Review: Chaos War #5 (of 5)

Posted By: Byron Brewer
01/26/2011 - 11:25pm




Cover: Brandon Peterson

Writers: Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak

Pencils: Khoi Pham

Inks: Palmer & McLeod

Colors: Sunny Gho

Letters: Simon Bowland


Well, folks – or those of you who still remain – it has been a looooong five months for this “event,” has it not? And a limited series that started out with such fun and high hopes finally crash-burns into the cosmic mishmash it became by #2.

The climactic issue of Chaos War by Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak sees our hero, the Lion of Olympus Hercules, finally living up to his new powers as he attains gigantic status and takes on our main big bad, the Chaos King, face to face.

Of course we realize our heroes, both alive and dead, are involved in their separate battles to preserve the little sliver of reality left. But, as in its Incredible Hercules roots, this adventure has as its heart and soul the relationship and trust between Herc and his sidekick-come-Prince of Power, Amadeus Cho.

I respect what Van Lente and Pak tried to do as a whole with this series, I really do. I just believe that, like Secret Invasion, it did not come off as planned due to a failure in its execution.

The gods only know that the art team of Pham and Palmer has kept up its end of the bargain. Oh sure, some of the panel arrangements sometimes looked rushed and a few of the characters a bit on the cartoony side, but that was the same Khoi Pham we knew from Mighty Avengers. And with this enormous cast, I can forgive an odd facial expression or twain.

No, what most seemed lacking was that sense of wonder, that bit of heart so prevalent in Annihilation and its sequels. There was no sense of awe as we met these cosmic beings and gods. Only Big G and Eternity managed to evoke some small “wow” factors.

Honorable mention goes to CW: Dead Avengers, which ended with a bust (IMHO) but was great for two of its three issues.

And so now we move on to a street-level Herc with a forthcoming series, if all indicators are right, and a Chaos King content in the Bubble Universe. At least Alpha Flight and some of the others are left alive (?), but I guess Mar-Vell is not one of them, d’ast it all!

What will really be interesting is to see how Pak’s highly anticipated Silver Surfer mini spins out of this molasses.