“Chaos Among the Gods”

Writer: Cary Bates

Artist: Walter Simonson

Hercules finds out that the Anti-Ares was the one possessing Kevin. Anti-Ares pounds Hercules into the ground then joins with the other anti-gods. They form one being and go off to attack Olympus. Basil the dog hid away in the flying wing and helps Hercules dig out of the ground. Soon after the gods send lightning bolts to transport Hercules to Olympus. There he finds out the truth of why he was chained to the island for centuries. The gods of Olympus were making themselves perfect and in this they created anti-gods from all their negative energy. They imprisoned them in the island and needed Hercules strength to keep them there. So they drugged him and chained him to the island. Only he finally managed to break free. The anti-Ares possessed Kevin, waiting for the right time to strike.

Hercules is pissed about this and soon after the anti-gods show up. An epic battle ensues with neither getting the upper hand. Hercules uses the enchanted chains to start destroying Olympus. This brings together the gods and anti-gods, but they are powerless against the might of Hercules. The two groups working together merge them back to one. In gratitude for saving them, Zeus sends Hercules back. He finds Jennifer brought back to life and Basil waiting for him. The three head out to explore the post-apocalyptic world.

The final issue comes to a satisfying conclusion. We get the answer to why Hercules ended up chained on the island all those centuries. Why Kevin seemed a bit off. A big battle with Hercules being the one to save the day. Ends on a happy note with Jennifer brought back to life. Along with the dog Basil they can continue exploring the world. Sadly, we never hear again from Hercules and this cool post-WWIII world. DC created a fun idea with their version of Hercules and my favorite genre, post-WWIII. I am glad they managed to tie up the story and we get 12 quality issues to enjoy.


“The Darkside of the Gods”

Writer: Cary Bates

Artist: Walter Simonson

Hercules gets a new suit of armor thanks to the Atomic Knights. In an old car factory, they smelt the alloy. Then it is off to the Knight’s HQ on the western shore of Lake Ontario. Flying the flying wing, Kevin suddenly gets possessed by an evil force and attacks his friends. Hercules and the Knights are thrown out of the plane. Hercules stops Kevin by tossing a large rock into the lake which short circuits the plane.

While this happens, the gods on Olympus watch and wonder about their predicament. Some evil force has trapped Olympus in a temporal storm. Only Hercules can save them, and they shoot a bolt to Earth. It takes over Jennifer and she is now possessed by Athena. She starts to warn Hercules but a giant fire-breathing dragon forms from the campfire. It strikes down Jennifer before Hercules can destroy it. Jennifer is now dead, and Hercules decides to release Kevin from his chains since he thinks the evil is destroyed.

Only Kevin is once again possessed and jumps into the flying wing. Hercules grabs on and the wing crashes in the Mediterranean off the island that Hercules was chained to. Kevin is fully taken over by Ares who brags that he will release the Anti-Gods from the rock that Hercules was chained to.

A lot of stuff happens in this issue. The big event is Jennifer dying which is a surprise. I really liked this character and a brave move to kill her off. The other is Kevin being possessed by Ares. The letters page already informed us this title was being cancelled. So, they set up a big final ending which should give us all the answers for this series.


“Water, Water, Neverwhere!”

Writer: Cary Bates

Artists: Walt Simonson & Bob Layton

Hercules and his friends bury their former companion Dave Rigg at a cemetery in London. Soon after a big explosion of water spouts out of the ground. Hercules manages to throw a streetlamp that cuts a huge trench into the ground and stops the water. They find a survivor that tells he was conducting an experiment on a substance found by the Great Lakes in America. The group decides to go there and warn people about the substance’s danger. Fortunately, some guys at the nearby museum offer to give them a flying wing. Even more fortunately, Kevin can fly it using some power of his that manipulates energy.

The group arrives at Lake Ontario and find it bone dry. They also find some giant Dalmatians and two guys in armor. After a brief tussle they make peace, and we find out about these knights. They are the Atomic Knights and were investigating the compressed molecules of the water that an evil scientist named Scuba created. They arrive at their camp unknowing that their companion was taken over by an alien energy being. This being needs the compressed water to power itself. This creature takes off to grab the big block and Hercules pursues. At the block it draws immense power and beats up Hercules. Hercules grabs the water block and stuffs it into the helmet. This block blows and destroys the alien and restores the water to Lake Ontario.

A new writer with Cary. Lots of stuff happens. Dave Riggs apparently died, and this makes sense since he didn’t really fit into the group. A goofy compressed water causes trouble. Convenient plot points get the group to America. We get introduced to the Atomic Knights. While never having a series of their own, they were regulars in an anthology series from the fifties and sixties. Also Dr. Skuba was something from the Omac series. So, they have now successfully integrated the Atomic Knights and Omac into the Kamandi universe. I really love these old issues with their goofy science and outrageous plots.



Writers: David Michelinie and Walt Simonson

Artists: Walt Simonson and Bob Layton

Hercules and friends are confronted by their former companion David Riggs who has been connected to the island’s computer. David sends a horde of robots to attack. He also activates a giant electromagnet that destroys the female robots on Hercules side. This also knocks out Jennifer. Hercules, Kevin and Basil manage to escape but forget to take Jennifer. This works out since when Jennifer recovers, she goes wandering off and finds a control room to bust up. This manages to free David from control of the computer. Unfortunately, he launches nuclear missiles. Hercules manages to destroy all but one. Jennifer finds a button that sets off the auto destruct. Hercules and friends manage to make it to a boat before the whole island goes up in a nuclear explosion. They go back to Agatha’s complex and find it still standing. She opened a portal in time that the one missile went through. It was to Greece in October 1986. Kevin gets really angry because that is where WWIII started.

This was a fun issue. First, we find out that David was captured and taken over by the computer because a fail-safe required a human to launch nuclear weapons. Jennifer was actually the real hero of this issue. She manages to conveniently find the big red self-destruct button that destroys the whole computer complex. Nuclear bombs all over the place. At the end we find out the date for WWIII. Funny I don’t remember a war back in 1986. A cool reveal of how the war started.



Writer: David Michelinie

Artists: Walt Simonson & Wally Wood

Hercules and friends are on a raft in the Irish sea. They get attacked by four ME-262 fighter jets. David drowns but the others get to shore. There Hercules tosses rocks at the jets and destroys three out of four. The fourth is damaged and they follow it to some strange complex. They are then attacked by a horde of women robots. A voice then apologizes and thought that they were part of constructs from an opponent.

They find an old woman running everything hooked up to a machine. She was hit by a jeep and while in coma developed advanced intelligence. She built this complex and after the war started playing what she thinks is a game with another complex located on the Isle of Man. She gets Hercules and friends to join in her game by promising to cure Kevin’s blindness. Meanwhile, David didn’t drown but washes ashore and is captured by a robot. Hercules and friends attack the opposing complex and finds their friend David hooked into the machine running the complex.

So, the writer and artist that were to temporarily take over decided to stay on. They had so much fun with this series they wanted to stay, and it shows. This was a fun issue. Filled with crazy old woman who can pull WWII stuff from time and bring it into the future. She is playing some kooky game with another mysterious base. I thought at first, they were getting rid of David. I was OK with this since he didn’t seem to really fit with the group. Although I thought it was a bit cold hearted to have him so casually killed off. Yet he is still alive and part of the story. Will reserve judgement on this character to see where the writer takes him. The series is really hitting its stride.


“To Slay a Legend!”

Writer: David Michelinie

Artists: Walt Simonson and Wally Wood

Hercules and gang are in Scotland. They visit the famous Loch Ness and are greeted by some beautiful women. They are invited to dinner. Only the wine was drugged, and the gang wake up tied up. The leader is an old guy named Casper Zedd. He was searching for the Loch Ness Monster when WWIII happened. Soon after a huge creature appeared and gave him a staff. He used this to gather survivors to worship the giant creature. Zedd plans to sacrifice Kevin to it.

The creature appears and Hercules recognizes it. It is Oceana a Titan that he defeated long ago. Oceana was drawn from the Underworld by WWIII. He is just using Zedd to gain power until it can destroy the world and take over. Hercules breaks his bonds and with his friends go to the nearby dam. Only the lightning of Zeus can defeat Oceana. They rig up the dam to produce lightning which Hercules uses to destroy Oceana. Zedd’s staff blows up and his followers abandon him.

A new writer and artist. MIchelinie is a temporary fill in as a new writer will come in next issue. Garcia is on vacation and will be back for the next issue. Both guys did an excellent job of keeping up the standard of quality established. David Riggs has joined the group while Simon decided to stay in London. A fun issue with Hercules having to battle a Titan. Hints at some special power from Kevin. That he has some type of essence that Oceana needed. Another mystery to be explored in future issues.


“Even a God May Die!”

Writer: Gerry Conway

Artists: Jose Luis Garcia Lopez & Wally Wood

Hercules and friends have just defeated Hunter Blood when they are attacked by soldiers of Ares. Hercules and Duroy and his animal-men manage to defeat them. Hercules then tells that he thinks Ares can resurrect the dog, Basil. Long ago Hercules witnessed Ares bring back his pet falcon. They then get a visit from one of their friends who managed to escape from Ares. He says that he is located at Stonehenge.

Hercules and friends go there and confront Ares. Hercules call out Ares as being a coward and gets him a one-on-one fight. Hercules collapses Stonehenge and traps Ares. One of Ares men use a tank to shoot Hercules, but the shell harmlessly explodes on his chest. Hercules agrees to let Ares go if he will bring back Basil which he does. Then Ares and his men ride off with Hercules promising that if they meet again, one will not survive. Something that Ares has no problem with.

This was an exciting issue. A big fight with the main opponent Ares. We find out a lot about Ares. For one he seems too not like being immortal. He craves death which is why he is always causing these wars. An interesting motive that I didn’t see coming. Also, we find out that he has jealously issues with his brother. Feels that Zeus loved him more. Apparently, a tank shell hardly fazes Herc. Ends with Basil getting brought back to life. A good happy ending since I don’t like seeing people’s dogs die. Promises a new direction for the series at the end. Very interested to find out what that is.


“War Among the Ruins”

Writer: Gerry Conway

Artists: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez & Wally Wood

Hercules confronts Hunter Blood who uses his decaying beams to dissolve the ground under Hercule’s feet. He falls into the underground and Kevin gets knocked out. Hunter takes Jennifer. Hercules is revived by some of the friendly animals that aren’t followers of Hunter. A gorilla named Durak Malloy helps Hercules and Kevin. Basil the dog also finds them. They hear Durak’s story of how he came to have intelligence. He was an experimental test subject when the war came. The explosions dissolved the people and released a chemical that gave him human intelligence.

Hercules goes to the House of Lords where Hunter and his followers are located. A fight ensues with Hunter using his eye beams to collapse Big Ben. Hercules manages with his strength to stop it. Hunter’s animal followers turn on him for his callous disregard for their lives in collapsing Big Ben. Basil saves Kevin but in seriously injured.

This was a good story. There was of course the fun action battling Hunter Blood. We also get some insight in the war. Apparently, the bombs could dissolve people which is why no bodies. We also get an explanation of why there are intelligent animals. Another link to the world of Kamandi. I believe this was an explanation in the series. Ends really sad with the possible death of Basil. He was shot last issue, but it was very clear that he was only knocked out. This time he might not make it. Nothing sadder than the death of a loyal dog. Also sets up the big confrontation with Ares which will occur next issue.


“This Savage Strength”

Writer: Gerry Conway

Artists: Jose Luis Garcia Lopez & Wally Wood

Hercules, Jennifer, Kevin and Basil are on a boat crossing the English Channel. They found a note from their two companions that claims they are now in London. They are attacked by a WWII PT boat crewed by anthropomorphic cat-men. They serve a guy named Hunter Blood and were to keep all strangers off the island. Hercules and friends make it to London and are attacked by more of these animal men. They knock them out with sleep pellets.

Jennifer wakes and finds that Hunter Blood is a mutant with the power to shoot decaying beams from his eyes. The animal men are also mutants. Hunter likes to collect things and is a bit insane because he is also blind. Hercules and Kevin are tied up to bells in a cathedral that houses all of Hunter’s stuff. Hunter sets the bells off, but Hercules manages to recover his strength and tear free. He collapses the cathedral and now has to confront the insane Hunter Blood.

The action moves now to England. A place that is mysteriously deserted. There are no living or dead bodies lying around which the gang wonders about. We are also introduced to anthropomorphic animals which this series has started to tie into the world of Kamandi. A fun series with Hercules being a bit of a chauvinist which drives Jennifer nuts. Hunter Blood is a cool villain and sets up a big fight for the next issue.


“Within the Pit Below”

Writer: Gerry Conway

Artists: Jose Luis Garcia Lopez & Wally Wood

Hercules, Kevin and the dog Basil descend into the underworld. They come on the River Styx with Charon waiting in his boat. They also find a guy with a lyre. Hercules is attacked by a shadow beast and seems about to lose. Kevin gets the guy with the lyre to play some music that weakens the shadow beast. Enough for Hercules to knock it into the Styx where is dissolves. The guy that helped them is Orpheus a son of Apollo. He tells how his young wife Eurydice died and he goes to the underworld to implore Hades to release her. He does but tells that Orpheus can’t look at his wife until they get to the surface. Orpheus screws this up and loses his wife.

Cerebus takes Jennifer to Hades and his wife Persephone to wait for Hercules. While there he forms a friendship with Jennifer who is sympathetic to his losing the woman he loved. On the surface Ares kidnapped the other two companions in Paris. Hercules arrives and fights with Cerebus. Hercules knocks down a wall and it collapses on Cerebus, killing him. Jennifer is upset and they are free to return to the surface world.

This one uses a lot of the classical Greek mythology. I believe I remember the story of Orpheus. It takes place in the classical Greek version of the underworld complete with the Styx and Charon. Not to mention Hades and his wife Persephone. Except for the very brief scene in Paris the whole story is set in the underworld and not the futuristic post-nuke world. Could actually be more of a classical Greek myth then a futuristic story. Something that I am sure we will return to in the next issue.