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Comic Book / Gustav Vasa

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Gustav Vasa is a 4-part Swedish comic book series, written by Claes Reimerthi and drawn by Per Gyllenör. It's a gritty epic about Gustav Vasa, the 16th century founding father of modern Sweden. Four albums were realeased, all in all:

  • Peder Swarts chronicle on Gustav Vasa ("Peder Swarts Krönika Om Gustav Vasa" (1993)
  • Sowing Wind ("Vindsådd") (1994)
  • Reaping Storm ("Stormskörd") (1996)
  • Bloody Grist ("Blodsmäld") (2000)

The first book is a straight Adaptation Distillation of real life priest and writer, Peder Swarts chronicle of the king. The three later books concerns "Dackefejden", a Catholic uprising against the king, led by farmer Nils Dacke. Interspersed with the main intrigue is the story of Olof, a troubled farmer lad who takes up work as a "Landsknechte" mercenary in service of the king, after accidentally killing the father of his girlfriend.



  • Achievements in Ignorance: During a battle with the peasant army, a drunken Landsknecht radomly fires off a shot from an arquebus, hitting the rebel leader, Nils Dacke through both legs. The thing is,, that battle was the peasant armies last stand, and Dackes injury more or less ended the uprising then and there.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: Many of the Landsknechts are men with a troubled past. Both Olof and Jürgen have done murder, for example.
  • Armies Are Evil: To keep morale high among the Landsknechte, a village is randomly selected for them to plunder and pillage to their hearts content. Truth in Television.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Done several times by the kings forces.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: King Gustav Vasa. Truth in Television.
  • Fat Bastard: Jören Jönsson. A particularly fat, cruel and greedy Bailiff, in service of the king.
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  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: What, you mean we aren't supposed to indentify with a bunch of 16th century, Machiavellian warlords?
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Unsurprising, considering the context. Olofs refusal to partake in a raid on his home village is his sole Pet the Dog moment.
  • Royally Screwed Up: Christian II of Denmark is portrayed as this, which is Truth in Television as well. During the Stockholm Bloodbath he waves at the crowd with an insane grin on his face while the heads of the Swedish aristocracy is rolling like toy marbles around him. A messenger to the Dalecarlians claims that he had Sten Stures corpse dug up and burned at the stake after chewing on it. The last part might as well be propaganda though.
  • Rebellious Rebel: Olof. He first he fights for king Gustav Vasa, who himself was rebelling against Danish overlordship. Later he joins the peasant rebellion, when his actions cause his entire village to be destroyed and most likely Karin and his family to be killed as well.
  • Gratuitous German: To be expected, since Germans had a strong representation in Scandinavia in those days. The Landsknechte was originally a German invention as well.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Gustav Vasa is forced to hide among peasant families while on the run from the Danes. He works there under the guise of being a wandering farmhand. Suspicion arises when the new "farmhand" not only sucks at threshing hay, but wears a nice big gold chain around his neck as well.


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