Written by: Kevin Grevioux
Pencils by: Ryan Benjamin
Inks by: Don Ho and Ryan Benjamin
Colours by: Tony Washington
Cover by: Ryan Benjamin
Published by: DC Comics
April saw the return of Odyssey of the Amazons, a six-issue miniseries carved into the world of one of DC’s most beloved characters. Billed as a story set “Years before Wonder Woman”, the series follows Hessia and her Amazons on a quest across the world to find others of their kind. Writer Kevin Grevioux (New Warriors, Underworld) draws inspiration from legends such as The Iliad and Jason and the Argonauts to stir up a fiery plot, seasoning issue 4 in particular with elements of Norse mythology to create something worth licking your lips at.
This issue’s cover, a powerful image (Ryan Benjamin-Art, Tony Washington-Colour), not only brings us up to speed plot-wise with, but also serves as the perfect poster for the world the DC team have created. Letters by Saida Temofonte announce the title of the series with an almost trumpets-and-thunder like effect, shards of golden light racing down the page as a Pegasus charges against them. This picks up from issue #3, where Hessia and her warriors have been ambushed by the mythical Valkyries, those killed in the battle carried off to the heavenly realm of Valhalla, where long-dead warriors fight for glory for an eternity. In the arenas of the immortal paradise, both armchair fans of 300 and seasoned-veterans of mythology will find something to cheer about.
In these opening panels in particular, rich earthen tones are set against light-soaked backgrounds to good effect, grounding the reader in the world of Valhalla just as easy as any mention of Thor, Odin or Freyja ever could. All the same, the Norse Gods give the plot a certain flavour, an air of mysticism DC fans will feel treads the border of popular fantasy. What is perhaps a weakness is that Grevioux fails to put that same pedal to the floor when it comes to dialogue. At times, the writer/actor struggles to find the right words to fill his bubbles with, often settling for cheap humour that doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the story. But all great swords have a second-edge, and while Grevioux looks blunt in one department, he certainly cuts sharp as this issue draws to a close. An artistic depiction of the origin of the Amazons is followed by a dark descent into the world of the Storm Giants, the war-hungry race that hold many of Hessia’s comrades captive. And as the back page slides into readers’ fingers, they’ll realise that the greatest fights are yet to come……