They’ll Break Your Heart: ‘Olympia’ #3 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
The Olympian’s creator is a writer and artist by the name of Kirby Spiegelman and his comic was just cancelled. Kirby is a depressed creator with a drinking problem. He is divorced and today is his son’s birthday. However, Kirby’s appearance at his son’s birthday is postponed by the death of his former partner, Wally. Kirby attends Wally’s funeral before showing up late to his son’s birthday. Kirby’s ex-wife’s new husband informs Kirby that he doesn’t have a real job and Kirby goes back to the bar. He returns home after many drinks and he crashes on the way home. When he finally makes it home, Kirby puts a gun to his own temple.

Olympia #3 cover by Jason Copeland
Olympia #3 cover by Jason Copeland

Olympia #3 introduces us to the creator of the Olympian, Kirby Spiegelman. He lives a rough and tragic life. He’s barely able to make a living and he is estranged from his family. 
It’s a character study which focuses on how difficult the life of a comic writer can be. Ironically, I myself had just submitted a script pitch for a comic anthology before reading this comic…which left me a bit less confident about my career choices.
Regardless, it’s a compellingly tight character-focused comic book issue showing us what things can be like on the other end of the page. Creativity isn’t a guaranteed path towards happiness and success and your hopes can be quashed before you know it.
One odd aspect of the comic is who “is supposed to be Jack Kirby?” Kirby has the surname as his first name, and Wally just plain looks like the King himself. To add to the confusion is that, apparently, Jack Kirby exists in the universe of Olympia. This may be intended to show just how universally influential Jack Kirby is. However, it does leave some of the metaphors used by Olympia a little confusing–like how the Olympian seems to be a mixture of Marvel’s Thor and DC’s Orion.
Olympia #3 art by Jason Copeland, Dee Cunniffe, and letterer Micah Myers
Olympia #3 art by Jason Copeland, Dee Cunniffe, and letterer Micah Myers

Jason Copeland joins up as the guest artist on this issue and he provides a grounded style which suits the all-too-relatable story of Kirby Spiegelman. It looks great, and Copeland emphasizes the most depressing moments of Kirby’s life with aplomb. Dee Cunniffe provides an atmospheric and appealing color palette fitting for the tragic story of Olympia #3.
Olympia #3 is another grabbing and emotional entry for this Image Comics series. It provides a beautiful homage to one of the greatest creators of the comic book industry while introducing us to a new and compelling character whom will provide an interesting new aspect of the Olympia universe. Needless to say, this comic earns a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.
Olympia #3 comes to us from writers Tony and Curt Pires, artist and cover artist Jason Copeland, color artist Dee Cunniffe, and letterer Micah Myers.
Final Score: 9/10

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