Review: Ragnarok #1

Grab your battle axe and prepare your “YAWP” to the world. The Battle of Ragnarok is here good people. And you must on your guard.  Actually, the battle itself is over.  The events that play out in the epic end all battle has happened already and the world is… well, let’s just say that it is a shadow of its formal self at this time.  No, this epic battle has wrapped and writer/artist Walter Simonson is covering within these pages a most unusual adventure in the aftermath following a family of dark elves who have been tasked with an assassination of someone who is already dead. Yeah I know. It is a little bit strange.  But all and all, it is not too bad and the subject matter is perfectly suited for Mr. Simonson who knows a little thing or two about Norsemen with his involvement with Thor during the 1980s, which just happened to be some of my favorites when I was a teenager.  It was nice seeing Simonson’s name on something as epic sounding as the Ragnarok title would suggest.

This opening issue covers a little bit of the actual battle of Ragnarok with some epic art depicting some of the better known aspects of the battle.  Old Thor does make an appearance here, but it is a small cameo as he has a date with destiny and a serpent.  But then, we flash forward to our happy little dark elf couple of Bryna, Regn, and young Drifa, and Bryna’s quest to assemble assassins to do her bidding and trek toward the fortress at the edge of the world known as Kliffborg.  Inside, sits Bryna’s quarry.  And it is in that quarry where success must occur as failure has some seriously high consequences for Bryna  that will result in some rather unpleasant outcomes for her family.

RAGNAROK_01_COV_CON copy 2For the most part, this isn’t too bad of an opening issue. The scenes with our dark elves are well worth the buy and Simonson’s art here is absolutely awesome.  His drab landscape with dark coloring really lets out the idea that the Battle of Ragnarok has really left the world in a shambles.

I think that the Ragnarok battle scenes at the beginning of this issue might have actually slowed things down  some as the battle really sets in motion the story, but has little relevance to it at this current time. Perhaps a simple summary might have been better rather than all the bright color and runes everywhere. It made it a little bit confusing when we switch to our elves.

But slow battle scenes aside, It is still real nice to see Simonson’s Norseman’s touch at work going into familiar territory that is bound to entertain the reader as the story unfolds.  Simonson has a quirky style of writing that is perfectly suited for the material as he likes to view traditional thoughts and the norm from a different angle.  Ragnarok #1 does meet that expectation.

The potential is there and some impressive elements that can really make this one a good one are evident.  Only time will tell however.  I for one am a hopeful reader at this point. The artwork has me drawn in.

Score: 3/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Walter Simonson Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/23/14 Format: Print/Digital