Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Christian Ward
Lettering by Jeff Powell
Published by Image Comics
Publication Date: Issues #1-3 on sale now; #4 on sale 09/09/2009
Review by David Pepose
What do you get when you take , smash them together with , and pepper the fusion with a modern look at Greek myth? You get Olympus, an ambitious book by Image that is certainly demanding of its audience, but is well worth the effort.
The story is fairly straightforward, but has a charm all its own: Castor and Pollux are the immortal enforcers of Olympus, as they hunt down rogue demigods who might upset the natural balance of 21st century Earth. Unfortunately, one such capture unleashes a new threat to the firmament, with the Brothers Gemini scrambling to save the Daughters of the Four Seasons.
For me, though, while I think the use of mythology is certainly clever, writer Nathan Edmondson's true strength is the character and camaraderie of the brothers. He opens up each issue with a scene in ancient Greece, and it's a great way to not only to show us the world he's created, but to also teach us a bit about who Castor and Pollux -- or as they endearingly refer to each other, Cassie and Pol. Scenes such as Pollux's fight against the Bebrycean King -- with Castor soon leaping into the fray -- are juxtaposed with similar scenes set in the present day, and these are easily the highlights of the book.
Looking at this series, though, the first thing that stands out is the experimental art by Christian Ward. Ward does it all, from pencils to colors -- his art is what art would look like if Frank Miller and Stuart Immonen had a love child together that was painted in psychedelic hues by artist Ben Caldwell. The best word to describe it is intoxicating -- every page has its own secrets, it own details, and it's really a blast to soak it all in. Ultimately, though, while Ward's art is energetic and stimulating, sometimes it's at the expense of the storytelling -- that said, it certainly sets up a nice tone for this book, which fuses together the otherworldliness of Greek mythology with a more modern sensibility.
That said, this isn't a book you can just jump into. It's ambitious and experimental, but unless you read this series from beginning to end, there is going to be a lot that doesn't make sense. Edmondson's overall story arc feels more like a feature film than a comic book series -- that said, since this book isn't exactly shooting to be a franchise -- which has an expectation of easy accessibility -- I'm more willing to make the extra effort to read the series from the first issue through its fourth. And believe me, it's worth it. Do I think it necessarily worked as a month-by-month series? No -- but when you read all four together, whether in single issues or hopefully as an incoming trade, Olympus is an epic read with two charismatic protagonists that gives its readers no quarter and demands none in return.