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That's Not Thor!

August 20, 2009

     For the past two arcs, Incredible Hercules has been an extremely fun and amusing read.  But it failed to keep the same sense of whimsy and excitement that was existent in the first two arcs.  Now, with Zeus as a small child, Fred van Lente and Greg Pak have that feeling back.  While driving along and explaining who Zeus is to him, the Greek trio gets attacked by Harpies, and Athena stays behind.  Then, they bump into Balder, strangely wearing his old armor (clue here, folks!) and under attack by dark elves.  After some great quips, Zeus defeats the trolls, and Balder informs them of the fact that Thor has been exiled and that they were running from the dark elven queen, Alflyse.  Balder decides that, in order to defeat Alflyse, they need Thor.  Since Thor is gone, Hercules will have to do.  And Hercules gets Thor’s costume and makes his trusty old mace look like Mjolnir.  He and Zeus head back to the Axis Mundi in Washington D.C., and we get to see what it looks like for all the different civilizations.  They end up facing some evil goblins, and Balder reveals himself to be the classic Thor villain, Malekith the Accursed.

     Let’s see.  Hercules dressing up as Thor, Zeus behaving like a small child but still being arrogant and mouthy, Hercules being sexually attracted to his potential enemy, and Hercules’ small brain being manipulated by a smarter foe…  That sounds like a great formula for a story.  I miss Amadeus Cho as a part of this series’ formula, but he gets his own story as a back up starting next issue, one that will finally tell the truth of his origin.  And young Zeus is REALLY funny.  He was even attracted to his own daughter.  That’s hilarious.  This whole concept just sounds ridiculous, but this series is twofold.  It is highly mythological and highly humorous.  As evidenced by Hercules’ commentary on Thor’s origin at the beginning of the issue.  That combination makes this a superbly interesting series.  It has so much great source material to work with, and the writing team knows how to use it perfectly.  And have I mentioned how frustrating it is to have yet another good artist on this book that will only be there for one arc?  Because it’s still frustrating.  Reilly Brown does great and animated faces, which is crucial for a series so dependent on humor.  At any rate, Assault on New Olympus, the Hercules epic, is coming up.  And this is a great and funny arc to break the ice beforehand.  I have loved every minute of this series, and that’s not changing any time soon.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 8.8      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 8.8

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