Saturday, April 27, 2013

Olympians: Hades Lord of the Dead

Hades Lord of the Dead by George O'Connor is part of the Olympian series; a group of comics that take the religion of bronze age Greeks and turns them into fun stories that both amuse and teach the youths they are aimed at as well as their parents should they decide to take the time to read them.
 (This is an old version of the cover and title)

O'Connor it seems has set out on this project to  illustrate how much classic comics owe to the mythologies of antiquity; to put it in his own words "My whole line was that the Greek gods were the original superheroes". While the art style itself will not be very unfamiliar to most people familiar with western comics O'Connor's representations of the gods will stick out to the reader. As an example of some of his artistic choices in regards to the way they look you don't have to look much farther than the cover, Hades has been turned into a brooding Glen Danzig with immortality and Persephone is his flower child turned gothic queen reminiscent of Winona Ryder in the film BeetleJuice. As far as it goes O'Connor maintains that he tried to avoid basing his work off of others stating  "I went back to all original, ancient sources for the stories, no modern retellings, save the spin I myself put on them".

(note links from this point on contain spoilers)
The title of the book itself is a bit of a misnomer as it is not the tale of Hades and while featured prominently is not the main character, instead it is Kore who eventually becomes Persephone. O'Connor includes the t
he tale of Tantalus and several other closely tied in mythological tales furthermore he makes several nods to other Greek myths not directly explored. To help newcomers to Greek mythology and to make the book more accessible in general O'Connor decided to include an index at the end of the book where he not only gives detailed information on the actual myths but attempts to explain the twists he put on the story and why he decided to.

Overall I would say that this comic while somewhat short is a rather enjoyable read and all ages and backgrounds would most likely find it accessible; furthermore as a student studying to become a teacher I personally would keep not only this comic but the series on hand as a potential way to get young students interested in mythology.


maria rendon said...

From reading this blog, I could tell that different age groups can enjoy and learn something new from this comic.

Jchacon said...

This comic sounds pretty interesting. His perspective that the Greek gods were the original super heroes makes a lot of sense. The heroes that everyone knows and loves like Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man, and all the other famous DC and Marvel guys are essentially gods among men. And then there is also Thor who is actually a Greek god.
My question is, in the comic does he actually turn into Glen Danzig from the Misfits? Or are you just saying that the character closely resembles Danzig? If that is the case, I can see the resemblance from the cover.

Vincent Restivo said...

Oh sorry that I didn't make it clear, I am saying that the character looks like Glenn Danzig and that Persephone is very reminiscent of Ryder's character in Beetlejuice.

Also good point with Thor although he is part of the Nordic pantheon not Greek, no offense intended.

Thanks for your thoughts guys.