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Hercules #4: Review

Sep 2005
Frank Tieri, Mark Texeira

Story Name:

The New Labors of Hercules Part 4

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Hercules #4 Review by (October 4, 2023)

Review: The hits keep coming though the prologue with Zeus and Hera, while entertaining, doesn’t seem all that relevant to the story at hand. But the editor must have liked it so who am I to complain? The idea that Herc had captured the real Doctor Doom instead of a Doombot is the funniest idea in the issue but there are quite a few cool moments here. But watch out for that shocking final revelation which promises a serious change of tone for the concluding issue.

Comments: The opening with Zeus is a parody of a famous scene from THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987), also involving a baseball bat but with a more violent outcome. The store “House Despot” is a parody of Home Depot. Singers P. Diddy, Cher, and Don Ho are invoked. According to Marvel Database, this Spider-Woman is the Skrull Queen Veranke in disguise. Colors by Raul Trevino and Tatto.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hercules #4 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

At the office of the Olympus Group, Zeus lectures the board on baseball and loyalty, gesturing with a baseball bat. He stops behind Hera to bash her in the head but she sends a quick bolt to disintegrate the bat. She sarcastically notes that it has taken a few thousand years for him to figure out she was the one behind Hercules’ labors, both ancient and modern. Their “understanding” was that Zeus would continue his infidelities with mortal women and Hera would persecute their offspring. Zeus denies having any more affairs with mortals but his reaction to his sexy secretary belies that statement. Zeus accuses Hera of jeopardizing the gods’ position on Earth but she brushes it off, calling on the board to vote on whether she continues the labors of Hercules and the board approves….

1.      8. Eurystheus continues hosting the new twelve labors of Hercules. As in ancient times, Hercules has to defeat Diomedes and his four man-eating mares so now Herc will be pitted against Mole Man and his four monsters (the one from the cover of FANTASTIC FOUR #1 and his three siblings). Herc arrives in Maui to buy 1000 feet of chain, paying for it with Gordon Allsworth’s credit card; when they see this, Robert and Jimmy make some purchases too on Gordon’s card. So as Mole Man tunnels up from below, planning to conquer Hawaii, Hercules meets them, wraps a chain around one monster and swings it to knock out the other three. Then Mole Man sends his Moloids after Herc who wraps the monster into a huge ball and bowls the Moloids over and plugs the tunnel….

2.      9. As Herc once stole the golden girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, now he must retrieve Captain America’s shield. Herc visits Avengers Tower and Cap welcomes him, thinking he has come to apologize for his behavior at the funeral. They converse, with Cap sympathizing with Herc as they are both warriors out of their times. Cap apologizes to Herc for not understanding his concerns. Then Herc punches his lights out and takes the shield. Wolverine, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Spider-Woman confront him so he wields the shield and bowls them all over and runs out the door. Cap recovers and tells the Avengers that clearly Herc needed the shield for some important reason and to cut him some slack. Herc is miffed that they reassembled the Avengers and chose Wolverine but not him….

3.      10. Hercules enters Latveria and steals a Doombot but the thing’s dire threats lead Gordon to wonder if it really is a Doombot or did Herc get….

4.     11. Herc must steal a Helicarrier from SHIELD. He ropes one and tows it away while the agents fire upon him with all available weapons. Nick Fury is woken up and alerted to the disaster. He goes back to sleep, saying, “Wake me back up if he takes us someplace good.”

Eurystheus is surprised that Hercules has gotten this far. He describes how Herc went into Hades to bring back the three-headed guard dog Cerberus. But this time he wants Hercules to enter Hades and bring back a flower from the hair of his wife Megara—as a sign of her forgiveness for killing her and their children. Robert is shocked at this revelation but Hercules can’t deny it….

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)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Peter Parker)


(James Howlett)

Plus: Dionysius (God of Wine), Eurystheus, Hera.

> Hercules: Book info and issue index

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