REVIEW: ‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Assassins Creed Valhalla Song of Glory #3 - But Why Tho?Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory #3 is the final issue of a tie-in series to the Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla video game. Dark Horse Comics publishes the comic in collaboration with Ubisoft. Cavan Scott writes it with art by Martín Túnica,  colors by Michael Atiyeh, letters by Richard Starkings and Comicrafts’ Jimmy Betancourt, and cover art by Douglas P. Lobo.

The story of Song of Glory #3 picks up right where the previous issue left off. Eivor, the adopted daughter of King Styrborn, was lured by a seer of sorts, Gull, to the top of a frigid mountain by the promise of Heimdall’s treasures. She was seeking redemption from her father for bringing the wrath of the tyrant Kjotve upon their home, Stavanger. However, at the mountain’s top, she was betrayed and wounded when Gull betrayed her to her enslavers, Kjotve’s men.

In Song of Glory #3, Eivor must redeem herself to her father while also remaining alive. Meanwhile, King Styrbjorn has been shot by arrows, and his son and heir Sigurd are off on foreign lands seeking his own glory.

For as strong as the story of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla itself is, and as decent as the writing on the pages of Song of Glory #3 may be, the story is just tough to follow. Of the three different plots happening at once, only two of them are related to each other, leaving Sigurd’s quest feeling totally insignificant. It’s also just confusing. I am a massive Assassin’s Creed fan, and even I had a hard time discerning who he was encountering and why. It was a fault of both unclear writing and the art in a particular panel where I couldn’t tell if I was looking at multiple people or one person moving quickly.

While this side quest sort of ties into Valhalla’s beginning, even at its conclusion, a lot is still left to be desired. At the end of the series, I was left unsure if I was meant to be gearing up for another comic series or something in the video game that I have still not even uncovered yet fifty hours in.

In Eivor and Stavanger’s stories, though, the plot has become more coherent over the previous two issues. Eivor also finally gets a tad of characterization and growth. However, I’m not completely sure I believe the way she is depicted at the end completely aligns with my understanding of her character and motives in the video game. Eivor’s fight, near death, and mysterious encounter are straight forward and written well enough. Same for the fight in Stavanger. However, the drawings rely too heavily on big, violent moments with few pieces of sustained action between them. The action that does exist is small and often plagued by faceless or undetailed characters. There are a few very well-drawn and exciting clashes here and there, though.

I know that Valhalla is an especially gory game, but that gore also comes from some exciting animations and fights. Here, the gore, which feels oddly colored at times, is all you get. There’s no build-up, so it just feels like gore for the sake of gore.

The drawings overall are nicely lined; I appreciate the thick lines that make everything stand out boldly. This becomes especially crucial when so many of the details of people’s bodies get skipped over in too many panels. The coloring is swell though. The different locales are made quite distinct by different color palettes. There are nice hazy blues for the frigid north of Norway and earthy reds for the lands to the east, invoking a similar clay and early-Christian feel as the Saxon towns in Valhalla.

The lettering in Song of Glory #3 is mostly fine, but there were definitely occasions where letters were too clumped together and because many of the names are Norse, it made them harder to read, even if I already knew how they should be pronounced because I’ve heard them said out loud in Valhalla. Additionally, the cover art is for the most part lovely. I appreciate the watercolor-esque style and how it is colored. However, Eivor’s face is strongly angular, and I wish there were perhaps a more apt definition to her leg muscles based on the pose she is drawn in. The colors give an illusion of definition but in just seemingly weird spots.

Song of Glory #3 is alright on its own, but it fails to be a satisfying conclusion to this mini-series. I’m left with more questions than answers, mostly because of Sigurd’s side quest. If a later publication (or my finally completing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla) resolves that, I may be more satisfied. But, as it stands on its own, this issue and this series are by no means essential reading for fans of the most recent Assassin’s Creed game.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory #3 is available wherever comics are sold.


Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory #3
2.5

TL;DR

Song of Glory #3 is alright on its own, but it fails to be a satisfying conclusion to this mini-series. I’m left with more questions than answers, mostly because of Sigurd’s side quest. If a later publication (or my finally completing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla) resolves that, I may be more satisfied. But, as it stands on its own, this issue and this series are by no means essential reading for fans of the most recent Assassin’s Creed game.