Solo Avengers #11 (1988): Hercules, Hawkeye

The first half of this book is yet another Tom DeFalco, humdrum Hawkeye story.  He fights gymnasts called Bobcat and his Claws and a guy called Mind Melder who can body swap.  Ugh. Mind Melder dies in the issue but the Bobcat gang appear again, so I’ve shown you their first appearance, from the splash page (above).

So that sucked. Story #2, though, is a Hercules tale by the greatest Hercules writer ever: Bob Layton!

It starts on Olympus, with Dionysius deciding to blow up the home of the Greek Gods because he thinks they’re just not relevant any more.  Which is kinda true: Thor holds a high profile, and there’s hundreds of super-powered folks running around Earth.  Who needs The Greek pantheon anymore?

Hercules tells his friend that he’s just depressed, but Dionysus is determined.  He’s got a nuclear warhead and a giant tank, among other things that Hercules has to defeat to stop him from setting off the bomb.

To punish him, Zeus does what the all-fathers always do to “bad” Gods: He takes his powers away and forces him to be a mortal on Earth.  (Being a human must really suck, since it’s always the go-to punishment.)

And in typical Bob Layton fashion, the result is pretty funny:

Dion’s Bar!  “Under new management!”  I wish this had become a running gag, but I don’t think it gets used in future stories.

This is the first solo Avengers story I’ve really enjoyed, and reminds me of what Marvel Fanfare can do when it’s doing its job.

Hawkeye: Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright. 
Hercules: Bob Layton (story, breakdowns), Butch Guice (finishes). 

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