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: 80,666
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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Zeus: King of the Gods 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kids love Greek mythology and this is an accessible and appealing graphic novel adaptation, complete with back matter that made my heart skip a beat. Reading this first book made me want to run out and get the rest of the series. Loved it! One beef? Why do all the human-looking gods have to be light-skinned?
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: I am a huge fan of Greek mythology.This tells the tale of creation from the Greek mythological point of view up to the birth of Zeus. Then it follows Zeus's story, how he battles his father Kronos to become King of the Gods and the founding of the home for the Olympians on Mount Olympus.Fantastic first book in a new ongoing series retelling the Greek myths. The story here is very well represented going right back to the beginning with Gaea, The Cyclopes, The Hekatonchieres and the Titans even before the birth of Zeus. This part of Greek mythology is often confusing to children (I never could understand it as a kid) and the graphic representation, especially of the Titans and the Hekatonchieres with their fifty heads and one hundred hands, is the ideal format for telling this myth. This story is also hardly ever included in children's Greek Myth collections and I've read many such collections over the last 16 years to my children. I feel quite confident in saying the author has done a brilliant job of re-telling Zeus' story in an exciting format. The illustrations are dark and unusual as to fit the subject matter from Kronos and the eating of his children to Zeus' final battle with his father. The book ends with the final destinies of those who came before Zeus and looks forward with a frame of Zeus with his Queen, brothers and sisters, and his children preparing us for the next volume. There is also some extra info at the end with an Author's Note, Fact pages on four characters, a Notes section referenced to pages and panels and finally a further reading section both for younger and older readers. I'm very impressed. This is a keeper for me and I'd highly recommend it as a library purchase.
MelyDely on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the first book of the Olympians series. This story is about a young god, Zeus, and his dangerous plan to overthrow his father, Kronos.A great book for every greek myth lover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
Zeus: King of The Gods What I got out of the book was that you can learn about complicated story lines and plot through entertaining pictures. The author writes about Zeus¿s back story and how he later becomes king of the Greek gods and rules over the old world. Greek mythology is filled with heroes and monsters of different sorts so I find it rather fascinating, but also rather complex. With various names and various personalities¿ Greek tales and myths is fun to read and learn about. With unsuspecting turns and plots it opens the reader to a whole new world of magnificent culture and ideas that can be related back to our own society. For example Zeus is a man with super human strength but he has an ego and still makes mistakes like most regular people. I find Zeus one of the more exciting and interesting of Greek tales. His father Kronos tries to be rid of his children for fear that they will one day over throw him. Zeus¿s mother loved her children so much and couldn¿t bear to see Kronos swallow all of them for fear of revolution, that she hides her last child and sends Zeus to safety. Zeus grows up to become strong and in touch with his godly powers and later soon learned to master them. He then decides to confront his father and fight him to overthrow his corruption. Zeus frees his brothers and sisters by making Kronos cough up all the children born before him. They help Zeus to fight against Kronos and the titans. Zeus also releases the Cyclopes that Kronos and the titans had imprisoned in Tarturas or the underworld. Their war lasted many years and changed the face of the world. Finally Zeus and his force defeated the titans and dammed them to darkness in the deepest hole of the earth forever, leaving the gods to rule in their place. After defeating their father, Zeus and his family made their home on the tallest mountain left standing from the war. This mountain was called Mount Olympus. As far as tales go, this legacy will never end because elements of their culture have taken root in many aspects of our society. For example, Zeus still remains as a traditional representation of power today. This is why I find Greek mythology so fascinating, because it is timeless. Additionally, it is much easier to understand in graphic novel form.
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