In a book in which things go south quickly all of the time, it's worth saying that things are headed in that direction with haste after the revelations of the last few issues. With everything happening and things coming to a head, true identities are revealed, intentions are dug up, and the gods we've spent so long with are truly reaching the final days of their two-year lifespan. Without giving away too much, Minerva's recent admissions are bringing out the worst in some of the gods, and Woden's antics are actually beginning to show some promise for the first time in quite awhile.
Creator Joss Whedon returns to the Buffy-verse with Dark Horse Comics' new Giles mini-series. Joined in the story department this time by Erika Alexander (Concrete Park) and paired with artist Jon Lam (Gotham Academy: Second Semester), Whedon and company take everyone’s favorite Watcher, Rupert Giles, back to high school. Only two issues have been released so far, but, as I'm sure we all remember from the early season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, high school is hell (and a whole lot of hormones).
The Black Hammer universe is one in which the superheroes aren’t always very super, and Doctor Star falls into this category. Jeff Lemire has created a universe in which personal regret is the main reward for spending your life saving other people's lives – that’s not a bad thing for readers. In issue one of Doctor Star, we learned two things: one, how the para-dimension was discovered which plays into the larger world of Black Hammer, and two, how Jimmy Robinson became Doctor Star when he discovered the para-dimension. The story jumps from the Golden era of superheroes, as Jimmy throws himself 100% into being a hero, then to the present, with Jimmy visiting his son who is dying of cancer. What happened exactly to get him to the point in which he’s watching his son die? I present to you issue number two...
If you decide to read this comic (which you should - it’s a lot of fun), do yourself a favor and don’t read the given synopsis first. It says a number of things about the plot that aren’t really revealed until the end of this issue. While I’m not sure I’d exactly call them spoilers, I think it’s much more engaging if you discover these things as you read. As such, I’ll try to avoid talking about them in my review. It won’t be easy, considering that one of those things is the protagonist’s name.
Of all the deities and figures of Greco-Roman mythology, perhaps none is as renowned or revered as that of Hercules (Heracles). His legends and deeds have endured centuries of adaption and appropriation, inspiring art, film, comics, and other stories. Steve Reeves’ portrayal of Hercules in the 1958 peplum film of the same name set the template of a cinematic Hercules which would be echoed over the years by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and Dwayne Johnson, with a small-screen incarnation portrayed by Kevin Sorbo. Hercules has appeared in various comic book iterations at DC, Dell, Marvel, and Gold Key and in a set of graphic novels by Steve Moore, The Thracian Wars and The Knives of Kush. Each of these iterations of Hercules take liberties with his mythology (which itself is fluid and composed of conflicting accounts and tales), but interprets and builds upon it, as well.
Being a child of the '80s meant so many things, but it ensured you grew up with some of the best children’s shows ever created - among them, Fraggle Rock, a show from the ingenious mind of Jim Henson. Fraggle Rock opened up a whole new world to kids, with morals hiding in the songs from these mostly hyper puppets. It provided a different character for almost every personality, leaving kids able to relate to someone on the show. But, it also gave laughter, hope, and music to children. It was always a beautiful world to visit.