Greek Street, vol. 1

Summary: Lust, rage, pride, vengeance– these are the appetites that drove the tales and tragedies of the ancient Greeks. Now, on the streets of modern-day London, everything old is new again. The dark desires that doomed the likes of Oedipus, Agamemnon and Medea are calling to a new breed of royals and rogues. Strippers and psychics, cops and killers, peers of the realm and lords of the city – all of them have their part to play in a deadly drama that’s thousands of years old, yet always needs new blood to spill…

One of the most acclaimed storytellers of his generation, writer Peter Milligan (HUMAN TARGET, SHADE THE CHANGING MAN, X-Statix) is joined by artist Davide Gianfelice (NORTH-LANDERS) for this unflinching fusion of classical and the contemporary.

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Greek Street, vol. 1, by Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice 7.5

I’m really not up to speed on Greek mythology, but I get the feeling that this probably helped in reading this first anthology of ‘Greek Street’. Similarly to ‘Fables’, which revamped fantasy literature characters, ‘Greek Street’ is very loosely based on the originals.

I found ‘Fables‘ hard to swallow at times, being more familiar with those classics, so I am delighted with my blissful ignorance in this case; I suspect that the liberties taken with Agamemnon, Cassandra, Daedalus, Oedipus, et al, would bother me no end.

In fact, after doing a quick wiki read of some of the characters, I see that Milligan barely echoed their true forms, creating instead tenuous connections between them. Oedipus, for instance, doesn’t wed and marry his mother in the ‘Greek Street’ interpretation.

Having said this, from an outsider’s point of view, I quite enjoyed this particular tale of London’s criminal underground mixed in with supernatural elements. In fact, I enjoyed it enough that would love to read more of the series (which was sadly cancelled after 16 issues).

The artwork is decent, but nothing exceptional. It translates the material well, but doesn’t transcend it. The lines are clear, there’s just enough detail and the coloring is relatively standard-fare (i.e. no fancy airbrushing here). Actually, I’m curious to see if this is Gianfelice’s traditional style or if he adapted it to the material.

All this to say that ‘Greek Street’ is not at all a bad series. It’s not for purists, or for die-hard fans of Greek mythology, but it might amuse the more forgiving ones. As for me, it put a smile on my face, so I’ve decided to track down Milligan’s other original works to see what else he’s been up to. If his writing is always as solid as this, there will no doubt be a few nice surprises along the way.

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