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Review: The Heroic Age- Prince of Power #1 of 4

Herc's best friend gets his own title...


If you were a bit upset over the death of Hercules, then you may be in for a real treat! This first may hint at the Greek God's return...
 

The Good

This is a great introductory issue for new readers unfamiliar with these characters. Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente team up to bring you a comedic story which is a relatively easy read and fills in the blanks of many Marvel events without confusing the new reader. Pak and Van Lente focus on Amadeus Cho, the newly appointed Prince of Power; a seventeen year old kid who runs 'The Olympus Group.' I absolutely loved the way Van Lente and Pak used Reilly Brown's artwork to depict the way that Cho sees the world- in numbers and equations. Cho's character is captured really well in the very beginning of the issue. 

 "Cuz he's a natural-born 'hypermind'...capable of identifying the variables and quantum possibilities of any situation."

Good comic writing generally means that a lot of the story can be explained or expressed in very few words, and I think that these two writers really have a grasp of what makes Cho's character and relayed that brilliantly within the first few pages of the issue. The story starts out strong, with a battle, and we are introduced to who I assume is Cho's "instructor," Athena. Greek and Norse mythology heavily influence the storyline which in turn, maintains a rather 'unbelievable' quality. In other words, the events in this first issue are so unbelievable (and often comedic) that they are ridiculous- but not necessarily in a bad way. In no way do Pak and Van Lente try to ground this character and his story in reality. 
 

The Bad

The fact that there is little to no realism in this story also serves as a problem with the comic. Cho, who only recently lost his best friend (Hercules) and had his girlfriend try to kill his mentor, seems to be doing okay. I feel as though the emotional repercussions of these two major events would have heavily affected his personal life and that he would in turn show emotion, even only a little bit. Unfortunately, we do not see a deeper side of the character whatsoever. In fact, Cho's dialogue seems to be completely laced in comedy. If the character does not care about the people closest to him, it can make it difficult for the reader to care about the character and his story. For example, there should have been some sort of transition between the scene where Athena confronts Cho and when he heads to the Olympus Group R&D Lab 454 in New Mexico that reinforced the fact that he only recently lost his best friend. The overall pace of the story seems rushed, even for a four part mini. 
 

The Verdict- 3/5

This is a fun comic and caters to new readers. It is an easy read and serves as a good introduction into Marvel's upcoming Heroic Age story arc. While it was an entertaining read, I left not really caring about the characters and not really interested in what's in store for Amadeus Cho. 
9 Comments
Posted by 123422

This should be interesting, thx for the review

Posted by PrimeDirective

Actually, I have to contest the whole comedy instead of brooding point. From what we've seen of Amadeus thus far, I'd imagine it has effected him deeply, and the comedic one liners and such are his attempt to deal with the pain. One of the single biggest coping mechanisms humans use during a time of grieving is humor. They make jokes about everything and laugh it all up. People around the person usually have a hard time with it, because it seems like the person isn't actually confronting the loss, and they're not. Humor is a smokescreen to cover it all up and make it go away for the moment, giving a temporary escape instead of having to accept it. Spider-Man actually does this quite often himself. One of these days, I'm sure we'll see the big emotional moment where Cho breaks down over it, but not so soon. Trust me... It makes a lot of sense.
Posted by doordoor123

I dont really read any "gods" books, but i really enjoyed this. Sure i got confused with the gods but i still really enjoyed this. Cant wait for the next issue.

Posted by seekquaze

Good review.  You touched on a few topics I had not considered.  A few thoughts of my own I posted elsewhere:
 
 

I know SIEGE and its tie-ins are the big deals this week, but a few other things came out. Among them is the continuation of the story of Amadeus Cho. In the wake of the death of Hercules he has been charged by Athena as the new Prince of Power to prepare for the coming the embodiment of primary darkness Amatsu-Mikaboshi and the remains of the Skrull slave-army. This was made clear in the opening issues of "Assault on Olympus" in case anyone missed it.

What do I think about this issue? Well, I think its mixed. It was not great, but at the same time it was not horrible. It might be too soon to tell about it.

Cho is shown filling the role of Prince of Power through technology. He is shown kicking butt despite limited physical training. His use of technology goes to show how powerful someone like Reed Richards should in theory be. Fans of Banner will like this issue as he seems to be supplying Cho's technology among other scientific endeavors. I'm not sure how this fits with me yet considering the apparent ease he defeated the opening villain. I'll have to wait till next issue to decide.

The second half of the issue is setting up the quest them I think the series is going to be about. A character well-versed Hulk fans will know of shows up and as his own plans for godhood. This leads into the question of the gods themselves.

Due to recent events the greatness of godhood in the MU has come into serious doubt. Once upon a time they were something you shouldn't mess with, but since Thor's return the gods have sort of gotten the low end of the stick. How low depends on who you ask, but I think just about everyone can agree that the gods of the MU are somewhat shadows of what they once were. Which brings up the problem with the coming war with Mikaboshi and his army of gods. In light of recent events how great a threat are they supposed to be?

Pak and Lente appear to be trying to promote godhood as something greater than we have seen. They appear to be indicating great knowledge and power does come with godhood. Again, this is a wait and see aspect.

About the only thing I did find interesting is the commentary on the Council of Godheads. Specifically the possible reasoning on why it never appears to do anything. The gods have all this power, but they just sit around and debate the whole time. I think the reasoning in this holds some water if you apply it to the real world. The gods in mythology are often thought of as being similar to humans, but with greater powers. The flaws that keep us from working together apply the same to them.

Artwise, again I'm not sure about it. Reilly Brown is doing the pencils for this series. I have liked his art in the past, but something about it is different or off this time around. I think it might be different inkers or colorists.

Overall, this was a set-up issue. Those are difficult to pull off well. This issue raised a lot of good possibilities, but depending on how Pak and Lente pull them off will determine how it sits overall.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10
Overall: 7/10
 
Edited by PrimeDirective
@seekquaze:
How dangerous are the gods supposed to be?!? Let's just get this straight right now. Thor is nobodys whipping boy. There are people who can defeat him yes, but even then he's generally been holding back. When Thor really gets pissed, OH SHI...
Posted by PrinceIMC

I think Cho will break down by the end of the mini-series. I really liked the scene where he avoided being noticed by Heimdall.

Posted by FoxxFireArt

I like that cover image.
 
I didn't know Hercules died? Though, I don't really follow the series I knew Ares died.

Posted by iLLituracy
@FoxxFireArt said:
" I like that cover image.  I didn't know Hercules died? Though, I don't really follow the series I knew Ares died. "
Hercules "died" during the Assault on New Olympus arc.
Posted by PowerHerc
@Babs:
Little or no realism, huh?  Of course there wasn't.  This story is about obtaining enough power to become the 'God of Gods.'  How realistic do you expect it to be?