Olympians: Zeus, King of the Gods
written by George O'Connor
The story of the Greek gods is perfectly suited for adaptation to comics. They’re all visually interesting—there’s the Titans, all rocky and brown creatures that have sprung from the earth, and the Olympians, the fair-skinned and beautiful children of the Titans—and they possess powers and abilities that even the most powerful of superheroes would envy.
Plus, the Greek Pantheon has been the inspiration for more than a few superheroes, some more obviously than others. Artist and writer George O'Connor, however, has gone back (way back) to the original source material for his Olympians series. Like all myths, the story has changed substantially in some places throughout the centuries. But O'Connor's painstaking research delves into the more authentic original versions. He begins his series, naturally, with Zeus, king of the gods and the one charged with bringing about the downfall of his own father. The hardest tasks always fall to the youngest chidren, don't they?
Zeus is the only one of his siblings not swallowed whole by his father, Cronus. Instead, he is hiden away out of Cronus's sight until he reaches adulthood and begins to be spurred on to war against Cronus by his grandmother, Mother Earth herself. He does as she commands, and in doing so rescues the rest of Cronus's children, and the war between the Olympians and the Titans is waged in full, lasting years.
It's a fantastic adventure story, and O'Connor illustrates it beautifully. He also includes several handy texts that help flush out his work here: lineage charts, a guide to the spelling of the names, a history and recommended reading. All of it is extremely useful, for both casual readers and students who wish to learn more.
The book does have its share of violence, of course, and subsequent volumes focusing on the rest of the Pantheon no doubt will have much more. It's never too gory, though, and even matters of sexuality and romance are handled quite tamely. That is to say, younger readers will not see much at all to shock their sensibilities, and older readers will be able to take in the clues from the text in order to read between the lines.
-- John Hogan