A World After Asgard In Ragnarok: The Breaking Of Helheim #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Below!]

The end of days have come and gone, and now only Thor stands seeing to the funeral pyre of the gods, feeding it with his furious lightning. His only companions are Ratatosk the talking squirrel and Lady the goat steed. Thor himself is undead, and all who see him view the Aesir as a Draugar. However, Thor hears the voice of Odin and sets out to commune with his father. Meanwhile, Surtr the demon, Holvak the King Troll, Hrym the Frost Giant Lord, and Jormungandr the World Serpent plot Thor’s demise.

Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim #1 cover by Walter Simonson and Laura Martin
Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim #1 cover by Walter Simonson and Laura Martin

Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim #1 is my first experience with Walt Simonson’s Ragnarok comics, though I have of course read his legendary work on Thor

It is little surprise that Thor is the main character in Breaking of Helheim, and Simonson’s storytelling ability has not diminished in the years since his Thor days. Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim #1 presents the post-apocalypse as another cosmic odyssey, with enemies from across the realms still seeking to kill the son of Odin.

A high point of the comic is the depiction of Ragnarok in progress. It is true to the traditional depiction of Ragnarok, with the wolves Skoll and Hati consuming the sun and moon and kicking off the apocalypse following the death of Baldur. 

Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim #1 art by Walter Simonson, Laura Martin, and letterer John Workman
Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim #1 art by Walter Simonson, Laura Martin, and letterer John Workman

Simonson’s very distinct art style serves Ragnarok well too. There is a contrasting beauty and ugliness to it all. Thor and the creatures that fought the gods maintain grisly visages, but the surroundings, particularly the cosmic forum shown when the villains plan Thor’s demise, are breathtaking. Simonson is still an impeccable artist, and color artist Laura Martin contributes a fantastic tapestry to the visuals.

Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim #1 is a wonderful first step for this Norse mythology series. Simonson still clearly as a passion for this mythos, and his storytelling and illustrating capabilities are as strong now as they were back in his Thor days. This is a fun and gripping read, and it’s easily worth a recommendation. Check it out.

Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim #1 comes to us from writer and artist Walter Simonson, color artist Laura Martin, letterer John Workman, cover artist Walter Simonson with Laura Martin, and variant cover artists Walter Simonson; and Walter Simonson and Stan Sakai with Laura Martin.

Final Score: 8/10

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