Norse Mythology III, Issue # 3 Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell Artist: Colleen Doran Letterer: Galen Showman Colorist: Colleen Doran Cover Artist: P. Craig Russell
This is a fantastic rendition of the Death of Balder, beloved and appreciated by all the gods, but continuously plagued by nightmares about the end of the world, Ragnarok.
When Odin decides to find what would befall the Aesir, the omens do not look good. He shares some of this information with Frigg, the mother of the gods, who understandably wants to protect Balder.
Enter the Achile′s heel metaphor (although arguably Nordic Sagas are older than Greek myths, I am not so sure about that). In the last issue, Frigg talked with animals, rocks and plant life, begging them to swear not to harm Balder. However, she neglects the humble mistletoe, and Loki notices.
That would be about it for Balder′s life, a little dart of mistletoe will do more harm than anything else in the word, be it swords or claws. To the great concern of the Aesir, Balder is now dead.
Enter another myth: a hero must travel to Hel in order to bring Balder back from the dead. The noble Hermod, the Nimble, in his stead Sleipnir, is in charge of this mythical travesty. Will he succeed?
Hel is where the dead reside. In the Greek and Roman myths, it is known as Hades. There is, of course, a deity in charge of this realm, Loki′s daughter.
There is a price to pay in order to bring back the departed. There will be a river to cross, a magical gatekeeper and many more mythical elements. Behind them there is a stark truth, the reason why dead seldom come back to the land of the living.
There is always a small thing that will stop them from coming back. A small, significant thing.
Publication Date: April 13, 2022
Format: FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
UPC: 7 61568 00910 1 00311
Featured image by Colleen Doran, all images belong to Dark Horse Comics