• Olympus

    Released by: Humanoids, Inc.
    Released on: August 12th, 2015.
    Written by: Geoff Johns, Kris Grimminger
    Illustrated by: Butch Guice
    Purchase From Amazon

    Ten miles off the coast of Thessaly, two divers investigate an ancient shipwreck wresting on the ocean floor. Lounging around on the boat up top are two young women, Sarah and Rebecca. Sarah complains that their teacher, Professor Walker, only wants to explore the ruins while she’s interested in… more. As they bicker, Walker and her assistant Brent hit the surface – they’ve found an old chest. Rather than report it to the Greek government, they instead decide it’s their little secret. They open it and inside is a pot that Walker dates to 480 B.C., so yeah, it’s old. An inscription on the outside reads “Herein contains the misfortunes of man.” When you think about it, that’s probably not a good sign… and then it starts to rain.

    As the rain quickly turns into a storm, Walker spies some men approaching in an inflatable boat, they’re armed. Brent goes out to confront them as they start boarding and gets a knuckle sandwich for his efforts. The men soon realize they’re on the wrong boat but when the storm trashes their vessel; they commandeer the only thing they can commandeer. The storm intensifies and before you know it, the boat is trashed and what’s left of is washes ashore a deserted island, the various inhabitants all intact. While the men all take stock of their weapons, Walker notes a massive statue of Zeus. She then tries to talk to York, the man in charge of the criminals, but it doesn’t go well. They explore the island and find some ancient ruins that are, unfortunately for them, guarded by a huge Cyclops. They escape, well some of them do, but then the criminals start fighting amongst themselves.

    Soon, Rebecca starts to wonder if they’ve actually washed up on the shore of Olympus and if the artifact they pulled off of the ocean floor doesn’t have something to do with all of this. The images on the pot match the geography of the island and so too does it depict a man bringing the item to the top of the mountain, which may be the only way the survivors can appease the powers that be and get off of this rock in one piece. But if the mythological locations depicted on the pot are real, then so too are the monsters… they are definitely not alone. Alliances are formed and the truth behind what the bad guys are up to is revealed, and not everyone is going to make it out alive.

    Geoff Johns and Kris Grimminger aren’t going for subtle with this story. It’s basically a mix of ‘new technology vs. the old gods’ which we’ve seen before but they do a good job of tying in the various elements of ancient Greek mythology here. There’s a ton of action and high adventure but inevitably it’s intelligence that pays off and saves the day more than it is machismo and bravado. The pacing is quick, the dialogue is snappy and fun to read and if the characters are more than a little bit on the thin side, so be it – this book is a kick even if it isn’t all that deep. And you never get the impression that it’s supposed to be. This is all about action and adventure and on that level the writing and characterization works just fine.

    The artwork from Butch Guice is pretty fantastic. There’s a lot of detail here but not to the point of distraction. The line work is very fine, quite ornate even, and he’s got a keen eye not only for drawing beautiful women (which he does a lot of here) but for illustrating the finer points of ancient architecture as well. The backgrounds in this run are just as impressive as the foregrounds and each panel is its own miniature masterpiece. Dawn Brown’s coloring complements Guice’s art at every step and they make a great team. Read this one all the way through and enjoy it for the action spectacle that it is (and then take in the bonus Butch Guice sketchbook pages that make up the last ten pages or so.