The Chaos War is upon us! Will the final arc in the Incredible Hercules epic live up to the hype surrounding the beloved book?
Credits & Solicit Info:
Bigger than THE INFINITY GAUNTLET! More cosmic than ANNIHILATION! Since the end of SECRET INVASION, the CHAOS KING has amassed his army of alien slave gods -- and the time to strike Earth is NOW! Only the greatest Marvel heroes can oppose him -- all led by the newly-returned god of heroes ... HERCULES! But are even his incredible new powers enough to stand against the greatest threat the Marvel Universe has ever seen - a mad god who seeks to destroy Reality itself? PLUS: While thought dead, Hercules was trapped in a dangerous world that threatened his very sanity. Find out the secret of his exile in a special extra story penciled by PRINCE OF POWER's Reilly Brown!
The Marvel Universe has seen its share of wars over the last few years. There was a civil war between heroes, a war against the Hulk, a war with aliens, and a war against a corrupt branch of the government. One of the things tying all these wars together is the Incredible Hercules series, a series that managed to not only tie into every major event over the last four years but also did so without sacrificing its own eight arc plot. The epic begun in Incredible Hercules #112 culminates in its own event, Chaos War #1, which came out this week.
Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente have written a great opening to the final chapter of their Hercules epic. With Hercules returned and supercharged, the Prince of Power, Thor and Amadeus Cho, boy genius, gathers up the world's heroes and prepares him for the Chaos King, who has his own army of slave gods ready to attack the universe. While it's not exactly the most reader-friendly book, Chaos War #1 does manage to give new readers a crash course in everything they missed if they haven't been reading Thor over the last four years. As for loyal fans, Chaos War has everything that readers have come to expect from the dream team of Pak and Van Lente. There's plenty of action, humor and ridiculous sound effects. As a little bonus, there's a back-up story focusing on what happened to Hercules after his supposed death at the end of Battle for Olympus.
Khoi Pham's art is, as always, an acquired taste. Some will like sketch-like style while others will hate on the overabundance on needless lines. For my part, I thought that the art neither distracted nor added to the story at hand. Khoi's pencils are tempered by the inks of Tom Palmer, which provides a more steady style to the art than that of its inaugural arc. I think it's fitting that the original artist of Incredible Hercules came back for its finale, although it would have meant more had the original colorist, the late Stephane Peru been able to add his masterful colors to the pages.
Pak and Van Lente have been building to this arc for the last four years and now they are reaping the fruits of their labor. Old foes are reintroduced and heroes are once again put into impossible situations. While the story isn't perfect, neither is the lead character. I, for one, plan on sitting back and enjoying the swan song to a series that's been consistently excellent over the last four years.
Review by: BlueStreak