Saturday, June 21, 2014
Written and illustrated by George O'Connor, ATHENA: GREY-EYED GODDESS is the second volume in a graphic novel series entitled "The Olympians" that tells the story of the ancient Greek gods and their mythology. ATHENA isn't an origins story, although there is a very brief introduction that summarizes the events of the first volume in the series (ZEUS: KING OF THE GODS). Instead, ATHENA is a story narrated by the Fates that tells four distinct tales about Athena: how she came to possess Zeus' aegis, how she defeated the giant Pallas, what she did with Medusa's decapitated head after Perseus used it, and her weaving contest with Arachne. The stories are each different and reveal distinct characteristics of Athena. Although the book doesn't strictly follow some of the more canonical elements with certain Greek myths, the book does an excellent job of combining many of those varying and sometimes conflicting stories into a unified whole. Although tastefully done, ATHENA doesn't shy away from the violence contained in many of these ancient tales. The tales of Athena are wonderfully illustrated and lend themselves well to the visual medium of a graphic novel. The inside of the book contains a genealogical chart which is extremely useful while reading these tales of Greek mythology. At the end of the book, there is a note from the author, some notes about the text, a few charts about various characters in the story (Perseus, Medusa, and the Fates), a bibliography, and some discussion questions. ZEUS: KING OF THE GODS was the origin story of the universe of the Olympian series and I like the way the series is progressing, now focusing on just one Olympian each. Overall, ATHENA: GREY-EYED GODDESS is a great book that anyone with an interest in Greek mythology is sure to appreciate.