Marvel Comics 2015
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Goran Sudzuka & Dalibor Talajic
Coloured by Guru-Fx
Lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino
Hercules begins to clean up his act and restore his reputation, but a mysterious threat called The Uprising Storm has descended on his city. Hercules and his allies, the Hero Gilgamesh and the stone age priestess Ire, have won their first victory against The Storm’s malevolence. Aware that a much greater war still lies ahead of them, the heroes along with the blind seer Tiresias and Hercules landlady Sophia, gather to savor and celebrate their success…
While I have nothing against Goran and Dalibor I do hope that they are only filling in this issue. I’ve come to like Luke’s art in this book so far and this issue while it’s nice to see Hercules with a hairy chest the art has taken a decidedly more amateur feel. Plus Herc’s manbun, which is ridiculous to begin with I mean the man doesn’t connect with the “modern age” so wearing one just seems wrong, makes him look more like a Samurai than anything else here. Also Tiresias looks more like an aging drag queen than the gender fluid being she’s become.
Dan however keeps proving he’s worthy of being a scribe of the gods, in Egypt he’d be Thoth or in Greek he would be associated as Hermes. While this is supposed to be a downtime issue between the marshalling of forces and recuperating from the previous battle there’s so much incredible characterization happening here. With a surprising, or maybe not so surprising, guest star Dan really hammers home Hercules desire to remain sober and improve not only his image but himself.
The scenes with both Gilgamesh and Ire while illuminating the past of all their cultures is handled extremely well. It’s also nice to see that Ire has come to view their alliance as something positive at this juncture and perhaps there’s a way for them to stop The Storm from wiping them from existence. It’s the little things in their dialogue and characterization that really stand out for me. Also that Dan is fleshing out Hercules supporting cast here with mostly unknown characters and making them as exciting as they are is a testament to writing ability.
From Gilgamesh wishing Hercules to see a Doctor about the brand Cryptomnesia gave him to the “meat-ing” of this issue so much occurs that helps us to reconnect with Hercules, feel for him and have a desire to see him succeed in his current endeavor. That meeting on the rooftop was utterly amazing in how it went down. If it weren’t for a certain twist that could have knocked me over with a feather i’d have sworn that everything said is exactly as I’d thought it would go.
While I hope the last panel isn’t indicative to Hercules having a setback it is something we need to see. So many instrumental things happen in this issue that could potentially change how this series moves forward and it’ll be interesting to see the ramifications of some of them next issue.
This has been one of the best and most exciting new things from Marvel in quite some time. While Hercules never seems to last long as a series it’s times like this make me hope he’ll be around for a long while.