Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"It's vulgar, Mother-Father, finding bloodsport in torturing great women like Odyssia, warrior or not."
"And yet the little apes are so very good at it."
"There will be more. There will be blood yet to come."
"There should be recompense. There should come thunderous punishment from we Olympians for their insolence and hubris."
The finest rip-up-the-rule-book reinterpretation of Homer's Odyssey since the classic animation Ulysses 31! That merely updated the Greek mythological epic to the 31st Century. ODY-C takes that same future science-fiction starting point and then throws in a gender flip too, reversing the sex of most of the characters.
Story-wise Fraction takes what is classic material, in all senses, and refashions it, scintillatingly relevant and exciting for even our over-indulged, battle-weary modern tastes. It helps, obviously, that the original plot is brilliantly captivating, a ten-year struggle against impossible odds and overwhelming obstacles simply to get back home to loved ones and the throne. The gender flip freshens the material up further, allowing Fraction to put significantly different emphases and affectations on both the characters and plot. It's a conceit which in a lesser writer's hands could have turned into a right old chariot crash, but definitely makes this unique version of the Odyssey well worth reading.
However, what really turns this into a shining triumph is Christian Ward's psychedelic art and colouring. I don't know if he used every single hue and tint of his virtual palette, but I rather suspect he didn't leave very many out. Rich and vibrant are oft-used terms but this is as expansive use of a truly vast array of colours, successfully I should add, as you are ever likely to see in a comic.
Fans of Ward's work on Nick Spencer's equally mind-bending INFINITE VACATION will already know of his ability to combine said colouring with surprisingly fine and intricate line work. He has a particular stylistic element to his line work, employing innumerate, endless flowing curves and waves going in all directions, with barely a straight line in sight that I absolutely love. The overall effect is one of such depth and complexity, he's undoubtedly the perfect artist for this futuristic space opera. About the only negative comment I can make about this first volume is that it doesn't include the ultra-widescreen, multiple-page fold out splash-entrance that the first issue commenced with! They've included all the pages, and it does still work because they are beautiful, but they don't have that same incredibly dramatic impact.