The Incredible Hercules is a must read. I think it will give you a better perspective on not only the heroism of Herc but why so many of us are disappointed by this current Hercules' tone. We've already seen him embrace his role in the new(est) century and do so in a fun, upbeat way. This self loathing, "I've been made into a joke" Herc just doesn't fit in with what was established throughout the Incredible Hercules and the Chaos War.
Yeah, I've been meaning to track it down but just haven't got around to it yet. I've heard very good things about the run.