Paris returns to Troy from his visit to Sparta in triumph, beautiful Helen at his side, expecting accolades from King Priam and his princely brothers. Instead, Paris’ theft of Menelaus’ bride shocks the Trojan royal house who see his exploit as a foolhardy move that will inevitably lead to a costly war with Greece. After much cajoling, King Priam is finally induced to welcome Helen and Paris, who settle into the castle as if they were born to rule. Meanwhile, Agamemnon, High King of the Greeks, has committed to war against Troy at last, agreeing to salve the wounded pride and love of his brother Menelaus. Following a prophecy, Agamemnon puts young newcomer Achilles at the head of his attacking forces, relying on this beautiful but untried warrior to guide the battleships of the Greeks into Trojan harbors. Of course Achilles has never actually seen the beaches of Troy, and therefore assumes that all is well when the Greek fleet reaches an unknown shore, leaping from the first boat to engage his javelin with the enemies waiting on the sand. Instead of mighty Troy, however, Achilles and his warriors have run aground in Mysia, home of King Telephus the son of the legendary hero Herakles. Agamemnon and his crafty advisor Odysseus manage to salvage some good will out of this embarrassing diplomatic disaster, but Achilles is temporarily disgraced and the war with Troy looks to have come to a standstill without ever really beginning. Nearly a year later, thanks to tireless recruiting, cajoling, bribery, and politicking among chiefs and petty kings, the Greek fleet is assembled once more on the shores of Aulis, and its warriors are ready to sail against Troy to recapture Helen. All is not well in Aulis, as strong winds blow ceaselessly towards land, locking the Greek ships in harbor and preventing the assembled army from leaving. Soldiers go hungry and grumble as their superiors chafe at the delay and complain to Agamemnon. The High King consults a seer for advice, and learns that he alone has the power to appease the gods and stop the wind, if he is willing to make one terrible sacrifice. The sense of a tragic doom deepens as Agamemnon wrestles with his conscience and his army’s impatience, all the while knowing that he can’t delay his own tragic fate at the cost of his war’s success.
Age of Bronze, vol. 2: Sacrifice
By Eric Shanower
Image Comics 2004