Poseidon: Earth Shaker
George O'Connor
ISBN 9781596437388
First Second/Roaring Brook , 2013.
5 stars
Keywords: earth-shaker george graphic-novels greek-myths olympians

Poseidon: Earth Shaker
by George O'Connor

This fifth book in the Olympians series from author-artist George O'Connor lives up to the exceedingly high standards he set with his launch title, Zeus. Each entry stands alone, but O'Connor also rewards fans of the series with references that allow connections between the Olympians' stories.

Here he begins, "The war against the first gods, the Titans, had just ended." Readers who've been with O'Connor since the beginning will get the reference to Zeus, and those just entering the series need no further explanation as Poseidon begins his narrative. An opening sequence of panel illustrations establishes Poseidon's power over the seas, and his hatred for Odysseus because he blinded Poseidon's son. O'Connor uses his palette and panel layouts to clearly delineate past and present, when Poseidon flashes back to the story of each of his offspring's birth. A central thread involves his child with Aethra of Troezen, Theseus. Poseidon tells the legend of the Minotaur (and connects it back to Hera's story). Expanding images cleverly lay out Theseus's impossible task of surviving the labyrinth, were it not for some key tools from Ariadne (a sword and spool of thread). O'Connor riffs on this visual motif with a series of vertical panels that brilliantly conveys the shift of power from the Minotaur to Theseus in their climactic conflict.

Detailed endnotes help readers connect other references between Poseidon's story and other entries in the cartoonist's tales of the Olympians. A suspenseful, gripping addition to a stellar series.

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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