Between my mom’s mythic bedtime stories, a very thorough Greek Parochial School education, and my own life-long passion for the Mythology of my ancestors, the tale of Father Zeus’ ascent to the Throne of Mount Olympus is already very much a part of me. It is firmly etched on my neurons and comfortably nestled in all the strata of my psyche.
As the story is already so familiar to me, I was very pleasantly surprised by the delight I experienced while reading Zeus and the Rise of the Olympians by Ryan Foley.
Framed as classroom instruction during the reign of Zeus, with students occasionally asking questions to clarify enigmatic elements in the original myths, the graphic novel covers the reigns of three Hellenic pantheons: the Primordials, the Titans and the Olympians.
Ryan’s well crafted words convey the saga of divine succession powerfully and effectively. His selection and use of source material is brilliant and his own creative spin greatly adds to the enjoyment of the account. The unique personalities and motivations of Ouranos, Gaea, Cronus and Zeus move the story forward and greatly invest you in the outcome. Although the ending isn’t exactly a surprise, if you’re familiar enough with ancient Near-Eastern variants of the tale, it nonetheless took me totally by surprise when I finally arrived there. Very well done Ryan!
Jayakrishnan’s art manages to reconcile and combine a misty and ethereal otherness with raw elemental power to create a new vision of Greek Mythology. Traditional mythic images are additionally enhanced with elements most often associated with the genre of Sword & Sorcery.
And as Zeus and the Rise of the Olympians is but one book in Campfire’s Mythology series, the contributions and creativity of the editorial team shine more brightly with each graphic novel you read. Great work guys!
I am looking forward to experiencing and reviewing other tomes in this wonderful series as well as interviewing some of the gifted people involved, starting with Wordsmith Ryan Foley, the author of this work.
Review (c) Hercules Invictus