ODY-C Volume 1: Off to Far Ithicaa by Matt Fraction illustrated by Christian Ward
An eye-searing, mind-bending, gender-shattering epic science fiction retelling of Homer’s Odyssey starting with the end of a great war in the stars and the beginning of a very long journey home for Odyssia and her crew of warriors. The journey to Ithicaa begins HERE, by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward.
We have close friends who have literally placed several Matt Fraction books into our hands. I’ve read and enjoyed several of them and sought out more on my own. So, when the opportunity arose to check out ODY-C, I was more than happy to give it a read.
I’d heard some good things about the series and I’m always up for reinterpretations. Especially if they do something new with the source material. And ODY-C definitely does that.
The reader learns, or at least thinks she learns, the primary conceit as the story opens. Iconic Odysseus is reimagined as Witchjack Odyssia, conqueror of Troiia. But it’s not exactly a gender flipped epic in space, though that was honestly enough to hook me.
Fraction seems to favor allusion to the primary text over strict adaptation. The major plot points are covered, though not always in their traditional order. It’s all in service of an unfolding plot, so familiar characters, mortal and immortal, can develop and murky motivations can become clear. It’s a story satisfying to the ignorant and the aficionado alike.
And it’s beautiful. I remember wondering in the first few pages if I was going to like the art. Really? This is one of those pages
There’s so much to say about Christian Ward’s work here. I could praise its clarity and precision. I could talk about the feminine ship design as opposed to masculine rockets reiterating the world building in the details. I could note the sense of motion and speed and energy. I could gawp at the mythic significance of the background imagery. And, yes, I’ve just done all that. But what I really want to do is compare it to Jack Kirby, favorably.
Everything about the book works. From the explanation of the gender environment to the varied page layouts. The innovative character designs to the emotional reality of the characters. The poetic narration to the thoughtfully color coded speech boxes. Ody-C is amazing.
Recommended for fans of Saga, Bitch Planet, and epic storytelling.