REVIEW: Civil War II: Gods Of War #4 – “Beginning Thy Story”

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CIVIL WAR II: GODS OF WAR #4 (of 4)
Writter: Dan Abnett
Artist: Emilio Laiso
Colorist: Guru-EFX
Letter: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: 08/17/16R
Rating: Rated T+
Price: $3.99

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Hercules, was once renowned for his heroics inspiring legend and song alike. He became the world’s first superhero. Now in the modern world, he has become more known for his drunken behavior and unruly behavior, a joke. When a new Civil War rips through the Marvel Universe the heroes are called into action. Everyone except the first, Hercules. Hercules hands are full anyway with a new set of Gods called The Uprising Storm. The new gods threaten to tear the world apart, unless he can assemble a group to challenge them. A group of friends like Gilgamesh, Beowulf, Ire, Theseus, Sigurd, Lorelai, and Tiresias. Together they are the Gods of War, and they must take on and take out these modern gods!

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PlotThe final battle is here! While the heroes are locked in a Civil War, Hercules and the Gods of War are locked in a secret one. Can the Gods of War defeat the Uprising Storm? Is this the end, or just the beginning?

Story: I am torn with this mini-series. On one hand this is the best Civil War II tie-in mini-series, but on the other it is a total farce of one. I know that sounds harsh, but it is the truth. This series is shoehorned into Marvel’s big Civil War II event. Marvel took what should have been issues #7-#10 of Hercules, slapped on the Civil War II banner and forced in that connection to it.

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Throughout the ten issues (six issues of Hercules and four issues of Gods of War) Athena has been this creepy presence looming over Hercules. It was like death watching over someone. This let the audience to believe he may not make it. Could Hercules or at the least one of his friends may not make it through this battle? Here we find out why she was there, and I loved the explanation. This is one of the reason Dan Abnett is perfect for Hercules he gets the mythology, but puts it in today’s world. Athena is an old God, she was unable to speak or interfere due to the hold the Uprising Storm had on the world. But Hercules being a Demigod has a foot in both worlds and was the only one who could do something.

Even with this mini-series being forced into the event, it was just awesome. For decades Hercules has been this joke, no one in the Marvel Universe or comic fans took him seriously. Here you have the first hero, the most known mythological (outside of comics) and he is on the same level as Deadpool and not Captain America where he belongs. For the first time he is, and Dan Abnett is the brilliant writer who done this flawlessly. It is a shame that Marvel canceled the Hercules series because the Hercules Abnett presented here is one I have been wanting from Marvel for years.

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Art: The art here is very good. I think Emilio Laiso does a great job with most of the characters, but I still think his weak spot is Gilgamesh. In the Hercules series, he was seen more like a High School Quaterback who didn’t go beyond that and is one or two seasons out of shape, but here is is about 40 years out.

The strongest part of the art for me though, may be the way he depicts the Gods of War. These are Gods/Heroes/Myths from all different regions, and he draws them as so. Hercules looks Greek with his bone structure and facial features. This stays true to the other characters as well, they don’t look like cookie cutter people with different skin tones. This diversity in art is something I really appreciate because it makes me connect to the characters on a deeper level.

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Verdict: Overall I loved this mini-series. This truly is the beginning of Hercules’ story, because I don’t think we have ever seen him quite like this before. I think Marvel should give Dan Abnett a chance with Hercules again, because we need quality writing like this in Marvel NOW!

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