Ragnorak is coming in Neil Gaiman’s adaptation of his novel Norse Mythology into comic book form. It’s up to series three and after the single issues are released, I’m sure all the past volumes will be bound into a large trade paperback–as this third and perhaps final volume may well be it. This issue is the first of three.
I’ve been patiently waiting for a complete version, but to curb my appetite for destruction, I’ve been picking up the digital releases. They’re wonderfully illustrated by P. Craig Russell. His covers are bound to be reprinted in the trade, while it’s uncertain if David Mack‘s elegant varient covers (pictured here) will.
Here, “Hymir and Thor’s Fishing Expedition” is the highlight. This tale follows in the same beats as the novel, with mostly the order of tales arranged differently. To see it in visual form is simply a treat! Many artists have drawn the sea god Aegir over time, and they’re rarely the same. There are thematic details which are consistent. Russel’s take makes him more than just another Aquaman. Instead, he is the sea rather than of the sea. The persona shows. This artist also gives the water life, and just slightly borrows from Japanese art to make it come alive too. There’s a touch of the Sunday funnies style in this work, since there’s humour involved.
This tale sets up is the end of days. After Thor has to face a few trials much like Hercules, he and his pal later set sail to go fishing, and meet the Midgard Serpent. It’s not happy and attacks these heroes in classic D&D fashion. After a few strikes and hammer blows, it’s felled, ready to spell doom for Asgard.
As for how it’ll all come together, the next chapter looks at Odinson heading to the end of the world to find the cause of his son Baldur’s nightmares. But what he learns only affirms what he already knew. The end of days are nigh, and it sure to be bloody!