Thorgal – epic sword and sorcery adventures

Published On December 8, 2009 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

The Thorgal Saga (Volumes 1-6)

by Jean Van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosinski

Published by Cinebook

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Another Cinebook series I’m reading out of order, having read volume 5 first (review here) but like I said back then;

So Thorgal was enjoyable enough, indeed it was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be, to the point where I’d quite happily settle down with more volumes in this series, but not exactly my thing. However, for those of you reading this who do enjoy your swords with a little sorcery thrown in, I imagine you’ll be absolutely thrilled by each and everyone of these Thorgal volumes.

And, having read the 6 volumes that Cinebook have released so far (albeit in the order 5, 1-4, 6) I can only agree with my view back then. It’s certainly an epic fantasy, with it’s mix of medieval sword and sorcery and nods to the superhero genre coming from the earliest point where Thorgal falls to Earth in the 7th Century like some Viking Superman.

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(Thorgal, child of the stars indeed. From Thorgal Volume 1. Published by Cinebook.)

Gods, monsters and magic fill the pages, but far more importantly, so do the everyday lives, loves and conflicts of Thorgal and his clan. At it’s core Thorgal is almost a love story – with Thorgal and Aaricia, the girl who befriends him from an early age even as the rest of his clan shun him for his strange birthrite, finding a love that will sustain them through their incredible adventures. (Although there are times when I found myself wondering just how many ways Van Hamme could engineer a separation followed by Thorgal epically questing to find his lost love.)

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(Thorgal and Aaricia; destined to be together – although “we’ll never leave each other” doesn’t take into account the moments in almost every book when one or both are whisked away against their will, only to be reunited several epic battles later.)

But, even though I did enjoy the Thorgal adventures, after reading five volumes in a couple of days I really think I’ve reached my limit. It’s good, but it just isn’t my favourite genre. I can appreciate Van Hamme’s writing and can enjoy Rosinski’s lush artwork, but that’s really as far as it goes. If Thorgal, which I’ll warrant is pretty near the finest example of the sword and sorcery fantasy comic genre, can’t really make me enthuse wildly, then I’m willing to bet nothing will. But if sword and sorcery is more your thing I imagine Thorgal will be perfect for you.

The entire Thorgal series from Cinebook is available from the FPI webstore, along with other Cinebook releases. And if you want to see the sort of great Euro-comics Cinebook are releasing their catalogue is available online here.

Richard Bruton.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.