Chaos War #2

Issue Date: 
December 2010
Story Title: 
Return of the God Squad

Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Khoi Pham (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Sunny Gho (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Brandon Peterson (cover artist), Irene Y Lee (production), Jordan D White (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive editor)

Brief Description: 

Hercules transports Hebe to Nightmare’s realm - where the human heroes of Earth have succumbed to the chaos, all residing in a kind of waking sleep. Only Thor, Hercules, Venus and Amadeus Cho remain unaffected. The men leave Venus and Hebe to do what they can to help their friends, while they return to Earth to marshal their power for the battle ahead. Thor and Hercules do what they can to prevent planes from crashing and the Earth’s population from dying as the chaos spreads - and Hercules essentially freezes time. In Pluto’s realm, Hela makes an unwelcome appearance, informing her fellow Lord of the Dead that the Chaos King’s slave gods are decimating the realms of the dead. Pluto calls out to the dead to battle the Chaos King’s forces - so Ares, Zeus, Hera, Banshee, the original Swordsman, the second Yellowjacket, Abomination and Iron Monger engage the slave gods in battle - before the Chaos King attacks Zeus, yet again. Hercules senses this and loses control over his hold on time. He proceeds to summon other deities to help them - beginning with Eternity. But Eternity cannot help, for he and the Chaos King are connected. Hercules summons his former teammate Sersi next, followed by Galactus and the Silver Surfer, who is not pleased that Galactus’ feeding schedule was interrupted, and proceeds to battle Thor and Hercules - before Venus arrives and calms him down. Daimon Hellstrom bursts into Earth, announcing that the Underworld has been conquerered and that Death herself has departed. He announces that Hell on Earth is about to take place - as Ares, Zeus, Hera and the slave gods appear.

Full Summary: 

A bolt of energy strikes the Olympus Group Building in New York City. An alarm screeches “Breach! Breach!”, while Hebe rushes towards where the energy has gathered, despite being told to take cover as they are under attack. ‘Don’t be silly!’ Hebe exclaims. ‘It’s just my husband - Mighty Hercules! Home at last!’ Hebe declares, adding that everyone thought he was dead. ‘Even me!’ she admits. ‘But I knew you’d return! Somehow -’ she begins, before a surge of energy keeps Hebe back from Hercules, who asks her to forgive him, as he explains that Amadeus brought him out of mother Hera’s inaccessible bubble universe by transforming him into a Skyfather. ‘I’m not in control of this vast new power yet - it’s not safe to get near me -’ Hercules tells her.

Hebe looks forlorn and replies ‘So…though…together…we are yet apart?’ Hercules replies ‘Aye. Though…hard as it may be to credit…it could be worse’, and an instant later, Hercules and Hebe are transported to Nightmare’s realm, where Amadeus holds Delphyne Gorgon in his arms, asking ‘Can you hear me?’, but Delphyne, along with the majority of other heroes, lie motionless on the ground. ‘By Zeus! Amadeus…Thor…what - what happened?’ Hebe asks. Thor stands over his fallen comrades and explains that the Chaos King slew the Lord of Dreams -Nightmare - and seized his power, with which he threw every mortal within reach into some kind of waking sleep. ‘Only those without mortal minds remained unaffected. Gods such as Hercules, Venus, you and me’.

Hebe turns to Amadeus: ‘And you?’ she asks him. Amadeus replies that he is no immortal, but that Athena chose him to be the Prince of Power. ‘I think that blessing shielded me’ he explains. ‘But not your beloved’ Hebe points out. ‘I’m so stupid. I should have seen this coming. Should have figured out how to protect everybody…’ Amadeus mutters, while Venus of the Agents of Atlas who eventually became the goddess of Love steps forward and tells Amadeus to calm himself, pointing out that Hebe is the cupbearer of gods, so if an elixir exists that can revive these heroes, she is the one who will find it. Venus adds that her siren song heals and restores, so she will try, and begins to sing: “Get up, stand up…stand up for your…”.

Amadeus calls out to Hercules, reminding him that he arranged for him to have All-Father powers. ‘Why don’t you just snap your fingers or something and -’ he begins, but Hercules replies ‘If it were that simple, I would, boy. But I can’t even figure out how to embrace my wife. Would you have me practice on your Delphyne?’ Hercules tells Amadeus that they can let Venus and Hebe tend to the fallen, while they marshal their power for the battle to come.

The Chaos King’s power begins to spread to Earth. A passenger aircraft soars across a night-time sky, and the captain informs his passengers that they are approaching turbulence. He asks them to stay in their seats, before suddenly, the chaos enters the plane, and it begins to nose-dive towards the ground. ‘Nay…not this day!’ Thor booms as he attempts to take control of the situation - before noticing another plane nose-dive nearby.

The chaos hit’s the city below, causing civilians everywhere to collapse - cars crash as the drivers pass out, and a doctor performing surgery and the patient both fall victim as well. ‘Come on, Herc! Chaos King’s putting people all over the world into a sleep-coma!’ Amadeus shouts. ‘At least 32,451 people are about to die!’ he declares, adding that there is no more time. ‘You’re talking to the grandson of Cronus, Father Time himself, boy…I’ll make all the time I need!’ Hercules boasts, power charging around him.

And at that moment, the plane Thor has been guiding to the ground, as well as nearby planes, crashing cars and the doctor and patient in surgery all freeze. ‘Wait - frozen in mid-plummet…?’ Thor wonders. ‘…well done, old friend’ he exclaims a moment later. ‘Wow. You really are supergod’ Amadeus tells Hercules.

Meanwhile, down in Hades, the Domain of Pluto, Lord of the Dead. Pluto sits on his throne and watches Hercules’ triumph through a looking-fire. ‘Hercules, pagh!’ Pluto exclaims. ‘Millions were about to descend into my prisons. And you deny me my due, eh.? As you and your father ever have?’ Seated on a throne next to Pluto is Persephone, who tells Pluto to have patience. ‘All who ever lived will one day be yours’ she points out. ‘Of course, my Queen. But “one day” is small solace when “Right now” was so very close’ he declares.

Suddenly, there is a screeching noise, and a mighty KOOOM - as the Norse goddess Hela bursts into Pluto’s chamber. ‘HELA?’ Pluto booms. ‘How dare you show your pale Norse face in my domain?’ Pluto asks as he readies a bolt of energy. ‘Fool! I’m not here to fight you -’ Hela exclaims. ‘Only to warn you - the Chaos King sends his alien god-slaves to decimate the realms of the dead!’ Indeed, the demonic-looking slave-gods are tearing Pluto’s realm apart. ‘To arms, my minions! All you dead and damned who toil at my behest!’ Pluto calls out in urgency. ‘If you will fight for me, you are released! For though you surely hate this world…how much more would you hate nothingness itself?’

Pluto’s words resonate throughout Hades, where dead warriors are chained to a cliff. ‘You heard your uncle…’ a voice booms. ‘…now lead the charge, my son - for Father Zeus - and for existence itself!’ And with that, Ares leaps into battle, followed by Zeus and Hera, while Banshee, the Swordsman, the female Yellowjacket, Abomination and Iron Monger rally behind them. ‘Blessed heroes and damned villains of Earth! Pluto may have freed you…but Ares, God of War, commands you now!’ Ares booms. But as the gods and dead heroes and villains leap towards the battle, a voice exclaims ‘Brave words, foolish gods…but now, for the second time…’ Mikaboshi exclaims as he skewers Zeus. ‘…DIE BY CHAOS KING!’ Mikaboshi booms as he drops his monkey-like guise, revealing a black demon form underneath, while Zeus screams in agony.

‘FATHER!’ Ares shouts. ‘Father?’ Hercules utters as he senses what is happening to his father, causing him to lose his hold over the planes and cars, causing them to crash. ‘No, Hercules! You must not release time - Hercules!’ Thor exclaims as he can only watch as the planes go down around him. Soon, Thor descends to where Hercules and Amadeus stand amongst the devastated city below. ‘I - I couldn’t reach them in time…’ Thor utters. But Amadeus tells him not to sweat it, as the people remain in the waking sleep, horribly mangled and burned, and even blown into separate bits - but still alive, like a kind of mystic suspended animation. ‘Fatalities: zero. Compliance with laws of physics and biology: zero’ Amadeus’ computer states.

‘A little gross…but nice going, Herc’ Amadeus remarks. But Hercules replies that this wasn’t him. ‘I lost control’ he exclaims. ‘I thought I heard my father call out…’ he announces. Thor reminds Hercules that his father slumbers in Hades. This battle is yours…and mine. And we both will meet this test’ Thor declares, before asking the others to come with him, while they have this brief respite they need to rally the scattered gods and mount a true defense before - ‘Whoa, whoa - forget that!’ Amadeus exclaims. ‘We already have the most powerful god on the planet fighting for us. And with all due respect, we’re getting our asses kicked’.

‘If we go for help, we go straight for the big dogs’ Amadeus declares. ‘Way ahead of you’ Hercules smiles. ‘What? What are you…’ Thor asks, when suddenly a burst of energy brings forth a certain cosmic being, who booms ‘WHO DARES SUMMON ETERNITY?’ ‘That’s the omnipresent abstract entity that represents the totality of all living things -’ Amadeus whispers to Thor. ‘I know’ Thor replies. ‘Just checking. You didn’t seem like you -’ Amadeus begins, but Thor interrupts him: ‘I know’ he assures Amadeus. Eternity looks at Hercules: ’Little Hercules. You’ve grown’. Hercules replies that so have his enemies. ’The Chaos King’ Eternity declares. ’Aye’ Hercules exclaims. ’I cannot help you’ Eternity announces.

‘But…he wants to destroy all things’ Hercules replies. ‘Yes’ Eternity remarks. ‘You’ve helped fight that kind of threat before - when Thanos attacked!’ Hercules reminds the cosmic being. But Eternity replies that Thanos merely wanted to kill everything. ‘There’s a difference?’ Hercules asks. Eternity replies that the Chaos King is the darkness, and chaos that existed before existence itself. ‘He is an anti-god. The void against which I am defined. He and I walk hand in hand. If I fight him, I fight myself’ Eternity explains. ‘But if he wins, you yourself will disappear, along with everyone else!’ Hercules exclaims frantically. ‘Indeed. So I sincerely hope you defeat him’ Eternity smiles, before vanishing.

‘You understand any of that?’ Hercules asks. ‘No’ Thor replies. ‘I did. What he means is -’ Amadeus begins, but Hercules tells him to skip it. ‘Skipped. To heck with him - let’s go for Infinity. Or the Living Tribunal, or -’ Amadeus suggests. ‘No. I’ll cast my lot with allies I understand…’ Hercules begins as he uses his power to bring forth the first - ‘…like Sersi of the Eternals!’ Hercules exclaims, as the sultry inactive Avenger materializes before him. ‘I summon and enlist you in the fight for all things!’ Hercules exclaims. Sersi tells Hercules that she is flattered, but frankly confused.

Hercules takes Sersi’s hand and tells her that her powers of transmutation make her one of the most powerful of the Eternals, but even more important is the fact that she has spent more time than any of her people among the mortals of Earth. ‘Laughing at them, usually’ Sersi remarks. ‘And defending them’ Hercules reminds her. ‘We fought together as Avengers. I know the spirit you hide behind that jaded smile’. Sersi smiles at Hercules and tells him not to reveal all of her secrets. ‘Just tell me who else you’ve picked for this -’ she begins, before seeing Thor and Amadeus. ‘Of course’ she mutters, before asking where Athena is. ‘She has long been your guide’ Sersi remarks.

‘Until she tried to kill me. She fled upon my return’ Hercules explains. ‘But without her wisdom…’ Sersi begins. Hercules replies that Amadeus has more brains than Athena and Thor has all the heart that she lacks. ‘He’s saying you’re dumb’ Amadeus tells Thor. But Hercules explains that he is saying Thor cares - as so few gods truly do - and would give up his immortal life a thousand times over to save this mudball Earth when the time comes. Sersi tells Hercules that is all well and good, and she sees his reasoning, but points out that the new “God Squad” could use a little more power.

‘Ah. In that case…’ Hercules begins, as he once more casts his newfound power - and brings to Earth the Silver Surfer - and Galactus! ‘You gotta be kidding me’ Amadeus whispers as the massive Galactus stands before them. ‘Arrogant fools!’ the Silver Surfer booms. ‘Galactus was seconds from sating himself on an uninhabited nitrogen-rich planetoid in the Pleiades! But you teleport us here - to a world I’ve tried so hard to save so many times - against our will?’ As the Silver Surfer soars down towards the gods below him, Thor tells him to stay his hand. ‘We of the pantheons of Earth have brought your master here to face a threat even greater than -’ he begins, but the Silver Surfer casts energy down at Thor, shouting ‘There is no greater threat than Galactus!’

Thor tosses his hammer towards the Silver Surfer, asking ‘And you deem us arrogant, space farer? The Chaos King threatens Galactus’ entire food supply - all the planets - all the universes - reality itself!’ but the Silver Surfer replies that Galactus survived the destruction of the universe that preceded this one, and recognizes no threat save his own hunger! Thor’s hammer clangs against the Silver Surfer’s board, while Hercules approaches the Silver Surfer from behind, the Surfer announces that since Galactus was brought here, he will satisfy his hunger with this world. ‘Well maybe you can put in a good word for us - when you wake up!’ Hercules exclaims as he punches the Silver Surfer in the face, knocking him backwards.

The Silver Surfer lands several yards away - where Sersi is waiting for him. ‘Hey, Shiny: Nice power cosmic. Too bad no one else around these parts can wield - oh, wait - I forgot about me’ Sersi exclaims as she traps the Silver Surfer in a large hand made of rocks. But the Silver Surfer breaks free of the large hand made of rocks: ‘Step aside, godlings. Or I cannot vouch for your safety as I summon the massive energy needed to transport my master - I…I…’ Silver Surfer stutters as he sees someone before him: ‘Shalla Bal?’ he exclaims. ‘Uh…what?’ Sersi asks.

‘You’ve…returned to me? There are…so many things…I want to tell you…’ the Silver Surfer exclaims. ‘Ooookay…’ Sersi replies, when suddenly, Venus laughs: ‘Ha. How many times do I have to tell you people? All you need is love’, before thanking Amadeus for the heads-up. ‘No sweat, V.’ Amadeus replies, before asking Venus about Delphyne. ‘I tried, Amadeus. But she’s the same. They all are. I’m so sorry’ Venus replies. Hercules welcomes Venus to the team, before asking her if her enchantment will work on the Devourer of Worlds. Venus stares at Galactus and replies ‘I’m sorry…there’s nothing like a heart inside that thing’.

‘But you know he’s got a brain’ Amadeus points out. ‘And since he’s not assembling his planet-eating gadgets right now, as per his usual MO...maybe we can count him in the “silent minority”…?’ Suddenly, a voice booms ‘I pray you are correct, boy!’ - it is Daimon Hellstrom a.k.a. the Son of Satan. Hellstrom, bursts through the ground and announces that he has come from his father’s fiery, fallen domain - to tell them that the Chaos King is triumphant. ‘The Underworld is conquered…and Death herself has fled our realm!’ ‘Literally?’ Amadues asks. ‘Literally’ Daimon replies as he stands over a gaping fiery crevice.

‘Hence the not-dead people sleeping in the burning wreckage of planes. Okay, kinda working in our favor now. I’m assuming there’s a downside?’ Amadeus remarks. ‘Just a little thing called Hell on Earth!’ Hellstrom declares, adding that since the dawn of humanity dead souls have collected in the Netherworlds. ‘Generations upon generations…now awakened!’ At that moment, Ares, Zeus and Hera, accompanied by various demonic beings burst through to Earth - ‘And all in the thrall of the Chaos King!’

Characters Involved: 


Amadeus Cho

Thor, Sersi, Venus, Hellstrom, Silver Surfer, Galactus (all God Squad)

Delphyne Gorgon


Hera & Zeus


Pluto & Persephone


Banshee I

Swordsman I & Yellowjacket II

Iron Monger



Amatsu Mikaboshi / King Chaos

Black Widow, Captain America VIII, Gorilla Man, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Namora, Spider-Woman, Stature, Thing, Wiccan, Wolverine and other heroes of Earth

Olympians at Olympus Group

Various and numerous demons


Story Notes: 

The Chaos War crossover ties into several one-shots and mini-series: Chaos War: Thor, Chaos War: Chaos King, Chaos War: Dead Avengers, Chaos War: Alpha Flight, Chaos War: God Squad, Chaos War: Ares, Chaos War: X-Men, as well as Incredible Hulks #618-620.

Hercules was seemingly killed but actually banished to another dimension during Incredible Hercules #141.

Zeus died in the Ares mini series and again in Incredible Hercules #140.

Hera was killed in Incredible Hercules #141.

Ares was ripped in half by the Sentry in Siege #2.

Banshee died attempting to save innocent lives in X-Men Deadly Genesis #3. He was briefly resurrected by Selene during “Necrosha”.

Yellowjacket II was a former enemy, then Honorary member, of the Avengers. After spending a lengthy time in the future with the Guardians of the Galaxy, she returned to Earth, only to be murdered upon arrival. [Avengers: The Crossing]

The original Swordsman was a member of the Avengers for a short time. He died while saving his beloved Mantis in Giant Sized Avengers #2, though his form has sometimes been reanimated by the Cotati.

Abomination was killed by Red Hulk in Hulk (4th series) #1.

Iron Monger committed suicide way back in Iron Man (1st series) #200.

The original God Squad consisted of Hercules, Snowbird, Ajak, Atum the God-Eater and Amatsu Mikaboshi himself, who united to defeat the Skrull gods during “Secret Invasion” / “Sacred Invasion” [Incredible Hercules #117-120].

Hercules and Sersi were teammates in the Avengers during Avengers (1st series) #332-339, 350-375.

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