Hercules Unbound #9, March 1977

bronze-age

“Finale”

Cover: Walt Simonson, Editor: Joe Orlando

Writer: David Michelinie; Pencilers: Walt Simonson & Bob Layton, Inker: Bob Layton

Story Editor: Denny O’Neil

Dave Rigg and his plastic robots fight Hercules, Kevin, Jennifer and their female-android army. Rigg dispatches Jennifer and the robots but Herc and Kevin (and faithful dog Basil) go deeper into the compound. Jennifer awakes among the android rubble and escapes a seemingly comatose Rigg.

Miss Agatha Simms senses their defeat and brings forward a simulacrum of the Enola Gay and its payload – the first atomic bomb – to defeat her enemy!

Working their way back to the control room – Hercules and Kevin see Riggs confronting the real enemy. I’ll use his words: He is the “representation of the Simms Analogue Data Energizer – the most advanced computer defense system ever devised and I have been under unprovoked and ever-escalating attack for the last several weeks.” Nuclear retaliation is inevitable, it says, but because of a fail-safe in its programming, only a human can launch his nuclear weapons. It destroys the Enola Gay and forces Rigg to launch its nuclear missiles. Hercules is too late to stop them!

Jennifer, lost in the compound, decides to smash some equipment. Unknowingly, she overloads Rigg’s system and releases him from SADE’s clutches! She finds an auto-destruct button and activates it before running out of the Command Center where she finds Hercules, Kevin and Dave.  They escape on Simm’s fleet before the auto-destruct hits the nuclear stockpile.

Simms, meanwhile, diverts the nuclear missile fired upon her back in time. Not far, just to October 1986, somewhere in Greece. Now on to curing Kevin’s eye sight.

Kevin refuses to let the witch touch him! He reminds Hercules of how World War III started – with a nuclear attack in Greece in October of 1986!

***

The letters page announces that Cary Bates will assume scripting duties next issue.

***

Simonson takes command of the art here, although it is not his usual beefy style. This is because he did only the layout and Bob Layton did most of the details and inks. Great job regardless. Jennifer is as beautiful as she was under Wally Wood’s inks (and that is saying something).  Plus, dig this full-page explosion of SADE’s island. WOW!Hercules Unbound 9 illo

***

About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

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