|ODY-C #4 cover by Christian Ward|
Welcome then to ODY-C, the bold retelling of the classic Homeric tale, the Odyssey, by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward.
We see issue #4 take up the story on Kylos, the dreaded home of the daughter of Poseidon, the Cyclops. It is here the Odyssia and her crew of home-weary, yet battle-hardened warriors must make good their escape before they end up as a culinary snack of the voluminous giant. The epic nature of the tale is played out in momentous events each issue, focusing on a new stop along the way home for the survivors of the great war.
ODY-C #4 is the grittiest issue so far. We get a gore-filled issue that seemed more akin to some of the early Peter Jackson splatter films. It is the beautiful art from Ward that makes this gruesomely possible. It is great to see this rendition, and the actions of the Odyssia here arouse a faculty of masculinity in the pages that further challenges Fraction's gender reversal in the characters.
Fraction waxes lyrical in his narrative, bringing to life a sweet cadence of words that are matched in ability by the art of Ward. Both combine, and only in such a balance is the full meaning of the story related, to share the tale of yore that has been so painstakingly refreshed for a modern audience. This is an investment for both the creators and the readers, who need to participate monthly for the utmost benefit of the transaction taking place. This isn't a one-time, drop-in, and fly-by comic, but a grand narrative told over time (and space) that requires patience to reach the end goal.
A lot is being asked of the audience, but so much is being given in return.
|The Cyclops devours the crew of the ODY-C|
We still get to see the great character work; the gender inversion and fantastic art were well established in the earliest issues, and now I feel a sense of confidence and maturity of story developing with issue #4 that will only serve to strengthen the work going forward.
|Fear fills the women of ODY-C with dread|
The deep complexity of the characters and the modern take on their situations provide Fraction and Ward with textual layers of meaning. The real gift of this is the re-reading of each issue to find some hidden gem missed on the last pass through the psychedelic pages. I feel like a smart person for pretending to understand at least half of what is going on in the pages of this comic, but I also get a strong sense of nostalgic feeling as I become reacquainted with characters that were a mainstay in high school Latin and classical studies classes.
As we close of once more, we want to hear what you think about ODY-C #4. How did you find the major challenge before the crew of the ODY-C this time around? Does the art by Ward continue to hold the same sway as previous issues? Leave a comment below or on the Fanboys Anonymous Facebook or Twitter, and come back next time for issue #5 of ODY-C.