Their names are legend: the Glorious Knox! Greg Horn the Battlebjörn! Jhago the Irritator! Three warrior gods vacationing on Earth, just looking to get their drink on and have a good time! Join the drunken festivities with toastmasters JOE CASEY (SEX) and PAUL MAYBURY (SOVEREIGN). The new mythology begins now!
Joe Casey’s Valhalla Mad has been a long time coming. The author’s satirical look at Thor and the Warriors Three from Marvel certainly had a lot of potential when it was initially announced. Joining Casey for pencils in his exploration of myth is Paul Maybury. Knox, Greg, and Jhago return for a visit to Earth home to find things out of place and the innocence of the previous decades that they were used to almost completely eradicated.
The first thing really striking about this comic is how it is presented to the reader with production design that can be likened to that of an old book. The first page for readers to see after the opening the title adds more to the texture of the series looking like a frayed old manuscript — where thereafter the series reveals a credits page with beautifully aged font. Graphic designer Sonia Harris’ influence can really enjoyed by the reader. Maybury’s pencils are subtle and designed to seem ancient, the artist perfectly colors his own work — allowing his pencils to accentuated in just the right manner. Also, the Jack Kirby designs on the leads are wonderfully retro — and make me wish that the Odinson retained more of his classic look as well. Readers can tell that Maybury has a deep love of the King’s artwork, as this series doesn’t seem to be talking down to those older 60’s comics.
Casey’s flowery prose given to the three leads are presented in a poignant, but in an interesting manner that illustrates the author’s strong command on language. As the series goes on it will be interesting to take a look at how far the scribe has developed the mythology of Viken, the homeworld of the gods. One such example of fine mythology is how Knox and his people are returning to Earth, and happy to see the older members of the force that they had previously spent time with before. The different attitudes towards the three characters allows for a comparison of the different world of the 60’s comics that the trio likely originated from. Surprisingly, it takes the the trio of this comic quite a while before they are able to taste the mead of our world. However, the scene in which they do is justly audacious.
This first issue barely has a plot — being that there are a couple of people coming back to Earth to spend some time partying. With comics now being so driven by events and violence, spending a few moments getting to know who these characters are is pleasant. Also, seeing the people of Earth’s different reactions to these characters is quite profound. Not every bystander in this comic has the same thing to say about these people. Some remember Knox and company — and some do not. Next installment offers some teases of the plot kicking into gear and becoming more grand. For the time being, this comic should offer Thor fans some old-fashioned mead-induced fun. Maybury’s detailed and triumphant artwork paired with Casey’s love of wordplay transforms this first installment into a joyous celebration of the different kinds of places comics can take us.
Fruit snack aficionado. @AlexandComics