Friday, April 2, 2010

Quick Hit Review: Hercules: Prince of Power #1

Written and Drawn By: Bob Layton
Colors By: Christie Scheele
Letters By: Rick Parker
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Before the Van Lente and Pak success, Hercules found himself contained in the 1984, four issue mini series from comics craftsman Bob Layton. This mini series takes the ancient, Greek god and contrasts him against the Earth of 2385, and shows to the reader how much of a soar-thumb Hercules can really be.  

The idea that I really enjoy about this opening issue is that it takes no time to explain why. Now, sometimes the 'why' is important, and failing to explain the 'why' is a fatal flaw (see my House of Mystery review), but with Hercules: Prince of Power...the 'why' is not needed. All this book is, all it desires to be is Greek gods in space, and that simple fact, that high concept is described by the cover alone. When you flip to that first page, after having the cover install that idea in your mind's focus-point, you know what is going on and that allows Layton to skip the introductions and take the reader on an adventure.

This book provides your action and big punches, but it also supplies the humor. At first glance, the concept of this book (Greek gods in space) is pretty laughable, but Layton uses that to his advantage by placing Hercules into awkward situations. Take the idea of Hercules checking himself into a future hotel - a man dressed in seriously out-of-date clothes, speaking in ye' old english and telling off a robotic bag boy...it is quite funny, and it provides a light tone to the book. Plus, I think, it also emphazies the specific quirks Herc has to offer as a character in not just a futuristic setting, but a classic Marvel Universe setting (Hercules could speak for Thor in the same aspect). 

Overall, it's a nice issue, and I will finish the mini series to see what other character moments Bob Layton has to offer with good ol' Hercules.

1 comment:

  1. This limited series - for me - introduced the idea of Hercules as a great action-comedy character. There are lots of modern examples where this still holds true (Marvel Adventures, She-Hulk, etc).

    "Sayest What!?!" C'mon, that's funny stuff.

    Someday, I really need to get around to reading Incredible Hercules...

    Jeff
    Cheap Ass Trades - collected editions, graphic novels, manga

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