The Fallen Warrior

Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1

Well, Hercules is dead, blown up through the treachery of Athena. Amadeus Cho oversees a gathering of gods and superheroes who pay tribute to the “Lion of Olympus” — Thor, the Warriors Three, Namor, Namora, Bruce Banner, Wolverine, Angel, and numerous others. Thor recalls an epic but offbeat contest that pitted Thor and Herc against a bunch of giants; Namor remembers Hercules attacking him solely to rouse him from one of his marathon moping sessions; And Namora, Snowbird, Black Widow, and Alfyse, Queen of the Dark Elves, tell about some of Herc’s more… adult talents, leading to a few funny moments — first, when Snowbird asks if any other of the gathered heroes want to share memories of Hercules the Love Machine:

And that’s Northstar, Marvel’s most prominent homosexual character, heading for the exit. Those ancient Greeks sure were somethin’ else, weren’t they?

And then there’s this:

I laughed for a good five minutes at Namor’s expression.

There’s also an “Agents of Atlas” backup story where Venus and Namora help wrap up some of Hercules’ earthly affairs.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Some funny stuff, some touching stuff, and some good character work, too. Some of the artwork is a bit odd, but not enough to seriously detract from the story.

Joe the Barbarian #3

Joe is a kid with diabetes who needs to get something to eat before he dies. He’s currently undergoing a golly-gee-whilikers of a hallucination — he’s stuck in a fantasy land based on his house, with his pet rat Jack transformed into a reluctant bodyguard, the bathroom sink into an ocean, and the staircase into a terrible cliff. But is he really hallucinating, or is it all somehow real? This issue, Joe and Jack take up with a bunch of submarine-piloting pirates, and Joe learns that he is the focus of a thousand-year-old prophecy that says he’s the only person who can stop something called “King Death,” and everyone calls him the Dying Boy — not real encouraging when you’re hallucinating from diabetic shock. They acquire a new traveling partner — Smoot, the freakishly large (for a race of dwarven pirates) and extremely clumsy son of the Pirate King. Can they all make it to the Forest City of Yalway and from there, to Hearth Castle?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Still great fun, still beautifully written and illustrated, and still deepening a really interesting mystery. This has become a title where I eagerly anticipate every single issue.

No Comments

  1. Treeb Said,

    March 24, 2010 @ 4:04 am

    This is great

  2. swampy Said,

    March 24, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

    Hercules was quite the playa in his days…lol