by Jean Van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosinski
Here we are again, me reviewing Thorgal, Cinebook’s sword and sorcery adventure series. I keep getting these books, even though it’s a genre I’ve shown no interest in at any time. I left it last time, with the remarkably good, if slightly bizarre Volume 7 – a time travel interlude that I particularly enjoyed.
But prior to that I felt myself getting tired of the series, not because it’s necessarily bad, as both Van Hamme and Rosinski are top notch creators, but because it just isn’t my thing.
Yet here I am with volume 8 and I have to acknowledge, perhaps grudgingly, that I really rather enjoyed this. In fact, almost despite myself, I find I’ve been worn down by Thorgal and have to say it’s yet another of those Cinebook sagas that I do look forward to getting the next volume.
In Wolf Cub, Thorgal, his heavily pregnant wife Aaricia and their son Jolan, are travelling back to their Viking lands, returning home. But in the time he’s been away, his home has fallen victim to the power hungry Wor The Magnificent, who is seeking to bring together the various Viking clans under his leadership. The first meeting between Wor and Thorgal goes badly:
And that’s pretty much as we would expect – Thorgal, as written by Van Hamme is short of temper and quick to violence, but a very simpel, moral man, unafraid of authority and with a set of moral values that mark him out from the rest of the Vikings:
“I only fight to protect my family or to defend a cause I deem just”
Unfortunately for Thorgal, Wor has designs on power and Thorgal and his family are in the way. Finding themselves separated, Thorgal must fight his way back to his wife and child, whilst Aaricia has to contend with the dangers of both the forest and Wor’s men, hardly something she’s in any condition to do.
Like all previous Thorgal volumes, we get a little sword, a little sorcery, a lot of action and some lovely artwork from Rosinski. At the end, with everything satisfactorily concluded, I found myself closing the book and finally admitting to myself that I actually do enjoy Thorgal, and am looking forward to the next volume.