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|First appearance||The Brave and the Bold #1 (August/September 1955)|
Robert Kanigher (writer)|
Joe Kubert (artist)
|Alter ego||Jon Haraldson|
|Abilities||Impervious to ancient weapons, 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".
Justice League Unlimited
The Viking Prince is the focus of one of the episodes of Justice League Unlimited titled "To Another Shore."
According to Gorilla Grodd, Prince Jon was a legendary Scandinavian warrior. He gained such fame that even the Amazons of Themyscira knew his legend. Later, a Valkyrie from Asgard came to take Jon to Valhalla for his valour. The two soon proclaimed their love for each other, swearing to spend the rest of eternity together.
However, Odin disapproved of the relationship and prevented the Valkyrie from leaving Asgard to meet Jon. Odin promised that the two will be reunited in death, but only if Jon dies honourably in combat. Jon traveled the known world in search of an opponent powerful enough to slay him, only to find that Odin had granted him invulnerability to all sorts of conventional weaponry. Desperate that he will never meet his lover again, Jon sailed away alone on his ship and was lost to the world forever.
In the 20th Century, Grodd and his Legion of Doom discovered that Jon's ship still houses his corpse and is frozen within an iceberg in the Antarctic. Grodd told his fellow supervillains that he plans to reverse-engineer the Viking Prince's immortality and augment all of the Legion's villains with it. Devil Ray, Giganta, and Killer Frost drilled into the ice to retrieve the ship, but their attempt was foiled by the Justice League.
At Wonder Woman's suggestion, the League gave the Viking Prince a proper Viking burial by sending the ship into the Sun with Jon's corpse still inside.
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, as a corpse, in the Justice League Unlimited episode "To Another Shore".