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Subj: Incredible Hercules #126 Review
Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 08:41:18 pm EST (Viewed 843 times)
This issue has a $3.99 price on it, but is slightly larger than the normal and next month goes back down to $2.99 so I think it is worth it.
This book tells something that never has really been told before...the origin of Hercules. We all know it from the myths and it has been referred to numerous times, but this was the first issue I recall dedicated to it. And as far as origin issues go, Pak and Lente packed quite a bit of origin in it. Not only do we get young Hercules, but we learn the origin of numerous things about him.
It roughly divided into two stories.
The first is about a young Hercules. It starts off with some barbarians discussing various stories of his birth leading up to how he got his first lion's mane. Later, due to Herc's actions he provokes a war and through the course of the story we learn when Herc first is confirmed to be Zeus' son, what happened to his foster father, where he got his battle raiment, why he is called the Lion of Olympus or the very least his association with lions, why he is called the prince of power, and perhaps most important what set him on the path of a hero.
We also get further depth on Hera's hatred for him. One thing I never really realized before is the question: Why does Hera hate Hercules so much more than other offspring of Zeus? Why not Apollo, Persueus, Hermes or any others? This issue clarifies that a little. The reason is:
She wanted Ares to be the champion of Olympus to keep humanity in blind obedience to the gods claming that without that the gods are nothing.
Consider this fully for a moment. Ares is the god of savage warfare. He the assassin of Olympus. The one you are told horror stories about. What better person to keep humanity in line? "Do what we say or we send Ares after you." Hera wished to keep humanity in line through fear and to use her own son as that weapon.
But what did Zeus do. He, probable due to his precog abilities, thought Ares wasn't strong enough to defend Olympus from future threats (he was right) and so he fathers Hercules with a mortal women over an extra-long night. Dallying with mortals itself is an insult to Hera, but fathering the champion of Olympus with one is an even greater insult. It is an insult to Ares as well.
Well, Hera might have actually gotten away with Ares as champion had Athena not interfered. By the end of the story you learn how Athena and Hera have been enemies for thousands of years and just how long Athena has been preparing/manipulating Hercules and one wonders how long she has been playing her games.
Oh, a nod to history Hercules goes by "Heracles" in this story. Though there are differing accounts as to how he got the other name
Artwise, this issue was excellent. The artist is different from any before, bu I think he did an excellent job. For a virgin goddess his did an especially good Athena.
My only complaint on the issue is a minor one. Hercules's parentage is confirmed later in this issue and he acts genuinely surprised by it, but stories were already circulating about Zeus being his father. I would think with his great strength Hercules would have guessed it or at least suspected. Of course, Hercules has not always been the brightest guy. Not stupid, but he tends not to always thing.
Between the two stories was a brief recap of Hercules' career including how he was sent to Earth on an unknown mission by Zeus and how that has never been followed up on. I think Pak and Lente are planning on following up on it. Overall, a nice summary with only one complaint. It states Hercules was killed by the Masters of Evil when they took over Avengers Mansion. He only suffered brain damage.
Story 2 follows Cho and ties up the storyline of Kirby. Cho tracks down Banner to try and get his help cracking into SHIELD since Cho can't crack their current security. What follows is where Cho learns the dangers of drawing people into the super world.
I think this was a pretty good story. Not great, but it ties up the Kirby storline nicely. I think Cho is starting to grow on me. Part of it is character development. Part of it is while he is still a brain he had gone past the "I am right all the time and can do anything."
Artwise it is done by an artist who I can't remember his name, but I like his style when it fits. He does a sort of manga stye.
I think this issue is defenilty worth checking out.
Finally, something else I realized lately. According to myth, Zeus tricked Hera into marrying him. Zeus conjured a rain storm and turned into a bird that flew outside Hera's window. Hera felt sorry for the bird and took it inside where Zeus resumed his true form and had his way with her against her will. Since children tend to be born from Zeus's unions I have to wonder who was born from this union. Does anyone else think it might have been Ares. A violent god born from a violent act? Has a certain symmetry to it. Also, Hera's hatred for Zeus' affairs could stem from how he used her and then threw her away and his affairs with others and way of taking them is a permanent reminder of what he did to her.
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