Incredible Hulk: Hercules Unleashed #1
Issue(s): Incredible Hulk: Hercules Unleashed #1
The reason i wanted it to be a regular issue is because then it would have been perfectly clear where it took place in the Hulk's chronology. And you'd think Peter David could have made that clear anyway. But more on that in the Considerations.
This issue makes a lot of use of flashbacks going back to the days of Ancient Greek myths. And the upshot of that is seeing Deodato drawing Hercules in his classic costume.
God that looks so awesome. Why would you take him out of that costume, shave that beard, and make him Generic Lad?
In the intial flashback, as Hercules is coming home from the quest with Jason and the Argonauts, he's told by the Oak of Dodona that he will be slain twice "and both time shall a green monster be responsible". My train of thought initially assumed the Hulk would be the "green monster" and then realized that was too obvious. And of course if you know the myths of Hercules you know that Hercules was initially killed by the green monster known as jealousy, when his wife gave him the gift that the centaur Nessus gave her as a remedy for Herc cheating on her, not aware that it would kill him. For what it's worth, Nessus looks a little like the grey Hulk in this comic (presumably on purpose).
So with jealousy being one green monster, maybe the second one will also be a metaphor? Like the sea, perhaps? But no, the second time it really will be the Hulk.
Before we get there, as you can see from above, Hercules and Deathcry are returning from space. When they get home they find out about Onslaught and the fact that all the Avengers are dead (or "torn away"). Hercules decides to go to Olympus for answers, and since he's not exactly welcome in Olympus, he thinks he can get help from the Hulk.
But the Hulk is being pursued by Colonel St. Lawrence.
And it's said he's beyond just wanting to be "left alone". He wants "payback... justice". So he's not in a good mood when Hercules arrives.
As we saw in this Hulk incarnation's first appearance, he's very reserved, even when fighting.
He absolutely murders Hercules. Literally.
Actually just before delivering a killing blow, he shaws the tiniest bit of mercy, and that's enough for Zeus, who was watching the fight, to whisk them both to Olympus.
Zeus offers Hercules a boon as a reward for his bravery when facing certain death, and Hercules surprises him by asking to look into a scrying pool for his lost friends. He finds "Nothing. A final burst of light, their disappearance, and... nothing!". Zeus gets mad that Hercules didn't ask for his immortality back instead of worrying about his mortal friends. Herc tells him that only as a mortal can he truly live. He then goes and makes amends (of sorts) with the Hulk, and they take the hard way home.
My scans came out a little dark and pixelated, but the art in this issue is beautiful. Deodato has fun with the Ancient Greek stuff and it all looks great. The story is good too, and it's a good piece of the post-Onslaught landscape, the beginning of a nice little cross-title thread for Hercules.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: For Hercules, this shows him and Deathcry returning to Earth, so it would have to take place before they appear in other post-Onslaught stories (e.g. Hercules in X-Men #59). For Hulk, it has to take place after the new version of him appears in Hulk #447. The MCP have it after Hulk #448. But #448 ends with Hulk making a very clear threat to the US military: attack me and i'll destroy a city in return. This issue has the army attacking the Hulk with little regard for the implications. So to me it seems like this should take place between Hulk #447-448.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showApollo, Artemis, Black Widow, Carolyn St. Lawrence, Deathcry, Hebe, Hera, Hercules, Hulk (Banner-less), Zeus
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|