By Matt Fraction, Christian Ward, Dee Cunniffe, Chris Eliopoulos, Drew Gill, and Laureen McCubbin
ODY-C is an intellectual somersault that adds complex story layers on top of captivating art that feels like you are on an acid trip. This is a book that you may have to reread a few times to fully understand because the story is so complex, which hardly matters when the art is this brilliant. This story is often described as “the retelling of The Odyssey, but with women” and it could not be more of an oversimplification of the complex story Fraction and Ward are weaving. This tenth issue picks up were we left off and gives the readers a story within a story as we follow Queen and Captain Ene being punished by Proteus while also seeing how the boy and He of Troiia tell a tale to their captors to elude death another night.
Fraction continues to show his genius storytelling abilities in this issue as he weaves one complexity atop another, all while paying homage to some serious classic stories like The Odyssey and The Arabian Nights: One Thousand and One Nights. It almost seems like Fraction is showing off as he introduces some classic Greek figures like Proteus and re-imagines them to fit his storytelling. This story goes to a place the original Odyssey does not go which leaves the reader wondering and questioning what happens next. Meanwhile, the boy and He of Troiia are facing death from Hyrar and Zhaman the twin brothers of Q’af. The boy figures out that by enthralling the brothers with a story they can stave off death for another night; a clever theme to introduce in this story, which is an homage to classic storytellers. Also, it should be noted how badass a writer Matt Fraction is that he writes such strong female leads throughout ODY-C while still making the story accessible to both sexes. Fraction introduces a fantastically brutal story about Wolf, a Goddess of whores that kills a son of a God for raping her. This story being the story He of Troiia and the boy tell the twin brothers. This is something that many writers struggle with, making strong female driven titles while also making the book relatable to everyone and Mr. Fraction does a great job doing so.
Okay, the art in this book just crushes it. There is only so much a person can say about how unbelievably awesome the pages are drawn, colored, laid out, and designed. Ward paints this astounding psychedelic world alight and will leave you staring at some pages because they are just that beautiful. The second and third pages of the book are a magnificent double-page splash that just create this trippy feel as it appears Ene is falling into Proteus’ lair. The effect Ward paints and the use of perspective makes you feel as though you are falling alongside Ene. Cunniffe and Eliopoulos help Ward with flatting and lettering and they come together to create a book that is truly a work of art.
Reasons to buy this book for most people probably include a certain inclination toward Matt Fraction, or Greek mythology, but really people who buy this book should be those who appreciate an intellectually stimulating story and fabulously hallucinogenic art. If you even want to forget the story, the book is worth buying alone for the beautiful splash pages you get on page two and three.