The sea god steps up to tell his own side of the story in O’Connor’s latest, and least coherent, Olympian portrait.
Sporting a Fu Manchu mustache and rippling thews that would put Conan the Barbarian (never mind Hercules) to shame, the blue-skinned narrator also outdoes even the Dark Knight for grim, hulking presence. A natural storyteller he is not, though, opening his grab bag of reminiscences with the aftermath of the war with the Titans. He relates the gory encounters of Odysseus with Polyphemus and Theseus (portrayed as a thoroughgoing villain) with the Minotaur in support of his half-proud observation that “my children have always tended to be monstrous.” He goes on to tally defeats he has suffered at the hands of Athena and his other Olympian relatives, then closes by flashing back to a vague, abortive rebellion against Zeus and, further back yet, to horsey dreams after being eaten by his father Kronos. Jumbled as the overall plot may be, the immediate action is easy to follow in the crisply drawn sequential panels, and O’Connor’s animated, well-researched closing notes help to clarify his scenery-chewing subject’s nature and attributes.
Not the best volume with which to start this first-rate series, but rousing reading for comics fans who like their heroes heavily muscled, unhappy and occasionally splashed with blood. (resource lists, Olympian family tree, study questions) (Graphic mythology. 8-14)