A mix of Icelandic lore and Norse mythology—and maybe a smattering of the Incredible Hulk—makes up this action-packed adventure of the barrel-chested Barbarian Lord’s struggle to defeat his skull-headed enemy.
With a face devoid of most expression and seemingly locked into a permanent grimace, the Barbarian Lord maintains “the finest farm in Garmrland.” Aided by a ruthless but somewhat hapless witch, nefarious neighbor Skullmaster seeks to destroy him and take over that farm. As the two lock horns in a power play, the Barbarian Lord finds himself battling a variety of foes, from sea monsters to ghosts to trolls. Though the lines between good and evil are distinctly drawn, the Barbarian Lord is a complicated kind of hero who certainly doesn’t shy away from killing (or impaling or slashing…) any opponent who dares cross his path; his personal motto seems to be “[t]here is more honor in battle than in trickery.” This plot is nothing if not action-driven, the multitudinous battle scenes and abundant swordplay (and excellent sound effects) making this an excellent choice for readers interested in Game of Thrones but who perhaps aren’t quite ready for some of its more mature subject matter.
An intriguing and interesting mix of mythology, folklore and fantasy makes for what is in effect a graphic-novel introduction to the sword-and-sorcery genre. (author’s note) (Graphic fantasy. 13-17)