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The mystery of the nekkid girl found in the woods of Athens, Greece deepens as Athena (the Greek goddess) makes her brief appearance only to turn back into the amnesiac Athena (the girl).  Confused?  Don’t be, as we offer up some spoilers to the latest issue after the jump.

Athena02_COVER.jpgTitle: Athena #2
Written by: Doug Murray
Art by: Fabio Neves and Paul Renaud
Covers by: Paul Renaud (50%), Dennis Calero (25%), Fabio Neves (25%), Patrick Berkenkotter (25%)

In the last issue of Athena…
A young woman is found unconscious and naked in the woods outside of Athens, Greece. With no signs of violence on her, and no memory of her identity, she feels a strange attraction to the ruins of the Akropolis, the ancient religious center of the goddess Athena. After she regains (is given?) some of her memories and (human?) abilities back, she leaves the hospital and is ready to see the world. We find her yeas later in New York City working for an unnamed law enforcement agency.  Going by the name Athena Olympios, she agrees to go undercover to assist in the capture of a criminal, named Paris,  that they have been attempting to arrest for a long time. While she is competing in a sort of dance/beauty competition with three other girls, one of which is named Helena, shots are fired in the club.  After the operation ends badly, she finds herself healing, remarkable fast, from a gunshot wound to the arm. Despite her protests of being fine, her partner makes her stay at the hospital while he continues the investigation.  That night, an armed gunman enters her room and prepares to shot her. In a flash, Athena Olympios is gone, and an armored warrior woman with an owl is in her place. Athena has arrived.

We pick up out first issue left off, with an armored Athena confronting her would be killer. After she catches a bullet with her fingers, she reminisces about how she has dealt with metal slugs before, when they where thrown from slings. Grabbing the man, she demands that he tell her everything, and that it be the truth. After he spills his life story, Athena prepares to punish him. As she drives her spear toward his prone body, the man disappears.  Mystified, Athena prepares to leave the hospital to explore the outside world, but is stopped by the talking owl. The owl is an embodiment of her father, Zeus, and he tells her that the time is not yet here. Another flash, and we find her the next morning, wound free, being examined by her doctor and her partner.

What follows for the rest of the issue are two tales that are one. We get a beautifully drawn retelling of how the Greek hero Paris’s judgment of a beauty contest between the gods Athena, Hera and Aphrodite leads to the whole Helen of Troy tale, and also watch similar events unfold in out world as the criminal Paris take the girlfriend of another criminal, Manny, to the Staten Island estate of his brother, Hector. Events are happening in a familiar way, a theme which proves strong in this issue. The big question is why? Why has Athena been given mortal form but not her godly memories and powers? Where are the other gods, and what element do the modern day criminals and law enforcement play in the whole situation?

Doug Murray has written a tale that entertains you and teaches a little about Greek mythology at the same time.  I’ve enjoyed the concept since the first issue, and on first read it is a great story. The plot seems to be tight, with lots of subtext and subplots floating around, but there are flaws, or maybe things overlooked. A few big questions jump out at me, like: what law enforcement agency does Athena’s civilian identity work for? What is her partner’s name? Is she still going by Athena Olympios? What kind of criminal is this Paris? Small details that may help flesh out the world seem to be forgotten. At first you don’t notice them, but on multiple readings, you really start to wonder if this was by design or not.

The art by, Fabiano Neves and Paul Renaud, is nice and tight, just like in the first issue. They draw Athena as a strong warrior woman, but she has the sexy curves at the same time. Lots of attention is paid to the pages where Athena is in costume, and the effort shows.  Unfortunately, the pages that are dominated by civilians have a slightly looser look, and it seems odd. The Greek myth flash back pages are beautiful though, and make up for any disparity in the styles of the surrounding art.

Overall, I have enjoyed the series thus far. The concept is familiar and has been used for characters from Thor to Captain Marvel, but the surrounding story gives it a fresh feeling. If only another female, Greek inspired super heroine got this type of introduction. But, as I said, it is not without flaws. Those flaws are not enough to sink the ship, but they do give a slow leak to a title that could be top of the line, until then it is just a good book.  I’m going with 3 out of 5 stars. I hope that the creative team can really tap into the potential that this book seems to hold.

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The Author

Stacy Baugher

Stacy Baugher

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold.

He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours.

He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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2 Comments

  1. Brian
    November 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm — Reply

    You know, I’ve seen this comic on shelfs and on this site and it’s interested me. But i’m not sure if i’m ready for a hap-hazard story such as you seem to be describing. Not that it’s written bad but rather that the depth is suppose isn’t there. I’m interested and repelled at the same time. Strange huH?

    • November 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm — Reply

      It is as if there was a zero issue that has some background information, and it never came out.

      The idea is really good, and the story is entertaining, but there are some details missing. I’m not talking about the congoing story, but rather little background stuff. Character identities and such.

      I like it, I do! I could so see this character being a strong female lead, but there are just some things that need to be addressed.

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