The Heroes in Training Graphic Novel series is adapted by David Campiti and based on the Joan Holub and Suzanne Willians novels for probably about second to fourth grade readers (going by the graphic novels). The myths of the Olympians are told in modern tones, with the original setting of some of their backstories (Zeus grew up on an island, Poseidon learns he is King of the Ocean) but they are not always true to the original stories.
The first three books focus on one of the God characters in their individual story, but the humor (the oracle saying Dancers not Danger, or the “thundering thunderbolts” of Zeus) and the trying to be “cool and hip” in all of them, fell flat for me. While some of the “facts” are there, the story of Zeus and his siblings is tossed onto its head (and wonderfully barfed out of their fathers stomach) and it does not always work. However, a reluctant reader will enjoy it as things are straight forward, fairly uncomplicated, and boldly bright and fun illustrations.
I was able to read the first three of the series in basically one sitting, Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom Graphic Novel (1), Poseidon and the Sea of Fury Graphic Novel (2) and Hades and the Helm of Darkness Graphic Novel (3) but had to finish volume four, Hyperion and the Great Balls of Fire Graphic Novel a day later. They might be short, but they have themes you need to watch and of course, snack breaks and mercy breaks are a must. However, there were oddities in four that made it harder to read. It is possible it is a case of, “one too many times to the well on this theme” or something else. Four is more focused on one of the Titans with some focus on Hera, but does not fulfill the promise of being only her story.
It is amazing that anything has been a success as the siblings have been petty and squabbled (they all assume the trident, the thunderbolt, or the helm of the underworld is going to be theirs; Zeus and Hera both want to be the leader; it becomes a “girls vs. boys” situations), yet somehow each God has gotten his magical symbol. I am assuming it will be Hestia who will be bestowed with her magical elements due to what this book’s magical artifact is. And this is off because the brothers have had their own books, their own arcs, focusing on only them (with sibling help) and we do not meet sister Hestia until about halfway through four. But that is not a surprise as Demeter and Hera have been pushed aside from the start. And though we focus on Hestia’s story, we are still focused on the brothers and their adventures. And once again, the boys waltz in and magically rescue Hestia as they did Demeter.
Overall the art is decent, but nothing special, and is more there to support the equally decent, but nothing special story. I would recommend reading all four back-to-back, and then if there is a fifth (which I am not finding yet, but we do need to focus on Hera and book four gives us a clue to more to come), you can read again.