ODY-C #1 (Image Comics)
Story : Matt Fraction
Art : Christian Ward (art), Dee Cunniffe (flattening) and Chris Eliopoulos (letters)
Definitely a comic quite unlike any I’ve read before – Matt Fraction continues to be one of the most prolific and genuinely creative writers of the here and now and Image is clearly still on a roll with interesting new creator-owned limited series.
This time we have something that at it’s most basic is the tale of Odysseus told as a space-faring saga with an added twist that EVERYTHING (including the familiar Greek pantheon) is gender-bent, i.e., the gender of all the characters is changed to the opposite. This has all the makings of something epic and in a lot of ways ground-breaking if handled well and there are few creatives that I think could pull it off like Fraction – that said, it’s hardly an easy task and anyone could fail at it given the nature of the tale and the “classic” nature of the source material.
Right off it’s worth stating that while not likely to be loved by all, the artwork and colouring is actually pretty close to gorgeous – more so in the later pages than the first few which are confined to the inside of a space-ship. Once you get out in space and see the Gods in space waxing whimsical and in the familiar neutral-evil/benevolent-malevolence that they are often known for and see some space battles, the art just draws the eye all over the pages.
Sadly though, this is one of those instances where the first issue even with all this going for it, lost me a little. This is thanks in some part to the voice-over narration style that Fraction has chosen which is almost like an audio-book or having someone hold a series of art panels/images up and using them as visual aids while telling you a story. It’s not bad, it’s interesting and a change but given my lack of any real enjoyment of it in this first outing, it does not make me confident I will “get used to it” or learn to like it in future issues. There’s also a feeling as if things are strangely not forced but in part a little rushed, we get little to no development of anything resembling character including Odyssia, our heroine – to the point where in terms of details I was aware of, the ship “Ody-C” in which they are travelling and it’s technology feel more substantial to me than any of the characters.
FINAL VERDICT: It’s a good book. Not great, not bad, just good. Worth a try as something trying to push the envelope and not failing but I sincerely hope that future issues read better because this SHOULD be a good comic and COULD be if presented a little better – so here’s hoping.
SCORE : 6.5 / 10