Ragnarök Vol. Two: The Lord of the Dead

Writer / Artist
Ragnarök Vol. Two: The Lord of the Dead
Alternative editions:
Alternative editions:
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: IDW – 978-1-63140-883-0
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2017
  • UPC: 9781631408830
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

Ragnarök is the final cataclysmic battle between the Gods of Asgard and their many enemies, when the heavens are split asunder, the nine worlds are destroyed in flames, and everyone and everything dies. It has finally occurred, but only the gods died. Many of their most powerful enemies remain alive, ruling over what remains of the Dusk Lands, in perpetual grey twilight. When two Dark Elves, deadly assassins, enter a fortress at the edge of the worlds, they awaken a mysterious being who has been asleep for centuries. Thor, son of Odin did not die in battle, although he is now unrecognisably degenerated into something far grimmer, an undead husk of his former vital self. With his hammer Mjolnir in hand, the resurrected Thunder God sets out to discover what happened to Asgard.

Walter Simonson’s version of the Twilight of The Gods goes much further than he could when writing the adventures of Thor in the Marvel universe, and he here answers many of the questions raised in Vol. One. He adds quite a few new ones as this more savage Thor seeks to avenge the deaths of the Gods and protect the few humans still alive against trolls, demons, zombies and worse. Readers familiar with The Mighty Thor will recognise many of the names in this saga, but find themselves as bewildered by Thor himself in the very different environment of this series. It ramps up the destruction and despair so in places this is a horror story much like the darker parts of Hellboy. Simonson’s world-building is as expansive and strongly individual as Mignola’s. He creates incredible scenes of crackling power and titanic battles, contrasted with equally powerful, beautifully subtle passages of emotion amidst wreckage as Thor’s little companions Ratatosk the squirrel and Drifa, a child who sees the future, try to remind him of what he is actually fighting for.

The Lord of the Dead is introduced by Simonson with some explanation of the concept of ‘Urd’, or destiny as it applies in Norse myth via the Fates, and how he used it in the creation of the Dark Elves Regn and Brynja and their daughter Drifa. Plus, some history of the curséd sword Tyrfing whose power extends across generations prcedes a gallery of covers also including variants drawn by Mike Mignola, Bill Sienkiewicz, John Paul Leon, Geof Darrow and Lee Weeks, and six pages of Simonson’s pencils and structure drawings. Thor’s search continues in The Breaking of Helheim.

Amazon only list the digital edition.