Review: ODY-C #1 by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: ODY-C #1 by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward

Posted by Sean Hamilton Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The Odysey set against space by Fraction and Ward
ODY-C 1 cover by Christian Ward
The Odyssey is a classic tale.

What better way to re-experience The Odyssey than by reading the story as retold in a comic?

And having the main character's sex role reversed or inverted?

Did I mention it's also in space?

Well then, this is ODY-C.

In true "Homeric" style, writer Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals) and artist Christian Ward (Infinite Vacation, Olympus) take us on a sweeping panoramic journey that is epic in scale and psychedelic in form.


From the opening pages there is a sense of the grandiose as we are treated with a fold-out that is no shorter than 8 pages in length, and not just for fun;the pages contain useful back story and context so that any reader, at any level of engagement, can readily pick up ODY-C and understand where the story is beginning from and why. This level of detail is carried throughout the book, demonstrating the commitment to craft that Fraction and Ward have put in for their readers.

Odyssia look fowards to home with some uncertainty
Odyssia is a strong willed leading lady
ODY-C tells the story of Odyssia, the heroic ruler of Ithica, who has been among the combined forces with Mene and Gamem, that have been battling to overthrow the system of Troiia. Following the conclusion of the war, which has raged for decades, the victorious leaders part ways for home. However, not long after their departure, the crew of the vessel ODY-C, from which the title is taken, come under attack. As the crew of the ship are caught up with in-fighting during the skirmish, they are blown off course and must take a long journey home.

Intergalatic Homeric epics include spaceships
The ODY-C races through space
Fraction's telling of this classic tale is refreshing. The manner in which this is achieved is a bit unorthodox under current comic storytelling approaches, but given Fraction's ongoing desire to push the envelope, the experimentation pays dividends. Most of the issue is governed by the narrative boxes that tell the story rather than captions or character dialogue. It is more like reading a story than following a conversation. As part of this process, the veteran letterer for ODY-C, Chris Eliopoulos, does a great job of interpreting Fraction's scripts and channeling the story through the pages.

The story of The Odyssey is as much a focus of the journey as anything else. Given this, the art of ODY-C is as much a part the overall reading journey. It is a trip in the manner of an hallucinogenic-induced exploration; Ward pulls no punches. The cover alone evokes a sense of style that entices an audience with different expectations and tastes than average comic book readers.

Ward does a lot to engage his audience in a compelling way. Issue #1 has done a great job of setting the scene and allowing some great glimpses of the main characters from an artistic point of view. Ward's pacing is frantic to keep up with Fraction; there is just so much story to be told between the covers. Despite this, the story did not feel overly rushed. Given the source material, it could be stretched into a long-running series, but the initial setup is crucial for bringing in an audience and establishing characters. Both creators do well to balance such needs here.
The ancient gods come alive in ODY-C
Zeus is a gender inverted god

Overall, this is a worthwhile beginning to a series that has a lot of potential. You certainly get a bang for your buck. At a time in which space-opera entertainment is extremely relevant to mass audiences, it is a good stroke to capitalize on the market. However, time will tell if this hits enough notes in a field that already may be too saturated. Still, let's hope we see some longevity with ODY-C.

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