Spider King #1 Review
Written by Josh Vann
Art by Simone D’Armini
32 pages, $3.99
Solicit: When a fleet of spaceships crashes into northern Europe in 956 AD, a group of unlikely Viking heroes are the last line of defense against a brutal intergalactic warlord. Equal parts science fiction and fantasy, The Spider King follows the adventures of Viking warriors as they defend their world against alien invaders armed with futuristic technology and impossible weapons.
Not too long ago writer Nathan Fairbairn and Matt Smith launched a comic called Lake of Fire. It’s an amazing comic about what happens when an alien invasion lands in England 1220 AD. Knights in armor battling aliens. It was a simple premise that lead to a fantastic read.
Here we have something similar. Only it’s aliens versus vikings. Joe hates it when I ask, but do we need another book about aliens versus ancient, bad ass warriors? Are the creators just aping the success of Lake of Fire?
At first glance it could look that way. Like Matt Smith’s soft illustrated art style artist Simone D’Armini has an animated style that reminds me more Michael Avon Omening. Also like Lake of Fire the story opens with a civilization at war taken by surprise when alien ships come crashing from the stars.
So, similar? Yeah. But is it worth reading? Fuck Yeah!
D’Armini packs each page with crazy amounts of detailed yet cartoonish rage and violence as two viking clans cut themselves to pieces on the battle field. The design and look of the characters are wonderfully researched and reminded me of what I loved about the characters on The History Channel’s Vikings show. D’armini has a style unlike anyone else on the stands at present, and wow is he good with blood and gore.
Josh Vann’s script is vicious, mean, and drops the reader right into the action. We meet two warring clans, one led by a fearless warrior named the Wolf, the other by an aging king with a precocious daughter who’s tired of her clan’s macho BS.
Spider King was a pleasant surprise from two creators I’ve never read before this issue. I am absolutely on board for more and any fan of Viking history and violent sci-fi will love this book. Spider King #1 is a comic meant to be read with a flagon of ale in hand and Finnish black metal playing on your stereo.
Rating: BUY IT
Matt Baum is the producer, co-founder, and co-host of the Two-Headed Nerd Comic Book Podcast. He has serious anger management issues, chemical dependencies and should be avoided if possible.