Good Follow Up

Once Upon A Time Machine Vol 2: Greek Gods and Legends - Andrew Carl

There is finally, FINALLY, a sequel to Once Upon a Time Machine. Finally. Thank God.

Hopefully, there will be another volume too?

Pretty please.

Unlike the first volume, which dealt with a wide variety (and at times elastic definition) of fairy tales, this volume centers on Greek myths, though the setting isn’t ancient Greece but a futuristic world of some type. Like its predecessor, Volume 2 features story with a wide variety of characters – strong women, people of color, and gender-bending/swapping. 

Therefore, Daedalus is a black man who is wants to time travel. Hercules is a woman, and Persephone is a space alien.

The best retellings and adaptations of well known tales keep a kernel or two, but also make us look at the story differently, and several of the adaptions here do that. I have long had problems with the story of Hercules and his labors, but Andrew Carl’s tale “The 12 Labors of Mech-Detective Heracles” illustrated by Sebastian Piriz with coloring by Paul Little and Letters by Cardinal Rae turns the tale slightly on its head and makes a far more powerful story for that. It addresses more directly the question of free will.

It is not the most haunting story either. The contenders for that title are “Persephone” and “Pygmalion”. While not haunting, “Daphne” is a timely recasting of Apollo’s “love story”. 

Quite frankly, Mike Sgier’s “Andromeda” is now my favorite version of Perseus. It really, really is.

The artwork is varied but each illustrator does her and his best to match the illustrations to the story. 

There were a couple misses for me, like the story about Hermes, but it is a pretty good collection.