By Phil Hester (Writer), Michael Avon Oeming (Artist), and Val Staples (Colorist)
The Story: A one-and-done comic set sometime long ago in The Darkness universe, Lodbrok’s Hand is a cautionary story about a man’s (good-intentioned) strive for power and the cost that it carries. Lodbrok, his sister, and some others are the few that remain of a village following a brutal raid lead by the tyrant Grimur. The group goes off in search of the legendary Forbidden Horn in the hopes of summoning The Black Captain and his twisted crew in order to even the odds against the might of Grimur. As with similar stories, there is a price to be paid for the powers called forth by the Forbidden Horn, regardless of the success or failure they bring.
What’s Good: I consider this one-shot to be such a success because the creative team manages to make a very familiar story feel like something fresh and almost brand new. First off, Phil Hester’s script effectively captures the feeling of a tale being spoken aloud by a master storyteller; something that is crucial to the book considering how the story told in Lodbrok’s Hand is framed. Secondly, the artwork by Michael Avon Oeming (colored by Val Staples) does a great job of capturing the dark, foreboding nature of Lodbrok’s quest. From the blood-drenched action scenes to the bizarre, supernatural nature of The Black Captain and his ship, Lodbrok’s Hand is a visual treat. READ MORE.