I have been honored to be both reader and reviewer for ODY-C since I picked up the first, eye-catching issue. If you’ve been following Matt Fraction and Christian Ward’s unique series with me, you know that it’s hard not to take a quick peek inside to see just what kind of story would breed such visceral and kinetic artwork. In case the name “Matt Fraction” didn’t already mean something to you, that is. It appears that the second arc of this series is coming to a close, and judging by the finality of this issue, my worst fear that this is the end of this comic may be coming true.

READ: Feeling behind? Check out our review of ODY-C #8!

For the entirety of my reading experience, I have forewarned those SEX CRIMINALS fans that ODY-C is much more of an intellectual commitment in that it becomes so much more than just a repro of Homer’s classic. Similarly, though, ODY-C explores the depths of love, war, and sex as themes in history, literature, and narratives overall. Thus far, Fraction and Ward have found incredibly unique ways of breathing new life into the old tales that we know and love like 1001 NIGHTS and THE ODYSSEY. From these old narratives, they’ve bred a hybrid in ODY-C by incorporating the old themes and ideologies in new fantastical ways. Superficially speaking, ODY-C is a sci-fi, psychedelic trip–in more than one sense of the word–in a reality that not only spreads into the vastness of space but also has women as a sex holding dominion over men. Therein lies the chance to tell new, original stories born out of old and classic ones.

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While the beauty of Christian Ward’s artistic execution is undeniable, as well as the skill in Matt Fraction’s creative storytelling, this team has created something incomparable to any other comic series gracing our stands. While ODY-C’s narratives have been a tad unconventional, it has shown that certain themes will continue to compel, regardless of how different or unique the story might be. The tenth–possibly last–issue of ODY-C really hits home on the importance of storytelling not only within the context of it saving He and the boy he protected from certain death by the twin brothers, Hyrar and Zhaman of Q’af, but also in the lesson that can be found in every story told.

LISTEN: If you’re into nonconventional comics, check out what we have to say about Alison Bechdel’s autobiography, FUN HOME!

Like many stories, Fraction and Ward manage to add layers upon layers to the meaning of their narratives, telling stories within stories. We began this series with the simple fact that Witchjack Odyssia, our compelling lady-warrior permutation of Odysseus, wants to trek home after the long Troiian War. We now have come full circle in that we end with Queen and Captain Ene (representative of Menalaus, Husband of the Helen of Troy/He of Troiia) having to examine her actions beside other great women in the eyes of the divine. “Hubris and blood?” Is Ene’s initial conclusion to what, why or how she was being punished by Proteus.

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In another parallel narrative, the boy and He of Troiia evade death another night by intriguing Hyrar and Zhaman with the story of Wolf, the rapacious barbarian, and the goddess of whores. The connection between these two stories is that both lay claim to our beloved characters in blood and violence but also provide the hope that a turn of the page can hold in anyone’s reading experience. The blood spilt by great Odyssia and Ene did not bring them the peace or salvation they sought in the wake of war. What saves He and the boy is the myriad of stories and the seductive pull to know what’s to come next.

Even the narrator, the fellow traveler of Queen Ene, survives and only has a story left to share. Life, history, and mythology are all cyclical narratives, bound with destruction or endings only to bear creation and beginnings. “And thus, does blood beget blood.” Fraction and Ward were able to beautifully convey this lesson within their very own story, not only convincing the reader that ODY-C is, indeed, a good story, but also that a good story can truly save a life. If you haven’t given this series a chance, please reconsider and let yet another story bring you life.

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