Lord of the Dead

Graphic Novel - 2012
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Hades: Lord of the Dead tells the story of the great God of the Underworld and one of the most famous of all Greek myths: Hades' abduction of Persephone and her mother's revenge. Be prepared to see a new side of Persephone in this dynamic adaptation of the story of the creation of the seasons.
Publisher: New York :, First Second,, [2012]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781596434349
Branch Call Number: GN J OCON
Characteristics: 76 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm.


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caleherreman Jun 12, 2020

This book is a good example of why I love this series of graphic novels. George O'Connor takes the source material seriously, but reckons honestly with how each of these stories often has many contradictory versions, and how their origin often marks them as written from a male-centric perspective. He gives each character their due, whether male, female, Gorgon, giant, or other, with understandable motivations.

This volume revolves around the kidnapping of Persephone by Hades. You may recall that the girl's grieving mother prevented anything from growing on the earth. But how did Persephone herself feel? What did she want? This telling of a familiar story gives that character agency and an opportunity to choose her own future that is denied her in every version I am familiar with.

Mar 20, 2020

Another great one in this series, the myth is told from Persephone's point of view. Really good writing and artwork. Also I enjoy the "G(r)eek Notes" at the end of each volume.

Feb 04, 2018

There are a couple of myths I can't stop thinking about, and one of them is the myth of Persephone, daughter of the harvest goddess Demeter and wife of Hades, lord of the realm of the dead. She is everything from a symbol of the transition from childhood to adulthood to an explanation for why the seasons change (well, at least in temperate climates). In more obscure (older?) stories, she also plays an important role in the story of Dionysus, which makes sense in light of the cycle of life/death/rebirth that both divinities embody... but that might be another story for another day.

Every version of the story that I have ever read features a young girl who is completely without agency. For the most part, Demeter doesn't have any either. She reacts in rage, but ultimately she must comply with the will of her brothers Zeus and Hades (and in some versions even Poseidon). This myth embodies the tension between men and women in the ancient civilization and to some extent also our own.

If anyone else has ever been bothered by that, you're going to love George O'Connor's version.

Persephone is kidnapped by Hades, Demeter grieves and the earth turns barren, Helios tells her about the collusion between Zeus and Hades, Persephone comes back but only for half of the year. Yada yada yada- every major plot point you remember is there. It's what O'Connor fills around them that makes this delicious.

Ask yourself: how many young girls want to be so tightly held by their mothers? What kind of a goddess is willing to destroy mankind in vengeance for the loss of her daughter? And if someone were offered a throne, how many people would willingly say no? Sunlight is warmer than the underworld, but sometimes warmth is stifling.

It's not all Hades and Persephone's love affair. As O'Connor hinted a few months ago, we also get to see why Tantalus is related to the word "tantalize". Importantly, O'Connor isn't just throwing that in here because we're talking about Hades and Tartarus. In most versions of the myth, Demeter's behavior is, um, anti-social because she's distracted by her search for her daughter. I loved the way O'Connor followed the strings of those two stories about starvation, human sacrifice and cannibalism. In this version, Tantalus is an indirect contributor to the resolution of the story, and it makes sense.

At the risk of being presumptuous, I'm going to disagree with O'Connor's characterization of Hades as "emo". For me, that conjures up images of a darkly dressed Hamlet moping through his palace, unsure of what to do next. Hades is darkly dressed, and we could argue he mopes. But Hades, too, has agency, and here it is as meaningful as Persephone's. And what good is a myth if it doesn't provide us with meaning?

FindingJane Dec 01, 2014

In Greek mythology, the gods often abducted women when they took a fancy to them. Ravishment (never called rape) usually followed. This was considered normal and possibly accepted as a god’s due. But what of the women? What did they ever have to say about this kind of behavior? The myths are curiously silent on this matter, an omission that no doubt irks modern female readers. Mr. O’Connor’s tale didn’t initially set out to redress this imbalance; it was meant to be the tale of Hades and how he acquired his bride. But something amazing happens. Persephone (née Kore) gradually takes center stage as she fights to asser herself against a domineering mother and a cold-blooded suitor. Hades is revealed to have a solid core of kindness. His love for his stolen bride shines through as does his tender-hearted care of her. But it is the females who dominate in this tale. The Furies warn Kore, Ceres searches unceasingly for her lost daughter and Hekate is the one who leads Ceres to learn the truth about her abducted child. We read about Kore’s growth from angry daughter to loving, caring spouse. With her newfound maturity, she calms her raging mother and soothes the heart of the god who desires her. The illustrations are also good. They are sumptuous if not big on detail (a field of wheat looks mainly like a large mass of ochre). But the action, storyline and individual voices of the characters are well crafted. Shading, color and wording are expertly crafted to tell this ancient story. This is a very thoughtful re-imaging of the abduction of Persephone, one which I thoroughly enjoyed and believe is more than relevant for contemporary readers.

orange_dolphin_185 Jul 20, 2014

graphic novel on greek mythology

Mark_Daly Aug 06, 2013

O'Connor once again surprises with a teen-oriented, more relatable take on the Persephone fable. The spooky Hades tends to remain a cypher in retellings of the Olympus myths, but O'Connor manages to make him believable as a character as well.

Sidewinder88 Sep 15, 2012

Really good series. Its nice to see this particular myth show a bit of Persephone's point of view. O'Connor did a really good job, can't wait for the next one!

TheAfricanPrince Jul 10, 2012

This Series inspieres me to start reading the Percy Jackson series and I'am loving it. I highly recommend Percy Jackson to you guys.

derekivie May 08, 2012

If you are a Greek mythology fan you will love this book. Learn the actual stories of the gods who once ruled over the world in this cool graphic novel form.

unbalancedbutfair Apr 24, 2012

This entire series by O'conner is excellent. Not just an excellent graphic depiction of greek mythos, but simply good telling of the greek mythos overall.This series is perfect for the child first exploring greek mythology, and for the adult who wants to revisit these myths. The myths are made understandable, but they are not as watered down as they normally are. O'conner does an amazing job balancing the content of the myths within a PG level story so that you really don't lose much of the original story. The conversation is good, it feels real, and has nuggets of other myths inside it. Even if you disagree with his interpretations I think you'll enjoy the work. Read them.


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Feb 03, 2020

jing_s_zhu thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Sep 12, 2017

nimanaghibi thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

red_zebu_50 Aug 01, 2014

red_zebu_50 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 6 and 10

orange_dolphin_185 Jul 20, 2014

orange_dolphin_185 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

red_leopard_94 Jul 02, 2013

red_leopard_94 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


Add a Summary
orange_dolphin_185 Jul 20, 2014

this book is about persephone and how she was captured by hades people went without food since demeter was sad

derekivie May 08, 2012

If Hades kidnapped your daughter wouldn't you take away the beauty of nature to get her back?


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orange_dolphin_185 Jul 20, 2014

without payment you would remain for a hundred years on the crowded bank of styx


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