Once again Cat-Scratch digs into comics past to bring us a synopsis and review of an older comic.Athena issue #1 of 14 plus a 0 issue series.
Published by ? in 1995.
Story Written by A.M.Works (Antarctic Press)
Written And Drawn by Dean Hsieh
The Story :
The story opens with news going about that "Her" has finally been fired. "Her" we quickly learn is the
Goddess Athena when we see her getting dumped off, quite literally by Hermes and his bus. She believes
she's been left in the city of her choice and name, Pan Athens, but instead, Hermes has dumped her in Crete.
She is not a happy person.
Two years have passed and it is now the year 2047 in the city of Pan Athens. Athena and her rock band,
Serpenteena are cranking it out in their first city gig. Sadly for them, they go over like a lead balloon.
Kallie the bassist for the band tries to cheer up Athena, the singer and lead guitar, but she doesn't really
succeed in this. Dionysus and Herma also attempt cheer up Athena in regards to the performance, but still,
Athena is only interested in the free booze at the bar. At the bar she's met by the leader of the Hercules Gang.
It seems he wants to pass more then just a complement on Athena and chooses to show this by groping her breasts.
Athena is now in a killing rage. She gives more then just food for thought, but then fight moves to outside
the bar via a window. As in Athena being thrown through it and of course, she is now slowly loosing the fight.
BUT, Dionysus and Kallie are there to pull a drive-by save. A rather cute one.
Later, at Athena and Kallie's apartment and after tending to Athena's wounds, Dionysus announces that a
party he's decide to throw in celebration for the first gig the band has played, is about to begin, there.
Athena is not amused, seeing it as nothing more then an excuse for him and is "pervie friends" to hang out,
since, as she points out, his club is closed for renovations. Jay the band's drummer arrives with Herma just
as Kallie begins to speculate aloud if he knows what Herma really is.....and the party goers arrive with that
sadly perfect timing. Eventually the party ends with Kallie, drunk as a skunk, confronting Athena on her past
and how it is that she could heal so quickly and why be so mysterious about herself. Athena decides to tell her,
with Jay in earshot... she's THE Goddess Athena, kicked out of Olympus as a new group of gods are setting up
shop there. She, like all the others, have been downsized and retired ot the Earth. Dionysus and Herma are
also identified as being gods too and a part of Athena's family, after being asked about the insignia on her
artificial arm. Kallie reacts by running to the washroom....to "yawn" away the night's festivities. Jay takes
it in, but states his doubts to the claim during which Athena chooses to look out a window....only to be met
with a naked Dionysus, at first hanging upside down and then entering through the window.
Athena is now in a killing rage.
The Review :
For a first issue AND my first issue the series, it was a wonderfully fun little read. I've always liked the
independent titles and this little black and white shot at a manga style charmed me. It also helped that
I'm a manga fan too for my enjoyment and interest.
The art is typical of the many attempts to capture the style and vibe of the manga genre and I would give this
one a top rating in that. The art work is simple and clean but filled with enough style and solid story telling
in it for me to want to stick around for the whole issue plus the rest of the series. Think of the animated
Teen Titans TV series, but with a little bit more of a conservative approach to the style. I wouldn't be surprised
if Mr.Hsieh worked on that series. Nice clean stuff.
The story itself was typical in the manga genre style too. Slow build with a "steady beat". I thought it was
a great introduction to the main characters, well most of them anyway, plus in giving the gist of the series.
I was easily sold on the "down and out of work goddess" bit, complete with the bad ass but melancholy main
character of Athena. As an old student of mythology, I thought the series and this start up of it, captured the
basics rather well of those old gods. The fun is cute and the characters hard not to take a liking too.
Nothing too fussy or to attempting in the first issue, but in retrospect of the series, a good first chapter.
Perhaps a little formula, but definitely a good use.
I ended up following the whole series back then and really have yet to regret it. So I consider it as a
recommendable title for those interested in the manga genre sort of style of North American comics as well as
for those whom like a well paced story with a start, middle and an ending. You know, unlike most of the
mainstream stuff of late. I believe it can be still found in collected volumes as well as the back issues
themselves could be found in the quarter bins. Some may find it worth the hunt, some may not, but........sick
of super-heroes but want some fantasy that isn't stereotypical? Get it.