Prometheus – the Titan that defied the gods to give humanity the gift of the flame, and punished by having his liver eaten by an Eagle while chained to a rock for the rest of his immortal life. You maybe heard of this tale in history lessons, discussing Greek mythology or a simple piece of trivia from time to time. And as this tale has been passed down generations and received the odd tweak here and there, a comic adaptation shouldn’t really have been out of the question, right? Well, what about a modern twist reflecting modern society, corporate greed and selfish desires, following a fallen Titan that suffered and still believes in humanity, whereas most of us probably wouldn’t as he traverses a world he never envisioned, as humans worship false idols and live in the dark? Ryan Little has scripted a strong introduction with a great mixture of old legends and modern themes with the suitably-named comic Prometheus that raises many questions on human morals and clear drive on the future of the series.
Prometheus, still bloody and bruised from his daily torture placed on him by the Gods of Olympus, finds himself stumbling through a modern city and seeks shelter in a laundromat, with no memory as to how he escaped his punishment. He is guided through the city to see how far humanity has evolved… And fallen from his ideal depiction. We are no longer worth sacrificing himself for if we live in poverty and needlessly complain behind an online alias. Prometheus has had everything taken from him and has been left in the dark for a long time, but now he can take it all back. Starting with the flame he suffered to give to humanity. And a fallen God at humanity’s newest place of worship is a good place to start…
Now to admit, my knowledge on Greek mythology isn’t very strong, so I found myself looking into these legends for better context. And it made me realise how faithfully it utilises the original idea and adjusts them to fit more modern themes. For example, his torture isn’t being chained to a rock and devoured by an Eagle in this adaptation. Instead, the twisted gods watch on as they tempt him with earthly desires before facing the ‘Eagle’, a creature that towers over a Titan and possesses incredible strength, in a fight to the death (immortality isn’t all its cracked up to be) and every day, this cycle continues on. And a Titan stuck in the past showing his first reaction to the modern world, modern technology and our modern opinions is simple but priceless none the less.
The art style brought to the page by the talented Chris Shehan is quite distinct and the attention to detail is to be praised. The outside world takes on a grainy and dull colour palette as if life itself is drained and miserable, lacking hope that the flame provided in the darker times of human history. The only exception is the overabundance of red shades to emphasise the flame and Prometheus’ anger rising to the surface. The character designs even take parts of conventional designs to add its own distinctive twist. Zeus with a long, flowing beard and glowing eyes stares down Prometheus with his physical demeanour and grim stare. Prometheus himself has a towering presence, with an arm burned by the flame, a constant reminder of his past crimes.
So to summarise, this first volume of Prometheus offers a brief but strong introduction to the world that is stuck in the dark and repeating the mistakes of the past. Prometheus is a beaten soul but is still determined to make the world he envisioned for us a reality, and he’s willing to defy the gods once again. But I doubt they’ll sit idly as he attempts to reclaim the flame. With humanity’s future and his own more unclear than ever, what lengths will he go to take what he already stole once before? And how far will the gods go to stop him?
Which Greek legends are your favourite and why? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter! Don’t forget to support the kickstarter to ensure we get a full series!