Way back in the 1980’s I was first introduced to the legend of Siegfried in the pages of the Mighty Thor. In the run leading up to issue #300, Roy Thomas and Mark Gruenwald used the saga as a way of semi retconning Thor’s origin and drove to the big reveal of who Thor’s mother actually was. (The series was collected as Thor: the Eternals Saga Vol.2 available digitally and in paperback.) It was the first time I had ever heard the story and I thought that no one could re-tell it better.
Alex Alice has finally finished his books on the Siegfried story with Siegfried III: Twilight of the Gods. This book has been long-awaited, by me if no one else – following his amazing Siegfried and Siegfried II: Valkyrie. You can read any of these books alone and they will stand on their own, but they do interweave with each other to tell a complex and complete story.
Alice’s take on the final part of the story is an interesting one. Like in the operas, power here is seen as a zero sum game. Siegfried has to confront the dragon Fafnir to obtain the one thing that Odin wants, the Nibelung gold. The fight to obtain the gold is more than just a battle between man and monster. It is a battle of self discovery for Siegfried.
He is a man coming into his own strength and power who must eventually confront Odin. The All Father is at the pinnacle of his powers and struggling to retain everything he has fought and killed for. Their struggle will remake the world.
And as interesting as Alice’s story is, it is fully matched by his art. It has taken several years since the last book to get this story finished and it is worth every second of the wait. The final reveal of Fafnir on page 38 is a true wonder. And the detailed work throughout the book is truly amazing. This is a book that depends equally on the art and the writing and Alice doesn’t fail in either.
Boom! Studios is releasing this book as a hard cover only right now and I usually have a hard time justifying the expense that comes with the format. But in this case, it is worth it. I believe that Siegfried II is also available in hardcover. I don’t think you can get the hard cover of the first volumes unless you go through 3rd parties. If you can get these, do it. You won’t regret having these are part of your collection.
Writer: Alex Alice
Artist: Alex Alice
Publisher: Archaia / Boom! Studios