Spider King: Frostbite One-Shot
Writer: Josh Vann
Artists: Simone D’Armini, Daniel Irizarri
Colourist: Adrian Bloch
Letterer: Chas! Pangburn
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Review by Josh Rose
Vikings have always been one of the few groups of people feared for their prowess in battle and conquest of distant lands. Another group also feared for mass destruction and conquest have been aliens. Last year’s Spider King series gave readers the fortune of learning how these two might encounter one another in battle, and now they’re back in Spider King: Frostbite for more extraterrestrial berserker fury.
Josh Vann returns to the world of Norsemen and little green men and introduces us to a new alien menace for the Hrolf and his ragtag band to overcome. Whereas the previous series was comedic and cute, this one-shot delves more into the horror side that an alien invasion would leave on an early medieval Scandinavia. What’s not clear is who some of the characters are and why one of them is an alien.
Simone D’Armini’s art is that kind of style that can be both cute and terrifying. When things are calm, the characters just look cartoony and like they wouldn’t be out of place in a world like Adventure Time. But his alien-possessed animals are down right creepy, and Hrolf isn’t much better when he’s in a berserker fury. Adrian Bloch’s colours are the final nail in the coffin that make this a horror story. Their colours are what make the alien-animals truly other-worldly.
The Verdict: Check it out.
Spider King: Frostbite is a fun comic if you are interested in the action alone and want to see souped-up vikings fight an alien parasite. If you want to understand this world and are confused by not knowing the characters’ backstories, go read the previous issues of Spider King first. One thing is for sure: it’s entertaining to see Vann and D’Armini mash the sword-and-fantasy and alien-invasion genres together.