Northlanders Volume Three: Blood in the Snow by Brian Wood, Dean Ormston, Vaslis Lolos, Danijel Zezelj & Davide Gianfelice.
Draugir, the BLOOD-SHIRT,
the iron & hunger of Hel,
unlucked by the Norns.
Oh yeah, that is the stuff. This is what I want out of Northlanders. The short story format really works; Wood has an style that allows an economy of storytelling, & the shorter form means that the dance of visuals has to be concise. If The Cross + the Hammer had been a two issue arc, it would have been much more successful. Wood relies very much on a "oh, let me toss a few backstory hooks out & let the reader fill in the character outline with their own imagination," & here it soars. You've got "Lindisfarne," which pulls up short of having a predictable moral, totally redeeming the trope. "The Viking Art of Single Combat" could only have ended the way it did, but I sure enjoyed it-- & the integration of Norse poetry was classy, too. "Shield Maidens" is a little "older Vertigo," to me-- it reads like a single issue of The Sandman, sans the requisite single panel of Dream of the Endless when they drop 'shrooms. Actually, "Lindisfarne" sort of had that with the Thor splash page, didn't it? "Sven the Immortal" is just a cute call back to Sven the Returned-- while a whole arc would certainly be a terrible idea, a single indulgent issue is sort of charming. So yes, I'm won back over.