Sporadic Sequential
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Greek Gods Gone Wild!

Today's entry: Marvel's Premiere Edition of Incredible Hercules: Against The World, which collects Incredible Hercules issues #112-115 and the one-shot Hulk vs. Hercules: When Titans Collide.

I actually don't have much to say about this one. I didn't have as strong of a reaction to it as the previous two entries, either positively or negatively. It was just kind of... OK. Which is fine, but I guess I was expecting to be wowed by the book more since it's been garnering such positive praise online. I did like that writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente delve back into Hercules' history to show more of the events that have shaped him. I've always enjoyed the Greek myths, so it was nice to them referenced here and used as back story to deepen Herc's character and help explain why he would be sympathetic to the Hulk's actions in World War Hulk. I've always liked the Marvel version of Hercules, who has played the role of a rough-and-tumble lovable lout, but if he's going to sustain a series it's probably a good idea to flesh out the character so he's a bit more complex.

I didn't care much for the art. It was too scratchy and murky, but perhaps that was the look they were going for given the book's subject matter of war, devastation, and depression. I did wonder what the book would have read like if it had followed an art style more in line with Art Adams' bold, action-packed covers. It probably would have given the book more of an old school straight superhero vibe.

I did have a question related to current Marvel continuity. I still remember when Ares was a villain that teams like the Avengers and the Champions (referenced in this volume) went up against. I've read the Wikipedia summary for Ares, but I still find it hard to understand why he was recruited to be an Avenger. In this volume Ares is shown actively working against his teammates (even knocking out Wonder Man from behind) and the Black Widow is shown having reservations dealing with Ares. Is this something that is dealt with in The Mighty Avengers, or is it something that's just glossed over in order to have a cool "Thor and Wolverine in one" character on the team?

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