4 star rating
Hades: Lord of the Dead
Olympians, Book #4
By George O’Connor
ISBN # 978-1596434349
Author’s Website: http://geooco.blogspot.com/

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar

hades-lord-of-the-dead-olympians-george-oconnor“This is what happens when you die.”

You open your eyes and Hermes’ psychopompos is there to guide you to what is to come next. He takes you to the banks of the River Styx, where there is already more shades of dead people. You wait for your turn for the ferryman Charon. Hopefully, your loved ones will place a coin in your mouth when you died, for this is Charon’s payment. Without a payment he will not take you to the other side and you will have to wait a hundred years in the shore.

Charon will take you to the Underworld which is guarded by Cerberus, the three headed dog with his serpent tail. Once there, he will leave you on the shores of Erebus, with even more shades than those at the shores of Styx. Here and there, among the anonymous shades some are set apart.

If you offend the gods, during your life, you will go to  Tartaros along with the other offenders. Some of the residents of  Tartaros are the Hekatonchires who guard the Titan,. Ixion the first murdered, the giant Tityus, the Danaids, and Sixplos among others.

If you haven’t offend the gods you will join the other shades in the field of Asphodel where the river Lethe is. Once you drink from the water, you will forget your memories, your dreams, your thought and fears, all that you were will be gone. You will be another of the anonymous shades of the field. You are ruled by the god that shares the name with the place that have become your new home. He rules the Underworld from his ebony throne. The god Hades.

The comic of Hades is more like the comic of Zeus; it follows a main story unlike the previous numbers that have more than one story. We all know the story of Persephone, Demeter and Hades. The story tries to give an explanation to the change in the seasons. You may know Persephone by her maiden name of Kore, she was a daughter of Zeus. Like in the previous stories, where there is Zeus, there is trouble for his children or lovers.

What I like of this story is the habitants of the Underworld. We see the shade of Medusa scarring and frightened the other shades. Heracles in a hill staring at the place he thinks is the Mount Olympus were his other divine half is. I also liked the people that offended the gods, like Ixion. He is the first murder, and can be compared to Cain, who was also the first murder in the Christian religion. A lot of myths have their counterpart among other regions or religions.

Also, in this comic, we again see the fates only this time they are known as the Furies;  tormenting those who curse the gods. It’s very informative of the author to tell the reader that some characters have more than one name or purpose. We can see it also in Hekate as she addresses herself to Hermes,

“I am Hekate, companion to fair Demeter, who guided her through the night as she searched for missing Kore. I am Hekate, goddess of magic and witchcraft, who dwells at all places where two roads cross each other. I am Hekate, who wanders about with the souls of the dead, and whose approach is announced by the howling of dogs.”

This tells us that she is a goddess, she is a psychopompos like Hermes and somebody you can make a deal with when you’re desperate.

I liked the art of the Underworld, the characters turn paler in the Underworld and Persephone’s jewelry is made of insects. I like the change of color from a lighter, above ground, to a darker  underworld or when they go to see Helios in his shiny palace.  And the cover shows the two sides of the story; one cold with an angry Demeter, the other one with a happy Persephone and with Hades in the middle with Cerberus his loyal dog.  We can see the pomegranate in a shiny red that is the symbol of this story. You can see that the gods are taller than shades of average humans, making the reader think that when they come down from Mount Olympus they turn smaller to fit with the citizens.

I really liked these comics, they make me want to read or do more research of the Greek gods and their stories. Like, one comic tells you something that others didn’t or shows ou glimpses of the ones to come next.

I recommend you to read Hades: Lord of the Dead; you can see the underworld, an overprotective mother, a daughter that wants more freedom, and a man that is lonely in his realm. It’s good to read these old stories, sometimes they can teach us something new or give us a different view to problems in our world..

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*