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Hercules #3: Review

Aug 2005
Frank Tieri, Mark Texeira

Story Name:

The New Labors of Hercules Part 3

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Hercules #3 Review by (September 26, 2023)

Review: And here’s what we have been waiting for, the meat of the series. Hercules completes seven tasks, many on a single page each and largely played for comedy because Bob Layton spoiled us with his comedic Hercules series. Herc is looking more heroic but there is a reversal coming up and things will grow dark once again because that’s what drama is made of. It’s always fun seeing the Abomination get clobbered and this time it’s someone beside the Hulk doing the clobbering.

Comments: Cameos by Black Bolt, Karnak, Medusa. Geraldo Rivera's notorious special on Al Capone’s vault is invoked as an example of the worst kind of television; Google it, it is a TV legend for all the wrong reasons. Abomination says he will hurt Herc so bad, Steve Reeves will drop dead; Steve Reeves (1926-2000) was the star of HERCULES (1958) which started a fad for similar movies over the following decade. Colors by Raul Trevino and Tatto.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hercules #3 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

And so the New Twelve Labors of Hercules begin, a TV show hosted by Eurystheus and Achelous:

1.      Hercules is sent to the Savage Land to capture a sabretooth tiger. On arrival he mistakes an allosaurus for his quarry, subduing it quickly. After Gordon, Robert, and Jimmy explain that the new labors parallel the old labors thus a tiger is similar to the lion he fought once, Herc rushes off into the jungle and returns with a hogtied Zabu. After he departs, Ka-Zar and Shanna arrive in a very bad mood looking for Hercules….

2.      To parallel the slaying of the Hydra, Herc is now pitted against the modern terrorist organization which has a huge multi-headed monster of their own. While Herc is busy with it, Hydra Commander #56 pitches a reality series of his own to Gordon at gunpoint, involving Hydra interns being set to various evil tasks and facing death if they fail. Herc comes out and faints, the monster having exploded before he could fight it. The commander blames the R&D department and leaves….

3.      Herc and company fly to the Blue Area of the moon to capture the Inhumans’ dog Lockjaw. They make it safely away then discover from Herc that the giant doggie has swallowed Jimmy….

4.      Herc next must capture Dragon Man so he chains himself to the beast which flies off with him. Eventually it tires and goes to sleep in a dumpster, allowing Herc to complete the labor….

5.      Hercules drives off Attuma and his army from attacking Atlantis, so the conqueror sets his sights on a retirement home on the Florida Coast….

6.      For a modern equivalent of cleaning out the Augean stables with their wretched odor, Hercules must stay in a room with the Red Skull’s dust of death. He does and comes out laughing a bit too much….

Hercules takes a break from the labors, brooding on a sidewalk. Jimmy offers him a bit of wisdom from his father that it’s better to be lucky than be good. And he advises Herc, “Now that you’ve been lucky, go be good.” And Herc perks up.

7.      Hercules is set to face the Abomination at Madison Square Garden. On their way in Gordon interviews Blonsky and while the big scaly guy is bragging about how he is going to defeat Hercules, the Prince of Power bashes him with a streetlamp, ending the match….

Gordon, Robert, and Jimmy are delighted as Herc has turned a corner, recovering his heroic qualities. But elsewhere, Eurystheus and Achelous are concerned that the series is not turning out the way they had hoped. A disappointed Hera appears before them, handing over her list of the four final tasks….

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Emil Blonsky)

Plus: Achelous, Eurystheus, Hera, Lockjaw, Shanna (Shanna the She-Devil).

> Hercules: Book info and issue index

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