Writer: Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad
Art: Caitlin Yarsky and Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: August 23rd, 2022
Zeus, keep Hippolyta’s name out of your mouth! In Olympus Rebirth #1, Hippolyta ascends to godhood and finds the gods aren’t what they used to be. As some of them change their appearance and behavior, Hippolyta clashes with Zeus and journeys into the bowels of Tartarus to rescue one of the pantheons. Just about every Greek god makes an appearance here, it’s like cocaine for Greek mythology addicts.
Hippolyta goes through a character arc in Olympus Rebirth #1, arriving in Olympus as an impressionable neophyte and ending the story as a warrior god as powerful in Olympus as she was on Earth. It’s not easy transitioning from a mortal life to godhood, but Hippolyta, as always, handles things with the perfect balance of her head and her heart, even managing to defuse Artemis’s rage at one point.
Speaking of Artemis, she’s one of the gods who have decided to change their look and Artemis’s redesign is my favorite of all of them. She looks like she walked out of a Tim Burton film (good Tim Burton, not later, awful Tim Burton), with antlers adorning her head, a spear always in her hands, black shade circling around her eyes and down her cheeks, and a fur top that’s split down the front, revealing a “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue” level of cleavage. She’s pure dynamite.
Athena, Hestia, and Demeter also redesigned themselves, and they also each have wonderfully unique new looks.
We get to see most of the other Greek gods in this issue too, lounging around and doing their thing. Some, like Lady Justice and Hermes, give Hippolyta advice and information, which rouses her to action and ultimately has her confronting Zeus. It’s a great scene between her and Zeus and shows how powerful Hippolyta can be.
And don’t forget about Hera. She’s here too, and as manipulative and borderline insane as usual. But unlike Zeus, she’s got smarts, and she manipulates things in the background. She’s very malevolent here, with her mountainous Queen Elizabeth the First hairstyle and casual cruelty.
Hippolyta’s thirst for justice and her worldview of good and evil come into play many times throughout this issue. She’s a square peg in a round hole, with most of the gods living in moral gray areas that have no room for her, and it’s pretty inspiring watching Hippolyta stay true to herself as most of the gods look down on her “antiquated” views. She leaps into action many times in this issue, and it’s always a joy to watch her fight for what she believes in.
Caitlin Yarsky’s art on Olympus Rebirth #1 is magnificent, perfectly capturing the classical feel of a tale set in Olympus.
Each of the gods are drawn with its own individual postures, gestures, and style, and at times the panels look straight out of an ancient Greek painting.
In one splash page, as Hermes arrives at the Palace Olympia to announce that Hippolyta has arrived, the gods lay about relaxing, and as Hermes hovers above them, it’s a beautiful scene that, even without dialogue, would instantly show you the personality of each god.
Hera’s hairstyle needs to be seen to be believed and she’s drawn with wild fiery eyes. Hippolyta herself is drawn with noble features. Her distaste for the other gods and her fury in combat shines through in every panel. It’s amazing work and enhances the story a hundredfold.
Olympus Rebirth #1 is a fantastic story, showing Hippolyta’s journey to Olympus, her ascension to godhood, her conflicts with the other gods, and her quest to Tartarus.
Even those who aren’t well-versed in Greek mythology will love the combination of action and drama here, but fans of Greek mythology will delight even more in spending time with this version of the Greek pantheon, one of the best versions I’ve seen in ages. Highly recommended.