Nowadays it seems 100% likely that someone would make a comic book adaptation out of one of Neil Gaiman’s novels. The most recent one is Gaiman’s retelling of well-known Norse myths called “Norse Mythology” and this time he has a crew of heavy hitting artists.
“Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds” is exactly that: the story of what the Yggdrasil is and an introduction to the Nine Worlds according to Norse mythology. It’s a decent introduction to the world of Norse mythology by getting right to the point of what the Nine Worlds are and who lives in the. Artist P. Craig Russel does a great job of drawing Yggdrasil, the Nine Worlds and the people who inhabit them. Both the art and the intro set the tone for the rest of the series.
“Mimir’s Head and Odin’s Eye” tells the story of how the giant Mimir met Odin, allowed him to drink from Mimir’s Well (after telling Odin he has to sacrifice his eye to drink) and Mimir getting beheaded because Odin made him adviser to the Aesir god Hoenir and Hoenir wasn’t very wise without Mimir. This is one of those origin stories so take it how you will. What’s strange about this is that Mike Mignola did the art. Mignola’s art work great when it’s “Hellboy” or “B.P.R.D.” Anything outside that just doesn’t look right.
The final story is “The Treasures of the Gods.” Loki has cut of Sif, Thor’s wife’s, hair and Thor has threatened Loki to regrow her hair or he will break every bone in Loki’s body every day until it’s grown back. Loki tells Thor that the dwarves have something and Loki uses this as a contest between the Sons of Ivaldi and the brothers Brokk and Eitri. This is the best story so far. Loki is one of the best Norse gods and his antics with Thor are always entertaining. The art by Jerry Ordway is also the best so far. The characters and backgrounds are wonderfully drawn and show off what the series can do. The only real downside is if it wasn’t for the beard Ordway’s Thor would look a bit too much like Marvel’s Thor.
The first issue of “Norse Mythology” may not be the best, but it is only an introduction to bigger and better stories. Neil Gaiman has a knack for great writing so don’t be too harsh in this first issue. The artwork really depends on who’s the artist and for this first issue that’s Jerry Ordway.