Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Herc #3

This is a series that continues to surprise me.

I would never have expected that Marvel's version of Hercules could support his own ongoing title - and yet he did, when he took over The Incredible Hulk's title for a while.

It was disappointing when the series wrapped up, but it rolled over into the Chaos War mini-series, so that worked out fine.

Now he finally has a title of his own - Herc - (does anyone actually call him "Herc?") and the surprise this time around is that, as much as I liked his adventures before, this series isn't really working for me (so far).

But, I should hastily add, this issue is the best of the bunch so far. The problem is that they've depowered Hercules so he's just a strong mortal, but they've given him some mythological weapons to balance things out.

He's taken up residence in Brooklyn, establishing a new cast of characters and a new set of opponents.

It's a solid enough premise and as always, writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente offer up a story that's equal parts action and humor. Here they make great use of some second-string bad guys who pick the wrong bank to rob.

There's no problem with the art. Neil Edwards and Scott Hanna create lots of detailed, action-packed panels here, and the characters are expressive and alive.

I think the problem with the series is that Herc has been involved in lots of big, cosmic-sized events in recent years, and this story just feels very small - like the difference between a sitcom and a feature film.

Oh, and I'm not crazy about the new "costume."

Here's hoping the big guy gets powered up and gets back to playing on the big stage again soon.

Grade: B


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