I’ve long held an attraction to Norse mythology. Part of this lies with the fact that I’m one quarter Norwegian (though considering how widespread Norse incursions were, even my English blood very likely has nordic genetics added to the brew). Mostly it has to do with the fact that Norse Gods aren’t hedonistic fools who exaggerate the worse qualities of humanity, but instead are tragic figures who struggle to keep the end of the world from coming about (ie, Ragnarok). This does tend to make the Nordic myths a bit depressing, but in the same vein they’re a bit more heroic in stature as well.
Brat-halla does a remarkable job of humanizing the Norse Gods by taking a fun (and often silly) glance at the Norse Gods as children… and of Odin and Frigg as the parents of their wayward brood. Considering that Frigg had five children from Odin (not including Thor or other children he had during extramarital affairs), and you’ve a sizeable family. Add in a youthful Loki (seems our favorite trickster spirit ate an apple pie that de-aged him to infant) and you’ve a houseful of young headstrong deities that are an absolute delight to watch in action.
The comic’s a mixture of one-shot strips and short story-arcs, though the stories are loosely connected. Perhaps the longest story-arc can be found with the rather humorous story of Odin’s left eye (the one Odin tossed into the Well of Knowledge to find out how to keep his infant son quiet), who takes considerable offense at being tossed aside and starts various Machiavellian plots to gain his vengeance against an ever-increasing list of people who annoy the eyeball. That aside, it’s the stories of familial hijinks that truly endeared Brat-halla to me, with a mixture of modern society and ancient myths to truly give these young gods a human touch, and make this a comic well worth reading from the beginning.