Rummanah Aasi
  Introducing Greek mythology to young adults can be a bit tricky due to the strong sexual and violent content of the myths, however, George O'Connor's Olympians graphic novel series manages to teach the Greek myths in exciting ways and not sacrificing the action nor nuisances of the Greek gods and goddesses. He reminds us that before all of the superheroes that were created, the Greek gods and goddesses had the much deserved spotlight with their own drama and back stories.

Description: Volume 3 of Olympians, Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory, introduces readers to the Queen of the Gods and Goddesses in the Pantheon. This volume tells the tales of the many heroes who sought and won Hera's patronage, most notably Hercules.


Review:  Hera is not my favorite goddess from Greek mythology. She is always depicted as a shrew, jealous, and petty wife of Zeus. In the third volume of the Olympian series, however, Hera is a given a chance to appear more nuanced and multi-layered character rather than just being Zeus’ long-suffering, acid-tongued queen. Interestingly O'Connor chooses to retell the 10 labors of Heracles myth to give Hera a personality makeover since it is widely thought Hera hated Heracles, the illegitimate son of her philandering husband. I did like how O'Connor spins this tale of hate into a source of motivation for Heracles. I took me a while to even grasp that Heracles's name actually means the "Glory of Hera." 
  It was fun watching all the Olympians watch in rapt attention and amazement as Heracles makes his way through the series of impossible tasks with his strength and smarts. O'Connor's Olympian series continues to be well researched and executed. I was a bit worried as to how see how far O'Connor would take Zeus's philandering, but he does it tastefully with giving us hints but nothing too explicit or graphic. The fantastic artwork brings the gods and goddess to life in all of their glory. This series would be a great addition to supplement the Greek myths in the English curriculum as well as a terrific addition to the library's collection development. I can't wait to continue this series. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some disturbing images and violence featuring the monsters of the Greek Myths such as the Hydra and Cerebus. There is also some suggestions of nudity. Recommended for Grades 6 and up.

If you like this book try: Hercules : the Twelve Labors by Paul Storrie
7 Responses
  1. Hera was never my favorite either, but I think I'd like to see her portrayed as a bit more layered and complex. I'm a bit fed up with Greek mythology after being tormented with it for years in Uni, but it would be a shame to pass this one up.


  2. I agree, Hera has a bad rep, and I like that the author tried to give her a makeover. I think this would definitely be worth checking out for that reason.


  3. Kindlemom Says:

    This sounds great! I always loved (still do!) learning about mythology growing up. I think I would have loved this!


  4. "Introducing Greek mythology to young adults can be a bit tricky due to the strong sexual and violent content of the myths ..." So true, Rummanah. I remember in one of my teaching placements, the students were looking at a book about the Greek gods and were shocked and fascinated by their incestuous relationships and the way they were drawn. Me and my mentor teacher found it very amusing.

    Interesting that Hera is portrayed in a more positive manner in the story of Hercules. If there was a hero that I associate her positively with, it would be Jason and not Hercules.


  5. Jenny Says:

    I like that Hera is painted in a little different light in this one - she definitely is always known a woman scorned and you know how that saying goes. I can't say I blame her though, if my husband was as free with his affections as Zeus, I don't think I'd be altogether pleasant either ;-)


  6. Yes! I'm so glad that this character is something more than a jilted wife! I've always thought there was so much potential there as a character or even as a more nuanced villain.


  7. Anne Bennett Says:

    I just bought the other books in the series for the library, though I've only read the first book. Thanks for this good review.


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