Pantheon High Vol. 1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, May 03, 2007
Where do the children of the Gods go to high school? Well, Pantheon Hugh, of course! Pantheon High schools the children of various pantheons of Gods including Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and Japanese. Here, Grace Morgenstern, the daughter of Tyr, the Norse God of War attends classes and eats lunch with Griffin Pierce, the son of Hades, Greek God of Death. As with any high school there are the popular students such as the stunningly beautiful Aziza, daughter of Ra the Sun God, and the not so popular Fadil El Set, the classic school bully and son of Set, Egyptian Lord of the Dead. There are the usual squabbles between students just as in any high school, except for the fact that these children are Demi-Gods, and blessed with extraordinary powers and abilities.
Yukio, son of the Japanese Goddess of Luck, overhears a plot by Set and several other students, to use a sleeping potion to knock out all of the other students during lunch and siphon off their powers so they can become full-fledged Gods themselves. The plot takes shape and soon nearly all of the students fall into a deep sleep, with only Yukio, Aziza, Grace, and Griffin left to oppose the group of evil-intent students. But that’s not all they have to contend with; Jormungandr, the Midgard Serpent, has been released and is threatening to destroy the entire campus. The school quickly becomes a battle ground for the young Gods-to-be. Griffin gets killed several times but as the Son of a Death God, he’s immediately returned to life, whether he wants to or not. Griffin argues with Charon, the skull-faced boatman of the River Styx, to let him go onto see his father, but the Boatman turns Griffin away each time. It’s at once funny, and yet sadly tragic as Griffin longs to spend time with his father.
The book is action-paced but with liberal doses of humor. Fadil el Set talks in Hip Hop slang which earns him derisive comments even from his friends. The perfect in every way beauty Aziza is like the Veronica Lodge of the God world….she’s daddy’s little girl and doesn’t let anyone forget it. You’ll quickly notice that this is not your typical TokyoPop manga. The art by Steven and Megumi Cummings is a more Americanized Anime style. Less cartoony and over the top than most Japanese Manga. The story by Paul Benjamin shows a grasp of modern high school kid’s attitudes and behaviors…even if they are Demi-Gods.
For those who may not be well versed in Mythology, Benjamin also includes a Mythstory 101 section after the story to explain many of the mythological references in the book. Entertaining and educational…what more can you ask for! I will definitely be around for volume two of this exciting new series.
Mania Grade: A-
Story & art by: Paul Benjamin, Steven & Megumi Cummings