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

REVIEW: 'Bonehead' #2 by Bryan Edward Hill, Rhoald Marcellius, and Sakti Yuwono

Bryan Hill pumps the brakes a little in the follow up to the fast-paced debut of 'Bonehead' with more great world building. The mystery surrounding Bonehead 56 deepens but we at least get some backstory and details about what his arrival means for a pair of brothers with opposing viewpoints.

Writer: Bryan Edward Hill Artist: Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono Letterer: Jaka Ady Graphics: Comolo Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 31, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score:★★★★☆ (4/5)
After a thrilling video game-like first issue, issue two gives way to the brothers Kray. Aleph is a tech scientist examining the unconscious "56" and marveling at his abilities. He reminds him when his brother Hideki roamed the city as the vigilante Blackdeath. Hideki is a Gladiator (cop) now and he questions Aleph's methods with 56 and its legalities. Nonetheless, they need 56 to be free on the streets for now so they can monitor him. The brothers c…


Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

REVIEW: 'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, and Jose Villarrubia

'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell arrives at a time when the horrors of everyday life for marginalized people is scary enough but add misogyny and xenophobia from demons and well, that's just multi-dimensional haterade. This contemporary horror story feels timely and brimming with scary thrills.

Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote Artist: Aaron Campbell, Jose Villarrubia Letterer: Jeff Powell Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: March 14, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Aisha is an American Muslim woman who just moved into a haunted apartment building with her boyfriend, his child, and his mother. It's the perfect horror movie set-up that includes a tragic incident that led to the killing of several people, the haunting aftermath of the explosion, a boyfriend's xenophobic possibly racist mother, and terrifying nightmares. Pichetshote has cooked up a potent cauldron consisting of the right horror tropes mixed with equally horr…

ADVANCE PREVIEW: MIGHTY CRUSADERS #3 by Ian Flynn, Kelsey Shannon, Ryan Jampole, and Matt Herms

“Ambush”—The Mighty Crusaders are on the attack against the vicious Eliminators! It’s an all-out brawl with the odds in the Crusaders’ favor, until they’re faced with a new, dark entity: The Dream Demon!

Script: Ian Flynn Art:  Kelsey Shannon, Ryan Jampole, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli  Cover: Kelsey Shannon with Matt Herms Variant Covers: Tom Feister, Phil Jimenez with Kelly Fitzpatrick On Sale Date: 2/14 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
Artwork by Kelsey Shannon and Matt Herms

ADVANCE PREVIEW: Veronica Goes Vampire in New Horror Series 'Vampironica'

NEW ONGOING SERIES! When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her bloodlust?

Script: Greg and Meg Smallwood Art: Greg Smallwood, Jack Morelli  Cover: Greg Smallwood Variant Covers: Francesco Francavilla, Audrey Mok, Djibril Morrissette-Phan, Marguerite Sauvage On Sale Date: 3/14 32-page, full-color comic $3.99 U.S.
Artwork by Greg Smallwood