I’ll give it this: It’s better than Vol. 2, for sure.
I’m still up in the air about this one, but I think I’m leaning towards there was just enough good to outweigh the bad stuff. Can I give it 2 and 3/4 stars? It’s better than 2.5 but not quite 3…
Honestly, Zeus has way too many kids. Like seriously, is this guy the Octomom of Olympus? I’ve studied Classics a fair bit, and know some things, but this comic just takes it to insane levels. OK so pretty much this is a very long, drawn out Jerry Springer/Maury episode:
I really didn’t care for a lot of the artwork here, which I know some of my Shallow Budz will agree with…Cliff Chang is the artist credited for most of the work (ie. on the Cover) but he only really draws 3 of the issues. His stuff in #0, the Flashback/Origin issue is some good stuff, and he gets to draw the first appearance of the New Gods, and Orion in particular, that we’ve seen in New 52. However, the other stuff feels hobbled together like someone ran out of time, or Cliff didn’t answer his phone in time for the deadline, so some dude sitting around DCU was told to draw.
As if there weren’t enough going on, we’re introduced to THE FIRST BORN who is, of course, Zeus’ first child. He was sooo evil that he was buried in Antarctica’s ice 7000yrs ago…Um..ok sure.
He’s of course dug up by scientists, because what else are scientists good for in comics, but ushering in great lost evils from the past (bit of a clichéd crutch here). Oh, and on top of it? One of the scientists is yet ANOTHER child of Zeus’ (so half-sib to WW, First Born, the New Baby, and the rest of them).
Had enough yet? No? OK well, we’re going to throw in the Soothsayer child of Zeus, a homeless blind man who can summon swarms of insects and see EVERYTHING. Turns out he’s besties with Orion, before anyone else on Earth knew who Orion was.
What would you say if I told you…there’s another child of Zeus we get to meet as well?
Ya, that’s what I figured. Me too. Can you imagine how many stockings Santa has to fill at the Zeus Household every year? Jeebus! (Apparently, there’s ONLY 7 of Zeus’ bastards around…from the 20th Century!!! and new baby makes 8 (the only 21st Century one…so we think!)
So anyhowzers…New Baby is going to destroy Olympus and the world…but so is this First Born fella…and they’re broheims! Maybe they can work together? No? OK.
There’s a cool panel in #0 where War (who’s actually Diana’s half brother…I know right? Didn’t see that one coming…) yells about how awesome he is, and it’s actually the titles of the first 4 volumes of this series:
Subtle little plug there Mr. Azzarello…I see what you did there…
There’s also what appears to be a burn on Dr. Strange…Lennox (the Stone Gollum-like brother) finds Milan (the seer/blind/homeless vagrant one) and comments that his place is a regular “Sanctum Stanktorum”…I kid you not….don’t really know if that’s a knock, or an in joke? Odd for New 52 titles to reference the (vastly superior) competition, especially when they’re trying to get new readers…but oh well, DC never made much sense anyhow.
Art complaints: First Born changes his appearance from Chang to the other artists to such a degree, it’s almost another character. I HATE that.
Dio – Dionysus, another of the Gods, is drawn to look like Gambit’s younger metrosexual brother.
Other problems: Orion is a Jack Kirby original, but here, he’s made to look like a sort of sex-obsessed airhead model. Don’t get me wrong, he can kick ass, but ya. Zola, the Trailer Trash Dimwit, is an entirely unnecessary character. She loves her baby, but she’s only there because Zeus knocked her up. Hera has my vote to wipe the floor with her (when they fight, it’s pretty white-trash catfighting…I half expected a wading pool of pudding to show up). If they’d killed her off, I’d have far more interest and motivation for Diana to avenge her and protect the baby. Also, it is pointed out what a big motley crew she’s got with her, if she’s so wonder-ful, why does she need so much help? It doesn’t really help her case to be seen on the same pedestal as the other 2 members of the DC Holy Trinity (Supes and Bats).
Of all the stuff going on here, the most compelling story is that of War, the one who trained Diana as a child, and is now an old man, and what his motivations are and where his loyalties really lie.
So, you can see I didn’t like a lot of things here, but I felt like this is where we bottomed out (or last volume) and started to get better by the end. I’m hopeful for Vol. 4