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A Team No More

July 29, 2009

     The latest issue of Incredible Hercules sees our hero locked in mortal combat with his mortal half, which had fallen to Hades after Zeus raised Hercules’ divine half to Olympus.  Evil mortal Hercules complains a lot about how cruelly he had been treated and how only Pluto was good to him.  Pluto tells Zeus what he would give to have the kind of devotion that Hercules has for Zeus, even though Zeus was just berating Hercules.  Hercules asks his mortal half why he sounds like someone from Shakespearean times, pointing out that they came well before he did.  Hebe goes to the old Avengers Mansion to look for help, but Wasp and Jocasta just ignore her.  Amadeus Cho meets with his parents and finds out that his sister is still alive.  Amadeus states that a subsidiary company of the Olympus Group was the one that sponsored the competition that led to his parents being killed.  Zeus willingly drinks from the River Lethe, and Hercules tosses himself (weird, huh) into the abyss.  Then, as Pluto becomes ruler of everything, the villains turn on him, since, as his powers over the dead came from Zeus, he can no longer control them.  And they want their revenge on their jailer.  Zeus appears as a young mortal with no memory of his past, and Cho tells Hercules to suck it, since he doesn’t trust Athena and wants to go find his sister.  Athena and Hercules decide to go meet with Thor, and Cho and Hercules angrily part ways.

     An actually exciting end to the most boring arc of the series thus far.  Which, of course, is still heads above many other series.  Now, the Cho/Hercules split is a bit forced, and it means that the series will now be split between the two of them.  Still, I’m not exactly mad about it.  And I’m interested to see just where Greg Pak and Fred van Lente go with the idea of a young, mortal Zeus.  When the solicitations for future issues came out, and he was on them, we all had no idea who he was.  Now we know.  Amadeus finding out about his sister and mentioning the Olympus Group is also interesting, since it puts into question Athena’s intentions and reminds us of the Secret Invasion tie-in, where she essentially allowed Amatsu-Mikaboshi to take control of all the various gods that the Skrull Pantheon had enslaved.  It’s a great, long-term plot thread that I can’t wait to see more of.  And this is Ryan Stegman’s last issue on this book, since he will be shortly replaced by someone else.  Once again, I wish we could have a longer lasting artist here.  Still, I’ve enjoyed all of them, and I trust Pak and van Lente to steer this book in the right direction.  The next arc will see Herc meeting up with his old Norse pal, Thor, and I’m excited to see where that’s going to go.  And I love the covers.  They’re way better than the cover for this issue, where Cho’s face looks like it’s pressed up against a glass window.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 8.6      Dialogue: 8.8      Overall: 8.8

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