Ka-Zar Quarterly #1 (Hercules)
Issue(s): Ka-Zar Quarterly #1 (Hercules story only)
Regardless of what this was intended for, it's a bizarre appearance for Hercules. He's slender, he's acrobatic, and he's on the run.
The person, or deity, that he's running from the Huntsman of Zeus.
Hercules runs into Hawkeye - or Goliath at the moment - in the streets, and asks him to meet at Avengers HQ later.
The story is that Hercules was having a fight with Zeus. Zeus actually didn't mind Hercules' back-talk, since it just proved that Herc has his dad's hot blood. But when Hercules storms out of the room and then goes to Earth, Zeus feels snubbed. For his part, Hercules was just trying to stay away from his father until he cooled down. But Zeus gets madder and, egged on by Ares, sends the Huntsman after Hercules.
The Huntsman has the power to create terror in the person he stalks, which i guess excuses Herc's uncharacteristic fear.
Hercules makes it to Avengers Mansion, but is attacked by the Huntsman's Shadowhound (which i thought was a cat when i first saw it).
Hercules is able to defeat the hound. He then tells the Avengers that he made a mistake by going to the Mansion, since he's endangering them. They protest, but before it's settled, the Huntsman arrives and easily knocks them all down.
Hercules then flees.
We're directed to an upcoming issue of Sub-Mariner for the resolution to this story. That will be in Sub-Mariner #29.
It's interesting that this is almost more like a promo than an actual story, but it's appearing in a book that i assume most readers weren't likely to see. I was pretty annoyed when i saw Sub-Mariner #29 referencing a story from a reprint book, since i assumed anything here would be non-essential. But i'm glad to have tracked it down, since it does have a number of events of minor significance: it shows Hercules' return to Earth, his first meeting with the Black Panther, and it introduces a (very) minor villain AND Hercules' wife (see Considerations). And of course sets up the Sub-Mariner story. So there's not much story here and Frank Springer's art leaves something to be desired, but it's still a nice piece of the larger Marvel universe puzzle.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This should also take place before Sub-Mariner #29, where this story continues. Hawkeye is Goliath and this is Hercules' first visit to Earth in a while, at least as far as the Avenges know. Zeus and Ares appear in a flashback that i'm assuming takes place right before the main portion of the story, so i'm listing them as characters appearing. The MCP doesn't list her, but Hercules' love Hebe also appears in the flashback. Hebe is Hercules' wife in the myths, and per Andrew's comment below we'll eventually learn that she's his wife in the comics too, although this story avoids referring to her as such.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAres, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Hebe, Hercules, Huntsman, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Zeus
The Shadowhound is adorable!
Posted by: S | August 2, 2016 8:17 PM
Hercules and Hebe are married in the Marvel Universe too; he's just a terrible husband. In the 2009 "Assault on New Olympus" storyline it's indicated he wandered away from her sometime in the past hundred years or so.
Posted by: Andrew | August 2, 2016 8:39 PM
That reminds me- shouldn't Hebe be added to the Historical Significance Rating? She appears in a few more stories- granted one of them was a weird one where Agamemmnon threatens her with the same mistletoe Loki used on Balder and everyone acts like it could hurt her because ... reasons?
Posted by: Michael | August 2, 2016 8:54 PM
I've added some more notes about Hebe. Thanks guys.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 3, 2016 8:41 AM
Has this actually been collected anywhere?
(I wouldn't be surprised if no one at Marvel knows it exists)
Posted by: AF | August 3, 2016 9:12 AM
The Huntsman returned in THE CHAMPIONS #2-3. Never knew he appeared here first.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | August 3, 2016 9:18 AM
@AF, According to the UHBMCC, it's never been reprinted.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 3, 2016 9:34 AM
Hi fnord and AF
Apparently the UHBMCC needs to be updated. This story was reprinted in Sub-Mariner Marvel Masterworks Volume 5 according to the Amazon description.
Posted by: Rick | August 3, 2016 10:37 AM
Cool, thanks Rick.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 3, 2016 11:18 AM
If you told me the art was originally from the 40s, lifted and revised to update it with current characters, I'd believe you.
Posted by: cullen | August 4, 2016 5:48 PM
I find pretty disturbing that Clint is hanging around Manhattan dressed like that
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | September 24, 2016 11:13 AM
A rare omission for the UHMBCC, which I have generally found to be remarkably accurate. Thanks to Rick for noticing that. I have that volume of Sub-Mariner but haven't read it yet.
Posted by: intp | October 6, 2017 2:53 PM
Marvel will eventually reveal that the Huntsman is actually the mythological hunter Cephalus -- which may make the Shadowhound his enchanted hunting hound Laelaps, a gift from the goddess Artemis who would always catch its prey.
Posted by: Gary Himes | December 6, 2017 11:22 PM
I wrote in the Angel/Dazzler thread that the story can't have been created much earlier than it appeared as this Avengers line-up had only just been introduced. But it just occurred to me that it could be it was pencilled earlier and the line-up was changed when it was inked.
There's a point that might support this being what happened. The Vision appears in two panels p.8, but after that the art only shows the other four Avengers. During the X-Men's break-up period the Avengers had four members: Goliath (Hank Pym), the Wasp, Hawkeye and the Black Panther. The Vision debuted the month the X-Men reunited.
That time-frame also fits with the Black Panther's not knowing who Hercules is, as back then he'd only just joined.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 9, 2018 9:10 AM
Both Goliath-Hawkeye and Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch didn't rejoin until quite a bit after Vision's debut.
Posted by: AF | January 9, 2018 11:23 AM
The Hercules story must have been intended for a split-book. Amazing Adventures and Astonishing Tales started immediately after the quarterly came out. My only reasons for doubting it was done at this point are it's 11 pages and their slots were 10, and the Angel story seems to date from earlier.
But I suppose it could be the decision to have 20 story pages in the split-books was a late one. It's not the case that titles of the same price always carried the same number of story pages.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 9, 2018 1:12 PM
According to Wikipedia's page on Al Hewetson Allyn Brodsky was Stan Lee's assistant after Hewetson, who left in Sep. 1969.
The GCD Brodsky says Brodsky did rewrites for the story in Sgt. Fury #72 (dated Nov. 1969), and his next story was a story in Tower of Shadows #4 (dated Mar. 1970). I think this explodes my theory thoroughly.
So I suppose either the story was intended for a split-book (such as the slot in Amazing Adventures the Inhumans ended up in), or Lee commissioned the story as a try-out for Brodsky and Springer.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 11, 2018 10:39 AM
Wow. I had absolutely zero idea that this story existed, or that Clint and Herc had met between Avengers #50 and when Clint falls from space and finds the amnesiac Hercules in Yugoslavia, as recounted in the flashback in #99. That even made sense, as the battle with Typhon in #50 took place in Greece and so the idea that Ares and the Enchantress stole Herc's memories and left him wandering around the Balkans quoting cryptic verse fit right in.
But, no. Apparently there's a whole other NY adventure fitting in the chronology. Huh. Well, I still like adding the depth to the Hawkeye/Hercules friendship (Clint Barton, best pal to demigods, always makes me smile), even if it will hit a major snag down the road (Thunderbolts #23).
Brodsky got the writing chores on Iron Man not long after this. Was it intended for him to handle both series, I wonder, or did he step into Archie's shoes there as compensation for the planned Hercules series not happening?
Posted by: Dan Spector | February 16, 2018 5:18 AM
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