ODY-C #1 – Review

Posted November 25, 2014 by Guilherme Jacobs in Comic Books

Written by: Matt Fraction

Art by: Christian Ward

Publisher: Image

Space Horses.

With Matt Fraction writing, Christian Ward on art duties and Chris Eliopoulos as the letterer, ODY-C #1 is quite the trip. I mean, imagine this if you will. The Odyssey, retold in space (with space horses) and characters gender-swapped. All bathed under colors that will make you feel like you’re in an LSD trip just as much as another odyssey, the 2001, did. Yes. That’s the comic you’re getting here. And yes, it’s quite good.

The tagline for the series reads “the heaviest trip is the one back home”, and I don’t think they could be more accurate if they wanted to. This is a comic book that demands your full attention, as it is easy to lose yourself in the midst of the superb and uncommon panel layouts driven by a narrative-heavy and very classical style of writing. If you are willing to take this unbelievable trip, you’ll be rewarded with an experience that is unlike any other. ODY-C #1 is trippy and huge and unique and fun.

Odyssia, who is basically an alien woman version of Odysseus, has just defeat the giant Troiia, this world’s version of, well, Troia. You can read how the victory was achieved in the prologue released by Ward. It’s not in the comic itself, so I recommend giving it a shot (spoiler, it involves space horses). Just as in the classic story, the wrath of the Olympian gods comes unto her for taking too much pride in victories. Poseidon, especially, is not happy. The trip home will prove to be challenging, as the course of the journey gets altered and new threats rise to chase our heroes.

Yes, that is all familiar. And by itself, a retelling of The Odyssey set in space is already an entertaining concept. But Fraction takes a step further. This is hardcore sci-fi. This has ships being connected to a hive-mind created by its crew, where all must be in sync so that things go smoothly. ODY-C doesn’t bother with making things any bit realistic, nor does it shy away from the abstract. And yet, Fraction’s writing made me feel like I was, indeed, reading a book, and it works. Bringing a familiar sense to such a weird book is in itself an accomplishment, but also creating a similar feel to that of the original story is an impressive feat. It’s heavy, I’m not gonna lie, there are barely any dialogues and at first it’s a little confusing. But you gotta stick with it. The creative team here asks you to take a leap, and if you do, you’re rewarded.

On the art side, the abstract style remains strong. Characters feel like they’re under some kind of wave, which may very well be Ward’s intent. There’s a big foldout page that is just mind-blowing and the way space is drawn throughout the entire issue is impressive. You’ve never seen space like this, I promise. The design for the ships and gods is also very unique, and it all adds to the trippy aspect of ODY-C #1. The colors are the big draw, though. The palette is luminous, vivid, psychedelic, bright and, while that may sound redundant, colorful.

There is no other comic like this. At least, no other comic that feels like this. ODY-C #1 may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s worth a shot. While not the most casual of reads, it’s a bold take on a classic story, done by the guy who writes Sex Criminals. And it has space horses.

About the Author

Guilherme Jacobs