The new comic series Heathen is a Viking story that seems to take a page from Mad Max: Fury Road. Instead of focusing on the hyper-masculine Norse myths (think Thor), the Vault Comics book follows a young woman of the northern wilds who must flee her home after committing the sin of kissing her female friend.
Written and drawn by Natasha Alterici, Heathen sees its protagonist, Aydis, escape her punishment, team up with a talking horse named Saga, and become an Imperator Furiosa-like heroine in her own right. Aydis sets out to rescue the beautiful Brynhild from her imprisonment in a ring of fire atop a high mountain. From there, she’s got her sights set on the god-king Odin himself — and his oppressive regime along with him.
Heathen has been burning up the sales charts, to the point that Vault is now offering a limited-edition variant of the first issue, featuring the shapeshifting god Ruadan on the cover. Only 100 copies of this special variant exist, and each is hand-numbered; the first 10 will be auctioned, after which the rest will be available for purchase on Vault’s online store. All profits from the auction will go to the charity Oklahomans For Equality and its efforts to support the recently vandalized Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in Tulsa.
“Growing up gay in a small town in Oklahoma, I can’t say I ever knew what ‘gay’ was until much later in life,” Alterici said in a statement. “I saw Ellen come out on her show, and I saw the adults around me debate the ethics of it. But it wasn’t until college that I realized I could have benefited from an open honest conversation. I could have learned to accept myself sooner if I had a community. The Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma is one of the only community centers in the state that aims to provide the acceptance and resources that LGBTQ people have a hard time finding in the region. Recently they were targeted in a drive-by shooting, and though no one was hurt, the message was clear. In spite of the attack, the workers and volunteers are bravely keeping the doors open and continuing their vital work in reaching out to those who need hope as well as to those who need educating.”
Heathen #2 is on sale this week. Check out a preview below, along with the cover for the limited variant for issue 1.