Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Christian Ward
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: November 26th, 2014
This is one of those comics that you just see and pick up on a whim, not knowing a single thing about the comic when you decide to pick it up, except for that the art is cool or the designs are rad looking. The first thing that caught my attention were the crazy and colourful pages in this issue, as this book looks like how an acid trip feels. I’ve heard good things about Matt Fraction’s previous writing work as well so I felt this book would be a safely enjoyable pull. Little did I know that hidden in this book was something more special than I could have anticipated. This book is essentially a retelling of the classic Greek tale of The Odyssey with a few concepts switched up such as all the males in this story are flipped to be females, and the story takes place in a sci-fi space travelling setting which makes for a lot of really interesting lore changes. When sorting this comic into customer files we were calling it “O.D.Y.C.”, but after reading this and doing a little post-research, it’s safe to call this series “Odyssey”.
Not many books deliver a fleshed out universe to you in the first issue, but this first issue gives you a massive pull out page about 8 pages long that gives you a visual breakdown of how the universe exists with information, and maps out where important points are throughout the universe. Not only does the pull out give you this map, but on the reverse side you can also find an 8 page long art spread that starts the story off. This additional content gives this book a great chunk of depth and history to this story, of which is also cool to compare to the classic tale.
The story starts out with the creation of the universe and brings you up to speed as to who the three sisters are that travel together in simple/interestingly designed space ships. You find out that a great war was just fought and won by the sisters for 10 years as they now have a slave on a leash who was once a reigning queen of their enemies. The book follows shortly after with how they have been away from their families for so long and how life is currently working out. The book then switches perspectives from the three sisters to the Gods who are seemingly in control of/influence this universe. It is clear that to the Gods this existence is merely entertainment so it seems that they desire to cause trouble with the three sisters, the ship ODY-C, and their crews.
As the story plays out, the ODY-C attacks a few enemy ships of the Cicone and later are ambushed by an entire fleet of Cicone ships ready to annihilate the ODY-C and the three sisters. Quickly the three sisters escape in an attempt to flee but one of the pilots of the ODY-C crew freaks out at the captain Penelope and ends up straining their attempt at escape. This unruly crew member is quickly shunned and killed by rule of a tribunal made up of the ship’s crew. This issue closes with a touching moment of the captain Penelope yearning to see her son who she has not seen in ten years, as she curses the life that keeps her away from her family and stares out into the infinite space and stars.
This book is a fantastic re-imagining of The Odyssey, a story that has been hiding way too long of a time since I have last read it. The flipped lore and setting makes this story fresh and highly interesting as things you might expect from this story to happen, might not happen the exact same way that the original story tells. The writing was difficult to follow at first as the written speech boxes flip from narrative to dialogue, the pacing becomes skewed and it’s tough to figure out who exactly is talking at times. The writing and dialogue itself is really well done and captures a Greek tone in this otherwise futuristic sci-fi setting. Speech of characters has a certain dialect to it in the vein of Shakespeare or Thor dialogue which helps add to the lore of this universe. The art is beautiful with space vistas and really puts this reimagining into a fully realized universe with detailed lore in the drawings. The minimal design of the ships and the interesting designs of the Gods in this comic are some of my favourite points about the art, full of bright colours and lots of detail to every bit of this story. The piloting science behind these ships is fascinating to me, that the crew on the ODY-C must enter wombs that symbiotically connect the crew to the ship. This is a series I am officially adding to my pull list as I feel this story and art are special, and I cannot wait to read the second issue. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys the classic tale of The Odyssey and appreciates wild radical art such as the art featured in this book or from tv shows such as Superjail. I rate this book 10 females out of 0 males….
~ Tyler Head