Dealing with an Overbearing Father
Many children have had to deal with what they perceived as strict parents. But imagine a father who believes that when it comes to obedience, it is his way or well…his way. There is no alternative. Then imagine that the father in question is the Greek Father of the God’s, Zeus. Talk about having the power to back up your wishes. Who would dare to challenge him? In the case of Mad Cave Studios new title, Hunt. Kill. Repeat. the answer is his daughter Artemis.
The narrative starts out like most conflicts between Gods and Man. The Gods are concerned that the humans who once worshipped them are no longer showing them the respect that they once had. In fact, they feel that the humans have replaced the Gods with their technological creations. This would not do, especially where Zeus was concerned. He would teach those who once knew their place, the error of their ways. Even if it meant killing a bunch of them to remind them. It’s that “My Way or the Highway” stance.
Knowing Their Place
In this conflict, Zeus led his children into battle with the goal of once again bringing the human race under heel. When they were done, all technology would be outlawed. Any human caught with such devices would be punished. Severely. Their goal was to make the humans realize that their time was better spent paying homage to the gods and showing the proper gratitude for what they are given. Zeus children were more than happy to follow along and do their father’s “good work” at that time. Afterwards, things changed.
Father vs Daughter
Apparently, in time, Artemis didn’t agree with her father’s plan for humans. In fact, she wanted nothing to do with their new “world order.” She felt that the humans had a lot more to offer than Zeus seemed to realize. With that in mind, she separated herself from her father and her siblings and made a home for herself on Earth. Eventually falling in love with a mortal named Julian, marrying and becoming pregnant with his child. All she wanted was to live her life in peace with her new family. Did she forget who her father was? Unfortunately for her, Zeus had other ideas.
A Family Reunion
Starting with summoning Artemis in for a nice father, daughter chat. In truth, Artemis had no desire to entertain this request. However, she knew that Zeus was not someone you said no to. Better to find out what he wanted and get it over with. Especially since she was sure there was nothing he could do or say that would change her mind about how she lived her life. At least that is what she thought.
The Gangs all Here
As she entered Zeus palace, she found her siblings also had been summoned. Apollo, Aphrodite, Athena, and Hermes had arrived before her, all wondering why she had been delayed in arriving. Artemis was surprised to see them all there. She assumed this was going to be a private tête-à-tête between her and Zeus. Regardless, she turned to face her father when he appeared, lamenting why she had not visited more often and inquiring if she had grown to hate him. Artemis apologized if it seemed that way to him. But she reiterated that their lifestyle was not for her.
The Truth Revealed
It was then that her sisters Aphrodite and Athena grabbed her and opened her coat to reveal her pregnancy. While this was not unknown to Zeus, it still set him in a rage. She was supposed to have made a vow of eternal celibacy. A strange proclamation considering how many children Zeus had. But the misdeed was even more insulting to Zeus because it was done with a mortal. A mortal that was brought into the chamber, already badly injured.
The Justice of Zeus
Zeus claimed that it brought him no joy to hurt Artemis, but he had to punish her for not being honest with him. A light touch to her husband Julian’s temple was all it took to kill him, as Artemis looked on in first horror, and then rage. Regardless of her “condition,” she tried to avenge her love. But Zeus was ready for this eventuality and turned his other children upon the stricken Artemis. Each taking a turn at striking her, although Hermes was reluctant to participate in the carnage. Only a threat from Zeus made him also take his turn in hitting her. But before Artemis could attempt to fight back, Zeus stepped in and put her down and out. Claiming his sorrow in doing so. (Yeah, right!)
Ten Years Later
Ten years later, Artemis was in a hospital room. She has lain there unconscious for all of that time. Having been given a drug to keep her sedated. She was visited once a month by Athena, just to make sure she was still incapacitated. She claimed that it gave her no joy to see her in that state. Even though she despised her sister, she felt like Artemis deserved better. Whether this was true or not is unclear. It’s not like Zeus didn’t say something similar before he struck her down. As Athena left, an avatar (the converted mortal soldiers of Zeus) injected the IV with the drug that was supposed to keep her asleep. While telling her he hoped she never woke up again. (What was HIS problem?)
Sometimes people don’t get what they want. Which was the case of that nameless Avatar, as Artemis suddenly awoke from her 10-year slumber. She was disoriented at first but not so much that she didn’t remember what had happened. Her turmoil only increased when she saw her flat stomach when she pulled the covers back. Her screams conveyed her anguish but also served to alert the guards that she was now awake. Quick lesson to the Avatars…don’t decide to take on angry goddess whose world has just been devastated. Not unless you want to find out what other uses IV stands have.
Mowing Through Avatars
But that was just the first of many Avatars at the facility she was left at. However, in the end, they were just mortals. Brainwashed mortals, but mortals just the same. And while she felt no joy in taking them down, she would do so. It’s what Hunters do, and she was once the very best. But by the time she was finished, she was also very wounded. The last Avatar had landed a lucky sword slash. Back in the day that would never have happened. But 10 years in a coma could cause some degradation of skills.
Encountering an Ally
As she stumbled out, she came across another person. This one wore no armor and stood before a horse and cart. However, he seemed to know who she was. Which left her at a disadvantage, because she had no idea who HE was. He introduced himself as Tempus and told her he was responsible for changing the drug and allowing her to awaken. Tempus then explained how long she had been asleep and told her that someone else wanted to talk to her, handing her what resembled an old CB mike. On the other end was Hephaestus, the Greek god of blacksmiths, metalworking, carpenters, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes. (Try fitting THAT on a business card.)
This was a surprise to Artemis as she had always thought the blacksmith was dead. Killed by Zeus. (He does a lot of that, doesn’t he?) But in this case, Hephaestus had survived Zeus wrath and was living with the mortals. He felt that with Artemis on humanities side, they might stand a chance. But before he could tell her anymore, Artemis collapsed due to her blood loss from her wound. Hephaestus told Tempus to torch the facility that had held Artemis and to bring her to him. They needed to make sure she survived.
Hiding the Truth
Back with Zeus, word arrived that somehow, Artemis had awoken, and the facility was in flames. This was a surprise to Athena who explained that she had just left from there and she was still unconscious. Zeus, for his part, didn’t seemed that surprised. The daughter he knew would never stay in the dark. Her internal light shined too bright to allow it. But now, he assigned Athena the job to locate her. Before she finds out the truth. Before she learns of the boy.
I had stated in my preview how much the premise of the god’s vs the humanities never ceased to fascinate me. Especially when the main character is a bad ass woman. That is exactly what Mark London created in Hunt. Kill. Repeat. Throw in some exemplary art by talented artist Francesco Archidiacono and you have created a title that I have been looking forward to since its announcement.
But as I have read through the first issue again in preparation for this review, I am struck how many emotions are invoked by the narrative and the fate of her family. True the book has action throughout, but it all lays on the foundation of the hurt and loss Artemis feels over her family. London captures all of this and makes the reader empathize with Artemis and no doubt understand the vengeance she seeks. This is emphasized by every single panel that Archidiacono puts out. It’s a challenge to capture real human (or God) like emotion while also blowing up the page with intense battles and confrontations. In this endeavor, Hunt. Kill. Repeat. displays a master class in how to do it, and its only issue 1.
Mad Cave Studios Hunt. Kill. Repeat, Issue 1 by Mark London, Francesco Archidiacono, Mark Deering, Lee Loughridge, and Russ Wooten becomes available March 1st. Find it here on Mad Cave’s Subscription Site.
Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 18 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.