Robb Ghag reviews Northlanders Vol. 7: The Icelandic Trilogy…
“In this final epic from issues #42-50, young Ulf Hauksson takes over his clan’s settlement in a new land before moving on to a violent civil war that followed years later. “
In this final presentation of Northlanders we follow a family of immigrants and the first settlers of Iceland in 871AD. The story is generational and begins the legacy of the Haukssons, the first ‘crime family’ to emerge in this new world.
Seeking land, freedom and a new way of life, father, mother and son arrive foraging a new life. It is of course rough going in the horrible conditions, but the Hauksson clan begin to thrive, until they are met with their arch rival family the Belgarssons. And so a family rivalry akin to the Hatfield and the McCoys begins in this new desolate world. The Hauksson’s take control and are a vicious tribe who quickly establish their dominance. It’s a great window into the world of the Northlanders and an amazing final farewell to the entire story arc.
As the family becomes more established through the generations, we see other Haukssons are born into the legacy of the previous generation. Always at ends with their arch rivals, the battle continues to be handed down from father to son and grandson and great grandson. Fast forwarding from the first settlers, the story then renews in 999AD, with the fifth generation of Haukssons: Brida and her brother Mar.
In this story arc the battles between Hauksson and Belgarsson take a back seat to a far greater threat: Christianity. The populace become more subservient to the will of Christ and his servants and begin to establish their dominance, weakening all the Haukssons have fought for.
Finally we transport ourselves two hundred years forward to war in 1260AD. In its 10th and 11th generation the Hauksson clan has thrived into one of the wealthiest, and Christianity is now the mainstay of religion. A father tries to consolidate wealth and maintain their stature, while his eager son hungers for battle and glory of generations past. This art style by Danijel Zezelj is gritty and dark, with heavy black undertones and thick lines. It works very well in the story as the bloodline of Hauksson becomes destined to become a part of history.
A fond farewell to the series Northlanders; from ‘Sven the Returned’, to ‘The Plague Widow’, ‘Thor’s Daughter’ and finally ‘The Icelandic Trilogy’ all 7 books were a mainstay in the Vertigo universe. By far my favorite character was Sven from book one, who was named the Returned, and turned immortal. I truly hope we haven’t seen the last of him.
Robb Ghag works for an Arts & Entertainment Brokerage in Toronto Canada. An Animation and Film school graduate, he specializes in Risk Management of Animation and VFX studios throughout North America.