Graphic Mythology

I saw the 2010 movie Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief  a long time ago. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with it, but I enjoyed it enough to want to read the 2005 book it was based on, someday.

Then the 2017 Reading Challenge came along, with a category named “A book based on mythology”, and I figured this would be as good a time as any to read the book The Lightning Thief as any.

I checked with the Seattle Public Library, and, of course, they had the book, and the movie – and a graphic novel. I didn’t know there was a graphic novel. I checked out the graphic novel, because it looked like fun, and I hadn’t read a graphic novel in a while. I’m a little confused about the order of publication, but I think this is a graphic novelization of the movie based on the book.

I didn’t remember much about the movie, so reading the story now was full of surprises for me.

The Lightning ThiefPercy Jackson & The Olympians, Book One, The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, art by Attila Futaki, color by José Villarrubia, was published in 2010.

Percy Jackson is one day away from failing the sixth grade at Yancy Academy. If he’s kicked out, it will be his sixth school in six years. He tries to be a good student, but Percy has dyslexia, and ADHD.

Strange things are happening around Percy. He didn’t touch that girl who was teasing him, and yet she somehow landed in the fountain. He’s attacked by Mrs. Dodds, and yet there is no Mrs. Dodds at Yates Academy.

Percy’s Mythology instructor, Mr. Brunner, and Percy’s best friend, Grover, seem to be conspiring to protect Percy. They’re both dropping hints that Percy Jackson is special, and needs to be protected.

Percy’s mother doesn’t seem especially concerned about Percy  leaving Yates. She has plans to send him to a school – more like a camp, actually – that Percy’s father wants him to go to. Percy will be safe there, she says. Percy has never met his father.

Percy and his mother go on a short vacation. Grover shows up – he now has goat legs – and warns that danger is coming. The three of them try to run, but only Percy and Grover manage to escape. His mother dies in an attack from a minotaur.

Percy Jackson wakes up in Camp Half-Blood. He learns that the Greek gods he’d been studying in school are real. Grover is a satyr. Mr. Brunner is a centaur, and his name is actually Chiron. He’s that Chiron – the trainer of Hercules.

Percy Jackson doesn’t have dyslexia. He has trouble reading English because his brain’s been hardwired for Ancient Greek. He’s hyperactive because his body’s been hardwired for battle.

Like every other kid in camp, Percy is half-human, with at least one parent a god. Percy is one of the “Undetermined” – since he doesn’t know who his father is.

Percy is bullied by Clarisse, daughter of Ares, and befriended by Annabeth, daughter of Athena.

Soon after battle training begins at Camp Half-Blood, Percy Jackson’s special abilities are suddenly revealed. It becomes obvious who Percy’s father is. Percy really is special. Just as suddenly, he is given a quest. He must find the lightning thief. His quest will take him into the underworld. He won’t be going alone, however. Grover and Annabeth will be at his side.

The three heroes travel across the United States, toward a recording studio in Los Angeles (the entrance to the underworld), in a race against time, in order to prevent a war of Olympian proportions.

The Lightning Thief is an exciting story and a clever take on ancient Greek mythology set in the modern world. The artwork of the graphic novel was good, but nothing really special.

It is, of course, “Book One”, so although the story is complete, it does end with an opening for the next book.

Overall, I enjoyed it.

  • A book based on mythology

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