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Danny Fingeroth (writer), Jim Valentino (penciler), Jeff Albrecht (inker), Renee Witterstaetter (colorist), Janice Chiang (letterer), Len Kaminski (managing editor), Mark Gruenwald (editor), Tom DeFaclo (editor-in-chief)
Gilgamesh is assisting with the rebuild of Olympia and gets annoyed when Sprite starts to play tricks on him. Gilgamesh is also feeling disturbed following his return from near-death, and laments the fact that others always seem to get to take credit for his good deeds. Sprite offers to help Gilgamesh make his presence known to the world. They arrive in Paris, where Gilgamesh stops several thieves robbing a cash exchange – but despite his good work, the local media mistake the heroics as the doing of a local celebrity, who happily takes the credit. This angers Sprite more than it does Gilgamesh, but the two Eternals carry on through Paris, when, out of nowhere, a sorcerer calling himself B'Gon appears, riding a dragon, with dozens of other dragons flying around him, one of which grabs Sprite and flies away. B'Gon claims to know Gilgamesh, but Gilgamesh has no recollection of ever meeting him before. Gilgamesh starts to fight off the dragons, high above Paris, while B'Gon recalls the time Gilgamesh' slew the dragon he was going to use to conquer Europe. Gilgamesh is resourceful in the way that he battles the dragons, causing several of them to crash into the Eiffel Tower, and using his incredible strength against them. The danger is increased when B'Gon plans to use the dragons to slay the humans in the city below. Gilgamesh is up to the challenge though, and takes down the dragons that head towards thre city. He attempts to attack B'Gon directly, but the sorcerer transforms himself into a dragon-like being – although that doesn't stop Gilgamesh, who knocks B'Gon out and starts to direct the dragons away from the city. B'Gon wakes, and warns Gilgamesh that he will get his revenge again. B'Gon and the dragons disappear, and Gilgamesh begins to fall to the city, until Captain America appears and catches him. They meet the media awaiting below, and Captain America is very clear in making it known that Gilgamesh was the hero today. But as Captain America flies away, Gilgamesh grows suspicious, and when he finds Sprite a short moment later, Gilgamesh questions him about what has just happened. Sprite isn't telling the truth, he simply tells Gilgamesh to enjoy the fact that it is his name on the lips of everyone in the world right now. Unfortunately, the next day, the headline of the Daily Bugle makes it clear that Gilgamesh was on a rampage in Paris, and Captain America saved the day. Gilgamesh lashes out at Sprite, who points out that at least his name was spelled correctly. Giglamesh finally laughs, and suggests to Sprite that they go and see what else this world has to offer.
He was sick for a while, but he is feeling better now. Though you wouldn't know it from the pained look on his face. His name, well, he's had dozens over the millennia, but these days, he prefers to be called Gilgamesh. Here, on Olympia, he carries the large stone head carving of Zuras above his own head, with just one hand. He wears brown boots and a brown loincloth, and wraps around his wrists as he walks over the rubble of the once glorious Olympia.
'Excellent, Gil! You're back to full strength!' a voice cries out. 'Could you expect any less? Am I not an Eternal?' Gilgamesh responds, when suddenly, a slab of rubble is thrown at his back, causing Gilgamesh to drop the head of Zuras, which smashes into rubble as it crashes down below off the raised walkway where Gilgamesh is walking. 'Oh, loosen up, Mighty One!' the voice cries out again. It's the Eternal called Sprite, who laughs as he sits nearby, 'That was rich!' exclaims, before telling Gilgamesh to come and celebrate his return to health, with some mead.
Sprite uses his powers to materialize a goblet of mead, but Gilgamesh just whacks it, knocking the mead over. He looks angry as he tells Sprite that his juvenile levitation tricks fail to amuse him, and points out that there is work to be done cleaning the debris here in Olympia. 'Work, work, work! There's all Eternity for work!' Sprite replies. 'But play – now that's a precious commodity' he exclaims, before Gilgramesh grabs him by his shirt and tells Sprite that he has been due a lesson in priorities for eons – and boasts that today he shall have it. 'Hold, Gil!' Sprite pleads as Gilgamesh holds him up into the air. 'Surely you do not think I had any intent but to celebrate your recovery! If I overstepped my bounds in pursuit of mirth – I apologize. I apologize!' Sprite calls out. 'Your words are hollow – but amusing' Gilgamesh remarks as he drops Sprite back down onto the ground. 'Amusing? Then why do you not smile?' Sprite queries.
Gilgamesh remarks that he has returned from the edge of the abyss, and so, his soul is chilled by that experience. 'Exactly why you need some merriment!' Sprite exclaims. He tells Gilgamesh to forget such foolishness as his ill-dated stint with the Avengers, and that he should enjoy life. 'Shout happily to the world! Gilgamesh the Dragon Slayer is back!' Sprite exclaims, grinning and holding a hand up in the air. 'Back? The world scarce took note of me before! Always did some others take credit for my deeds!' Gilgamesh points out, before admitting that Sprite's idea does intrigue him. 'Should any mishap befall us... it is you I will hold accountable!' Gilgamesh warns Sprite, who, dripping with sweat, grits his teeth and smiles. 'No need for concern, Gil' he claims, before levitating himself into the air, Sprite shouts 'Let us begone!' Gilgamesh follows and asks 'Begone to where, imp?' Sprite boasts that they will go to the only place in the world of mortals to have fun, of course – Paris!
Shortly, the two Eternals drop down from the sky and land on a bridge surrounded by forest in Paris. 'Now... a little concentration...' Sprite begins, as he and Gilgamesh are suddenly clad in regular clothing. 'You've transformed the molecules of our garments to those more in keeping with this world of men' Gilgamesh remarks, now wearing trousers and a jacket. He doesn't like the hat on his head, so he tosses it towards the forest, as Sprite tells him that it is just a short walk from the Bois de Bologne to the heart of the city, before asking Gilgamesh if he doesn't like the “headgear”. 'Not a hat redolent of garlic' Gilgamesh replies, before asking Sprite if his pranks will never cease.
At Paris's Latin Quarter, where a daring daylight robbery of a cash exchange center is in progress. 'You want stop us!' one of the thieves shouts in his native French, while bullets are fired, and onlookers begin to run. 'Hurry! The car is just ahead!' one of the thieves calls out, carrying a case full of stolen money – only Gilgamesh has arrived and plants himself between the thieves and their getaway car. 'Miscreants! Though neither are you dragons nor super-human villains...your evil deeds speak for themselves!' Gilgamesh declares as he grabs two of the thieves and bashes their heads together. They drop to the ground, while civilians at a nearby cafe watch the battle. Another thief opens fire at Gilgamesh, but to the thieves’ surprise, Gilgamesh melts the bullets with beams of energy that he fires from his eyes. 'I'm getting outta -' the thief begins, before Gilgamesh casually flicks a finger, sending the thief crashing backwards into another of the thieves.
With the thieves defeated, Sprite rushes over to Gilgamesh and tells him that was magnificent. 'Surely now you will be a rightfully recognized hero!' Sprite suggests, before motioning to a group of journalists and camera crews rushing over. 'Listen! Even now throngs of mortal scribes and chroniclers approach!' Sprite grins. 'Eh?' Gilgamesh remarks, looking over to where the journalists are running towards him. 'Sir! Wait! An interview, please!' one of them calls out. 'You must tell us of your heroism in stopping those awful criminals!' another exclaims. 'You are a man of uncommon valor!' another declares. 'Well... I... um... that is – huh?' Gilgamesh starts to respond, as the journalists and camera crew ignore him, running past him, they come to a stop at one of the nearby café tables, where a man with long blond hair pulled back into a ponytail smiles. The blonde woman with him grins, and the reporters and camera crew gather around him. 'It was nothing – really nothing. To be a hero...is simply a full-time calling' the man grins. 'You have heard it, viewers from the lips of Jean-Paul Bel Tootho – heard the modesty that makes him not merely France's greatest soap-opera star but – a great hero, as well!' one of the reporters remarks.
'Why, that faker! I'll turn his head into a pig's snout so fast it'll -' a furious Sprite begins, clenching his teeth, until Gilgamesh puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him that he will not allow such a prank. 'Understand?' he asks Sprite. 'But – but – oh... all right...' Sprite mumbles. They carry on walking and Sprite tells Gilgamesh that there will be other chances – he can feel it. 'I'll see you crack a smile yet!' Sprite grins. Gilgamesh tells Sprite that his words are kind and intentions good, but that it is no use. 'My lot in life is to go unrecognized and unappreciated' Gilgamesh supposes. They walk across another bridge that looks out to the Eiffel Tower, 'If only there were modern-day villains like the dragons of old...foes worthy of my power! Then I would have a chance of being celebrated for my deeds!' Gilgamesh remarks, while fountains spray water up into the air nearby. 'Uh... Gil... you know that mortal saying about being careful what you wish for...?' a wide-eyed Sprite calls out. 'By Zuras – appearing out of nowhere!' Gilgamesh declares as he looks up and sees a blad man riding on a large dark green dragon, raising a whip above his head, while dozens of other dragons fly around him.
'The day of your doom has arrived, Gilgamesh! I have waited centuries for this opportunity – and today, B'Gon the Sorcerer will prove your life to be far less than eternal!' the sorcerer warns Gilgamesh. Suddenly, two dragons swoop down low and grab Sprite and Gilgamesh with their claws, pulling them into the air. Sprite looks terrified, but Gilgamesh tells him to be brave, and remind him that his powers make him nearly as formidable an adversary as himself. 'Wh-whatever you say, Gil!' the unconvinced Sprite calls back as the dragon holding him starts to fly away. 'Forget your friend, Gilgamesh – if such is your name – it is you who are my prime target – you who will fall before the dragons of B'Gon!' the sorcerer boasts. Two dragons begin pulling at Gilgamesh, as Gilgamesh tells the sorcerer that he has never met, and nor does he understand why he attacked. 'But I shall divine that after I neutralize the menace you pose!' Gilgamesh declares as he drops down from the two dragons, smashing their heads together, he begins to fly upwards and tells B'Gon to remain where he is.
B'Gon announces that he will stay right here, as he continues to ride the back of the dragon, but suggests that Gilgamesh will not find his winged allies so suggestible. 'As many dragons as you have – that many I shall defeat!' Gilgamesh exclaims as he releases a powerful punch that creates some sort of shock that sends seveal dragons careening backwards. Gilgamesh is then attacked again, as two dragons breathe fire towards him, which engulf him. 'Flames – of such intensity – they cause even me pain!' Gilgamesh utters. He wonders if he has escaped dearth only to have it find him today, but declares that he must not give in to despair. He flies over to the Eiffel Tower and climbs through the lattice work – the two dragons attempt to follow him, but are far to large to fit through the lattice work and instead crash into the tower.
B'Gon flies his dragon over to the tower and tells Gilgamesh that he is a powerful foe inddeed. 'Which is precisely why you must die!' B'Gon exclaims. Gilgamesh remarks that B'Gon speaks in riddles, and asks him why he is his foe, as he has never seen him before. 'But you have thwarted me before! In my youth – millennia ago – when I first discovered my power to control the creatures mortals call dragons – it was you who slew the one who would have paved the way for my conquest of this continent!' B'Gon reveals, while remembering Gilgamesh strangling the large dragon some millennia ago. B'Gon states that he saw that he must bide his time and allow his power to grow, and so he waited for centuries in his subterranean home in a deep sleep, induced with special potions until his new dragons were hatched and grown – dragons enough for him to enslave the entire continent.
'Imagine my rage upon my recent awakening, to hear rumors of one matching your description again walking the Earth' B'Gon snarls. Gilgamesh has moved out from the safety of the lattice work, and stands on a ledge, while B'Gon states that he knows Gilgamesh disappeared for a time, he sensed his re-appearance in Paris today, and have come here to erase him from existence. 'If, as you say, I vanquished you in the past, then I shall do so again -' Gilgamesh starts to reply, before realizing a large dragon has snuck up behind him. 'Too late, fool – too late!' B'Gon calls out, while the dragon grabs Gilgamesh in its mouth and takes flight, holding onto Gilgamesh by his coat. B'Gon boasts that, by sheer force of numbers, his pets will wear Gilgamesh out, and then burn the flesh from his bones.
But, before the dragon can fully clamp its teeth, Gilgamesh is able to flip himself backwards, escaping the dragon's mouth, he lands on the dragon's head. 'You pose too much danger, B'Gon – to me and to the people of Earth!' Gilgamesh exclaims, before slamming his fist into the dragon's head and warning B'Gon that his end begins now. The dragon plummets to the ground below, and Gilgamesh leaps up onto the head of the dragon that B'Gon is riding. 'To fight your many pawns is fruitless – I must bring the battle – directly to you -' Gilgamesh declares, while finding himself knocked off balance as B'Gon cries out 'There, my pretty! Shake him – and finish him!' as B'Gon pulls on the reigns, causing the dragon to writhe about, its long neck moves up and down as Gilgamesh tries to walk along the top of it, before the dragon flicks its tail forward, slamming it into Gilgamesh, who falls off, but maintains his position, flying alongside the dragon, as two other dragons start to fly towards him.
'Do you not yet understand B'Gon? You have not the power to kill me – and no matter how many dragons attack me – I will not surrender!' Gilgamesh shouts as he slams his fists into the dragons as they reach him, creating another powerful seismic shock that knocks the dragons away from him, while roaring 'I AM AN ETERNAL OF OLYMPIA!' B'Gon narrows his eyes and suggests to Gilgamesh that he will have all eternity to regret that he could not prevent his creatures from slaying those pathetic humans down below. B'Gon motions for his dragons to head down towards the city below, while Gilgamesh looks on in horror. 'No! No! NOOOOO!' he screams. 'Is that all the mighty Gilgamesh can do? Watch in horror the suffering I inflict on those mortals you seem to care for so' B'Gon grins. As he rips a large metal rod from the tower, Gilgamesh tells his foe not to mistake his alarm for weakness. 'You will not delay me with taunts, B'Gon – or with the treachery of one of your dragons you kept behind!' Gilgamesh declares as he slams the metal rod into the dragon's head.
Gilgamesh lets the metal rod fall to the park below, and announces that he shall save the mortals, and his fellow Eternal, Sprite, whom the dragons carried off. 'For as an Eternal of Olympia... I have formidable power at my disposal... power greater than even you can imagine!' Gilgamesh warns the sorcerer as he fires powerful beams from his eyes, striking three of the large dragons in unison, they all fall to the ground below, where some civilians run before the dragons can fall on them. Gilgamesh flies over to B'Gon and tells him that, importantly, he possesses power enough to defeat the mind controlling the monsters. 'Do you, grim one – do you?' B'Gon queries as the sorcerer suddenly transforms into a dragon-like creature himself, and lashes out at Gilgamesh with sharp claws, and wraps his tail around Gilgamesh, trapping him and calling him a fool as he reveals that the link to the dragons is more than empathic – that he is more kin to the dragons than he is to Gilgamesh. 'Your scream will be a serenade as my coiling tail crushes the life from you -' B'Gon begins, but Gilgamesh resists the sorcerer and raises his fists, slamming them into the transformed sorcerer, causing him to switch back to his human form. 'Braggart!' Gilgamesh declares.
Gilgamesh takes the reigns of B'Gon's dragon and states that if he recalls the techniques from his days spent adventuring with Buffalo Bill Cody, 'Herd 'em up – move 'em out!' he shouts as he crackes the whip he took from B'Gon. Gilgamesh's plan works, and the remaining dragons fly in front of Gilgamesh, who herds them through the air, while wondering that now he has them in formation, where should he put them? B'Gon rises and remarks 'Do not worry yourself...about such details hated one...'. Gilgamesh tells the sorcerer that he has regained consciousness only to journey to incarceration. 'No! Though you have today triumphed! My power is enough to enable me to flee – even as I vow that I will one day return to end your Eternal life... or see to it that it is spent in torment!' B'Gon vows as he, and all of his dragons, suddenly disappear. Gilgamesh begins to fall through the sir, 'No! Nooooo!' he cries out, when suddenly, 'Got ya, heroic one!' Captain America grins as he appears and catches Gilgamesh in his arms.
Gilgamesh and Captain America drop to the ground, and in French, Captain America tells the crowd gathering below that the day is saved, thanks to Gilgamesh. 'Since when does Captain America fly?' someone in the crowd asks. Reporters and camera crews gather around as Captain America explains that it is an experimental modification to his shield, but that is irrelevant, as he would like to assure the people of Paris, and the world, that today, thanks to the heroism of Gilgamesh – 'That's G-I-L-G-A-M-E-S-H' Cap spells out – disaster was averted. 'We all owe Gilgamesh a great debt of gratitude!' a reporter exclaims. Cap and Gilgamesh both take to the air, flying away from the crowd, Cap bids Gilgamesh farewell. 'Think I said your name enough times, Gil?' Cap asks.
'Grrr. “Captain America” indeed. There was no need to “rescue” me Sprite! My own powers would have brought me safely to Earth' Gilgamesh frowns as he drops down to the path in the forest where Sprite has materialized. 'Oh, but not in nearly so amusing a manner!' Sprite calls out. Gilgamesh then asks Sprite if “rescuing” him was to in some way make up for disappearing during battle. 'Dis -? My friend, had you counted dragons you would have noticed that you were not the only one slaying them today!' Sprite replies. He grins as he tells the unimpressed Gilgamesh not to mind that, and suggests he concentrate on the fact that the world will now finally grant him the recognition that he deserves, under the name that he craves. '“Captain America” made sure of that!' Sprite points out. 'Hmmm. We shall see...' Gilgamesh utters, while Sprite boasts that it is assured, and that his name will be on the lips of the world.
Later: 'LIES!' Gilgamesh shouts as he looks at a copy of the “Daily Bugle” (International Edition) which has a photo of him tearing the iron rod from the Eiffel Tower, and the caption “Gilgamesh on a rampage, terrifies tourists”, and then another photo of Captain America and Gilgamesh dropping to the ground with the caption “Captain America restores order”. 'They have reviled me!' Gilgamesh, back to wearing his boots and loincloth, shouts as he slams a fist down on a table on a balcony, knocking Sprite, who is sitting at the table, backwards so hard that he falls over the railing of the balcony. Clinging to the balcony, Sprite tells Gilgamesh that he is lucky to breakfast with a fellow Eternal, otherwise he would be a mere blot on the pavement. 'A pity such is not the case. Truly, with allies like yourself, Sprite, I've no need of adversaries' Gilgamesh responds.
But Sprite tells Gilgamesh that he misses the point: 'You have been recognized by your correct name! Correctly spelled! It's a start!' Sprite exclaims. Suddenly, Gilgamesh grins, 'Yes... yes... it is a beginning!' he declares, before suggesting to Sprite that they journey out of here and see what else this great world has to offer him. 'The Solemn One smiles! Truly, only an Eternal could have lived long enough to behold such a wonder!' Sprite remarks.
B'Gon the Sorcerer
Jean-Paul Bel Tootho
in flashback image:
Gilgamesh joined the Avengers in Avengers (1st series) #300, before falling ill in #307, and being removed from the team in #310, which is his most recent appearance prior to this issue.
For clarity, Captain America does not appear this issue, it's Sprite making himself look like Captain America.
It's unclear whether B'Gon is actually a dragon/sorcerer, or an illusion created by Sprite, as B'Gon has not appeared since this issue.
Gilgamesh next appears in Quasar #29.
Sprite next appears in Eternals: The Herod Factor one-shot.