Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians Series #1)

Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians Series #1)

by George O'Connor


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George O'Connor is a Greek mythology buff and a classic superhero comics fan, and he's out to remind us how much our pantheon of superheroes (Superman, Batman, the X-Men, etc) owes to mankind's ORIGINAL superheroes: the Greek pantheon.

In OLYMPIANS, O'Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren't sedate, scholarly works. They're action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O'Connor's vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.

Volume 1 of OLYMPIANS, ZEUS: King OF THE GODS, introduces readers to the ruler of the Olympian Pantheon, telling his story from his boyhood to his ascendance to supreme power. This title has Common Core connections.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596434318
Publisher: First Second
Publication date: 01/05/2010
Series: George O'Connor's Olympians Series , #1
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 57,091
Product dimensions: 7.56(w) x 10.02(h) x 0.29(d)
Lexile: GN640L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 14 Years

About the Author

George O'Connor is an author, illustrator and cartoonist. His first graphic novel, Journey Into Mohawk Country, used as its sole text the actual historical journal of the seventeenth-century Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, and told the true story of how New York almost wasn't. He followed that up with Ball Peen Hammer, the first graphic novel written by playwright Adam Rapp, a dark, dystopian view of a society's collapse. Now he has brought his attention to Olympians, an ongoing series retelling the classic Greek myths in comics form. In addition to his graphic novel career, O'Connor has published several children's picture books, including the New York Times best-selling Kapow, Sally and the Some-Thing, and Uncle Bigfoot. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The first six pages establish the setting of the story, relying on lots of space and few words. How does this choice convey the setting? How would you rewrite those first few pages if you could rely only on words to convey the same feeling? If you were making a movie, what would the music for this scene sound like?

Gaea is female. Does this surprise you? Why or why not? Do you think of the Earth as being either male or female? How about God?

Page 4–5: It's strange that the gods of time were ageless. They are also described as tall and beautiful, but somehow they have siblings who are ugly and horrible. What do you make of this? Does O'Connor offer an explanation? Look at all the places where time is mentioned—what's the big deal with time? How many Titans were there? Can you name them and list their characteristics?

Page 14–15: These two pages are visually very striking. Page 14 has just one panel with a full picture of Zeus in front of some mountains. Then on page 15, we see many panels, each with a small piece of Zeus. Why do you think O'Connor chose to do this? What effect does it have?

There are many women in Zeus's life. Who are they and how do they influence him?

Page 30: There are no words on this page. Why? Would you add words? If so, what would they be?

How does the myth of Zeus explain why our continents are laid out the way they are? What is a modern explanation?

Size, scale, and time are hugely important in the story of Zeus, and O'Connor's art takes full advantage of this in his drawings, for example, page 41. Where else do size and time matter?

Page 62: "But Zeus had too much of his father in him." Compare this to page 10: Who else had too much of his father in him? What does this mean? How are fathers and sons depicted in this story?

This book ends after a series of great battles. Much has changed for Zeus and his family. And yet, there is still a great deal of tension. What do you think will happen next? Why?

Was Zeus real? What other ancient Greek heroes have you heard of? Which are "real?" How do myths blur the lines between gods and people?

There is a whole lot of family drama in Zeus's life. If he's a god, why can't he just solve this nonsense? Which other family members could be seen as part of the problem? Is there a family member you would expect might be more helpful?

Several times we are told, "That's a story for another day." What do you make of this? What effect does this self conscious appearance of the narrator have on the story?

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