If you’re a fan of creation myths, you’ll love Norse Mythology. The first issue outlined how the Norse universe was formed while also spinning off a few stories about Odin and Thor. In the latter story, Loki is up to no good and must do his best to save his own neck after taking Thor’s wife Sif’s hair. Yeah, it’s complicated being a Norse god, isn’t it? That story is the main focus of the second issue, making it more of the main quest in the storied history of Norse mythology.
Readers will immediately notice this second issue is drawn exclusively by Jerry Ordway with layouts and scripting by P. Craig Russell. While the first issue juggled three artists it also had three stories, so it makes sense Ordway would take over here. Ordway’s style is very clean and of a more conventional comic book style that casual fans will appreciate.
The story here is centered around a competition that’ll allow Loki to keep his head. Two groups of dwarves have been pitted against each other in a contest of who can create the most amazing magical items. It’s a wonderful storybook style story with each magical item topping the last. Similar to the last issue, it’s quite fun to see Thor and Loki in stories more traditional to their origin as opposed to the Marvel adaptation.
Colors by Lovern Kindzierski utilize a lot of browns when it comes to the dwarves and blues for the Asgard palace. This helps distinguish the two. There are also a great many flourishes like stars when a dwarf is stung by mosquitos or movement lines around the mosquito itself. Letterer Galen Showman adds plenty of fun sound effects that zip around panels in creative ways too.
Russell shares scripting with Neil Gaiman who writes the dialogue and story and together they have crafted a story that feels old yet new thanks to the modern art style. It’s a reminder you may be familiar with characters, but when crafted in a new light they can feel completely new. It’s also nice to see characters like Loki make mistakes. He’s a crafty one in this tale, but he also can be duped himself.
For a comic book about gods and mythology, it’s a bit of a surprise how much of this issue — eight pages to be exact — are devoted to a bit involving a mosquito that stings a dwarf. True, it links up with Loki being a schemer, but it repeats the same sort of bit over and over for some time. Loki’s identity isn’t clearly drawn into the antics of this mosquito, separating him a bit from the act and further making the bit a bit too kooky.
If you’re unfamiliar with Norse mythology I highly recommend this series. Norse Mythology is a fun way to experience the ancient origins of these characters and it’s created by some of the most seasoned creators in the business. It’s also a lighter storytelling experience, which we can use a lot more of these days.
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