One problem I’ve had with The Mythics series so far is that knowing mythology and religion and history as well as I do, I’m sometimes made distinctly uncomfortable by the way the authors play fast and loose with established identities. I’m sure readers with a more superficial reading of the old tales won’t even notice, but that’s the kind of thing that makes me uneasy despite vastly enjoying the rest of the book, from story to art entire.
The first chapter of this volume closes the first story arc of the on-going series. Our six adolescent heroes — Japanese Yuko, Indian Parvati, Egyptian Amir, German Abigail, Mexican Miguel and Greek Neo — have been tricked by Evil into unleashing Chaos into the world, at the expense of the great Mother Goddess Gaia. With the aid of their ancestor gods, they must figure out how to trap Chaos once more, as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. The denouement is both clever and Avengers-like, and opens the way to further complications in the world-changing aftermath.
The other two chapters start the next story arc, riffing off of the Seven Deadly (Christian) Sins to present first the effects of the embodiment of Lust, then Envy on an unsuspecting world. The Lust chapter is both PG-rated and hilarious, as the effects of the succubus Abrahel cause Neo and Yuko to each express their overwhelming desire for Abi. Not wanting to involve the three youngest members of their team in this mess, Abi has to figure out by herself how to get her two afflicted teammates to help her defeat the demon before the latter can sink the world into a frenzy of lust-driven murder.
The chapter on Envy is the one that made me go hrm, as the incarnation of Envy here is called Ishtar. That representation choice aside, this was a very cute adventure for the other three members of The Mythics, as they travel to Africa for the official opening of a nature preserve, only to land smack in the middle of palace intrigue. No one is safe from the temptations of Envy, except perhaps the intrepid Miss Taylor, Amir’s nanny, bodyguard and personal badass.
The issue with Ishtar aside, I really enjoyed the plotting of this book, from the series arc ender to the new openers. The twists are smarter than in your average superhero comic, and the banter between the gods (presented in the most chibi form possible) is hilarious. And wow, that art! It is highly manga inspired, so it doesn’t aim for hyper-realism or grittiness, but definitely leans into a colorful aesthetic of beauty that is also kinetic and clear. There’s nothing I hate more in sequential art than getting constantly confused by who is doing what when: the layouts in this volume are superbly rendered and perfectly complement the story and words. Kudos again go to Elizabeth S Tieri for her translation work here from the French. Overall, an entertaining book for anyone who likes superhero comics, as well as people who enjoy mythology but perhaps don’t love it as much or know it as well as I do.
The Mythics Vol 4: Global Chaos by Patrick Sobral, Patricia Lyfoung, Philippe Ogaki, Jenny, Dara, Alice Picard & Magali Paillat was published April 26 2022 by Papercutz and is available from all good booksellers, including