Recently I read the first volume of the epic/military/fantasy Odyssey by Dave Elliot (Weirding Willows, Sharky, Monster Massacre) with art by Garrie Gastonny (Supergod).
I have to admit I was much more impressed with this than I was the first time I picked up a single issue. A while back I reviewed one of the single issues. Though I remember being impressed by the art and the rough approach I thought this story was going for, I was really off the mark. Having only been half interested in the first couple issues, and overlooking a few things and picking up my review from issue #3 I definitely let a great read slip by.
At first glance Odyssey comes across like a Captain America knock off. It makes me think of how my dad was always fooled by those imitations that came out on video the week after a blockbuster hit theatres. I hid my face in shame as I sat at his house trying not to hurt his feelings while we watched RobotCop and Triassic Park. Odyssey at first glance, while still fresh and stylish with Gastonny’s art, still makes me think this. It just isn’t the case when you really delve into these pages. Sure, it’s about a star-spangled super-soldier from World War 2, but our hero in Odyssey may be possessed with the souls of several entities. Are the evil? What hidden magics and horrible sacrifices got him to this point.
I was a little taken back by some of the name drops. It was just a personal thing with me and how I approach a story. But Steve Jobs designing his helmet and his disappointment in President Clintons marriage infidelities took me a little out of the fantasy zone. Not so much with President Obama or Bush, it seemed relevant to the story and the time-line the story was in at the moment. Not as big a deal when you look at the bigger picture here, and for the most part that bigger picture was a job well done.
I don’t recall the opening prologue about the two books that inspired Odyssey and it may have been something just for the first volume. It really helped draw me in though. It speaks of how the bible and Phillip Wylie’s novel Gladiator set the foundation for this story. It’s protagonist is John James Wilson, a nephew of Hugo Danner (the protagonist in Gladiator) and this tidbit of information, along with knowing the synopsis of Gladiator set you up for what is inside these pages.
The art is still superb and Dave Elliot does a solid job weaving together this modern mythos with pop culture elements, government intrigue, and God-like origins. Is it a set up for a war between heaven and hell or just a Government super-soldier program. It’s like, what if Captain America and John Constantine had a demon possessed baby and made him star in a Noir/war/government-spook story (I’m not even sure I can imagine it… yet I may have just read it). Odyssey is good and I def recommend adding it to your short list of books to get to.
Enjoy some preview art from the epic world of Odyssey
Feel free to comment below or @werewolforigin on twitter