Previously in Vikings #2
Vikings #3 | Writer: Cavan Scott | Artist: Staz Johnson, Andrea Mutti | Color Artist: Rodrigo Fernandes | Letterer: Rob Steen | Publisher: Titan
Ragnar and his horde of Vikings now ashore are set upon by soldiers who serve at the pleasure of one of King Ecbert’s lords. As they are attacked we witness the fight from Largetha’s perspective. As both an Earl and shield maiden, she is there to support her King to the death if need be. Although no longer his wife she remains a formidable ally – regardless of his ego.
The Vikings hold hostage one survivor, who is the son of one of the lords. This information is forced out of the lord once he sees Rollo holding an axe to his son’s head. He reveals they were under orders from Ethelwold. Underestimating Ragnar will always lead to failure in Ethelwold’s schemes. The idea that these “savages” do not deserve his father’s hospitality and do not belong in their lands is short-sighted as they have already arrived. This shows he’s incapable of being the ruler his father is.
Armed with the truth, Ragnar convinces the lord his survival depends on him remaining silent about his duplicitous arrangement with Ethelwold; he agrees. This, in turn, leads him to take Ragnar to brother Bernard, a monk who survived Felman’s raid. The only thing he can tell them when asked for information is his certainty in Felman’s return and how he crowed the words “No Christian will be safe.”
The trap set for Felman becomes evident with his arrival, not to defenseless monks, but to Ragnar and his warriors lying in wait and absent of fear. With Felman’s ships destroyed, his men wounded and surrounded on all sides, the reader is able to see just how effective the Vikings are. Their stealth, planning, and ability to adapt flows through the pages. But it pays to also remember Felman has been fighting against peaceful monks and villagers for a time with the advantage of surprise – all things removed by Ragnar in this issue.
While over in Kattegat Siggy stands in for the representation of fear. The fear the people feel at nearing starvation, children who haven’t seen their fathers and some mothers in years. But her need to try and stave off whatever impending doom is coming only earns her the ire of Aslaug and Jaska’s wicked tongues. Kattegat is losing hope with the abled-bodied men gone, the crops failing, and Aslaug’s inefficient leadership. Jaska blames the failure of the crops on Ivan, the crippled son of Ragnar, while Aslaug assumes she’s vying to be queen again. The more Siggy tries to hold Kattegat together until Ragnar’s return the closer the town edges to turning on its own as predicted by the seer.
The artwork is this series continues to be expansive and detailed at the same time. The words that pop out of the pages reflect action, or more specifically the fight scenes when visible. The panels themselves feel like another character; conveying many things left unsaid becoming part of story itself. At the end of every issue we get more than just the comic, we get an interview with the writer himself, Cavan Scott. He speaks on his creative process and the challenges he faced when initially creating Vikings. With the imminent capture of Felman, I can only wonder what’s next in this chess match between Ragnar and Ecbert.
Vikings #3 = 8.5/10