[1.2.1] But when Zeus was full-grown, he took Metis, daughter of Ocean, to help him, and she gave Cronus a drug to swallow, which forced him to disgorge first the stone and then the children whom he had swallowed, and with their aid Zeus waged the war against Cronus and the Titans. They fought for ten years, and Earth prophesied victory to Zeus if he should have as allies those who had been hurled down to Tartarus. So he slew their jailoress Campe, and loosed their bonds. And the Cyclopes then gave Zeus thunder and lightning and a thunderbolt, and on Pluto they bestowed a helmet and on Poseidon a trident. Armed with these weapons the gods overcame the Titans, shut them up in Tartarus, and appointed the Hundred-handers their guards; but they themselves cast lots for the sovereignty, and to Zeus was allotted the dominion of the sky, to Poseidon the dominion of the sea, and to Pluto the dominion in Hades.In the graphic novel, Kampe is depicted as an enormous monster. She'd have to be to guard the hundred-handed and other monsters, but her shape is not mentioned by Apollodorus. For that, Nonnus is the source. Nonnus was a fifth century Greek poet from Egypt, who converted to Christianity towards the end of his life. Probably before his conversion, Nonnus wrote his Dionysiaca, an account of Dionysus with many miscellaneous bits of Greek mythology, in 48 books.
Apollodorus. The Library. Translated by Sir James George Frazer. Loeb Classical Library Volumes 121 & 122. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921.
Zeus ruling in the heights destroyed highheaded Kampe with a thunderbolt, for all the many crooked shapes of her whole body. A thousand crawlers from her viperish feet, spitting poison afar, were fanning Enyo to a flame, a mass of misshapen coils. Round her neck flowered fifty various heads of wild beasts: some roared with lion's heads like the grim face of the riddling Sphinx; others were spluttering foam from the tusks of wild boars; her countenance was the very image of Skylla with a marshalled regiment of thronging dog's heads. Doubleshaped, she appeared a woman to the middle of her body, with clusters of poison-spitting serpents for hair. Her giant form, from the chest to the parting-point of the thighs, was covered all over with a bastard shape of hard sea-monsters' scales. The claws of her wide-scattering hands were curved like a crooktalon sickle. From her neck over her terrible shoulders, with tail raised high over her throat, a scorpion with an icy sting sharp-whetted crawled and coiled upon itself. Such was manifoldshaped Kampe as she rose writhing, and flew roaming about earth and air and briny deep, and flapping a couple of dusky wings, rousing tempests and arming gales, that blackwinged Nymphe of Tartaros: from her eyelids a flickering flame belched out far-travelling sparks.As far as I can remember, Zeus King of the Gods is the first graphic novel I have read. It tells the story of the Titanomachy through pictures more than words and shows the origin of the gods more clearly than genealogical charts. As is true of another popular visual medium, film, the author's vision may not be the one the reader would have conjured up, and to put into pictures the words of writers like Hesiod, Apollodorus, and Nonnus, the author must make very free adaptations, which can be positive or negative. I especially liked the fact that Cronus was shown as the son of Ouranos (Sky) by the visual aid of stars in his eyes. There are loose ends that bothered me, like Metis*, Zeus' helper throughout much, and a comment about Zeus' hair that was warranted but either unexplained or missed in my two readings. There were other sections I had to study over and over to understand, but I think this is to be expected in a comic. It is a well-researched version that should interest even those who find reading difficult and those who want a Titanomachy refresher.
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 18. 237 ff (trans. Rouse)
Metis is the Oceanid mother of Athena whom Zeus swallowed before she gave birth.Disclosure: Review PDF was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.