there was any other hero that could benefit from the Thor
movie publicity aside from the Thunder God, himself, it would be
Hercules. The Marvel version of the son of Zeus has had countless
adventures alongside the more popular teams of The Avengers, The
Champions and Heroes for Hire but never could seem to rise above
being something of a black sheep.
That all changed a few years ago when Greg Pak brought him into THE
INCREDIBLE HULK series. Eventually being retitled THE INCREDIBLE
HERCULES, that run acquired him a bit of a cult following. Now with
a new ongoing comic, called simply HERC, he gets a well deserved
light shined on him.
The first issue basically sets up shop as we discover that Hercules
has lost his immortality and is now left with just his strength and
a few nifty artifacts at his disposal. In a way, it comes off as the
ultimate test of his character.
Led by voices that plead for his help, Hercules seems to be
following signs and omens that give us a feeling that he is being
guided by an unseen hand. Even when his old beer-drinking and
womanizing ways are touched onto, they appear to be a proverbial
carrot pulling him to his fate. There's plenty of action in this
issue as his new role of defender of the oppressed brings him into
direct conflict with a quite unexpected villain.
The art, by Neil Edwards and Scott Hanna, does a great job of mixing
the majestic image of Hercules and the urban landscape he now walks
through. Not only were the fight scenes very dynamic, but even
individual expressions were detailed nicely.
really like how the comic was presented with brief explanations of
his skills and weapons in panels designed to imitate ancient Greek
art. This is a neat touch that not only helped reinforce his
mythological background but also explained the tools he now carries.
Another big plus is the eight page backup feature that presents a
thorough chronicle of Hercules' adventures that led up to where we
find him now. The easily digested history lesson makes it possible
to get up to speed without having to buy any other books (although
it does have handy footnotes in case you choose to read the original
HERC #1 does an outstanding job of laying a foundation and is
probably the most new-reader friendly book I've come across in a
long time. If you're looking for a series that you can jump right
into, without having to know a lot of what's come before, you can't
go wrong with this one. This new title looks to be heading in an
exciting direction and I can't wait to see where it goes.