Olympians: Ares, Bringer of War, by George O’Connor ISBN 9781626720138
Five out of five stars
The Iliad is one of the classic works of literature in western civilization and it should be read by everyone with a desire to be educated. One of the underlying themes of the story is the involvement of the Greek gods, some aligned with the Greeks and others with the Trojans. It was a long war, there were times when the besieging Greeks almost boarded their ships and left for home.
Ares (Mars to the Romans) was the Greek god of war, not of tactics, that was the domain of Athena, the goddess of martial skills. His realm was that of fear, terror and bloodshed, where men colored the soil red with their blood. Ares’ lust for such things is demonstrated on page 11 when Iris visits him while he is on the battlefield. When she asks, “Have you had your fill of bloodshed, god of war?” his response is, “No. It’s never enough.”
This graphic novel follows the course of the last chapters of the Trojan War, as the Greek gods went from quarreling among themselves to losing interest and Troy was finally destroyed. At the end, when mighty Zeus asks Ares once again if his love of bloodshed has been satiated. Ares’ response is the same that he gave Iris. Ares also accuses Zeus of orchestrating the war so that the gods would quarrel and he could consolidate his power.
The fighting among the gods that often includes mortals is a powerful theme that is well played in this graphic novel. It is an excellent introduction to the story of the Trojan War as well as the Greek view of how their gods possess the emotions of humans and will actively intervene in human affairs when it serves their interests. Both on Earth as well as in the realm of the gods. This is a book that would be an excellent resource for the study of the Greek civilization as well as their view of the role of deities.