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Monday, 31 July 2017

Hercules Unbound 5 - how the Great Disaster affected England

Conway, Garcia-Lopez and Wood give some further development to the Great Disaster in Hercules Unbound 5 (June/July 1976).

The story picks up from the end of the previous issue. Hercules confronts Hunter Blood, but the villain gets away by blasting the ground beneath Hercules' feet with his eye beams, sending the hero tumbling into the underground system. Kevin leaps the hole, despite being blind, but Hunter Blood knocks the kid away and takes off with Jennifer.

We briefly catch up with Ares and see that the other two men Hercules met in Paris are now captives of the war god.

Hercules meets some gorillas who are trying to overthrow Hunter Blood. The gorillas explain to Hercules that they were being kept in a lab for scientific experiments when World War 3 broke out. After the nuclear war, a different sort of attack took place, one which reduced all the humans in England to dust. Cortexin, the drug used in Kamandi to explain the increase in the intelligence of animals, is also credited with the mutations that have taken place in England.

Some more hints are made about Kevin, as we see him evade and battle the cat-men. As usual, he demonstrates a lot of precision and agility for a blind man. He is also credited with having hypnotized Basil into acting dead in the previous issue. Kevin himself wonders if the radiation has made him a mutant, like Hunter Blood.

The story climaxes at Big Ben, as the cover implies. Hercules does rip apart the top of the bell tower, and sends Hunter Blood hurtling to the ground, while he rescues Jennifer. Hunter winds up ripped to shreds by his former slaves, but Kevin's dog, Basil, gets crushed by the falling rubble.

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