PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Matt Fraction is an unstoppable creative force at the moment, with his work on Hawkeye being regarded as the definitive take on the character and his book Sex Criminals currently being turned into a TV show. He has a tendency to go for some strange ideas, and ODY-C is no different. It’s a retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, but in space. This is not a space romp like Ulysses31, however; it’s something far stranger than that.

For a start, the entire cast is female. Zeus herself has changed the order of things, and they are no more men in the galaxy, or so they say. Where baby heroes come from is explained as part of the plot, so we’ll avoid spoiling it here, however, it is both clever and fits perfectly with the theme.  Following a great space war, Odyssia embarks on a very long journey home for and her warrior crew. The journey to their home of Ithica is being closely followed by the Gods, and Odyssia has many trials to undertake. Of course, the Gods also spend a lot of time plotting and flirting, and Odyssia’s crew spend a fair amount of time lying around their gorgeous spaceship using exotic space drugs. It’s that sort of a tale.

Ward’s art is surreal and utterly gorgeous. It evokes a world that is a mix of 70’s space disco and Greek myth, and does so in an incredibly psychedelic style. The result it something that feels like it’s come from the pages of Heavy Metal. The lush and hypnotic style is a little confusing at points; it is great, but the artist has definitely gone for style over substance. This means that it can fail to serve the narrative and at times it’s quite confusing, requiring the reader to look at the page again. On the other hand, there isn’t a single page of this book that you wouldn’t want as a full-page poster on your wall. Digital readers may be at an advantage here; you may very well want to put the art on a big screen simply so you can look at it.

ODY-C Volume One is a slow read and a worthwhile one. You’ll find yourself coming back to it again and again, picking out different elements each time. It is a psychedelic blend of the old and new, and if you like your comics to look pretty and be quite strange, then you’ll adore this.



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