cover image Viking: The Long Cold Fire

Viking: The Long Cold Fire

Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein, Image, $29.99 (168p) ISBN 9781607061700

Brandon and Klein’s bracingly rendered but shallowly plotted miniseries presents Finn and Egil, brothers who figure that the best way to attain riches and power is to steal them from others. At the chaotic, bloodily rendered start, the brothers massacre a Viking band and steal their loot. This brings them afoul not just of their disapproving grandfather (“a boy takes what he wants, a man makes it”) but also King Bram, whose Amazon-like red-haired daughter, Annikki, soon becomes a target of interest for the marauding brothers. They eventually team up with a massive, seemingly unkillable beast-man known as Orm. There is some palace intrigue here and even the inevitable flickers of a romance with Annikki and one of the brothers, but that’s not what Brandon and Klein are particularly interested in. The coin of the realm here is lavishly depicted scenes of brutal, close-in combat, all spurting blood and bulging eyeballs. The densely imagined and richly colored artwork is never less than impressive, but even over its relatively short length, the story becomes repetitive fast. (May)