The Mighty Valkyries #1 Review

by Charles Martin on April 21, 2021

The Mighty Valkyries #1 Review
Jason Aaron & Torunn Grønbekk
Artist: Mattia De Iulis

"New Valkyrie"
Torunn Grønbekk
Artist: Erica D'Urso
Colourist: Marcio Menyz

Letterer/Producer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Let's talk about prophecy. Let's talk about mythology. Let's talk about fate. Let's talk about weaving disparate stories together into a cohesive tapestry. 

Am I talking about the multiple stories collected between the covers of The Mighty Valkyries #1, or the plot developments that appear on its pages? 

In a single (frustrating) word, yes.

We start with an A strip that focuses on Jane investigating a new Asgardian threat spilling into New York. That strip comes with a powerful subplot featuring courtly intrigue in Hel: Karnilla is stirring up trouble just as her wife returns to the throne.

Then there's the B strip: The "new" Valkyrie is on an outer space quest to turn up clues to her past.

They're different stories -- three of them -- each with its own tone. The visual contrast is greatest between the A and B strips, of course, but there are more subtle distinctions splitting Jane and Karnilla's stories, too.

Yet these are all the same story. They don't just fall together under the umbrella of "Valkyrie bidness," there are already thematic links binding everything we see. The "new" Valkyrie is seeking answers from an oracle. Jane is dealing with an antagonist with strong mythological aspects. And then there's Karnilla. What was she the queen of again?

But set aside the already-promising strategic writing decisions. Each of these stories is highly satisfying in its own right, and the way they relate to each other makes the whole more than the sum of its parts.

The language in Karnilla's story is full-on Jason Aaron myth-building. The dialogue in Jane's story introduces a more grounded, realistic aspect. And then Torunn Grønbekk's cosmic prose creates a true fusion, enhancing natural dialogue with sparkling, poetic turns of world-building.

The contrast between the Valkyries' stories is even clearer in the art. It's hard to beat Mattia De Iulis's insanely detailed, nigh-photorealistic art, of course. So Erica D'Urso and Marcio Menyz don't try to go head-to-head with it. They strike off boldly in a different direction, using flatter colours and stronger lines to make their cosmic setting feel vibrant -- at least as alive as Jane's New York.

This is not to imply that the B strip is short of detail, or that the A strip doesn't handle action well! This comic showcases two different visual styles that are exceptional in their own ways. And they combine better than you would expect them to, like unexpected flavours brought together in one harmonious meal.

To return to the strategic level, Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk are collaborating seamlessly here. The distinctions in their voices expand the scope of the story and make each Valkyrie stand out. But the rich thematic links that are already beginning to bend the protagonists toward each other signal that the two authors are clear on the single story they're telling.

Mighty Valkyries #1 launches its two protagonists in different directions, and each of their stories holds its own with a distinctive visual and verbal style. Thematic similarities are already hinting that all of this material belongs to one bigger story -- but even before the threads come together, everything in this initial issue is enjoyable on a page-by-page basis. Whether considered as one chapter in a vast saga or as a fresh introduction to enthralling characters, this is a terrific comic.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
That planet's called "Perdita." Is that a Terry Pratchett reference?! Probably not. But, oh, maybe it is!