The Life Eaters

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Cover of The Life Eaters TPB.

The Life Eaters is a 2003 science fiction graphic novel written by David Brin and art by Scott Hampton. It was published by Wildstorm. The story is based on Brin's Hugo-nominated novella Thor Meets Captain America, featuring an alternate history scenario where the Nazis won World War II.


The events of the comic follows real history, until one night during the winter of 1943, when a number of bright lights appeared over Nazi-occupied Europe. Intentionally or otherwise, the slaughter of the death camps has somehow been used to summon the Aesir, Norse gods. Quickly allying themselves with the gods, the Nazis are able to push aside their mortal foes. The extended war has an amazing effect on human technology – by the fifties, the American military has a manned spy satellite.

The trickster, Loki, works against his fellow Aesir. On the night they arrived, Loki used his magic to whisk hundreds of thousands of death camp internees to safety in Persia. Loki reveals the secret of how the Aesir were brought into being, the Nazis used death camps to fuel necromancy on a never before seen scale to summon them, but he makes sure to tell this only to an OSS Captain sent on a suicide mission, knowing fully well that he would never have the chance to let anyone else know the truth. Before, the American government had assumed the Aesir were alien invaders. (This is a reversal of roles from The Mighty Thor series of Marvel Comics, which partially inspired Brin, and where Loki is the unquestioned villain).

As the Nazis continue to conquer the world, with the help of their Japanese allies (and their Shinto gods), necromancy spreads in use throughout the globe. As a result of "Asian faith and African desperation... and all the madness of the tropics", the multiple gods of the developing world are given form through human sacrifice, band together and fight the Aesir (who have to keep to colder regions). As the Tropicals advance, they burn the Arabian oilfields, leading to global warming. With the potential of the Aesir creating a nuclear winter to counter the global warming, the remaining free Americans must race against time to prevent the gods from destroying the world as Loki schemes to fulfill the Ragnarok prophecy.


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