Rating: 4/5 – If You’re a Fan of Greek Mythology, Look for This Comic!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
Cadmus #1 was a pleasant surprise for me at my local comic shop this week. It’s a book I completely missed noticing in Previews, even though I spend a few hours looking though it each month, so I’m glad it’s a comic that my local shop stocked so I could buy it off the rack. If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Cadmus (like I was) this comic presents a pretty straight retelling of the myth, with a few differences, from the version that I subsequently looked up online before writing this review. But the thing with myths is that there are numerous versions floating around after several thousand years.
Sam Beck is both writer and artist of this tale that brings Cadmus, founder of Thebes, to colorful life in the 17 pages of this comic adaption of the myth. Beck does a nice job setting the stage with a family tree and text page prologue that sets the stage for the story, before diving into the story with the inciting event of Zeus abducting Cadmus’ sister Europa. The events of many years are compressed into the 17 pages of the comic ably illustrated in a very clean art style that I found very well suited to the story. I liked his page design and was particularly fond of the scroll work he added to the top and bottom of each page. I had a bit of an issue with how the story flowed near the end, it seemed rushed, but there’s only so much that can be done in 17 pages. Beck did add in 4 pages at the back with bios of characters and one key item, the Necklace of Harmonia, that is featured in some versions of the myth but didn’t make it into the main story here. Another thing that Beck could have added that would be of help to some readers would be a pronunciation guide to various characters and places. Eric Shanower provides this in his “Age of Bronze” comics and that’s where I learned the pronunciation of most of the names presented here.
Cadmus is a tale of the times when gods walked the earth regularly interacting with humans; helping them, vexing them, in some cases marrying them, in others just leaving them with children out of wedlock. If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, this is a must read comic. It tells a tales that I’ve never seen before in comics, so is likely not one of the more common ones and I’ve read my fair share of tales of this type. This comic is from one of the smaller publishers and is a niche topic, so it may not be on the rack at every comic shop, but it’s worth asking your shop to place a reorder for a copy if this sounds interesting to you!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
https://comicspectrum.com/ By Fans who Love Comics for Fans who Love Comics