“Boys. Who Rape. Shall All. Be Destroyed.”
I am putting this at the beginning so we all know there is going to be some trigger warnings about rape and abuse, this book dealt quite well with both, but it is quite graphic on the manner. And it is the lesson to get out of this book.
This volume is not a continuation of the story from the previous one, there is no search for the home Odyssia seeks, nor are the gods bent on never having them be happy. No; here they find their own unhappiness, and the punishment comes to them, no matter if deserved or not. Or perhaps they find what they were looking for, it is never as clear to the reader with this series.
I appreciate that instead of continuing with the previous story, which I still hope they get back to really soon, they jump into new characters. In the first volume we are only shown a small glimpse of Ene and He, they are never given much, until now. I would have liked for them to have added a bit of the past, since I am still hungry to know how they adapt what led them all to war. I want to see how they deal with the taking or escape of He with Paris. (although so far it has given the impression that he was taken, but I want to now for sure)
“It never had such a thing as He and lets nothing impede his crude sampling. Not even free will.”
This book has many references to other legends, and the ones that are shown speak a lot about the rape of a woman by a man that did not understand the word no, and who got the wrong lesson from the stories themselves; but when it comes to rape occurring at the moment the story is told, it is He who endures it, and it is important to have such a contrast. It does not leave it as a simple “men rape women,” but as a “men and women can both be raped.” It is a story-line that has to, sadly, remind us that we live in a world were people violate others, and that pain is endured in ways it should never be.
The fact that He is simply known by a pronoun instead of a name like everyone else (or it could simply be a shortening for Helen but I choose to believe it is both, intentionally), adds a lot to the story, because it makes us be immersed in it more, we become He in a very odd sense.
“Wanting a thing and demanding a thing doesn’t mean you get what you covet.”
The art is still as fantastic as it was before, and the colours just as vibrant. I don’t think I will ever have complaints when it comes to the aesthetic of this work, the surreal view of it all matches the story wonderfully.
Even if you have not read nor loved the first volume, give this book a chance. Pick it up at your comic book store, or online, or at your local library, and give it a read. You might just love it.
“Ene nor I, your most humble narrator, did die after Proteus expelled us from Heaven. Though in the centuries since then I’ve wished it weren’t so. So I’ve spent almost all of the years since that day telling anyone anywhere who might listen my tale. Over and over again. Written down or sung out or with pictures and words. Anyone anywhere anytime hence… who finds need in the whiling of hours…let my tale be a warning: sure as blood shall be all our undoing, it is stories that set us all free. The stories are all that matter.”