While the previous story in the Tales of Asgard series was anticlimactic, this one, from the moment you read the title “When Heimdall Failed” offers promise and suspense. This story is true to the title; it is of the hero failing and the consequences he and Asgard face for that failure. Perhaps as importantly, it is a story of how he deals with failure and a lesson on how we should deal with ours.
At the unset, we witness the conversation between King Brimer and Queen Nedra as they discuss the seemingly impossible task of attacking Asgard past the Ever-Vigilant Heimdall. But while the charge is seemingly impossible, a plan is still hatched to send a Venna into Asgard. It is surmised that as air creatures, the Vanna can become a part of the breeze and go unseen and unheard. The creature does succeed, making it past the guardian and into Asgard.
But in true comic book fashion of the era, this failure is only partial, and by the end of the narrative, leaving Oden to issue consciences to Heimdall and the Vanna. While Heimdall proclaims his failure and seeks to accept any punishment, Odin may demand the King instead counters by saying that he did not fail, that his loyal heart sensed the Vanna even though he could not see him. He did his duty and reported his fears even though others may scorn him.
To my eye, there was a notable improvement in the Artwork of this issue, From the poise and posture of the cast, the detail of their attire, and the depth of the backdrop of Asgard. But please take a look at the panels included in the review, then look back at the last issue and let me know your thoughts.
A Message of Failure
In previous reviews, I have spoken about a deeper meaning to comic book tales and lessons to be learned. For me, this one speaks to that, particularly given the target market’s age at the time. Teaching people how to fail, deal with failure, and be honest about it when they think it happens. It is one of those essential life lessons I know many adults could use.
Thus, in conclusion, starting with the heartfelt message of the story. Then add in the tiny bit of suspense that is built. Consider the way it is drawn and written. This leads me to conclude this story, much like Heimdall is not a failure.