The Incredible Hercules is one of my favorite books out right now, and I was hoping this “jumping on” point would be the best opportunity for the series to do all the talking for me. As I write this, I haven’t heard the reaction from the others, but I doubt I’ll have succeeded in proving my point. It wasn’t a bad issue, necessarily, it was just rather substandard. And for $4?
Hercules #126 was pretty segmented. His origin story took place in ancient, in-continuity Greece, followed by a catch-up piece for any new readers this book is hoping to pick up, and finished out with a light-hearted, but still moving, story of Amadeus Cho’s search for his lost pup.
It’s segmented in more than just story, however, and while the writing team showcases their diversity by bringing in Planet Hulk-style action, and Hercules-style humor, it’s too bad they couldn’t mix them together a bit more evenly. I’m not completely turned off by action comics these days, but they’re so much smarter when they pepper in a bit of smirking wit. B.C.-period writing tends to get a bit heavy-handed as it is.
So we’ve got his origin, which, as you would expect from a warrior god-halfling, is full of posturing, honor, and performance. On the other side we’ve got the super-intelligent Cho trying to unearth the whereabouts of the coyote pup he lost somewhere between World War Hulk and Secret Invasion. And hello, look guys, it’s the Hulk! Remember him from back when he still owned this book? Yeah, those were good times (and yeah, I’m still bitter, Marvel). In the middle is the series recap, which dryly parses Herc’s early Marvel appearances, and then divulges the details of a lot of recent events, including World War Hulk, Secret Invasion, and other spin-offs and universe-wide events—yawn. (more…)