|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2008)|
|First appearance||The Brave and the Bold #1 (August/September 1955)|
|Created by||Robert Kanigher (writer)
Joe Kubert (artist)
|Alter ego||Jon Haraldson|
|Abilities||No superpowers, has all the skills and abilities of a fully trained knight.|
The Viking Prince is a fictional Viking hero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #1 (August 1955), and was created by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Joe Kubert. He was one of three historical fiction characters to premiere in the first issue (the other two being the Silent Knight and the Golden Gladiator).
Fictional character biography
In The Brave and the Bold #1, the main character is found amnesiac, on a beach by 10th century Scandinavian fishermen, who named him "Jon" after a legendary prince. His enemy Thorvald knew his true identity, and wanted to kill him before he regained his memory, or met someone else who recognized him. This set-up was ignored by later writers, some of whom made no mention of his background, while others portrayed him as an actual prince, the son of King Rikk.
The Viking Prince continued to appear in The Brave and the Bold until #24 (Jun/Jul 1959).
In Our Army at War #162-163 (Jan 1966 & Feb 1966) Sergeant Rock found the Viking Prince in a glacier. He was defrosted, and fought alongside Rock in World War II. Jon had a death wish, because he had fallen in love with a valkyrie, and was banished from Valhalla by Odin, who said he could only return to his love if he died a heroic death. However, Odin also made the Viking Prince invulnerable to all known weapons. He is killed by plastique explosive, an unknown weapon at the time the curse was made. (In current continuity, Jon was still killed in World War II, but made his way to this period through a time warp, rather than being frozen.)
The Viking Prince appeared in a backup strip in "Arak, Son of Thunder", issues 8 - 11 (April - July, 1982). The four part story, "Frozen Hell for a Viking" was written by Kanigher and drawn by Jan Duursema, a graduate of Kubert's art school.
In Legends of the Dark Knight #35 (early Aug 1992) Batman encounters Jon Rikkson, a modern day descendant of the Prince who has become an environmental crusader. The story also features a legend describing Prince Jon's encounter with a Viking Batman.
In Birds of Prey #29 (Jul 2001) Black Canary, having been sent back in time to 12th century America, meets Jon Haraldson, the Viking Prince, who is one of the Viking explorers who have discovered Vinland, and they have a brief relationship before she returns to the 21st century. Jon takes a bullet intended for Dinah, but apparently survives, later being described as mourning "a love lost to time".
The Viking Prince appears in The War That Time Forgot (2008 miniseries), in which warriors from throughout history find themselves on a mysterious island.
The Viking Prince is one of six DC heroes featured in Walter Simonson's 2012 graphic novel "The Judas Coin".
DC: The New Frontier
The Viking Prince appears briefly in Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier, a story of his being cast away and washing up on Dinosaur Island is told in a book discovered by the Martian Manhunter in his guise of John Jones.
- The Viking Prince (Collects The Brave and the Bold #1-5, 7-24 & Our Army at War #162-163); ISBN 978-1-4012-2777-7
In other media
- Jon appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "To Another Shore". The episode introduces him in an account of his love for a valkyrie named Valkyrior, but Odin disapproved and cast Jon out of Valhalla, stating that an honorable battle will enable him to gain re-entry into Valhalla and the love of Valkyrior. Being that Odin was crafty, he secretly blessed Jon with invulnerability: specifically he couldn't be killed by stone, wood, fire and water, so no weapon would kill him. Jon traveled the Earth and took part in various battles. In time, Jon sailed off into the north eventually dying of cold and becoming frozen in a glacier. Many years later, Secret Society members Devil Ray, Giganta, Heat Wave, and Killer Frost attempt to steal his body so that Gorilla Grodd (with the aid of Lex Luthor) could gain the secret of invulnerability. Justice League members Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, and Green Arrow alongside King Faraday fight them off. Wonder Woman ensures that he gets a proper Viking funeral by having his corpse and ship sent into the sun. The still images accompanying the origin story are drawn in the style of Joe Kubert.