Experience the propulsive love story of two Greek gods—Hades and Persephone—brought to life with lavish artwork and an irresistible contemporary voice.
Scandalous gossip, wild parties, and forbidden love—witness what the gods do after dark in this stylish and contemporary reimagining of one of mythology’s most well-known stories from creator Rachel Smythe. Featuring a brand-new, exclusive short story, Smythe’s original Eisner-nominated web-comic Lore Olympus brings the Greek Pantheon into the modern age with this sharply perceptive and romantic graphic novel.
I’m a huge fan of the Hades and Persephone story from Greek Mythology, but I’m always cautious when it comes to modern interpretations. I worry that well-meaning creators might try to critique the ancient tale through a contemporary lens, which could potentially render it completely unacceptable. Personally, I prefer adaptations that focus on a woman discovering her own power, finding her place on her own terms, and taking control of her own destiny. Of course, a steamy romance never hurts either. So, when I came across “Lore Olympus” when I was trying to find a new Webtoon to read, that’s when I decided to start it one evening. Well, guess what? I ended up devouring the whole thing in one sitting and immediately bought more coins to unlock the rest of the available episodes. Safe to say, I absolutely loved “Lore Olympus”
This comic series, “Lore Olympus,” is a long-running webcomic that skillfully tackles the story of Persephone’s abduction with modern sensibilities, a healthy dose of soap opera flair, and a slow-burning romance between two fascinating, complex, and likable Greek deities. First, we have Hades, the brooding and emotionally scarred King of the Underworld. In this rendition, Hades is a corporate overlord who lives a solitary life, tolerates his more carefree brothers Zeus and Poseidon, adores his vast collection of dogs, and carries the weight of his past traumas as the son of Kronos. Then there’s Persephone, the goddess of Spring, who has recently come into her own. She leaves behind her sheltered life in the Mortal Realm to become roommates with Artemis on Olympus, embarking on her studies and reluctantly beginning her journey to maintain her maidenhood and devotion to purity. Through a series of coincidences and the meddling of other gods, Hades and Persephone cross paths, igniting a very slow-burning romance. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of a captivating web that introduces well-known deities, updated interpretations of various myths, and a tale of two individuals with an unbreakable connection discovering truths about each other and themselves. “Volume One” serves as a foundation, introducing a sprawling cast of characters and various settings, all infused with heart, humor, and an array of emotions. I adored delving into the lives of Persephone and Hades, witnessing their aspirations, the gradual growth of their friendship, and the layers of their personalities being peeled back. Hades, with his melancholy and brooding demeanor, won me over completely. And Persephone, effervescent, charming, and dare I say edgy, captivated me from the start. I relished the teasing glimpses into their characters, revealing the depths they possess. Rachel Smythe takes her time, carefully crafting the romance that is sure to blossom between these two, and their interactions bring pure joy to the page.
Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed was the way Smythe weaves in various figures from Greek Mythology, reimagining them within this contemporary remix of the lore. We encounter delightful modern interpretations of familiar characters. For example, Zeus and Poseidon dragging Hades to rowdy brunches, Artemis being a well-meaning yet condescending roommate, and Eros stumbling through his own messy romantic entanglements (I’m thrilled to see hints of his complicated relationship with Psyche, my other favorite myth). But Smythe also explores the darker side of certain characters, turning them on their heads and revealing a more sinister nature. The prime example of this is Apollo, whose golden boy reputation masks a personality dripping with malevolent privilege. However, my absolute favorite transformation was Hera, the long-suffering wife of Zeus. In traditional mythology, she’s often portrayed as a shrew. Yet, in “Lore Olympus,” she possesses a nastiness stemming from profound unhappiness, extending beyond her philandering husband. I can’t express enough how much I adore Hera in this series.
Finally, the artwork is utterly charming. Smythe employs a style that easily connects with readers, transitioning effortlessly between cartoonish and quirky humor to breathtaking imagery. The masterful use of color enhances the visuals, and I can’t help but admire the character designs.
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