So, my beloved LCBS (Local Comic Book Shop) Ultimate Comics, recently had a back issue sale which inspired me to dig into the catalog of things recommended. This has reminded me of the two great sensations of comic book reading: the joy of a new found great book and the loss of a hard earned four dollars.
Let's start with the first one. Now I've been on a mission to find good books of late. So far I've done pretty well. I'm really caught in the web of Jason Aaron's "Scalped" and I finally hit that point in the fourth collections of "Fables" that everyone keeps telling me about. You know the one, the part where it gets good. That said, my most recent find has been of Incredible Hercules.
Everyone and their brother has been telling me to read this book. I didn't want to. I had just finished being dissapointed by both World War Hulk and Jeph Loeb's Hulk (btw 4th Letter has an awesome article about Jeph Loeb's Hulk, check it out). Another thing spawning from the Hulk-verse was hardly what I needed. So I stomped my feet, threw a fit, and spent my money on X-men Noir instead. Once I had finished that, I was also on the edge about Van Lente, who as it turns out, writes Herc as well.
So, whenever there's a back issue sale I always forget what I'm looking for. I was this close to picking up Black Panther when my eyes fell on the Hercules header. After pushing past the Radical Comics Hercules, I found what I was looking for. I remembered seeing stuff about the "The Replacement Thor" arc, so I picked it up.
After getting passed up for Fables, Scalped, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Parker: The Hunter, Daredevil: Born Again, The Five Fists of Science, and Siege #1 - I finally got around to Hercules. I have to tell you (and your brother if he's around) you were right, it's fantastic. It pops with a joy of both writing and art which you rarely see in a big two book. I'm struck by the feeling that everything is just as it was meant to be.
Which leads me to my big disappointment, Dynamite's "Athena".
If you know me, you should know how much I dig smart and strong female leads. I have enough familiarity with Greek myth to know Athena should be just that. Imagine how disappointed I was the fifth time I saw Athena's bare ass through her hospital gown in the first issue.
The storytelling is bland and while I realize that it's a first issue, my brain rang out with a resounding "boo". If you want to write a Greek inspired character with enormous breasts and do bare ass shots all day, just do Aphrodite. For the love of Zeus, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, battle, and the hunt. Athena should be riding down on soldiers in full armor with a lance. I won't get started on her "god armor", suffice to say she was just as protected in the hospital gown.
Oh well, one step (and one book) at a time I guess. Who knows what this Wednesday will bring.