Josefsen raised his granddaughter, Astrid, after her parents died. He taught her to think for herself and to be strong-willed and independent.
Josefsen was the strongest man on the docks, but he was also sixty-five years old. He was forcibly retired, but refused to stop coming to work, feeling that a man had to work to be a man, or else he would dry up and die. He threatened his boss and then overpowered a squad of policemen who came to arrest him for trespassing. Disgusted, he stormed home, blaming his problems on the lack of real men in the world, whom he saw as being replaced by sissies, hippies, and cowards.
When his granddaughter's boyfriend, Roger (an artist) came to the door, Josefsen was appalled and threw him out a window. Deciding that only he could show the world how real men were, he set out on a mission to purge the world of the types of men he saw as problems. Garbing himself as one of his Viking ancestors, Josefsen went to a concert for the band Red Feather, and he attacked and slew its guitarist, Jamie Horner.
He next targeted the performer Eugene "The Star" Spangler, as well as Astrid, whom he saw as a traitor.
Arriving in Citrusville, the Mad Viking pursued Astrid into the Man-Thing's swamp. He senselessly attacked the Man-Thing when he couldn't finds his granddaughter. After finding his attacks to be pointless, Josefsen wandered off into the swamp, ranting and raving about the millions of milksops who opposed him.
Meanwhile Astrid located Spangler and warned him of her grandfather, but Spangler merely found the story amusing. Spangler was similarly amused as the Mad Viking arrived and began hacking his way through Spangler's followers. Josefsen buried his battleaxe in Spangler's chest, killing him, and then closed in on the terrified Astrid. However, the Man-Thing, having followed him, grabbed Josefsen's hands burning them badly, and then left him in the swamp.
Josefsen made his way back into Citrusville, but reports of his slaughter had reached the public. A group of hunters went after him, succeeding in shooting him in the arm before he escaped. However, he appeared again at a town meeting, drawn by the speech of Olivia Selby, head of the Mothers' March for Decency, who wished to burn the books in the school which taught communism, atheism, and sex. Agreeing, Josefsen rushed to the stage, blaming the schools and music for creating the sissies of the world. Proclaiming that he had the courage to kill what they did not, the Mad Viking somehow became the hero of this group which Selby had whipped into a frenzy. He and Selby led the first book burning, and when Richard Rory tried to appeal to the crowd as the voice of reason, Josefsen flattened him with a single punch.
Josefsen and Selby then led the crowd to the local high school.
At the high school, the Mad Viking smashed his way past the principal, Dr. Walter Heller, and led the group into the school, where they began to rip the books from the lockers, classrooms, and libraries. He hurled biology teacher Paul Edwards through a second story window for teaching that man may someday create life in the laboratory. As the books were piled in the street, Astrid ran out and pleaded with her grandfather to stop the madness. Instead, he swatted her aside, and she was killed when she hit her head on the pavement. The book burning continued, but the Man-Thing arrived, drawn by the negative emotions, and he grabbed Josefsen, burning him into ashes.