Ares: Bringer of War
Ares, personification of war, is brought to life in this electrifying graphic novel by George O’Connor. Part of his Olympians series, in this installment Ares is described through his interactions with humans that he and the other Greek gods watch in the closing of the Trojan War. It is a unique presentation, and a very enjoyable one.
Ares, bloodthirsty and insatiable, nevertheless is shown to care for his son Askalaphos, a Greek warrior. The human war is echoed on Olympus, and the gods interfere in human events, in an intertwined storyline. Not only does the novel offer characterizations of the gods, but also a brief outline of the Illiad; this is an excellent narrative device and paints Ares as much more nuanced and complex, even tender, certainly not an unfeeling brute interested only in glory and death. The drawings are bold and dramatic, frequently bloody (this is about war, after all), although not gratuitously so, and packed with action. The conflicts between the Greek gods are always exciting, and O’Connor’s illustrations irresistibly intensify the drama; anyone who has any interest in the Olympians (and who doesn’t?) will love the portrait of Ares found in this book.