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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Hercules Unbound 12 - Hercules ends

Bates and Simonson bring the adventures of the future Hercules to a close in Hercules Unbound 12 (Aug/Sept 77), and make some sense out of what is going on.

Inking himself, Simonson's art looks just great. Hercules fights Ares, the transformed Kevin, who informs the hero that he is there to bring forth the Anti-Gods. This multiple headed monster proves even too strong for Hercules to defeat.

Fortunately for him, Basil the dog is still around, and he leads Hercules back to the chains once used to bind him, chains which now transport him to Olympus.

There, Zeus explains to Hercules how, long long before, the gods had split off their darker selves into an Anti-God entity. Ares was determined to use the power of this creature to overthrow the Olympian gods. Kevin was a real human kid, but in the first issue, when Kevin battled the sea monster, Ares infected him and slowly took control of him. That still fails to explain why Ares tried to kill him at one point, but whatever.

The Anti-God then attacks Olympus. Hercules is not powerful enough to defeat the Anti-God, but the Olympians take back their dark sides from the creature, now able to keep those parts of themselves under control. This weakens the Anti-God sufficiently that Hercules is able to destroy it.

Hercules is then welcomed to stay at Olympus, but chooses to return to the realm of humans. As a parting gift, Zeus restores Jennifer to life, so she and Hercules get a happy ending.

I don't care for this resolution, really, but at least it is a resolution, and the series doesn't just cut off and leave everything hanging.

This version of Hercules does cameo on rare occasions, but Hercules will primarily continue as an occasional supporting character in Wonder Woman, with no connection to this version.

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