ODY-C #3 Review

writer: Matt Fraction / artist: Christian Ward / Image Comics

“Who the good fuck are these whores in my home?”

If you had any trouble with the first two ODY-C books from Fraction and Ward completely going egg whipper on your brain, then you might as well take some Tylenol now. Shit gets wild. You’ll notice that there’s a man in the first page of this book. Just kidding. It’s Zeus watching her child be born, but disguising her true form. Hera—who is either tired of Zeus’s infidelity, loves to destroy mortals for her malicious appetite, or both—makes Zeus reveal her true self to her latest fling and BOOM, mortal parts all over the place. No mortal can take in the sight of Zeus in her true form, so we have a new child (Dionysus) and mortal remains all over the page, accompanied by an ornery Hera.

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This is how this book begins and it keeps that tone for the remainder of the issue. There is some political maneuvering among the gods, but what you’re really here for is the battle between Odyssia and the Cylcops, one of the most famous stories from the Odyssey itself. Part of the fun of this book is seeing what Fraction will keep, leave out, create, invert or distort when it comes to the original Odyssey, but it’s safe to say that we were always going to get the Cyclops scene eventually. And it does not disappoint.

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Ward’s art is so custom-built for this book and its epically scaled, acid dream-like story. It is appropriately grotesque and unsettling when it needs to be. There’s also so much innovation in the art direction itself (such as the battering ram for the Cyclops home) that it manages to surprise with the visuals, even if you think you know where the narrative is going (which you probably don’t).

Even if you only have the most basic knowledge of the Odyssey, you know that Odyssia will find a way out of the Cyclops Pens (read: troughs), but you feel real anticipation in waiting to discover how that’s going to play out. Fraction continues to speak the High Valyrian to good but dizzying effect and Ward continues to paint a world of endless space and treachery. You know the story, but not the way these guys tell it. It’s definitely one of the most unique books you could be reading.

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