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Definitely Not What I Expected

March 10, 2010

     With Typhon having shown his true colors, the Incredible Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Athena, and their compatriots must stop the greatest of the Titans and stop Continuum from replacing their world.  However, before they can do so, Typhon also kills Zeus, making Athena the head of the Olympian Pantheon.  Thanatos takes their souls away, and Athena condems Delphyne to remain in the bowels of Olympus for the rest of eternity.  Hercules and Typhon face off in an epic one-on-one battle, one that only ends when Hercules shoves the canister with the waters of the River Lethe into Typhon’s mouth, then beats Typhon’s head in with his mace.  However, as Hercules goes to stop Continuum, and as the allied Avengers defeat Hera’s goons, Athena reveals that she manipulated all the events that led to Hercules’ birth, and that similarly, she must kill Hercules so that a new champion, Cho, one better suited to the trials ahead, may rise.  For there cannot be two “Princes of Power” at once.  Athan, sobbing and saying that Hercules is her only son (since she manipulated all the circumstances of his birth), destroys Continuum, then kills him.  Wehn the Avengers, Hebe, and Cho go to see what the explosion was, they find Athena, still crying, and she tells them that Hercules died when he destroyed Continuum.  Then, in the Agents of Atlas backup, Venus and Aphrodite face off in an epic sing-off.  Venus’ song so moves Aphrodite that she gives up the mantle of the goddess of love to Venus, then goes off to find herself, to remind herself how to love.  Although the Agents were victorious, Namora is still saddened to hear of Hercules’ death.  And this, presumably, leads into the upcoming Atlas ongoing series.

     Well, that was a big twist.  Athena killed Hercules just to ensure that Cho would be her champion?  Didn’t see that coming.  Just goes to show that Greg Pak and Fred van Lente still have a few tricks up their sleeve.  Of course, the duel between Herc and Typhon was cool, as was the little moment between Herc and Cho and Delphyne’s final fate.  But the whole issue was really stolen by Athena’s treachery.  The whole thing was written masterfully, as usual, and Rodney Buchemi’s pencils were absolutely superb.  He’s possibly the best artist this book has had since its inception, with all his excellently detailed pencils and expressive faces.  And the Agents of Atlas backup was interesting, even though I don’t understand all of the background.  Just seeing Aphrodite with her little admission was interesting.  Jeff Parker did his homework, what with the reference to the Trojan War and all that, and Gabriel Hardman’s art was superb, though I don’t think he’s going to be the artist of the upcoming ongoing.  Of course, Hercules will be coming back after the two upcoming miniseries, the latter of which will feature Cho as the Prince of Power.  But this whole thing is going to show just what Athena’s been thinking and will eventually, I assume, see Herc and Cho face Amatsu-Mikaboshi and the horde of alien gods he has working for him.  This was a rather exciting and unexpected ending to Assault on New Olympus, and it just makes me more excited for what’s to come.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 9.0

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