This volume is a retelling the tale of Persephone and Hades. We start off with Hades, overworked and trying to keep the Underworld in check. Many mortals are coming to him without any idea of how they died, which is a big problem for him in determining where they need to go. He travels to Olympus to figure out why they can't remember and stumbles upon a party, a celebration for Artemis getting her first temple. Zeus convinces Hades into putting the work talk on pause, and goads him into telling who he has a crush on. Hades, who is embarrassed by this line of talk, can't quite tell his brother who she is because he doesn't know her name. Meanwhile, Persephone fights with her mother, Demeter, about going to the party. Demeter is determined to keep working to preserve the perpetual summer the mortals enjoy, but Persephone is tired and wants to blow off some steam -- and potentially see that shy, cute guy. Zeus gets too involved, and Hades and Persephone end up on a stolen carriage in a pretty big pickle, but at least they're getting a chance to talk to each other.
This is a collection of a pretty popular webcomic, and it will be interesting to see how it does up against Lore Olympus, another Hades & Persephone retelling that is set to be released in October. As with a lot of webcomics that get collected, the pacing can be a bit strange because of how it was originally released, and how the author intended to keep the audience hooked between releases. A good chunk of this volume is spent on the fight between Persephone and Demeter, which is juxtaposed with Hades getting some love advice from Zeus. The back and forth is unnecessary at times. Once the two mains are together, the story does move at a much nicer pace and has plenty to keep readers going.
The standout of this comic has to be the art. Šejić is able to capture minute expressions on all of the characters that bring this to life and make the whole thing feel more like you're watching an animated movie. The colors are wonderfully vivid and are captivating during the reading experience.
Image rates this for Teen+, but there's nothing in the first volume that would be inappropriate for young high school readers.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: August 25, 2021
ISBN: 9781534320727 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Mythology, Romance
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