Pantheon (Lone Star Press)

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Publication information
Schedule Irregular
Format Ongoing series
Publication date May 1998 – May 2004
Number of issues 13
Creative team
Writer(s) Bill Willingham
Artist(s) Steve Lieber
Brian Hagan
Mike Leeke
Letterer(s) Brad Thomte
Colorist(s) Patric Lewandowski
Creator(s) Bill Willingham

Pantheon is an American comic book series written by Bill Willingham. The series was published by independent publisher Lone Star Press and is set in its own self-contained universe.

The complete series was published in thirteen issues. The first six were published in 1998–1999. The next six were published in 2001. The final issue was published in May 2004.


The series deals with a plot by telekinetic former superhero Daedalus to take over the world. He is opposed by his former colleagues in the super hero group Freedom Machine. Early on Daedalus is shown to be willing to go to extreme lengths when he destroys an Atlantis like civilization because he is concerned that they may interfere with his plans. The narrative then changes to a flashback as the darkness powered hero Shadowpax recounts to a group of young recruits the Freedom Machine's most challenging opponent to date: Death Boy a psychotic young man protected by an impenetrable shield and able to disintegrate anything he looks at. Death Boy is only defeated when Shadowpax encases him in a block of solid darkness which is still kept in the Freedom Machine's headquarters. In his first strike Daedalus releases several prominent supervillains in order to keep his former colleagues occupied. These include Kid Babylon a young man who has an Elder God trapped in a box, Chaos Nation a composite being who absorbs others, the gigantic canine Thunderwolf, and the supernatural Doctor Meggido. As the Freedom Machine confronts these villains they must also deal with the arrival of the alien being known as the Outrider who seeks revenge on their most powerful member Dynasty. Meanwhile behind the scenes Johnny Venture, a hero in the vein of Jonny Quest and Doc Savage is working with the US government to bring an end to the problem of super powered beings once and for all. As the heroes confront Daedalus on a deserted island, Venture's plan swings into motion. Daedalus fights his former colleagues for a while but then brings an end to their conflict by threatening to destroy the earth, a threat they believe he is powerful enough to carry out. As he does this Johnny Venture's plan is revealed. Johnny and his assistants, the Thunderiders have freed Death Boy from his shadowy prison. While he was unconscious they surgically implanted a bomb inside him. By threatening his life they convinced Death Boy to go along with their plans. As Daedalus and Freedom Machine fight, Johnny Venture parachutes Death Boy towards their island. Death boy uses his power to disintegrate the island, after which Venture reneges on his deal and uses the bomb to kill Death Boy. At the end of the series it is revealed that Death Boy did not actually disintegrate anything. Instead his power transferred objects and people to another dimension. Johnny Venture had learned of this dimension when one of his Thunderiders, who had been dispatched by Death Boy earlier, had managed to escape from it. In the end the heroes of Freedom Machine are reunited with their friends who they had believed killed years earlier. Daedalus himself dies soon after arriving in the new dimension, having been poisoned by one of the Freedom Machine members.

Collected editions[edit]

The first six issues of the series have been recolored and collected in a trade paperback edition with new material.

There is also:

  • Pantheon: The Complete Script Book (560 pages, Lone Star Press, April 2005, ISBN 0-9759544-1-5)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]