Olympia #2 Review

by Jay Hill on January 01, 2020

Story by: Curt Pires & Tony Pires
Written by: Curt Pires
Art by: Alex Diotto
Colors by: Dee Cunniffe
Lettered by: Micah Myers
Published by: Image Comics

And lo, a second issue emerges. Elon continues his quest to figure out how and why the hero of his favorite comic has fallen from the stars and onto Earth.

I may have never seen such a beautiful and well-done tribute to this era of comics. Even the “previously on” starts with a tribute to the man himself, Stan Lee. This issue releases just 4 days after what would have been his 97th birthday, it also ends with an ode to him (and a slight nod to Tarantino). Things like the “God Box” feels like something straight from Kirby’s Fourth World. As we see Olympian tumble through the cosmos, he sees, in his near unconscious state, his father giving him words of wisdom when he was younger. That moment from his, All-Father-esque, dad adds more nuance to this story that has so many different levels of being a “father and son” story. The craft of this comic is even more on display in this issue as it proves to be an incredibly thought out work of fiction. Olympian’s reaction to being a character in a comic book was fresh and believable. I’m glad they didn’t waste time on that kind of explanation scene, and it fits right in line with his character. The pacing of this book is just perfect, helping with the cinematic feel it has. The use of the “real” comic and The Comics Journal plays with the meta nature of the comic so well and feels natural. I feel like I should mention the pacing again because every second of this issue flows wonderfully. The beginning look back at how Olympian got to Earth adds a new sentimentality to him, then we get a quick and humorous interaction between Elon and Olympian, then to the comic shop where we see pages from an issue of “Olympia” with some fantastically classic feeling dialogue, then the reveal of what happened to the comic and how Elon can fix that, then we’re soaring through the sky to finally be brought back down to Earth with the perfect cliffhanger. Curt Pires has credit as the scripter and so I applaud him because it is the scripting that made this such a phenomenal issue.

The story seems to have found the unquestionable best person to bring it to life. I said this in my review for the first issue, but I have never seen an artist be able to channel Kirby so well. And, it’s definitely a channeling of the king and not an imitation because Alex Ditto’s art has a flair completely his own. From the first shots of Olympian in the cosmos with great uses of red in the background by Dee Cunniffe, and that creepy face. Then, the next shots of Olympian and the God Box with Diotto posing Olympian almost messiah-like with Kirby Krackle around him, Cunniffe coloring the metallic tendrils and the crimson cosmos, and some unique lettering by Micah Myers. Finally, we get the payoff of Olympia fully suited in his Celestial Armor. That shot might have been worth the price of admission alone. But, the highlight for me was the battle scene between Vilayne and Olympian. All the shots of the comic-in-the-comic are breathtaking. The dialogue in the scene is great, but Pires knows when to add scenes of just action to tell the story through visual means, and the art team knows exactly how to execute them. I can’t overstate how great that entire “Olympia” segment is. The cover they created for the fictional TCJ cover was brilliant, the scene of Elon and Olympian in the sky was, too. And, in a comic that has another comic in it, we get to see the black and whites for a page of it; this is such a good ode to the medium. Then the colors, lettering, writing, and art all come together for the last page to end on a low note for the character involved, but a high note for the creativity of the book.

This is a great comic. This book is filled with heart that is felt in every panel. This is not just an ode to the medium comic fans love, but it’s one of the best stories currently being told in it. This is comic books in excelsis. I highly recommend this book.

Our Score:


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