Here is another retelling of the classic Hades and Persephone myth, this time set in a little bit more of a modern world. Hades tries to get his somewhat girlfriend, a nymph named Mynthe, to join him at yet another of Zeus’ parties, but she instead leaves him hanging. Hades shows up stag and gets grief from his two brothers, Poseidon and Zeus. Persephone, who is young and just moved to the shining City of Olympus, is styled by her roommate, Artemis, and dragged to her first God party. While there, Hades spies the beautiful Persephone from across the room and compliments her in front of the jealous Goddess of Beauty. Aphrodite calls in her son, Eros, to help her play a prank on Persephone and Hades. Later, Eros apologizes for his role in “punishing” Persephone, and he reveals how much power his mother has over him.
The beloved web comic has now been published into a full length graphic novel. This covers episodes 1-25 of the online series, so there will still be plenty more volumes to encompass the span of this story (as of this writing, there are 190 episodes). Lore Olympus has captivated so many readers with its angst, its lovable and despicable characters, and the thoroughness of the adaptation. Smythe has built up each character to be unique but still take on some of the personality from classic myths. Those with a primer in Greek mythology will appreciate the attention to detail in characterization and coloring of family groups. The main question that was on my mind, and probably that of many of its fans, was how they would adapt a scrolling medium into a static page. There were lots of smaller panels that made up the larger page, which meant there was also a lot of negative space. Sometimes, the speech bubbles were off to the side of the panel and inside the negative space, which would haven’t been this way on the Webtoon version. There were still several full pages of the long, slender panel readers are used to, and Smythe uses these sparingly for the most impact.
Smythe isn't shy about drawing her female characters curvy and well-endowed, and many of these characters walk around in low-cut shirts and dresses, drawing inspiration from how Renaissaince paintings depicted the Greek gods and goddesses. There is also a rape scene in this volume, where characters are seen taking off their clothing abstractly, without body parts being visible. Persephone partitions her mind and finds solace in a greenhouse she builds inside her head for most of the scene, but it is a real depiction of the emotional trauma that can accompany a sexual assault.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: November 2, 2021
ISBN: 9780593356074 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: High School, Graphic Fiction, Mythology, Romance, Del Rey
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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