Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Hades: Lord of the Dead
When spunky, smart, and sassy Kore is taken hostage by Hades, she is irritated and a little nervous. While her mother, Demeter, becomes frantic looking for Kore, Kore discovers that the underworld may not be so bad. In fact, she comes to love Hades and his dark world. But when her mother comes to retrieve her, Kore has a big decision to make one that will change her forever.
The beginning of the story is told in the second person “you” and is almost presented as driving directions for the underworld. The author leads the reader through the river Styx and through the various layers of the underworld all the while pointing out important people and other myths that exist in the dark world. The illustrations of this place are dark in mostly blues, blacks, and purples. The mood is eerie and at times unsettling. The reader is then treated to an overview of Mount Olympus, certain gods who will be featured in the story, and an introduction to the rift between the Mount Olympus gods and those of the underworld. This is very helpful to readers who are new to mythology, need some brushing up or were never taught of the gods.
I believe that the intended audience is young adults specifically middle schoolers. The language isn’t juvenile but it certainly isn’t adult. Additionally, the entire story reads like a storyboard for a movie possibly even a Disney movie. By writing it in such a way, I think that author is trying to make the myths appeal to a younger audience. For young boys, they will find the women in the novel attractive and humorous. For the young girls, they will relate to the relationship between Demeter and Kore. In addition, they may see themselves in Kore as she much more of a contemporary girl who voices her opinions and isn’t scared of authority. All of these aspects make the traditional story have a much more modern feel. While I wasn’t ecstatic about this, anything that can get youngins interested in mythology is fantastic to me!
Overall, I have to give this graphic novel three stars. I thought that the author tried to cover a bit too much ground in only 80 pages. While it was interesting to see the myth have some new life breathed into it I believe it is a good supplement to the original though not a substitute. The discussion questions at the end are great and include some fantastic talking points that I think will be very helpful to teachers. I would absolutely buy this for my niece in middle school, but as a graphic novel for adults...I think it falls a bit flat.