Overview

Greek Street #1

Review

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Greek Street #1

Credits

  • Words: Peter Milligan
  • Art: David Gianfelice
  • Colors: Patricia Mulvihill
  • Story Title: Blood Calls for Blood: The Monster of Greek Street
  • Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
  • Price: $1.00
  • Release Date: Jun 28, 2009

Vertigo veteran writer Peter Milligan unleashes his latest creation upon the world with an alarming dose of vice, cursing, and incest. The premise behind Greek Street, wherein the characters of Greek mythology relive their storied moments in the modern age, is not particularly original, so the execution of the craft will determine the success or failure of the title. With a Vertigo pedigree dating back to Shade, the Changing Man, one of the original Vertigo titles, my expectations for this series were very high. After reading the affordably priced first issue three times, I feel a little like a hung jury.

The hapless Eddie, a personification of Oedipus, lives out his greatest curse, but in this case he is fully aware of the incest he is committing with his mother. This psychological rather than mythological interpretation is just one of the troubling aspects of the first issue. The goddesses cast in the stripper role (I am still not sure who exactly they represent) is another. This is not only modern life, it is modern urban life at its most raw, violent and perverse. As someone who has read a great deal of mythology, it is jarring to see this portrayal contrasted with the pastoral depictions of the classical Gods. Even though the issue is longer than the standard comic, there is not much in the way of character development other than Eddie, though quite a few characters are introduced, including Carus (Icarus), Dedalus, and Sandra (Cassandra?) and the Fureys (a crime family and maybe Furies?).

The overall tone of the book is of a crime drama, replete with gangsters and strippers. It is unclear whether the characters are reincarnations, gods in disguise reliving past stories or what exactly, but I am sure that will be cleared up in coming issues. I was a little disconcerted at the over the top language and seeming immorality of the cast. I am not sure if this is mere commentary on life on Greek Street or if this is intended to be some kind of “cool” way to live, free of social convention. Milligan pushed this envelope with Shade, but there was always a warmth to those characters that is entirely missing here.

David Gianfelice of Northlanders fame does a great job with the artwork. His gestures are loaded with movement, and his storytelling is dramatic and exciting. The coloring suffers a little bit from the Vertigo penchant for monochromatic pages, but overall is pleasing and creates a mood becoming of the dirty, brutal world Milligan has created.

Somewhat confusing for a debut, Milligan has given the reader enough of an interesting story to return for a second issue. What develops from there should determine whether this interpretation of the concept of ancient gods in modern times will succeed. It seems to be doing with the classical Greek Gods, what Testament attempted with the Biblical stories. I've enjoyed enough of Milligan's work to see it through for at least a few more issues. The Greek myths are rich enough that he has plenty to draw on. Hopefully it won't dig so deep into depravity as to turn off the reader.

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Comments

  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Jul 7, 2009 at 3:10am

    Hmm good thing I decided to wait for the trade, as they say ...

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