How could it have taken five years to see a graphic-novel adaptation of such a successful property as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and one that, with its heroic destinies and epic action, seems tailor-made to the format? Riordan’s original, like Harry Potter as if reimagined by Neil Gaiman, hits all the straightforward archetypes, with young Percy Jackson clued into the secret that he’s actually the son of Greek god Poseidon, then educated at Camp Half-Blood with the other illegitimate demigods before embarking on a hero’s journey to stop a war of the Olympians. But Riordan also injected a sense of thorny reality with twists like Percy’s good-for-nothing stepfather and the entrance to Hades residing in a soulless Los Angeles. Where the slick and flashy movie version failed, Venditti’s sharp-edged writing and Futaki’s gritty and unprecious art capture the same sense of grunge amid the wonder. A timely release that can be recommended with George O’Connor’s recent Olympians graphic novels, proving that while five years may seem too long, at least the wait was worth it. Grades 6-9. --Jesse Karp
About the Author
Rick Riordan (www.rickriordan.com) is the author of The Kane Chronicles, Book One: The Red Pyramid as well as all the books in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief; The Sea of Monsters; The Titan's Curse; The Battle of the Labyrinth; and The Last Olympian. His previous novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons.
Robert Venditti (www.robertvenditti.com) is the creator and author of The Surrogates and its prequel, The Surrogates: Flesh and Bone. In addition to creating comics, he works at Top Shelf Productions. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Attila Futaki (pencils and inks) has illustrated Sprial (Editions Carabas, June 2008) and the forthcoming The Strange Folks (2010), as well as a number of book covers and interiors. He studied at the International School of Comics in Florence. He lives in Budapest, Hungary.