Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Uncollected Classics week continues with a storyline from a notable run that has very few parts of it collected, Roger Stern’s Avengers run. I don’t believe anyone specifically requested this storyline, but it just seemed to stand out for me in how much it would work as a trade paperback nowadays, especially with the Chaos War stuff. So without further due, I give you “The Olympus War,” from Avengers #281-285, by Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer!
The set-up for this storyline is as follows…Hercules was not very happy having to follow the orders of the Wasp as leader of the Avengers. So one night, when Hercules had been plied with liquor by some bad guys, Hercules ignored Wasp’s orders not to try to attack Avengers Mansion (which had been captured by the Masters of Evil). He was then beaten nearly to death. He survived but was trapped in a deep coma. Time moved on (as it tends to do) and Wasp left the Avengers and Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) became the leader and the team’s lineup changed (Wasp and Hercules left and Thor, Doctor Druid and She-Hulk joined).
Well, right before Avengers #281, Hercules vanished from his hospital bed! And when #281 begins, the nurse accuses Thor of kidnapping him. Thor denies it and realizes who was ACTUALLY behind it. Like Hercules, Thor was not great at following orders, so he spirited away to take care of things on his own. This left the Avengers to debate the issue…
The fellow enjoying himself at She-Hulk’s expense is Dionysus. Yep, the Greek gods have set their sights on the Avengers and they are PISSED!
After they take down the whole team (Thor is taken down separately) we see what the deal is…
Not good. Not good at all!
In the next issue, the remaining Avengers who were around during Hercules’ tenure on the team, Namor and the Wasp, are sought out. Neptune himself grabs Namor, but Namor gets loose in the River Styx (what a cool idea – Namor in the River Styx!).
the mysterious stranger sets the plot up…
Just when the Avengers escape and think they’ve found a way to rationally discuss stuff, well, this happens…
Here’s an example of how cool things get – the Black Knight ends up wielding Cap’s shield along with his ebony blade!!
By the time this war is over, the Olympians know that they have been in a fight! Hercules wakes up, and that is not necessarily good news for the Avengers (remember, he was beaten nearly to death – expect some brain damage!). All in all, this was a dynamite-paced five-parter by Roger Stern, getting in tons of awesome ideas while being aided brilliantly by one of the top art teams Marvel had at the time, John Buscema on breakdowns and Tom Palmer on finishes.
Sadly, this would be the last full storyline by Roger Stern. He was fired from the book in the middle of the next story over a disagreement with the book’s editor, Mark Gruenwald. It’s really too bad – but at least he had this really awesome send-off!