By Brian Wood (writer), Davide Gianfelce (art), Dave McCaig (colors)
The third time’s a charm is what some say. Sometimes you just strike out, is what I say. After reading through the first two issues of Northlanders, I was ready to give up on the series. It’s full of unlikeable characters, awful dialogue, and a plot that’ll make you yawn. Yet, I decided to give this series one last chance before passing it off. After all, Brian Wood is just too talented to not give a benefit of a doubt.
I was wrong. Northlanders #3, while not as dreadful as the previous two issues, just doesn’t contain enough substance for me to spend my money on. Perhaps this 8-part story will be better served as a trade paperback, but on a monthly scale, it’s a waste of money. Like last issue, nothing happens. We see Sven hunt, have more sex, and kill some of his uncle’s men. The plot doesn’t advance and we don’t learn much more about Sven or his motivation for staying in this wasteland. This story is just too decompressed. Perhaps the only notable things worth mentioning are his uncle’s a bit more spooked now and he has somewhat of an unlikely ally. He also likes to wear stag heads (aren’t those heavy?!), while murdering soldiers who’re doing nothing more than hunting.
There’s not much writing in this issue – most of it is a showcase for Davide Gianfelice’s excellent storytelling skills. He does a phenominal job with the script he’s given, but to be honest, he deserves to be working on a better title. Northlanders is just a waste. If you love Brian Wood, support him by picking up DMZ. It’s okay not to like everything he does. No one’s perfect. (Grade: D)
– J. Montes