It's time for an early taste of one of the most anticipated new comics of the fall.
It's been a busy couple of years for writer Matt Fraction. He's still earning acclaim for his work on Hawkeye at Marvel, but his focus has largely shifted from company-owned superhero work to creator-owned projects across various genres. Sex Criminals, his amazing collaboration with artist Chip Zdarsky, just earned an Eisner Award and continues to draw fans everywhere, and his period drama Satellite Sam, with legendary artist Howard Chaykin, keeps drawing critical acclaim. Now Fraction and artist Christian Ward (Infinite Vacation) are teaming up for another creator-owned project that could end up being your new epic sci-fi addiction when it hits in November.
Titled ODY-C, the book is an adaptation of Homer's The Odyssey, and while that might not sound particularly thrilling to some of you, Fraction and Ward are adding some twists. Instead of setting the tale on ancient Earth, they've taken it to the cosmos, in the aftermath of a century-long war in space. They've also switched the genders, so instead of Odysseus, the great hero trying to get home to his wife, we'll follow the tale of Odyssia, the great warrior trying to get home to her daughter. Fraction explained the changes in an interview with Comic Book Resources back in January.
"It really started with wanting to write a hero for my daughter, and they're not going to let me write Wonder Woman anytime soon," Fraction said. "So I wanted to give her a classic hero that was a strong warrior and a strong woman and a strong mother, and there's no better template for the hero than Odysseus. That, combined with wanting to find something appropriately cosmic for Christian [Ward] to draw -- something that was appropriate for his talents."
"It's more interesting when it's a mother trying to be reunited with her daughter, to me."
Fraction and Ward have envisioned the series as a 24-part limited run, adapted from the 24 chapters of Homer's original saga, but they're also adding their own touches to the story, filling in the gaps in time that are peppered throughout the original text. It's a very ambitious project, and after I first heard about it I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I finally saw some pages. Well, at San Diego Comic-Con last month, Image Comics debuted five pages from ODY-C, which have been floating around in low-quality format for a while (because they're photographs of a projected image). Now, thanks to Ward, we have those pages in a high-quality format, and they're just stunning.
Ward revealed the pages via his Tumblr, and noted that they're not actually part of the first issue proper. This is a five-page prologue that Fraction and Ward concocted specifically as a teaser for the story, and it's their take on one of The Odyssey's most memorable stories: the Trojan Horse. Of course, this is the Trojan Horse story in space, with female warriors, so it's unlike any version of the tale you've seen before. Check out the pages below.
ODY-C arrives with a 40-page first issue on Nov. 26.
(Via Christian Ward)