A young man is horribly betrayed, and finds himself in a desperate battle of man versus beast. Will the love of a woman be enough to keep him alive?
Written by Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella. Art by Nat Jones.
Romeo and Juliet collides with the Revenant in Kodiak, an action-packed story of love and longing from Joe Hill, the award-winning novelist of Horns, N0S4A2, and Locke & Key. Filled with forbidden romance, deadly betrayal, and a struggle for survival against a beast more horrifying than any you’ve ever seen, Kodiak is about the way we use stories to define our lives and how far one man will go for a love he can only imagine.
A barmaid catches two young boys lurking behind the tavern. She thinks they’re trying to nip booze, but what they’ve come for is a story from the owner of the bar, a gruff man with a mysterious scar and more than his fair share of tales to tell. The tale the boys seek has been the talk of all the adults in town, a story about a juggler named Dominico and his brush with a beast straight out of childhood nightmares. Though the tale is not an easy one, the barman agrees to tell it to them.
Dominico, a stuntman known for juggling axes and breathing fire, traveled the countryside as part of a show headlined by a fierce bear trained to fight anything that crossed its path. Dominico wasn’t the main attraction nor was his life particularly glamourous, but his job was his dream and allowed him to do what he loved – entertain people with death defying feats.
Dominico’s carefree life takes an abrupt turn when a local lord hires the traveling circus to perform at the 18th birthday party for his twins, Antonio and Antonia. Most of the crowd is taken in by the awesome power of the fighting bear, but Antonia has her eyes on a different attraction – Dominico. Initially Dominico is flattered by the attention and when they lock eyes, we realize the attraction is mutual. But when Antonio catches the unlikely pair in a warm embrace, he sends Dominico to the dungeon for daring to lay a hand on his sister.
With the Lord and his court set to depart for their winter castle the following day, Antonia pleads with her cruel brother to release her charming rogue. Antonio promises his sister that he will open the cell doors before they leave the castle, but neglects to tell her about another prisoner he’s put down in the dungeon – the undefeated fighting bear. Dominico must fight for his life against a wild, bloodthirsty bear wandering the shadowy hallways of the castle dungeon while trying to figure out how to escape the dungeon and make his way back to Antonia.
A terse story of survival told through varying viewpoints, Pop Matters called Kodiak “a deep and abiding meditation on the power of popular culture.” A tale of fate, romance, and a thrilling battle between man and beast, Kodiak is about the legends we write for ourselves and how the best stories can take on a life of their own.