Olympus Rebirth #1 is a one-shot published by DC Comics, written by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, art by Caitlin Yarsky, colours by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Pat Brosseau. Hippolyta has died and has been inducted as a goddess on Olympus. Whilst the celebrations are grand at first, she soon discovers that the mountain is in danger, and seeks to try and save it
This plot is a brilliant exploration of Greek mythology, more than any DC storyline. Although Wonder Woman and Nubia are where the events happened that led to this comic. This is an epic, extended story that reconfigures an entire pantheon of Gods back into the mainstream universe. There isn’t action or battles, but the looming threat heralds enough of a menace that it replaces such an intense pace. But after the initial reception comes a desire to make change, including a journey to Tartarus. This last act is a brilliantly tense negotiation—a game full of unbearable choices. This is something found so often in Greek mythology so it is great to see that retreated here. There is a surprise ending that is leapfrogged by another unexpected moment, one that seems to foreshadow dark and exciting times ahead.
Olympus Rebirth #1 does an amazing job of bringing the personalities of the gods down to a human scale whilst still portraying their grandiosity. Cloonan and Conrad manage to install an omniscient, ancient mannerism in many of the Olympians, whilst also giving them a childish attitude. So many of them are easily angered when their pride is tested or they get jealous or get extremely worried if they feel they are being forgotten. Due to revelations later in the issue, it is very understandable and many of the Gods garner sympathy, especially Artemis. There is a theme in this comic that is reminiscent of that in American Gods and is such a beautifully poignant and powerful thread to unravel. But in terms of characters, it is Hippolyta who shines. The Queen of the Amazonians walks into Olympus with respect and love for her family, but she does not back down if they seek to disrespect her. Even Zeus faces the Queen’s wrath.
It isn’t just in personality that the gods make a great return, it in visuals too. Yarsky creates a gorgeous Mount Olympus with a stunning selection of gods. Most of them are instantly recognisable, with their winged hats and tridents and great big bushy beards. But there are some adjustments to designs that bring something different to characters that have existed for thousands of years. The contrast of Hephaestus and Aphrodite is brilliant. But the design of Artemis is magnificent, with little antlers and heavy inking around the eyes. A few characters also possess dark markings around their eyes and it adds a haunting quality to their faces. As Hippolyta makes her way down from the mountain, some of the creatures and more sinister deities have terrifying visages of their own.
The colours are extremely pretty. There is a stunning amount of depth Bellaire uses. For some locations, there may be pages full of green. But the variety of the shades of green is incredible. In other scenes there are incredibly vibrant tones, helping to demonstrate the excess of Mount Olympus and the strength of the beings Hippolyta is now among. The lettering has some very inventive custom word balloons, tapping into the voices of the creatures
Olympus Rebirth #1 brings the Greek Gods back to relevance. This is both a tour of Greek mythology and an attempt to reconnect them back to the DC Universe. Those that have been immersed in Hades or Lore Olympus, remember Wonder Woman’s previous entanglements with these gods, or just love the ancient stories will adore the designs and interactions with the characters. What is impressive is the way that the story is almost entirely self-contained among a realm of immortals, with very few humans included. Yet the high-concept nature of gods and the underworld is infused with themes of family that ground it.
Olympus Rebirth #1 is available where comics are sold.
Olympus Rebirth #1
Olympus Rebirth #1 brings the Greek Gods back to relevance. This is both a tour of Greek mythology and an attempt to reconnect them back to the DC Universe. Those that have been immersed in Hades or Lore Olympus, remember Wonder Woman’s previous entanglements with these gods, or just love the ancient stories will adore the designs and interactions with the characters.