Monday, December 10, 2007

Five for Friday: Vikings

Hey, here's another "Five for Friday" feature I'd never have expected: Vikings!

No surprise who will UNDOUBTEDLY be number 1!

As Brian Wood sets sail with his new Vertigo series Northlanders, we name our five favorite Vikings from comics

By Brian Warmoth

Posted December 7, 2007 11:40 AM

This week, Brian Wood releases his long-anticipated Vertigo series Northlanders, so the least we Viking fans at Wizard Universe could do was to put together our own list of great Nordic players in comic book history. This Five for Friday list represents our five favorite horned and helmeted ones to preserve mead-drinking and gleeful pillaging for the modern comic reader in books and strips alike.

Odin sent Valoric, a Viking who met an untimely demise into the future to fight in World War II, where he beat down the Axis in DC Comics’ All-Out War. One of the few Allied troops who could handily wield a battleaxe and an assault rifle, Viking Commando to this day remains one of the burliest heroes to enter the war effort.

Terrorists with Norse mythology fixations are always bad accidents waiting to happen. This whack-job named Knut Caine once claimed to be a descendent of Loki in a court of law. He later received an evil dagger from Loki himself. After pestering Wasp, Hank Pym and the Hulk, he eventually died after a venomous bite from Jormungandr.

Invading England is all in a day’s work for one of the greatest comic strip characters of all time. Basically the Homer Simpson of the Viking world, Hagar bathes irregularly, loves his family and some good fermented Viking beverage.

Not one of the most intimidating Vikings on this list, but one of DC’s most recurring, Jon Haraldson, the Viking Prince, was born in 10th-century Scandinavia and fought with Sgt. Rock in World War II. He also showed in an issue of Birds of Prey to have a brief fling with a time-traveling Black Canary.

There are few better representations of Vikings in comics than Thor and the Warriors Three, who probably each deserve spots on this list all to themselves. But then we’d only be able to list one other entry. The classic Thor with his pseudo-classical, eloquently mangled English and his great feats of raw power and heroism defines the comic book Viking as well as any one character could hope.

They should do a Five for Friday featuring Barbarians soon and put Conan as #1 with Groo as #2!

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