as his pencils and colors, with ever-shifting hand drawn fonts that rarely use speech boxes or bubbles. Bear Pirate Viking Queen #2 is yet another staggering work of visual art from Barravecchia.


Bear Pirate Viking Queen #2 is an incisive 2nd chapter that adds some subtlety to Lewis and Barravecchia’s narrative about conquest and imperialism. Sean Lewis’s script paints a brutal and frightening picture of our Viking protagonist, at the same time offering an examination of the world he lives in opposed to the British Empire. The visuals from Jonathan Marks Barravechia are stunning and complex, with a singular visual direction that sets this series apart from anything in the medium from the last few years. Be sure to grab this new chapter when it hits shelves on June 5th!


Justin Munday
Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.
Lewis and Barravecchia charge forward with a mythic second chapter of their story of the unending evil of empire.Review: BEAR PIRATE VIKING QUEEN #2 - Vengeance of the Conquered