Norse Mythology #2, out November 4th from Image Comics, is another issue retelling classic tales complemented by some breathtaking art.
“Norse Mythology #2″ Story
The choice of story for Norse Mythology #2 is clever for an issue so early in the series. The issue features many of the most popular Norse gods, including Thor, Loki, and Odin. By centering the issue around characters such as this, Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell can immerse new readers into the world of Norse mythology more easily. Readers who may not be well-versed in Norse myths are certainly still aware of most of the characters featured in this issue. They may not be familiar with the story, but they are with the gods, so the issue intrigues them as they attempt to learn more about such iconic characters.
Russell does an astounding job of adapting Gaiman’s novel, making the words of the novel transition seamlessly to the medium of comic books. Russell does this in Norse Mythology #2 by splitting sentences into fragments across multiple panels. This can be used to make sure a panel isn’t too word-heavy, but the main reason Russell uses this method is to allow the artist to make illustrations that don’t occur in the scene. When a character has a long sentence describing the many attributes of an object or place, splitting the sentence over many panels allows the artists to show the reader exactly what the character is describing. The story in this issue also has much of the plot occurring in one setting, so by having these panels that aren’t happening in the same place, there is more variety in location.
Once again, Jerry Ordway presents extraordinary art to go along with the classic tales. Norse Mythology #2 features some easily readable facial expressions that make all the characters seem alive. Whether someone is expressing arrogance or genuine fear, Ordway can recreate expressions on characters’ faces like no other. Ordway also puts incredible amounts of detail into his art. Even if a panel is small and usually glanced over, he puts time and effort to assure his art looks phenomenal. One particular panel in this issue, which showcased a boat upon the water, had some of the most complex waves I had ever seen in a drawing. On nearly every page of Norse Mythology #2, Ordway is sure to amaze you.
Lovern Kindzierski does great work in Norse Mythology #2. Even though the issue only has two main settings that it takes place in, Kindzierski gives each its own distinct tone, reflecting the nature of the scene. There is also a very nice variety in colors in Asgard, as the brighter colors that many Asgardians wear stand out against the cool colors of the buildings behind them.
The lettering of Galen Showman in Norse Mythology #2 is unlike that of many others. It is evident that Showman is unafraid to stray from the standard lettering practices found in most modern-day comic books, and it pays off immensely. Whether using unique fonts or arranging text interestingly, Showman’s unusual lettering style provides an enthralling experience for the reader.
Norse Mythology #2 is another delightful issue. Gaiman’s writing makes the issue so entertaining to read, and Russell adapts it perfectly. The work of Ordway and Kindzierski brings the words to life, and Showman’s lettering is the cherry on top of it all. If you are a fan of Norse Myths or even have the slightest interest in any of the characters from them, I would certainly recommend this issue.