Mind Capsules – Hercules #5 and New Avengers #8

Hercules #5
Hercules #5

Writer – Dan Abnett
Artist – Luke Ross
Colours – GURU-eFX
Letters – VC’s Joe Sabino

Dan Abnett and Luke Ross have Hercules face the oncoming Storm, gods of the now who are looking to do away with the ancient ones and it is a battle hard-fought. Though Hercules gives it his all, his best is only enough to finish in a stalemate. These new gods, particularly Cryptomnesia and Catastrophobia are strong and among the strongest villains that he has ever faced. Most gods accumulate their powers from those who worship them, and despite still being immortal and as powerful as he is, Hercules is ultimately no match for The Storm who are gods born of this new age. It is a good thing then that he has some friends and even some enemies to help him out including those he has most recently rescued the past few issues including Gil, one of his oldest allies and a god in his own right. One thing that has never lessened with each series and each creative team is the fact that Hercules is a man that never gives up and is always willing to stand up for what he thinks is right. Here, Herc has no wish to see the old gods and the creatures of myth pass away into memory for he himself is one such being. Abnett understands our hero perfectly and it is interesting to watch this more serious version of Hercules compared to the carefree and jovial god that he used to be. Sure, Herc can still crack a smile and he probably still enjoys a drink, but for the moment, he is more concerned with repairing his damaged reputation that years of reckless abandon have caused and part of that will entail beating these new gods and sending them back to whatever hell they crawled out of. Gilgamesh also gets a moment to shine, finally deciding it is better to be remembered for something rather than always being the Forgotten One. With a ton of action and some great character moments, the latest iteration of Hercules is a good one. Some questions still need to be answered such as what does Athena want and it adds a little bit of mystery to an already overflowing pot. Hercules has been a fun book on every level and one that is currently underappreciated in the current Marvel Universe.

4 out of 5

New Avengers #8
New Avengers #8

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Marcus To
Colours – Dono Sanchez Almara
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna

The New Avengers as recent events have shown, are unable to enter the United States as they are considered, only somewhat, a group of villains. Ever since Roberto da Costa took over A.I.M. and has since turned it into Avengers Idea Mechanics, his motives have been suspect, especially as he has allowed all of his employees to keep their beekeeper costumes. Be that as it may, the latest Avengers crossover continues in this very book and it finds the team slightly at odds with each other. Al Ewing continues to provide fun, yet exciting stories and this issue continues that as we see the Avengers head for Pleasant Hill and whatever it is that might await them there. Before that happens though, the decision to head to America is put to a vote with only three of the members dissenting, thinking it a bad idea. Bobby of course thinks otherwise and so he drops them off in the middle of nowhere and tells them that they are effectively the Avengers now as he and the rest of the team will be committing a crime and can no longer carry the name. One of the more interesting players in the book is in fact, Bobby, or Sunspot as he is more commonly known, not to mention the leader of the team. The man has a vision for his team and for the future and he is determined to carry it out while remaining true to the original tenants of what the Avengers stand for. He may have had a bit of a character change from carefree New Mutant to billionaire playboy and industrial guru, but it was a natural one. At the moment, many of his motives still remain a secret, but you can be sure that Ewing has something in store that wills surprise readers at some point. After arriving in Pleasant Hill, the Avengers have a run-in with S.H.I.E.L.D. where they manage to rescue The Whisperer, recently revealed as Rick Jones. Where this leaves the team at the moment is unknown, but if they were not fugitives already, they may very well be now.

3.5 out of 5

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