Hercules continues in his own title, not the first time he has had his own comic, he appeared in his own right for the first time in 1982, in a series that ran for a total of four issues, and again in 1984, again for a stunning four issues. The last time, we, as the collective comic book community saw the son of Zues (this one at least), was in 2005, after a fairly lengthy hiatus, he appeared in an unprecedented five part mini-series, entitled ‘The New Labors.’ If you don’t understand the title, go buy a book on Greek mythology, I’m not just being annoying about it, you’ll get more out of these comics if you do. Given this somewhat lackluster series for Herc, I found it fitting to do a write up on his latest series that looks like it COULD reach a grand six episodes.
Lead-up to the Story
Written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, and penciled by Paul Neary, this has been an issue I’ve been excited to see in my box each month so far. Partially because of my love for Greek myth, as well as math, which manifests itself in the form of Amadeus Cho. I have declared my somewhat controversial adoration of Cho in the past, and I understand that he can be an unloved feature in the Marvel universe. Bully to all of you I say, I like him, and his coyote. In the previous issues, we have seen Cho become steadily darker and more bent on revenging his idol, the Hulk. Hercules has also started questioning Cho’s decisions with increased regularity, although he has been forced to go along with him, generally to avoid capture by his Ares, the god of war.
The story begins with another mythological reference, but don’t worry, its explained in a few pages. In short, Herc is kicking major SHIELD ass, and thinks he is being denied magical horses. Most Greek myth was created while people were drunk, true story. While this is entertaining, the more important parts off the issue have to do with Amadeus Cho, and with Ares. While attempting to take over a SHIELD helicarrier, Cho is thwarted by Black Widow, but his pup is caught underneath him in his fall, and we’re left in the dark about the fate of his coyote, although, on the last page of the comic, we see requests for names for it, so I’m fairly sure we won’t be seeing the of it, and it’ll have a name, so I won’t have to keep on coming up with novel pronouns for the animal. Wonder Man figures out that Ares is trying to use both him and SHIELD to take down his rival Hercules, and we should wait in eager anticipation to see how this plays out. Wonder Man vs Ares anyone?
Paul Neary does a good job of giving the action a sense of action and movement in almost every panel. Also, he really tried to give Hercules a crazed expression during his hydra blood induced state, but it doesn’t seem to work all too well all of the time. Drawing can be like writing, similar to how an author does not want to use the same adjective all the time, an artist will not want to use the same expression to depict a certain emotion, however, this results in Herc just having near perfectly circular, round, red eyes. Also, sometimes Amadeus Cho looks either pudgy, not so much because he has an animal in his jacket, but more so in his face. Overall however, I must say I am pleased with the artwork as it is provided. Also, I wonder if Neary himself did the oldschool arts featured in the middle of the book, also, oldschool Ares reminds me of Mr. T. Mention should be made of the cover art, provided by Arthur Adams, Herc’s arms have extra muscle mass, and this isn’t usually something that bugs me, when I draw I tend to add extra as well, but this is kind of ridiculous.
Is it Worth Buying?
If you have an interest in Greek mythology, I would say absolutely. Also, it looks like this story arc with Herc vs Ares, and with Cho attempting to mess up SHIELD may prove important to the overall Marvel storyline, especially with Tony Stark having so many problems in his storyline. So overall, it is well written, and entertaining to read, definitely earning its spot on my pull list.