Thursday, October 1, 2009
Review - Hercules: The Knives of Kush #3
Radical Comics is back again with Hercules: The Knives of Kush and we are ready to continue the battle to save Egypt from the armies of Amenmessu, brother of Pharaoh Seti. There are spies in Seti’s midst, only they have proven hard to catch and even harder to question while still alive. In an effort to score a victory in what seems an unending streak of defeats, Hercules has cleverly hidden where the army would be in order to draw in Amenmessu’s army and determine if there were even spies in Seti’s high command. I’ve been looking forward to this issue as we are going to pick things up in the heat of battle. I suspect that the Egyptians will continue to whine about being outnumbered and try to retreat while Hercules spurs them on to battle with pure carnage and bloody leadership. Perhaps we will even make progress in finding out who is spying and why. All this and more awaits. Read on for the review of the third issue of this 5 part mini-series. When we last left Hercules, barrels of burning pitch were hurtling down a hill at the wall him and the Egyptians were defending. They retreat a short ways to avoid burning to death, and then Hercules suggests that they fight. While the Egyptian general thinks it is a crazy idea, Hercules points out that the fires force the enemy into a narrow column, and the wall slows their advance so they can’t roll over the outnumbered Egyptians. Hercules' real reason for wanting to fight becomes clear, he is bored with playing bodyguard to Seti’s wife and wants some action. As the Egyptian archers take up the hills surrounding the battle it quickly becomes a rout. Autolycus the rogue and Iolaus the fighter round up survivors and question them using some…convincing…techniques. We learn a little more of Khadis the sorcerer's and Amenmessu’s relationship and what the powers of this sorcerer are. When it becomes apparent that they’ve said all they know, Autolycus disposes of the prisoners. Autolycus forms a plan to infiltrate the enemy that involves setting the remaining prisoners free in the night. We learn a great deal about his methods as he gladly allows several Egyptian guards to be killed just for realism. Him and Iolaus, who is convinced this is a BAD idea, dress up as opposing soldiers and follow the escapees back to their base of operations. Hercules, Atalanta and Meleager return to the city to tell Seti of developments. The Queen Tiaa is happy to see Atalanta in particular, and the two seem to have formed some kind of relationship since Atalanta helped to save the queen in the market. Upon leaving Hercules comes across Queen Twosret and the chancellor talking. While Hercules tries to be polite the chancellor remains his arrogant self and attempts to belittle the son of Zeus. At that moment another queen approaches, but then a guard attempts to attack the Chancellor and Queen Twosret while screaming “For Khadis!” Meleager notices something odd about his eyes and Hercules prevents the assassination, but Khons falls on his own knife in the process. In the meantime back in Thebes Autolycus and Iolaus have arrived back at the base. After dispatching of those who question them they eventually find their way to the palace where Khadis is located. While wondering they are directed to the “orgy” where they encounter a number of Egyptian men and women getting high on Blue Lotus, an aphrodisiac. Suddenly from the shadows on the main stage, who should appear to address the audience and disrobe but Khadis! In a shocking discovery (which would explain the relationship to Amenmessu) the Greeks are stunned to find that their dreaded sorcerer enemy is…a woman! Another good issue in what is an intriguing story. The full picture of why the enemy has been winning the war and the situation with the leadership is coming into focus, but we are still no closer to finding out who the spies are in Seti’s palace. I can only hope that Autolycus and Iolaus have a good escape plan, because I suspect they are going to need it. For some good old fashioned Hercules bloodshed and a touch of intrigue, pick this one up and keep following the story of Hercules: The Knives of Kush when it hits shelves.