365 Reasons to Love Comics #132
This “random” thing is killing me. Theme weeks are so much easier. Ha.
Today: a fun bunch of characters from a fan-favorite run of a mainstream title. But don’t let that make you think this particular column is going to have a lot of padding.
132. The Pantheon
The Pantheon was the group of super-characters named after mythological figures that tangled and later joined up with the Hulk for a while, back in the heyday of Peter David’s run. This was the “Merged” Hulk, with the intelligence of Bruce Banner, the raw power of the Savage Hulk, and, I dunno, the attitude of Mr. Fixit, or whatever.
The head of the Pantheon was literally their patriarch; the immortal, half-Asgardian Agamemnon (who may or may not have been Bucky– but I guess the Winter Soldier thing shot that to hell for keeps) sired all the main operatives of the group. And they were an intriguing cast of characters, mostly named for characters from the Iliad, and a few others from Greek mythology. You had Achilles, Ajax, Hector, Atalanta, Ulysses, and a handful of others. And they lived in a butte. (Hee hee. “Butte.”)
Ajax was fun. He was a big dumb strongman with a heart of gold. A cliche, maybe, but he was handled well. And I also liked Ulysses, who was at least well-developed enough to be given a decent backstory and character flaws– like his reluctance to accept his brother Hector’s homosexuality.
Yeah, in comics, you’ve got all sorts of shady and ridiculous organizations, but the Pantheon had the mythological spin going for it. All the characters were well-written, but dropped off the face of the Marvel Universe once Peter David stopped writing them. I wonder if they’ve been given a state in the Initiative? Their giant mountain headquarters was in Nevada, though I don’t know if it’d still be there. Of course, I always promote throwing continuity out the window, so what the hell, bring ‘em back into the MU! It could be neat. Might as well wring a few decent stories out of a dumb crossover.
There was some Hulk video game a while back that incorporated the Pantheon, but I hear it sucked. Oh well.
A terrific source of further information on the Pantheon can be found at the Marvel Appendix. I am tired now. Get off my lawn.