Created by Eddie Campbell.
Named to Under the Radar’s top 25 comics of 2015, Bacchus is comics legend Eddie Campbell’s magnum opus a decade in the making, brilliant, whimsical with a fine blend of action, comedy, suspense, and an ear for a great story, Bacchus brings the gods and myths of ancient Greece to modern life, as if they had never left.
Bacchus is the ancient god of wine, women and song, who we first meet in a jail cell, run down after four thousand years of – well – wine, women and song. In his youth, Bacchus was regarded as the ultimate sex symbol and the always-charming life of the party. 4,000 years later, he’s become a grizzled and world-weary old alcoholic, a tired shell of his former self. Whoever said immortality was gonna be fun forever?
It’s the 1980s, and most of the ancient Greek Gods are dead. Those that remain have assimilated themselves into our culture, blending into the fixtures of modern society. As it turns out, after a few thousand years – Gods begin to age quite rapidly. Yet one God remains that looks exactly as he did in ancient times: Theseus, the hero who famously slayed the great Minotaur. His agelessness breeds quite a lot of jealousy amongst his fellow super beings, especially The Eyeball Kid, the grandson of Argus the Many-Eyed Giant. An outlaw gangster with a dozen pairs of eyes, The Eyeball Kid is on a mission to hunt down Theseus and force him to divulge the secret to his youthful looks.
Bacchus is also on the hunt for Theseus, for a different reason – to settle an age-old grudge. Theseus once caused great pain to the only woman Bacchus ever loved, and he hasn’t forgotten or forgiven. On his quest for revenge, he’ll bump into old friends, stumble across old enemies, and drink enough wine to fill the Mediterranean Sea.
Bacchus as the main narrator has the grim, dry voice of a film-noir gumshoe with an encyclopedic knowledge of the world and the Underworld, as well as a large supply of bullshit that he scatters throughout his narrative. He bears every painful memory and scar of every adventure, and not as a badge of honor but simply as an inescapable fact of life, even of life everlasting.
The deities of yore are ripe fodder for a superhero obsessed world — supreme beings who benignly watch over us mortals one day and knock each other off like warring gangsters the next. They’re just superheroes and super-nemeses in chitons instead of capes.