Thursday, August 13, 2015

ARC Graphic Novel Review: ODY-C (ODY-C, #1)

Author| Matt Fraction  Artist| Christian Ward  Rating| 4 Stars
Edition| eGalley courtesy of Image Comics via Netgalley  Release Date| June 16th, 2015

I received a copy of ODY-C from Image Comics via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.
This was a very, very weird book.  I mean, it's a pretty close adaptation of the classic Odyssey, but it is somehow much, much weirder.  It follows Odyssia and her crew as they travel through the depths of space to return home.  The gods, and particularly Zeus, try to make their journey an even harder one.  Pretty simple plot, really.

Here's where it gets weird: there are no more men.  They've all been destroyed by Zeus.  So another god created the Sebex, a third sex of people that look like women in every regard, yet can create new life with a woman.  I'm still not a hundred percent sure how this works.  So, even the gods are all female.  I like the idea of female empowerment, and it's a pretty cool twist, but it gets even weirder.  The way they fly their ship through space, for one, is absolutely bizarre.  And the monsters they run into, and the other trouble.  I don't even know if I could describe these other things.

The real stunning part about this book is the art.  It's absolutely gorgeous, and gets five stars all its own.  I couldn't keep my eye off of the art, which is so great.  I want to get prints of it, to be honest, to hang around my room.  Really, really beautiful.

Now here's what I disliked:

The first chapter.  It's super confusing and almost made me give up on the whole book.  It explains nothing, and gives you a poor introduction to the characters.  I'm glad I continued onto the second chapter, since that's where all the explaining and understanding happens.  I don't mind being thrown into a story, but I would have preferred knowing more about what was going on in this completely alien universe.

Speaking of completely alien, the language was a bit hard to get used to.  It's modeled after the way the Odyssey is told, in ancient prose, and while I liked the idea a lot, it didn't always help the story.  While the art is beautiful, it too, doesn't always help the story but make it more confusing.  If just one of the two had been more straightforward I would have enjoyed this much more immensely.

I like the idea of female empowerment, and I love the gender swapping of the story.  But I feel like it took it to another whole level- one that I wasn't super comfortable with.  I'll be the first to say I'm a feminist, but that doesn't mean I hate men.  And it doesn't mean I want them all extinct.  So having a story where all men are extinct makes me think that this will be read as feminist literature and give a bad name to an already bad name.  Does that make sense?  It does in my head.

Overall, this was a good book.  I don't think I would buy it for others since it is like a hard R movie (tons and tons of graphic nudity and tons and tons of graphic violence), but I might buy it for myself just to admire the art.  If you want to add it on goodreads, click here.

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