Today’s obscure modern monster comes from the pages of Thorgal, a fantasy/science-fiction BD series by Jean van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosinski. In it our titular hero Thorgal Aegirsson, a space-faring alien raised as a Viking (long story), and his long-suffering wife Aaricia face insurmountable odds and enemies like the brutal Viking chieftain Gandalf-the-Mad, the sleazy Volsung of Nichor, the sinister Shardar of Brek Zarith, Nidhogg the Serpent, and, of course, Kriss of Valnor. You get the idea.
In Géants (Giants), one of his many adventures, Thorgal finds himself on a journey to Jotunheim in order to recover the memories he lost in the Invisible Fortress (long story). His guide, a Valkyrie, drops him off at the border and warns him of the Guardian. So, for our purposes this story begins here, with Thorgal exploring the barren wastes surrounding the land of the Giants.
That’s when he is hailed by an unfamiliar voice…
… and he turns around to find a sort of fluffy shih-tzu type critter, clearly demanding that Our Hero show some ID and justify his existence.
Naturally Thorgal is enamored of the cute doggo, and obligingly gives it head skritches on demand. He asks if the creature is the guardian, whereupon it responds that we are the guardian.
That’s right, the little furballs are everywhere.
“They’re so cute!” exclaims Our Hero. “I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting such a charming welcome…”
Of course Thorgal manages to escape by the skin of his teeth and goes on to his exploits among the giants, which include befriending a not-so-little girl and escaping the clutches of a two-headed falcon (long story). For the return journey he benefits from the same cop-out ride home started by Tolkien, namely
eagles a Valkyrie swan. The poor Guardian is left thoroughly nonplussed.
I feel your pain, little head.