Home Graphic novel REVIEW: Gaia of Abrams – Earth Goddess

REVIEW: Gaia of Abrams – Earth Goddess


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    Gaia – Earth Goddess

    Imogen Greenberg

    Isabelle Greenberg

    Isabelle Greenberg

    Cover artist:
    Isabelle Greenberg



    Release date:

    Isabelle Greenberg

Classic ancient Greek mythology of gods and titans is retold and repositioned for audiences of all ages in the new original graphic novel Gaia: Earth Goddess, published by the imprint of Abrams Amulet Books. Written by Imogen Greenberg and drawn by Isabel Greenberg, the graphic novel is a faithful account of the formation of the Olympian pantheon and how the eponymous goddess created the world. The graphic novel is the perfect read for intermediate readers looking for a colorful, lush, and streamlined account of the birth of the Greek gods and how Gaia allowed life to flourish.

Divided into seven chapters, Gaia: Earth Goddess follows Gaia as she creates the universe, only to find that her husband Ouranos, leader of the titans, revels in the chaos and injustice on Earth as he moves to subjugate it. As Ouranos turns on Gaia for her opposition to her plans for conquest, the gods arrive and overthrow the titans only to show questionable behavior regarding Earth and humanity itself. Throughout all divine upheaval, Gaia works to encourage the Fates and humanity to live in peace and harmony, enhancing her greatest creation.

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Which makes Earth Goddess more distinct from other contemporary retellings of classical Greek myths is that it is, as the title and premise suggest, told almost entirely from Gaia’s perspective. It reframes iconic moments in mythology, from Cronus feasting on his children to the Trojan War in a new light while emphasizing the Greenbergs’ narrative theme of learning from the past to make the world a better place. Obviously, not every Greek myth is covered in this graphic novel, but every major beat involving Gaia is represented here.

The artwork here is vaguely reminiscent of the classic Hellenistic style found on ancient amphoras, highlighted by a vibrant color palette. Greenberg distills the essence of each deity, making each easily identifiable and radiating with their own distinctive personality. The inclusion of a character guide at the top of the story also helps tremendously. It is remarkable how much history is covered by Earth Goddessmoving at a brisk pace yet concisely captured.

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Tonally, Gaia: Earth Goddess is as family-friendly as Greek mythology can be presented without compromising the main lines of the messages and what happens in each story. Cronus still devours his own children, and the gods are just as petty as ever, but they are positioned in such a way that the subject matter is never particularly scary and disreputable. This book is designed for intermediate level readers, of course, but it is still a faithful adaptation that invites its readers to learn more about the culture and its virtues while gently encouraging them to follow the example of Gaya.

After introducing readers to Athena in the similar original graphic novel Athena: goddess of war and wisdom, the Greenbergs dubbed their retelling of Greek mythology with Gaia as their focus. Engaging and incredibly comprehensive in its breadth of storytelling, the graphic novel is perfect for those looking to introduce young readers to classic folklore. With its engaging artwork and streamlined narration of classic myths, Gaia: Earth Goddess is a timeless, age-appropriate introduction for those looking for a fresh look at these ancient tales.