Review of IMAGE ODY-C #3 by Fraction and Ward | Fanboys Anonymous

Review of IMAGE ODY-C #3 by Fraction and Ward

Posted by Sean Hamilton Monday, March 2, 2015
Odyssia versus the Cyclops
ODY-C #3 cover by Christian Ward
Beware the one-eyed monster.

For a reader there can be some heavy work involved in a series like ODY-C. As a uniquely original take on a classic tale (Homer's Odyssey), you can pick up any issue and be mesmerized by the beautiful art and dynamic storytelling. But, and it is a big BUT, you can also go deeper and see some truly outstanding and nuanced meaning beneath the surface.

I am beginning to enjoy so much more about ODY-C as the series progresses. Issue #3 is a great place to hold your nose and take the plunge and really see what is under all the hyperbole about this series. Let yourself be mesmerized, let the strangeness overcome any sense of foreignness, and simply enjoy the mind-bending experience.

More can be read into ODY-C #3 from a pseudosexual, antiphallic, symbolic angle than really needs to be, but the inversion of the gender roles and the sexuality of the main characters in this issue invites conjecture on some of the portrayal of monsters such as the cyclops. In a universe that could be construed as male-adverse, this macho-filled female version is a refreshing take on an ancient, well-established trope. The roles of sex and gender have never seemed as compelling as a storytelling convention than under the direction of Matt Fraction.

Then again, the battering ram used by the wayward crew of the ODY-C to break down the cyclops' massive door in this issue is shaped very much like the male organ, which seems to be forced into the cyclops' cavity. The violent nature of this action could be seen as representative of male violence against women, but it is orchestrated by the masculine Odyssia, the female/male-like star of this drama. Given this, Fraction could just be having fun with his audience.
Immortals amongst mortals in ODY-C
Women's power of men in child birth
This story is engrossing. My high school classical studies classes could have been so much more if Homer's Odyssey had been delivered with this much flair, style, and creativity. As should seem apparent now, writer Matt Fraction is providing a master class of stepping outside the box, engaging readers on a different level, and having them rethink comics in a fundamental way.

This issue of ODY-C feels more narrated than the last, primarily due to the godly characters taking a backseat to Odyssia and her crew this time around. The drawn out encounter with the cyclops is justifiably a conflict that takes center stage. This passage highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the crew from the ODY-C, showcasing the flaws that made up the heroic warriors of Homer's poem.

The narration feels genuine, in a manner; the Homeric saga should be told in a grandiose way, not simply read as characters speaking to each other. So many current comics rely on this form of communication to push the story forward and there isn't anything wrong with this, but to stand out from the masses of publications each month requires a new way of being. Reading ODY-C is like having the story told to you from the page. It is fitting and refreshing.

Humans can not behold gods in ODY-C
The true image of a god is explosive
ODY-C #3 is also fast paced; we quickly move through time and space because Fraction needs to get us to some set pieces where the story can develop. In doing so we are introduced to new characters such as Dionysus and Apollo who, it seems, may come back to play greater roles later in the series. There is a great explanation from Fraction in the back pages of the issue about the introduction of these characters resulting from Homer's intention to clarify important missing plot points.

The first two issues of the series felt like they belonged to artist Christian Ward more than they did Fraction. The art was so stunning and different that it dominated each page. In this third issue Ward, while still providing amazing art that contributes so much to reading experience, does give way to Fraction a little.
The schemes of the gods in ODY-C
Apollo, Hera, and Dionysus
Ward's layouts and panel arrangements and how they guide the reading experience are paramount to the flow of the story. They take some getting used to, and multiple readings of this issue or specific pages may be required to grasp all the detail involved, which may be an obstacle to new readers; in fact, the creative team specifically included some fan mail addressing the difficulty of following the stories in the first two issues. However perseverance is the key, as this is a rewarding read for those so inclined.

Much like Fraction and Ward, we want to hear what you think about ODY-C #3. Does this retelling of a classic story continue to grab you? What do you think about Ward's composition and storytelling abilities in the art? Do you like the narrative effect of the story and any of the symbolism? Leave a comment below or on the Fanboys Anonymous Facebook or Twitter, and come back next time for issue #4 of ODY-C.
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY A GUEST WRITER

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