Walt Simonson’s Ragnarök series is proving somewhat difficult to track popping in and out of scheduled release lists, but issue #3 did get pushed out last week. The good news is it’s fantastic!
SkeleThor is now on the move; leaving his prison at Kliffborg in rubble, and quickly being made aware of just how much things have changed — beginning with a look in the mirror to notice he’s lost his jaw. Bits of bifrost fall into his hand to show something’s amiss as visions of his family fly overhead. The only acquaintance that seems to answer his call is the squirrel Ratatosk (that we’d met last issue) who brings “The Storm” up to speed; in short, the Gods are dead, Yggdrasil is torn down, and the enemies live.
As expected from the previous issue, Ratatosk was keeping Thor alive, doing for Thor what he’d normally do for Yggdrasil, and was charged to do so by Odin. Probably one of the greatest things to look forward to in this series is how Simonson will find ways to repurpose existing roles and actions from norse mythology into his new world now that they are no longer tied down to specific settings. Take Ratatosk away from the world tree, and what purpose can he serve while still being undoubtedly Ratatosk, right down to his prickly demeanor? The answer is exactly what we got.
Not tied to mythological trappings we also find out we’re not done with the Black Elf family just yet, as father and daughter come to terms with the (too soon!) death of Brynja and set out to… well to be honest I’m not sure what they’re about to do, but I’m excited to find out! The girl Drifa we also learn is more than she seemed, as she appears to have held some psychic connection to know her mother’s fate.
Simonson’s paneling techniques also continue to be impressive. Here we see him splice together vertical and horizontal panels that read diagonally while working the eye to a corner. He’s done this before to great effect; for example in Thor #341 where the dragon Fafnir hypnotizes Lorelei.
Issue 3 allowed Skelethor a chance to swing his hammer against some wandering draugr and ends with a fight already lined up to start the next issue off, although that won’t be for a while. Until then, happy holidays!