★★★★/★★★★★ ODY-C Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward.
Matt Fraction who did the best run of Hawkeye ever? And a gender-bent telling of The Odyssey? And it is not really gender-bent but has a third gender and barely any men? And it is in space? And has beautiful and confusing art? Yes, this is the perfect comic for me to read. Am I still confused about everything going on in it? Yes, but I know it will continue to be brilliant as long as Matt Fraction and Christian Ward remain at the helm.
This comic series follows Odyssia and her crew, as they try to get back to their home world of Ithicaa after the century-long war that led to the fall of Troiia, as she encounters lotus eaters, a cyclops, and some mutiny in her own ship. This is only the first volume, therefore not all of Odysseus travels are recorded, but I am looking forward to the ones coming, especially her arrival home and the whole deal with Telemachus.
I have to give it to Christian Ward for the magnificent job he did with the art and colours. It is as if the story and characters is popping out whenever one opens a page. Although the characters are not as smooth or defined as The Wicked + The Divine, in here it makes sense when set back against such a contrast of colours.
The writing was the one thing that made me upset a couple times, because it jumped from speech similar to the old Greek writings we find in the original work, to modern speech without warning nor cause, and it detracted from the story. It would jump from well written prose that ran smoothly to a halt of modern conversations: “Here is Poseidon’s abandoned and hideous daughter: The Cyclops of Kylos! Here is that cannibal beast which dares walks as a woman and speak as if civilized” to “I’m beginning to feel like I’m being set up.” The first phrase makes me want to read it out loud (intonation with every word is strong here), the second one, just has me reading over the words in my head. I hope this gets fixed for the second volume, in which I need to get my hands in.
“Sudden and thunderous, the skies become violent. ODY-C’s voyage may end here at Zeus’s whim. Dangerous, that, for here memory fadess when the lotus is eaten too often. They are, after all, standing on Promethene’s bones.” Of course, Zeus has to ruin it for everyone.
It is a story filled with women of all sizes, which I loved, and a certain amount of queerness, and although that did not bother me, it certainly bothered some of the women in the story. Freaking Zeus ruined it for all the straight women out there with what he/she did. (you’ll see once you read the volume, what an idiot!)
I am looking forward to learning a lot more about the gods/goddesses here, since even though they show characteristics from the many myths, other ones are being created as well to fit in to this futuristic version of events. I also hope we get to see more of Odyssia’s crew, I bet they have many stories to tell from the many years they endured war.
I do have to say that this is a comic for people familiar with the classic stories of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Throughout the story there are images and names, changed and all, that allude to those tales, from the kings that fought in the war as queens, to He (Helen) and a view of what happens to him after the fall of the city.