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Hercules #1: Review

Jun 2005
Frank Tieri, Mark Texeira

Story Name:

Hercules: The New Labors Part 1

Review & Comments

4 stars

Hercules #1 Review by (September 12, 2023)

Review: How the mighty have fallen. Hercules, a high-living hero is now a drunken brawler with no dignity or discretion, the subject of sensationalistic tabloid stories. And he hopes to gain redemption by having a dude with a camera follow him around? Herc hits bottom here and doesn’t know it yet. Will he be redeemed? We’ll see. There is some nice satire of the world of reality television and Herc as well. The art has a very solid look, appropriate for a strong protagonist and the color gives the series a distinctive backlit look but it’s the writing that will show us what Herc is made of.

Comments: First modern appearance of Achelous and Eurystheus. Tiberius Stone was introduced as a childhood friend/current enemy of Tony Stark in IRON MAN (1998) #37-41 and later a nemesis to Spider-Man, both Amazing and Superior. The Avengers’ funeral was a follow-up to the Avengers Disassembled event in AVENGERS #500-503, wherein Vision, Hawkeye, Ant-Man (Scott Lang), and Jack of Hearts were killed; Thor perished in Ragnarok, THOR (1998) #80-85. At the funeral, Herc attacks Beast, Iron Man, and Captain America. Hercules is mistaken for Kevin Sorbo, the actor who starred in the TV series HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS (1995-1999); Jimmy the cameraman claims to be Kevin Smith, director of CLERKS and a lot of other quirky films. Assistant Director Robert wears a t-shirt that says, “George Lucas must be stopped,” evidently no fan of the STAR WARS prequels. Colors by Raul Trevino and Tatto.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hercules #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Infant Hercules is in his cradle, attacked by two snakes sent by his stepmother Hera. The baby strangles the snakes and…the director yells, “Cut!” Gordon Allsworth is in charge of making a Hercules centered reality show and doesn’t like how it’s going and he fears for his career. The producer, Tiberius Stone, makes a surprise appearance, terrifying Gordon. Stone tells him the problem with the show is that it is too respectful of its subject as Hercules is now tabloid fodder. Stone shows Gordon film of a drunken Herc’s appearance at the Avengers’ funeral, mourning for Thor, assaulting various heroes, and causing a ruckus. Stone wants a show that exploits Herc’s current pure reputation….

At Avengers Mansion, Captain America presides over the unveiling of a memorial to their fallen teammates. At the Extra Points Bar, an inebriated Hercules hurls a chair at the TV and clobbers the bouncer when he tries to eject the Price of Power. The lady manager was willing to put up with Herc’s antics because he pays in gold but she is getting tired. Herc is accompanied by Jimmy, a cameraman recording his activities for the TV show and uses his connection to the hero to try to pick up woman. Herc suspects the manager is smitten with him and starts listing his Twelve Labors of legend. He admits it was done as punishment, levied by King Eurystheus, and excuses himself to go to the restroom. He is confronted by a sinister cloaked figure who hurls Herc through the door and reveals himself to be Hercules’ ancient enemy, Achelous the river god. In the form of a human bull, Achelous uses his serpentine tail to strangle Herc into submission, then drags him outside to a waiting limousine. Inside is Eurystheus, happy to see Hercules after all these years….

Characters: Hercules, Tiberius Stone, Captain America, Eurystheus, Achelous

Mark Texeira
Jimmy Palmiotti
Mark Texeira (Cover Penciler)
Mark Texeira (Cover Inker)
Raul Trevino (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Randy Gentile.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Achelous, Eurystheus, Tiberius Stone.

> Hercules: Book info and issue index

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