Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whom the Gods Would Join

When we last left the Champions, Ares and Hippolyta appeared and were looking to play Bachelor and Bachelorette with Venus and Hercules with Uncle Pluto in the role as Chuck Woolery*. I know, that I am fusing my dating gameshows together but I don’t watch the Bachelor or Bachelorette but I used to really like “Love Connection”. There was nothing better than watching two people absolutely despise each other and telling Woolery and America all about it.

* Judging from his tweets, Woolery seems to have moved to the ultra-Conservative, anti-Semitic side of the house, which sorta sucks. Not because he’s a Conservative, but because he’s taking the prick POV about just about everything and I really used to like him. RIP: "Be back in two and two".

The Champions end up fighting Plato, Ares and Hippolyta and get the upper hand but then the trio disappears. Out of nowhere comes the Olympian, the Huntsman, who’ve never heard of before. Apparently, he’s been given a sliver of Zeus’ power and a staff which he uses to put everyone in suspended animation. Everyone except the Ghost Rider who tosses hell fire at him. This causes the Huntsman to run away, freeing everyone except Hercules and Venus.

The reason? It’s because they’re Olympians. Which kind of seems like a reason for them NOT to be in comas, but that’s comics. Ghost Rider is told to keep watch over the two ancient Greeks by Black Widow. She’s becoming the leader of the group and it seems like Angel has a problem with it. But after Natasha calls him out on it (she actually says, “Do you have an objection, young man?” Young man? The fuck?)  Warren Worthington III told her he was just playing and that’s she’s prettier than his last leader. Way to go, WWIII, you’re so smooth with the ladies.

While this is going on, Pluto and his pals are in Olympus telling Zeus that he better get with the program because if he doesn’t shit is going to hit the fan. The only way to stop said shit from hitting said fan is if Hercules marries Hippolyta and Venus says, “I do” to Ares (who, like I said before is her brother). What Pluto doesn’t tell Zeus, but lets us in on, is that husbands can’t fight wives, so once Hercules and Venus are married, they can attack Olympus and take it over for Pluto. It seems that only Hercules and Venus are the ones tough enough to take on Pluto.

But here’s the thing, they’re in a coma on Earth right this second. Why doesn’t Pluto just attack Olympus right now. I don’t think that Hercules is waking up anytime soon. But there has to be some sort of convoluted plan.

The three go after the Huntsman who creates a Titan that Ice Man and Black Widow pretty easily defeat. But the Huntsman gets the last laugh as he disguises Ice Man, Angel and Black Widow as Pluto, Ares and Hippolyta and the Ghost Rider blasts them out of the sky. It’s kind of funny to watch Ice Man as Pluto call Johnny Blaze, “A stupid jerk.” Then the Huntsman takes their two comrades (more on this word next time) to Olympus for their weddings.

Losing Hercules and Venus sets Bobby off and he’s going to punch the Ghost Rider, but the Angel holds him back. Johnny Blaze is really sad because no one has any idea how to get to Mt. Olympus. But I have a feeling that they’ll figure it out relatively soon because the title of the next issue is: “The Assault on Mt. Olympus”!

The dialogue and art hasn’t really improved much from the first issue. Writer Tony Isabella is fine, I guess. He packs a lot of explanation into his work, but this is really an A then B then C then D type of story. And the characters are sort of there with each other. Even WWIII and Bobby, who have known each other for years are kinda just next to each other. There’s no real sense of purpose why these heroes came together.

Isabella said that he originally wanted to make an Angel and Ice Man go across country and see the “real America” and solve crimes. This is what DC was doing at the time with the Green Arrow and Green Lantern. Those books were supposed to be really good as GL’s conservatism and GA’s liberal ideals were constantly battling. The duo even had this infamous cover (Green Lantern is such a sanctimonious asshole about it too):

Isabella was told no and that if he wanted to use the two, they had to be a part of a team. In that team they needed a strong guy (Hercules), a hero with their own book (Ghost Rider) and a woman (Black Widow). Supposedly that was the formula for a good team book. Which may be true, but there isn’t a lot of sparks flying here.

And the less said about Don Heck’s pencils, the better. There was a panel where Hercules is without his beard. The art is very rushed and very sketchy, which isn’t a style that I enjoy. I won’t spend every blog ripping on this guy, but geez, this isn’t great. I will say that the covers are outstanding. They're really great. 

Two Warren Worthington IIIs out of five:

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