Webtoon is an online and mobile application designed for comics. The comics are specifically formatted for ease-of-reading via scrolling and the platform has been strictly digital based. However, recently the company has been branching to not only animating the comics with the help of Crunchyroll (series like Noblesse, Tower of God, and The God of High School) but also publishing comics in association with Del Rey Books. Lore Olympus is the first Webtoon Original comic to be released in a physical format (outside of various Kickstarter campaigns). Volume One was released on November 2, 2021 via softcover and hardcover editions (with Barnes & Noble releasing an exclusive hardcover version).
Hades as a character of Greek mythology is often depicted and misinterpreted as a heinous villain. Popular examples are Hades in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and the depiction of Hades in Disney’s animated “Hercules.” Even in the myth of “Hades and Persephone” the only sure-thing is that Persephone ended up in the underworld. There are various ways to interpret the reasons for this outside of simply “Hades abducted her.” For example, often times people imagine him as simply having some sort of obsession with Persephone and abducting her solely to marry her but he might’ve simply allowed her to stay in the underworld as a form of protection (either from Apollo, one of her suitors, or Zeus, infamous for various forced sexual encounters). Lore Olympus takes the latter approach, diving into dark themes of sexual assault and providing a (much needed) refreshing depiction of Hades.
The world of Lore Olympus is modernized with Hades as something of a CEO of the underworld and Persephone as Artemis’s roommate. Persephone is allowed to live with Artemis under the promise to her mother that she will also declare herself to be a sacred virgin. The story follows Persephone’s struggles with this as she has met Hades (due to strange circumstances) and is obviously attracted to him combined with Apollo’s unwanted advances toward her.
The complicated relationship dynamics, interesting interpretations to well-known Greek mythology characters, and astounding visuals that only get better as the story progresses all combine to make Lore Olympus a noteworthy read! Volume One is out now, with Volume Two expected to release on July 5, 2022. The series itself is also free-to-read on the Webtoon app and website (if you’re like me and have to know what happens next).