Previously in Vikings: Uprising #1
Vikings: Uprising #2 | Writer: Cavan Scott | Art: Daniel Indro | Colors: Kevin Enhart | Letters: Jim Campbell | Publisher: Titan Comics | Cover: John Mccrea
“I watched the Gods burn. I asked for a vision. I asked for them to open my eyes. And they answered.”
Cavan Scott continues Uprising with Lagertha, former wife of Ragnar and Earl in her own right, and a slave uprising that I have found intriguing due to the themes it touches. I like the many correlations to another famous leader of a slave uprising: Spartacus. The abuse and the enslavement of a group of people who rise up against their masters is explored as they make their way through Hedeby, destroying temples, killing whole families, and butchering animals.
There’s conflict between the de-facto leader of the rebellion, Colum, and one of his incredibly sadistic comrades, Maurice. It’s easy to see how the group fully embraces acts of extreme violence, but it’s clear Colum has no real power to stop the actions of those he is with. (I would have slipped away from the merry band in the middle of the night.) Chaos for the sake of chaos, with no real organization, is always doomed to fail.
I found the handling of domestic issues as part of the plot extremely enjoyable and fascinating. In order to provide for his people, Ragnar had to look overseas; the combination of failing farm lands and a lack of resources left the people in dire straights. Ragnar’s deals with Ecbert, and his sacking of Paris, was to have staved off the suffering of his people for a little while, but his failures have only highlighted it. Ragnar, the great and competent ruler, is now little more than a drug addict in the throes of a dangerous withdrawal.
With Ragnar out of commission, Floki and Lagertha are brought together by the gods; Floki through his visions; and Lagertha through her search for answers to explain their failure in Paris. Seeing the destruction of Uppsala, The Holy Place, enrages Floki and Lagertha, and they decide the gods must be avenged. But when Lagertha asks if he thinks Ragnar will help, he answers with a scoff.
Cavan Scott is able to expand and contract the story as needed, but ultimately he brings everyone together in an impressive cliffhanger that left me wanting to read the next issue immediately.
All of our characters are brought together with the culmination of Ragnar’s public fall, although wisdom would dictate a king in the middle of a very painful withdrawal should not be holding an assembly. Ragnar is agitated by visions of Yidu, and Bjorn is unable to restrain him. Lagertha rides in, and with six words gains the attention of all.
“Get your hands off our son!”
Vikings: Uprising #2
The depiction of barbarity on all sides, whether through the shine of civility in Kattegat or with Colum’s crew near Hedeby wreaking havoc, brings a sense of urgency and realism to the reader – from the vivid reds depicting the burning temple of Uppsala, the lilac hues that surround Ragnar’s vision, and the thunderous grey clouds that mark Lagertha’s arrival. Where our band of Vikings go from here and how Ragnar is able to fight through his withdrawal is left to be seen.
FYI: The back matter provides some insight into the historical Lagertha in comparison to the show and comic books.
Vikings season 4 continues on November 30, 2016.