Review: A Dream Job Ends In Nightmares In ‘Olympia #4’

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

Elon and the Olympian just stopped Kirby, the man who created the Olympian, from killing himself. Kirby passed out but has just finally awoken. Elon wants to know why Kirby wanted to kill himself and Kirby talks about the passing of Wally and how the dream job of writing comics hasn’t turned out the way he hoped. Elon isn’t buying any of it, but the conversation is cut short when Elon spots a news story about monsters invading Olympia, Washington. Vilayne has come to our world and the Olympian is the only one who can stop him and his army from destroying everything.

Olympia #4 cover by Alex Diotto and Dee Cunniffe
Olympia #4 cover by Alex Diotto and Dee Cunniffe

Olympia #4 finds Elon and the Olympian finally meeting the man responsible for the Olympian and his world. What they find isn’t what they expected; Kirby is a withered and depressed man dissatisfied with his comic book career.

It’s a study of how someone’s dream job can still leave them unfulfilled and can’t necessarily cure one’s depression. Elon provides a “shut up, buck up, and get back to it” response and it almost seems to get through to Kirby. However, it’s more Elon, not his words, that warm Kirby’s heart.

Vilayne’s arrival and the disaster he brings represents newfound purpose for the Olympian and by extension, Kirby himself. While it’s all surreal fantasy largely disconnected from reality, it’s a jolt of direction for the comic book creator.

Alex Diotto continues to provide the balance of understated and grounded art as well as classic and larger-than-life art. Both are needed for Olympia to work as well as it does and Diotto provides it in spades. It’s brilliant visual work, and it’s backed up well by the color art stylings of Dee Cunniffe, who also balances the muted tones of Kirby’s life with the explosive palette that accompanies the Olympian and his world.

Olympia #4 unites Kirby with his comic creation. While the Olympian seems to only reinforce Kirby’s self-hatred, Elon provides a spark of hope by showing that Kirby’s work really does connect with people. It’s a thoughtful and meaningful character study and it easily earns a recommendation. Feel free to give this one a read.

Olympia #4 comes to us from writers Tony and Curt Pires, artist and Alex Diotto, color artist Dee Cunniffe, letterer Micah Myers, cover artist Alex Diotto with Dee Cunniffe, and variant cover artist Paul Maybury.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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