Comic book reviews for Marvel’s Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1 by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, Greek Tragedy by Paul Tobin, Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #2 by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, and Greek Tragedy, Part II by Paul Tobin
Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1 by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente
This issue was really stellar in highlighting grief and coming together to celebrate Hercules. I loved Amadeus’ anger, tears, and stoicism. They just felt so real as he mourned for his best friend. Yeah, it’s a formula, but it works here.
Rather figures that the Olympians dashed off as soon as possible. But the other gods and the Avengers are totally okay with chumming it up with the mortals. Who is that blond guy in green? I kept thinking Oliver Queen crashed the party. Apparently, it’s some guy named Fandral.
I loved how all the characters Hercules remembrance stories were a little ridiculous. From Thor’s drinking one to Namor punching the crap out of Hercules before just chilling on the beach. Of course, getting all the women’s stories were completely silly. (It’s been pointed out that some of the ladies don’t kiss and tell.) Sadly, She-Hulk’s otherwise occupied.
I really loved this backup story, both as a story of grief and a story of girl-bonding. I do enjoy the dynamics between Venus and Namora.
Isn’t it great how a character who runs around in a one-piece bathing suit, zipped down to her navel, has issues with public nudity? Okay…
But besides that, I liked how Tobin acknowledged the many sides of love. Which definitely including the longing and mourning of someone you loved. I also liked to see how Hercules affected the lives of “real” people. I also enjoyed the pacing of how it moved from corporations (who probably, by in large, don’t care) to individuals helped out by Hercules who mourned him greatly.
In addition to exploring Venus’ newly expanded powers, I appreciate what it says about Namora’s continuing emotional development.
Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #2 by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente
I feel like Olivetti phoned in his art. For the ultimate death of hero, the art seemed sloppy and quick. The lack of really any detailed backgrounds make it really apparent he whipped it out. I get that artists generally spend a lot more time than writers, but deadlines need to accompany both the title and the artist’s pace.
The whole entire contest was rather ridiculous and overwrought. But I don’t think anything too crazy given Hercules. So maybe it was indeed the perfect tribute to who Hercules was.
I loved them shoving Nightmare into Banner’s dimensional bag. A very mythological ending to that part of the fight. I also loved Amadeus and Skaar being completely immune to Phobos’ effect. A very nice touch to point out the deaths of both Olympians: Hercules and Ares. I also think it’s a good way to show how alliances can be built.
It’s of no surprise that Amadeus and company won. And is nicely meta about religion at the end when Persephone offers Amadeus a pomegranate in the underworld. Amadeus is now literally in hell. But gets out of it quickly with a mission to find Hercules.
Greek Tragedy, Part II by Paul Tobin
This tale is really touching, both as a memorial for Hercules and as a celebration to see the good he did in the world. I like the acknowledgment that the mythological are children too. Children without homes and essentially disabled due to special powers. But do they grow up?
I love that Venus and Namora conspire to save the hospital. It may not be profitable, but it’s meaningful. I love how Venus threatens to break hearts. And also how they can’t tell the children that Hercules is dead.