adamwarlock's Herc #7 - Spider-Story, part 1 review

Eh... maybe it's just as well this title is on its way out

I loved Pak & Van Lente's full run on "The Incredible Hercules". I was intrigued with the pitch for this continuation now that Herc lost his powers. And yet... this relaunch has royally failed to recapture the magic of the prior Hercules title. Coming from the same writing team, I'm really not sure why (unless it's just the lack of Herc's foil Amadeus Cho).

This title, which I hear is ending with #10, has been plagued with crossovers. If it is indeed ending so soon, then pretty much the entire run has been either Fear Itself or Spider-Island crossover; making it so the title hardly got to explore the Marvel Universe on its own terms and discover its own voice. And that's a terrible pity. Now, every single issue of "Journey Into Mystery" thus far has also been part of a crossover, but THAT title has managed to carve its own path with its own unique voice regardless. Herc just hasn't clicked that way. It hasn't rediscovered its old voice OR established a new one. It's got its fun moments and Hercules is still a likable character, but ultimately this book is just "existing". The fact that this series' title is dwarfed on its own cover by the size of the font for the other far more successful title it's a crossover with, is quite telling.

This issue has its fun moments, and a few nice touches. It's highly amusing seeing Hercules swinging around the city in a Spider-Man suit, and the cameo appearance from Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" mythos is intriguing. But then, the obligatory cameos from 3 of the more popular X-Men (Wolverine, Emma Frost, Gambit) are condescending, unnecessary, pointless, annoying. This issue, on the whole, just doesn't feel... right. For example: there's a whole two page spread of Hercules using thought balloons. Thought balloons are rarely used in this day and age, and for Hercules of all people to spend a lengthy multi-page spread thinking to himself doesn't feel true at all. I'm not saying Hercules is dumb, but he's hardly introspective.

Having this particular title crossover with Spider-Island makes great sense as it's local for Hercules and it gives him back some powers... but it's still a massive shame that nearly the full run of this title will have been crossovers. It may have gotten to find more of an audience if it had been allowed the time to carve out its own place in the world rather than being a repository for supplements to other books.

Posted by ElCapitan

I didn't read the earlier run of Herc, but I think that this kind of character was better done in Thor: The Mighty Avenger, if you haven't read that.

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