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God of War (DC Comics)

rnational, and was scheduled to debut in October 2009, but its launch was delayed to coincide with that of God of War III in March 2010.[1] Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Product Marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America said, "we are thrilled to work with the world's largest comic book publisher to bring one of our most beloved PlayStation franchises...to comic book fans." In an interview with IGN, writer Marv Wolfman stated that when he heard rumor of the comic series, he "put [in his] name right away and kept pushing" to be chosen as the writer because God of War was one of his favorite video games. Wolfman said that he had already played the first two games, so there was no research to be done and "it's because [he] loved the game that [he] wanted to do the comic." He received copies of the scripts for all the games to ensure his work was as accurate as possible, and stated that he worked very closely with Sony Santa Monica—the developer of the video games—and tied the comic book's narrative directly to the story they created for the games. Wolfman said that Santa Monica ensured the mythology was consistent while revealing new facts about Kratos' past.[2][3] In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Wolfman stated that Santa Monica suggested the use of two time periods, with past events affecting the narrative present. He introduced new characters, including Kratos' wife—who appeared in the games but was never named. He stated the final script was a combination of his ideas and Santa Monica's character-appropriate dialog.[4] Series artist Andrea Sorrentino stated, "it was clear from the start that for this project Sony and DC [Comics] wanted something a bit different from a 'classical' comic. So I just took my usual style and added to it something new, like new colors from the videogame palette." She stated that the games have strong, epic images, and that she easily adapted her style to Wolfman's writing as he "did really good work showing both dramatic and epic scenes." Sorrentino used color to give importance to each scene, adding hot colors (red, orange, or brown) in action scenes and cold ones (green or light blue) in others so that readers could immediately have an emotional reaction.[4] The series was published on a bi-monthly schedule between March 2010 and January 2011.[5] In March 2011, the series was collected into a trade paperback.[6] Synopsis Setting As with the first seven video games in the series, the comic book series is set in an alternate version of Ancient Greece, populated by the Olympian Gods and other beings of Greek mythology. The story is split between two chapters in the video game chronology; a period before Ascension (2013), and a later period between God of War (2005) and Ghost of Sparta (2010). For the majority of the series, it narrates the events of the past via flashbacks with occasional focus on present events. In both, protagonist Kratos traverses Ancient Greece and the Aegean Sea on a quest for the Ambrosia of Asclepius. Characters Main article: Characters of God of War As in the video game series, the comic book's protagonist is Kratos. The story references two periods in Kratos' life; his boyhood training and life in the Spartan Army as the unwitting champion of Ares, and the narrative present, in which he has assumed the role of God of War after defeating Ares.[7] The segments of the story set in the past feature several Olympian Gods, including Ares, the God of War;[8] Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt;[9] Hades, the God of the Underworld;[10] Helios, the God of the Sun;[11] Hermes, the God of Speed, Thievery, and Wild Animals;[12] and Poseidon, the God of the Sea.[13] In the present, Kratos encounters his ally and mentor Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom,[14] and the Chaos Giant, Gyges.[15] Minor characters from Kratos' first adventure include Captain Nikos,[16] the King of Sparta,[17] and Kratos' wife, Lysandra,[18] and daughter, Calliope.[19] The champions of the gods include: Pothia, champion of Artemis and the warrior-queen of an Amazonian tribe;[20] Cereyon, fiery champion of Helios;[21] Danaus, champion of Hermes who can magically control beasts;[22] Herodius, champion of Poseidon from the village of Thera;[23] and Alrik, champion of Hades and prince of the Barbarians.[24] Plot The story is set after Kratos' defeat of the former God of War, Ares.[25] After taking that position himself, Kratos sets out on a quest to destroy the legendary Ambrosia of Asclepius, an elixir with magical healing properties that he once found when he was a soldier in Sparta. During his quest, Kratos has flashbacks to this period, as he searches for the Ambrosia to save his newly-born daughter, Calliope, who is suffering from the plague. Given until the next full moon, General Kratos travels with a host of Spartans to find the Ambrosia. During this period, he takes counsel from Captain Nikos, his superior in the Spartan army who instructs him about the Spartan code of honor. Several of the Olympian Gods—Artemis, Hades, Helios, Hermes, and Poseidon—decide to enter into a wager with Ares. Each will choose a champion who is in search of the Ambrosia, with the successful god receiving an award (e.g., having statues erected in their honor across Greece).[26] Kratos kills two of the champions—Herodius and Pothia—and repels attacks by monsters sent by the gods to thwart him. A desperate Hades kills Nikos, who sacrifices himself to save Kratos, passing on the rank of Captain.[27] Danaus is killed by Alrik, who retains Danaus' head to possess his magical ability.[28] Kratos locates the "Tree of Life", the source of the Ambrosia located on a small island, and confronts Cereyon. After being almost burned alive, Kratos drowns his foe and successfully retrieves the Ambrosia, but as he leaves, he and his Spartan troops are ambushed by Alrik's horde of barbarians.[29] When Hades observes the Spartans defeating the Barbarians, the god attempts to have the Spartans dragged to the Underworld. Alrik uses the head of Danaus to summon rocs to attack Kratos as he flies away on a similar bird with the stolen Ambrosia. Kratos pursues Alrik on a captured roc, knowing that although his men will be taken to the Underworld, they will be honored in Sparta for their sacrifices. Alrik and Kratos battle, during which, the waterskin containing the Ambrosia is punctured, spraying both men. Alrik critically wounds the Spartan, who is subsequently healed thanks to the Ambrosia.[30] Kratos gains control of Danaus' head and uses its power against Alrik, who is torn apart by rocs. Having also been covered with the Ambrosia, Alrik is revived only to be killed once again until the Ambrosia is spent. Kratos then escapes and returns to Sparta with the Ambrosia, saving his daughter, and giving the King of Sparta the rest of the elixir, who then officially awards Kratos the rank of Captain in the Spartan Army.[31] Bitter at having lost the wager, Hades resurrects Alrik, who becomes King after his father dies and swears vengeance against Kratos.[32] In the present, Kratos overcomes several obstacles in his quest to find the Ambrosia, including defeating a giant spider,[33] ignoring Athena's pleas to stop his quest, and overcoming the reanimated corpses of Captain Nikos and his men—a final attempt by Hades to stop the Spartan.[34] On returning to the island, Kratos discovers that the island is actually one of the Chaos Giants, the fifty-headed and one hundred armed Gyges. An outraged Gyges explains that Kratos had thwarted the Giant's plan to use the elixir to resurrect his brothers Briareus and Cottus, and then reclaim the world. In his fiery battle with Cereyon, Kratos inadvertently burned off Gyges' one hundred arms, and then stole the Ambrosia. Without arms and now unable to reach the Ambrosia, Gyges was forced to wait for Kratos' return. During the battle, Kratos reveals that he seeks to destroy the elixir to prevent the worshipers of the slain god Ares from resurrecting their master. Kratos then uses the Fire of Apollo to destroy both the Tree of Life and Gyges.[35] The God of War comic series received mixed reviews. Mike Murphy of Platform Nation stated that although the comic series serves as a good prequel to the video game series, "the story is bogged down by horrible art...[it's] muddy, confusing, and consistently pulls you out of the story as you try to figure out just what is going on from panel to panel." Rating it 5 out of 10, Murphy said that he "can’t give this one a pass, even to the hardcore God of War fans" who should "skip it."[36]



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