With a recent resurgence of Anthologies in the mainstream (such as DC’s Superman: Red and Blue), we take a look at Sagas of the Shield Maiden Book One. Detailing events of a single, titular character’s many adventures, can the Asa Wheatley written comic reach a Valhalla level of success with readers?
Publisher: Asa Wheatley Comics
Writer: Asa Wheatley, Ayoola Solarin
Artist: Michelle Marham, Kay Baird, Kevin Keane, Sammy Ward, Daniel Coloma (art), Ken Reynolds (Letters & Design), Sweeney Boo (Cover Art)
Price: £12 from Asa’s Big Cartel Store
Sagas of the Shield Maiden Book One is a series of short stories which recounts the legends of the nameless female warrior as she traverses Scandinavia and beyond. Following the Shield Maiden as she takes her journey, from the tale which put her on the path all of the way to her eventual death, we gain insights into what made this woman such a feared warrior on any battlefield.
With Sagas of the Shield Maiden, Asa Wheatley has created a fascinating and captivating selection of stories which feels as well researched as they do epic. While the order of the vignettes is not linear, in this way the issue has a distinctly Witcher vibe, reinforced by the very no nonsense image of the titular Shield Maiden that is made clearer with each new tale.
Meanwhile, the bevy of artists within this issue are utilised perfectly, from Sweeney Boo’s gorgeous cover all the way to Daniel Coloma’s haunting artwork which had a distinctly Eternal vibe. Each distinct art style really gives its particular story real personality, such as Kay Baird’s past/present monochrome look or Kevin Keane’s horror esque vibe, with dialogue kept at a minimum to allow the art to really shine in a Michael Lark/Lazarus kind of way.
Sagas of the Shield Maiden is truly engrossing selection of short stories which beautifully present us with a mesmerisingly complex character. With the promise of a follow up, this is a title that is very much worth checking out.