Finding The Breaking Point: Cavan Scott and Daniel Indro On ‘Vikings: Uprising’
The upcoming Vikings: Uprising by Cavan Scott and Daniel Indro delves into the immediate aftermath of the shocking midseason finale of the History Channel's hit drama, and follows Ragnar's ex-wife Lagertha as she flees Paris only to find more bloodshed waiting for her as the slaves revolt.
With Vikings: Uprising in stores this week from Titan, ComicsAlliance spoke to Scott and Indro about their process when it comes to tackling an established franchise like Vikings, and the difficult process of getting into the minds of characters with such a barbaric and remorseless approach to life.
Cavan Scott on putting himself in the mind of a Viking.
One of the things I love about Vikings is that the show doesn’t sugar-coat the northmen. These are people who plunder and kill without a second thought, and find no shame in taking slaves. That’s something I wanted to explore with this mini-series. What would happen if there was a slave revolt? How would the Vikings respond? After all, to them they would be the wronged people, not the slaves who are fighting for their freedom. It was both interesting and challenging to write. Could I put myself in the minds of a people who saw nothing wrong in kidnapping and enslaving people, dragging their new found ‘property’ sometimes thousands of miles from their homes?
After talking with Michael Hirst, creator and writer of the TV show, I was inspired to take the lead from the original Viking sagas, the ancient stories and poems that passed from one generation to another. The spark of the idea came from the Landnámabók – The Book of Settlement – a medieval text that chronicles the Norse colonization of Iceland. There’s a passage about a group of slaves who turn on their masters, although in the saga the Viking settlers are of course portrayed as victims rather than oppressors. I started to wonder about those slaves. Who were they? What was their breaking point? When did they decide enough was enough?
On deciding on a protagonist
Our first Vikings mini-series – Godhead – focused largely on Floki, who is a real fan favorite, but I knew that with Uprising, I’d want to push Lagertha into the spotlight. She’s such a fascinating character; pragmatic and often brutal, not afraid to slit a few throats to survive in a male-dominated world. At the same time, she’s still very much a woman and a mother. I wanted to see her leading a campaign, rather than supporting Ragnar in one of his endeavors. This is Lagertha the earl; the general.
As soon as I saw the season four mid-season finale, I knew exactly where I wanted to set the mini-series. We had to deal with the fall-out of --- spoilers --- Ragnar’s crushing defeat at the hands of his brother. Ragnar is on the brink in Uprising, haunted by his recent actions, and struggling with what we’d now call drug-addiction. Travis Fimmel gave such a spellbinding performance as Ragnar on a downward spiral in the last season. I knew we could push him further. Losing was never good for a Viking, especially if they happened to be a king. A defeated ruler would soon start to lose followers, as no warrior would want to be tainted by the failure of another. This gave me the second uprising of the mini-series. While Lagertha deals with a dangerous slave rebellion, Ragnar faces insurrection among his own people, with the honor of his bloodline in the balance.
Working with a new creative team
It’s been great to welcome Daniel Indro to the Vikings team. We wanted this series to be bloody and visceral, and Daniel has more than risen to the challenge. His work is so detailed and arresting. And Kevin Enhart is the perfect match as colorist. Kevin can pull the drama out of every scene, helping bring the gritty and often grim world of Vikings to vivid life.
Daniel Indro on process and collaboration:
The Vikings TV series prepared me for the comic’s violent visuals. I was careful drawing the characters so that readers could see them as well as they see them in their favorite television show! This is tricky sometimes, but my passion for the series helped me a lot in the process – I’m a huge fan, so this is a dream come true for me.
After I drew the pencils, our wonderful colorist, Kevin Enhart, put his magical brushes to breathe life into it. His improvised blood spatters and eerie clouds definitely make the pages come alive!
Cavan Scott’s writing is great. Alongside all the favorites you know from the series, he also included new, unique characters – this makes the conflict and drama more sophisticated and interesting to follow!
Cavan’s approach, along with the eerie, moody color palette from Kevin, means that the whole package is something to be very proud of. I can’t wait for fans to read this!
Vikings #1 is out this week from Titan Comics and is available digitally and in comic book stores. Check out the rest of the covers and final preview pages below: