From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up It is nearly impossible to condense such an enormous story into 123 pages, but Mucci manages to hit all of the action-packed highlights. These include many of the adventures that Odysseus had on his long voyage back home from the Trojan War, such as his dangerous encounters with Circe, Calypso, the lotus-eaters, the Cyclops, and the sirens, as well as his detour into Hades. The colorful artwork skillfully captures the dynamic action, and artistic touches like making the gods translucent in the world of men are especially eye-catching. With its fast pace and cartoony yet cinematic artwork, this adaptation will entice reluctant readers. In a bit of savvy marketing, the last page directs readers to the Action Cartooning website to learn more about the story of Odysseus and to see additional artwork, which should generate interest in the other books in the series. Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
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*Starred Review* It is not a stretch to consider Odysseus history's first action hero, with the derring-do spirit of comics and summer blockbusters founded on his exploits. But the similarity ends just beneath the surface. Odysseus' quest is simply to get home and put his house in order. The enemies he battles are merely impediments to that homecoming and the greatest virtue of his day: fealty to the gods. While his might and wit are on display against the cyclops, his trials were mainly resistance against the temptations of Circe and Calypso. Crucially, Odysseus was a husband and father, fuelled by his sense of responsibility. This All-Action Classics adaptation (following bang-up versions of Tom Sawyer and Dracula, both 2008) brings these themes out unobtrusively but brilliantly in a crackling adventure that also penetrates the recesses of the human heart, in contrast to Marvel's recent adaptation, which created a fun and precise but more sensationalist version that pushed the story's elements of sexuality. Here, Caldwell's art has the force and vibrant life of a Samurai Jack cartoon, and especially comes alive in the weird purple light of the Underworld and in the nightmarish sea creature Scylla. The best yet of the Homer graphic-novel adaptations, which are coming fast and furious in this format. Grades 5-8. --Jesse Karp
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