There is a tricky balance required when adapting famous source material. Too much liberty taken in the telling and the original source material is lost, but with too close of a telling then there is no point not just to go to the source itself. The new series Ody-C finds itself in the middle of those two extremes somewhere, although likely closer to the former. It tells the story of Homer’s Odyssey except retold as a space opera with all of the genders swapped between the characters, heroes and gods alike. Odysseus is replaced with Odyssia, a spacefaring captain on her way home after the long battle to vanquish Troiia. After deciding to head back for home, the gods confer about her, and as in the historical epic, deciding to send her across the heavens before she can return home.
The result is a bit of a mixed bag in terms of how it all comes together. Matt Fraction is the inspiration behind this idea, and he highlights the trickiness of such an endeavour, and he seems to have fallen a bit too far on the side of a liberal interpretation. Of course, some things would need to change for such a story, but it leaves the reader a bit confused as to what is going on at times, both between the changed setting and the changed genders. For those that are not familiar with the story of the Odyssey (or at least those that haven’t seen Troy), this is likely to be even more confusing. At the same time, the artwork by Christian Ward is so mind-blowing in this setting, that the story takes on the truest aspects of the space opera, an almost psychedelic rendering of another place and time.
The entire experience ends up being enjoyable though not particularly memorable. With a bit more balance in the writing, there would have been a better story to be told, including for the flow of the artwork. It is evident that the creative team has something grand in mind behind the concept for this series, it only seems as though that this first issue was not the best showcase for those ideas.
Story: Matt Fraction Art: Christian Ward
Story: 7.8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read
Image provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review.