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

NYCC: Dynamite's Next 25-Cent Revival is 'Dejah Thoris' with Amy Chu

The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.


This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.

This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess!  After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…

PREVIEW: 'Sovereigns' #5 by Ray Fawkes and Dylan Burnett

This is it!  All your questions will be answered, all the mysteries revealed!  What has obliterated humanity?  What the hell happened to the moon?  What is the true nature of the Hidden Jungle?  Why do the heroes you know and love—Turok, Magnus and Doctor Spektor—seem like completely different people?  And perhaps most importantly, how will the world be saved, and at what cost?



DOCTOR SPEKTOR PART 6: The story of the all-new master (and we use the term lightly) sorcerer continues... when Doc gets drunk & summons a demon – and good decision-making ensues!
Sovereigns #5
writers: Ray Fawkes (main),        Aubrey Sitterson (Doctor Spektor) artists: Johnny Desjardins (main),              Dylan Burnett (Doctor Spektor) covers: Stephen Segovia (A)               Johnny Desjardins (B)               Fred Hembeck (C)               Kenan Yarar (D)               Stephen Segovia (RI-B/W) FC  •  32 pages  •  $3.99  •  Teen +











REVIEW: 'Witchblade' #1 by Caitlin Kittredge, Roberta Ingranata, and Bryan Valenza

The next iteration of Witchblade has arrived and Top Cow has assembled another great creative team to bring the legendary wielder of the powerful artifact to life.


WITCHBLADE #1
Writer: Caitlin Kittredge Artist: Roberta Ingranata, Bryan Valenza Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: December 6, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
Handed down from one worthy woman warrior to another for ions, the Witchblade gauntlet has chosen its next host in wartime journalist Alex Underwood. She suffers from PTSD and helps battered women find justice. The book opens with her bloodied and dying. The non-linear story jumps around from what led up to her situation, to helping an abused cop's wife, to having visions probably induced by the gauntlet. She rejects the growing power of the Witchblade it but that could kill her. 
The trouble with origin stories like this is the predictability of passing the torch to another chosen one. We know that Alex will eventually take to the Witchblade and use…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

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…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …