"Red Sky at Morning"
Adapting classic literature is tricky business. Any television viewer can attest to that. Bringing an ancient tale into the modern age is even tougher. However, as the comics medium may be one of the closest things remaining to an oral tradition, its perhaps fitting that Infinite Horizon is an excellent adaptation and modernization of Homerís The Odyssey.
The challenges that Infinite Horizon faces in bringing the classic tale up to the modern age are myriad. First off, the The Odyssey begins after the Trojan War with Odysseus and his man prevented from getting home by the anger of the gods. Well, that wonít fit in the modern age, now will it? The idea of multiple gods physically, directly, and wrathfully interfering in the lives of men is a bit anachronistic. At the heart of this, though, is the idea that a manís fate is not his own to control and the best that he may do is struggle against impossible odds until the world yields him an opportunity. Infinite Horizon stays true to this by putting its main antagonist, the Captain, in a horribly awry and chaotic situation. In short, everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. The conflict in the Middle East has circled out of control, engulfing nearly all of the Arabian states and the Chinese have used this to launch a pre-emptive strike against Taiwan and its ally the United States. God knows what the Russians are up to. Abandoned somewhere in Syria, the Captain must lead his men through anarchy and a collapsing civilization in order to get home to his family.
The other half of The Odyssey, and perhaps the lesser known half, is the struggle of Odysseusí wife, Penelope, to maintain his house while he is away. In the original work, Penelope is beset by men who believe that her husband is dead and make demands upon her to choose one of them to marry. This also doesnít fit neatly into the modern age as the idea of property ownership is no longer tied to gender. The team behind Infinite Horizon works this out well by instead playing on the story facet of Penelopeís would be suitors being more interested in eating her out of house and home then they were in marrying her. The Captainís wife, living on a farm estate, becomes the subject of much envy when the crumbling infrastructure results in a lack of drinking water. Her neighbors, mostly men assumingly as a tip of the hat to the original work, begin to press her for control of her resources, even going to the lengths of threatening her son.
In addition to excellently adapting an old tale to the modern age, issue #2 of Infinite Horizon provides readers with the swashbuckling excitement and hard tragedy that were an engrained part of the original story. This six part series should be a great read for any fan of The Odyssey as well as fans of struggling against all odds stories.
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