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Image Comics' Olympia #1: Preview the Kirby/Spielberg mash-up you didn't know you needed

By Andrea Ayres
Image Comics - Olympia - Cover

Writer Curt Pires (Wyrd), artist Alex Diotto (Mayday), and Image Comics are preparing to launch their new five-issue miniseries, Olympia, coming this November. Olympia is an ambitious project from Pires, which he wrote along with his late father, Tony Pires. The new series pays tribute to two titans of genre, Jack Kirby and Steven Speilberg, and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive sneak peek.

Olympia follows the story of Elon, a young boy who spends most of his time alone reading comic books. One day, a superhero from his favorite comic comes crashing to Earth. Olympian is a Kirby-inspired hero with no idea where he is or how he got there. Elon decides to assist the wounded hero and help him find his way back home. Only one little problem: Olympian didn't come to Earth alone. It turns out he was followed by a villain who's bent on reaping havoc.

Pires says he was inspired by Kirby, the legendary artist who was not only a prolific creator but an exceptional storyteller who understood the power of combining big action with dynamic, emotional moments. Pires' inspiration is clear from page one of Olympia #1, as seen below. The caption references an iconic New Gods line: “There came a day when the old gods died!”

Olympia preview, page 1 issue #1

To complete their quest, Olympian and Elon must find the creator of Olympia, an artist by the name of Kirby Spiegelman — an overt nod to Kirby and another comics legend, Art Spiegelman (Maus). Alas, Kirby Spiegelman has reached a low point in his personal and professional career. Can this unlikely team work together to get Olympian back home and stop the evil forces amassing? Well, you'll just have to read to find out.

In these exclusive interior pages, Pires demonstrates an obvious devotion to Kirby.

Olympia Letters Page 028

There's also a Spielbergian influence, as well a far more personal one. "Spielberg is actually one of my biggest influences. The way he pairs larger-than-life megaplex blockbuster storytelling with emotionally grounded and realized plotlines is always something I’ve loved," Pires tells SYFY WIRE. "Stuff like E.T., or Close Encounters, are human stories that take place within the confines of these larger-than-life narratives. This [Olympia] is me doing the same with the death of my father. When I wrote Issue 1, my dad was still alive, but I knew I’d be losing him, and that struggle is really cooked into the character of Elon."

Olympia 1 Letters Page 029-01

Diotto and Dee Cunniffes' cover of Olympia #1 definitely screams Kirby. Pires says they worked closely with designer Ryan Ferrier to establish the "meta-throwback tone." Get an exclusive look at the cover design process in the gallery below.

Image Comics - Olympia - Cover

Olympia explores vulnerability, loss, and the magic of finding hope again. Pires hopes to build on the legacy of Kirby and Spielberg by telling a heartwarming story about heroes being closer than we think. "All I really want out of my stories is to make people feel something and ease the burden that reality can place on them for a little while."

Olympia #1 will hit stores on Wednesday, Nov. 20. For more information on how to get your hands on Olympia, check out Image's website.