Odin and Thor are awesome. Norse mythology has, even above and beyond Marvel’s use of these characters made its way into mainstream American culture. As part of that same North American culture and a fan of heavy metal, I have a special cold, viking-like place in my heart for these characters and their myths. So, when I was at the Alternative Press Expo 2012 and I saw RÖK #1, Norse Mythology dressed in candy-colored pastels, I had to have it.
So, on a visceral level, I’m really digging RÖK. But, even from an intellectual marketing perspective, I have to say that the book is brilliant. Katie Longua has taken a classic (11th-18th century kinda classic) set of characters and added her own girl-empowered flare to make a fun book for all ages. Longua gets the best of both worlds: she pulls in fans of Thor and Loki and Fenrir and she spices all of this with her own personality for a sincere and engaging level of specificity that only she can bring to any book. It’s really just smart.
RÖK #1 is also just well constructed. Longua’s style mixed with the Norse feel reminds me of another book with the same marketing savy, Black Metal by Rick Spears and Chuck BB. There are at least a couple dark and gloomy pages from RÖK #1 that would make any true heavy metal fan grin and grunt with Viking approval. Oh, and that’s the other area where RÖK #1 parallels Black Metal, they both embrace another place where Norse imagery rears its viking helm, heavy metal.
I do have one, sorta complaint about this first issue – it needs just a little something more. It makes for a cute tease but even for an issue one, I set the book down wanting just a little more. This lack of satisfaction rises above and beyond just wanting to read additional issues which is always a good thing from a creator’s perspective – I felt just could not help feeling that I needed another page or two. But other than that, RÖK #1 is an excellent read – even something I will consider sending to my young nieces.