Rummanah Aasi

Description: In volume 5 of Olympians, author/artist George O'Connor turns the spotlight on that most mysterious and misunderstood of the Greek gods, Poseidon: Earth Shaker. Thrill to such famous stories as Theseus and the Minotaur, Odysseus and Polyphemos, and the founding of Athens—and learn how the tempestuous Poseidon became the King of the Seas.

Review: Poseidon is one of the few Greek gods who doesn't have a physical presence in mythology. We usually hear of him by the raging waters or his monstrous children, but never the actual god himself. The narrative style of his graphic novel follows this same train of thought.
 Instead of an overarching theme which was featured in the previous Olympian graphic novels that I read, Poseidon reads more episodic. He begins his story of how he came to rule the sea after the war of the Titans. There is palpable resentment and tension as Poseidon keeps a tally of the wrongs done by his siblings, particularly Athena who favored Odysseus rather than her brother (uncle?). He tells the gory stories of how the clever Odysseus injured Polyphemus and Theseus managing to survive the Minatour. While he may appear to receive the shorter end of the stick, Poseidon knows he can cause significant amount of damage and does so in several tales.
  Unlike the other Greek deities that O'Connor drew, I didn't like how Poseidon was drawn. He looks like a mash up between Kung Fu master with his long, wispy mustache and Conan the Barbarian on steroids. I didn't picture him to be like that in my mind.
  While the plot jumps from story to story, it is easy to follow in the crisply drawn sequential panels. I do like how O'Connor makes his subject relatable by today's standard's of action heroes. While this may not be my favorite book in the Olympians series, I did find it enjoyable.
Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong, bloody violence on the PG-13 scale. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds, Theseus Battles the Minator by Gary Jeffrey

Description: In volume six of Olympians, graphic novel author/artist George O'Connor turns the spotlight on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Look for the same thoroughly researched and wonderfully accessible comics storytelling as O'Connor tackles the story of the Aphrodite from her dramatic birth (emerging from sea-foam) to her role in the Trojan War.

Review: I was really curious to see how O'Connor would spotlights the goddess of beauty and love in a kid friendly graphic novel. I thought he made a clever decision in emphasizing on power instead of sexuality in this solid addition to his Olympians series. Aphrodite's three attendants, the Charites, narrate a recap of the origin of the Titans and Olympians, leading up to the goddess's birth and highlighting that Aphrodite is essentially Eros embodied. After a series of shorter myths, various affairs and the introduction of Aphrodite's capricious son (Eros aka Cupid), the graphic novel concentrates on the beauty contest of the goddesses Aphrodite, Hera and Athena, judged by the mortal Paris. It was really cool to see how he problematic female stereotypes be pointed out by the goddesses themselves. They find the contest "beneath" them and "debasing" even while participating and re-frame the contest as one of power instead of beauty- each offering Paris either wealth, being a hero, or a chance to have one of the most beautiful women in the world. While there might not be a lot of action in this volume of the Olympians, there is a lot more tongue in cheek humor and great one-liners sprinkled in the story. This graphic novel shows Aphrodite's power in femininity and sexuality without being overt and crude.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are sexual situations alluded to in the book that happen off the page which older children make understand. There is also some crude humor in the graphic novel as well. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Aphrodite: Goddess of Love and Beauty by Teri Temple
6 Responses
  1. I remember having to do a big unit on Greek Mythology in both six and seventh grade, These graphic novels would have been the way to go.

  2. Both sound good but Aphrodite really sounds more like a winner. I can see why you weren't satisfied with Poseidon's image. That isn't what he looks like to me either. :D

  3. I think it's really cool that there's now a graphic novel series on the Greek gods. I found mythology really fascinating as a kid and was more than happy to read chapter books about the Greek gods, but if a child doesn't, it's nice to know they can still learn about the Olympians through another means.

  4. These graphic novels look very entertaining. I'm glad to hear the author did sufficient research before writing these and that the books have a lot of details.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

  5. Kindlemom Says:

    I agree with Heidi, these would have been a lot of fun back in those days to have around for references. ;)

  6. Aylee Says:

    I'm just starting to get into graphic novels so this is the first I'm hearing of this one. I love mythology so I'm intrigued! And actually very impressed that somehow the Aphrodite one was kept pretty PG!

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