Fighting The Forest In Spider King: Frostbite #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The crew continues their trek through the mountains, struggling to stay warm against the wind and snow. Their sites are set on a nearby village called Bodenheim. Hrolf and Mhord had been welcomed in Bodenheim by its jarl, Gisli, in the past. However, when their caravan nears Bodenheim, they find a pile of skulls left as a warning. Mhord urges them to move onward regardless, and they are attacked by talking wolves, crows, and bears that glow blue.

Spider King: Frostbite #1 cover by Simone D'Armini
Spider King: Frostbite #1 cover by Simone D’Armini

In the backup story, Sigrid is robbed and sent on a dangerous errand to a frozen lake to get her arrows back.
Spider King: Frostbite #1 continues the Spider King story with a fun yet brutal tale about a powerful alien and the havoc he’s wreaked upon the unsuspecting vikings.
This is actually my first step into Spider King, and this comic does a good job of introducing the reader to its many characters. There are a lot of them, but you can get a grip on their personalities pretty easily.
The premise is a little more obscured, but even that you could probably intuit. It’s centuries ago during the age of vikings, aliens have landed, and our heroes are trying to survive the strange new world in which they’ve found themselves. Plus, there is the rundown of the prior plot on the credits page for those who pay attention to such useful things. It’s a solid premise, and the characters are likable. That’s just about all you need.
Spider-King: Frostbite #1 art by Simone D'Armini, Adrian Bloch, and letterer Chas! Pangburn
Spider-King: Frostbite #1 art by Simone D’Armini, Adrian Bloch, and letterer Chas! Pangburn

Simone D’Armini’s artwork is heavily stylized, and it’s interesting to look at. The sci-fi elements meld with the fantasy sword-and-sorcery aesthetic well. The busyness of it can leave some panels difficult to parcel out, but that only happens on a couple of occasions. Adrian Bloch’s color work is good, even if some panels turn a little messy because of all the elements on the page. Daniel Irizarri’s art and color work in the backup story doesn’t have this problem, though, in fairness, it only focuses on one character. All this said, both D’Armini and Irizarri still provide some damn solid artwork.
Spider King: Frostbite #1 is an entertaining and creative trek through this world of vikings and aliens. The pacing is solid, the plot is creative, and the artwork is damn good. This one is worth a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Spider King: Frostbite #1 comes to us from writer Josh Vann, artists Simone D’Armini and Daniel Irizarri, color artists Adrian Bloch and Daniel Irizarri, letterer Chas! Pangburn, cover artist Simone D’Armini, and variant cover artists Xurxo G. Penalta and Declan Shalvey.

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