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review 2017-09-12 01:01
Heathen Volume 1 by Natasha Alterici
Heathen Vol. 1 - Natasha Alterici,Natasha Alterici,Tess Fowler,Tamra Bonvillain,Charles Martin,Rebecca Rutledge,Kristen Grace

Genre: LGBT / Norse Mythology / Fantasy / Feminism / Adventure

 

Year Published: 2017

 

Year Read: 7/31/2017

 

Publisher: Vault Comics

 

Series: Heathen #1

 

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

Heathen

I would like to thank NetGalley and Vault Comics for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Introduction: 

I have noticed lately that I rarely got the chance to read graphic novels that features a LGBT character as the main protagonist and I have been searching for many graphic novels that contains main LGBT protagonists. Well, luckily NetGalley had decided to hand out such a graphic novel called “Heathen Volume One” which is written by Natasha Alterici along with artwork by Rachel Deering and I must say that this is easily one of the best LGBT graphic novels I have ever read!

What is this story about? 

The story starts off with a young Viking woman named Avdis who was banished from her homeland due to participating in a forbidden act in her land: kissing another woman. After this event, Aydis decided to go out on a mission to change the ways of Odin’s empire and the first thing she tries to do is to find and free the Valkyrie Brynhild. It turns out that Odin had cursed Brynhild by forcing her to return to her mountain prison if she cannot find a mortal who is willing to marry her and Aydis aims to bring Brynhild’s suffering to an end!

What I loved about this story: 

Natasha Alterici’s writing: Wow! Natasha Alterici has certainly done a wonderful job at writing this story as she is able to combine Norse Mythology with LGBT themes, which made this graphic novel such a unique read! I loved the way that Natasha Alterici wrote the dialogue between the characters as it really characterizes the characters and I loved the little nods to humor in the dialogue, especially between the two wolves Skull and Hati, which was the best part of the story. I also enjoyed the details involving Norse Mythology in this story since I am always interested in fairy tales and mythology and it was nice to be able to point out the characters from Norse Mythology that were mentioned in this story, such as Odin and the Valkyries. But probably the best part about this graphic novel was how it approached the issues that Aydis is going through. Natasha Alterici has done a fantastic job at paralleling the prejudice that Aydis is going through because she kissed another woman, to the real-world prejudice that the LGBT community is going through and it is great that there is a graphic novel that portrays a strong LGBT character in a positive light.

Rachel Deering’s artwork: Rachel Deering’s artwork is quite gorgeous to look at and I especially loved the focus on the characters themselves. The backgrounds are blank for the most part, apart from some trees, but the characters are drawn in such a detailed way, that they really stand out in the artwork. I also enjoyed the wilderness scenes as the trees surrounding the characters look truly luscious and they bring a certain beauty to the story.

Heathen

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like nudity in a graphic novel series, there is a bit of nudity in this volume, especially with the images of Freyja with her breasts being openly exposed. Also, even though the artwork is gorgeous for the most part, I found the artwork to be a bit too scratchy at times and it was a bit hard for me to see what is going on in the story due to the artwork blurring out some action scenes.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Heathen Volume One” is a fantastic graphic novel for anyone who loves Norse Mythology and LGBT characters!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-08-25 16:20
I love this series
Heathen #5 - Natasha Alterici

I hadn't heard of this series until Heathen Vol. 1 was up on Netgalley. I read it and loved it. I loved it so much that I ordered this and pre-ordered the coming issues. 

This issue opens the world a bit more. There is a really interesting ship of women and Alterici's take on mermaids and inversion of the swan maiden legend is really great

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review 2017-07-26 02:11
Heathen Vol 1 - out next month
Heathen Vol. 1 - Natasha Alterici,Natasha Alterici,Tess Fowler,Tamra Bonvillain,Charles Martin,Rebecca Rutledge,Kristen Grace

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

 

                There are two mythological cycles that I have a fondness for – the Story of Troy and the Volsung saga.  In fact, I prefer Norse myths to Greek.  I’m not entirely sure why, but I always have.

 

                Heathen is a comic book that draws upon ancient Norse stories but adds more.

 

                The story is about Aydis, a young woman who is a warrior, despite her wearing bikini type clothing in the north.  Unfortunately, Aydis has been labeled unnatural by her village because she likes other women.  She does not want to get married, at least not to a man. 

 

                The story of how her life is saved is actually one of the most touching stories of acceptance, I’ve seen lately.

 

                Because she has lost almost everything (she still has her horse Saga), Aydis decides to go on quest.  She is going to brave the fire and rescue Brynhild, but this quest becomes more difficult as the focus on her quest changes – she is going to challenge the status quo in a more direct way.

 

                To be honest, the artwork in this volume isn’t to my taste.  This is just a preference issue, not an artistic judgement.  Certain aspects of it are appealing – such as the horses and the wolves.  The women just look a little strange.  It’s like Aeon Flux – storytelling is great, but the art work is my type of thing.

 

                There is some humor here – particular when it comes to animals – and if you are familiar with Norse myths and legends (not the Marvel version, BTW), you will get some of the character names.  The book also draws more closely on the mythology than the Marvel comic, and there is even historical reference to the coming of Christianity. 

                What is more important, and just lovely, is the book does examine the question of love and truth though the characters, including the goddess Freya who meets Aydis. 

                It really is a wonderful human story.

                Look, I loved it so much, I went to see when new issues would be coming out.

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review 2015-12-30 16:50
Heathen #4
Heathen #4 - Natasha Alterici

What can I say that I haven't already said? Or, more than that, what can I say that all of the people that I've now converted to Heathen fans haven't already said? This story is gorgeous, plain and simple. Natasha Alterici's art style is flowing, lyrical, and downright stunning. Everything about this series is just too good.

 

This particular issue clinched my love, with how beautifully it addressed alternate lifestyles and the people who see them as evil. Truthfully, that's been building up through the issues so far. Natasha Alterici has artfully created a story where love shines, despite the people who try to snuff it out. It doesn't matter whether you love another woman, or another man, only that you're strong enough to fight for that love. Or, in the case of Aydis, to fight for that love on behalf of everyone else.

 

I have a massive girl crush on Aydis. I'm lamenting the fact that there's no more of this until Spring. *sigh*

 

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review 2015-12-30 10:39
What, no, I need five!
Heathen #4 - Natasha Alterici

I have to wait for the next issue.   So sad!  

 

Jessica got me addicted to this, and in return of the favor, I got he addicted to MTMtE - which is up to issue 48.   So I foresee BRs of Heathen and MTMtE - and maybe RiD - in the future.   (Soon, you'll be using these acronyms, too.   So much easier than typing them out each time.)

 

Oh, Jessica, what have you done?   I love this comic.   It's a writer/artist, so the art blends with the writing in a way that can be hit and miss for a writer/artist team.   This gets back into the action, and Sig is now my favorite character.   I love Sig!

 

 

This is why.   

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