By Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Rafa Sandoval (pencils), Roger Bonet (inks), Martegod Gracia (colors)
Always a fun and entertaining romp, team Hercules, now comprised of Herc, Amadeus Cho, his pup, and Athena show up in San Francisco after a long road trip across the United States. Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente take some time to show us the chemistry and bond that’s developed between Athena and Cho. Athena acts very much like an older sister who’s main purpose is to keep the boys out of trouble. After the harrowing events of the past two issues where Cho almost “lost it”, he’s kept more in the background in this issue, playing a supporting role.
The main story, is Hercules’ as he tussles with his identity, his history, and two Eternals that have mistaken him for someone else. Since the whole Eternals mini-series ended (by Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr.), Marvel continuity has done little to address just how the story fit into the grand scheme of things. And while, Pak and Ven Lente do little to provide answers, it’s nice to know that the Eternals (along with the Celestials) are being acknowledged. I’ve got a feeling that with the upcoming Eternals series due out in a couple of months, this is Marvel’s way of reminding us that they’re still around and we’ll be getting the answers we seek.
So what is the deal with the gang hanging around San Francisco? Well, it appears Athena has made a startling revelation and she realizes mankind is going to need a lot of help. What this revelation is won’t come as a surprise to most, but it sure did surprise me! With Khoi Pham now gone as penciler, I was weary of what we’d be getting out of Rafa Sandoval. But Sandoval easily survives his trial by fire and delivers some really good art. Some of his facial expressions are a bit wonky (particularly Ikaris), but everyone else is down pat, especially Hercules. (Grade: B+)
– J. Montes