First Second, 2013. 978-1596437388
Synopsis: The mysterious and misunderstood Poseidon became the King of the Seas after the great war that overthrew Kronos and the Titans. O’Connor gives a closer look at Poseidon, his children, and tries to help the reader understand what it is that makes him tick.
Why I picked it up: It was one of the titles nominated for YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens. Plus, I am boning up on my myths before the new Heroes of Olympus book comes out.
Why I finished it: Poseidon is wrathful and sullen, but when it comes to his children, he is just as protective as any mortal parent. The whole lineage thing and who-fathered-who when it comes to the Greek Gods is still a bit of a mystery to me, but O’Connor’s handy flowchart on the inside front cover is pretty helpful in giving the gist of all the liasons of the Olympians (also, this flowchart provided by jennpower). The first-person narrative works really well for this story and it makes it feel like the reader is getting to know Poseidon from the God himself, rather than having the story told from the third-person. I think the biggest surprise for me was learning that Poseidon fathered the hero Theseus (either that or I forgot) and the whole chain of events that lead up to his adventures in the labyrinth. O’Connor’s visual representations of the monsters is drawn from a number of different myths as to the origins of these creatures, something he points out in the ‘Greek Notes’ at the back of the book. The art, like the myths, has a sort of edge to it; O’Connor is mindful of the fact that so many of these stories are pretty violent and he’s made them PG rather than R, which I think helps the reader focus more on the story and the storyteller rather than the violence. This is the fifth book in a series, but I didn’t have any trouble reading it as a stand-alone story – though I am now eager to pick up the other books and experience the author’s interpretations of some of the West’s most classic mythos.
Other related materials: Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians, Book 1) by George O’Connor; Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess (Olympians, Book 2) by George O’Connor; Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory (Olympians, Book 3) by George O’Connor; Hades: Lord of the Dead (Olympians, Book 4) by George O’Connor; Aphrodite: Goddess of Love (Olympians, Book 6) by George O’Connor; D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aularie; The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds, based on the poem by Homer; Lost in the Labyrinth by Patrice Kindl; Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff and Alan Lee; Mythology by Edith Hamilton; Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordian; Heroes of Olympus books by Rick Riordan; Heroes in Training books by Joan Holub