Characters Appearing: Achilles, Jason (Pantheon), Perseus, Ulysses, Ulysses (original)
Hulk #409 (Pantheon)
Issue(s): Hulk #409 (Pantheon back-up only)
If you are interested in Pantheon history, there are a few bits of interest here. Jason will later appear in the Hulk's main storyline as the guy who does Agamemnon's dirty work. This is his first appearance by publishing date (i.e. not just retroactively because it's a continuity insert) and this story seems to show how he lost his eye. And Perseus was currently appearing in the main Hulk story as a nice old retired Pantheon guy who gets killed by Madman. So showing that he was a bit of a bully here adds a little to his character. Still, there's not too much here.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place in 1959.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Myself, I liked the Pantheon. They supplied Hulk with a supporting cast a bit outside the well-trodden terrain of love interests, guilty friends and scared people. And they offered a nice variety of personalities and untold stories to boot.
Not sure why Fnord and others seem to dislike them.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | May 14, 2018 7:56 PM
I can't see a single thing wrong with the Pantheon except maybe they were not a great fit for Hulk supporting cast. -I liked them, and missed them when they were gone...
Posted by: BU | May 15, 2018 12:33 PM
I was someone who read these in real-time and I liked the Pantheon then. Ulysses and Hector were both fairly interesting, the character designs weren't bad, and there was a lot of unknowns and mysteries. Looking back now - there was a lot of teasing out of concepts and backstories and not much substance. 20 years later they just feel liked a really unrealized concept in an otherwise stellar run.
I always had issues dealing Achilles and Paris apart, the majority of characters that made up the Pantheon didn't offer much to distinguish one from another or if they did it was in very broad ways (ie Ajax = dumb, Prometheus = ugly).
Posted by: Mark Black | May 15, 2018 2:43 PM
Charles responds so violently to the taunting with the mop because of a sexual assault—implied as strongly as was possible for Marvel back then—during his time in reform school. I suspect PAD may have also intended that incident as background to Ulysses’s homophobia toward Hector, although that seems like pretty crude characterization, if so.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 16, 2018 8:47 PM
I am one of those who never liked the Pantheon. I thought their creation was very generic and derivative - take the names of existing Greek heroes and given them generic powers of physical powers or energy weapons. No points there. I would have liked to seen a mixture of new characters and existing ones repurposed (the odd forgotten heroes and villains neglected by other writers).
Then the Pantheon got negative points for being retroactive continuity inserts - they've always existed, and all these characters know about them, but we the readers have always been ignorant. It would have been better if they were a new group recruited by Agamemnon (of course that would have gone against the plan PAD had for them) and the established Marvel setting had to react to this new player.
Lastly, they made the book less about the Hulk and more about a team book about other characters.
On the plus side, PAD did give them individual personalities and interpersonal conflicts. But I still did not care for the characters. It just made them tolerable.
Superheroes by their nature are fantastic. I think it is is important for supporting casts to ground them in reality. The best supporting casts do that - the place the fantastic relative to our normal world. Special, non-mundane supporting casts like the Pantheon can't do that. We do have Betty, Rick, and Marlo to some degree, they really couldn't do that job because the Pantheon sucked everything up.
Posted by: Chris | May 19, 2018 3:32 PM
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