New ODY-C Comic Is a Gender-Swapped Homerian Odyssey Set in a Lady Gaga Universe

Thursday, 20 November 2014 - 2:06PM
Thursday, 20 November 2014 - 2:06PM
New ODY-C Comic Is a Gender-Swapped Homerian Odyssey Set in a Lady Gaga Universe

The upcoming ODY-C, a comics adaptation of Homer's The Odyssey, tackles gender politics in a sci-fi, "burlesque" universe that's been described as one that "looks like a universe that Lady Gaga designed."

 

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

The comic, like Homer's poem, is written in six-syllable dactylic hexameter, and every character is gender-swapped, including the protagonist, who is now named Odyssia, and infamous Greek gods such as Zeus. 

 

Cover featuring Odyssia:

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

Artist Christian Ward's rendering of Greek deities Zeus and Osidion:

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

Writer Matt Fraction on adapting the epic poem, in a recent interview with EW: "So much of The Odyssey doesn't parse into fiction the way we think of fiction, the way we read fiction. Who are these people? Why do they do the things they do? Logically, realistically, emotionally, how do you believably tell the story of a patriarch (or matriarch as the case may be) taking ten years to return home from a ten year war?"

 

The colors are bold, bright, and psychedelic, like something you'd find in a lava lamp. They drew heavily from campy burlesque works such as Barbarella for the visual style; in fact, the comic was originally supposed to be a Barbarella story, but ultimately morphed into this female-led version of Homer's epic poem.

 

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

Ward said in a recent interview with Wired: "There were some pages where I wanted to get as close to garish as possible. I think if I really commit to the colours it helps sell them. There are three levels of colour that I think of. When we're in the world of the Gods, the colour goes off the scale and I want them to clash. We're inside the spectrum, all colours are there. When we're in space and dealing with cosmic stuff, it's the next level down, and then on planets it's the next level down again. So the colour helps the staging and the story. I'm still finding my feet but that was the idea."

 

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

Other influences include Hindu iconography, Moebius, and, for the story aspect, Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad, a feminist re-telling of The Odyssey from Penelope's perspective. But the most significant impetus for Fraction was originally his four-year-old daughter, who loves reading Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel comics. In early interviews, Fraction claimed that the book came out of his desire to write a strong female hero for his daughter to read, but in this most recent interview he clarifies that the book has evolved from there:

 

"It started as, how would I write Wonder Woman for Ward but it's grown and changed and turned in to…well, it's turned into ODY-C. It's not appropriate for a four year old (neither is The Odyssey, or at least for my four year old) anymore. But it'll be appropriate for a fourteen year old. And if it hooks people into the scope, scale, possibility, and potential of myths and how we can reframe and refocus and relearn those myths for a modern age, that's just gravy."

 

Here is a prologue to the comic, which will not appear in the first issue:

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

ODY-C

[Credit: Image Comics]

 

ODY-C #1 comes out on November 26.

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