Book: Perseus

Perseus: The Hunt for Medusa’s Head
Paul D. Storrie
illustrated by Thomas Yeates
2008 (Graphic Universe/Lerner)

It’s been theorized that the Greek heroes were early prototypes for the comic book superheroes of the modern era, so it’s not terribly surprising that the escapades of these ancient heroes are being translated to comic format. In this graphic novel adaption of the Perseus story we see his heroic tale from his birth to his death. The heroism of Perseus is showcased here as he saves his mother and wife and slays monsters with the help of gods and goddesses.

I found the female characters in this version to be different from their typical portrayals. Danae was shown as more passive. Usually the story states that she refuses King Polydectes on her own, that she is hiding from the king when Perseus returns because he is so furious at her refusal that he wants to kill her. This book had her hiding because the king was going to force her to marry him. The implications in other versions were that he couldn’t force her if she kept refusing, but in this one that doesn’t seem to be the case. Danae appears to be constantly in need of a man to protect and save her.

Andromeda is the other major female character in Perseus’s story. She normally doesn’t have much personality, we get told she’s chained to a rock to be eaten, but she has nothing to say about it. The Andromeda in this book, however, has lots of things to say. She gives a speech about how she must die for the good of her people and seems to wholeheartedly believe that, which makes one wonder why she is so pleased when she’s rescued. Wouldn’t being rescued mean that her people are still not safe from Poseidon? Then she rushes her wedding when she must know that her former fiance will be upset about this, again endangering her people. So we see a princess who says all the right things, but acts completely differently. It was confusing and disappointing.

I have really liked a number of the books from the Graphic Myths and Legends series, but I wasn’t as fond of this one. It was well told, but the women were re-written to be contradictory and weak. The women in Greek myths aren’t always strong, independent women to begin with, but neither Danae or Andromeda is usually this bad and so I fail to see why the changes were made. I’m afraid that I can’t recommend this one. There are better retellings of Greek myths than this out there – even some from this same series!

- Publisher’s Description

- Paul D. Storrie’s Website
- Thomas Yeates’s Website

- Buy it from Amazon

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