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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.

5/12/07

132. The Pantheon

Pantheon 1.jpg

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.

Pantheon 2.jpg

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.

11 Comments

Hey, I remember them kinda maybe a little!

Not that I remember anything about them, but I thought it would be cool to post the first comment on one of these things.

Unless someone beats me to it while I’m typing this. Crap crap crap crap crap …

Hey, nobody beat me. Woo-hoo!

(Man, I’m easy to please.)

I can remember something about the Hulk looking for a green monster and it turning out to be the wall at Fenway.

Maybe you could go back to the theme weeks, instead of the theme months?

I only read one Hulk comic as a kid (before I came back to comics as a teenager) and it was with them. I was big into mythology as a kid so I rembered the Pantheon but you know I always wondered what the deal with those guys were.

Andrew Collins

May 13, 2007 at 12:19 am

Man, I liked the David run on Hulk as a whole, but I LOVED his run on the book with Gary Frank as the artist and with the Pantheon featured prominantly. Those were some fun stories, including the wedding of Rick & Marlo. Sadly, after Frank left, Marvel was never quite able to find an artist that worked as well with Peter David on Hulk. My theory is that the chemistry came from both men having nothing but first names… :P

I wish Marvel would do something else with the Pantheon too.

Get off my lawn.

I’m not sure why, but that last sentence took an otherwise excellent 365RTLC into the realm of greatness.

The end of the Pantheon run was, as far as I’m concerned, the end of PAD’s many-years-long heyday on the book; I stuck with it for most of the rest of his run, but somehow it wasn’t the same. The merged-Hulk years under PAD’s writing were the best any Hulk book had ever been– and I approached them as a full-on skeptic because it seemed so untrue to the character!

Hmmm.

Achilles’ origin, set in the concentration camp, was simply amazingly done.

Colossus 2000

May 13, 2007 at 9:21 pm

Hands down, no doubt about it, my favourite run on a comic. Everything PAD did with this title during this time was pure gold.

I could easily right a whole blog myself on this run.

Favourite memories include: Mr Fix-It, Hector, Ulysses and Paris go to Vegas and deal with Doc Ock and the Punisher. Atlannta being kidnapped by Trauma, and having to enlist the Starjammers and the Silver Surfer to get her back. My first encounter with ‘do not go gentle into that good night’. Piecemeal. Hulk being mistaken for Nessie and Godzilla. Hector and Northstar at Rick Jone’s Wedding. The battle against X-Factor. Atlannta shooting an arrow at the apple between Ulysses legs because he lost a game of poker.

I loved it.

Mobelius Rodelius

May 17, 2007 at 10:02 am

Dale Keown + Peter David + Hulk = Awesome.

Have there been any trades that collect the DK + PD Hulk stories?

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