Even with this large amount of comic books that have been collected in trade paperbacks, there are still a number of great comic books that have never been reprinted (I'd say roughly 60% of them are DC Comics from the 1980s through the mid-1990s). So every day this month I will spotlight a different cool comic book that is only available as a back issue. Here is an archive of the comic books featured so far.
I want you folks to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions for comics that I should feature this month. I'd like to see what you all would like to see get more attention.
A few people asked me about Roger Stern's Avengers run, with a couple specifically asking for the "Assault on Olympus" storyline. This is actually being collected in a trade in about a month and a half, but eh, it's still uncollected now! And at the very least, it'll give you a reason to buy it when it does get collected next month!
So let's take a look at "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!
Be sure to pick this baby up when it goes on sale on the 21st of September! Heck, you can pre-order it now on Amazon!