Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Valkyries, by Kevin Grevioux, Leonel Castellani, Eduardo Lemos

The purpose of this column is to bring you the best in all-ages comics, and I have to tell you, it is a pleasure to introduce you to Valkyries. This comic has it all – stunningly attractive Norse gods, winged horses in armor, breastplates, reeeeeally big swords, nasty villains, romance, humor, feminism, and lots of fighting. The story is set in Viking mythology and tells the story of Keldegarde, a Valkyrie who would rather rescue the humble and strong of heart than bring valorous warriors to Valhalla. I thoroughly enjoyed going over the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard (I’m kinda crushin’ on Heimdal) and witnessing the goings on among the Gods and Valkyries. Will Keldegarde and Baldur make a love connection or will the jealous Valkyries have their way? Will Princess Yola convince Odin to let women into Valhalla? Will Thor and Vidar stop squabbling long enough to stop Loki in his latest evil attempt to take over Asgard?

The art in Valkyries is simply phenomenal and this would be my choice of comic on a desert island, just so I could look at the pictures. There’s definitely an animation quality to it, in a good way, and I’m floored by the level of detail the artists attain while still making everything clear and easy to follow. The character designs are wonderful – the Valkyries are strong and gorgeous without being Playboy-ized, the gods seem to be made of testosterone and steel, and every character is distinct and easily recognizable. The consistency and detail in every bit of art is amazing – from the supernatural shine on Odin’s armor, to the harness fastenings on the Valkyries’ horses, I find wonderful new details every time I re-read these comics. When there is a fight, it’s crystal clear who is doing what to whom, which I really appreciate as I often have trouble following the fight scenes in comics. The only character designs that I find slightly puzzling are the female villains. They’re beautifully designed, but much more overtly sexual than any of the other characters. Maybe it’s because they use their “powers” for evil…

Is Valkyries all-ages? Well, there is a fair bit of violence (a story about Viking mythology wouldn’t work without that), but instead of red blood when someone gets hit hard in the face, you get a lot of white or clear liquid – I’m assuming it’s drool. It’s amazing the difference that can make. The villains are probably too scary, and too sexy, for the little ones and there is one kissing scene that’s, well, kind of adult – I mean, it looks like a real passionate kiss. There are also some nasty-looking monsters at the end of issue two. I’d say it’s about on the level of a PG movie. I would consider it library safe and probably classroom safe for all but primary grades.

Sarah says: Valkyries is a great piece of work, especially for comics. I’m waiting for the third one come out so I could read it. The story is really good but the art is even better. I like the story because it explains things in a way that’s easy to understand but it doesn’t sound too weird and dumb. I like the art because it’s very realistic but cartoony at the same time. My favorite characters were the animals because they are cute and Keldegarde because she’s pretty and nice. My favorite scene was in the first book when Thor and his brother were fighting because one of them used the other’s toothbrush to clean his moustache. I think it’s probably for six-year-olds and up but if you don’t like Norse mythology, then I don’t think it’s for you.

Shelby says: I like when Keldegarde was talking to all the animals that she had saved and they are all her friends because the animals were cute and I like the fact that she likes to help animals and not just guys who like to fight. I like the shading and the colors in the art. Some of it is gross, like the slobber in the guys’ beards, but the picture of Asgard is very beautiful. I like how light comes in through windows, sort of like what real life does. It’s got a bit of comedy but it’s serious at the same time and the very last part is a very big cliff hanger. I want to see what happens to Asgard! I think little kids might not understand it but everyone else will love it if they love art and a good story about big, buff dues and big, buff, gorgeous, your-jaw-drops-to-the-floor ladies.

As you can probably tell, we loved the first two issues. Check out some more of the incredible Valkyries art here.


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