Having been hidden and in the forms of humans with no knowledge of their other selves or abilities, Athena and her brother Ares have had the veil lifted and are given a choice, stay human, or claim their rightful place as gods.

Athena04_Cover.jpgTitle: Athena #4 (of 4)
Written by: Doug Murray
Art by: Fabiano Neves & Paul Renaud
Covers by: Paul Renaud, Dennis Calero, Fabiano Neves

For three issues, we have been following the journey of the Greek goddess Athena as she is trapped in a human form and must unravel the mystery of who she is and what is her purpose. Now, here in the fourth issue, we have most, if not all, of our questions answered.

Picking up after the explosive events of last issue, Athena and her brother Ares are not happy with having been attacked by Manny and his thugs. As a matter of fact, it really seems to piss them off, and they show it as they take several of the gangsters out permanently. Surveying the scene of the battle, the brother and sister realize that these men are using their guns to kill from afar, they never really see their enemies and there is no honor in their form of combat.

Here, we have another of those flash back sequences that have been a highlight of the series, this time to the Battle Of Troy. Again, as with the other flashbacks, you see a parallel between the past events and present situations. But in the present, the gods just aren’t observing, they have taken a hand in events and things do not turn out the way you expect.

In an effort to show the gangster what it means to be in honorable combat, Areas turns all of their guns into swords and daggers. While the dumbfounded crooks try and figure out what they are supposed to do with them, Athena explains: You must fight as men! With strength and skill- facing your opponents. They don’t quite seem to get it, as one of the thugs threatens Athena with his dagger and she quickly shows him why that was not a smart move. Manny, leader of the criminals that are holding siege to Hector’s mansion. He’s not very pleased when he finds his men have stopped their assault because of their lack of guns, but finally tells his men to continue the attack.

In a surprising move, Athena’s human partner pleads to her as a goddess. He recognizes her as a goddess, and tells her that his grandfather’s grandfather worshipped her. Appealing to her wisdom, he asks that she not kill all of the men their, but look into their hearts and find a solution. After a short discussion, Athena and Ares agree: The situation will be settled in one-on-one combat, Manny versus Paris. The one who had his woman “stolen” from him and the man who “stole” her. Things take a turn here even, and Areas and Athena face a question by the end of the issue, do they remain human or resume their godlike nature?

This is the concluding issue of the initial Athena story. I say initial because the end is left open for new stories and I for one hope they are forthcoming. Doug Murray continued the skillful narrative that he started in the first issue and adds small twists that make this issue a joy to read. But, he also suffers from some of the problems of previous issues. There is still information that is left out: such as Athena’s partner’s name, the law enforcement agency they work for (this is sort of answered in the end, but it still is not stated), what was Paris wanted for in the first place, etc. I enjoyed the flashback parts of the story, and having seen the whole series play-out now I can say that I would like to see it continue. what it’s initial intent was.  A re-telling and comparison of several ancient myths and stories placed against a modern day back drop give this a feel like it is more of a supernatural action book than a toga and tights series.

As with other issues, the art team of Fabiano Neves & Paul Renaud do a good job. Unfortunately, the some opportunities for dynamic panel design seem to have been missed. There are some good instances, but having loads of background characters just standing around behind the characters is rather distracting. Also,some of the action suffers from this as well. The images of Athena are still great, the male characters are still a little to loose, and the colors nice. As I write this, I also have to wonder if the backgrounds lent a more bare feeling to the book? Lots of outdoor stuff with no real structure, some panels just seemed bare even when they where full of action.

Again, this is a good ending to a good series. There are some really interesting concepts and overall, even with the holes, this is a good story. I still would love to see a zero issue, maybe told from the partners view prior to the events at the mansion.  But still, a good solid read that will keep you entertained. I’m going with 3 out of 5 stars.



About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours.He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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