Written By: Brian Wood
Artist: Mack Chater
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Lettering By: Nate Piekos
Cover by: Greg Smallwood
Published By: Dark Horse Comics
Okay, so some of the vague elements from the first couple issues are starting to get cleared up. I might not have waited so long, simply for clarity’s sake, to explain the captions, especially, because I now feel as if I didn’t have the context I needed to fully enjoy the previous books in the series. However, I am now more intrigued and more invested in the characters after reading the third issue, since both Dag and Elsbeth have stepped up a notch in their moral revenge quest.
Not that I condone violence in any way, but I was happy to see much more action in this episode. While I thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere created by the subdued moments, I also was waiting for the plot to get going, and get going it did. The first outpost of the Forty Swords is a great setting and I soaked in all of the depictions of it. The concept of the Raven’s Fate seemed really cool, and I wish I understood it more, unless I missed some explanation somewhere, which is possible. The dialogue is a bit of an improvement in this issue, too, sparse as it is. There were a couple places that explained a little too much, without seeming entirely natural. Pleasingly, the story was much more focused on the visuals of fighting, in the parallel story lines. It was very exciting to read, even though I was not super convinced of the main antagonist and his seemingly flawless memory of a decade ago. But, corrupt nuns “as pious as serpents” balanced him out.
The art is still stunning, though a little less consistent in this issue. A few of the expressions threw me a bit off and I had to study what was happening, instead of it seeming effortless to understand. I still am loving the full page scenic images; they are very effective at putting the reader into the time and place of the story, making this book all the more immersive. So, if you haven’t yet, immerse yourself in the grittiness of the ancient Scandinavian world.