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

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

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 …

New Sci-Fi Horror Series INFINITE DARK From Ryan Cady, Andrea Mutti, and K. Michael Russell Coming in October

Image/Top Cow announce an all-new, sinister ongoing science-fiction series—INFINITE DARK—by Ryan Cady and Andrea Mutti with colorist K. Michael Russell that will hit stores this October.


In INFINITE DARK, the universe has ended, but humanity has survived. For years, the passengers and crew of the vessel Orpheus found the endless void between realities to be a surprisingly peaceful home.

Then they found a body—bloodied, brutalized, and surrounded by inscrutable runes. As Security Director Deva Karrell investigates the Orpheus' first murder, she'll come face to face with a horror from beyond the confines of time itself…

INFINITE DARK #1 will launch from Top Cow/Image Comics this October 2018.

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

PREVIEW: 'Barbarella' #7 by Mike Carey and Kenan Yarar

Barbarella is lost in a maze of Radically Unstable Space-Time, with Pulver Glain, his boys, and his smarter-than-smart gun Sally-Anne hot on her trail. But what’s at the heart of the maze is a threat - and a miracle - that none of them are ready for.


Barbarella #7

writer: Mike Carey  |  artist: Kenan Yarar
covers: Butcher Billy (A), Hayden Sherman (B),
              Daniel HDR (C), Giovanni Timpano (D),
              Kenan Yarar (E-Sub)
              Butcher Billy (RI-B/W), Daniel HDR (RI-B/W)
              Giovanni Timpano (RI-Virgin)

In Stores 06/20/2018

FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |  Mature