Friday, August 22, 2008

The Incredible Hercules #120 review

Infinite Names: Sacred Invasion finale

The issue starts by telling the story of the Skrull gods, Kly'bn and Sl'gur't before getting to where the last issue left off. Klybn and Slgurt are facing off against our intrepid heroes when Ajak decides he's going to take command of the group. Ajak leads off the fight by going after Klybn while Atum tries for Slgurt. It seems Atum has his fight wrapped up rather quickly, eating Slgurt, but ends up exploding while Ajak gets his head blown off. A giant femur from Atum sends Amadeus tumbling off a ledge into space. This leaves Hercules, who Klybn wastes no time trying to convert to his side. Hercules quickly rebuffs the proposal and puts Klybn to the ground. From their they start tearing each other up while Slgurt and Mikaboshi square off. While they're all fighting, Amadeus is floating through space. He recalls the prophecy Athena told him, that he would have to help Herc when he was at his weakest by doing the hardest thing he would ever have to do and sacrificing himself was that thing. Hope is on the way, however, when Snowbird, who was thought dead, suddenly appears. Seems to get away from that monster from the last issue, she turned herself into a swarm of mosquitoes and followed the crew. With Hercules distracted by the fight, Snowbird finds Atum's spine and uses it to impale Klybn and causes the altar on the Skrull flagship orbiting Earth to shatter. Mikiaboshi and Slgurt are wrapping up their fight, but they've both taken teh same form. One kills the other and it looks like Slgurt has won. But with Klybn dead, the Skrull Dreamtime starts falling apart and they beat it out of there, mission accomplished. Buuuut, it looks like Mikaboshi was the real winner with Slgurt as he drops her body to the ground and claims rule over the Dreamtime while the Enchantress looks on.

Alright, this is a pretty solid read. It was a step up from the last issue and ends pretty decently.

There's a lot of backstory using some Skrull conceptual stuff to detail the origin of Klybn, which was cool. It's always really cool when Pak and Van Lente can sit there and flesh out characters using some crazy mythology stuff, even if in this case it's purely fictional (as opposed to using real mythology). Since it is the climax, there isn't a whole lot of room for character stuff, but what is there is decent. The whole thing with Amadeus. He had to sacrifice himself to get Herc's head screwed back on. Herc is arrogant, ill tempered, and completely fuill of himself. Before Amadeus gets knocked into the abyss, Herc turns to him for support and...nothing. The only way Herc can get his shit back together is for his closest friends to basically lose faith in him. Some god, ay? And Amadeus does lose faith in Herc somewhat. He's idolized him, more or less, up to this point and now Herc has shown some serious flaws. During the fight, Herc basically says this much to Klybn, who, like every other Skrull, wants a perfected society marching lock step. But that kind of society is essentially devalued, with one individual can be replaced with the next, but an imperfect person can at least is capable of being noble. So the whole event was a sort of realization for Hercules.

It's not been a great story, it's been flawed and I think it showed especially last issue. But this issue picks the pieces back up and finishes up what basically amounts to an editorially mandated story fairly well. There is one moment, when the altar on the Skrull flagship is shattering, that ties in nicely to events in Secret Invasion #5. It's just a one off line, a complete throwaway, but it gels well with the whole crossover event. I can hear Pak saying, "See, we're pulling our weight with this whole thing!" Pak and Van Lente do leave a couple of threads dangling to use sometime in the future, which will be interesting to see. This whole business with the Enchantress, sweet!

Secret Invasion is really kicking ass, or at least in the satellite books, but being so long it's getting tedious in its way. Oh, jeez, another fucking book with Skrulls! That was a risky move on Marvel's part. Consumer burn out. With that, however this detour has turned out, it'll be nice to see this title get back on track and see where things go from here.


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