Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Heathen' #1 by Natasha Alterici and Rachel Deering


In Shops: Feb 22, 2017

★★★★★ (5/5)

I'm a sucker for a fantasy comic especially if it's based on mythology. Norse mythology, in particular, is full of great stories just ripe for the adapting. Natasha Alterici has created a wonderfully empowering and exciting new series for the emergent comic book publisher Vault Comics in Heathen #1.   

Aydis narrates the opening about the leader of the Valkyries who defied the Godking Odin and was cursed, exiled, and forced to marry a mortal. She set her own terms and sat atop a hill waiting for a worthy suitor. In some ways, the story mirrors Aydis' circumstances now. She's a rebel too, strong-willed, capable, and a warrior in her own right.  She's on the run, accused of an "unnatural" act and on a quest to challenge the gods herself. 

Alterici has written and illustrated a powerful debut issue. This seemingly straightforward adventure tale has layers to it that address patriarchal societies, sexual identities, discrimination, oppression, and equality. It sounds like it could be some heavy-handed topics but Alterici's approach is so fluid and seamless, such ideas are woven into the fabric of Aydis' journey without weighing it down. And like any great first issue, the ending leaves you wanting more.

The art is scratchy, sparse, and works perfectly. Alterici takes great care in presenting her hero in the best light, choreographing not only singular panels that stand on their own but action sequences that thrill and surprise. Her eye for layouts gives 'Heathen' a look and pace of confident storytelling. She knows exactly where the story is going and I found myself under her spell, succumbing to the charm of the engaging and inspirational Aydis. 

'Heathen' #1 is another top shelf offering from Vault Comics. Natasha Alterici has created a fantastic new fantasy adventure series with a great new leading lady as tough as Red Sonja or Dejah Thoris. The comic mixes high adventure, Norse mythology, subversive social commentary in a fast-paced thrilling story. This is a must-buy this week. 

(W) Natasha Alterici (A) Natasha Alterici (CA) Tess Fowler
Aydis is a viking, a warrior, an outcast, and a self-proclaimed heathen. Aydis is friend to the talking horse Saga, rescuer of the immortal Valkyrie Brynhild, and battler of demons and fantastic monsters. Aydis is a woman. Born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women, she is on a mission to end the oppressive reign of the god-king Odin.Covers by Tess Fowler and Tamra Bonvillain. Variant covers by Natasha Alterici and Nathan Gooden

Popular posts from this blog

All-New Mythological Thriller GOD COMPLEX Coming from Top Cow

Writers Paul Jenkins (Inhumans, Wolverine: Origin) and Bryan Lie team up with artist Hendry Prasetya (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers) for an all-new mystery thriller in GOD COMPLEX, an ongoing series launching from Image/Top Cow this October.


GOD COMPLEX is set in the futuristic city of Delphi where a young digital-forensics investigator named Seneca finds himself embroiled in the bizarre murders of three church acolytes. Guided by his cryptic mentor, the Ruler named Hermes, Seneca uncovers a stunning conspiracy and a mystery that will turn his entire world upside down. 

Join the GOD COMPLEX team on a unique vision of a digital future powered by mythological gods. GOD COMPLEX is the first original toy line-up from Jakarta-based GLITCH. It features sci-fi and high-fashion reimaginings of mythological gods from various beliefs/regions like Greek, Egypt, China, and Japan. The toys first released in 2012 and are available for purchase at www.glitch-store.com. GOD COMPLEX is created by Brya…

REVIEW: 'Crosswind' #2 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

Chicago hitman Cason Bennett and mousy Seattle housewife Juniper Blue have inexplicably switched bodies and lives. A mysterious stranger has called them each to tell them they have to play the game. 'Crosswind' by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs is a juicy satisfying crime fantasy that sizzles with intrigue.


CROSSWIND #2 Story: Gail Simone Art / Cover / Variant Cover: Cat Staggs Published: July 26, 2017 Diamond ID: MAY170671 Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
The mind-breaking crime fantasy continues! Slick Chicago hitman Cason Bennett and mousy Seattle housewife Juniper Blue have inexplicably switched bodies and lives, and a heartless, relentless killer seems intent on killing them both. Don't miss this edge-of-your-seat thriller by fan-favorites GAIL SIMONE and CAT STAGGS!
Cason and Juniper are forced to play their new roles in their new bodies. Juniper has to clean up a bloody crime scene from the end of the last issue and Cason has to make a killer dinner for Jun…

RAVEN YEAR 2 Begins: The Teenage Lesbian Pirate's Quest for Love and Vengeance

RAVEN is a pirate revenge adventure, a soap opera full of messy teenage love stories, and about a dozen coming of age stories set on the high seas. Think "Legend of Korra" at sea with an all female cast.


This series has one of the most diverse and exciting casts of any comic on the market. It's full of action, adventure, and revenge - but even more full of love stories and soap operas. RAVEN is one of the first YA comics with an openly gay leading lady. But on top of that, it has a cast of women who represent a wide spectrum of the LGBTQ community. It's equal parts soap opera and actual opera.
Writer Jeremy Whitley hopes readers experience "Joy, connection, and love" when reading this book. He goes on to say that "It's a book where different types of people are heroes than what we're used to, especially in YA fiction. I feel like everybody should be able to find at least one character they either relate to or fall in love with in the pages of t…

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: 'Death Metal Zombie Cop' Issue #1 by Felipe Smith

A Superstar LAPD Rookie (Marco Miranda) & his disillusioned Training Officer (Rhonda Riley) discover that a corruption-plagued Justice System and the tightening stranglehold of the Drug Cartel are just the tip of the iceberg when L.A.'s deadliest Urban Legend reveals itself to be very REAL.


The creator who brought Robbie Reyes, the All-New Ghost Rider, back to life for Marvel is back with another high-octane adventure with his Kickstarter passion project, Death Metal Zombie Cop. If the title alone doesn't grab you then check out the amazing art. 


DEATH METAL ZOMBIE COP is an Action/Horror comic originally conceived in Japan (shortly after ending serialization of PEEPO CHOO with Kodansha) & now made in Los Angeles. It's infused with Dark Humor, real LAPD situations, West Coast slice-of-life antics, and over 5 years worth of development and HEART! 

ABOUT THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
"All pledged funds will go towards DEATH METAL ZOMBIE COP #1 production costs and bac…

REVIEW: 'Postal' #21 by Bryan Hill, Isaac Goodhart, and K. Michael Russell

This wouldn't be 'Postal' without a major scheme in the works by someone in the criminal haven known as the town of Eden. The fact that it's coming from Mark and Maggie is the surprising part. Meanwhile, Laura has her hands full trying to maintain her grasp on the town. Bryan Hill and Isaac Goodheart bring another exciting chapter in this briskly paced issue.


POSTAL #21  Writer: Bryan Hill Artists: Isaac Goodhart, K. Michael Russell Letterer: Troy Peteri Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: July 26, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Watching Mark and Maggie coupled up is a little weird but feels right. After all the drama they've been through it would only seem just for them to finally come together. They've had a seemingly unbreakable bond amid a neo-Nazi attack, the murders of the psychopathic daughter of the FBI director, and a near rebellion against Mark as the interim mayor. With all that out of the way, Mark and Maggie can finally decompress. How…